HarperCollins has pre-empted a “deeply emotional” love story plus a second novel from author Fiona Lucas in a new direction for the author previously known as Fiona Harper.
World all language rights for the two books were acquired by Emily Kitchin, senior commissioning editor at HQ, from Amanda Preston at LBA Associates.
Set to be a lead title for HQ in 2021, The Last Goodbye is described by the publisher as “the profoundly moving story of a young woman finding the courage to love again, after her life has been shattered by grief”. HQ will publish the "deeply emotional love story" in e-book and audio download in December 2020 and then as a lead title in paperback in March 2021.
The synopsis for The Last Goodbye reads: “Two years, nine months and eight days – that's how long it's been since her beloved husband Spencer died and Anna is still finding it hard to move on. How can she, when she’s lost the love of her life? On New Year's Eve, Anna phones Spencer’s number, just so she can hear his voicemail greeting. She pours out her heart to him – but then a voice replies. Someone has inherited her husband’s old number.
“Brody has lost someone too and is the first person who truly understands what Anna’s going through. As she becomes more reliant on their calls, Anna begins to feel like there can be life after loss after all. However Brody hasn’t been entirely truthful with Anna.”
Lucas is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. She has written fiction as Fiona Harper for more than a decade. During her career, she has won numerous awards, including a Romantic Novel Award in 2018, and secured a number 1 Kindle bestseller, HQ said.
Kitchin said: “With its heart-breaking concept and beautifully realised love story, The Last Goodbye had me in pieces right from the first page. It’s a gorgeous and deeply affecting novel that is sure to appeal to anyone who loved Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You, Marian Keyes’ On the Other Side or Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. I know it’s going to capture hearts everywhere, and I am so thrilled that HQ is going to be publishing it.”
Lucas, who is based in London, said: “I am thrilled beyond belief to be working with the dynamic and enthusiastic team at HQ to publish this book. Emily is a smart and talented editor and I’m so excited to be working with her.”
Preston added: ‘”Fiona is such a brilliant writer and I’m so excited by HQ’s enthusiasm and ambition for her.”