Twelve Preempts Debut

In his first fiction acquisition in more than a year, Jonathan Karp has preempted U.S. rights to a debut novel for his Twelve imprint. The author is Canadian magazine editor and journalist Elizabeth Kelly, and her book, Apologize, Apologize!,is described as a tragicomic tale of a wild, brilliant, wealthy, crazy Massachusetts family. Agent MollyFriedrich, who struck the deal within a week of submission, also accepted a preemptive offer in the same time frame for Canadian rights from Knopf Canada. The acquiring editor there, Diane Martin, plans to publish the novel as part of the imprint's successful New Face of Fiction program. Pub date in both countries is March 2009.

Nelson Again to Viking

Craig Nelson, whose recent Thomas Paine won the 2007 Henry Adams Prize for best book on government, has signed with Rick Kot at Viking for a new project, Rocketmen:The Triumph and Tragedy of the First Americans on the Moon. Agent Stuart Krichevsky sold North American rights. Nelson, a literary agent and former editor at HarperCollins, Hyperion and Random House, will draw on a trove of documents unavailable to any previous Apollo 11 historian, for this account of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first steps on the moon. Viking will publish in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The Secret of Venus

Marnie Cochran at Da Capo has preempted world rights to M.D. and ob/gyn Rebecca Booth's The Venus Week: Discoverthe Secret of Hormonal Balance from Debra Goldstein at the Creative Culture. Booth will reveal the five to seven days within a woman's cycle in which she is at her best mentally, physically and emotionally, giving women a new understanding of how they can recognize and maximize that "one good week" and teaching them to manage their bodies' changes to their best advantage. Pub date is spring 2008.

New Fiction

Sulay Hernandez at Touchstone/Fireside has acquired a debut novel titled Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman via agent Victoria Sanders, who sold world rights. The book centers on a young man's harrowing upbringing in a Queens housing project and the fierce bonds of family, including a heroic grandmother, that enable him to survive. Pub is early 2009.

George Witte at St. Martin's bought North American rights to Christina Sunley's The Tricking of Freya, a debut novel about a woman whose search for a mysterious relative takes her from a small Icelandic village in Canada on a journey through the language and mythology of Iceland. Agent Katherine Cowles sold world rights.

Kendra Harpster at Viking has acquired a new novel by Kaya McLaren titled How I Came to Sparkle Again via Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, who sold North American rights. The deal also includes two other McLaren novels, Church of theDog and On the Divinity of Second Chances, for paperback reprint. Viking will publish the new novel in summer 2009, while Church will pub in summer 2008 and Divinity in winter 2009. All three books are set in the west and focus on the convergences of characters whose lives are simultaneously falling apart and coming together.

The Mistress of Spices author Chitra Divakaruni, who has also written several novels for children, has made her first deal for a children's picture book, titled Grandma and the Giant Gourd: A Bengali Folk Tale; Roaring Brook's Neal Porter bought world rights from agent Sandra Dijkstra. Pub date is spring 2009.

The Briefing

Jane Fleming at the Penguin Press has acquired world rights to Craig Mullaney's military memoir, The Unforgiving Minute, via agent E. J. McCarthy. Mullaney, who graduated from West Point in 2000, is also a former Rhodes scholar and U.S. Army Ranger platoon leader in Afghanistan; he will reflect on his own struggle to study, practice and teach war.