Avon To Publish Three More Books by Bestseller Sue Moorcroft

Photo Credit: Charlotte Barnes

Photo Credit: Charlotte Barnes

Avon Books have signed a three-book deal with Sue Moorcroft, taking her publishing schedule up to summer 2020. Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks acquired World English Language rights from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann.

As part of Avon’s overall strategy to grow Sue Moorcroft’s brand globally, Avon also expanded their portfolio for her existing books to include North American and Canadian rights (A Christmas Promise, Just for the Holidays, The Little Village Christmas, One Summer in Italy and A Christmas Gift).

Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks, Senior Commissioning Editor at Avon said: ‘Sue Moorcroft’s wonderful novels have become highlights of summer and Christmas for her legion of devoted readers, and we are delighted that we’ll be working with Sue for these next three books. Her novels are full to the brim with warmth, but never shy away from the darker realities of life, and with universal themes of family, friendship, love and community, we’re excited to be publishing Sue globally, and bringing her wonderful narratives to an even wider readership.’ 

Sue Moorcroft said: ‘It’s such a privilege and a pleasure to continue to work with the Avon team, because they approach the publication of my books with unparalleled professionalism and enthusiasm. I’m thrilled they’re proving their confidence in my brand by taking it into North America and Canada and thank Juliet for, once again, brokering exactly the right deal for me. I can’t say how delighted I am to move into the future with all at Avon and Blake Friedmann.’

Pickering said: ‘Sue's partnership with Avon continues to go from strength to strength, and we're delighted that Avon wish to take Sue's fantastic list to North America, too. Along with an ever-increasing number of translation markets for Sue's novels, this move across the Atlantic cements Sue's future as an internationally-bestselling author, and we couldn't be more pleased for her.'

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author who has held the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has twice been nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared all over the world. Her first hardback, A Christmas Gift, publishes this November, following a Sunday Times top ten position last Christmas, and a summer of stellar Ebook sales.

Praise for Sue Moorcroft:

‘A delight to read. Full of laughter and tears.’ – Katie Fforde

 ‘Sue’s gift for description and characters and a well-paced, funny yet tender plot makes this the idea holiday read.’ — My Weekly

Visit Sue's website

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BOOKWORM shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards

We are overjoyed to announce that the fantastic BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan has been shortlisted for the Beautiful Book category of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards.

Nominated alongside Mangan were BOOKWORM’s production team, Laura Barrett, who designed the gorgeous cover, Shabana Cho and Julia Connolly.

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Bookshops across the UK and Ireland have revealed their favourite books and authors of 2018 across seven categories, as part of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards

Unlike the other categories though, the Beautiful Book is voted for exclusively by booksellers, who will now be choosing a winner from the shortlist of six titles revealed today.

The winners will be announced on 13 November at an awards ceremony at Foyles.

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BOOKWORM is a love letter to the joys of childhood reading; it will offer a witty, impassioned history of the childhood stories we loved and the extraordinary people who created them; it will also explore the thousand subtle ways these books shape our own lives - the bonds we form, the rites of passage we undergo, the understanding we gain. It will begin as we all do, with picture books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, leading us through secret gardens, along railway lines and across prairies, right up to a shared coming of age with Judy Blume, Patrick Ness and Philip Pullman.

Lucy Mangan is a columnist for Guardian Weekend magazine and Stylist, and author of MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, THE RELUCTANT BRIDE and HOPSCOTCH AND HANDBAGS.

 

Praise for BOOKWORM

Credit: Stylist

Credit: Stylist

‘In Lucy Mangan’s BOOKWORM childhood books are brought vividly to life, as are the remembered pleasures of first encountering them…Mangan guides us along her bursting childhood shelves… It’s a delightfully cheerful and humorous romp through children’s literature.’ — Harriet Baker, Times Literary Supplement

‘In her joyful memoir BOOKWORM Lucy Mangan revisits our most beloved childhood books, brings the characters of our collective childhood back to life and uses them – with great wit and wisdom – to tell her own story. Wonderful.’ — Nina Stibbes, The Observer, Best Summer Books 2018

‘This is the book I've been longing for all my life:  a passionate, witty, informed, gloriously opinionated account of childhood reading.  It's a ten out of ten gold star triumph.’ — Jacqueline Wilson

 

Visit Lucy’s Guardian page

Follow Lucy on Twitter

 

BFLA Staff Top Picks of 2017

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Emanuela Anechoum

I AM I AM I AM by Maggie O’Farrell – This book made me feel grateful for my heart beating. Maggie’s writing analyses her relationship with death in seventeen episodes, with beautiful, dense yet light prose – some chapters are as long as a page, and as common as crossing the street while texting; others are tense, scary, angry. While recollecting her brushes with death, Maggie inevitably digs deep into what it means to be living. A brilliant, unforgettable read.

