29 October

#BlinkBlog: Fall Favorites

It’s a new week which means it’s time for another #BlinkBlog! Get the scoop below on if your favorite authors dress up for Halloween as well as their favorite things about fall. Come back next week for another fun update!

Do you (and your family) dress up for Halloween??

Alison Gervais: Absolutely! Although not so much now that I’m older. I’ve dressed up as a variety of things for Halloween, including but not limited to:

a Teletubby


Snow White

Luna Lovegood

Fortune teller



Annie Sullivan: YES!!! My birthday is super close to Halloween, so I usually throw a huge costume party! It’s always a ton of fun!

Christina June: Of course we do.  My daughter wants to be a dinosaur this year.  I almost always wear a tiara at school on Halloween.

Heather Hepler: Yes. We always make our own costumes with mixed results. My best was a gnome a few years ago. My son dressed up as a Tusken Raider from Star Wars. We made his head piece from cardboard tubes and paint and yards and yards of cloth. It was awesome.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: The humans in my family are hit-and-miss with dressing up, but our three pups are guaranteed to be in costumes on Oct 31st! So. Much. Cute. (photo attached of course)

Maureen McQuerry: Oh yes! We had amazing costumes ranging from the tooth fairy to the King and Queen of Hearts. I still dress up for Halloween. We also often staged an elaborate mystery party that required people to follow clues all over town. We enlisted friends as actors and positioned them in restaurants, on street corners and on one occasion on a horse as the headless horseman with what looked like a real head under his arm. I could go on.

McCall Hoyle: I’m more of a greet-tricker-treaters-kind-of-girl. And I give really good candy. Think–Twix, Snickers, and Reese’s Cups galore.

Stephanie Morrill: My husband and I don’t, but my kids love to. This year my ten-year-old daughter is Hermione Granger, my eight-year-old son is Harry Potter and my three-year-old son is a cow.

What is your favorite thing about fall? 

Alison Gervais: A multitude of things! I adore the changing leaves, chilly weather, apple picking and hot cider, and Halloween and carving pumpkins of course. My family is really in to Halloween. Watching Hocus Pocusat any opportunity is also a bonus.

Annie Sullivan: My birthday!!! I always have a huge Halloween costume party that is so much fun! I’ve already got my costume ready for this year!

Christina June: Everything!  The leaves turning, the cooler weather, sweaters and boots, all of it!

Heather Hepler: Apples! (And cold weather and fleece and the smell of wood fires. And leaves and pumpkins and did I say apples?)

Laurie Boyle Crompton: I love the summer so much that as fall approaches I look at the beautiful changing leaves and think “My goodness, what a bunch of quitters!” Ha! I console myself by focusing on the one thing that gets me through the sorrow of summer ending: cute boots.

Maureen McQuerry: It smells of new starts. It really should be the new year, not January. with fall comes a tingling sense of excitement, a feeling of possibilities just around the corner. And the light! Fall light is the best light.

McCall Hoyle: Everything–mums, pumpkins, leaves, sweaters, apple cider, chilly nights. Need I say more?

Stephanie Morrill: It’s impossible to pick! Sweaters, boots, the leaves changing, cool evenings that are perfect for a fire pit and s’mores.

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22 October

#BlinkBlog: School Memories

Another week, another NEW #BlinkBlog! Keep reading below to learn about some of our author’s favorite elementary school memories as well as their tips to help you stay focused this school year.

What’s your favorite elementary school memory?

Alison Gervais: I don’t think any elementary school memory stands out in particular, but when I was in kindergarten we did have a really cool Halloween parade. I dressed up as a witch.

Annie Sullivan: I think it would be just hanging out with my best friends and making up stories!

Christina June: Definitely not the time I threw up during a fire drill on the first day of kindergarten.  I really loved school, even high school!, and the things that stand out are the fun times with friends and kindness of my teachers.  

Heather Hepler: Fall carnivals. I loved dressing up in a costume and going to school and winning the plastic spider rings and trying (and failing) at the cake walk. Then walking through the haunted house and touching cold spaghetti and peeled grapes and pretending it was worms and eyeballs.

Laurie Boyle Crompton:  I will never forget the introduction of beanbag chairs in my elementary school library when I was in about third grade. The librarian encouraged us to all go off and sit quietly by ourselves with a book and it felt like I was home! So wonderful! I sill love reading in beanbag chairs.

Maureen McQuerry: In first grade,  I fell in love with a book my teacher was reading out loud. Half way through the story I came down with pneumonia.When I came back to school, the story was over. I was too shy to ask what the book was. Years later, I discovered the book again, The Velveteen Rabbit, and read the whole thing in one gulp.

