30 November

Blink Blog: What's On Your Christmas List?

Christmas is just a few weeks away and some of our Blink authors are sharing what’s on their Christmas list this holiday season…

Jonathan Friesen:  Yes. Santa, I would like Unfolding to be chosen by Oprah, translated into 204 languages and become a major motion picture starring … someone major. Too much? Okay. How about one of those three things? No? Then I really need some new socks.

Evangeline Denmark:  A kitten. Must be gray. Must be named Neville.

Lorie Langdon: Umm…books, of course! I always give my husband and sons a list of books I want. Last year my youngest son surprised me with an illustrated copy of Harry Potter that he bought at the school book fair with his own money. He kept it a secret from everyone until Christmas morning and then told me he got it from Santa. It’s a memory I’ll never forget!

Stephanie Morrill: Well, I’m a nerd. I have a long list of research books that I want for writing novels. And the house we live in was built in the 1960s and still has some of its original charm. So I keep asking for gifts that involve my husband having to work, like new light fixtures or new blinds.

Christina June: I prefer to listen to Pandora and Spotify holiday music stations, but I am looking forward to checking out the new Leslie Odom, Jr. holiday album.

What’s on your Christmas list? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

23 November

Blink Blog: Thanksgiving Traditions and Memories

It’s Thanksgiving week and we couldn’t resist asking some of our Blink authors to share their traditions for this time of year! Read below to see what they have to share about Thanksgiving traditions, Black Friday, and setting up the Christmas tree.

Share with us your traditions and memories on Facebook or Twitter!

Thanksgiving Traditions

Jonathan Friesen: Cheat, nap, repeat. You all likely say “eat,” but as a vegetarian, I honestly should say “cheat.” Thanksgiving is my only meat day. When real turkey touches my mouth, it’s kind of a big deal!

Evangeline Denmark: Regardless of whether we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or going to a family member’s house, I will underestimate the time I need to prepare whatever I’m preparing. Every year I end up mashing potatoes in my pajamas at T minus 15 minutes, so I guess that means it’s a tradition.

Lorie Langdon: Thanksgiving Day parade! I love seeing the Broadway cast performances and all the colorful floats. For me, it begins the Christmas season! Then I make my famous Sweet Potato Casserole and we drive to my in-laws (three miles from our house!) for the traditional turkey with all the fixings!

Stephanie Morrill: We are lucky enough to live in town with my parents and my husband’s parents, and we rotate hosting duties each year. Everyone contributes to the meal, and other than when I inevitably get stressed out while I’m making gravy, the day is really relaxing and joyous. It’s my favorite holiday.

Christina June: We split holidays between my family and my husband’s family.  The most important part of Thanksgiving for me is the pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream, which we have in both locations.

Black Friday shopper… yes or no?

Jonathan Friesen: No. Shopping makes me crazy. Period. I do like driving around on Black Friday and watching other people act crazy. Somehow that makes me feel more normal.

Evangeline Denmark: No, I can do crazy at home all by myself.

Lorie Langdon: Maybe…I sometimes go out to one or two stores with my mom and then we go to lunch and a movie. This year, though, I may be staying in to watch the new GILMORE GIRLS episodes on Netflix!

Stephanie Morrill: Definitely not. I like spending the Friday after Thanksgiving in my slippers decorating for Christmas.

Christina June: I value my sleep too much.  I do enjoy Cyber Monday though.

When do you put up your Christmas tree? Before or after Thanksgiving?

Jonathan Friesen: Our Christmas tree always goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving. This is too early for my wife, and too late for me. I’d leave the bugger up all year if I could.

Evangeline Denmark: After Thanksgiving. Our tree is 12 feet tall and requires two ladders and several days to put up. And every year my husband reminds me that just because something—like a 12 foot Christmas tree—is on sale does not mean I have to buy it.

Lorie Langdon: Usually after. I like to keep my pretty pumpkin decorations and fall scented candles out through November. But then I leave the Christmas tree up until mid to late January. Ohio winters are cold and bleak, so I like to stretch Christmas out as long as possible!

Stephanie Morrill: After. We buy real trees, so we can’t get them too early or they get a bit crispy by the 25th.

Christina June: Definitely after.  

21 November

Book Brag! In 27 Days

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In 27 Days

Alison Gervais

YA Adventure

On sale August 1, 2017

Preorder here!

www.AlisonGervais.com

@AllyGervais

Hello, Blink readers! We have a special treat for you today—a book brag with debut author Alison Gervais! You may know Alison from her mega-popular Wattpad writing as HonorInTheRain. I came across In 27 Days on Wattpad, and after reading for about five hours straight I called Alison and asked her if she was interested in publishing her book. She was!

The rest is history. In just a few short months, In 27 Days will be hitting bookstores near you. Alison and I have worked hard to make this version of the book even more amazing than the version on Wattpad, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

JM: Hi, Alison! So excited to announce the official, published version of In 27 Days with you. Tell us about the adventure you’ve taken from writing this book to winning awards and now being published!

