News Flash: Cake, Pie, and Muffins


Congratulations to Rhonda Lomazow, winner of LITTLE BLACK LIES by guest author Sandra Block! Check back next Sunday for this week’s winner of DOVE ARISING by guest author Karen Bao …     From the 2015 Debs: Colleen Oakley had a short work week, since three days of rain kept her children home with her (here…
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The Only Guarantee in Writing Is Rejection


I started my writing career batting a thousand. The first story I ever submitted won a local writing contest. $500!!! It was the most money I ever earned from a short story. The second short story I ever submitted came in second place in a writing contest for a national magazine. $300!!! I was on…
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Rejection Equals Writer Fuel


I’ve shared here on the DebBall before my sad, terrible, no good tale of soul-shattering rejection. As writers, we’ve all faced our share of rejections — and the bad news is, just having a book out in the world doesn’t mean the end of it. Nope, you’ll still get countless rejections every time you go…
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News Flash: Vacations, Revisions & a Writers Retreat!

newsCongratulations to Annie Aizon, winner of WHEN REASON BREAKS by guest author Cindy Rodriguez!

Check back next Sunday for this week’s winner of LITTLE BLACK LIES by guest author Sandra Block …



From the 2015 Debs:

Colleen Oakley is just thrilled she survived winter break — a week at her home with her 4 and 2-year-old. Otherwise, she’s been busy attending book clubs for BEFORE I GO, working on book 2, and making plans for more bookstore signings after the twins get here (any day now!).

Amy E. Reichert is freshly returned from a lovely vacation in the Florida Keys with the family (and binge reading) and ready to attack revisions.

Karma Brown is stress baking muffins and trying not to ruin the batter with her revision, darling-killer tears…(on a less dramatic note, book 2 is coming together nicely, thanks for asking.)

Sona Charaipotra is thrilled to share the first official TINY PRETTY THINGS trade review, from KIRKUS — and they didn’t hate it! YAY! 

Shelly King is gearing up to celebrate the Dutch release of THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING retitled DE LEESTIP. Tell your friends in the Netherlands!


From past Debs:

Former Debs (and multi-published, awesome authors) Heather Webb (Class of 2014) and Susan Spann (Class of 2013) are leading a writing and tour retreat in Galway, Ireland this summer (August 16-23, 2015)!

(Writing retreat & the luck of the Irish? Yes, please!)

Take an inspirational pilgrimage to the land of myth, mystery and magic, while embracing the opportunity to enrich your writing, meet like-minded individuals, and realize your creative dreams. Your tour package will include private conferences, group classes, workshops, and individual partial manuscript critique, even publishing and marketing advice. Please check the website for more information!

Natalia Sylvester (Class of 2014) is excited to be joining the faculty at Regis University in Denver to teach fiction for the new low-res MFA program! Registration is now open for the 2016 year. ​Congratulations, Natalia!

Fancy seeing you here! Former Debs Heather Webb and Natalia Sylvester met up in Houston, TX for Heather’s reading of RODIN’S LOVER. Lucky gals!

natalia and heather





Quirks and Musical Wishes with Sandra Block + LITTLE BLACK LIES Giveaway

littleblackliesToday at the ball, we welcome the Sandra Block, a fellow debut author and agent sister (we’re both repped by the amazing Rachel Ekstrom of The Irene Goodman Literary Agency).

Meet Zoe Goldman, a psychiatry resident with plenty of her own baggage. Her birth mother died in a fire, leaving her an orphan at four years old. The arrival or her newest patient, a vixen-sociopath who as a teenager killed her own mother, sparks Zoe to fill in the blanks in her riddled past. Suffering from dementia, her adoptive mothers can only provide half-answers at best. As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes the truth is hidden within her own memory. And to reach it, she must conquer her greatest fear – the night of the fire. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.

Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times Book Review says LITTLE BLACK LIES is a “psychological suspense story smartly narrated by Dr. Zoe Goldman, a young psychiatrist doing her residency at a Buffalo hospital.” She goes on to say, “Zoe has a quick wit that emerges in wickedly unexpected ways.”

We caught up with Sandra to talk about quirks, humor, and mindfulness.

Which talent do you wish you had?
I wish I were an amazing guitar player. I play decent guitar, but rhythm only, and my idea of a solo would be a slow pentatonic scale. I would LOVE to be a shredder, wailing up and down the guitar neck without even looking. Or play sigh-worthy melodic solos, like Eric Clapton or John Frusciante. Or the Indigo Girls. I would love to be either Indigo Girl, actually. Or maybe just be their stage lackey, I would do that, too.

What time of day do you love best?
I love 11:45 pm on Friday or Saturday night. I get this adolescent thrill that I am UP LATE and it’s ALMOST MIDNIGHT and I get to sleep in until EIGHT IN THE MORNING!!! The concept of going to bed after midnight is just deliciously irresponsible. Someday when I’m retired, I’m sure the thrill will fade, but for now it’s just chock full of frisson.

Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
I don’t like dry things. I only write with certain pens that don’t make a scratchy sound. And when I’m walking, I have to periodically stick a toe in a puddle or snow bank or my shoe will feel “too dry.” Plus, if the waitress puts a drink on a napkin, I immediately take it off or it’ll drive me crazy for the whole meal. (That includes other people’s drinks, which sometimes requires explanation.)

Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.
Any type of slap stick will make me laugh. Unfortunately, that translates into real life too, so if a friend slips or bangs his/her head on a cabinet, I might let out a couple of giggles. I understand that this might be annoying for the injured party, and do try to apologize between howls of laughter. As you can imagine, this has led to a few marital squabbles.

Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
Mindfulness. I have discovered “Headspace,” an app on mindfulness and meditation. I take fifteen minutes every morning to meditate, and it has made my life calmer and richer. It sounds cliche, but it has really helped me appreciate and be awake to my daily life. Headspace has a “take ten” program where you can try ten sessions for free. I would highly recommend it, and they aren’t even paying me!

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by Noon (EST) on Friday, February 27 to win a copy of LITTLE BLACK LIES. Follow The Debutante Ball on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries—just mention that you did so in your comments. We’ll choose and contact the winner on Friday. Good luck!
IMG_0008Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab Delilah. She has been published in both medical and poetry journals. “Little Black Lies” is her first novel. Find Sandra on Twitter @block_sandra, and on Facebook.