The End of Oyl

Putnam's Dan Conaway has preempted a new book by Peter Nichols, tentatively called Oyl and Ice: A Whaling Fleet, an Arctic Storm, and the World's First Oil Crisis, from Sloan Harris at ICM. The narrative covers a span of a few weeks in 1871, when an entire fleet of whaling ships was caught in an arctic ice storm and destroyed, precipitating the end of the age of "oyl" (whale oil) and creating a vacuum that would subsequently be filled by petroleum fuels. The deal reunites Nichols with Conaway, who published the author's A Voyage for Madmen at HarperCollins. Putnam holds world rights to the new book and plans a summer 2008 publication.

Iraq Redux

Esther Newberg at ICM just sold a new book by Richard Haass to Alice Mayhew at S&S, the working title of which is War of Necessity, War of Choice. Haass, who held high-level positions in both Bush administrations, will provide an insider look at both wars in Iraq by someone who was involved in the planning for both, and will ask whether one was justified while the other was not. Haass is now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations; S&S, which holds North American rights, plans a January 2008 publication.

Art of Acquisition

Paul Golob at Times Books has preempted a new book by the New York Times's Sharon Waxman, tentatively titled Stealing from the Pharaohs; agent Andrew Blauner sold world rights. The book will take readers inside the burgeoning conflict over who owns ancient art—the great museums, which have preserved the West's cultural heritage, or the countries from which the works were taken long ago? Waxman, a culture reporter for the Times, will weave in the historical, political and cultural themes underpinning these various conflicts as the story moves from Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Italy to museums in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles in a dramatic tug-of-war. Pub date is sometime in 2009.

LB Takes Two

Bestselling YA author Stephenie Meyer has signed with Little, Brown for two new novels in separate world rights deals, both negotiated by Jodi Reamer at Writers House. The first, acquired by Megan Tingley, is the fourth installment in Meyer's Twilight series; Breaking Dawn will continue the vampire romance of star-crossed lovers Edward and Bella. Andrea Spooner will edit, and the book is slated for a fall 2008 publication. Meyer has also penned her first adult novel, bought by LB publisher Michael Pietsch, The Host, in which a young woman's body is inhabited by two warring minds. Asya Muchnick will edit, and Little, Brown's adult division will publish the book in spring 2008.

Hot Debut

Amber Qureshi at the Free Press has preempted a first novel by Solon Timothy Woodward titled Cadillac Orpheus; Trident's Alex Glass sold world rights. This contemporary saga of three bickering generations of a family in a black community on the Florida coast takes place on the eve of a hurricane. The author is a Harvard graduate, a Sewanee and Breadloaf scholar and a practicing physician at the Mayo Clinic. Free Press will publish in 2008.

Boomer Style

Springboard's Karen Murgolo has preempted world rights to a new book by Today Show style expert Charla Krupp in a mid-six-figure deal with Judy Linden at packager Stonesong Press, which will design and produce the book with Springboard. The book doesn't yet have a title, but its subject will be baby boomer style, as former Glamour and InStyle editor Krupp aims to deliver "the" style bible for boomer women. Pub date is fall 2007.