Cynthia Hand's Blog

March 7, 2019

Cover reveal for THE HOW AND THE WHY

This post has been a LONG time coming. The folks over at HarperTeen have been working on the cover of my newest book, THE HOW AND THE WHY (out in November 2019) for over a year, people. And now it is finally ready to show to the world.

But first, the description:

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Dear X,

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies. I can't imagine you as an actual baby, let alone an eighteen-year-old person reading this letter. I'm not even eighteen yet myself.

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

And now (drum roll, please!)


I am so in love with this cover. I cried the first time I saw it. It is extra personal for me, as the building shown here is the real Booth Memorial Home For Unwed Mothers (what is now Marian Prichett High School for pregnant teens and new mothers). On the left is S, who write a series to her unborn baby, and on the right, Cass, the headstrong girl that baby would grow up to be, gazing at each other across time. (Can you tell that it's summer on the left side, and autumn on the other? SOOOOOOOO COOL!)

Here's where you can find the book:


Barnes & Noble




So what do you think?

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Published on March 07, 2019 11:00

December 3, 2018

The 12 Days of Holly Chase

Tis the season for reading Christmas books!

This year my Christmas novel, THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, is out in paperback for the first time, and I am doing my best to promote it like crazy this holiday season. It is a young adult retelling of the classic story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, in which the Scrooge is a spoiled California socialite named Holly Chase.

What the book's about: Holly starts out by being visited by the three ghosts and taking a good hard look at how she's been living her life, (as a horrible human being) but instead of repenting and promising to do better, Holly refuses to change. In other words, she's a Scrooge without the normal happy ending and the "God Bless Us, Every One" moment. The company who works to rescue and rehabilitate a Scrooge-like person every year fails to fix Holly, and not too long afterwards, she's killed in a freak accident. She wakes up (or as nearly as one can "wake up" after being killed) in Project Scrooge's company headquarters, where she is informed that her eternal punishment is going to be to serve as the Ghost of Christmas Past for the rest of eternity. Which is totally going to put a damper on her social life . . .

And all that is just what happens in CHAPTER ONE.

I had so much fun writing this book, and I'm so thrilled to be sharing it with readers this holiday season. On that note, we're doing a promotion called TWELVE DAYS OF HOLLY CHASE, which will include a blog tour, a bookstagram tour, a live video chat, and a bunch of amazing giveaways. It starts today! Check out the sites below on the appropriate day to get in on all the fun!

Blog Tour: 
12/3 Little Book Worm Reviews 12/4 Haunted by Books 12/5 The Ultimate Fangirl 12/6 The YA Book Traveler12/7 Vicky Who Reads  12/8 Novel Knight  12/9 A Court of Crowns and Quills 12/10 That Artsy Reader Girl 12/11 Wild and Wonderful Reads 12/12 The Clever Reader 12/13 BookCrushin 12/14 Mary Had A Little Book Blog

Bookstagram Tour:
12/3 - @erinsummerill 12/4 - @moonlight_rendezvous 12/5 - @shutupnread  12/6 - @_magicbookdom_  12/7 - @latestreads 12/8 - @heyatlascreative 12/9 - @bookrockbetty12/10 - @saltybadgerbooks 12/11 - @oh.hey.books12/12 - @fromlibrarywithlove12/13 - @unicornbiblio 12/14 - @novel.novice

I am super excited to see all this new Holly Chase content and thrilled to be able to give away so much stuff. I had custom ornaments made for me to sign and give away, I am throwing in a few of my favorite Christmas movies, and I have knitted handmade hats and mitts to bestow upon the lucky winners.

Even if you don't win the giveaway, there's some great things I have to give to you.

A trailer in a pear tree:

The talented Sarah Kershaw at made this trailer, and I am in love with it. I love it even more because it features an original song that was written and recorded by my bestie and grad school roommate Lindsey Hunt for her new album.

And the second treat, to anyone who wants it, is
a custom-made Christmas card from ME, signed by me, of course, and stuffed with as much swag as I can fit in the envelope. This would also be a good opportunity to get your book's "signed" by me, too. Just let me know how many you need, and I will send along some signed bookplates.