AG: Hello! I’m very excited about this announcement, too! This really has been quite the whirlwind adventure. I started writing In 27 Days when I was sixteen, just a junior in high school, and I went through three different drafts over four years before I finally finished. It’s so surreal to think that I’ve actually come this far, and it wouldn’t have been possible without every fabulous Wattpad reader!

JM: In 27 Days deals with some tough issues, especially when it comes to family and suicide. What compelled you to write a story that addressed these topics?

AG: When I was thirteen, I was diagnosed with depression. I was put on medication and went back to therapy, and the past eight years have been full of ups and downs. Writing In 27 Days, and just writing in general, was my way of dealing with the stress and sadness I was feeling at the time. I didn’t think In 27 Days would turn into what it is now, but I’m so glad it has.

JM: Your main character, Hadley, doesn’t start out as a Katniss Everdeen superhero. Why did you decide to write about a normal girl who is faced with extraordinary circumstances?

AG: As I’ve mentioned before, I was sixteen when I started writing In 27 Days, and at that time, I felt like the most ordinary, normal girl in the world, which I think must’ve been transferred into the story. I think that’s one thing, as an author, that I share with Hadley. But I also think a lot of people out there, not just girls, feel utterly normal, and maybe that’s why so many people can relate to Hadley in particular. Feeling ordinary, but knowing that you have the potential to do the extraordinary.

JM: If you were Hadley, would you go back in time to save someone you barely knew? Would you make a deal with someone like Death, not knowing the consequences?

AG: I’d love to say that I would make a deal to save anybody, but the truth is, Hadley is a lot braver than I am!

JM: There are a lot of fans of In 27 Days out there. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever been told by a fan?

AG: I can’t narrow it down to one specific experience because there’s been so many over the years, and every fan is absolutely fantastic, but I’ve been told that reading In 27 Days helped them during rough times in their lives, that the story made them reconsider suicide, or helped them understand that suicide isn’t the answer. That’s one of the greatest things I think I could ever be told, not only as an author but as a person. Knowing my writing has positively affected someone is one of the best feelings in the world.

Thanks so much, Alison! Readers, stay tuned for more posts on In 27 Days and from Alison, and be sure to preorder the book at the link below.

Preorder here!

www.AlisonGervais.com

@Ally_Gervais

About In 27 Days

Hadley Jamison is shocked when she hears that her classmate, Archer Morales, has committed suicide. She didn’t know the quiet, reserved guy very well, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling there was something she could have done to help him. Hoping to find some sense of closure, Hadley attends Archer’s funeral. There, Hadley is approached by a man who calls himself Death and offers her a deal. If Hadley accepts, she will be sent back 27 days in time to prevent Archer from killing himself. But when Hadley agrees to Death’s terms and goes back to right the past, she quickly learns her mission is harder than she ever could have known.

Hadley soon discovers Archer’s reasons for being alone, and Archer realizes that having someone to confide in isn’t as bad as he’d always thought. But when a series of dangerous accidents starts pushing them apart, Hadley must decide whether she is ready to risk everything—including her life—to keep Archer safe.

From award-winning Wattpad author Alison Gervais (HonorInTheRain) comes In 27 Days, a story of redemption, first love, and the strength it takes to change the future.

About the Author

Watty Award winning author Alison Gervais is a current undergraduate student at Colorado State University – Pueblo, and has been writing for as long as she can remember. In 2011, she began posting her work on Wattpad.com, and has been active on the site ever since. If she’s not writing or studying for classes, she can be found re-reading Harry Potter, watching Supernatural, or trying to win the affection of her two cats, Kovu and Rocket.

alison

About the Cover

Love the cover as much as we do? Check out the exclusive cover reveal story with YA Books Central here.

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17 November

Book Brag! The Thing with Feathers

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The Thing with Feathers

McCall Hoyle

YA Contemporary

On sale September 5, 2017

Preorder here

www.McCallHoyle.com

@McCallHoyle

Happy November, Blink readers! I’m so excited to introduce you to our upcoming title, The Thing with Feathers, the story of Emilie Day, a sixteen-year-old girl trying to keep her epilepsy secret as she navigates the classes, cliques, and crushes of her new high school.

Here to celebrate the announcement of this book with me is author McCall Hoyle. McCall is an award-winning author and a high school English teacher (so she knows high school better than any of us!).

JM: Welcome, McCall! We’re thrilled to talk about The Thing with Feathers with you. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for the book.

MH: Oh, Jillian. This book is truly the book of my heart, and I’m thrilled to talk about my inspiration. Mostly, I am inspired by the teenage girls who I teach. They’re witty and smart and strong and beautiful but don’t always see themselves that way. I wanted to write a story about a girl who is forced to choose between defining herself on her own terms and defining herself by society’s terms. I hope readers will find themselves rooting for Emilie the way I root for the girls in my life.

JM: The title of the book is based on an Emily Dickinson poem. What similarities are there between our Emilie Day and the famous Emily Dickinson?

MH: Emilie Day loves nature and dogs and words and poetry. She’s curious and introspective—as happy exploring the world inside her head as the world around her. I think Emilie and Emily would have been fast friends had they lived in the same place and time.

JM: Spoiler alert: my favorite person (errr…dog) in this book is Hitch, Emilie’s assistant dog. Is Hitch based on a puppy you know?

