Cynthia Hand's Blog

June 25, 2014

The day has arrived! I have finally been given the green light to share the cover of my latest novel, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE.

Here it is:

And here's the description from the book jacket:

There's death all around us.We just don't pay attention.Until we do.
The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.
Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.
From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

So there you have it! A cover! A description! A release date: February 10, 2015! It's all coming together!

I feel that I hit the jackpot with this cover. It's gorgeous, first of all --the colors, the image!--but beyond that, I feel it truly reflects what happens in the book. And that is a rare thing. Covers, you see, are meant to be advertisements--their sole purpose to to get some poor unsuspecting reader to pick up the book and then buy it. So often what's on the cover is more a reflection of marketing than what's at the heart of the book. That's okay--it's meant to be like that. I mean, I loved my covers for UNEARTHLY, but at no time did my main character Clara ever stand around outside in a formal gown. But the covers did their job--they got people to buy my books.

But this cover does both so beautifully. It is pretty and enticing and just begs to be picked up. And it FEELS like the story. I can feel Lex in that room, looking at that note.

Happy sigh.

So what do you think?
 •  flag
12 likes · like  • 
Published on June 25, 2014 08:20 • 220 views

June 18, 2014

A while back the people over at The Midnight Garden blog asked me to read some of the mean reviews I've received for Unearthly out loud. I had a blast filming this. It always blows my mind when reviewers are out and out mean in their reviews, because they have to know that there's a good possibility that the authors will read them.

(warning: some spicy language. Spoken by me.)

 •  flag
2 likes · like  • 
Published on June 18, 2014 09:08 • 186 views

March 24, 2014

Hi y'all,

For those of you who have been clamoring for me to do a signing on my home turf in LA . . . wish granted. I will be doing an event at the Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo this coming Saturday, March 29 at 2:30. It's called the Triple Trilogy Treat, because I will be joined by my good friends and fellow writers Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton.

Woot! I love these ladies! I love signings! If you come I'll even let you take a peek at the secret cover to my next book. . .

Here's the official link to the information.

See you there!

 •  flag
1 comment
1 like · like  • 
Published on March 24, 2014 09:56 • 98 views

February 1, 2014

Yesterday I officially finished my fourth novel.

Which made me feel like:


Because this novel just about killed me to write. To an extent, all of my novels have made me feel like I might not survive the process (this writing thing is HARD, yo), but this novel. THIS NOVEL, you guys. There were entire weeks were I unabashedly wept every day while writing this novel.


It's that kind of novel. You might need tissues, is what I'm saying.

There are a couple of things I can tell you at this juncture:

1. The TITLE!!!!!

I love the title. It's the only book I've written to date where my working title became the actual title, and for that I am very proud. It is:


2. The book (I call it TLTWSG for short) is a YA contemporary stand-alone. Meaning that it is not Unearthly-related. It is not a paranormal romance (although there are parts of this book that are so romantic, sigh) and it does not feature anyone with supernatural powers. That said, I will add that I am always interested in stories where mysterious things happen, and this book is no exception.

3. I say the novel is not Unearthly-related, but TLTWSG is about a girl who is trying to deal with the death of her younger brother, and I think fans of Unearthly will be able to see the connections between what I was writing about in the Unearthly series and what I'm writing about here.

3. The book will be out sometime in early 2015. I know that's a long time to wait. Believe me, I know. Publishing a book is often a game of hurry-up-and-wait. But I will be here in the next year to keep you updated on all of the news: the book description, the cover, the release date, all the fun stuff, as it happens.

So that's what I'll give you for now.

*Takes a deep breath.*

*Eyes the notebook for the next novel.*

 Um, EXCITED. Sheesh, gif people. Spell check.

 •  flag
25 likes · like  • 
Published on February 01, 2014 10:00 • 490 views

November 11, 2013

I've been in the writing cave for a while.

The bad news about the writing cave:

I let the emails / student papers / laundry / dishes / prettymucheverythingthatisn'twriting pile up disastrously.

The good news about the writing cave:

I have a new book. (claps hands together excitedly) A new book! A NEW BOOK!

Yeah, it's going to need some revision, and I will have to creep back into the cave for a few solid intervals between now and January, I'm sure.

But every time I finish drafting a novel, it feels like a miracle.

