First Novels

In a joint preempt with Mike Jones at Bloomsbury UK, Kathy Belden at Bloomsbury USA has acquired world English rights to Dan Vyleta's Pavel & I from Simon Lipskar at Writers House. Set during one of the coldest winters on record, the novel mines the terrain of postwar Berlin through the lives of Pavel, an American who stays on after the war, and Anders, the young German orphan who befriends him. When a dead Russian spy is delivered to Pavel's apartment, the two find themselves mired in a Cold War conspiracy. Vyleta is a history professor at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin; Bloomsbury plans simultaneous publications in the U.S. and U.K. in spring 2008.

Dutton's Julie Doughty has acquired North American rights to Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones from agent Sandra Dijkstra. The #1 Spanish bestseller for the past six months, with over one million copies in print, the novel is set in medieval Barcelona and follows the building of the church of Santa Maria del Mar and the misfortunes of a peasant who defies his feudal lord. Rights have been sold in 15 countries, and Dutton anticipates a spring 2008 publication date.

Ellen Archer and Pamela Dorman have acquired a debut novel for Hyperion's Voice imprint; the title is The Monsters of Templeton and the author is 28-year-old Lauren Groff. The novel tells the story of a woman who, in the wake of a disastrous affair with her older, married professor, buries herself in research into her family's history and the small town New York State library in which the secret of her father's identity lies. Groff went to Amherst and has an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Bill Clegg at William Morris sold North American rights; hardcover publication will be early 2008.

Betsy Lerner at Dunow Carlson Lerner has sold Martha Tod Dudman's Black Olives to Denise Roy at S&S. The novel begins when a 50-something woman makes a totally impulsive decision: she follows her ex out of the grocery store after an unexpected sighting, and what follows is an intimate and candid anatomy of a breakup. Dudman is the author of a memoir, Augusta, Gone (S&S). S&S holds North American rights.

From the Headlines

In a strange quirk of timing, after a submission made just a week before the Amish school shootings, Nancy Yost at Lowenstein-Yost has concluded an auction for a crime thriller by Linda Castillo that centers around a series of shocking murders in Amish country. The book is titled Sworn to Silence and Charles Spicer at St. Martin's bought world rights in a three-book, six-figure deal; Morrow and Mira were underbidders. All three books will feature a female Amish cop. This is a change of direction for Castillo, who is the author of numerous suspense novels. SMP anticipates a 2008 publication for Sworn.

Basedow to M-H

Video fitness celebrity John Basedow has signed with Johanna Bowman at McGraw-Hill to write Fitness Made Simple: the Power to Be Better. Jeremy Katz at Sanford Greenburger negotiated the six-figure, North American rights deal. Basedow's first book, to be written with Tom McGrath, will give readers step-by-step workouts, nutrition advice, menus and recipes, and will also share his rags-to-riches success story. Pub date will be fall 2007.

The Briefing

Carole Stuart at Barricade Books bought North American rights to a new book by Dr. Herb Goldberg, titled What Men Still Don't Know About Women, Relationships and Love via Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. In his first book in 15 years, Goldberg will illuminate men's blind spots in the relationship arena.