Bantam Dell's Irwyn Applebaum emerged the winner among the six publishers contending to take on bestselling thriller author Karin Slaughter when agent Victoria Sanders took her around. He paid in the high seven figures for North American rights in three new books, taking her away from Morrow and Harper.... A new diet book, Trim and Terrific in Two Weeks by Teresa Tapp and Barbara Smalley was won at auction by Random's Caroline Sutton—helped, suggested agent Heide Lange of Sanford Greenburger, by the fact that she tried it herself and proved to the competing editors it had worked for her.... A first novel told in the voice of an exiled middle-aged Iranian rug merchant in New York who falls for a college girl was also an auction win, for Viking's Molly Stern. She beat two other bidders to take North American rights to The Rug Merchant by New Mexico—based author Meg Mullins from agent Molly Friedrich at Aaron Priest.... California senator Barbara Boxer turns novelist in a deal just signed between Chronicle Books editorial director Jay Schaefer and agent Fred Hill; her book, to be co-written with Mary-Rose Hayes, is about a woman who steps into her dead husband's political shoes and has to fight for her own political life; publication next fall.... Harper's Terry Karten bought a book by young British historian Lucy Moore called Citoyennes, a study of the roles a group of women played in the French Revolution.The seller here was Eric Simonoff at Janklow & Nesbit, and that agency's Tiff Loehnis sold U.K. and Commonwealth in London, also to Harper.