Be Our Guest Author Today + Giveaway of CUTTING TEETH by Julia Fierro!

We love celebrating debut authors; in a perfect world, we’d have enough Saturdays in the year to celebrate each and every one. Short of pulling that magic trick, we thought we’d try something new today.

Our Guest Author at the Ball this week is…you.

If you’re a debut novelist with a book that’s already out or soon-to-be out, leave a comment and say hello.

Tell us about it. Tell us about you. Tell us when your book will be out and where we can go to learn more about it. At the end of the week, I’ll take all the info from the comments and paste them into the body of this post so debut-novel-hungry readers can learn more about your upcoming book.

I’ll start by telling you about a debut novel I’m very excited about this week: Julia Fierro’s Cutting Teeth, which launched just a couple of weeks ago, but has been making waves for months thanks to its whip-smart and honest insights about parenting, friendships, and self-identity. Julia has offered to give away a copy of Cutting Teeth—details at the end of this post!


One of the most anticipated debut novels of 2014, Cutting Teeth takes place one late-summer weekend as a group of thirty-something couples gather at a shabby beach house on Long Island, their young children in tow.

Nicole, the hostess, struggles to keep her OCD behaviors unnoticed. Stay-at-home dad Rip grapples with the reality that his careerist wife will likely deny him a second child, forcing him to disrupt the life he loves. Allie, one half of a two-mom family, can’t stop imagining ditching her wife and kids in favor of her art. Tiffany, comfortable with her amazing body but not so comfortable in the upper-middle class world the other characters were born into, flirts dangerously, and spars with her best friend Leigh, a blue blood secretly facing financial ruin and dependent on the magical Tibetan nanny everyone else covets.

Throughout the weekend, conflicts intensify and painful truths surface. Friendships and alliances crack, forcing the house party to confront a new order. Cutting Teeth is about the complex dilemmas of early midlife—the vicissitudes of friendship, of romantic and familial love, and of sex. It’s about class tension, status hunger, and the unease of being in possession of life’s greatest bounty while still wondering, is this as good as it gets? And, perhaps most of all, Julia Fierro’s warm and unpretentious debut explores the all-consuming love we feel for those we need most, and the sacrifice and compromise that underpins that love.

TO ENTER: Comment on this post by noon EST on Friday, May 30th. Tell us about your book, or the book you’re currently reading, or your best guest at the meaning of life. U.S. contestants only, please. 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!


Author: Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel CHASING THE SUN (Lake Union/New Harvest, June 2014), about a frail marriage tested to the extreme by the wife's kidnapping in Lima, Peru. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Visit her online at

15 Replies to “Be Our Guest Author Today + Giveaway of CUTTING TEETH by Julia Fierro!”

  1. “Cutting Teeth” sounds great! I’m not in the US so I’m not eligible to win, but I’ll have to add it to my TBR list.

    I’m a debut author and would love to share a bit about my book, “Confessions of a Paris Party Girl”. It’s a memoir about my life in Paris and was released in January 2014. You can read more about it here:

    And here’s the blurb:
    Wine, romance, and French bureaucracy – the ups and downs of an American’s life in Paris. This laugh-out-loud memoir is almost too funny to be true!

    Drinking too much bubbly. Meeting sappy Frenchmen who have girlfriends or are creeps or both. Encountering problème after problème with French bureaucracy. When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to taste wine, stuff her face with croissants, and maybe fall in love.

    In her first book, this long-time blogger and semi-professional drinker recounts the ups and downs of her life in Paris. Full of sass, shamefully honest admissions, and situations that seem too absurd to be true, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

    Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?

  2. My first novel TRESPASSERS will debut October 27th, 2014! And Julia actually generously blurbed for me. Here’s a brief synopsis: Years after suffering sexual & verbal abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Melanie is still haunted by her past. When she gets the chance to start over, she must choose: forgive and build a new life for herself, or take revenge on those who have wronged her — and risk destroying her marriage in the process.
    Thanks for doing this!

  3. Although I’m not eligible to enter the contest (I live north of the 49th parallel), I do want to share the news of my debut novel, Deathbed Dime$, which comes out in 6 short days from now on Friday May 30, 2014. Julia has been a tremendous supporter who blurbed for me, and I wish her all of the success in the world!


    Deathbed Dimes exposes the reality that if you can outlive your relatives, friends and sometimes even strangers, your odds of hitting the inheritance jackpot are better than playing the lottery! Joely Zeller is a beautiful and ambitious 32 year-old Jewish attorney and only daughter of Hollywood film royalty, who is determined to build a successful career, find love and marriage without their help. To emerge from under her parents’ cloud of notoriety, Joely fled to New York upon graduation from Stanford Law School to practice Estates and Trust law at a blue chip, very WASPy, Wall Street law firm. Over the next eight years she endured ninety-hour work weeks and sacrificed her love life (jilted by her fiancé for his best man) only to have her career efforts foiled by her male and incredibly incompetent counterpart. A serendipitous encounter with a former professor reminds her that with the impending inevitable demise of aging baby boomers, an unprecedented wealth transfer would take place, making Joely realize that with her experience, Hollywood connections, she could start her own law firm back in L.A. With her two best friends and former law classmates, as her partners in her new L.A. law firm, Joely sets about helping the recently disowned, dispossessed and penniless sharpen their claws as they stake their claim to the fortune of the dearly departed.

