News Flash: June 19, 2011

Congrats to Jennifer who won Camille Noe Pagan’s The Art of Forgetting.

From the 2011 Debs…

Deb Eleanor is so excited to be visiting The Bookworm in Edwards, CO this Thursday the 23rd! I’ve been hearing about The Bookworm since I moved to Colorado, and I can’t wait to see it in person. Mountains, here I come!

Deb Elise spent Friday night at the Emmys!  She was nominated for her writing on Dinosaur Train, and though The Penguins of Madagascar snagged the trophy (they are after all a crack paramilitary operation, so it should come as no surprise), she had an amazing time… and even got one-on-one time with OSCAR THE GROUCH!!!

Deb Kim Had a very fun chance meeting yesterday. I’m a big fan of music of the 30s, 40s – big band, jazz, swing – and I met Cab Calloway’s daughter at a local BBQ joint. She was with a gent and wearing a Cab Calloway T-shirt. I commented, “Oh I love his music! I saw his grandson a few years ago in Cleveland.” “He was my Dad.”  Tears sprung into my eyes. What a piece of history, both musical and political. And my girls love the Cab Calloumouse character on Sesame Street. I cried when I met Bob McGrath from Sesame Street too.  Such a softie!

Past Deb News

Deb Mia King (Good Things) is giving away a Kindle! If you’ve read her latest book, FRIENDSHIP BREAD (written as Darien Gee), or want to, then you could win! Visit her on her website for more details. The Miami Herald calls it “an engrossing read,” and Ladies’ Home Journal says it’s “charming.” Ends 6/30/11. Good luck!

In case you missed it, Deb Katie Alender‘s sequel to Bad Girls Don’t Die is out! From Bad to Cursed is available now, and get your popcorn ready, because the trailer is (ahem) to die for!

Friends of the Debs

Congrats to Deb guest Liane Moriarty, whose What Alice Forgot is in this week’s People magazine’s list of Great Summer Reads!

Deb Dish — The Debs Most Memorable Moment with Dad/Father Figure

Deb Elise

You know the grandmother I’m always writing about?  She and her husband, my Pop-Pop Irv, used to go to Atlantic City all the time.  They even had a condo there for awhile.  I remember him taking me — I’m sure it was my sister too, but I just remember him with me — out beyond the breakers, so we could jump the ocean swells together.  I can still see him laughing as each wave bobbed us upwards.  He’s been gone for thirteen years now, but every time I think about it I miss him more.

Deb Eleanor

My father used to be a music teacher, and I remember being on a road trip with him, where he explained to me how he used to use the Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda” to teach symphonic form. It was hilarious, and I still think of that moment every time I hear that song.

Deb Kim

My Dad sent me a dozen roses for my 13th birthday – perhaps it was 13 roses. Red. I’ve never forgotten how special and loved that made me feel.

Deb Sarah

Too many stories to recount. But my dad was (and is) an amazing storyteller—so good, we’d prefer his made-up stories at bedtime to real books. He’d also take us on walks to a local cemetery. I know, this sounds very morbid (and my dad is not morbid), but we were so fascinated by the stories of the dead (we loved checking the dates and were so amazed to find that little kids like us actually DIED!

Deb Tawna

When I was 3, my dad saved my life. We were at a wedding reception at someone’s home, and I wandered off into the backyard where there was a swimming pool with a cover over the top. I just assumed the cover was solid and tried to walk on it. Bad move. Lucky for me, my grandmother turned around just in time to see me slip under. My dad took off running and dove in after me wearing his suit, tie, shoes, and watch. I probably still owe him a new watch.


The Debutante Ball Welcomes Katie Alender (giveaway!)

Katie Alender is a 2009 graduate of the Debutante Ball and the author of Disney-Hyperion’s thriller series for teens, Bad Girls Don’t Die. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading, sewing, or hanging out with her dog and husband!

She can be found online at KatieAlender.com, Twitter, and Facebook.

Katie talks about her summer beach reads!

(First things first: Wow! It’s so amazing to be back at the Ball! Not only are my Deb memories wonderful ones, but the friendships I made while I danced here are still some of the most supportive and rewarding relationships in my authorly life.)