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Exhibition – It’s outrageous that the world has completely forgotten that a Muslim princess spent her life roaming around Europe to join the avant-garde art movement, wearing pants, hanging out with Parisians artists, meeting the Queen, implementing Byzantine and Islamic artistic traditions with European modernism, teaching art to young girls in Jordan, all the while being married to an Iraqi prince. Aside the fact that her art is brilliant, her life destroyed every single stereotype on Muslim women. Absolutely fantastic!

Jane The Virgin – This show is everything: three fierce women dealing with unexpected pregnancies, generational gaps, green cards, abortion, religion, career, co-parenting… As our virgin yet accidentally artificially inseminated Jane juggles between motherhood, career and love, we laugh and weep out loud. I love the show’s subtle feminism: Jane cries all the time, but she’s never weak. She’s career-driven. She doesn’t lose all the baby weight at once. She uses a breast pump. Through hilarious family drama, Jane steadily respects herself, always, and without ever making this the point. She just does – instinctively, as all women should.

Cassie Barraclough

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THEATRE: Junkyard, by Jack Thorne. A playful, moving new musical, set in Bristol in 1979, about a group of forgotten teenagers who find friendship and purpose working together building a playground out of scrap. Newcomer Erin Doherty shone in the lead role.

TV: Three Girls, by Nicole Taylor. A superbly written three-parter exploring the human stories behind the Rochdale child sexual abuse scandal, and the hapless and damaging court case that followed. Shocking, brutally honest, and never sentimental, this was TV at its most powerful.

FILM: Wonderwoman, dir, Patty Jenkins. Anything that will inspire little girls to want to be strong and smart rather than skinny and simpering gets my vote – plus it also managed to be a top notch action movie providing a breath of fresh air within the tired superhero genre. Just brilliant. Plus now I really want an armour-plated bra.

Isobel Dixon

My most recent musical highlight is Handel’s Messiah, as sung by Clare College at the Union Chapel last week – the first time I’ve heard a work I love so much sung live. But the most extraordinary musical event, reverberating since the Edinburgh Festival this summer, was the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal of Valery Gergiev conducting his Mariinsky Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who performed Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony together. A huge privilege to hear swathes of the glorious music conducted with such vigour, then the pauses and interjections as Gergiev steered the musicians towards the transformation of the repeats. An immense, electrifying and strangely intimate experience.

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New York in 4th of July week was positively serene, and one quiet space at its heart proved an astonishment – The West Room, Pierpont Morgan’s private study in the Morgan Library. I had a deeply visceral reaction to the treasure in the shelves lining the walls– full sets of rare first editions of Austen, Dickens, all the Brontës and so much more. Libraries can often feel like chapels or cathedrals, places of wonder and discovery. In the dim light of that study, with its Renaissance masterpieces and red damask walls, sunlight filtering through the stained glass windows, I felt elated, tearful, near faint with delight. Biblio-euphoria.

One film this year had me riveted by scenes of panoramic beauty, horrified at human cruelty, but also amazed at the force of creativity and courage against oppression. Waiting for Happiness by Mauretanian-born director Abderrahmane Sissako has long been one of my favourite films – but watching his powerful Timbuktu (further charged by Amine Bouhafa’s superb score), blew me away. I was in pieces after watching it, and will never forget it.

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Nicole Etherington

THE POWER by Naomi Alderman. I’ve read so many brilliant novels by women writers this year but THE POWER was perhaps the most captivating. Alderman cleverly shows how fragile power is, and how one change can disturb the world’s equilibrium.

STRANGER THINGS. I watched both series this year and they are my favourite things on Netflix. The children completely steal the show. So much 80s goodness

GOD’S OWN COUNTRY. A really poignant film that stayed with me long after I watched it. The cinematography, the acting, the writing is all flawless. At its heart is a family that are no longer able to express their emotions, and an outsider who forces them to confront them.

