31 December

BLINK BLOG: New Year's Resolutions and Goals

Happy New Year!! What are your resolutions and goals for 2018?? Share with us on Facebook, and read below to see what our authors also shared!

What advice do you have for Blink readers as they start a new year?

Alison Gervais: This might sound cheesy, but I would tell Blink readers to try to be their best selves every day.

Annie Sullivan: Let this be the year that you discover you and that you aren’t afraid to truly be yourself. Do something daring this year, and don’t let the characters in the books you read be the only ones to have an adventure. Go out and make the world yours, and while you’re out there, do some good. Take care of one another!

Christina June: Be who you are and don’t apologize for it.  Do what makes you happy.  Take time for yourself everyday.

Lorie Langdon: In the new year, let’s work together to put an end to hate and prejudice. Remember that no one is better than you and you are no better than anyone else. Change starts with you and me…in our schools, on our streets, in our thoughts, words, and actions. We have the power to treat every human with kindness, grace, and love. Let’s have the strength to stand against hate!

McCall Hoyle: I spent a lot of time reading Alfred Lord Tennyson’s work in 2017. His poetry plays a key role in my upcoming book, Meet the Sky, and I love these words of wisdom, “Tis not too late to seek a newer world.” I hope Blink readers will approach the new year with optimism and always look to make the world newer and better.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Alison Gervais: I haven’t thought much about any New Year’s resolutions just yet, but I’d like to set writing goals for myself to reach and gain more confidence in myself as a person and an author.

Annie Sullivan: I actually already run five days a week, so there’s no way I’m doing any sort of dieting/exercising type thing! I think my New Year’s resolution is to be more grateful. There are so many people less fortunate than I am, and I think we could all benefit from being more grateful for what we have.

Christina June: I don’t make them anymore–I know better!

Jonathan Friesen: I will likely make fifteen to twenty as the time approaches. That way, I’m bound to succeed at one or two. I don’t start resolution generation until just before January 1, so I have nothing specific yet!

Lorie Langdon: To stay in joy no matter what happens. I’m working on not allowing my circumstance to dictate my mood. I think a huge part of living joyfully is intentional gratitude and believing that God is working all things for my good.

McCall Hoyle:  Keep a gratitude journal and spend more time living in the present moment. And yes, I see the irony in the fact that I’m planning how to live in the present moment, but I remain eternally optimistic.

22 December

BLINK BLOG: Christmas Lists + More

What’s on your Christmas list this year?? Read below to see what our Blink authors are wishing to find under the tree and to hear about their favorite Christmas dish!

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Alison Gervais: This year I’m hoping for a travel coffee mug and fuzzy slipper socks. I wouldn’t say no to a Barnes & Noble gift card either.

Annie Sullivan: I don’t think it would surprise anyone if I said books were on my list. I also love sitting around and writing, so good pajamas are always great! Or maybe a massage- all those hours sitting hunched over my computer writing add up!

Christina June: I’m always on the hunt for bookish and writer-themed presents.  I’m a big fan of all the items on my editor’s suggestion list:


Jonathan Friesen: I got my Christmas gift for this year, last year. A Sting concert. I might score a couple pair of socks. The older I get, the cooler socks are.

Lorie Langdon: A 2018 Erin Condren planner (I couldn’t function without one!), Clue – Harry Potter edition, a new bookshelf for my office, and wireless earbuds.

McCall Hoyle:  I write a letter to Santa every year. This year I have a few secret requests that I’ll send his way. Sometimes, I think it’s good luck to keep those requests between me and the big guy, but I’d also really, really like a new MacBook.

Favorite Christmas dish?

Alison Gervais: This bit comes after Christmas, but on New Year’s we always have stuffed cabbage rolls and latkes. I’m not sure how or when this started, but we’ve always done it, and I always love it. I look forward to it every holiday season.

Annie Sullivan: My mom has this recipe for sugar cookies that I love. We spend one evening with my sister and her kids cutting out fun shapes and then decorating them. They’re as much fun to make as to eat! We make Christmas shapes like Christmas trees, reindeer, and snowmen, but we also have so many wacky cookie cutters that we all try to make a “special” cookie shape. I usually choose the dachshund cookie cutter for that one.

