Newsletter 46: September 2009

Up and Coming for Submission

About his new novel, his eighth, Peter Lefcourt says, “I am the son of an immigrant father, who came to this country, not speaking a word of English, and worked in a sweat shop on the Lower East Side. I grew up playing stickball on the streets of Queens and became a writer. My son went to Yale and now works for an NGO in Darfur. Having always been fascinated by the promiscuous voyage of a family through time and across the generations, I decided to make it the subject of a novel.” That novel, AN AMERICAN FAMILY, is the rich, sprawling story of the Perls, a first-generation Polish-Jewish family living on Long Island, that focuses  on five brothers and sisters, born in the 1940s: Jackie, the womanizing, alcoholic lawyer, who goes into politics; Michael, the brilliant businessman who makes and loses millions; Elaine, the woman who marries young, has children, and, then, in her forties, must come to terms with the compromises she has made; Steven, the writer, who survives Vietnam and struggles with his sexuality until he is able to live his life openly as a gay man; and Bobbie, the youngest and wildest, who gets pregnant at Woodstock, moves to Los Angeles and becomes a record producer. Their individual odysseys take us through the turbulent years and social changes of the late twentieth century – beginning on the day that John Kennedy was shot and ending on the day before 9/11. AN AMERICAN FAMILY is a remarkable and captivating story about change, survival, and one family’s flirtation with the flickering reality of the American Dream.

On his popular Food Network show Big Daddy’s House, Aaron McCargo, Jr., shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking. From comfort foods to barbeque favorites to breakfast delights, Aaron whips up mouth-watering recipes inspired by many years of culinary experience and his fun-loving family, while bringing a down-to-earth vibe and warm smile to the kitchen. He cooks with familiar ingredients and puts them together with such verve, excitement, and love, that his viewers cannot wait to get into the kitchen. In SIMPLY TO WELL DONE, written with Mary Goodbody, Aaron brings that same energy and his hearty style to a collection of delectable dishes. Accessible to any cook from the most inexperienced to the most proficient, SIMPLY TO WELL DONE features bold, straightforward recipes that anyone can and will want to recreate.

Conservatives are a gloomy lot these days. Rush Limbaugh insists that President Obama is an angry black man who hopes to make white people “the new oppressed minority.” Glenn Beck contends that the Democrats’ health plan would redistribute benefits to black people and could lead to Nazi-like eugenics. Pat Buchanan complains that secular holiday messages constitute “hate crimes against Christianity” and frets that that “we may have lost the Southwest” to Hispanic immigrants. Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly alleges that billionaire George Soros, the ACLU, and the New York Times have a “secret plan” to destroy Christmas in order to crush religious opposition to euthanasia and legalized drugs. HOW BILL O’REILLY SAVED CHRISTMAS, AND OTHER PERSECUTION FANTASIES OF THE RIGHT takes on the right wing’s latest obsession: persecution politics. With a keen eye for the outlandish and absurd, irreverent political blogger Michael Wolraich sifts through the delusions of prominent politicians and pundits who imagine a vast liberal plot to oppress white Christian conservatives. Wolraich explores the history of the trend, dissects the conspiracy theories, and examines the implications for the future of American politics. This timely account of modern conservative dogma will make readers laugh and cringe as it sheds light on the dark illusion that grips the minds of a growing number of Americans.

In 2009, after a life-long career as a respected food writer and editor at the Detroit News, the Chicago Tribune and Cooking Light, Robin Mathers-Jenkins found herself unemployed and living in a 650-square foot house on a small lake in western Michigan. Of necessity, she had to live on a very strict budget, limiting herself to just $40 a week for all of her food, including spices and coffee. A two-time James Beard journalism award finalist for feature writing, Jenkins had sampled the finest foods and wines the world has to offer for more than 25 years – but those days were now gone. Still, eating well had become her habit and she was unwilling to compromise. In her beautiful and illuminating account, THE FEAST NEARBY: ESSAYS AND RECIPES FROM A YEAR OF EATING WELL AND LOCALLY ON A BUDGET, Robin chronicles her journey as she resolves to continue to eat seasonal, locally grown food despite the newfound constraints on her wallet. Featuring recipes, tips and instructions for other would-be locavores, THE FEAST NEARBY is not only an honest and rich retelling of her efforts, it is an invaluable and instructional guide to eating on a budget without sacrificing quality, health or flavor.

