Harper's Terri Karten has signed poet Carolyn Forche for two new books, neither of them poetry: The Horse on Our Balcony, her account of a deaf Russian poet friend and his transition to life in the U.S., and a collection of essays on her life as a politically engaged poet. It was a North American rights deal, signed with Virginia Barber at William Morris.... A new book by Warren Adler that is a sequel to his Wars of the Roses (celebrated as both book and movie) was bought by Hillel Black at Sourcebooks; it's called Children of the Roses and was bought from agent Bob Diforio at D4Eo Allen O'Shea for publication next year.... Houghton's Elaine Pfefferblit preempted a two-novel deal with Stacey D'Erasmo, author of the critically acclaimed Tea. The first is called A Seahorse Year, a novel about the strains within a family of mixed sexual identities; it was a North American rights buy from Jennifer Carlson at the Dunow & Cartson agency.... Miramax bought world rights in a biography of tormented actor/director John Cassavetes, who died of alcoholism 14 years ago, from Betsy Lerner at The Gernert Company; the author is Marshall Fine.... Another big children's deal was for six books, hardcover and paperback rights, by bestselling YA author Lurlene McDaniel. It was Beverly Horowitz, publisher of the Bantam, Delacorte and Dell imprints of RH Children's Books, who made the hard/soft deal for Delacorte/Dell with agent Meg Ruley at Jane Rotrosen.

Hot Deals is on vacation next week, but a new monthly column on movie deals called Screenings will appear.