Bell novel rings in bid; Rice book deal cookin'

There’s nothing like a little S&M and cross-country car chases to make for a lively read, which is exactly what people are calling Barbara Bell’s tentatively titled first novel, “Stacking in Rivertown.”

The 800-page manuscript was purchased this past Friday by Simon & Schuster editor in chief Michael Korda with a six-figure preemptive bid.

The story is described as a roller-coaster ride of sex and redemption. It focuses on an emotionally-scarred late twentysomething who arrives in Gotham and gets involved with an upscale pimp who makes her the star of S&M plays that he puts on for ultra-rich clients. While she does manage to marry one of these upscale clients and become a bestselling author, she is unable to escape her dark past and her attempts to do so start a massive manhunt led by the pimp and a NYC cop.

In addition to penning “Stacking,” Bell is an Indiana-based songwriter and poet who runs a gardening business.

She is repped by Alice Martell of the Martell agency.

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If an ability to tap into the zeitgeist and get on bestseller lists is genetic, then Talk Books is in the process of reeling in an awfully big fish.

The book arm of the Hearst-Miramax co-owned Talk Media is entering final negotiations for a two-book deal with Christopher Rice, son of bestselling mistress of the night Anne Rice.

The deal is based on his manuscript for a thriller titled “Density of Souls,” the young writer’s first novel. While the specifics of the plot are more closely guarded than Lestat’s casket, the book is being talked around town as a mix between the dark collegiate angst of Donna Tartt’s book “Secret History” and the pop-culture gore of the teen smash “Scream.”

While word on the street says the deal’s done, Rice’s rep Lynn Nesbit of Janklow Nesbit insists that the i’s have yet to be dotted. Talk Book head Jonathan Burnham, away on business to London, was not available for comment.