Scribner Wins Vanderbes

Alexis Gargagliano won an auction for two new novels by Jennifer Vanderbes in a mid-six-figure deal with Dorian Karchmar at William Morris. The first in the deal, Trespasses, explores how the forces of history and culture invisibly encroach on three generations of an American family, culminating in a horrific crime committed on Thanksgiving day. Scribner will pub in 2010. The second novel tells the story of a young math and science prodigy who lies about her age to enlist in the army and travel to Italy as a nurse during WWII in an attempt to find her MIA brother. Vanderbes's first novel, Easter Island (Dial), was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor and sold in 16 countries.

SMP Trifecta

Marc Resnick has acquired the autobiography of former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton, Without Hesitation or Reservation, via Doug Grad, who sold North American rights. Written with Malcolm McConnell and Ronald Levinson, Shelton's memoir will describe the characters Shelton met while serving in an elite Special Forces unit in Vietnam and will take readers behind the scenes at the Pentagon and White House. It will also recount Shelton's recovery from total paralysis from the neck down after a fall from a ladder.

Elsewhere at SMP, Kathryn Huck acquired North American rights to Jennifer Wilson's first book, Touching Up My Roots, via Richard Pine at InkWell. The book will reexamine the American dream through the story of the author's reverse immigration from Iowa to her grandparents' homeland, Croatia, where she, her husband and two children take up a simpler way of life in a new home that, on the surface, seems to offer little.

At Thomas Dunne, Rob Kirkpatrick bought world rights to Jack Ballentine's Murder for Hire: My Life as the Country's Most Successful Undercover Agent for the imprint's true crime line; Bob Diforio made the sale. The book will recount the 15 years Ballentine spent assuming the identity of a biker and hit man, succeeding in getting convictions in 24 of 24 cases brought on murder conspiracy charges.

Retelling Dracula

Lucia Macro at Morrow has acquired world English rights to Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James; Tamar Rydzinski at Laura Dail made the sale. This retelling of the Bram Stoker novel from Mina Harker's perspective will reveal the untold story of Dracula and the love he shared with Mina. The author's first novel, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, has shipped 125,000 copies as an Avon A paperback original, and the publisher is bringing out James's The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë as a paperback original this June. Morrow will publish Dracula in hardcover.

Compton to Harmony

John Glusman has acquired two crime novels by The 37th Hour author Jodi Compton in a North American rights deal with Barney Karpfinger. Featuring a West Point dropout involved with an L.A. street gang, the first book, Hailey's War, will be published under the Shaye Areheart Books imprint in June 2010. Protagonist Hailey Cain will return for the sequel, Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot, scheduled for publication in June 2011.


Brooke Warner at Seal Press has acquired a new memoir by Elisabeth Eaves, Wanderlust, in a North American rights deal with Betsy Lerner at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Eaves, the author of Bare, describes walking away from an engagement and spending 15 years off the beaten path, pursuing her romance with adventure and the sensation of self-discovery.