WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL publishes in the UK

Happy publication day to A.B. Poranek! The highly anticipated WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL publishes today in the UK.

A sweeping gothic fairytale romance for fans of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace and Gallant by V.E. Schwab.

Raised in a small village near the spirit-wood, Liska Radost knows that Magic is monstrous, and its practitioners, monsters.

After Liska unleashes her own powers with devastating consequences, she is caught by the demon warden of the wood – the Leszy – who offers her a bargain: one year of servitude in exchange for a wish.

Whisked away to his crumbling manor, Liska makes an unsettling discovery: she is not the first person to strike this bargain and all of her predecessors have mysteriously vanished. If Liska wants to survive the year and return home, she must unravel her host’s spool of secrets and face the ghosts of his past.

Those who enter the wood do not always return . . .

Praise for WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL:

Where the Dark Stands Still is a triumph; a deeply romantic debut with spiralling, atmospheric prose that swept me up and away to the enchanted forests of Polish folklore. You’ll never want to leave this beautiful, magical world’. Sarah Underwood, NYT Bestselling Author of Lies We Sing to the Sea

‘Treading a tender line between unnerving and enchanting, Poranek’s writing is lyrical and atmospheric. With a beautiful grumpy/sunshine romance, Where The Dark Stands Still is a poignant and magical tale’ Bea Fitzgerald, bestselling author of Girl, Goddess, Queen

‘An enchanting spell of a read, woven through with petal-soft romance and roots-deep self-acceptance. The dark, gothic fairy tale of my dreams’ Kika Hatzopoulou, author of the Sunday Times Bestseller Threads that Bind


Jessie Elland's THE LADIE UPSTAIRS sold in pre-empt

Jade Chandler, publishing director at Baskerville, John Murray Press, has snapped up UK rights to Jessie Elland’s captivatingly dark debut The Ladie Upstairs, from Katie Greenstreet of Paper Literary.

The Ladie Upstairs introduces a bold and unflinching new voice in horror-adjacent fiction. The story follows scullery drudge Ann, who longs to become a lady’s maid. Ann can’t quite remember how or when she arrived at Ropner Hall. She loathes spending her days toiling in the dank kitchen, so when a chance meeting with Lady Charlotte leads to the opportunity to become her personal maid, Ann is convinced she has finally escaped her own version of
hell. But has she? As Ann’s experience above stairs takes a sinister twist, will it turn out that the terrors lurking there are worse than the devils she knows below?

Jade Chandler said, ‘I was bewitched by Jessie’s darkly visceral, ambitious and provocative novel from the first page. The Ladie Upstairs is wholly original; it’s set in an unspecified historical period that feels deeply grounded as well as slippery to pin down. I love how Jessie explores the patriarchal horrors overlaid on the female body through the eerie space that is Ropner Hall, where the paintings watch her from the walls, and nothing is as it first seems. Her plotting is compelling while also turning everything we expect from a big historical house novel on its head. I can’t wait to share her work with readers!’

Jessie Elland said, ‘I couldn’t be happier to be working with the team at Baskerville! I was so inspired by Jade’s passion for The Ladie Upstairs, and as soon as I learnt that Baskerville pride themselves on publishing ‘books that haunt the imagination’, I knew my book had
found its perfect home.’

Katie Greenstreet said, ‘I couldn’t be prouder to represent the wildly talented Jessie Elland. I was hooked from the first page of her initial submission, and uncovering the world of Ropner Hall through Ann’s eyes is a deliciously dark and twisted ride that I can’t wait for readers to embark upon. And The Ladie Upstairs is only the beginning of what I know will be a very special career!’

Baskerville will release The Ladie Upstairs in hardback in May 2025, supported by a suitably creepy and immersive marketing and publicity campaign.

About the author:
Jessie Elland is a twenty-four-year-old actress from Teeside best known for her role as Chloe on the hit soap Emmerdale, but she is a true reader and writer at heart and also blogs about books on her Instagram @JessieElland. THE LADIE UPSTAIRS is her first novel and was inspired by a grand estate near her childhood home around which much superstition swirled.


