String of deals for London bookseller's Christmas rom-com

String of deals for London bookseller's Christmas rom-com

Rights to Not Just For Christmas by Natalie Cox, the pen name for Highbury-based bookseller Betsy Tobin, have been snapped up by Orion Fiction in the UK and across seven international territories.

Clare Hey, publishing director at Orion Fiction, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Felicity Rubinstein at Lutyens & Rubinstein to publish in paperback original in November 2018.

US rights have meanwhile been snapped up by Margo Lipshultz at Putnam (who will publish as Mutts and Mistletoe) from David Forrer at Inkwell Management and, in the last few weeks, translation rights have also been bought by Meulenhoff Boekerij in the Netherlands, Penguin Random House in Germany, Aschehoug in Norway, Printz in Sweden, Swiat Ksiazki in Poland and Gabo Kiado in Hungary through Lutyens & Rubinstein.

Not Just For Christmas centres on Charlie, who hates the holidays and particularly so this year: her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her flat is out of bounds after a gas leak, and her mother has gone to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her fifth husband. Finding herself single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, the novel's heroine hesitantly agrees to dust off her wellies and spend the festive season in Devon, looking after Cosy Canine Cottages, her cousin Jez's dog-care centre. However, plans for a quiet rural Christmas with only the four-legged friends for company are dashed as soon as she meets Malcolm the deaf Great Dane, Hugo, his gorgeous (but engaged) owner, and Cal, the undeniably attractive but unbearably patronising local vet...

Hey said: "I loved the warmth and wit of Not Just for Christmas – and everyone loves a dog at Christmas! Natalie Cox has a great future as a brilliant rom com author."

Tobin is best known within the trade for opening Ink@84, an independent bookshop-cafe, in Highbury, North London, at the end of 2015. Not Just for Christmas is her first book writing as Natalie Cox, having written literary fiction under her own name in the past.