Julian Friedmann

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THE CLEVER GUTS DIET by Michael Mosley. How the gut microbiome affects depression and brain power.

THE ART OF CREATIVE WRITING by Lagos Egri. An old book but one I read every couple of years. Never fails to be beneficial. The only how to book on writing you need. 

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES by Peter Wohlleben. What they feel and how they communicate. Reminds us we are not so sophisticated. 

Hattie Grunewald

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Groundhog Day The Musical. People are sceptical when I say that the musical production of Groundhog Day at the Old Vic was the best theatre I saw last year, and the best writing on mental health in a long time. But I stand by my opinion. This year the soundtrack came out and I’ve been listening to it ever since. It’s a feel-good comedy with amazing music, brilliant jokes and a joyous belief that any human has the ability to turn their life around – they just need to be given a long enough timescale!

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green. Continuing the theme of amazing mental health writing, John Green’s new novel was my book of the year. Aza’s struggle with OCD and obsessive thought spirals feels intimate and authentic and leads to a hugely compelling novel.

BOYS by Charli XCX music video. Music videos are an under-appreciated art-form. I’ve never seen anything that so successfully flips the male gaze. In a year where female objectification and abuse has been such a talking point, I was so happy to be able to watch something so jubilant and defiant.

Samuel Hodder

Photographing Granada, Nicaragua. Small but elegant and cosmopolitan Granada is a photographer's delight! Bustling with life despite the blazing sun, its Spanish Colonial architecture is painted every colour of the rainbow, flanking cobbled streets running off a central square that is filled with market traders, palm trees and squawking tropical birds. Go to the Convento y Museo San Francisco to learn about Nicaragua's indigenous peoples and see their brooding, unforgettable sculptures. Or if you need to cool off, head down to the lake and take a boat ride at sunset around the Islets.

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Macbeth by the Ninagawa Company at the Barbican. Following his death last year, this was a revival of the production that made Yukio Ninagawa's name 30 years ago. It transplants the play to 16th century Japan and it is stunning - a feast for the eyes, from the first moment to the last. I'd wondered how much sense I would make of listening to Shakespeare in Japanese, but I needn't have worried. It was powerful, operatic, and intensely atmospheric - horrifying and beautiful all at once.

The Earthsea novels - Ursula K Le Guin. Why had I not read these before? Halfway through the first, A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, I knew I had found my favourite fantasy author. Yes Ursula K Le Guin has a great style, and she is a master world builder. But it's the psychological perceptiveness and realism that makes these novels masterpieces. As we grow up with Ged we feel we are on a spiritual journey with him, one that is profound and often unsettling. These are adventure stories, but stories that explore many great themes along the way - self-betrayal and self-forgiveness, loneliness, ageing, bereavement and grief. They are moving, penetrating, and ultimately comforting. Read them!

Resham Naqvi

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains Exhibition at the V & A. A fascinating glimpse into the world of Pink Floyd! This was an audio-visual feast for the senses for die hard Pink Floyd fans, as well as for those who weren’t as well versed with their music. Iconic imagery (album covers along with films and videos hearing from the band members and collaborators), psychedelic  artwork, breath-taking installations and exhibits of the vintage instruments the band members used made this immersive exhibition one to remember.

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks at BST Hyde Park 2017. Listening to Stevie Nicks live at this atmospheric concert was amazing. Tragically, it was also to be the last live performance by the legendary Tom Petty.

Basquiat – Boom for Real at the Barbican (21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018). If you get a chance to see this exhibition before it closes, I would highly recommend it. A contemporary of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was a self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician and his contribution to the art scene is showcased in this vibrant and eclectic exhibition. A must see!

Juliet Pickering

When I first sent my picks to my colleague, I was reminded that I had chosen Elizabeth Strout as a favourite, last year; this year has brought me no one better, so she’s also my Queen of 2017. After sobbing over ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, I went and found all her previous novels and have saved them for bank holidays, birthdays and vacations. The last I have left to read, THE BURGESS BOYS, is top of my Christmas reading pile, and then I must anxiously wait for the next to be published. These stories are all the things I love: small town communities, intense feeling running under the surface of the everyday, and fascinating, complex women. Alongside ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, I’d recommend AMY AND ISABELLE.