For three exciting years, school children watched with astonishment and pride as American astronauts first set foot on the moon and then returned to that bright rock in the night sky, riding around in a funny little moon car, collecting samples, even in one case hitting the first extraterrestrial golf drive. Today’s school children, and even their parents in most cases, were born after the last astronaut left the moon on December 18, 1972. All told, only a dozen men have landed there, and those bold, brave, smart, strong astronauts are old now. Some of them are dead. And the fraternity is accepting no new members. It is comprised of only those who devoted most of their careers to going to a place that we then abandoned. What sort of men were these lunar explorers? What kind of person would willingly climb with two other guys into a room smaller than an apartment bathroom, atop the biggest successful rocket ever built, and get launched far from the happy comforts of Earth, beyond hope of rescue, for as much as two weeks? In MOON MEN, award-winning reporter Dennis E. Powell reveals America’s moon program as it has not been seen before, in retrospection by the astronauts themselves. It describes their experiences not just going to the moon but afterwards and, with the clarity of hindsight, their appraisal of what it all meant. A fascinating in-depth look at the ultimate journey, MOON MEN will explore this exhilarating expedition through the eyes of the elite few to have experienced it and thoughtfully explore the conditions that led us to go to the moon – and led us to leave it for the half century that followed.
Wine writer Alice Feiring has always been a leading advocate of naturally made wine. She had always believed in wines made with no additives; wine as pure and natural as can be. Then one day she received an email from her brother Jason, a winemaker and manager at the family-run Eyrie vineyards in Oregon. Her brother and her father had thrown down the gauntlet; they challenged her to create wine according to those same principles she was so passionate about. They were going to give her a half ton of grapes, a tub, and let her have her way with Pinot Noir. Alice panicked. What did she know about making wine? What if she screwed up? Would she resort to science or the flavor fixes she often rails against? Would she have the courage of her convictions? It turns out she did. Jumping off from her winemaking adventure, Alice plunges into the most powerful wine movement today; vin naturel. In NAKED WINE she traces how vin naturel began, lost its way, and how it has come to threaten the foundation of today’s wine world.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, is best known as the date-rape drug—a colorless, odorless liquid linked to numerous criminal cases and accidental overdoses. For many athletes, though, it’s a magical elixir that promises to build muscles and enhance performance. Jan Hollingsworth’s only son, Will, was one of those athletes. No one told the Olympic-bound wrestler that the nutritional supplement he bought at the local health food store was addictive. Nor did he suspect what it would do to his brain. A BROKEN MIND is the heartbreaking story of a mother who woke up one day to find her 20-year-old son hopelessly entangled in the web of GHB addiction, his descent into madness and his failed three year struggle to reclaim his life and his sanity. An award-winning investigative journalist, Jan will provide an unflinching account of her family’s journey through a mental health system ill-equipped to deal with a mind damaged beyond comprehension. The first book to document the little-known and terrifying phenomenon of GHB psychosis, it will explore the drug’s history, its myths and its insidious assault on brain chemistry, and illuminate a culture that promotes winning – at any cost.

The odds of naturally conceiving identical triplets are about one in one hundred million. Some say one in two hundred million. And the odds of all three babies arriving in this world safely seemed almost as high. This is the shocking information that Desmond and Kerry Lyons learned when a sonogram revealed that their attempt to conceive their third child had instead resulted in Kerry conceiving her third, fourth and fifth. In 40 WEEKS IN THE LYONS DEN, Kerry chronicles the emotional ups and downs of her remarkable journey; going from a perfectly normal life with two toddlers, two dogs, a lovely little home in the ‘burbs and a decent job to the rare and extraordinarily abnormal experience of her high-risk pregnancy. Through it all, Kerry candidly reveals how her family grew, her marriage evolved, her faith was tested and her vision for the future was forever changed. With wit, clarity and verve she weaves an inspirational tale that demonstrates how humor can brighten even the darkest days and hope and optimism can guide a family through the toughest of times.

Food isn’t just something we eat; it’s something we obsess about. And in today’s food obsessed world we’re confronted by new food terms on a daily basis: from the kitchen newbie endeavoring to master a classic technique to the accomplished cook, stymied by an unfamiliar ingredient. Speaking the language of food has become an indispensable badge of sophistication. In COOK-CAB-U-LAR-Y: THE ESSENTIAL REFERENCE FOR PEOPLE WHO EAT THEIR WORDS award-winning writer and nimble wordsmith Jo Marshall demystifies the edible universe one word at a time. A user-friendly food reference guide with definitions and pronunciations, COOK-CAB-U-LAR-Y is more than just a dictionary; it’s a pop reference for those with an appetite for culture, an unexpected delicacy spiced with trivia and history and an enticing read that will quench the curiosity of foodies everywhere.

