Bill Contardi has just closed on a film deal for Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Books with 50 Canon Entertainment. The trilogy, which is published by Ace Books and launched three years ago with Moon Called, follows a vampire-hunter who has the ability to shapeshift into a coyote. The titles grew from cult hits into Times bestsellers and, according to Contardi, there are now 250,000 copies in print. 50 Canon, the production outfit of director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), has optioned the series and will lay out escalating purchase prices, in the "mid six figures" per Contardi, for each title if and when the option is exercised. (Contardi also confirms that Ace Books has contracted for four more Mercy Thompson books and that the first comic book adaptation of the series is due out from Dabel Brother late this month.)

On the shopping side, Patricia Burke at Inkwell Management is going out with film rights on two titles--a YA book called Hush, Hush and a novel called Border Songs. Hush, Hush, whose print rights were just sold by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell in a two-book deal to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, is by Becca Ajoy Fitzpatrick and follows a 16-year-old who becomes enamored with a fallen angel. Inkwell is dubbing the book part teen love story and part fast-paced thriller. Border Songs, by The Highest Tide author Jim Lynch, is a love story set in a Canadian border town; Tide is in development at the indie GreeneStreet Films.