Crown ‘Takes’ Kennedy in Major Deal
Former lawyer Eliza Kennedy sold her debut, I Take You, to Crown in a high six-figure deal. The novel, which drew considerable buzz at the just-wrapped Frankfurt Book Fair, was acquired by Lindsay Sagnette, who took North American rights from William Morris Endeavor agent Suzanne Gluck. I Take You, which is scheduled for a February 2015 release, follows a bride-to-be who should not be walking down the aisle. Crown said the book “showcases a fabulously self-assured protagonist whose choices usher in fresh messages about sexual politics.” Kennedy is the wife of novelist Joshua Ferris, and the novel has already sold in various foreign countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

Berry Moves to Minotaur For Seven Figures
In a million-dollar move, bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry has inked a three-book deal with the Minotaur Books’ Andrew Martin and Minotaur editorial director Kelley Ragland. Berry has long been at Ballantine, and Martin and Ragland won the books at auction, in a North American-rights deal brokered by Writers House agent Simon Lipskar. Berry has written 12 novels, including the bestsellers The Templar Legacy and The King’s Deception; Minotaur said that, worldwide, his books have sold over 17 million copies. Berry’s first book from Minotaur is set for 2015, and will continue his Cotton Malone series.

Charaipotra/Clayton to Harper Teen
In a six-figure deal, Gelfman Schneider agent Victoria Marini sold Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton’s YA mystery Dark Pointe to Sarah Landis at HarperTeen, who preempted. The book is the first project from the authors’ new packaging company, CAKE Literary, and Marini said it’s a fast-paced work “in the vein of Pretty Little Liars” that follows three students at a competitive Manhattan ballet academy, all vying for the prima ballerina spot. Landis took world English rights, and the book has also been preempted in Germany.

PYRG Lands Caldecott Winner
Nancy Conescu at Penguin’s Dial Books for Young Readers bought world rights to Michelle Cuevas and Caldecott-winning illustrator Erin E. Stead’s The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. Agent Emily van Beek at Folio Literary Management represented Stead, and Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger represented Cuevas. The picture book, which is set for a 2016 release, is about a solitary seafaring man who, the publisher explained, “wishes that someday one of the bottles that he is charged with opening will contain a message for him.”

HGTV Honcho Inks with Perigee
Susan Packard, a former COO of HGTV, sold a nonfiction book about her experiences as a senior-level executive to Penguin’s Perigee Books imprint. Jeanette Shaw took world rights to the currently untitled work from agent Joy Tutela at the David Black Agency, and Perigee is planning a winter 2015 publication. Packard, who cofounded Scripps Networks Interactive (Scripps being the parent company of HGTV), began working in cable TV in 1980, when she joined HBO. She went to HGTV in 1995, and while she was at the helm, it became one of the fastest-growing cable networks, according to Perigee. The book will provide tips for women in business and lay out the author’s theory of professional success—a strategy, Perigee said, she calls “gamesmanship.” Packard currently works for the consulting firm Martin Frankel Associates.