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Debutante Ball at Books Inc! Event With Sarah Quigley, Cheryl Renee Herbsman and C. Lee McKenzie!

Just last night, I had the pleasure of hanging out with some awesome YA authors. Cheryl Renee Herbsman, who wrote BREATHING (Viking, 2009), Sarah Quigley, author of TMI (Dutton, 2009) and C. Lee McKenzie of SLIDING ON THE EDGE (WestSide Books, 2009) were our three debutantes at Books Inc. They can be seen pictured here from left to right. (Sorry your eyes are closed, Cheryl, it’s hard to get three people coordinated in a group shot!)

The reading was wonderful, with so many friends, family and fans in the store to cheer our debs on. Punch, cupcakes, cookies, tiaras and pearls were in abundance to make it a truly white-glove affair. In fact, bookseller extraordinaire, Summer, even showed up with kid gloves. Cheryl read from BREATHING first, and had some inspirational words for writers:

Read a lot, write a lot, kill the inner critic.

When her first manuscript didn’t sell, Cheryl admitted the following:

It was hard not to give up, but people told me to start working on something new. That book was BREATHING. It was the best advice I got.

C. Lee McKenzie read from SLIDING ON THE EDGE next. In fact, she had her first paragraph memorized! She told the audience that her idea for the book came from a newspaper article, and brought the clipping that started it all. So look out, writers, inspiration is everywhere. She also told people to build their web presence, book deal or not, so that you can start connecting with readers and develop your career.

The pretty pink princess of the evening, Sarah Quigley, then read from TMI (here are links to: my review, my interview with Sarah). No wonder Becca, her character does theatre… Sarah had great stage, er, bookstore presence and totally nailed her character’s voice.

After getting books signed, everyone poured out of the store on a total sugar high. This isn’t the last you’ll hear from these debut authors, so if you haven’t picked up their books yet, do it now and get in the know. Some of my lucky readers don’t need to go through the trouble, though. They’ve won autographed, personalized copies! Click the link below to reveal the contest winners and see more awesome pictures from the event!

A shot that didn’t make the top of the post, I love it for Sarah’s fierce mugging.

Cheryl Renee Herbsman reading from BREATHING as Sarah Quigley looks on (note the tiaras).

C. Lee McKenzie discusses the article that sparked her book idea.

Sarah Quigley cracks us (and herself) up!

Sarah Quigley reads from TMI.

Sarah Quigley rocks the mic.

And now, here are the winners of the contest. The winner of C. Lee McKenzie’s SLIDING ON THE EDGE:

Stephanie!

The winner of Sarah Quigley’s TMI:

Lindsay! (c/o her fabulous mom, Lethea!)

And the winner of Cheryl Renee Herbsman’s BREATHING:

Kelly! (Sorry, I missed your comment about putting your last name on it, I’d already left the house for the event when it came in…)

Winners: please e-mail me your mailing address… mary at kidlit dot com. Thanks!

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  1. Lethea Benson’s avatar

    Woo Hoo!!!! My Lindsay is so impressed=) Neither of us can wait for her to receive the book; you just have no idea how very special this is for us!

    Please, please let Ms. Quigley know how grateful we are!

    Mary,you are so wonderful to have offered this giveaway & we’re sending you a BIG Hug as Thanks=)
    Congrats to the other winners~I hope you enjoy your great books!

  2. Kelly’s avatar

    Yes, yes, yes!! Thank you so much!

  3. Melanie’s avatar

    Congratulations to the winners! These look lke really great reads.

  4. Kelly’s avatar

    By the way, I just received the book Breathing.. on my birthday! Thanks again!

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