This novel, especially, feels like a miracle. I've been working on this novel, in one way or another, for about two years, and it's been a story that's been waiting inside of me to write for much, much longer.

(dabs at eyes) Ahem. Anyway. I will tell you way more about it soon, I swear.

Right now I will simply say that it is a contemporary stand-alone that will be out in Winter 2015--that's the plan, anyway.

(goes to wash some dishes)
 •  flag
22 likes · like  • 
Published on November 11, 2013 06:07 • 443 views

October 3, 2013

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive TWENTY signed books, one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM--but there is also a red team  and a blue team for chances to win a whole different set of twenty signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.
  Scavenger Hunt PuzzleDirections: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by August 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Scavenger Hunt PostToday, I am hosting Rita Arens on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Rita Arens

Rita Arens is the author of contemporary young adult novel THE OBVIOUS GAME (InkSpell Publishing, 2013). She is also the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (Chicago Review Press, 2008), and the co-editor of food anthology ROOTS (Open Road Media, 2013). For playlists and excerpts from THE OBVIOUS GAME, visit and click on Young Adult. Rita is currently working on her second young adult novel.
Find out more information by checking out the author website

Buy the book from here!

  "Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn't notice at first.""

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As she buries her shock about her mother's fresh cancer diagnosis in cookbooks, peach schnapps and Buns of Steel workouts, Diana both seduces athlete Jesse and shoves him away under the guise of her carefully constructed sentences. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost. Will Diana and Jesse's love survive his wrestling obsession and the Keller family's chaos, or will all their important details stay buried beneath a game?

Exclusive Content -

My novel is called THE OBVIOUS GAME, and it's written in first-person from the point of view of 15-year-old Diana. Evelyn is Diana's mom, and their relationship is pretty rocky throughout the book. My exclusive content is part of chapter one written from Evelyn's point of view. Here it is!
The Wigs
 It was all I could do to get home from the store. When I walked in the door, I knew something was wrong. I heard Amanda’s voice in my room. Diana’s been friends with Amanda since they were little, and I can’t stand that girl.  When they were seven or eight, Amanda convinced Diana to use my good sewing shears to make paper dolls when the regular scissors were sitting right there on the table. I can’t decide which of them makes me more angry: Amanda for pushing every boundary or Diana for not putting up a fight.
I worried about my wigs. I couldn’t believe how much those things cost. I looked up a semester of tuition at the University of Iowa the other day. It’s $940. The wigs cost almost half that. It made me sick on top of the sick I felt from the chemo.
I just wanted to look normal, not like the freak I felt like inside. I could barely drive, I was so tired.
Please not the wigs.
I paused, my hand on the doorknob. And then I heard Diana: “Amanda! You idiot!” My heart sank.
When I walked into the bedroom, I saw them standing there, one of my wigs in the sink filled with water and what looked like hair gel. Three months of college, soaking up pink goo. I hadn’t even had them for a week.
Diana’s face was terrified. She knew how mad I was, knew how mad I would be, but yet something didn’t make her stop that little wench Amanda from ruining my new hair.
“What are you doing?” I tried to keep the shake out of my voice. I wanted to appear larger, not weaker. I wanted to loom as large as I did when they were in first grade and I caught them with their hands in the Halloween candy bucket. When they looked at me with real respect instead of scorn.
“Diana was just showing me your wigs. They’re beautiful.” Amanda’s smile widened. I could tell she thought she was fooling me, which infuriated me even more.
“Why is that in the sink, Amanda?” Maybe there was an explanation, a good one. I tightened my grip on the gallon of milk in my hand to keep from throwing it at Amanda.
“Diana said you could style them because they’re made of human hair.” Somewhere inside, the anger exploded into ball of betrayal that spread out to every inch of my insides. My feet seemed to root to the ground, and all my energy evaporated. Getting through the day took everything I had. Getting mad used it up early. I didn’t have anything left for either of the girls. I just wanted them gone. Both of them.
“Get out.”
Amanda looked alarmed. Good. Maybe for once something got through her thick skull.
“Call your mother, Amanda. You’re going home.” I heard her running down the stairs, probably as eager to get away from me as I was to have her away. I turned slowly to face my only daughter. “How could you, Diana?”
I could see in Diana’s face she understood what she’d done, how I felt. So why didn’t she stop Amanda? When was she going to learn to stand up for herself, for me? When would she stand up for her sick mother?
“I didn’t tell her to do it, Ma.”
“It doesn’t matter. You let her. That is my hair.” I leaned on the words, trying to make her understand those wigs weren’t wigs. They were my dignity.
“She’s hard to control, Ma,” Diana said softly, ducking her head.
I turned to the hairless dummy head on her dresser, pulling the wig off my head. I set it on the dummy and turned to face Diana. She didn’t know I’d shaved my head, and when she saw me without my wig, she turned away, and I thought I saw fear. She used to look at me like I was her universe. How much had cancer taken? How much was left to take?
“The world is hard to control, Diana,” I said. “If it were easy, I wouldn’t look like this.” I grabbed her shoulders, stopping just short of shaking her senseless. I wanted to shake her and shake her until she understood what I felt, the helplessness, the ugliness, the uselessness. A mother who could barely get herself off the bathroom floor. I needed to know she could take care of herself until I could take care of her again. “You have to take responsibility for your part in it. You’re not a little girl anymore.”
Diana just stood there, her face turned from me, and I realized she wasn’t going to hug me, wasn’t going to process any of it. She was in shock. And I felt ashamed. She was just a child, my baby. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and rock her worries away. But that would take energy, and I didn’t have any left to give.
“Get out,” I said, instead. As she rushed out the door, I collapsed on my bed and sobbed, not sure if I was crying for her or the mother I couldn’t be, the one who would've known what to say.
Enter the ContestAnd don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Continue the HuntTo keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click here!

