Park Row Opens Penner’s ‘Apothecary’

For Park Row Books, Natalie Hallak preempted the debut novel by Sarah Penner for six figures. The Lost Apothecary, slated for March 2021, will be a lead title for the HarperCollins imprint. The historical novel opens with a focus on the female owner of an 18th-century London apothecary shop that, Park Row explained, “dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them.” Calling the book “Kate Morton meets The Miniaturist,” the publisher explained that it then jumps ahead 200 years and follows another woman, who is “running from her own demons” and “stumbles on a clue to the centuries-old unsolved apothecary murders.” The realization makes the lives of the two women from different centuries “converge in shocking ways.” Stefanie Lieberman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates brokered the world rights deal.


Stewart’s ‘Shard’ Sells to Orbit

In a six-figure preempt, Brit Hvide at Orbit bought world English rights to Andrea Stewart’s fantasy novel Bone Shard Daughter. The debut, sold by Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens, is, the publisher said, “in the vein of R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War and S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass.” In the novel, which is set for fall 2020, rebels in the cities are rallying for independence “from the all-seeing eyes of the emperor’s magical constructs.” Among the royals, “the emperor’s daughter struggles to regain her memories, her power over the bone shard magic that rules the empire, and her rightful place as heir.”

Trigiani Moves to Dutton

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani (the Big Stone Gap series) closed a North American rights, two-book deal, moving from Harper to Dutton. Maya Ziv, who had edited Trigiani at Harper, won the books, the first of which is titled The Garden of Sundays, at auction from William Morris Endeavor’s Suzanne Gluck. The novel is based on the author’s personal experiences and will, Dutton said, “explore the meaning of home, love, and grief.” Noting that the book is similar to Trigiani’s 2012 bestseller The Shoemaker’s Wife, Dutton said The Garden of Sundays is “a past and present narrative spanning multiple generations.” In it, “a woman who has spent her life on the Ligurian coast of Italy must relive the war-torn Italy of her youth, and reveal her mother’s past, to help her granddaughter figure out her future.” Trigiani is the author of 18 books.

Ballantine Re-ups Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & the Six) closed a North American rights, two-book deal with Ballantine. The first novel under the agreement, Malibu Burning, is, the publisher said, “set against the backdrop of the Malibu surf culture of the 1980s.” It follows the daughter of a famous singer who, once she finds fame, must grapple with the fact that her father abandoned her and her siblings when they were young. Jennifer Hershey brokered the agreement with Theresa Park at Park & Fine Literary and Media. Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six—which Ballantine published in March—is currently in series development (with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner producing) after being optioned by Amazon Studios.

Pamela Dorman Lands Posey’s ‘Evensong’

For Viking’s Pamela Dorman Books, Jeramie Orton nabbed world rights to Rafe Posey’s debut, Evensong. The novel, sold by Danielle Bukowski at Sterling Lord Literistic, is about the relationship between a Royal Air Force pilot during WWII and the woman he loves, who is secretly recruited to be a code breaker at Bletchley Park. They must each decide, the publisher elaborated, “which dreams can be sacrificed and which secrets are too big to bear alone.” Evensong is slated for spring 2021.

For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.