This week’s topic is “beach reads.” I’m sorry… “beach”? What is this word?

Okay, I confess: I grew up in sunny South Florida, about a four minute drive from the beach, and in my childhood, I spent more than my fair share of time digging holes, being knocked over by waves, and collecting shells. But in my adult life, blistering sun, foot-burning sand, withering heat, stinging salt water, and crowds of skinny-minnies in teeny-weeny bikinis are pretty much off my radar.

My idea of a perfect summer day? Well, right now is a pretty good example. It’s about 62 degrees outside and delightfully cloudy. It even whispered rain this morning. In LA, we call it “June Gloom,” meaning the marine layer that rolls in every night and doesn’t burn off until mid-afternoon. Now that’s what I call a tropical paradise!

So it follows that my idea of beach reads is as warped as my appreciation for sunburns and jellyfish. Not for me the vision of being stretched out on a lawn chair by the pool—I’ll take bundled up under quilts with a fire in the fireplace, please! Preferably while rain falls just outside the window.

Or at the very least I’ll need a comfy chair with the air conditioner blasting.

And here are the books I’ll be indulging in this summer:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
An eternal classic and one of my ultimate favorite books ever. I re-read this every year or two, and also cycle through every film adaptation and the audiobook. Reading about chilly, rainy England is the best antidote to a sunny day.

Under the Dome by Stephen King
I’ve owned this forever and never gotten to sit down and read it. That’s a lot of shelf space for a book I’m not sure if I love. So it’s time to crack it open and give it a read.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
One of the big YA titles from this spring. It has a ton of great buzz and I’m dying to know what happens. How cool is it that sci-fi oriented stuff is hitting the young adult mainstream?

Lit by Mary Carr
I read The Liars’ Club last year and loved it. Then I waited about a year for Cherry to come up on my library’s holds list (and realized the reason it took so long was that I’d ordered the large-print edition… d’oh!) and never read it. I think I’ll go ahead and read this newest one since it’s close at hand!

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann
I bought this book on Kindle the day it came out, and then I got swept away in revisions for my third book. I’m determined to read it–after all, what says “summer read” more than a spooky ghost mystery?

Populazzi by Elise Allen
If I have a “little sister” Deb, it’s Deb Elise! So naturally I’m dying to check out her book when it pubs in August!

And I’m sure I’ll pick up more books along the way. My to-read stack is getting perilously tall, but that’s just how I like it!

Thank you so much for having me back!

The Bad Girls Don’t Die series is the story of Alexis, a pink-haired loner, and how her life–and her relationships with her family and friends–are changed by the evil ghosts she encounters.

MTV’s Hollywood Crush says, “Katie Alender’s ‘Bad Girls Don’t Die’ series might just be the most intriguing YA series you haven’t been reading.”

From Bad to Cursed is the second book in the series, and it’s available wherever books are sold!

To win a copy of From Bad to Cursed (US only!), leave a comment below! We’ll announce the winner next week!

And check out the book trailer!


News Flash, August 9

Did you see our Special Edition News Flash last week? We’ve announced the 2010 Debutantes! Check it out! The new Debs will be taking the reins the week of August 31, so be sure to drop by and show your support!

Also, the Debutante Ball is now on Twitter! Click here to follow us and receive daily updates with links to our posts, as well as breaking deal and pub day news!

Deb Katie Alender unveiled a new section of her website filled with fun stuff and downloads related to Bad Girls Don’t Die. Check it out here: Alexis’s Darkroom and enter the contest here!

School Library Journal reviewed Bad Girls Don’t Die, and had this to say: “Alexis’s story is compelling, and her voice is funny and authentic.”

WORLDVIEW Magazine’s Summer issue has a lovely two-page excerpt from Deb Eve’sFIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA.

Past Deb News
2007 Deb Mia King’s third novel, TABLE MANNERS, was released Tuesday 8/4/2009! Friend of the Debs Larramie of the Divining Wand did a great write-up about it.

What We’re Reading
Deb Katie is listening to the audiobook of Farm City by Novella Carpenter.

Deb Kristina is reading THE EMBERS by Hyatt Bass, a gorgeous and engaging novel of family.

Deb Eve is reading Naseem Rakha’s THE CRYING TREE.

