Hodder & Stoughton has snapped up "cosy, festive romance" Someday at Christmas by YA author Tanya Byrne, writing under the pen name Lizzie Byron.
Editorial director Melissa Cox struck a deal for world rights with Claire Wilson of Rogers Coleridge & White. The book will publish in paperback and eBook in autumn 2020.
"Shell Smith is a popular, larger than life make-up artist working in the beauty department at Duke & Sons, a beautiful but old-fashioned family-owned department store in her home city. While business is booming on Shell’s counter, the rest of the store is threatened with closure unless their Christmas sales take a dramatic upswing," reads the synopsis. "Old Mr Duke’s grandson, Callum, has come up with a creative way to get some extra income: unbeknownst to Mr Duke Sr, a production company is using the photogenic store as a location for its next big Christmas romcom, filming at night while the store is closed. When Shell is let in on the secret, she discovers there might be more to Mr Duke Jr than sharp suits – but when her old crush Nick moves back home, life starts to mimic the romcom’s storyline. With Christmas Eve just around the corner, Shell will find herself in a race against time to save her job, save the department store and save herself from heartbreak."
Byrne said: "If you've read my previous books, this may seem like quite a departure. I was born at Christmas, though, so it's a special time of year for me. I've always wanted to write a book set then and I'm so very grateful to Melissa and the team at Hodder & Stoughton for giving me an opportunity to tell Shell's story of love and lipstick!"
Cox added: "I have loved Byrne’s writing since my days at Waterstones and we have bonded in the past over our mutual love of make-up, so when I received this book, I simply had to have it. Someday at Christmas is the perfect cosy, festive romance, with a smart, vibrant and utterly relatable heroine in Shell who makes it stand out from the crowd. This book is for anyone who starts watching Netflix Christmas films in November and I can’t wait to share it with people."
Byrne is an award-winning young adult author. Her 2012 debut novel Heart Shaped Bruise (Headline) was nominated for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards. She has written three young adult novels and contributed to several short story anthologies, including Change is Gonna Come named Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week and honoured with a special achievement award by the YA Book Prize.