Serving and Deserting

Grove/Atlantic's Amy Hundley has acquired world rights (ex Canada) to former Pvt. 1st Class Joshua Key's memoir, The Deserter's Tale, in an auction conducted by agent Denise Bukowski. Key, a Guthrie, Okla., native who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002 to learn a trade and provide for his family, was sent to Ramadi in spring 2003. Key's account of how the war in Iraq is being waged will detail life as part of the occupying force, an experience in which human rights abuses were the norm, and explain how what he saw in Iraq transformed him into someone who could no longer serve his country. Key is now applying for refugee status in Canada. The book is being written with Canadian journalist and novelist Lawrence Hill; Atlantic Monthly plans a February 2007 publication.

Definitive Bowie

Carrie Thornton at Crown has preempted world rights to Marc Spitz's David Bowie: God and Man in a mid-six-figure deal with agent James Fitzgerald. The book will chronicle Bowie's long career, his impact on the current music scene, his evolution as both musician and businessman, and his enduring legacy. Spitz, a writer for Vanity Fair, is also the author of a biography of the band Green Day coming from Hyperion; this deal reunites Spitz with Thornton, who edited his first book, We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk, as well as his two novels. Crown plans a fall 2008 publication.

How to Get Rich

AOL Finance editor and New York Post columnist Hilary Kramer has sold Ahead of the Curve: Nine Simple Ways to Create Wealth; Maris Kreizman at the Free Press has preempted North American rights in a six-figure deal brokered by Maura E. Teitelbaum at Abrams Artists. Kramer, who is also a business analyst for Fox News and CNBC, and who will be an AOL Finance coach starting this October, will share advice derived from her extensive expertise in investment banking and financial management. FP will look to publish in early 2008.

Hot Fiction

Ecco's Emily Takoudes has preempted a debut novel by Paula McLain titled A Ticket to Ride; agent Julie Barer sold North American rights. Set in 1973, the novel follows a 15-year-old girl, abandoned by her mother and now living with her uncle, who falls under the dangerous spell of an older cousin. A 2008 pub date is expected. McLain's 2003 memoir, Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, was acquired by Takoudes at Little, Brown.

Riverhead's Sarah McGrathhas acquired world English rights to a new book by Martha Moody, tentatively titled The Office of Yearning; the deal was brokered by agent Harriet Wasserman. The novel delves into the lives of five very different people and how they interact in a small medical office; Riverhead, which published Moody's Best Friendsin 2001 and had subsequent breakout success with it as a trade paperback, plans to publish the new book in summer 2007.

Two for Zuckerman

Al Zuckerman at Writers House has sold Dan Waters's Generation Dead, a novel about dead kids enrolling at a high school in Connecticut, and what happens when a goth girl starts a romance with a dead boy, to Alessandra Balzer at Hyperion, who took world English rights in a two-book deal.

Zuckerman also sold North American rights to a romantic comedy titled What Looks Like Crazy by Charlotte Hughes to Berkley's Christine Zika in another two-book, six-figure deal. Crazy features a hilarious cast of Southern oddballs and eccentrics; Hughes, the author of several romances and psychological thrillers, also collaborated with Janet Evanovich on six of Evanovich's recent books.

The Briefing

Putnam's Neil Nyrenhas bought world rights to Wendy Merrill's Falling into Manholes, a book of "embarrassingly honest" autobiographical tales from a 40-something, in-recovery-from-everything good/bad girl searching for love; agent Robert Stricker made the deal.... Ballantine's Melody Guyhas acquired a first novel by journalist Carleen Brice titled Orange Mint and Honey, about an overachieving grad school student and her personal demons; agent Victoria Sanders sold North American rights in this two-book deal, and a spring 2008 pub date is tentative.... Basic's Lara Heimert has acquired Virginity by Donna Freitas, professor of religion at St. Michael's College, who will explore the past, present and future of virginity from a historical, theological and cultural standpoint; agent Miriam Altshuler sold North American rights.... Agent Sandra Dijkstrahas sold the next book by Irv Yalom, M.D., titled The Gift of Death: How the Awakening Experience Can Help Us Live Without Fear, which charges that therapists avoid or ignore death anxiety in their patients, and provides wisdom about how to cope with these concerns; Wiley's Alan Rinzler bought North American rights and publication is scheduled for January 2008.