Debutante Colleen Oakley
Colleen Oakley is the author of Before I Go, a love story set in Athens, Ga. A University of Georgia grad (Go Dawgs!), Colleen is the former editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire. Her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Redbook, Martha Stewart Weddings and Parade, among others. When she’s not writing, Colleen can be found training for triathlons she has no hope of winning and trying to answer the thousands of questions her two curious kids ask on a daily basis (“No, I don’t know where Arendale is. The North Pole is a good guess.”) She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Fred, their aforementioned kids and a huge lapdog named Bailey.
Her debut novel: BEFORE I GO (Gallery/Simon and Schuster, January 2015)
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.
With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?
Debutante Amy E. Reichert
Amy E. Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.
Her debut novel: THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Gallery/Simon and Schuster, July 2015)
YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.
In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.
Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.
The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?
Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.
Debutante Karma Brown
Karma is a National Magazine award-winning journalist and freelance writer, who has written about everything from going sugar free as a family to finding body confidence at a nudist resort. These days she probably spends too much time on her laptop in coffee shops, but when not writing she can be found running with her husband, coloring (outside the lines) with her daughter, or baking yet another batch of banana muffins. Karma lives outside Toronto, Canada with her family and their mischievous labradoodle, Fred.
Her debut novel: COME AWAY WITH ME (Mira/Harlequin, August 2015)
An unexpected journey leads one woman to discover that life after loss is possible, if only you can find the
courage to let go…
One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.
Tegan is consumed by grief–not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.
From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful, and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.
Debutante Sona Charaipotra
An entertainment and lifestyle journalist published by The New York Times, People, Vulture.com, ABC News, MSN, Cosmopolitan and other major national media, Sona Charaipotra currently curates a kick-ass column on YA books and teen culture for Parade.com and is the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company. She studied journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she’s not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. Her debut, the YA dance drama TINY PRETTY THINGS (co-written with Dhonielle Clayton), is due May 26, 2015 from HarperTeen.
Her debut novel: TINY PRETTY THINGS (HarperTeen/HaperCollins, May 2015)
TINY PRETTY THINGS digs beneath the practiced poise of a cutthroat Manhattan ballet academy, where three young protagonists all fight for prima position while navigating secrets, lies, and the pressure that comes with being prodigies.
Free-spirited new girl Giselle just wants to dance – but the very act might kill her. Upper East Side-bred Bette lives in the all-encompassing shadow of her ballet star sister, but the weight of family expectations brings out a dangerous edge in her. Perfectionist June forever stands in the wings as an understudy, but now she’s willing to do whatever it takes – even push someone out the way – to take the stage.
In a world where every other dancer is both friend and foe, the girls have formed the tenuous bond that comes with being the best of the best. But when New York City Ballet Conservatory newbie Giselle is cast as the lead in The Nutcracker – opposite Bette’s longtime love Alec – the competition turns deadly.
Debutante Shelly King
Shelly King is a native Southerner who packed her bags and moved to Silicon Valley at the beginning of the Internet boom. She’s worked for a long line of high tech companies in a number of different jobs, most recently as a social media strategist and information architect. Her stories have been published in the GW Review, Epiphany, Slow Trains, the Dos Passos Review, and the Coe Review. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, two big dogs, and a disapproving cat. Her first novel, THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING(Grand Central Publishing/Hachette) is out September 2, 2014!
Her debut novel: THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING (Grand Central/Hachette, September 2014)
Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.
When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance — even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley — it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.