Hot Key Books is delighted to announce the acquisition of the summer romance novel Hits Different by former Love Island star, activist, model, podcast host and social media influencer Tasha Ghouri, co-written with Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
Ruth Bennett and Ella Whiddett at Hot Key Books acquired world rights from David Riding at MBA Literary, on behalf of Off Limits Entertainment, and Abi Fellows when she was at The Good Literary Agency.
Bursting with positive disability representation and an empowering message of self-love, Hits Differentfollows twenty-year-old Deaf main character Cassie, who is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer. So when an opportunity to dance on tour with a global superstar presents itself, Cassie decides to give it a shot. Jetting off for a hot summer in Ibiza, her dreams seem closer than ever, and so does love. Levi, the guy she keeps bumping into on set, sees and uplifts her in a way no one else ever has. If only Cassie could believe in herself like he does, she might find that life hits different when you learn to love yourself.
Tasha Ghouri said: ‘It’s so important to me to celebrate everyone’s differences in life, and I can’t wait to do that through Cassie’s story, which is about so much more than just romantic love. I know through my own experience that before you can love anyone else to the fullest of your ability you first have to love and embrace yourself. I’m really excited to work with Lizzie and Hot Key to bring this message to readers.’
Lizzie Huxley-Jones said: ‘I’m so passionate about disabled characters in all genres, and collaborating with Tasha on a disability-centred love story with a deaf protagonist to add more much-needed representation to bookshelves is a dream come true for me. Disabled people deserve to see themselves as objects of love and desire, and I’m sure people are going to love what we’ve cooked up together.’
Ella Whiddett, Commissioning Editor at Hot Key Books, comments: ‘Tasha and Lizzie are the perfect partnership, and in this gorgeous summer romance they bring empowering messages and positive representation to the genre. It’s the ultimate uplifting read and we can’t wait for Tasha and Lizzie’s fans and romance readers everywhere to fall in love with Cassie’s story.’
Tasha Ghouri is a television personality, activist, model and social media influencer. She is a brand ambassador for eBay, Ann Summers and L’Oréal Paris and recently launched her own podcast, Superpowers with Tasha Ghouri, which focuses on normalising disabilities by embracing them as superpowers. As a proud cochlear-implant wearer, she is also a global ambassador for DeafKidsUK and works with the National Deaf Children’s Society and RNID to help those with hearing impairments. @tashaghouri
Lizzie Huxley-Jones is an autistic author and editor based in London. They are the author of the queer holiday rom-com Make You Mine This Christmas and middle-grade adventure Vivi Conway and the Sword of Legend. They write joyful stories that centre queerness and disability. In their past career lives, they have been a research diver, a children’s bookseller and a digital-communications specialist. @littlehux
Hits Different will be publishing in the UK in paperback, audio and e-book in June 2024.