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WORD: Author roundup: Alexander, Greer, Benjamin, Clinch

Talented historical novelist Tasha Alexander has a lot of work to do for publisher Minotaur this year. James Greer is back with a new novel "The Failure" (Akashic Books) about a plan to rob a Korean check-cashing store in "picaresque Los Angeles." Melanie Benjamin last week launched a new book with a new publisher and a new name. And attention all ski divas: You’ve got a novel now.

Tasha Alexander’s next two novels, titled "Tears of Pearl" and the upcoming "Dangerous to Know," tell the story of  Lady Emily Hargreaves and her husband Colin, whose adventures take them to glamorous and exotic locales in the service of Queen Victoria’s government. The novels, which Tasha has yet to write, were sold based on a proposal.

Literary agent Anne Hawkins of John Hawkins & Associates in NYC inked the two-book deal for worldwide rights with Minotaur. "This has to be my favorite negotiation to date -- they called us and we went from there. She totally rocked it," Tasha said of Anne’s deal.

File this under California Dreaming. James Greer, who won a California Book Award for Best Debut Novel, is back with a new novel "The Failure" (Akashic Books) the publisher describes as "a picaresque novel set in Los Angeles." Greer’s latest tells the story of two guys who conceive and badly execute a plan to rob a Korean check-cashing store in order to finance the prototype for an impossibly ridiculous Internet application.

I know landing venture capital is hard nowadays here in California, but robbing Korean shopkeepers? In LA? These are the guys who started busting caps from their storefronts during the Rodney King riots while everyone else headed for the hills.

Sounds like a fun, timely read Greer’s launching in March 2010. Meantime, you can pre-buy it at the Akashic website.

Melanie Benjamin, author of "Alice I Have Been" from Random House, last week kicked off her release with several TV and bookstore appearances in the Chicagoland area. Her novel, which is a January 2010 Indie Next Pick, quickly garnered some strong reviews in the press.

Longtime WORD’N’BASS readers may remember Melanie under her prior incarnation as Melanie Hauser, who we interviewed during her debut with Dutton. "Alice I Have Been" is quite a different story as well as literary style for Melanie, who is bringing a twist to the iconic "Alice in Wonderland" classic. Check out Random House’s website for more information.

Judging by the gridlock we had to drive through in the Sierra Nevadas last weekend during our return from Reno, there’s lots of skiers who will be interested in Wendy Clinch’s "Double Black: A Ski Diva Mystery" from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books. Wendy is booking events at resorts and bookstores all around ski country this winter.

Look for a follow-up soon at the WORD’N’BASS homepage on Wendy -- who is married to critically acclaimed novelist Jon Clinch, author or "Finn" and this summer’s upcoming "Kings of the Earth."


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