Kristin Walker’s Character Debut Party

[tweetmeme source=”@sarahockler”]Kristin Walker's A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOLKristin Walker’s A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL was one of my favorite, laugh-out-loud books of 2010. I mean, high school is bad enough without having the added pressure of maintaining a fake marriage with some super-jock in a school-administrators-gone-horribly-awry project.

Of course, the best kind of hijinks ensue, and with lovable prankster Fiona’s help, Kristin Walker sneaks some great, unpredictable realizations about life and relationships in between all the funny stuff. Check it out!


When a mandatory marriage education course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life could not possibly get any worse. Until moments later, when her long-time crush is paired with her arch-enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very shy, very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks and misunderstandings leave Fiona wondering: is there something her supposed “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than a deep voice and an awesome music collection? And perhaps most intriguing of all, is it possible that Todd Harding could actually have a heart – and a brain – beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

Fiona’s Debut Party

The Guest List

Jane from THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Callie from PRADA & PREJUDICE, Audrey from AUDREY WAIT, Tessa from THE NAUGHTY LIST, Felicity from STUPID CUPID, Bea and Jonah from HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT, Nick and Norah from N&N’S INFINITE PLAYLIST…and many more. They’re all strong, independent characters, whom Fiona would really dig.

The Party

For Fiona’s debut bash, we’re heading to an out-of-the-way bar/restaurant where only locals hang out, where themes and favors are banned. Stay tuned for great music. Low lights. Edgy band. Sweaty dancing.

Yes! I don’t have to wear heels. Or a dress. And those local places are usually pretty dark, so no one will see my dance moves. A win for everyone involved!

The Guest of Honor: Fiona

Fiona’s decked out in jeans and a cute top she borrowed from her best friend. Her theme song tonight? “Fell in Love With a Girl” by The White Stripes.

Oh, how I love that song. Check it out — I think it’s perfect for Fiona:

Kristin’s Advice for Fiona on Her Big Debut

Have all the fun there is to have and regret nothing.

Good advice for debut parties, high school, and real marriage!

Congratulations to Kristin Walker and Fiona on their adorably hilarious debut! A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

Kristin Walker grew up roaming the Pennsylvania countryside. She finally landed at Penn State, where she earned a BA in Theatre Arts. In addition to being actor, Kristin was many things on her way to becoming an author, such as a lifeguard, a nanny, a beginning ballroom dance instructor, a library circulation clerk, and very nearly a nurse. A Match Made in High School (Razorbill/Penguin Group) is her first novel. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ladybug, Wee Ones, and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Kristin lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband and three sons. Visit her online!

Rhonda Stapleton’s Character Debut Party

Rhonda Stapleton's Stupid CupidA big congrats to Rhonda Stapleton on her debut, STUPID CUPID, the first in a planned trilogy that hit the shelves last week. I’m super excited about this one because I’ll be signing books with Rhonda this Saturday, January 9, at Indigo at the Eaton Centre in Toronto! Check out more details and the full attending author list on the Facebook event page. In the mean time, please join me in celebrating Rhonda’s official book debut!


Felicity Walker believes in true love. That’s why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid’s Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn’t just a matchmaker…she’s a cupid! (There’s more than one of them, you know.)

Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired…and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

Felicity’s 2009 Debut Party

The Guest List

For Felicity’s big debut, I’d invite Oprah, Jane Austen, and Judge Judy. I think she could learn something about love, relationships, and matchmaking from each of them. 😀

Haha Judge Judy knows what’s up!

The Party

Felicity’s debut bash is an informal party in someone’s backyard–the perfect place to chill with buds! We’ll have lots of grilled food, friends, and fun! The theme? Romance, of course. Everything should be set up perfectly to allow for love to blossom. As far as favors… well… other than getting paired up with someone? hehe

Sounds delightful and a little dangerous! Where do I sign up? I mean, for the grilled food (particularly if it’s grilled cheese). I’m bringing my “someone” with me!

The Guest of Honor: Felicity

Felicity is wearing her fave outfit–jeans, a super-cute t-shirt, and flats. And her theme song? Endless Love. Awwwwwwwwwww…haha

Rhonda’s Advice for Felicity on Her Big Debut

Felicity, just relax and be yourself. And trust in your smarts and desire to help people!