News Flash, June 14

We’re looking for the new class of Debs!
First-time authors whose books are debuting in 2010, we want you! Whether you’re looking to expand your current web presence or just to create a strong presence before your launch, being a Deb is a wonderful way to build on your marketing campaign. Click here to apply.

Want to hear Deb Kristina on the (Internet) radio and talk to her live? She’ll be interviewed at 2 p.m. June 18 on “Romance Radio” powered by BlogTalk Radio. More information, including how to call in, is here.

Real Life & Liars received a lovely review at Athena’s Bookshelf, calling it both a “doozy” and a “wonderfully crafted family drama.” Malena Lott writes, “Riggle will be on my must read list from now on.”

There’s a new tour date for Liars. Chicagoland readers who missed Deb Kristina at Printers Row can catch her at Barbara’s Bookstore in Oak Park, Ill., at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11.

And since it’s Deb Kristina‘s launch week (woo hoo!), we’ll be running a contest all week! Everyone who comments will automatically be entered to win a signed copy of REAL LIFE & LIARS as well as a love note from each of the Debs. So comment often – to show 2009’s last Deb out some love – and to have more chances to win!

Deb Katie Alender is excited to announce two exciting milestones for Bad Girls Don’t Die–a second printing and the book’s first foreign rights sale, to Spanish-language publisher Versatil.

Deb Eve’s FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA made the Readers Digest.com list of wild and crazy book titles! Eve will be giving a reading and a slide show of pictures from Ecuador and Uganda, followed by a reception at the Jenks Center in Winchester, MA TODAY (Sunday, June 14) from 3:00 – 5:30 PM. Anyone in the Boston/Winchester area is invited.

Deb Meredith invites anyone in the New Jersey area to Books NJ 2009 at the Paramus Library. Her new author panel is at 4:30 PM.


News Flash, April 26

Deb Meredith is getting ready to attend the Edgar’s in New York and go to the Malice Domestic Conference in Crystal City, VA next weekend. Her panel “Get a Clue” is on Sunday.

Deb Eve’s FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA received a nice review in the April/May issue of National Geographic Adventure – available on newstands now.

Founder Deb Mia King‘s Table Manners (Berkley, August 2009) and sequel to her first novel, Good Things, just sold book club rights to Doubleday, Literary Guild, Rhaspsody, and Book of the Month Club! Visit her at www.miaking.com to say hi.

Big thanks to everyone who entered the Bad Girls Don’t Die launch week contest! Katie will be tallying up the entries and announcing them in her Tuesday post.

For even more chances to win a copy, visit Free Book Friday Teens, where Jessica Brody is giving away five signed copies this Friday, May 1! Plus, you can download an audio file/podcast of an interview with Deb Katie.


Bad Girls, Good Girls, and even Moms love this book, by Deb Eve

alender_small Aside from when I was an adolescent, I’ve never been a big reader of young adult literature. Oh and another thing, I’ve never been a fan of thrillers of any sort, ghost stories in particular. Yeah, me and Deb Katie’s book were in trouble from the get-go. And yet, BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let me go.

There is something so appealing about Alexis – pink hair and lousy attitude and all. I found her so real that I couldn’t help but worry about her and care about how she was going to get out of her crazy predicament. I even cared about Alexis’ little sister, Kasey – whose progressively erratic behavior was starting to seriously worry me. I found myself trying to give Alexis my sage advice Isn’t there a trusted adult you can talk to? Tell a teacher. Go to the police! (I am, after all, the mother of two adolescents.) But of course, Katie’s characters didn’t do what I told them to do. They are teenagers. And that’s one of the incredible strengths of this book. BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE is written from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl, and boy – does Katie get it right!

I was gripped and compelled and I wasn’t the only one. I had to wrestle the book away from my 14-year-old daughter several times. We don’t usually agree on much, my daughter and I, but here’s something we both agreed on: BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE is one great book!

So, brava! Deb Katie did a great job, from beginning to end. Teenagers are going to love this book. So are you. I used to not be a fan of young adult literature or of thrillers. But now I am.

~Deb Eve

P.S. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE. And Caite, who commented last week, send me your snail mail address, so I can send you a signed copy of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA.


