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Afsana Press signs ‘sensational’ tale of women spies and 1970s espionage by Jane Labous

Afsana Press has signed literary spy thriller ‘Oh, Sugar’ by Jane Labous. Co-publishers Goran Baba Ali and Aleksandra Markovic acquired world rights directly from the author, and plan to publish Oh, Sugar’ in October 2024.


‘Oh, Sugar’ is a ‘sensational’ bookclub thriller featuring two spirited, empowered women as its main characters, in different timelines, according to Afsana Press. Dolly Fontaine is a news journalist in modern times, while her mother, Gloria Fontaine, is a 1970s film star and secret agent, and the story has themes of identity and feminism, with rich, cinematic settings.


Spanning two generations, the story takes the reader from 21st-century Cornwall to a fictional 1970s dictatorship. When disgraced political journalist, Dolly Fontaine, stumbles upon a dusty shoebox of diaries from the 1970s, it’s the start of a perilous journey to war-torn Lusenka, the birth country of her late mother, Gloria, and a trail of intrigue involving diamonds, Cold War politics, and a ruthless dictator. Can Gloria’s voice recordings, and an enigmatic, retired spook once known as Sunstar, help Dolly uncover the truth – past and present – before dangerous mercenary Peverell Greyson silences her forever?


Jane Labous is the author of two novels, Past Participle (Afsana Press, 2023) and The Chameleon Girl (Farafina Books, 2022). She is also an award-winning journalist known for her frontline coverage of human rights, humanitarian and gender issues, with credits ranging from the BBC to the UN. She is a single mother, and lives with her daughter in Dorset.

Labous said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Afsana Press again – they are an exceptional indie publisher, known for their passion and dedication to good literature. Needless to say, I’m also really excited to introduce Dolly and Gloria Fontaine to the world!’

Publisher Aleksandra Markovic said: “Jane’s writing transcends the ordinary, and ‘Oh, Sugar’ is a captivating narrative, echoing the timeless allure of James Bond and John Le Carré, but ingeniously subverting the traditional espionage novel. Gloria and Dolly Fontaine have captured our hearts, and we’re confident readers will be equally enamoured!”

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