Just click this link and fill out the form, and the card (and stuff) will be coming your way!
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Published on December 03, 2018 11:41

July 12, 2018

News and Tour Wrap Up

So MY PLAIN JANE has been out for two weeks, and I (and the other two Janies) have been getting all the love!

In the first week we went on an amazing tour in which we:

Met a real live HEDGEHOG named Pixi Sticks in Salt Lake City!

Answered a lot of fun questions and performed a bit of MY PLAIN JANE (with costumes!)(Thanks to the Fabulous Book Fiend for the fun video from our Denver event)

Almost melted in Phoenix, but we kept right on laughing
and then we returned to Salt Lake City, where the three of us sat down to start writing our next book, MY CALAMITY JANE. It was business as usual for the Janies:

And then something AMAZING happened:

MY PLAIN JANE hit the New York Times bestseller list!!!!!!!!
Needless to say, it was an amazing two weeks, and thanks so much to everyone who came out and supported us. We have the best, most enthusiastic, hilarious readers, and I love you all so much!

If you're feeling a bit cheated because we stuck to the western United States this time, and you live on the eastern side, we have good news. The Janies will be meeting up in August in Virginia to finish writing MY CALAMITY JANE, and while we're there, we'll be doing two book events. The first is at Barnes & Noble Charlottesville on Saturday, August 4th, at 12pm.

And the second will be at One More Page in Arlington on August 7 at 7pm:

So come and see us there! We promise that we will perform for you, too!

In less exciting news, I just sent copyright infringement takedowns to a huge amount of piracy sites. This depresses me so much. Please don't steal my books. At this stage, every single sale of MY PLAIN JANE counts so much, I can't emphasize enough how much it matters. The Janies and I would really like to keep writing books together, but we can't do this if our sales aren't good enough. So please don't pirate!

On that note, I have some awesome news. MY PLAIN JANE is, as of this week, available at Target! But this is no ordinary version of the book. This version has a whole EXTRA CHAPTER at the end, like an epilogue to our epilogue. The Target version of the book is the only place you can get this extra content (which we had so much fun writing!), and they have only printed a limited amount of these, so once they are all sold, they're gone.

So run to Target, people! (Or you can get it online here.) And have a good laugh with us about the invention of the double date.

Thanks again for all the love for MY PLAIN JANE. 

Cynthia (and the Janies)
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Published on July 12, 2018 08:17

April 18, 2018

Life Inside My Mind

I've been very busy with an impending book deadline this week (er, this year, actually), and I JUST GOT MARRIED, like, two weeks ago, but I wanted to be sure that I called your attention to a wonderful anthology that I was fortunate enough to contribute to, which recently hit shelves wherever books are sold. It's called LIFE INSIDE MY MIND.

Here's the description:

Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD.

Have you ever felt like you just couldn't get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says "you're not good enough," "not good looking enough," "not thin enough," or "not smart enough"? Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is "just so" on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?

You're not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. However issues around mental health still tend to be treated as something shrouded in shame or discussed in whispers. It's easier to have a broken bone--something tangible that can be "fixed"--than to have a mental illness, and easier to have a discussion about sex than it is to have one about mental health.

Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. These essays tackle everything from neurodiversity to addiction to OCD to PTSD and much more. The goals of this book range from providing home to those who are feeling alone, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member struggle, and to open the floodgates to conversation.

This is such an important, helpful, heart-full collection of thoughts by so many writers I deeply admire. The essay I contributed to this anthology deals with the hands-off manner in which I used to regard the topic of depression and suicide in my friends while I was in high school--one friend in particular--and how my view changed as I became an adult and lost my own brother to suicide.

Please consider picking up a copy. This would also be a great one to buy and donate to your local library or high school library.

Here are links to some of the places you can buy:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound (which is a site where you can locate your nearest independent bookstore who is selling the book)



My friend and co-author Brodi Ashton was the officiant, and she cried through the entire time we were reading our vows, which was so cute and sweet, and I love her so much! (and of course I ALSO LOVE MY HUSBAND!)

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Published on April 18, 2018 08:56

October 23, 2017


I'm working on the as-yet-not-finished new book like a beast this week, but I wanted to pause to give you all a gentle reminder:



This is not a drill, people!

Also, for my Boise friends: I AM HAVING A LAUNCH PARTY ON THURSDAY AT 7PM. Please come. Please, consider this your opportunity to support me as your friend. Because there is nothing sadder for an author than a book event with only like five people in attendance.

