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Head of Zeus
Emma Pass' debut novel for adults to AriaBefore the Dawn, an absolutely beautiful and emotional World War Two romance novel.

We are delighted to be publishing Emma Pass’s first novel for adults, Before the Dawn, an absolutely beautiful and emotional World War Two romance novel.

Commissioning editor for Head of Zeus’ ARIA imprint Hannah Todd acquired World English rights for Before The Dawn, and an untitled second book, for Head of Zeus from Ella Kahn at DKW Literary Agency and will be published in hardback and ebook on 3rd March 2022

In Before the Dawn, we follow Ruby Mottram and Sam Archer’s epic love story. Brought together by war, Ruby is a local reporter and ARP warden from Devon and Sam a young soldier for the Allied Forces, in Devon to train for the invasion in France. In the face of the atrocities of war, they are given the chance of love, hope and freedom from their troubled lives. But fate, in the shape of D-Day and Omaha Beach, has other ideas. Can Ruby and Sam find a way through – and find their way back to each other again?

A truly beautiful historical romance novel, Before the Dawn is the perfect novel for fans of Suzanne Kelman, Kate Hewitt and Mandy Robotham.

Emma Pass said, ‘I'm over the moon that Aria and Head of Zeus are going to be the home for Before the Dawn, and I'm really looking forward to working with Hannah and the rest of the team. Ruby and Sam are characters who are very close to my heart so I can't wait for readers to meet them!’

Hannah Todd said, ‘I started reading this submission in the bath and found myself reading until the water had turned freezing cold as I couldn’t bear to put it down! I just knew that we had to publish Before the Dawn, and everyone at Head of Zeus agreed wholeheartedly. The retelling of the Omaha beaches, Sam’s life in rural America and Devon’s role in the war were such unique takes on an incredibly popular area of the market. Emma is a fantastic writer and fans of historical fiction have an incredible read ahead of them!’

Ella Kahn said, ‘Before the Dawn is the most heart-warming, heart-wrenching read you could ever wish for, and Hannah and Head of Zeus have been the most enthusiastic publishers I could ever have hoped for, so I’m thrilled to have found such a wonderful home for Emma’s fabulous historical fiction debut!’

Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre in Surrey and has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. She previously worked as a library assistant and has published two novels for young adults and a non-fiction creative writing e-guide. She is now a full-time writer, creative writing teacher, editor and mentor. She has ME and, at the age of 40, was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.

Emma lives in Derbyshire with her artist husband and a very naughty retired racing greyhound called Auburn. When she’s not writing she loves to read and knit (often at the same time).