Christina June: The best years are the ones where my dad makes a standing rib roast.  Delicious!

Lorie Langdon: A week before Christmas, my Mom comes over and we make Christmas cookies and candy with my two boys. My favorite are Buckeyes—an Ohio tradition, they are peanut butter candy balls with a chocolate shell made to look like actual buckeye seeds. They’re addictive, especially made with dark chocolate!

McCall Hoyle: Just one? If I have to pick just one, I think my sister’s ham and baked pineapple casserole. It covers all the sweet and salty requirements.

What are you currently reading?

Alison Gervais: I am currently reading Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. 😀

Annie Sullivan: I’m reading John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down. I had a chance to have coffee with him about a month ago and talk about the book, so when the book came out, I couldn’t wait to pick it up! His prose is just indescribably good.

Christina June: I have a hard time reading during NaNoWroMo, but I am enjoying the audio of both THERE’S SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins and LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds, which is beautifully read by the author.  

Jonathan Friesen: Student philosophy papers. They are not thrilling, but they sure are interesting.

Lorie Langdon:  I’m usually reading multiple books at a time. Right now, I’m listening to the audio book of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, reading Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, and the devotional; The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

McCall Hoyle: I finished How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather just in time for Halloween. Now, I’m finishing The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. They were both perfect for setting the tone and mood for spooky festivities. Next, I’m moving on to winter holidays and plan to start with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins and contributed to by some of my favorite authors.



12 December

BOOK BRAG – Meet The Sky

I am thrilled to present our second book brag with McCall Hoyle, the author of The Thing with Feathers! Check out this mega-gorgeous cover:

Her upcoming novel, Meet the Sky, is about Sophie, a girl struggling to keep her fractured family together. Sophie’s all about sticking to the plan—keep the family business running, save money for college one day, and make sure her mom and sister don’t endure another tragedy—but when a hurricane forms off the coast of the Outer Banks, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control. She ends up stranded in the middle of the storm with Finn, the boy her broke her heart freshman year.

What happens next? Let’s ask McCall!

JM: Welcome, back McCall! We’re so excited for this next book. Tell us a bit about how the book came to be.

MH: All of my writing has a tendency to circle back to the overriding emotions in my life. The Thing with Feathers was all about needing to be accepted but learning that we have to accept ourselves before we can expect anyone else to accept us. Meet the Sky is an exploration of how we all process grief differently. It’s a story about learning that sometimes our greatest losses lead to our greatest potential and our greatest growth as humans.

JM: Sophie and Finn couldn’t be more different—Sophie’s a type-A planner and Finn’s a wild child who goes surfing in the eye of a storm—and yet they are thrown together to survive. What was it like to create two characters who view the world so differently?

MH: It was a lot of fun actually. I knew whenever Sophie and Finn were on the page together sparks were going to fly. Writing from such different perspectives also required a lot of thinking on my part—about the advantages and disadvantages to each of their personalities. I lean way on one side of the spectrum between control freak and free spirit. I like to think that writing from both Finn’s and Sophie’s perspectives softened me a bit and brought me a little closer to balance in the center.

JM: The Thing with Feathers features a theme of Emily Dickinson’s poetry—will we see something similar in Meet the Sky?

MH: Maybe… Okay, yes, you will. As I mentioned earlier, the idea for this book came from an exploration of grief. My greatest loss was the unexpected death of my father. He was a larger-than-life character whose philosophy in life was go big or go home. During the years following his death and as I was writing Meet the Sky, an Alfred Lord Tennyson quotation kept repeating in my head. The English poet said, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” And I agree. But Sophie isn’t so sure she does. She has to decide for herself whether it’s better to take a risk on life and love after the tragedies in her life or if it’s better to protect her heart and play it safe. That’s really a decision we all have to make for ourselves. I hope readers will appreciate Sophie’s decision.

JM: Tell us about this gorgeous cover!!