Enter The Extra Boundless Giveaway
In honor of this special event, I'm going to give away 2 extra signed copies of Boundless. Just follow the directions in the rafflecopter below:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
 •  flag
2 likes · like  • 
Published on October 03, 2013 07:07 • 292 views

August 21, 2013

Thanks to everybody who tweeted and blogged and posted about this giveaway. It's been so fun! So far I have taken 3 trips to the post office and made a lot of people cranky with how many packages I had to mail. But it was worth it.

I still have a lot of books left, but I am out of the British, Australian, German, Taiwanese, and Polish copies.

I do have a lot of the Brazilian, Danish, Croatian, Czech / Slovak, and a few Lithuanian, a few Hungarian, and a few of the Australian audio versions.

I also have a few of the Hallowed paperbacks, the US style, and the Boundless ARCs to give away to anybody who tweets or posts about the giveaway.

Thanks again, everybody.

Peace out.


 •  flag
6 likes · like  • 
Published on August 21, 2013 10:27 • 179 views

August 16, 2013

I've been quiet lately, writing a new book. I can't tell you much about the book yet, except to say that it's a contemporary stand-alone and it will likely be out in Winter 2015 (sorry, it takes me a LONG time to write books), and it's on a subject that's near and dear to my heart.

So I've been quiet, because my mind is occupied with something that I can't share with you. And I've been busy with my summer.

But school is starting in a couple weeks and I will crawl out of my writerly hidey hole and brush myself off and hang out on Twitter and this blog and facebook and all the places again. I promise.

In the meantime, I am trying to clean up my house to prepare for school. This week, as I was cleaning, one thing became abundantly clear:

I have too many books.

That's kind of a given, I know.

But I noticed this time I was organizing said books that I have WAY TOO MANY foreign editions of my books. I mean, I love that I get free copies of my foreign editions. I love their awesome covers. I love to flip through to see how a foreign language translates some of my favorite lines:

"Schwing dich schon rein, Karotte." German translation of Tucker's: "Get your butt in here, Carrots." Hee.

I also love to read the acknowledgements section of the book to my friends and family who are in the acknowledgements. This is good fun.

But I do not really need, say, 12 copies of the Polish version of Unearthly. I look at those copies, and I even feel a little guilty. People could be reading these books. People who are not me, because I cannot read Polish. The only foreign language I can fluently read is French, which is ironic, because France is one of the only European countries not to buy the foreign rights for Unearthly. :) It's a shame for all these books to be sitting here gathering dust.

This is just one of the many places where I have stashed my foreign editions.
Therefore I am going to have a big giveaway.

