Book Deals: Week of November 20, 2017

Danielle Perez at Berkley took U.S. rights to the debut novel Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman. The thriller, which Jane Kirby at Harvill Secker sold, is, the Penguin Random House imprint said, a cross between Behind Closed Doors and Thelma and Louise. It follows a woman who, the publisher elaborated, “turns the tables on her abusive husband, along with some very unexpected allies: his ex-wife and mistress.” The British author, a former journalist, won the York Festival of Writing’s Friday Night Live contest in 2016. Stones, which was also acquired by Vintage UK, is set for a fall 2018 release.

Wade Lands at 37 Ink

Known as an “Instagram poet,” Cleo Wade sold a poetry collection called Heart Talk to Dawn Davis for her 37 Ink imprint at Atria. The book, subtitled Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life, is, Wade said, “a compilation of new poetry, handwritten notes, and good ol’ fashioned real and practical advice for every day.” Wade, who gained a following for her lyrical writing on Instagram, has been dubbed “the Millennial Oprah” by New York magazine. Davis said the book, which is slated for spring 2018, will offer “pithy and powerful antidotes to these troubling times.” Heather Karpas at ICM Partners handled the world rights agreement for Wade.

Aussie Award Winner to Tin House

In a North American rights deal, Tin House’s Masie Cochranbought Josephine Wilson’s novel, Extinctions. The book won the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which calls itself Australia’s most prestigious literature prize. Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management represented Wilson. According to Inkwell, the novel is a “humorous but poignant family story” in which a retired engineer “is pushed together with his neighbor, Jan, and forced to revisit his past.” The book is set for a fall 2018 release by Tin House; it will be published in the U.K. by Serpent’s Tail.

Bloomsbury Takes Trip to White’s Texas

Memoirist, essayist and novelist Edmund White sold A Saint in Texas to Liese Mayer at Bloomsbury. About twin sisters coming of age in the Lone Star State during the 1950s, the novel, Bloomsbury said, follows the girls’ “lifelong struggle to understand one another.” Amanda Urban at ICM Partners represented White, and the book is set for a spring 2020 release.

Ward Sells Six to S&S

Closing a six-book deal that will launch a new series, bestselling author J.R. Ward signed a U.S., Canadian, and open market rights agreement with Gallery Books. Under the deal, Consumed, the first in a new series, will be released in October 2018; Gallery said the series is “set in the dangerous and adrenaline-fueled world of firefighters.” Also included in the agreement are three more books in Ward’s ongoing Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Lauren McKenna at Gallery negotiated the agreement with Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. Ward has written more than 30 novels and, according to Gallery, sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

Kensington Gets Historical with Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries entered into a four-book world rights agreement with Kensington. Wendy McCurdy won the books—which will launch a new historical romance series—at auction from Pam Ahearn at the Ahearn Agency. The first book under the agreement is set for 2019 and will be released under the publisher’s Zebra Books imprint. Jeffries has written more than 50 novels and, per Kensington, has more than nine million copies of her work in print.

Mira Goes SF with Chen

Mike Chen’s debut novel, Here and Now and Then, was acquired by Michelle Meada at Mira Books. The two-book world rights agreement was negotiated by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary. Mira said the book is “an intimate, character-driven science fiction novel” that reads “as if The Time Traveler’s Wife were written by Nick Hornby.” In it, a man races “across time” in order to “raise—and then save—his only daughter before she is erased from history.” Here is set for a fall 2018 publication.

Trelease’s Debut to Flatiron

After an auction, Sarah Barley won North American rights, in a three-book deal, to Gita Trelease’s debut novel, Enchantée. The YA historical fantasy was pitched, Flatiron said, as “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell meets Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.” The book, which Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency sold, is set in Paris in 1789 and follows, the publisher explained, a poor young woman “who uses magic to impersonate an aristocrat at the glittering Palace of Versailles as her own political awakening forces her to choose sides in the French Revolution.”