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My favourite film of the year has been Call Me By Your Name, a lush, sexy coming-of age set in Lombardy. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful, and I have a full-scale Hollywood crush on Armie Hammer.

And, this year I started listening to the Mostly Lit podcast - after they invited SLAY IN YOUR LANE authors Yomi and Elizabeth on to an episode - and I have worked my way through nearly all the episodes now. The three hosts are quick, wry and incisive, and I’ve learned a lot about BAME perspectives on classic and contemporary books. It’s boosted my reading list, I relish any kind of book chat anyway, and I loved the episode with Malorie Blackman.

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James Pusey

FILM – PADDINGTON 2. New adventures for the marmalade-sandwich-chomping bear with a moral compass. Contains mild peril.

TV – BLUE PLANET 2. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. Contains octopuses and plastic.

TV - JORDSKOTT 2. Ecological Swedish drama. Better than meatballs.

BONUS EVENT – FA Cup Final. Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1. Enough said.

James Sykes

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THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson. I loved this from the first paragraph. A life-affirming experimental memoir which tells the story of Maggie Nelson’s relationship with her genderfluid partner Harry Dodge, exploring love, sexuality and queer family-making.   

Twin Peaks: The Return – written & directed by Mark Frost & David Lynch. This wasn't a perfect comeback by any means, but like the original series it lurches nightmarishly from outright horror to ridiculous slapstick, and is often brilliant. David Bowie's character is replaced by a giant steaming kettle. There's a lengthy sequence set inside the first atom bomb test. There’s the sheer delight of seeing old faces, hearing the iconic music. And just like when it ended in 1991, the final scene leaves the viewer reeling.

PRIESTDADDY by Patricia Lockwood. Probably the funniest book I’ve ever read. It’s also a touching memoir, a revealing portrait of the most bizarre dad on the planet, and a meditation on the power of art.

Conrad Williams

Impressionists in London, Tate Britain. The Tissot pictures were hilarious – he’s called the Jane Austen of paint – and ‘Hush’ (musical performance in high society drawing room) is just priceless. But the light and fog painting by Whistler and Monet traced a progression from what one might (if one were Ruskin) dub the ravishingly perceptual to the downright visionary.

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Modigliani Exhibition, Tate Modern. What he does with the eyes in his portraits is something you could see evolving through the show. The famous nudes turned out to be much more moving than I expected. When the eyes ‘open’ again the intimacy is overwhelming.

Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy. Illustrated his pictorial obsession with objects eg a chocolatier, and a mesmerising Venetian chair (displayed)  so beautiful that it persistently trumped his attempts to portray it. My favourite pic here to the left.

 

Tom Witcomb

Hunt for the Wilderpeople - Absolute top drawer. Moving, funny, weird and just so good-natured. This outing from Taika Waititi has so much spirit, with superb script, such great chemistry between Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, and an outstanding performance from Rachel House. Their life on the lamb is so enticing, you'll want to go get lost with them.

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It's hard to pick a single spot from the trip I took to India at the start of the year, but the area surrounding Munnar, a town in the Western Ghats is one of the most beautiful places I've had the luck to visit. Situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, sprawling tea plantations sit amidst serene hills, and the town itself bustles like a mountaineers Base Camp. I never wanted to come down (admittedly partly because of the literally white knuckle ascent).

An intense call to arms in this bizarro-world, The Guillotine by Hey Collossus, is the album for Brexit Britain. Not simply an album of unrelenting metallic intensity, its soaring moments are counterbalanced with woe, quiet unease and mysteriously catchy melody. The rhythm section pulls you into a mechanistic groove whilst maintaining the organic, beating heart of the album. And I'll take your coffeehouse protest music, in all its sentimental, suburban self-congratulation, and raise you existential dread and political indignation in lyrics with a militant passion to match the sonics.

 

THE LITTLE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS by Sue Moorcroft published today

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The ebook of Sue Moorcroft’s much-anticipated THE LITTLE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS is published today by Avon Books. The paperback, complete with festively glittery cover, is out on 2nd November. 

To celebrate publication, THE LITTLE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS blog tour kicks off today and continues until the 4th November - see here for further details.

