Rice Takes First YA to Scholastic
Bestselling adult author Luanne Rice sold her YA debut, The Secret Language of Sisters, to Aimee Friedman at Scholastic. Andrea Cirillo at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the world rights deal for Rice, noting that the book, scheduled for 2016, was pitched as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly meets If I Stay. In the novel a girl enters a coma-like state known as locked-in syndrome (a condition in which the victim is conscious but cannot move or speak) after getting into a car accident. The accident was ostensibly caused by the fact that she was texting with her sister while driving. The “locked-in” state allows the victim, Cirillo explained, to be aware of her surroundings as well as “the story of her sister, who blames herself for the accident.”

Atria Nabs New, Old Allende
Johanna Castillo, v-p and executive editor at Atria Books, took world English rights to a new novel, and four backlist ones, by Isabel Allende, the bestselling Chilean writer and 2014 Medal of Freedom winner. The new work, The Japanese Lover, is set for this fall; it moves in time between the present day and the years following World War II. The publisher elaborated that the book is set in San Francisco and Poland and is a “multigenerational love story” that tackles “issues of race and identity, abandonment and reconciliation.” The four backlist titles in the deal, which Atria will be publishing in paperback and, for the first time, in digital, are: The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadow, Eva Luna, and The Stories of Eva Luna. Allende has, according to Atria, sold more than 65 million copies of her books worldwide; she was represented in the deal by Carmen Balcells at the Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells SA. The author, who became a U.S. citizen in 1993, lives in California.

Dog-Friendly Romance, and Summer-Lovin’ Collection to SMP
In the first of two deals at St. Martin’s Press, Rose Hilliard acquired world rights, in a five-figure three-book deal, to Cassandra Griffin’s romantic comedy series about friends who work at a dog rescue. Pooja Menon at Kimberley Cameron & Associates represented Griffin and said each book in the series will focus on one friend as she finds love and “stops mayhem with the help of her canine sidekick.”
In the second deal, Sara Goodman took North American rights to Stephanie Perkins’s second YA anthology, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, which will include pieces by Libba Bray, Veronica Roth, and Lev Grossman, among others. Perkins will also be contributing a story to the collection, which will feature tales of young love set in the summertime. Kate Schafer Testerman at KT Literary handled the sale for Perkins, and the book is scheduled for summer 2016.

Scherm, Metaxas Close with Viking
In the first of two deals at Viking this week, Rebecca Scherm sold North American rights to her sophomore novel, Beta, to Carole DeSanti. Scherm’s debut, Unbecoming, was released by Viking in January; this novel, the publisher said, is set in 2025 and follows a family that moves to an experimental space station called Parallaxis. At the space station, the family finds a “ragtag group” pioneering a world that is “a fertile ground for all-too-human longings and terrors.” Agent Susan Golomb, who last month joined Writers House, represented Scherm.
In the second deal, Viking president and publisher Brian Tart bought world rights to two new books by Eric Metaxas. The first of the nonfiction works will explore, Viking said, “what it means to be an American today” and how significant the issue of religious freedom was to the men who founded this country; it is scheduled for spring 2016. The second book, a full-picture biography of Martin Luther, is set for 2017, timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the posting of Luther’s 95 theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. Viking said the Luther book is being imagined in the vein of Metaxas’s 2010 book, Bonhoeffer (Thomas Nelson), a biography of the anti-Nazi dissident and pastor that the publisher said has sold nearly one million copies worldwide. Esther Fedorkovich at the FEDD Agency represented Metaxas.

BBD Lands Oliva’s Debut
The first novel by Alexandra Oliva, The Last One, was acquired by Ballantine Bantam Dell editorial director Mark Tavani, at auction. Tavani took North American rights to the book, along with a second novel, from Lucy Carson at the Friedrich Agency. The Last One, set for 2016 and already sold in 17 countries, is a thriller that follows a woman who competes on a survivalist reality TV show, only to return to an actual reality that has drastically changed. BBD said the novel examines “the role that media plays in our perception of what is real, and how easily we are all manipulated.” In addition to studying at Yale and the New School, Oliva has taken a number of outdoor survival courses.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said Viking took world rights to Rebecca Scherm's novel. The publisher acquired North American rights.