Head of Zeus imprint Aria will publish Emma Pass' first novel for adults, Before the Dawn.
Hannah Todd, commissioning editor, acquired world English rights to two titles from Ella Kahn at the DKW Literary Agency.
Billed as a "beautiful and emotional" Second World War romance, Before the Dawn will follow Ruby Mottram and Sam Archer’s epic love story. The synopsis reads: "Brought together by war, Ruby is a local reporter and air raid warden from Devon and Sam a young soldier for the Allied Forces, in Devon to train for the invasion of France. In the face of the atrocities of war, they are given the chance of love, hope and freedom from their troubled lives. But fate, in the shape of D-Day and Omaha Beach, has other ideas. Can Ruby and Sam find a way through – and find their way back to each other again?"
Before the Dawn will be published in hardback and e-book on 3rd March 2022.
Todd said: "I started reading this submission in the bath and found myself reading until the water had turned freezing cold as I couldn’t bear to put it down! I just knew that we had to publish Before the Dawn, and everyone at Head of Zeus agreed wholeheartedly. The retelling of the Omaha beaches, Sam’s life in rural America and Devon’s role in the war were such unique takes on an incredibly popular area of the market. Emma is a fantastic writer and fans of historical fiction have an incredible read ahead of them!"
Pass commented: "I'm over the moon that Aria and Head of Zeus are going to be the home for Before the Dawn, and I'm really looking forward to working with Hannah and the rest of the team. Ruby and Sam are characters who are very close to my heart so I can't wait for readers to meet them!"
Pass is the author of two YA novels: Acid (Corgi Children's, 2013) and The Fearless (Corgi Children's, 2014).
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