Alexia Kennedy — a talented and ambitious interior decorator — has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of. After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started — but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With the village residents outraged at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to head home to London and admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker, and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely but compelling partnership. Throwing themselves into the café project and the community, they grow closer until Ben's complicated past, and Alexia's ambitions, threaten to force them apart. However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village — and their lives — together again…

Sue Moorcroft is the award-winning author of nine commercial women’s novels, and several novellas. She has won the Katie Fforde Bursary, and is a past Vice Chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its short story anthologies.

Last year, her novel THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE reached the number one spot on the Amazon Kindle Charts, and her novel JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS was published in May by Avon, hailed by readers and critics alike as a perfect summer read.

Praise for Sue Moorcroft:

‘I love all of Sue Moorcroft’s books!’ – Katie Fforde

‘Sue Moorcroft shows herself yet again to be a master at drawing and exploring the different kinds of relationships… Each character is realistically and sympathetically portrayed so that their relationships too are wholly believable and in no way clichéd… Undoubtedly satisfying – when you finish it, you’ll probably realise there’s a smile on your face and you’re feeling nicely warm and fuzzy – it’s that kind of read.’ – Lucy Literati

Visit Sue's website

Sue on Twitter

Sue on Facebook

SO HAPPY IT HURTS by Anneliese Mackintosh published today by Jonathan Cape

SO HAPPY IT HURTS, the debut novel from acclaimed writer Anneliese Mackintosh, is published today by Jonathan Cape, and in audiobook by Audible.

'I want to be a good person. And I want to be happy. So happy it hurts. I need you to help me with that.’

Ottila McGregor is thirty years old and has decided it’s time to sort her life out. She’s going to quit drinking, stop cheating and finally find true happiness. Easy, right?

Of course not.

For a start, there’s Grace, her best friend, who believes self-improvement is for people in their forties. Next there’s Mina, her sister, who is mentally ill, and it might be Ottila’s fault. And then there’s Thales, the Greek guy who works in the hospital cafeteria. He's probably the best, most dangerous person Ottila’s ever met.

To make sense of it all, Ottila keeps a scrapbook of everything: emails, receipts, tickets, letters, her therapy transcripts, a boyfriend's note rescued from the bin... The result is an infectious one-off of a novel that makes you wince and laugh in equal measure, and which asks the question: what does it take to be so happy it hurts?

Anneliese gave us a treat with an engrossing interview on Bristol247, followed by a beautiful live reading of SO HAPPY IT HURTS on the The Janice Forsyth Show.

Her debut short story collection, ANY OTHER MOUTH, was published by Freight Books in June 2014. It has received incredible reviews including “Mackintosh is a real talent and Any Other Mouth is a remarkable debut” from The Independent, and “beautifully crafted snapshots… one of the UK’s most exciting new voices” from The List. It won the Green Carnation Prize, was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s First Book Award, in the Best Short Story Collection category for the 2015 Saboteur Awards and Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

Rights have sold in France, Germany and Holland.

Praise for SO HAPPY IT HURTS:

‘Impressive and challenging…this debut novel is every bit as assured, honest and innovative as its predecessor. For a start the structure is highly original. Like Mackintosh’s previous work, SO HAPPY IT HURTS is something out of a high wire act, laugh-out-loud funny at times but also so emotionally honest that it sometimes feels like a punch to the guts. Thrilling, edgy without ever seeming gimmicky, making this as sharp a novella about 21st century living as you’ll find anywhere.’ –  Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue

‘The novel balances irony and earnestness perfectly, offering both a heartbreakingly sincere quest for happiness and an acerbic intolerance of hollow quick-fixes. Told through a scrapbook of letters, emails, Snapchats, therapy transcripts and text messages, Mackintosh builds a novel out of the language we actually use day to day. More than anything though, her characters bring it to life. Maybe it’s the intimacy of revealing them through their private messages, maybe it’s just how powerfully Mackintosh draws them and what they mean to Ottila, but the effect is so strong and the threat of some new catastrophe so tangible that each page turn feels like a horrible gamble with these people’s lives. When it hurts, it really fucking hurts. But when it’s happy, Anneliese Mackintosh’s latest work is positively radiant.’ – The Skinny

‘Inventive and wise and very affecting. There’s a deep human experience in it.’ – Jason Donald, author of CHOKE CHAIN