The Force Is with Dutton

Dutton executive editor Ben Sevier acquired world rights to the first two novels by Brad Taylor, a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces. Taylor will draw on his 21-year army career, including eight years with Delta Force, to launch a series built around Special Forces operative Pike Logan, a member of what Dutton calls “a new breed of counterterrorist organization operating outside the bounds of U.S. law.” The first book, One Rough Man, will be published in February 2011. John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency did the deal; film rights are being handled by Steve Fisher of APA.

Two from Gernert

Stephanie Cabot at the Gernert Company sold world rights to a debut novel by award-winning playwright Laura Harrington to Pamela Dorman for her eponymous imprint at Penguin. Alice Bliss is a coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old girl whose father is captured in Iraq. The novel is in keeping with Harrington's other works, which look at the human cost of war. In Alice, Harrington examines how the capture of one soldier affects the various relationships of his daughter and his hometown as well.

In a second deal, Sarah Burnes sold North American rights to a memoir by Gerry Hadden to Michael Signorelli at HarperCollins. Never the Hope Itself: Love and Ghosts in Latin America details Hadden's years as NPR's correspondent for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Hadden will blend his professional and personal recollections of his four years with NPR, during which he reported on stories ranging from the attempts by Mexicans to enter the U.S. illegally to riots in Haiti. Hadden is now the European correspondent for Public Radio International's The World.

Cumming Sticks with SMP

Charles Cumming, whose fall 2009 novel Typhoon was a New York Times notable book, is remaining at St. Martin's Press. Executive editor Keith Kahla signed a two-book deal for North American rights with Luke Janklow of Janklow and Nesbit. The Trinity Six will be the first, to be released in early 2011 by SMP with simultaneous publication in the U.K. by HarperCollins UK. Trinity is described as a contemporary novel that takes a fresh look at the legendary Cambridge spy ring that featured Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and Guy Burgess.

Sullivan Stays with Knopf

J. Courtney Sullivan will again team up with Knopf editor Jenny Jackson for her second novel, Maine. Jackson was Sullivan's editor for her debut novel, Commencement, which Knopf published last spring. The new book is a multigenerational story that follows the Kelleher family over the final summer at its beach house. Jackson bought world rights from Brettne Bloom of Kneerim & Williams.

Hyperion Sins

The proper work-life balance can be difficult for anyone to achieve, particularly so when the stay-at-home mom is a former spy who is being lured back by the USAWMD (United States Agency Weapons of Mass Destruction). That's the premise of the first two books from Beth McMullen that have been acquired by Barbara Jones, editorial director of Hyperion Books and Voice. Jones bought North American rights from Leigh Feldman at Darhansoff, Verrill, and Feldman. Hyperion plans to publish Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure in July 2011 with To Sin Again to follow.


Bronwen Hruska at Soho Press has acquired the sixth novel by Helen Benedict. The Sand Queen was inspired by Benedict's research for her nonfiction work The Lonely Soldier, published by Beacon Press last year. Hruska bought world English rights from Alexis Hurley at Inkwell.