Penny Thomas, Publisher at award-winning children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press, has acquired world rights in Flame Chasers a swashbuckling magical adventure for 8-12 year olds by Julie Pike, from Jo Williamson at Antony Harwood Literary Agency.

All Ember wants is to fly with the golden flamebirds who stop every year at her hometown of Bright Beacon before heading west across the seas to their mysterious home. Their fiery arrival is also the signal for the waiting Flame Chasers in the harbour below to get ready to follow the birds, whose glowing tail feathers grant the finder a wish. But when Pa tells Ember he is chasing without her, she is devastated. Can she find a ship and captain to help her find her father, and the flamebirds’ secret home?

Firefly publisher Penny Thomas said: ‘Flame Chasers is a superb, magical, middle-grade title, swirling with rich colours, wish-magic, mysterious golden flamebirds and daring deeds on the high seas. It’s a thrilling, character-led adventure that doesn’t leave out hot chocolate and heart-warming moments. With a terrific cover from David Dean, we can’t wait to publish this thrilling title from Julie Pike.’

Julie Pike said: ‘Diolch yn fawr, Firefly, for warmly welcoming me to your aviary of talented authors and their wonderful stories. Flame Chasers was inspired by my own real-life adventures and treasured stories from my childhood. I hope it flies high in the hearts of every young reader who yearns for adventure.’

Jo Williamson said: ‘From the outset, I was bowled over by Penny’s enthusiasm and vision for Flame Chasers, and it was obvious to me that Firefly would provide the perfect home for Julie’s writing.’

The book is slated for publication in June 2024.

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