Press Release: Announcing the 2017 Debs

PRESS RELEASE: The 2017 Debutante Ball to feature a down-in-the-dumps dumpee, an accused black teen, a rape survivor, an ancient Roman gourmand, and an American outlaw.

September 4, 2017 – Founded in 2006, The Debutante Ball celebrates the journey of five female, debut authors on their paths to publication. The collaborative, daily blog has helped to introduce the careers of industry elite, such as New York Times bestselling authors Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters) and Tiffany Baker (The Little Giant of Aberdeen County).

For this year’s ball, first down the proverbial staircase, is Amy Poeppel’s Small Admissions (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, December 27, 2016), featuring Kate who Poeppel describes as a brainy, would-be anthropologist who has been unceremoniously dumped by her French “almost fiancé.” Kate unexpectedly lands a job in the absurd world of NYC private school admissions, where subtle bribes, outright threats, and final judgments cause her to rethink her past and turn rejection on its head.

Allegedly (Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins, January 24, 2017) will have #ownvoices and #weneeddiversebooks supporters clapping loudly. Tiffany D. Jackson’s debut is a dark, gritty young adult novel about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home. It’s the situational suspense and drama of Orange is the New Black, with the haunted, unreliable narrator of Monster, written for a teen audience.

Lynn K. Hall’s introduction will be heartfelt and powerful with her memoir Caged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet’s Story of Rape and Resilience (Beacon Press, February 7, 2017). She says, “Everyday I hear stories from women – and men – who have had similar, devastating experiences in the military, and Caged Eyes is a form of activism, to keep our stories alive and to push forward towards greater understanding as well as political and social change.”

Next to release is Crystal King’s Feast of Sorrow (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster, April 25, 2017), a historical fiction novel with a fun history of it’s own. “I love reading food memoir and food history books. In one of them, I came across the story of Apicius, an extraordinarily wealthy man who spent his fortune entertaining Rome’s elite. He died in a spectacular way and I thought, ‘I’m going to write the story of how he came to such an end’. And Feast of Sorrow was born.”

Becoming Bonnie (Tor Forge/Macmillan, May 9, 2017), will end the ball with a bang, literally, telling the untold story of how seventeen-year-old Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. Jenni L. Walsh says her inspiration came years after watching the 1967 film. “The violence didn’t stick with me, but their loyalty toward one another did. It made me wonder who they were besides outlaws.”


To learn more about The Debutante Ball and the Class of 2017, visit

Media Contact: Jenni L. Walsh


Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at

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