The Deal Front

First, we all *thought* editors would stop buying DA VINCI CODE knockoffs but as the Bookseller informs us, that’s not so:

Transworld is taking a fresh stab at the Da Vinci Code market with a new thriller “chasing a secret that goes back to the origins of Christianity”. Apostle

by James Becker will be published as a Bantam paperback in the second

half of 2008 and follows a race to uncover the tomb of the apostle

Paul, which holds a secret that “will threaten the entire basis of the

Christian religion”. Selina Walker acquired UK and Commonwealth

rights for a “nice” five-figure sum, in a two-book deal with Luigi

Bonomi of LBA. Translation rights are being handled by ILA. “I love

adventure novels, and Apostle has it all,” she said. “Scrolls, codes,

chalices, skeletons in forgotten tombs, and very nasty men from the

Vatican all wrapped up in the paciest and most enjoyable of narratives.”

I’m surprised there hasn’t been a thriller “tracing origins back to Paganism” or “tracing origins back to the Greek Gods” yet, but I’m sure that bright idea will come along eventually…

While we’re on the same subject, Chris Kuzneski stays with his publisher at a tidy sum:

Chris Kuzneski’s next two international thrillers, THE LOST THRONE and

THE PROPHECY, to Natalee Rosenstein at Putnam, in a significant deal,

by Scott Miller at Trident Media Group (NA)

And looks like he’ll be bumped up to hardcover, too, after two novels published as paperback originals.


Next, in something of a surprise, Tasha Alexander switches publishers just as her tie-in novel to the new Queen Elizabeth I movie is released by Morrow:

Tasha Alexander’s TEARS OF PEARL, taking continuing heroine Lady Emily

to Ottoman Constantinople where her visit is interrupted by the slaying

of one of the sultan’s harem girls, plunging her investigation into an

alien world of luxury and deadly intrigue, to Andrew Martin and Charles

Spicer at Minotaur, in a pre-empt, for two books, by Anne Hawkins at

John Hawkins & Associates (world)

Considering Alexander had a steadily rising sales record at Morrow, this reads like the pre-empt was so far ahead of what her previous publisher was willing to offer that the deal was a no-brainer. And of course, that means there’s an historical suspense slot opening up at Morrow now…