Now before you get too excited, let me just say out front that I am only going to send these books to U.S. addresses, which, I know, sucks. But I looked up how much it would cost to send 12 copies of Unearthly to separate people in Poland and it was more than $200. Which I honestly can't afford.

So. Here's the terms of my giveaway. I am giving away free signed copies of my foreign editions from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Taiwan, and Turkey, and the UK. Yes, free. I will give them away on a first come, first serve basis.

BUT I will only send to people in the U.S. Which can work out one of 3 ways:

1. You can speak/read the language the book is translated into (which will be easy for the UK and Australian versions, although if I get a flood of requests for these books I will give preference to those who are natives of Australia or Great Britain. Because these books are really for you.) and you are currently residing in the United States. Awesome. Free book for you. Scroll down my list and see which copies I have. Then just shoot me an email at and follow these instructions exactly:

Use the term "foreign edition giveaway" in the email's heading, so it will not get lost in the scary black hole that is my business email.
Give me your name, your full US address (you'd be surprised at how many requests I get for things where the requester doesn't include the zip code, to which I say ARGH), and what copies of which books you would like me to send you. To be fair, please do not ask for copies of multiple languages, like a UK and a Croatian version, for instance. And do not ask for multiple copies of 1 book, like 2 copies of the German edition of Boundless, for instance, unless you can give me a very, very good reason. (I will listen to very good reasons.) I am also happy to send you the foreign editions of all 3 books (Unearthly, Hallowed, and Boundless) if I have them.
Be patient, because I will wait to gather a bunch to go to the post office, and I will send these at Book Rate, which is slower than a cold snail.
Enjoy your book. Shoot me an email if you find part of the translation that is particularly funny or beautiful. As a wordsmith, I love to hear about how the meaning can be changed in translation.
When you get your book, it would be nice, and make my foreign publishers very happy indeed, if you would say something about the book to someone: tweet or blog or write a review or something like that. This is not a requirement, of course, but it would be nice. It would also be AWESOME if you would email me a picture of you holding your book, so I can put together an "Unearthly Around the World" video.
2.  You can speak the language the book is translated into, but you do not live in the U.S. But you do have a wonderful friend who DOES live in the U.S. who will agree to mail the book to you once they receive it. Then just follow all of the above steps except give me your friend's name and US address, and be even more patient, because it's going to take even longer.

3. You can speak the language the book is translated into, but you don't live in the U.S. and you don't have a friend willing to mail you the book. In this case, sit tight. I will be having a giveaway raffle for the rest of my foreign editions in a few months.

So here we go. The list:

Australia / New Zealand copies of all 3 booksAustralia! I have 8 copies each to give away of Unearthly, Hallowed, and Boundless. Aren't the covers divine? I love these. I also love that in this book Clara calls her mother "Mum" and it describes the forest fire as a "bush fire." I want to go to Australia in the worst way. It's actually on my bucket list. So, as I mentioned, anybody who speaks English can receive this book but I will give first dibs to readers who are actually from Australia and New Zealand (I didn't forget you, New Zealand!).

Brazilian? (I think?)  version of Book 2. 7 paperback copies

Croatian copies of Hallowed and UnearthlyCroatia:

I have the following editions:

4 hardcover and 5 paperbacks of Krila Andela (Unearthly, Book 1)

2 hardcover and 4 paperbacks of Sjena Andela (Hallowed, Book 2)

I love how they've added wings to the original US cover and made Clara blonder--very cool.

Czech / Slovak edition, 9 hardcover copies of Unearthly (Nadpozeska) , Book 1

Danish edition: 2 paperback copies of Unearthly

German copies of all 3 booksGermany:

Sadly, I don't have that many of these. I have 5 of Unearthly (Dunkle Flammen), 2 of Hallowed (Heiliges Feuer) and 1 of Boundless (Himmelsbrand), all in paperback.

Sidenote: can somebody tell me the translation of these titles?

Another sidenote: Fun fact: In the first draft of Boundless, the first scene took place in Germany, while Clara and Angela were visiting there. My editor made me change it to all happen in Italy (which made sense), and then later those scenes ended up being a totally different book: Radiant.

Another fun fact: Radiant is available as an ebook only, EXCEPT for in Turkey, where you can also buy the hard copy, or you will be able to very soon.