Applauding Bad Girls Don’t Die by Deb Meredith

alender_smallI have a confession to make. I’m a wuss about ghost stories. Pretty funny for a mystery writer, huh? But I don’t really like when things go bump in the night. I had too many experiences getting scared around the campfire, I guess.

But even though Bad Girls Don’t Die is a ghost story, it’s a book I couldn’t put down. It’s a story about a teenager struggling with parents who are too busy to pay attention, a little sister who is extremely needy, and trying to cope without any real friends at school. It sounds like she has the typical problems of most teenagers, until all the weird stuff starts happening. And the only one who can stop the haunting and save her sister Kasey is Alexis herself. So it turns out Alexis is a lot braver than she thought. And in the process of surprising herself, she opens herself up to the possibility of new friendships, a love in her life, and a new relationship with her sister and parents.

Interestingly enough, I think Katie Alender has written a book that is at its heart a mystery. Her heroine Alexis must figure out what is going on and who is responsible for all the bad things going on. Like any good amateur sleuth, Alexis interviews the neighbors, does research at the library, and enlists the help of friends. It reminded me of some of the great books I enjoyed growing up that first got me interested in mysteries.

Katie has a great eye for detail. I loved the descriptions of the old house she lives in, and the clothes and hair—Alexis’ is pink, of course. The dialogue felt like things teenagers would say to each other, and the story was suspenseful and interesting enough for even the most cynical and skeptical of youths. I’m sure that BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE will be a YA sensation.

And don’t forget–we’re running a contest all week. Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win. One entry per person, but comment as often as you like. At the end of the week, one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Katie’s book — for yourself, or a teen reader of your choice! — and a postcard from the rest of us.


BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE… but they can whine! by Deb Katie

As I write this post, it’s Monday evening. I’m at the office, because my husband’s working late. The big excitement today was that the “honor system” candy dish came in $8.25 under, provoking a very entertaining and scathing email. I’m mad at myself because I ate too much over the weekend and haven’t worked out since Saturday. My left eye itches, because I have terrible hay fever. My dog has hay fever, too. I feel fat in these jeans. My parked car got smashed into a few weeks ago and my insurance company is bugging me to get it fixed.

Welcome to the glamorous life of a debut novelist.

I’m going to be honest, being a published author doesn’t usually feel very different from being an unpublished author. “But you know someone wanted your book!” aspiring authors might say. Yeah, someone did, and that was a great day. The day I saw my cover was a great day. So was the day I got my first ARC, and my first real book. But even that glow wears off after a few too-slow lines at the grocery store and being cut off by rude drivers talking illegally on their cell phones.

So I feel cranky, fat, full, but still hungry for cake, angry at myself for wanting cake, relieved that I get to go home soon, and tired. And no amount of sitting here and thinking to myself, “You are a debut novelist!” is going to heal that.


I have a secret weapon.

I have the incredible support and encouragement of some really amazing people.

Starting with my sister Debutantes and the amazing reader/commenters here at the Ball. Every day, I get to read the perspective of a bright, talented woman, and the reactions of a bunch of bright, interesting readers. Once a week, I’m even lucky enough to have those readers reacting to something I wrote.

And there are my own blogpeeps, the friends I’ve met all over the web at various times and kept up with over the months and years. These are people who, just to be nice, put my book cover up on their websites, or pre-ordered back when it was a total novelty, or swing by just to say hi, or bug me if I’ve been away too long.

Then there are the book bloggers–the amazing network of YA book reviewers, who charm and delight me with their frank, funny, and refreshing reviews and correspondence.

There are authors I’ve known for years now, who are busy with their own work but have still sought me out to wish me luck and congratulations–Holly Kennedy, Therese Fowler, Eileen Cook, Jenny Gardiner, Danielle Younge-Ullman.

There are people devoting their time and energy to blogging about the book–Debutante Ball “fairy godmother,” Larramie, and my friend Robin Brande, who is our guest here this Saturday.

There are my wonderful co-workers and friends, who came to celebrate with me this weekend. There are the insanely talented and creative folks who devoted their time and resources to helping me create my beloved book trailer.

