Deb Class of 2018

Debutante Cass Morris

Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.

Read Cass’s Debutante Ball Posts

Find Cass at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  Instagram  *  Patreon

Cass’s Debut: From Unseen Fire, DAW Books, 3 April 2018

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. One such mage, Latona of the Vitelliae, must rediscover her incredible powers of Fire and Spirit—which she suppressed for years at the Dictator’s court—in order to protect her family and the city she loves.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess torn from the sanctuary of her temple, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Their paths intersect with that of Sempronius Tarren, a rising politician who dreams of a vast and harmonious empire growing from the nexus of their beloved city. He believes the gods have thrown down a personal challenge, and equipped him with the skills to steer Aven towards this glorious future—but in order to realize his goals, he will have to break the Republic’s most sacred law. Although centuries-old custom dictates that no mage may hold the highest political offices, Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that.

As rebellion brews in Iberia, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to achieve his—and Aven’s—destiny. As Latona unleashes her magical potential, she discovers that Sempronius’s extraordinary vision for their nation aligns with her desires to protect its people—but their burgeoning relationship may jeopardize the very future they seek to build in Aven.

Debutante Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key whenever her children give her the opportunity.  She grew up flying between her two moms in Rochester, New York, and her father in Anchorage, Alaska. Surprisingly, she did not amass a lifetime supply of frequent flier miles from the experience. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction.  In 2016 Lara won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review’s Contest in Nonfiction.  She has had essays published in Polychrome Ink, Hippocampus Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, ROAR, and The Feminist Wire. Her debut memoir, GIRLISH: GROWING UP IN A LESBIAN HOME, is slated for release November 7, 2017 with Skyhorse Publishing.

Read Lara’s Debutante Ball Posts

Find Lara at: her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads , or Instagram.

Her Debut: GIRLISH: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home (Skyhorse, February 2018)

Lara Lillibridge grew up with two moms—an experience that shaped and scarred her at the same time. Told from the perspective of “Girl,” Lillibridge’s memoir is the no-holds-barred account of childhood in an unconventional household. Personally less concerned with her mother’s sexuality and more with how she fits into a world both disturbed and obsessed with it, Girl finds that, in other people’s eyes, “The most interesting thing about me is not about me at all; it is about my parents.”

It won’t be long before readers realize that “unconventional” barely scratches the surface. In the early years, Girl’s feminist mother reluctantly allows her to play with her favorite Barbies while her stepmother refuses to comfort her when she wakes up from nightmares. She swims naked with her lesbian mother and stepmother in upstate New York. Girl and her brother travel four thousand miles—unaccompanied—to visit their father in rural Alaska, where they sleep in a locked cabin without running water, telephone, or electricity. Raised to be a free spirit by norm-defying parents, Girl has to define her own boundaries as she tries to fit into heteronormative suburban life, all while navigating her mother’s expectations, her stepmother’s mental illness, and her father’s serial divorces.

Debutante Kimmery Martin

Raised in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, Kimmery Martin is a literary reviewer, author interviewer, traveler, and obsessive information junkie. She and her husband now reside in Charlotte, North Carolina with a herd of energetic children and the world’s most obstinate dog. Kimmery exercises grudgingly, cooks inventively, reads voraciously, and is currently on hiatus from her day job as an ER doctor to work on her second novel.

Read Kimmery’s Debutante Ball Posts

Find Kimmery at:   Her Website  * Instagram *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads   *  Amazon  * Penguin Random House

Her Debut: The Queen of Hearts (February 2018)

Pediatric cardiologist Zadie Anson and trauma surgeon Emma Colley have been best friends since college. Their domestic and professional lives are chaotic but fulfilling—until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.
Nick Xenokostas was once Zadie’s chief resident and a powerful figure in her life. Now his unexpected appearance will reopen old wounds, forcing both women to confront the circumstances that nearly derailed their lives at the beginning of their careers. And Zadie will begin to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend…
A captivating debut novel, The Queen of Hearts will appeal to fans of Grey’s Anatomy and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies—Martin’s voice is authentic and surprisingly funny as it explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness.

Debutante Julie Clark

When she’s not working or picking stray Legos off the carpet, Julie Clark is busy reading and calling it “research”.  Her writing has won Honorable Mention accolades from Glimmer Train, and has been selected as a finalist in the Pitch Wars contest. She lives in Santa Monica, California, where she teaches and writes full time. Her debut, THE ONES WE CHOOSE, will be published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in August 2018.

Read Julie’s Debutante Ball Posts

Find Julie at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

Her Debut: The Ones We Choose (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, August 2018)

THE ONES WE CHOOSE weaves the science of genetics with the story of a mother desperate to help her son find his place in the world.

Geneticist Paige Robson knows a lot about bad fathers. Abandoned by her own when she was young, she’s grown up to pull apart the science of his choice – discovering a gene that explains why some men stay while others leave. When she decides to conceive her own child, she plays it safe and uses an anonymous sperm donor rather than risk loving a man who might leave her.

Now, nine years later, Paige loves Liam, a man with a big heart and a steadiness that makes her want to build a family of three with him. But her son, Miles, is struggling. Desperate to know his biological father, Miles rejects Liam, viewing him as nothing more than a stand-in for the real thing.

When Miles’s donor lands in their lives, unexpected and unannounced, Paige is shocked to discover he’s already connected to them in ways she couldn’t anticipate. Revealing who this man is would do more harm than good, so Paige says nothing, letting her son live alongside the father he’s always craved – even if she’s the only one who knows the truth. But when tragedy strikes and Miles’s biological father is taken from them as quickly as he arrived, Paige must face the consequences of a secret only she knows, and the repercussions if she shares it…and if she doesn’t.

Debutante Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. THE DIMINISHED will be published by HarlequinTEEN on April 10, 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019.

When she’s not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the art of the macaron; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

Read Kaitlyn’s Debutante Ball Posts

Find Kaitlyn at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  Instagram 

Her Debut: The Diminished (Harlequin Teen, 10 April 2018)

In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.

The singleborn

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

The diminished

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what’s left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.