Hungary: 5 hardcover copies of Hallowed, Book 2. Not sure why, but I don't have any copies of Book 1

Poland: 2 copies each of Unearthly and Hallowed, paperback
  Turkish editionsTurkey:

5 copies of Koruyucu (Unearthly, Book 1)
6 copies of Kutsanmis (Hallowed, Book 2)

Both are paperback.

Side note: When I was in college I spent a semester in Greece, Italy, and Turkey studying archeology, and I found Turkey to be the most surprising and wonderful place to visit. So much of their archeological sites are unspoiled.

Taiwan: 3 copies of Book 1, 2 copies of Book 2
 The UK:

6 paperback copies of Unearthly. Like I said, I will give these to anyone who speaks English, but will give preference to people originally from the UK.

Fun fact: When I was 7 I won a writing contest where the prize was a 10 day all-expense paid trip to England, Belgium, and France. I loved England so much, and tragically lost my rolls of film with all of my pictures. But I still remember the lavender gardens near my dorm at Cambridge. Sigh. On the ferry to Belgium I vowed to myself that I would come back someday. I haven't been back yet, but it's at the top of my to-do list. I want to take a writing retreat there with my friend Brodi Ashton so that we will have the right atmosphere to do a funny historical project together.

Also UK related: I have copies of the UK audio version of all 3 books: 2 copies of Unearthly, 3 copies of Hallowed, 4 copies of Boundless. These are CD recordings, unabridged, by Eloise Oxer.

And finally, if you had the patience to wait until the end, I am going to give away 5 paperbacks of Hallowed and 5 ARCs/hardcovers of Boundless to anybody who can show me that they tweeted / blogged / posted / pinned about this giveaway somewhere. I'll only send to the U.S., but I will give these away to anyone.

Happy reading, everyone!

I'll be back with regular posts soon. Soonish. When I am done with this new book.



 •  flag
10 likes · like  • 
Published on August 16, 2013 17:50 • 382 views

June 24, 2013

Hello. Long time, no read.

I know.

I have been busy traveling. And traveling. And traveling. So far this year I have spent almost 3 months, in total, on the road. At first it seemed glamourous and fun, a great adventure, but at this point I'm like, "Oh. It's you, airport." Then I sigh.

But this week I am teaching a summer conference at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, holed up in my very own quaint little dorm room, meeting with students and talking about writing until my voice hurts, and then hiding out in the later hours to write.

I am writing a new book.

And it will be published. Unfortunately I can't tell you much more about it until things are signed and sent and finalized, but I will say two things:

1. It is not related to the Unearthly series. But I hope the fans of the Unearthly series will love it, because I love it, and it is a story that is very near and dear to my heart.

2. I will be reading a bit of this new book at the faculty reading on Friday night. So if you want a preview of my coming work, come out and listen! The reading is open to the public at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York (you take the Metro North train from Grand Central Station, about 20-25 minutes).

Here are the details:

7:30pm, Friday, June 28
Reisinger Auditorium
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way · Bronxville/Yonkers, NY 10708

Here's a link to the campus map.

I will read, and if you wait for me at the end, I'll have time to talk to you and sign anything you want and give away a few bookmarks and such. So if you're in the New York area, and you want to know something about my new book before anybody else, come out.

Hope to see you there.

And now I must go back to writing, writing, writing, writing, writing!
 •  flag
12 likes · like  • 
Published on June 24, 2013 16:26 • 386 views

April 6, 2013

I teach creative writing at Pepperdine University, as you might know, and every year I tweet and talk and post about how much I love my classes, and I always get the same response:

I wish you were MY teacher.

Which always makes me go, Aw. I wish I were, too.

But now I can be! I have the honor and immense pleasure of being on the faculty for the Summer Seminar for Writers at Sarah Lawrence College from June 23-28. I will be teaching an intense writing workshop and doing a bunch of one-on-one conferences.

It's a bit expensive, but there are scholarships you can apply for to cover the tuition.

Here's the website for the seminar. If you're interested, email me and I will send you the pdf of the full brochure / application form.

The deadline for admission is May 1.

I can't wait. Maybe I will see you there and get to read YOUR work.
 •  flag
5 likes · like  • 
Published on April 06, 2013 13:10 • 338 views