MH: I am so in love with this cover I can hardly stand it. The greens and blues are gorgeous and match the colors of the Atlantic Ocean and the sky. The palm tree flapping in the hurricane wind set the tone that trouble is imminent, but the clean crisp white and the title Meet the Sky lend an air of hope. Basically, I just love everything about it.

JM: Any spoilers you want to share?

MH: Well, Meet the Sky also takes place on the ruggedly beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, so there is that similarity. And maybe, just maybe, two of my favorite characters from The Thing with Feathers might make an appearance in Meet the Sky, but I don’t know if I should say who. Here’s a hint: one of them has four legs.

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

Preorder here:


Barnes & Noble


Follow McCall online:




About the Book

It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.

With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.

After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.

Praise for McCall Hoyle’s debut novel, The Thing with Feathers:

“Beautiful, touching, and bursting with hope.”

Pintip Dunn, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author

“Heartfelt and affecting. Hoyle tells a familiar story, but does so in a voice that is rarely heard, and that makes all the difference.”

Leah Thomas, William C. Morris Award finalist and author of Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You

“The inspiring story of one girl’s struggle not to be defined by her illness, The Thing with Feathers soars as it explores what it means to live—and love—without fear.”

Kathryn Holmes, author of How It Feels to Fly

“A refreshing, quality debut—meaningfully woven and beautifully engaging, from the first page to the last.”

YA Books Central (5 stars)

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. Learn more at mcallhoyle.com.



08 December

BLINK BLOG: Holiday Plans + Traditions

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away and have another Blink Blog about holiday plans and traditions. Read below to see what our Blink authors have planned this holiday season…

What are your holiday travel plans?

Alison Gervais: This year I went to Arizona to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family. I have a new baby cousin I’ve been waiting to meet, so I’m very excited.

Annie Sullivan: Well, if you follow me on social media or on my blog, you know that travelling is one of the things I do for fun. I don’t’ normally like to travel for the holidays (my family is all local.) But this year my parents and I will be setting out to visit Australia and New Zealand over Thanksgiving. I’m so excited because after going there, I will have been to every continent, but I will miss seeing the rest of my family on Thanksgiving.  

Jonathan Friesen: To travel as little as possible!

Lorie Langdon: No plans to travel. Most of my family lives near me, which is nice.

McCall Hoyle: We’ll visit my husband’s family in North Carolina. If we’re lucky, we might squeeze in a long weekend to St. Augustine, Florida. If not, we’ll spend lots of time at home watching Christmas movies, reading good books, and enjoying good food.

Any Christmas traditions?

Alison Gervais: For the past ten years or so, on Christmas Eve my family and I all get together for pizza and then go to our church’s midnight mass, which has always been wonderful. The church is beautifully decorated and the choir is amazing. Afterward we go home and open presents. This tradition has been evolving into something new lately since my sisters have kids now, but the family is still together for Christmas, and that’s what counts.

Annie Sullivan: Christmas is my favorite holiday, and the traditions start the day after Thanksgiving. We blast Christmas music throughout the house and decorate. We put up the crèche and hang the stockings. We also go out and get a real tree every year, which I love because then it smells wonderful in the house–like Christmas! On Christmas Eve, we go to mass and then spend the evening with my mom’s extended family. Then, on Christmas morning, all my siblings gather at my parent’s house, and we have a giant breakfast and sit around in our pajamas opening presents. It’s a day filled with love and joy, and it’s my favorite morning all year long.

Christina June: My family does the traditional Polish Wigilia on Christmas Eve, which involves a lot of eating and wishing each other well for the new year.

Lorie Langdon:  My favorite tradition is simple…waking up on Christmas morning with my family, opening gifts, and then eating cinnamon rolls while we watch A Christmas Story.  

McCall Hoyle:  We’ve done the Elf on the Shelf shenanigans every year since my children were small despite the fact that the mischievous little guy has caused more than one argument between the adults in the house. And we always hide a glass pickle in the Christmas tree. It generally takes weeks for one of my children to find it. Whoever finds it wins fun holiday-themed presents, like Christmas socks, books, and pajamas. No December would be complete at the Hoyle house without the Lego Advent calendar. I think I’m going to stop there before anyone starts worrying about my family’s holiday obsession.