London, Torre Land at Harlequin

Harlequin closed two notable deals last week. In the first, executive editor at Harlequin HQN, Tara Parsons, took world rights (excluding Japan), for high six figures, to a new trilogy by Julia London. Agent Jenny Bent, at the Bent Agency, represented the bestselling historical romance author, whose series include the Secrets of Hadley Green. The new series, the publisher said, will feature a “Sense and Sensibility theme,” and senior editor Ann Leslie Tuttle will be editing the titles. The first book is scheduled for spring 2014.

In the second acquisition, Emily Ohanjanians, also at HQN, took world rights, at auction, in a six-figure two-book deal, to Kindle bestseller Alessandra Torre’s debut, Blindfolded Innocence. Torre released Blindfolded Innocence in the summer of 2012, and Harlequin said that it has since reached #1 on Amazon’s Kindle Erotica list. The publisher will re-release its own e-book edition of the novel in November and then follow up with a print publication in fall 2013. The second book in the deal, which was brokered by Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates, will be a sequel to Blindfolded Innocence.

Faber Nabs Michener Fellow’s Debut

Fiona McFarlane sold U.S. rights to her suspense novel, The Night Guest, to Mitzi Angel at Faber/FSG. Stephanie Cabot at the Gernert Company handled the auction for McFarlane, a Michener Fellow and winner of the University of Texas’s Keen Prize for Literature. The agency said the book, a debut, is about “aging, trust, dependence, and fear, told through the story of two very particular women.” The auction included U.K. bidders, and rights there sold to Hodder/Sceptre. In other auctions, rights sold in China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain.

Palmer Jr. Goes to Putnam

Matthew Palmer, son of bestseller Michael Palmer, sold his debut novel, The American Mission, to Nita Taublib at Putnam. Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency handled the world rights deal. Palmer, who served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 20 years and is currently working at the American Embassy in Belgrade, is a five-time winner of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. Putnam said the novel is a “tale of intrigue and international politics” and is set “amid strife-laden global hot-spots.” Berkley will release the trade paper edition after Putnam does the hardcover.

Pegasus Gets ‘Murderous’ with Haycock

Jessica Case, senior editor at Pegasus Books, bought world rights to Dean Haycock’s Murderous Minds, which she described as a book about “the biology of evil.” Carrie Pestritto at the Prospect Agency represented Haycock, a neuroscientist and Ph.D. The book, Case elaborated, relies on behavioral studies and neurological imaging, among other things, to show “what it means for society when psychopaths are discovered among us.”

Sullivan’s ‘Engagements’ Draws Foreign Buyers

J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest, The Engagements, could be an international hit for the author, who’s seen the most success, to date, in the U.S. (Her previous novels are Maine and Commencement.) The Engagements is being published in the States by Knopf in June 2013; after a number of six-figure foreign sales, the Baror Agency, which handles the author’s foreign rights, is calling this title her “breakout international book.” Heather Baror-Shapiro said that, after Frankfurt, the agency had closed six-figure pre-empts in the U.K. (Little, Brown/Virago); Brazil (Novo Conceito); and Germany (Hanser/Zsolnay). Overall, foreign rights to the novel have sold in 10 territories. Baror-Shapiro said the novel, which uses the actual female copywriter who coined the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” as a jumping-off point to explore four relationships, is “more globally relatable” than the author’s previous works.