The story out of Johnston County was a nightmare: a robbery and shooting of a woman who subsequently lost sight in one eye, the trial of a wrongly accused and incorrectly identified black teenager, a confession from the real perpetrator swept under the rug, a motion for a new trial denied. And one day, that whole mess fell into the hands of journalist Anne Saker. Little did she know that the case would take her on a four-year journey through the North Carolina of the New South, fueled by money, sex, race and deceit. In WORDS OF A WITNESS, Saker explores how human beings see things – and what happens when they choose not to see them. Delving into the symbiosis between the court system and daily newspaper journalism, Saker reveals what it was like to get the story of a lifetime and push through her own reluctance to crack open the machinery, not just in the courthouse but in her own newsroom, to uncover injustice. Saker presents a new understanding about eyewitness identification through a thrilling, intricate and powerful story and demonstrates that one of the primary components of our humanity, the ability to remember, regularly deceives us without us knowing it.

In her first day of pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu, Klancy Miller, nervous, excited and stiff in her checkered blue and white pants, starched white chef jacket and hat, attacked her first baking assignment with zeal. It took her three hours to make ten imperfect lunettes, but she knew that she made the right decision. After all, what could be more fun than learning to bake in Paris? That same day she was issued a challenge: visit all the pastry shops and see how the sweets were presented. Klancy upped the ante. She assigned herself a beat to find the tastiest food in every corner of Paris. In THE GIRL WHO ATE PARIS, Klancy describes how her adventures landed her an apprenticeship in one of the kookiest kitchens in the city – where the bread baker took showers in the pastry kitchen. She winds her way from the kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu and the legendary Taillevent restaurant to the city’s oldest soul food joint in Montmartre with stops for snacks and drinks in between. Featuring stories and mouth-watering recipes, THE GIRL WHO ATE PARIS is a spirited, delightful and vibrant portrait of a Paris rarely captured.

In the midst of ferrying sarcastic but innocent Allie Watson to Heaven, fallen angel/vampire Raziel discovers she’s being sentenced to Hell, and puts himself in danger to rescue her. By the time he safely returns to the hidden compound in the Pacific Northwest it’s too late to return Allie to her foreshortened life. With nowhere else to send her, Allie’s reluctant hero is stuck, trying to pass her along to another member of the Fallen, even though he is finding himself less than willing to let her go. Allie, a writer of Old Testament mysteries, is initially fascinated by her new surroundings, and annoyed with herself for feeling dependent on Raziel, the only memory of her previous life. The attraction between them grows, and though unwanted, is inescapable. When one of the Fallen is recruited to go after Allie and ensure that she is punished for her sins, the rest of the clan becomes compromised and all hell breaks loose. Their survival will depend on Allie; and on Raziel’s willingness to abandon his original plans to leave their ranks. RAZIEL, by best-selling, acclaimed romance writer Anne Stuart, is a richly dark and gripping tale of what one destructive god will do for revenge and what one man will do for love.

We live at a moment in history in which a woman’s clothing is more important to her survival than ever before. Today, women can be judged by how good they look in a bikini and a mini-skirt or whether they wear a burqa or a head scarf. Though these styles are on opposite ends of the spectrum, having to conform either to highly eroticized clothing or to the shroud-like burqa represents a new kind of backlash against women’s freedom. In THE BIKINI AND THE BURQUA: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WOMEN’S FREEDOM noted feminist Phyllis Chesler will wrestle with some difficult questions and begin a nuanced conversation about both styles and the cultures each represent from the point of view of women’s freedom. Concerned about the anxiety, eating disorders, drug addiction, and low self-esteem that often accompany girls and women in the Western world who become obsessed with having an idealized young, sexy, thin appearance as well as those who are required to wear burquas against their will, Chesler will present a balanced, logical argument as to how neither of these extremes liberates or protects women.

