U.K. publisher Lion Hudson has announced the launch of a new imprint, Lion Fiction. Inaugural titles--in the thriller, fantasy, mystery, and women's fiction genres--will release in spring 2013; plans are to eventually publish up to 24 books per year. The books are aimed at “an international audience,” according to commissioning editor Tony Collins, who is actively acquiring projects from Christian authors.

In a statement, Nick Jones, publisher of Lion Hudson, said that Lion Fiction would provide “a platform for Christian novelists from all traditions,” citing such examples as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, P.D. James, and Marilynne Robinson. “[W]e aspire to seek out and nurture a new generation of writers whose imagination and craft will similarly delight 21st-century readers,” Jones stated.

Lion Fiction’s first list will feature books by crime writers Donna Fletcher Crow, Mel Starr, Fay Sampson, and C.F. Dunn; by debut thriller author David Stevens; and by BBC television presenter Pam Rhodes, which will be the first book in her new women’s fiction series, the Dunbridge Chronicles, set in the English countryside. The books will be sold through both general market and Christian retail channels, with titles to which it holds rights being distributed in the U.S. by Kregel Publications. Three are in Kregel’s spring catalogue.