De la Cruz Sells ‘Birthday’ to Dutton

Bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (Someone to Love) sold her first work of domestic suspense, The Birthday Girl, to Dutton. Jill Schwartzman bought world rights to the book from Richard Abate at 3 Arts. The publisher said Birthday Girl was pitched as “Gone Girl meets Flowers in the Attic” and follows a woman who decides to throw herself a lavish 40th birthday party in her Palm Springs vacation home. The novel, which is set for a summer 2019 release, is, Dutton went on, “told through the hour-by-hour preparations for the party as well as flashbacks to an even more unforgettable and shocking 16th birthday party.”

Astrophysicist Explores ‘End’ for S&S
After an auction featuring at least eight bidders, Daniel Loedel at Scribner bought North American rights to Katie Mack’s The End of Everything. Mack is a 36-year-old theoretical astrophysicist who teaches at North Carolina State University and has a significant social media footprint, with more than 250,000 followers on Twitter. Her book, Loedel said, “explores five different ways the universe could end and the wondrous physics, big questions, and mind-blowing lessons underlying them.” Mack was represented by Creative Artists Agency, and the book is tentatively set for summer 2020.

Ballantine Nabs Book on Cartier Family
In a world English rights acquisition, Ballantine’s Pamela Cannon preempted Francesca Cartier Brickell’s House of Cartier. Brickell, a descendant of the clan that started the luxury goods company, delivers a narrative family history in the book. Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company, who represented Brickell, said House of Cartier was “inspired by a recently found collection of never-before-seen historic letters and photographs” and traces the Cartiers’ rise from running a Parisian storefront to overseeing a global fashion brand. Fox added that the book weaves together “family memoir and more than a century of cultural history.”

Delacorte Takes Debut Trilogy at Auction
Krista Marino at Delacorte Press took North American rights for high six figures to debut author Amélie Wen Zhao’s trilogy Blood Heir. The fantasy series was bought after a five-house auction; Delacorte said the series is about “a fugitive princess with a dark secret and a charismatic con man who forge an unlikely alliance in order to save themselves, each other, and their kingdom.” Peter Knapp at Park Literary and Media sold the series, which will launch with book one (also called Blood Heir) in summer 2019. Zhao, who works in finance, was born in Paris and raised in Beijing.

For Amazon’s Little A imprint, Carmon Johnson took world rights to Vanessa McGrady’s currently untitled memoir. Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, who represented McGrady, said the book, which is set for a 2019 release, explores the author’s complicated family and “what happens when she allows her daughter’s newly homeless biological parents to come live with them.”

At Audible Originals, Andrew Eisenman bought Bob Sullivan and Dan Maccarone’s The Barstool MBA. Sullivan is a bestselling author (Gotcha Capitalism), and Maccarone is an entrepreneur and bar owner who consulted on the launch of such companies as Hulu and Rent the Runway. The audio, said Daniel Lazar at Writers House, who represented the authors, will examine “how working a bar is a great lesson for envisioning, launching, running, and even closing a startup company.” The Barstool MBA is slated for a 2019 release.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said listed Daniel Loedel works at Simon & Schuster; he's at Scribner. Additionally, Dan Maccarone did not help launch Gawker, as this article previously stated; he helped with a major redesign/relaunch of the website.