And there are the people at my publisher, Disney-Hyperion: my editors, Ari and Margaret; designer, Beth; and my fabulous publicist, Hallie–not to mention the various other friendly and capable folks who have helped along the way (Angus, Colin, Christian).

There’s my agent, Matthew Elblonk, who has always been there when I needed [__fill in the blank__].

There’s my family, and my husband’s family, who are all so excited and sweet.

There’s my dog, who doesn’t care what I eat, as long as I drop a little on the floor for him.

And there’s my husband, who always believed in me.

What was I saying? I feel fat? I feel tired? I feel overwhelmed? Sniffly? Itchy? Bitchy? Snide?

Strike that. Forget it.

Tonight, after taking the time to reflect on the immense graciousness with which my little book and I have been greeted and treated…

I just feel grateful.

Thanks for joining me today!
Katie Alender

PS – Enter to win a signed copy of “Bad Girls Don’t Die” for yourself or a reader of your choice. Just comment on the blog entries here at the Ball all week–one entry per day! A winner will be randomly chosen and announced this Sunday.

PPS – Feel free to drop by my website and join the fun and enter even more contests!


Deb Kristina celebrates BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE

Alexis, the heroine of Bad Girls Don’t Die, is my kind of girl. Not because I had pink hair and spouted controversial, passionate opinions in high school – if only I’d had that kind of guts! – but because Alexis can spot a phony a mile away. She also makes no exception for phonies among the “rebels” who have their own code of conduct every bit as rigid as that of the popular kids.

Yes, Alexis manages to tick off everyone in all the different cliques, except the people she wants to avoid, like a cute boy who should never be seen with the likes of her (according to normal high school rules, which aren’t the only rules going out the window). She also gets stuck with the natural enemy of girls like Alexis – a cheerleader.

Combine this social nightmare with two distant, unplugged parents, a sister getting crazier by the minute and their old house that’s out to get the whole bunch of them, and it’s a tough year for our pink-haired friend.

I don’t often read spooky stories because I don’t like to stay up late with the willies, and Deb Katie‘s book did just that to me! I hit a “point of no return” one night and I pointedly refused to look at the digital clock while I ripped through the pages to the end. I absolutely could not and would not stop reading until I knew how it all worked out.

Congratulations Katie on this believable, exciting, spooky debut. I hope everyone runs out to read Bad Girls Don’t Die and discovers along with Alexis that sometimes what you know is true gets turned inside out, and you need unlikely allies to save the ones you love.

(Don’t forget, in keeping with launch week tradition, we’re running a contest! Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win. One entry per person, but comment as often as you like. At the end of the week one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Katie’s book — for yourself, or a teen reader of your choice! — and a postcard from the rest of us.)


News Flash, April 19

While we’re still breathless from Deb Eve’s launch, here comes Deb Katie launching Bad Girls Don’t Die this week! And this means, a new contest! Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win (one entry per person, but comment as often as you like.) At the end of the week one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Katie’s book — for yourself, or a teen reader of your choice! — and a postcard from the rest of us.

We were thrilled to get so many enthusiastic comments during the launch week of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA. Eve decided to give away signed copies of her book to two readers chosen at random. The two lucky winners are Melissa and Caite. Please send your snail mail addresses to eve@TheDebutanteBall so we can send you your prizes.

Once again Deb Friend Larramie will be presenting Deb Katie at Seize a Daisy on Monday. Come by and help celebrate!

Deb Meredith will be speaking at the New Utrecht Branch of the Brooklyn Library, Tuesday April 21 at 6 pm. And on Wednesday, April 22 at 7 PM, she’ll be on a mystery roundtable with other mystery authors at the Borders in Fairfield, CT (1499 Post Road).

Deb Kristina was so pleased to see that Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago has recommended Real Life & Liars with a lovely review.

Also, Booklist gave Real Life & Liars a positive review, calling it “a moving and accomplished first novel about a family coming to terms with change.”

Deb Eve will be doing a live 30 minute conversation with Peter Solomon on WIP in Philadelphia at 6:30 this morning for any of you early birds out there. She’ll also be on WPHM in Detroit at 9:10 AM on Tuesday, April 21. Among her fabulous launch week reviews this past week were Devourer of Books, S. Krishna’s Books, Seize-A-Daisy, Gadling, and Vagablogging.