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PRESS RELEASE: WaterBrook Acquires Self-published Phenomenon “To Heaven and Back”

(Colorado Springs, Colo. — May 24, 2012) WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House LLC, has acquired publishing rights to To Heaven and Back by Dr. Mary C. Neal, a dramatic first-hand account by an orthopaedic spinal surgeon of her accidental death by drowning, visit to heaven, and subsequent return to physical life.  The book has become a national word-of-mouth phenomenon since it was self-published in November 2011.

WaterBrook Multnomah’s eBook edition will be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.  The trade paperback edition will be released on Tuesday, May 29, with a first printing of 200,000 copies, based on initial orders from booksellers for more than 185,000 copies.  Random House acquired North American, eBook, and audio rights from Mel Berger of William Morris Endeavor, who represents Mary C. Neal, M.D.

Consumer demand for To Heaven and Back has been spurred by strong national media interest in Dr. Neal’s story. In recent weeks, she has appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” the # 1 rated cable news morning show, and on “Live with Megyn Kelly.” Dr. Neal also shared her story during a two-hour interview on the nationally syndicated radio show “Coast to Coast AM,” and was a subject in Jay Leno’s monologue on the May 9th edition of “The Tonight Show,” when he lightheartedly made a reference to Mary Neal’s book and the possibility of life after death for the NBC Network. As of Monday, May 21, the self-published trade paperback edition of To Heaven and Back was ranked # 5 at BarnesandNoble.com and # 29 at Amazon.com.

Said Michael Palgon, Executive Vice President, Deputy Publisher, Crown Publishing Group: “To Heaven and Back is an extraordinary story of inspiration and hope, one that sheds light on some of life’s important questions, including ‘What happens when we die?’ ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’  We are thrilled to partner with Dr. Neal to bring the story of her extraordinary journey to readers who want to know more about her personal experience of heaven, her encounters with angels, and her miraculous return to life.”

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