As host of Lifetime’s Cook Yourself Thin and contributor to the eponymous New York Times best-selling cookbook, chef, cooking instructor, and food writer Allison Fishman is at work on her next bestseller in the making: THE ALL-AMERICAN KITCHEN: CLASSIC HOME COOKING YOU LOVE, AND SKINNY VERSIONS THAT LOVE YOU BACK. This is the first book to offer classic, comforting recipes from across America and lower-calorie versions of these traditional favorites in one cookbook. As the owner of The Wooden Spoon cooking school, Allison helps her students make classic dishes that focus primarily on simple home cooking techniques; recipes like NY Cheesecake, Southern Fried Chicken, Texas-Style Chili, Creamy Polenta, Pasta Carbonara, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Key Lime Tarts. In THE ALL-AMERICAN KITCHEN, she will source the best recipes from regional and national cooking contests, restaurant and celebrity chefs, plus a couple of back-of-the-package favorites we all love. For the skinny versions, Allison cuts the calories (the ones you don’t taste anyway) and creates lower-calorie alternatives using all-natural ingredients. Allison learned her way around home kitchens by cooking in homes across the country as host of TLC’s Home Made Simple and Cook Yourself Thin. Prior to teaching, Allison worked for Martha Stewart, Food Network, and Atkins. Her writing and recipes have appeared in Saveur, Fine Cooking, Glamour, Real Simple, and Everyday Food. There is something for everyone in THE ALL-AMERICAN KITCHEN. (Please note that Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.)

RIGHTS ROUNDUP

Bulgarian publisher Hermes picked up rights to David Morrell’s THE SHIMMER. Simplified Chinese rights to THE 10 GREATEST GIFTS I GIVE MY CHILDREN by Steven Vannoy sold to Jing Hua Publishing. Portuguese publisher Caleidoscopio will publish Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich’s WHY SMART PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES with Cheers Publishing Company picking up simplified Chinese rights.

Rights to Richelle Mead’s VAMPIRE ACADEMY, FROSTBITE, SHADOW KISS and BLOOD PROMISE were purchased by Agave Konyek for publication in Hungary. Rights to the Slovenian edition of the first three books in the Vampire Academy series went to Mladinska Knjiga; IBIS Publishing House will publish the books in Bulgaria; simplified Chinese rights sold to Beijing Xiron Books; King-In Publishing Co. took complex Chinese rights; Greek rights were sold to Intro Books; Moon bought Dutch rights; and Czech editions of the book will be published by Domino. Rights to the first two in the series were picked up by Fabbri/Rizzoli for publication in Italy and Laguan Publishing House for publication in Serbia. Japanese rights went to Softbank. Swedish rights to the third in the series, SHADOW KISS, sold to Bonnier Carlsen. Russian publisher Eksmo picked up rights to BLOOD PROMISE. Japanese rights to KUSHIEL’S DART, KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN and KUSHIEL’S AVATAR by Jacqueline Carey were purchased by Hiroshi Hayakawa. Mandadori/I Romanzi will publish Anne Stuart’s A ROSE AT MIDNIGHT in Italy. Simplified Chinese rights to 10,001 WAYS TO LIVE LARGE ON A SMALL BUDGET by Will Chen were purchased by Shiwenbooks. Simplified Chinese rights for ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY by Jeffrey Hertzberg and Zoe Francois sold to Thinkingdom Media Group Limited. Ast took Russian rights to James Dashner’s THE MAZE RUNNER, THE SCORCH TRIALS and DEATH CURE. Pocket Jeunesse will publish the series in French and Platypous will publish the Greek editions. Complex Chinese rights to the first book in the series sold to Sun Color Culture Publishing. Dutch rights to A RAINBOW IN THE NIGHT by Dominique Lapierre sold to Het Spectrum, and JoongAng Books bought the Korean rights. THE GREEN WORKPLACE by Leigh Stringer will be published in Turkey by BZD Publishing. BaoBob Publishing Co. bought Korean rights to Jeffrey Yeager’s THE ULTIMATE CHEAPSKATE’S ROAD MAP TO TRUE RICHES.

Audio rights to James Dashner’s THE SCORCH TRIALS and DEATH CURE, the second and third books in his Maze Runner series sold to Listening Library.

RECENT SALES

World English rights to Heather Brewer’s first three books in the Bloodbound series were sold by Michael Bourret to Maureen Sullivan at Dutton Children’s Books.

Matthew Algeo’s as-yet-untitled book on Grover Cleveland was sold to Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press in a World rights deal.

THE PINK RIBBON DIET by Mary Flynn and Nancy Barr, which is designed for the overweight breast cancer patient or any woman concerned about developing the disease, sold to Katie McHugh at Da Capo Press. The authors retain British and translation rights.

Michael Bourret sold World English rights to William Powers’s THE SOFT WORLD to Jason Gardner at New World Library.

