Star Gazer Lands at Clarkson Potter
The editor-in-chief of Astronomy magazine, David Eicher, sold world rights to a nonfiction book called Galaxies. Jenni Zellner at Clarkson Potter won the book at auction from Laura Biagi at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Biagi said the book was pitched as “Atlas Obscura for galaxies” and reveals their “inner workings and the most fascinating facts and newest discoveries about them.” The book is slated for fall 2019.

Simonet Gets Rubber Stamped at FSG
After a four-house auction, Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s Joy Peskin won North American rights to Andrew Simonet’s debut YA novel, The Rubber Room. The novel follows two high schoolers, Jason and Meili, who connect after winding up in detention. Rebecca Stead at the Book Group, who represented Simonet in the two-book deal, said that Meili, who hails from Hong Kong, is plotting “a dangerous path back to her affluent life abroad, and Jason dreams of escaping his poverty and isolation.” Simonet has previously worked as a choreographer for a number of theater groups; he also founded and ran, for a number of years, the dance program at Lawrenceville High School in New Jersey. The Rubber Room is scheduled for fall 2018.

Dodd Closes Quad at HQN
As part of a four-book deal, bestselling author Christina Dodd signed with HQN Books to write a new trilogy that will launch with a novel called Dead Girl Running. The North American rights agreement was negotiated by HQN’s Dianne Moggy and William Morris Endeavor’s Mel Berger, with HQN associate editor Allison Carroll lined up to edit. HQN said the trilogy will follow “an enigmatic woman with a scar from a gunshot on her forehead and a severe case of amnesia that leaves her unsure of her own sanity.” Dodd has written more than 60 novels and, according to HQN, there are more than 15 million copies of her books in print. Dead Girl is slated for May 2018.

Kensington Inks Fluke for Seven Figures, Lands Force’s First Historical
In a seven-figure world rights agreement, Joanne Fluke inked a three-book contract with Kensington’s John Scognamiglio to write a trio of new books featuring her popular protagonist, Hannah Swensen. Fluke is an established cozy mystery author, and her books featuring Swensen have been adapted into a string of television movies (by the Hallmark Channel) called Murder, She Baked; the TV series features follows the Minnesota bake shop owner and amateur sleuth, who partners with a local detective to help solve crimes. The first book slated under this agreement, Raspberry Danish Murder, is slated for March 2018, and will mark the 22nd title in the book series. Fluke was represented by Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

In another acquisition at Kensington, bestselling romance author Marie Force closed a two-book North American mass market paperback rights agreement with Martin Biro for her first historical romance series. Force, who Kensington said has sold more than six million books worldwide, will launch the Edwardian-era series with Duchess by Deception in February 2019. Kensington said Duchess follows a duke who has “a deadline to marry” and “disguises himself to win the heart of a woman who disdains the aristocracy.” Force did not use an agent in the deal.

Da Capo Takes Bolger’s ‘War’
Robert Pigeon at Da Capo took world rights, in a preempt, to Daniel P. Bolger’s Our Year of War. E.J. McCarthy, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Bolger. The book, scheduled for October, is about two brothers who fought together in Vietnam. The publisher said Chuck and Tom Hagel were in the same platoon and, during the Tet Offensive, saved each other’s lives. The book follows the brothers, who had disparate views on the war, from Nebraska to Vietnam and back home, where “their disagreement over the Vietnam War mirrored a divided America.” (Chuck Hagel went on to become a U.S. senator and the secretary of defense, while Tom Hagel went on to a law career, first as a public defender and then as a professor.)

Hoang Brings Debut to Berkley
Debut author Helen Hoang closed a world rights agreement for three books, set to launch a new series, with Berkley. Cindy Hwang acquired the titles from Kim Lionetti at the BookEnds Literary Agency. The first book, The Kiss Quotient, is set for June 2018 and, per Berkley, is about a woman with Asperger’s who hires a male escort to “help her learn to be a girlfriend.” The second and third books in the series are set for winter 2018 and summer 2019, respectively.