Congratulations to Rhonda and Felicity on your fun, flirty debut! STUPID CUPID is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

Rhonda Stapleton started writing a few years ago to appease the voices in her head. She has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. Rhonda works as an editor for a legal publishing company and enjoys offering editing workshops. Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her lovely, energetic family, who are more than enough to keep her busy when she’s not writing. In the twelve minutes of free time she has each day, Rhonda enjoys reading, photography, writing poetry, singing in the shower (and in the car, at work, or basically anywhere that provides oxygen), drinking chai tea, and playing on the Internet.
Visit her online!

Jon Skovron’s Character Debut Party

STRUTS & FRETS by Jon SkovronJon Skovron, alternately known as Jonny Skov, is one of only three men in the 2009 Debutantes. For more than a year, he’s endured the total estrogen overload with humor and grace… well, grace sounds kind of girly. I mean like a manly sort of grace. So I’m excited to share a little bit about STRUTS & FRETS, his newly released YA novel that was just selected for the Winter Children’s Indie Next List.

Fortunately for everyone involved, Skov does a much better job immersing you in the world of the book than I could! Check out his video from a recent reading at NYC’s Books of Wonder:


More than anything, Sammy wants to play guitar in a famous indie rock band. The problem is that his front man is a jerk who can’t sing, his bassist is a burn-out who can’t remember the songs, and his drummer is just out to lunch. But Sammy needs this band because it’s the only good thing he’s got going. His father skipped out before he was born, his mother is an overworked therapist with a drinking problem, his grandfather is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer’s, and the girl of his dreams is dating his jerk lead singer.

Now that jerk lead singer has entered them in a Battle of the Bands contest to win free studio time and guaranteed radio play. Sammy has two weeks to get them to sound like a real band, or face public humiliation in front of the entire local indie music scene.

Sammy’s 2009 Debut Party

There’s something about boys who play guitar that really gets me. As in, the “you had me at opening chords” kind of gets me. So let’s just hope that Sammy decides to play a few songs for his big debut!

The Guest List

Sammy, of course. And all of his buddies, Rick, TJ, Alex, Jen5, Laurie. I think he’d get along with Nick and Nora and their crew from the Infinite Playlist. I’m sure there are others, but he’s not really into big parties.

The Party

His band and a few other bands will play in a warehouse. There will be pizza and beer. And some of Jen5’s artwork hung up for display. No theme, really. Just good music and lots of laughs.

Seems like the boy debutantes are just not into party favors and themes! That would change if my mother was on the job, but in the mean time, pizza and beer and bands playing in a warehouse (what did I say about guitar boys? See!) sounds like a rockin’ time anyway.

The Guest of Honor: Sammy

Sammy is wearing Jeans and a t-shirt, with maybe an old button-up thrown over it. His theme song? Ooo, that’s a tough question. Maybe “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies?

Jon’s Advice for Sammy on His Big Debut

Dude, don’t even sweat it. No pressure. Just do your thing.

Congratulations Jon and Sammy on their awesome debut! STRUTS & FRETS is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

Jon Skovron is an insatiable music geek who can play eight instruments, but none of them well. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, has lived all over the US, and now resides with his wife and two sons in Washington, DC. His short stories and reviews have appeared in publications like Jim Baen’s Universe and Internet Review of Science Fiction. Struts and Frets is his first novel. Visit him online.

L.K. Madigan’s Character Debut Party

FLASH BURNOUT by L.K. MadiganI’m reading FLASH BURNOUT right now and all I can say is… any book that opens with the main character (who is a boy! Yay!) clearing Dad’s photos of bullet wounds off the breakfast table just so he can eat is a good book for me. Plus, hello, photography! I’m really excited to dig in to the rest of the story.


Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him, the other one needs him.

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom.

In a tangle of life, death, and love, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of loyalty.

Blake’s 2009 Debut Party

Usually I end up taking the pictures at parties and social gatherings. Guess I’ll have some competition now! Still sounds like fun, though!

The Guest List

I think Blake would get along well with Edward Cullen. NO, I’M KIDDING.

He would want all of his friends there, but maybe not his brother, because his brother would bring a bunch of rowdy football players. Then again, they would probably attract cheerleaders, so Blake should factor that in to his decision.

