A new book on President Bush by Weekly Standard executive editor (and Fox News host) Fred Barnes was just signed for Crown's conservative imprint Crown Forum by a newly minted senior editor there, Jed Donahue. The book will describe how Bush, in putting his own very conservative stamp on his administration, is changing America profoundly, and Barnes suggests what lies ahead in Bush's second term; this was a world rights deal with agent Rafe Sagalyn.... Doubleday president Steve Rubin signed one of the stars at the Random group, Peter Straub, to a couple of new novels, his first for that house. The North American hard/soft deal (paperback to Anchor) was signed with David Gernert, and Stacy Creamer will be Straub's new hardcover editor, with the first new thriller expected early next year.... Three diet-conscious Southern women who attracted a lot of attention by sharing their diet agonies on a Web site starred in a six-figure sale made to

Jennifer Weis at SMP by agent

Philip Lief. The women are

Suzanne Barnett,

Jennifer Lesman and

Amy Buchanan, and their book,

3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, will share dieting war stories, much humor and advice on the diets that work and the ones that don't....

Nan Graham at Scribner bought a book of short stories called

The Turning by Australian author Tim Winton, whose novel Dirt Music has been a huge bestseller at home and was recently bought for the movies; the North American deal was signed with agent

Joe Regal....

Mark Resnick at SMP just bought a first novel called

Smoked as part of a two-book deal with agent

Noah Lukeman. It's by

Patrick Quinlan and is the story of an elderly bomb-maker who seeks revenge when one of his bombs is used to bring down a plane, killing innocent people. Resnick bought world English and German rights.