McCall Hoyle: I loved my elementary school library. I loved reading Nancy Drew books on the way home from school and loved playing detective in the woods behind my house with my friends.

Stephanie Morrill: No surprise, mine is writing stories! I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew how to write, and in first grade I learned that if you wrote your stories down, grown-ups didn’t call it “lying.” Instead they called it, “Wonderful!” and, “Creative!” I was hooked!


What is your best back to school tip to stay focused in the new year?

Alison Gervais: In the ever immortal words of Shia LaBeouf…


Annie Sullivan: Take the time you need to recharge. Don’t feel like you have to join every club or go to every party. You’ll feel better if you take some time for you every now and then.

Christina June: Compartmentalize and be as efficient as you can so you can keep doing the things that refill the well of creativity.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: Be mindful of the amount of time you spend on social media. The people who post the least about what they’re up to are probably the ones who are busy doing the work to achieve their goals! Time to tune out the noise and hunker down!

Maureen McQuerry: Be curious, even about things you think may not interest you. You’ll be surprised.

McCall Hoyle: Establish a routine and stick to it–easier said than done, I know. Schedule in time to read and write.

Stephanie Morrill: The quote we keep pounding into our kids is, “Discipline not desire determines your destiny.” It’s not enough to desire good grades, a higher batting average, or strong friendships. Routinely making good decisions in pursuit of your goals is what will help you achieve that.

And (yes, I’m a mom) prioritize sleep. It really is so important.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of the BLINK BLOG – and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

15 October

#BlinkBlog: Pumpkin Spice Lattes + Fall Reading Plans

We have another fun #BlinkBlog for you this week! Curious if your favorite Blink author enjoys a Pumpkin Spice Latte? Or what their fall reading plans consist of? Keep reading below…

Pumpkin Spice Latte fan? Or no?

Alison Gervais: No, thank you!

Annie Sullivan: Sadly, I’m not a fan. I might be the only writer in the world who doesn’t like coffee. But I’d happily try some pumpkin spice tea!

Christina June: I am, though I usually prefer it as a candle scent.  Fall candles are my jam, especially while writing.

Heather Hepler: No. I pretty much only like pumpkin spice in pumpkin pie.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: I like to try different drinks from time to time, but really prefer regular black coffee from Starbucks or Trader Joe’s. Simple straightforward caffeine is what coffee is all about for me.

Maureen McQuerry: I prefer my pumpkin in the pie! And I do like pumpkin pie especially when made with coconut milk.

McCall Hoyle: Fan! But I must admit, I loved pumpkin everything long before it was cool. A slice of my Aunt Evelyn’s old-fashioned pumpkin pie with a dollop of Cool Whip is pretty close to heaven if you ask me.

Stephanie Morrill: Not really. I’ll drink it, but I prefer just plain coffee.

Anything you plan to read this fall?

Alison Gervais: I’ve got McCall Hoyle’s Meet the Sky waiting to be finished, along with Stephanie Garber’s Legendary. I’m also wanting to finish up Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well.

Annie Sullivan: I still have too many things on my TBR pile, but I’ve been hearing good things about To Kill A Kingdom—so I hope to check that one out.

Christina June: I’m excited for THE PROPOSAL by Jasmine Guillory, which is a companion to the much-lauded THE WEDDING DATE, that I absolutely loved.  I’m also looking forward to the new Jessica Spotswood-edited anthology, TOIL & TROUBLE and Lisa Maxwell’s latest, THE DEVIL’S THIEF. Lisa and Jessica are both friends and I’m thrilled to be able to support them.

Heather Hepler: Yes, Jeff Giles has a new book I’m looking forward too. And I’m caught up in Robin Hobb’s Farseer world. Thankfully she’s crazy prolific, so there’s lots to read.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: I’m looking forward to curling up with Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup. She is such a strong and inspiring woman who I will forever remember as Elle Woods teaching us all the bend and snap.

Maureen McQuerry: Barbara Kingsolver’s new book Unsheltered, The Light Between Worlds, Olivia Twist, reread The Golem and the Jinni, The Paris Wife.

McCall Hoyle: I’m on a huge animal kick. I just re-read A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey, both by W. Bruce Cameron. I’m currently re-reading The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. And I absolutely cannot wait for Carlie Sorosiak’s upcoming young adult book, I, Cosmo told from a dog’s point of view.

Stephanie Morrill: Fawkes, by Nadine Brandes, Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan, and Everybody Always by Bob Goff.

Stay tuned for next week’s #BlinkBlog update!

