WESTMINSTER - Random House Inc., Carroll County's largest private employer, will release "The Plains of Passage" by Jean Auel Oct. 3 with a hardcover first printing of 1.4 million copies -- the largest first printing of any previous Random House title.
To commemorate this event, the company is planning a weeklong celebration Oct. 1-5 at the Westminster Distribution Center.
Activities will include free subs and make-your-own sundaes for all employees, T-shirt and sweat shirt giveaways, "dinosaur" egg decoration, and a guess-the-number-of gummy dinosaurs contest, in which four people who guess the closest amounts will win an extra day off at Thanksgiving with pay.
"We want to send a clear message to our employees that we thank them for their dedication," said Jack Gambatese, senior vice president for distribution.
The Westminster facility represents Random House's largest distribution center, and as such, a substantial amount of work involved with publishing "The Plains of Passage" is taking place here.
In "The Plains of Passage," Auel's fourth book in her world-acclaimed Earth's Children series, Ayla and Jondolar set out on horseback across the grasslands of Ice Age Europe.
They encounter both malicious enemies and brave friends in the course of their cross-continental journey toward the place that the orphaned Ayla and the wandering Jondolar can call home. Along the way, they experience romance and adventure.
The first three books in the series, "The Clan of the Cave Bear," "The Valley of Horses" and "The Mammoth Hunters," made The New York Times best-seller lists, have been published in 22 foreign editions and have been adopted for use in schools and colleges here and in Europe.
"The Plains of Passage" is a main selection of the Book of the Month Club. It will be published by Crown in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Holland and Sweden.
Auel will be touring the United States and Canada from October to December.
Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990