MH: Hitch, Emilie’s golden retriever, is one of my favorite characters in the book too. He’s more human than some people. He loves Emilie fiercely and helps her learn the true meaning of unconditional love. And he was totally based on my mom’s therapy dog, Chip. The real Chip is noble and brave. If you watch closely, you can see him thinking and trying to please humans. One time we were running errands on a cool day and left Chip in the car for a few minutes. We also accidentally left groceries, including two freshly roasted rotisserie chickens in the back seat with Chip. We returned to a pair of mournful brown eyes and a bit of doggy drool, but he did not touch the chicken. The look on his face totally said, “I’m a really good dog, but this one was tough even for me.” Honestly, I could write a whole book just about the special bonds between golden retrievers and the people who love them.

JM: Chatham York is an extremely swoony love interest, but he isn’t perfect. How do you think he and Emilie complement each other when they’re both going through such different trials in their lives?

MH: In some ways, Emilie and Chatham are polar opposites. He’s all physical and dives into life and sports and relationships, ready to give one-hundred-and-twenty-percent. Emilie has good reasons to hold back physically and emotionally. But they share an interest in classic eighties movies and a sense of determination about accomplishing their goals. They challenge each other to be the best they can be.

JM: The setting of The Thing with Feathers—the Outer Banks of North Carolina—is practically a character in the book. What inspired this location? Have you spent a lot of time there?

MH: After graduating from college, I lived on the Outer Banks for several years. One of my favorite things about these barrier islands is their isolation and rawness and really their strength. They’re little strips of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean with their backs to the Albemarle sound. They look like they could be obliterated at any minute by a large wave or a small storm, but like Emilie, they’re stronger and more resilient than they look.

Thanks so much, McCall! Readers, stay tuned for more posts on The Thing with Feathers and from McCall, and be sure to preorder the book at the link below!

Preorder here!

www.McCallHoyle.com

@McCallHoyle

About the Book

Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”

From Golden Heart award-winning author McCall Hoyle comes The Thing with Feathers, a story of overcoming fears, forging new friendships, and finding a first love, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Robyn Schneider, and Sharon M. Draper.

About the Author

McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

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About the Cover

Love the cover as much as we do? Check out the exclusive cover reveal story with Romantic Times here.

03 November

Blink Blog: What's On Your Reading List?

When they aren’t writing their next novel, our Blink authors can often be found with a fellow author’s book in hand. Curious what’s on their fall reading list? Check out their answers below!

Christina June: I just got a copy of GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, I’m doing a reread of the wonderful THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON by my critique partner, Katherine Locke (coming in 2017!), and I’m dying to read Jodi Picoult’s latest, SMALL GREAT THINGS.

Evangeline Denmark: Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Heather Maclean: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” because I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t read it yet. Also “The Reader” by Traci Chee, “Tales of the Peculiar” by Ransom Riggs, and “It Started with Goodbye” by Christina June (I’m lucky enough to have an ARC coming!)

Jonathan Friesen: Harry Potter. I have never read any of them … they look so thick. But this might be the year.

Lorie Langdon: Here are my top picks, not sure if I’ll get to them all…CURIO by Evangeline Denmark, CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo, WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana, FROST LIKE NIGHT by Sara Raasch, and DEAR MR. KNIGHTLEY by Katherine Reay

What’s on your fall reading list? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

02 November

BREAKING NEWS: Blink Signs Bestselling Author Kwame Alexander

Blink YA Books today announced it has signed a three-book deal with New York Times bestselling author, Newbery award winner, poet, and educator Kwame Alexander. Alexander will develop these young adult novels under the Blink imprint; the first book is anticipated to release in Summer 2017.

“Kwame Alexander is among the most influential and energetic children’s authors in America today and we are thrilled to be publishing his YA books under the Blink imprint,” said Annette Bourland, Senior VP and Group Publisher at Blink. “His mission to reach teens with a life-changing and hope-filled message aligns perfectly with our imprint. This series of books will impact lives and encourage young people to be introspective, fueling them to make a difference in the world during an important moment in our culture.”

“As a young adult author, I believe I have a responsibility to help young people imagine a better world—a better life. What better way to do this than with a publisher that gets it—that understands we need to engage, we definitely want to entertain, and ultimately, we want to empower. Cool, accessible, lyrical words can accomplish that with young readers,” said Alexander.

The prolific bestselling and award-winning children’s author is set to release three soon-to-be-named contemporary young adult fiction titles. Alexander’s new books will deal with topics and issues that today’s teens face, with strong coming-of-age appeal, in unconventional settings. His characters embrace diversity and speak in a fresh, bold, and poetic voice that reaches the heart of today’s teen reader. Though formed in a collection, each title will have the ability to stand alone, featuring new characters facing different issues.

Alexander is represented by Arielle Eckstut of Levine, Greenburg, Rostan Literary Agency. The acquisition editor for Alexander’s titles with Blink is Robyn Burwell.

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Media Contact:

Liane Worthington

Sr. PR Manager, Blink

liane.worthington@harpercollins.com

616-698-3345