Avon Buys Debut Romantasy Series

After an auction, Julia Elliott at Avon has acquired North American rights to Brigid Kemmerer’s debut adult trilogy. The deal was handled by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media. Avon said the “romantasy-centered” series will feature “a princess with a secret” along with a “darkly handsome warrior king” and an “assassin” tasked with killing them both—even though he’s the princess’s childhood friend and first love. Kemmerer is the bestselling author of more than a dozen YA novels, including A Curse So Dark and Lonely. The first book in the new trilogy, Warrior Princess Assassin, is scheduled for summer 2025.

Burton and O’Reilly Score at Lyons

Ken Samelson at Lyons Press has bought world English rights to The Rise of Major League Soccer: Building a Global Giant by Rick Burton and Norman O’Reilly. Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the agreement. The book delves into the story of Major League Soccer and how its 2023 partnership with Apple and the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America could make it “a rival to Europe’s biggest football leagues” and one of the world’s largest professional sports businesses. Publication is set for February 2025.

Kensington Visits Martin’s ‘Ghost Town’

In a two-book deal, Alicia Condon at Kensington has acquired world English rights to bestselling author Kat Martin’s Ghost Town, along with an untitled thriller. Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group negotiated the deal. Gottlieb said Ghost Town follows “a woman who inherits an infamous hotel and bar and faces unexplained events—and a murder—while trying to discern between actual paranormal occurrences and a deceptive plot orchestrated by jealous rivals.” The book is slated for fall 2024.

Putnam Signs Pyper’s Nom de Plume

Putnam executive editor Daphne Durham has acquired North American rights to two new novels by Mason Coile—a pen name of Andrew Pyper. The deal was brokered by Kirby Kim at Janklow & Nesbit. Putnam said William, the first of the two books, is “a gasp-inducing, locked-room haunted house novel in which the haunting is by AI.” William will be published in fall 2024. Putnam said the second book, Exiles, set for fall 2025, will “follow the same dark path” but will take place at “an isolated base, the proposed home for the first human colony on Mars.”

Lawson ‘Hacks’ into Penguin Life

After an auction, Meg Leder at Penguin Life acquired North American rights to Jenny Lawson’s Beautiful Hacks for Broken Heads and Creative Hearts, which the publisher described as a personal collection of “lessons for the head and nourishment for the heart” geared toward helping readers “survive and even thrive when depression lies and tells them that the world would be better off without them.” The deal was negotiated by Neeti Madan at Sterling Lord Literistic. The book will publish in 2025.

Bindery Takes On Morris’s ‘Beasts’

Susan J. Morris has sold world rights (excepting the U.K.) to her novel Strange Beasts to Kathryn Budig at Inky Phoenix Press, an imprint of upstart Bindery Books. The deal was negotiated by Jennifer Azantian at the Azantian Literary Agency, who said Strange Beasts is “an exploration of feminine power” that follows Dracula protagonist Jonathan Harker’s daughter “as she attempts to stop the notorious ‘beast murders’ in turn-of-the-century Paris.” The book is set for fall 2024.