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On The Books: St. Martin's shells out big for romance

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Sylvia Day

‘This the season for big advances — are romance novels still all the rage? St. Martin’s thinks so, and they’re so confident that they’ve offered an eight-figure advance to romance writer Sylvia Day for her next two books. Day is most known for her Crossfire trilogy, which has sold more than 13 million copies since its release in 2012. Her new series, called Blacklist, is a follow-up to Crossfire. [NY Times]

Razorbill has nabbed the rights for Sabaa Tahir’s highly anticipated debut book An Ember in the Ashes. Based on Tahir’s formative experiences growing up in the Mohave Desert and the work she did for the Washington Post‘s foreign desk, the novel focuses on a fantasy world where two teenagers fight to survive under a military-esque regime. The film rights have already been sold in a seven-figure deal that involves Academy Award-winning producer Mark Johnson. The book will be published in 2015. [Publisher’s Weekly.]

Holt announced that imprint 4th Estate has bought a new collection of short stories from Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher will be published in September 2014. In a press release, 4th Estate publishing director Nicholas Pearson said, “Where her last two novels explore how modern England was forged, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher shows us the country we have become.”