(This is literally the gif that came up when I typed "sad author." I was like, aw. And then I remembered that Snooki wrote a book. AW.)

I will read from the book, if you want. I'll tell you about my adventures in Hollywood this past month, including the time I was licked by
Fun will be had, I promise. No pressure to buy the book. Just come, and I will be forever grateful.

Click here for the Facebook invite.
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Published on October 23, 2017 12:39

October 12, 2017

News, Covers, Movies, and Mitts

I've got a big news build up for you this time, so brace yourself. There's a lot.

1. THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE is going to be out in only TWO WEEKS! I had the idea for this novel years ago, I am so excited for it to be finally seeing the light of day. Holly is the modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge, which was so fun to write. I can't wait for you to meet her. Go here to the book page where you can find out more and pre-order. Pre-order: HarperCollins Amazon / Barnes & Noble /  iBooks / Indiebound

the first hardcover has arrived and it is soooooo shiny
Look at the back! Gah!
I'm going to do a special pre-order giveaway-- the first hundred people who preorder the book (email me at with a screenshot of your completed order) will get a personalized Holly Chase card, signed by me, and something from a fun selection of Christmas-oriented swag.

Show me that you're spreading the word about THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, by tweeting about it, adding to your To Read pile on Goodreads, doing a post on your website or blog, or Instasharing, (again, email me with your screenshots or tag me in the posts) and you'll be entered to win even more great prizes, like:

a Christmas hat, knitted by moi

a pair of Christmas fingerless mitts, also knitted by yours truly

a special Holly Chase themed Christmas ornament

a signed and personalized hardcover of The Afterlife of Holly Chase

signed copies of some of my other books

signed bookplates and bookmarks

and a bunch more!

So spread the word! And keep checking back, because there are going to be a lot more giveaways and fun events as we get closer to Christmas.

2. The Afterlife of Holly Chase is also coming to Australia on 10-23-17. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover--look!

Squee! It captures the book so perfectly! I can't even!

3.  I've also spent a big chunk of the past few weeks trying to get Holly Chase on the road to becoming a movie, which has been so exciting and stressful. (No movie news I can share yet, but I've got my fingers crossed.)

Me hanging out with Napoleon on the lot at Fox, where we were pitching TAoHCSo yeah, I have Holly Chase on the brain.

But . . .

4. The Janies also have a new book coming out--in June 2018, to be exact. And it now has a COVER. We will be revealing the cover TOMORROW, so head over tomorrow to to check it out.

5. It's fall! (Okay, this is only going to be news to people in, say, California.) Fall is my favorite season: I love sweaters, leaves, and KNITTING. I have been knitting up a storm.

You too, could have fingerless mitts, but these are mine.
6. I got a puppy. Her name is Poesy. The cats are not thrilled.

Poesy also clearly digs fall.
7. I'm going to be doing a few events around the release of Holly Chase, mostly in Idaho, but also in Miami and some other places. Check out the Events tab to find out where and when.

That's it--all the news I can think to share right now. Don't forget to enter the giveaway, and look for the MY PLAIN JANE cover tomorrow.


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Published on October 12, 2017 14:57

February 8, 2017

Cover Reveal

As promised, today I'm going to show you all the cover to my new book, THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, which is coming to bookstores on November 7, 2017.

But first, here's the description:

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

Woohoo, so exciting! So, ready to see???!!!!!

Here you go:

I love this cover so much!!!!! I should point out that it's going to be printed on foil, so everything that is white here is actually going to be a sparkly silver color. I love the symbols: the coffin, the roses, the snowflakes, the candle, the stars, the tiny lightning bolts, all of which are so important to the story. I also love the way the detailing on the edges hearkens back to that older style of book, like my own tiny copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

*in cover love*


So what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to take part in this giveaway, where I will give one lucky reader my first copy of the ARC. (One of the ways to enter the contest is to comment below. . .)