Rae Giana Rashad's THE BLUEPRINT publishes in the US

A very happy publication day to Rae Giana Rashad! Her debut novel, THE BLUEPRINT publishes today in the US from HarperCollins. North American rights were sold in a significant pre-empt.

THE BLUEPRINT is a stunning novel in the vein of Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood, which imagines an alternate United States.

Solenne Bonet lives in Texas where choice no longer exists. An algorithm determines a Black woman’s occupation, spouse, and residence. Solenne finds solace in penning the biography of Henriette, an ancestor who’d been an enslaved concubine to a wealthy planter in 1800s Louisiana. But history repeats itself when Solenne, lonely and naïve, finds herself entangled with Bastien Martin, a high-ranking government official. Solenne finds the psychological bond unbearable, so she considers alternatives. With Henriette as her guide, she must decide whether and how to leave behind all she knows.

Inspired by the lives of enslaved concubines to U.S. politicians and planters, The Blueprint unfolds over dual timelines to explore bodily autonomy, hypocrisy, and power imbalances through the lens of the nation’s most unprotected: a Black girl.

Praise for THE BLUEPRINT:

The Blueprint is an astounding work, an unflinching portrait of misogyny and racism in a speculative world terrifyingly close to our own. Rae Giana Rashad chronicles the generational ghosts of womanhood, and how we understand ourselves through the stories of those we come from, in a way I’ve never read before. A remarkable new talent, and a timeless literary voice.” Ashley Audrain, New York Times’ bestselling author of The Push

“Horrifying, captivating, and full of urgency.” Kirkus Reviews

“A consuming debut, a provocative and worthy mash-up of historical and speculative fiction.” Publishers Weekly


Jihyun Yun's AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN sold at auction

We are delighted to announce that Oneworld’s Rock the Boat imprint has acquired the UK rights to AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN, the YA debut from award-winning poet Jihyun Yun in a two-book deal at auction. AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN was acquired by Rock the Boat’s Senior Commissioning Editor Katie Jennings from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary on behalf of Annie Hwang and Serene Hakim at Ayesha Pande Literary.

The book is a Gothic YA inspired by a ghost story from Korean folklore about two sisters – one who dies under mysterious circumstances, and the other who brings her back, with devastating consequences. Pitched as SHE IS A HAUNTING meets THE ASTONISHING COLOUR OF AFTER, by way of THE GIRL WHO FELL BENEATH THE SEA.

Katie Jennings said: “I’ve been searching far and wide for a voice-led, multilayered Gothic tale and I’m beyond thrilled to be publishing Jihyun Yun’s unsettling, gorgeously written and deeply moving YA debut on the Rock the Boat list. Jihyun Yun is a rare talent and her unique, poetic voice, coupled with a raw, honest approach to grief really got under my skin. This is the spookiest and saddest of books – in the best possible way. I can’t wait to bring it to the broadest readership here in the UK.”

Jihyun Yun is the author of the poetry collection SOME ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, AAWW
The Margins, Adroit Journal, NinthLetter, and elsewhere. A National Poetry Series finalist and Prairie Schooner Prize winner, Yun holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and has been a fellow at the Fulbright Research Program, Brooklyn Poets, Lighthouse Writers Workshop among others.

Rock the Boat will publish AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN simultaneously with Knopf Books for Young Readers in the US in autumn 2025.

We are delighted to have represented this project in the UK, many congratulations to Jihyun!

 


D.L. Taylor's THE BEASTS WE BURY sold in six-figure pre-empt

We are delighted to announce that D.L. Taylor’s THE BEASTS WE BURY and THE BEASTS WE RAISE, a YA fantasy duology, has sold in a six-figure pre-empt. Brian Geffen at Holt acquired World English rights in a joint acquisition with Emma Jones at Macmillan UK.

THE BEASTS WE BURY follows Mancella, a king’s daughter who can summon an army of animals, but only by killing them first, and Silver, a charming thief who plans to manipulate her to pull off a once-in-a-lifetime heist.

THE BEASTS WE BURY will publish in Winter 2025.

Diana is a civil attorney who works at a non-profit providing legal services to low-income clients. She has three kids, two cats, and minimal sanity, but in the quiet hours before dawn she likes to write about magic, mischief, and moral quandaries.

Congratulations, Diana!