08 October

#BlinkBlog: Day In The Life

We’re back with another #BlinkBlog! Curious how some of your favorite Blink authors spend their day? Keep reading to find out…

Alison Gervais: A day in my life is unbelievably boring, to be honest. I work a 9 am – 5 pm desk job, Monday through Friday, which leaves little time for anything exciting. I try to write when I can, but it’s never on a consistent schedule. It’s a miracle I get anything done on time, writing wise.

Annie Sullivan: Well, I have a day job, so I usually get up and go to that. I might answer some questions from bloggers during lunch or catch up on Facebook notifications. After work, I try to get in some writing and then have dinner. I also try to get something posted to Instagram before I go to bed!

Christina June:  A day as an author for me is also a day as a school counselor, a mom, a partner and an adult.  Time is a luxury, so it’s necessary for me to be as efficient as possible. Depending on where I am in the process, I’ll likely use the windows of time before and after my contract hours end, as well as the evening after my daughter goes to sleep, to write.  Drafting is easier for me when I have small chunks of time, but revisions requires focus, so that’s often done on weekends. It’s definitely a juggling act.

Heather Hepler:  I try to write for three or so hours a day. Then I try to spend another hour working on things like my blog, social media, and answering emails. I also try to touch all of the projects I’m working on every day. This keeps me in touch with the characters and the stories. If too many days pass without working on a story, it starts to feel like it’s unraveling in my hands.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: It basically goes: …procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate, write like mad, celebrate, procrastinate…

I actually believe both procrastinating and daydreaming are important parts of my process, but they’re still my biggest obstacles to being my productive best.

Maureen McQuerry: On an ideal day, I write in morning from 8-12, take an exercise and lunch break. I like hiking, biking, barre classes. Then, tend to the business side of writing in the afternoon, run errands and meet with friends. I usually return to writing in the evening. But most days are far from ideal. I juggle supervising student teachers, serving on several boards and the dailiness of life we all face. And writing is cyclical. there are days when I’m traveling, days when I’m doing author visits, focusing on promotion or researching obscure facts for copy edits, like I’m doing now.

McCall Hoyle: I spend the first half of most days teaching high school English which I absolutely love. Then I have a two to three hour window of time before I pick my son up from school. Most days, I spend that time reading, writing, or walking in the woods.

Stephanie Morrill: I have three kids, so most days it feels like a lot of work just to get to my desk. Even when I’m at my desk, and even though writing has been my profession for 10+ years now, I still have to work hard to prioritize story creating and writing. It’s so easy for time to get swallowed up by promoting on social media, interacting with readers, and taking care of all the tasks involved with being self-employed. Except for unique seasons, like when a book is coming out, I split my time so the first 50% is spent writing and the other is spent doing writing-related tasks.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of the #BlinkBlog…

05 October

Blink’s Fall Feature Books


As the crispness of fall is felt in the air, now is the perfect time to relax in your cozy nook with a cuddly blanket, favorite warm drink and flip open the pages of one of BLINK’s fall titles.

From a curse to a hurricane, and synesthesia to social justice, you will find a bit of yourself in each of these books and come out on the other side a better person for having read them.

The newest book from New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess is one you won’t want to miss. It delivers a powerful and emotionally-charged surprise ending which is sure to spark much-needed conversation on social issues. SWING is a story of friendship, love, baseball, and jazz in a changing world that’s not always so beautiful. It released on October 2.

If a suspense thriller is more your speed, then please be sure to pick up a copy of The Color of Liesby New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons. The Color of Lies is a world drenched in color and mystery as the protagonist has a rare medical condition called synesthesia, which enables her to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions. You can pre-order your copy now! The Color of Lies releases on November 6.

The debut novel from Annie Sullivan, A Touch of Gold, will take you into the world of fantasy as you meet Princess Kora, the daughter of King Midas. Although her father relinquished his touch forever, Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish with golden skin and hidden powers. When the kingdom is threatened, Kora is the only one who can save it. As she seeks to do just that, she learns not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed. A Touch of Gold is available now at your favorite book seller.

If you find yourself wanting to read a book that will implore you to feel things deeply, be sure to pick up a copy of Meet the Sky, the newest title from McCall Hoyle. Set against a backdrop of a hurricane on a barrier island, Sophie finds herself with the last person she’d have chosen—the guy who broke her heart. As they struggle to find safety, they also discover how to embrace life. Meet the Skya story of love, letting go, and the unstoppable power of nature, is available wherever books are sold.

We are diligent in our efforts to find you high quality, clean YA fiction. As we get closer to the new year, we’ll be sure to give you an insider scoop on the exciting titles that need a home on your bookshelf!

Happy Reading!


Annette Bourland
Publisher, Blink YA Books