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Published on February 08, 2017 06:08

February 7, 2017

News and an Upcoming Cover

I've got news! I've got a huge buildup of news, actually. I love news! So here goes:

1. I am doing an event this week! Listen up, Idaho people, because I am moderating an event at the Boise Barnes & Noble on THURSDAY, Feb 9, at 7pm. I'm going to get the chance to interview the phenomenal Victoria Aveyard, author of THE RED QUEEN series (I toured with Victoria a couple years ago and it was so fun--she's a fellow Tolkien / George R. R. Martin fan, so of course we got along wonderfully) and the brilliant Sophie Jordan, who I've been a huge fan of since her FIRELIGHT series (and now she's going to be here promoting REIGN OF SHADOWS series) and can't wait to spend some time with in person!

I'll also be signing copies of the UNEARTHLY series, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, and MY LADY JANE. So come out!

2. The ebook of THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is on sale, big time in Germany all month! The promotional price will be 5,99 € (usually 14,99 €) and the promotion will run 2/1 to 2/28. (Sidenote: I love this cover. The title translates to "The Improbability of Happiness." Make of that what you will, ha, but I love the way it looks like a math problem on the cover, juxtaposed with the dandelion and the girl. (And the ya! in the corner.)

3. MY LADY JANE hit the New York Times list in January! I am so thrilled about this, especially because my two co-authors now get to put the all-prestigious "New York Times bestselling author" label in front of their names. And that label will now go on the paperback, too. (The paperback is coming in June.) MLJ has also been landing on all kinds of wonderful lists lately, including the Amelia Bloomer list (which is all about celebrating feminism, which we really wanted to do when we wrote MLJ), the YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults list , and the Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices. It's so great to see this book that gave us such joy to write being appreciated by so many people. Thanks, people!

4. This week, the Janies and I are finishing the first official draft of MY PLAIN JANE, which is the book in which we save Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte. This novel has been so much fun to work on, and we can't wait until YOU get to read it. Which will be a while. Like Summer 2018, a while. But we are hard at work on it, and it's coming!

To tide you over, I'll leave you this. It's a brilliant cartoon by Kate Beaton that captures, in a nutshell, what we think might be wrong with Jane Eyre. *spicy language alert*

And now for the biggest news of ALL:
4. I HAVE A NEW SOLO BOOK COMING OUT. It's called THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and it will be out on November 7, 2017. You can pre-order here. It's a teenage retelling of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which I had loads of fun writing. It's got a touch of magic and romance and great costumes, and I WILL SHOW YOU THE COVER TOMORROW.

That's right. TOMORROW. 9 Eastern. I will reveal the cover of THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE. It is, in my somewhat biased opinion, the best cover EVER. 

Enter the contest (which involves shamelessly plastering the Holly Chase cover everywhere you can think of) to win the very first ARC of THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE that I get my hands on.

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So stop by here tomorrow!
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Published on February 07, 2017 05:43

July 27, 2016


Okay, so I haven't been around on this website for a while. *checks the last time I posted* *it was February* Yep.

I've been super super super busy promoting and writing marketing content for my latest book, MY LADY JANE, on the Lady Janies website here: And I've been working with my besties on a new Jane book, too. Woot woot!

I am also on a very tight deadline for my next solo book. So I'll be underground for a little while yet.

But check back soon for some amazing news that I'll be allowed to share with you any day now, and, if you're interested in what I'm doing, keep track of my feed on Twitter (@cynthiahand) or Instagram (@cynthiahand).

I'll just be here typing away.

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Published on July 27, 2016 09:46

February 6, 2016

Paperback Promotion

So this week THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is coming to paperback, and to celebrate (and to try to er, promote it), I am going to do an exclusive giveaway to help get the word out. So tell your friends--if this is a book you think they'd like to read, NOW is the time to get it.

Between now and Tuesday only, when you buy the paperback, I will send you a signed THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE bookmark (while supplies last). All you have to do to receive this is to :

1. Email me a screenshot of your purchase or your receipt or whatever form of proof you can produce that you've bought the book during this promotion time.

2. In the email, tell me your mailing address. Please make sure it's complete.

3. If you're interested in winning a signed advanced copy of MY LADY JANE, click on the rafflecopter contest below and follow the instructions. No international entries, sorry. You can get an entry for just tweeting about the contest, but you'll get FIVE entries if you actually bought the TLTWSG paperback.

4. Enjoy TLTWSG while you wait for your awesome bookmark (and possibly, your ARC)!

5. Accept my many many thanks. You rock.

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Published on February 06, 2016 00:00