If Blake could populate his party with fictional characters, he would definitely want to invite Doctor Who and Rose Tyler, and all of the Harry Potter characters except for Peeves (and the Death Eaters, of course).

Wait, so you’re uninviting Edward? Is that, um, wise? Hmm.

*Rethinks attendance*

The Party

It’s a combination skater/hip-hop/loud music/loud talking/laughing extravaganza. Since Blake and his friends like to go to the skate park, we’ll start there, then stop by the arcade for a game of laser tag, and end up back at his house for some pizza and loud music. Blake’s parents would insist on being there, so no alcohol! As far as themes and party favors go… NO. He’s not a chick.

Um… you had be at combination skater/hip-hop.

The Guest of Honor: Blake

Blake is wearing… um… guy clothes? Appropriate for skating, laser tag, and dancing with his girl. His theme song? Swagga Like Us, by Jay-Z and T.I.

L.K.’s Advice for Blake on His Big Debut

Have a great time and keep the jokes clean!

Congratulations L.K. and Blake on the debut! FLASH BURNOUT is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

L.K. Madigan is a writer living in Portland, Oregon, who finds it odd to speak in the third person. Therefore: Hi. I am married with one son, two big black dogs, hundreds of books, and a couple of beaters, I mean vintage cars. Visit me online!

Lauren Bjorkman’s Character Debut Party

MY INVENTED LIFE by Lauren BjorkmanWith a Shakespearean backdrop that brought be back to my own drama club days (like, when I got kicked out for not being able to carry a tune or a step), fellow 2009 Debutante Lauren Bjorkman injects humor, heart, and authenticity into this fun and funky story of love, confusion, friendship, and sibling rivalry. There are also some very cute boys in it. And cute girls, too.

And speaking of sibling rivalry and cute boys and girls and love and confusion… be sure to check out the teen advice column, ASK MY SISTER–(mostly) good advice for those who dare, co-written by sisters Roz and Eva from MY INVENTED LIFE.


Roz and Eva are sisters, close friends, and fierce rivals. Roz fantasizes about snagging the lead in the school play and sexy skate god Bryan as her boyfriend. Sadly a few obstacles stand between her and her dreams. For one, Eva is the more talented actress. And Bryan happens to be Eva’s boyfriend. But is Eva having a secret love affair with a girl? Enquiring minds need to know.

Roz prides herself on random acts of insanity. In one such act, she invents a girlfriend of her own to encourage Eva to open up. The plan backfires, and Roz finds herself neck deep in her invented life. When Roz meets a mercurial boy with a big problem, she begins to understand the complex feelings beneath the labels. And she gets a second chance to earn Eva’s trust.

My Invented Life is set in a small California high school during rehearsals for a Shakespeare comedy.

Roz’s 2009 Debut Party

The Guest List

Roz invited all the stage geeks, even though she wants to woo a particular someone. Besides, it’s fun to be the center of attention, and that’s not possible if there aren’t a lot of people around.

The Party

To celebrate Roz’s big night, we’re heading to the theater, affectionately (and accurately) called The Barn, for a costume party–dress as your favorite Shakespeare character with a Goth twist. Guests will receive Glow-in-the dark string in a can and glitter for glitter fights. Everyone’s in for some fun, pranks, and general giddiness!

The Guest of Honor: Roz

Roz is wearing a goth-ified, bodice-cinching, Shakespearean gown. She added some temporary fuschia streaks to her hair. And real black lipstick this time. Eyeliner Andie did her nails. Her theme song tonight?
Countdown by Avril Lavigne.

Lauren’s Advice for Roz on Her Big Debut

Keep it real.

Congratulations to Lauren and Roz on their awesome debut (and excellent performances all around)! MY INVENTED LIFE is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

Lauren Bjorkman grew up on a sailboat, sharing the tiny forecastle with her sister and the sail bags. They are still friends. Visiting exotic lands continues to be a big part of her life. She once learned how to make bread in Yemen Bedouin style. She’s played Hacky Sack with children in Thailand. Her passion for travel is second only to her love for books because books take her to every world imaginable. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with my husband, two sons, a cat that thinks he’s a dog, and another cat that thinks he’s a rabbit. Visit Lauren online.