Deb Class of 2019

Debutante K.A. Doore

A Very Serious Author

K.A. “Kai” Doore grew up in Florida, but has since lived in lush Washington, arid Arizona, and cherry-infused Michigan. While recovering from climate whiplash, she’s raised chickens, learned entirely too much about property assessment, photographed cacti, and developed online trainings, none of which has anything to do with – or perhaps has everything to do with – her BA in Classics.


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Find Kai at:   Website  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Instagram 

Her Debut: The Perfect Assassin, TOR, 19 March 2019

In Ghadid, a desert city perched hundreds of feet above the sands, the Basbowen family has seen better days. Once feared assassins, a clash with the drum chiefs who govern Ghadid led to a ban on contracts. A decade later, hope that the ban will be lifted has dwindled.

But tradition persists and the next generation of assassins has been trained. Alone out of his generation, Amastan’s glad that he’ll never be asked to take a contract. Instead, he can focus on a different, less bloody job: preserving Ghadid’s history.

At least, that’s his plan until he stumbles upon a drum chief’s corpse.

Now Amastan must find the murderer before they kill again. But Amastan’s an assassin, not a detective, and finding justice means dredging up a past better left forgotten. If he succeeds, the drum chiefs will lift the contract ban. If he doesn’t – who better to blame for a murder than a family of assassins?


Debutante Devi S. Laskar

Devi S. Laskar was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC, bleeds Carolina Blue, loves basketball and used to be a crime and government reporter in such places as Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois and North Carolina. She is now a soccer mom, photographer, artist, essayist, poet – and avid moviegoer.


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

Her Debut: The Atlas of Reds and Blues (Counterpoint Press, February 2019)

When an unnamed narrator moves her family from the city of Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small southern town. Despite the intervening decades, the woman, known only as Mother, is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrant parents, her truthful answer, here, is never enough. She finds herself navigating a climate of lingering racism with three daughters in tow and a husband who spends more time in business class than at home.

Mother’s simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a baseless and prejudice-driven police raid on her house, she finally refuses to be calm, complacent, polite―and is ultimately shot. As she lies bleeding on her driveway, Mother struggles to make sense of her past and decipher her present―how did she end up here?


Debutante Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo © Katharine Hannah Photography

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.


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Find Layne at:   Her Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Her Debut: Temper, Scout Press, July 2019

Actress Kira Rascher has finally landed the role of a lifetime. The catch? Starring in Temper means working with Malcolm Mercer, a mercurial director who’s known for pushing people past their limits—on stage and off.

Kira’s convinced she can handle Malcolm, but the theater’s cofounder, Joanna Cuyler, is another story. Joanna sees Kira as a threat—to her own thwarted artistic dreams, her twisted relationship with Malcolm, and the shocking secret she’s keeping. But as opening night draws near, Kira and Joanna both start to realize that Malcolm’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they’re capable of themselves.


Debutante Stephanie Jimenez

Stephanie Jimenez is a former Fulbright recipient whose debut novel THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING will be published in August 2019 from Little A Books. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, O! the Oprah Magazine, The Heavy Feather Review, and is forthcoming in a collection about Latina outsiders from Routledge Press. She was born and raised in Queens, New York, where her first novel is set. She is an alumna of Prep for Prep, a leadership development program for students of color, and graduated from Scripps College in California, where she was surrounded by fearless women. She is so thrilled to pretend to know how to dance bachata at this year’s Debutante Ball.



Find Stephanie at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

Her Debut: They Could Have Named Her Anything (Little A, August 2019)

THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING is Stephanie Jimenez’s debut novel—the story of two teenaged girls—one Latina and one white—questioning what it means to live up to the name you’ve been given and how far you’ll go for the life you’ve always dreamed of; grappling with racism, class privilege, female friendship, and familial expectations, set in Queens, New York, and the Upper East Side, Manhattan.




Debutante Martine Fournier Watson

Martine Fournier Watson is originally from Montreal, Canada, where she completed her master’s in art history after a year spent in Chicago as a Fulbright scholar. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in journals such as The Beloit Fiction Journal, Roanoke Review, Scrivener Creative Review, The Bellingham Review and Sixfold. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. When she is not curled up, writing, you can find her walking in the woods, playing Sudoku, trying to read all the books in the world, or stalking famous authors on Twitter.


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Find Martine at: Her website   *  Twitter   *   Goodreads   *  Amazon  *  Instagram

Her Debut: The Dream Peddler (Penguin, April 2019)

The dream peddler came to town at the white end of winter, before the thaw…

Traveling salesmen like Robert Owens have passed through Evie Dawson’s town before, but none of them offered anything like what he has to sell: dreams, made to order, with satisfaction guaranteed.

Soon after he arrives, the community is shocked by the disappearance of Evie’s young son. The townspeople, shaken by the Dawson family’s tragedy and captivated by Robert’s subversive magi, begin to experiment with his dreams. And Evie, devastated by grief, turns to Robert for a comfort only he can sell her. But the dream peddler;s wares awaken in his customers their most carefully buried desires, and despite all his good intentions, some of them will lead to disaster.

“Astonishing…The Dream Peddler unfolds like a gorgeous poem, leading us deep into the lives of its characters, and exploring the vast underground legacy of our own desires. This is the must-read book of the year.” – Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder