Avon Wins Carter’s ‘Blonde’

For mid-six figures, Avon’s Nicole Fisher preempted Ally Carter’s The Blonde Identity. The North American rights agreement for the adult action-adventure rom-com was brokered by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency. The publisher billed the book, set for summer 2023, as “Romancing the Stone meets The Bourne Identity.” It follows “a woman with amnesia who is mistaken for her identical twin sister—a rogue spy on the run from the CIA—and the grumpy secret agent who is the only person who realizes she’s not the spy they’re looking for, though she just might be the woman that he needs.” Carter (the Spy School series) is the pen name of Sarah Leigh Fogelman.

Hachette Minds Its Manners

Lauren Marino at Hachette Go won North American rights to Sara Jane Ho’s Mind Your Manners: A Guide to Social Fluency at auction. The author is the star of the Mind Your Manners Netflix series, and the publisher said the book recasts etiquette “as a fresh, dynamic, and inclusive way for readers to thrive in any situation and transform their lives.” Ho, who founded China’s first etiquette school, was represented by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

Swinarski’s ‘Funeral’ Set for Morrow

For William Morrow, Tessa Woodward won Claire Swinarski’s debut adult novel, The Funeral Ladies of Ellery County, at auction. Alex Slater at Sanford J. Greenburger represented Swinarski (The Kate in Between) in the North American rights agreement. The novel, slated for winter 2024, follows a group of women in northern Wisconsin who have been cooking for local funerals for decades. “When a young man returns with his celebrity chef father for a funeral that’s rocked the town,” Morrow explained, “lives interweave in heartwarming ways that few could have expected.”

Union Square Nabs Keats’s Webcomic

Kate Zimmerman at Union Square & Co. bought world rights to ADHDinos by Ryan Keats. Based on Keats’s webcomic of the same name, the graphic novel, the publisher explained, “draws from the author’s own experience and explores the challenges and misadventures of life with ADHD through the eyes of a lovable brontosaurus.” Keely Boeving at WordServe Literary represented Keats, and the book is set for spring 2023.

Chen Embraces Harmony

Jane Chen, cofounder and CEO of Embrace, sold a currently untitled memoir to Shannon Welch at Harmony. Welch took world rights to the book at auction from Lara Love Hardin at True Literary. Embrace sells an infant incubator that costs a fraction of what competing incubators cost. Harmony said the company bills itself as a “social impact enterprise” aimed at helping vulnerable infants around the world. In the book, the publisher added, Chen traces “her transformative, globe-spanning odyssey to reckon with the ways the traumas of her past fueled both her blazing ambition and her burnout.” The publisher compared the title to “a modern-day Eat Pray Love.”

Ballantine Rustles Pritchett’s ‘Keys’

World rights to Three Keys by Laura Pritchett were acquired by Susanna Porter at Ballantine. Pritchett—whose novels include her PEN USA Award–winning debut, Hell’s Bottom Coloradowas represented by Peter Steinberg at Fletcher & Company in the deal. Ballantine said Three Keys “follows a middle-aged recent widow and empty nester as she embarks on an international and lawbreaking adventure guided by three keys to empty homes of her past.”