    Early advance praise:

    “Deathbed Dimes’ humorous and heartwarming urgency will have you turning pages and up all night rooting for the novel’s neurotic narrator. Readers of Naomi Zener’s entertaining and hilarious debut will lose themselves in the fascinating world, and recognize themselves in the novel’s honest and revealing portrayal of one woman’s desperate search for a place in the world.”- Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth: A Novel.

    “Deathbed Dimes is a funny, acerbic, and raucous read written by someone who clearly knows the world she’s so vividly created.” Terry Fallis, author of Best Laid Plans (winner of the Stephen Leacock Award), Up and Down and No Relation.

    “I absolutely loved the humor in Deathbed Dimes. The characters jumped off the page – a matter of fact, it was so fun and suspenseful, I wanted to be in the story. Bravo!” Ophira Eisenberg, author of “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy” and host of NPR’s “Ask Me Another.”

    “Deathbed Dimes is an edgy and witty debut novel – I can’t wait for the sequel.” Paula Froelich, NYT best-selling author of “Mercury in Retrograde” and Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Travel.

    “This book is an hilarious, incredibly well-written, shrewd insider’s look at the zeitgeist of greed predominating battles people fight to inherit wealth. Reminding me of Nora Ephron’s quick wit, this contemporary story’s humour, married with intrigue and its relatable characters, had me in their grasp from page one and I couldn’t put it down.” Rebecca Eckler, author of How To Raise A Boyfriend and The Mommy Mob.

    “Deathbed Dimes is a hilariously witty novel that proves you can’t keep a strong woman down. I hope there’s a sequel!” – Bunmi Laditan, author of The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting.

    “Deathbed Dimes is a sassy and energetic novel about women making the best out of the worst. With Naomi Zener’s satirical edge, even “rock bottom” is hilarious. Readers are bound to have fun watching Joely as she claws her way back to the top. (Go, Joely!)” Angie Abdou, CBC Canada Reads 2011 finalist and author of Anything Boys Can Do, The Canterbury Trail and The Bone Cage.

    I hope you will all pick up a copy and love it. If you love it, please tell everyone to read it.



  4. What a wonderful idea, Natalia. Thank you for this opportunity! I am a debut author and have been following the Debs for a long time. I usually describe my book as Sex and the City & Desperate Housewives meets the Brothers Grimm. Here’s a bit about it:

    Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, DESPERATELY EVER AFTER imagines what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after the wedding bells stopped ringing?

    Years after breaking her husband’s curse and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads.

    Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life. Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked in a tower. Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.

    Together, these women rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after. At heart, it’s about ordinary women dealing with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

    Chick Lit Central called DESPERATELY EVER AFTER a great cure for “Once Upon a Time withdrawal,” and bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich said it “makes happily ever after desperately delicious!” It was just named a Chick-Lit finalist in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards, and can be purchased at Amazon ( The sequel, DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, is scheduled for release in August 2014.

    Thanks again!!

  5. I am excited to read Cutting Teeth. It’s unusual mix of friends promise an interesting dynamic and potential personal insights. I’m an aspiring author looking for an agent for my memoir. Fighting for a Chance to Dream is about a fourteen-year-old runaway Mormon girl who is sucked into drugs and the underground gothic vampire cult of Salt Lake City, Utah. She escapes her controlling protector, Dave, only to fall into multistate drug dealing and hitchhiking with hippies. By sixteen, she is a pregnant high school dropout struggling to survive with one foot in the real world and one foot in fantasy. Only the tiny fingers and sapphire eyes of the baby bring her back to who she was before the descent began.
    In addition to writing, I’m a full time attorney, single mom, and an ultrarunner.
    Thanks for supporting debut authors.

  6. I’ve been following the Debutante Ball since it’s inception. Such a great blog! My debut A PARIS APARTMENT came out in April with Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. The synopsis:

    Bienvenue à Paris!

    When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

    Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

    It’s about discovering two women, actually.

    With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

    Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

  7. Hello! I’m a Paris-based writer so cannot participate in the giveaway, but I would love to present my debut novel “Paris, Rue des Martyrs” to you and your readers. Here’s the blurb:

    Some encounters make a difference.
    Four strangers in Paris. Each one is on a quest: to uncover a family secret, to grasp a new chance at love, to repair mistakes of the past. Four stories entwine, four quests become one, as their paths cross amid the beauty, squalor, animation and desolation of a street in Paris, the Rue des Martyrs.
    Rafael’s search for his birth mother leads him to love and grim family secrets. Cecile’s view of herself as an unsatisfied housewife is radically changed by the promise of a passionate liaison. Andre, an aging actor, troubled by the arrival of the son he abandoned years ago, must make a choice, to either lose his son forever or put aside pride and seek redemption. Mira travels to Paris to begin a new life and forget about love… or so she intends.

    And here is the Amazon link:

    The novel also is available at the iBookstore, through NookPress and Kobo.

    A little bit about myself: I write about life in Paris on my blog “Adria in Paris” and in my former life was a full-time journalist at news organizations including Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

    Thanks so much for this opportunity to share “Paris, Rue des Martyrs” with you and to learn about other new authors and books!

  8. So many wonderful debuts! My to-read pile just grew. Thank you so much to all the authors who shared details of their books. Big thanks to Natalia and all the debut authors of The Debutante Blog.
    Warmly, and gratefully,

  9. So many interesting books here — can’t wait to see the post, Natalia! Just wanted to add that Desperately Ever After is on a 99-cent promo through Sunday, in honor of Disney’s Maleficent. Have a great weekend!

Comments are closed.