Lael Morgan’s MADELEINE AND HER SISTERS IN SIN, about the red-light district of 19th century Butte, Montana, sold to Susan Betz and Chicago Review Press in a World rights deal by Chasya Milgrom.

World rights to SHOOTING KABUL BARBIE by N.H. Senzai sold to Alexandra Penfold at Simon & Schuster Children’s by Michael Bourret.

Anne Rockwell’s HEY, CHARLESTON! was sold to Andrew Karre and Carolrhoda/Lerner by Michael Bourret in a World rights deal.

World rights to THE SPLENDID TABLE’S HOW TO EAT… WEEKENDS by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift sold to Emily Takoudes at Clarkson Potter.

MILE MARKER ZERO, William McKeen’s history and celebration of Key West in the 70s, sold to John Glusman at Shaye Areheart Books in a World rights deal.

Charles Spicer at St. Martin’s Press acquired North American rights to Carlton Smith’s as-yet-untitled true crime on Drew Peterson, the former police officer charged with the murder and disappearance of his third and fourth wives, respectively.

Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard and Heather Shouse’s COOK, SHOP AND THINK LIKE A TOP CHEF sold to Bill LeBlond at Chronicle in a World rights deal.

Lauren Abramo sold World rights to Andrew Goldstein and Caroline Pukall’s WHEN SEX HURTS to Renee Seliar at Da Capo Press.

Jonathan Jao at Random House purchased North American rights to Washington Post foreign correspondent Pamela Constable‘s as-yet-untitled sweeping account of modern Pakistan.

World rights to FROM THE GROUND UP: THE INTERNATIONAL GROUND MEATS, POULTRY AND SEAFOOD COOKBOOK by James Villas went to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons.

John Scognamiglio purchased World rights to Kathleen Milmore’s next three historical romance novels in the Hamilton sisters series and two novellas.

Aram Saroyan’s DOOR TO THE RIVER: ESSAYS AND REVIEWS was sold to Susan Barba at David R. Godine in a World rights deal.

Jim McCarthy sold World rights to NIGHTSHADE by Michelle Rouillard to Cindy Hwang at Berkley in a two book deal.

Lauren Abramo sold Abigail Reynolds’s BOUNDS OF DECORUM as well as the next three books in the Pemberley Variation series to Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks in a World rights deal.

DAUGHTER OF XANADU by Dori Jones Yang was sold to Michelle Poploff at Delacorte by Michael Bourret. The author retains British and translation rights.

Michael Bourret sold North American rights to Nova Ren Suma’s IMAGINARY GIRLS in a two book deal to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton.

Courtney Young purchased Marcus Wohlsen’s BIOPUNKS in a World rights deal by Michael Bourret.

World rights to THE BLUESTEM PRENNIAL CUISINE COOKBOOK by Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts with Bonjwing Lee went to Kirsty Melville at Andrews McMeel.

THE GREAT APPLE COOKBOOK by Phil and Lauren Rubin sold to Heather Carreiro at Globe Pequot Press in a World rights deal.

Cara Bedick at Simon Spotlight Entertainment purchased THE MOMMY DIET by Alison Sweeney with Christie Matheson in a World rights deal.

Josh Getlin’s FAST BREAK AT FAIRFAX HIGH was sold to Naomi Schneider at University of California Press in a World rights deal.

Lauren Abramo sold World rights to Jonathan Berent and Amy Lemley’s WORK MAKES ME NERVOUS to Dan Ambrosio at John Wiley and Sons.

World rights to SHURTLEFF’S WAR by Debra Weyermann, about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s crusade against the powerful Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sold to Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press.

Michael Fleeman‘s as-yet-untitled true crime about Rachelle Waterman, the Alaskan teenage blogger who was indicted for orchestrating the murder of her mother sold to Charles Spicer at St. Martin’s Press. The author retains British and translation rights.

WEEKNIGHT DESSERTS by Beatrice Ojakangas was sold to Megan Hiller at Seller Publishers in a World rights deal.

Melissa Moore at Ten Speed Press bought Heather Shouse’s FOOD TRUCKS, an illustrated look at a culinary zeitgeist, in a World rights deal.

World rights to COMFORT FOODS MADE LIGHT by Food Network star Ellie Krieger went to Justin Schwartz and John Wiley & Sons.

Clive Priddle at PublicAffairs purchased North American rights to John A. Jenkins’s REHNQUIST, the biography of the most influential, and least understood, chief justice in the court’s modern era.