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Embla Books scores a debut sports romance series by Ally Wiegand

Embla Books, the digital-first commercial fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired three books in the Chicago Heartbreakers seriesa series of interconnected standalone sports romance novels, by debut author Ally Wiegand. 

Commissioning Editor Melanie Hayes acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Saskia Leach at Kate Nash Literary Agency in a four-way auction. US and Canadian rights were sold to Katherine Pelz at 8th Note Press. 

First Base is the first book in the series, set to be published on 23rd April. Hotshot baseball player Tommy is trying to tidy up his playboy-boy image, but when he’s innocently papped with the club’s photographer Maggie, they must fake being a couple to keep their jobs. But as their pretend relationship plays out in the spotlight, real feelings come into play. Can they even make it past first base?

Ally Wiegand said: ‘This entire experience has been something out of a dream. The moment I met with the team at Embla and witnessed their excitement for First Base, I knew instantly that this series would be in wonderful hands with people that understood the message I hoped to deliver. This series is a love letter to sport and follows couples navigating the ups and downs of life while showcasing a perfectly imperfect kind of love. I am beyond excited for readers to cheer for this cast of characters as they win on and off the field.’

Melanie Hayes said: ‘I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Ally on First Base and other books in the series. As soon as I met Tommy and Maggie, I knew I couldn’t let their story go and had to follow them on their journey to love – and, wow, was it a beautifully messy, tension-filled and emotional rollercoaster of a ride. Ally has knocked it out of the park with this standout sports romance series and we cannot wait for readers to discover a new talent in this space.’ 

Saskia Leach added: ‘First Base takes a heartbroken photographer, a hotshot baseball player with an image to repair, and throws them into a fake relationship with some sizzling, and very real, chemistry. Ally writes with so much heart and I’m thrilled the Chicago Heartbreakers series will be making their way to UK readers with Embla.’

Ally Wiegand is a former softball player who played as a Pitcher/First Base in American Division I.

First Base will publish on 23rd April 2024 with Embla Books