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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas With… Cynthia Hand


Please welcome today’s guest, Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly and the soon-to-be released Hallowed. Make sure you read on the discover more about the series and a particularly delightful Christmas story!

** If you haven’t read Unearthly yet, you can purchase the ebook for only 1,09$ on Amazon**


1- Unearthly received raving reviews from readers and fellow writers alike, what do you expect with Hallowed?

I think that most people who liked Unearthly will like Hallowed, for most of the same reasons. Hallowed is a middle book, and sometimes readers don't fancy the middle book as much as the first. I'm like that, actually. I am generally not as thrilled with sequels because I miss the initial rush of getting to know the characters and their world. But Clara is still Clara and Tucker is still Tucker and their story carries on. Hallowed is a more serious, contemplative book than Unearthly, but I also think it is more emotionally powerful, for that reason.

2- Where will Clara take us this time around?

We're still in Jackson, Wyoming, but the world has definitely changed for Clara in this second book. In Unearthly, Clara very much saw the world in black and white, but in Hallowed she comes to live in a world of grays. We'll find out a lot more about angel-bloods in general, about Black Wings and White Wings, purpose, and, of course, we'll find out more about Christian.

3- How did you manage to keep the tension, to not say love-triangle between Christian-Clara-Tucker alive?Unearthly (Unearthly #1)

Ha, I love these love triangle questions. What cracks me up about the reviews for Unearthly is how often folks talked about the love triangle. I don't think I even thought the words love triangle when I was writing Unearthly, simply because I didn't mean for the reader to truly get to know Christian. Clara has a crush on Christian in Unearthly, but it's a crush on who she imagines him to be, not who he truly is. And she really gets to know and love Tucker. So there's no contest, really. That said, in Hallowed, she really does get to know Christian, and she's attracted to him and all that he represents, so it very much is more of a traditional triangle. I'm not really trying to manipulate the reader into being team Christian or team Tucker. I'm just interested in getting to know the characters and seeing what they do on the page.

4- How many books can we expect in the series? And when will the next one release?

Sigh. Well there were originally going to be four books in the series. Harper Collins only bought the first three, but I was working on the third book this summer and fall with the idea that there would be a fourth book. But my editor has recently convinced me that the story would be better served as a trilogy--that I didn't quite have enough there for four books, so I am revising the third book to be the final book of the series. This makes me sad, in some ways, to leave Clara's world, but it's also exciting because there are some other projects I've been itching to work on and now I can get to those sooner. I don't know what the release date will be yet.

Now onto some Xmas-y questions:

5- What was your favorite part of Christmas when you were a kid?

I think I loved the beauty and pageantry of Christmas best. I loved the lights and the tree and the candles that we used to light while we sang Silent Night at church on Christmas Eve and the all-in-all glowiness of Christmas.

6- Is there one present you received that really stuck to your memory?

I have a funny story about this. I'd been having some doubts about the existence of Santa, but when I confessed this to my parents, they said I would have to prove my theory. Or, in other words, disprove Santa's existence. Nice, right? I tried to do this for a couple of years. I stuck notes up the chimney giving Santa instructions to bite off the gingerbread cookie's left arm (if he really came down the chimney, he'd find the note and follow the instructions) and I tried to stay up late to catch my parents, but it never worked. I had savvy, savvy parents. Then one year I hit on an ingenious idea. We made our yearly trip to see Santa in the mall, and I told him I wanted a sewing kit. But I told my parents that I told him I wanted a specific kind of doll (what I really wanted). Oh how clever I was. Mwa ha ha. It was too good not to share, so I told my piano teacher all about my insidious plan. And I made her promise not to tell my parents. She promised. (She did not, however, promise not to tell ANYBODY, as I found out years later that it was her mother who called my parents and ratted me out). So Christmas morning. I bust downstairs to look under the tree, and there it was. . . the sewing kit. I was so astonished. Maybe Santa was real after all.

7- Is there a special tradition in your family?Dec2010_0080

Oh, lots. We open one present on Christmas Eve. We always read The Night Before Christmas on the night before Christmas (and The Grinch who stole Christmas) and we don't open presents until at least 7am, and I like to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

8- What would a typical Christmas be like for Clara?

I actually wrote a quick Christmas scene in Hallowed that was eventually cut, where Clara and Billy were decorating the tree. But I think Christmas is pretty ordinary for Clara. Maggie always wanted her kids to have normal upbringings as much as possible, so I think they had pretty standard traditions. That said, I'd guess that there would be a lot more angel jokes than usual around this day.


If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Hallowed

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository


Cynthia would like to offer one of you an ARC of Hallowed!

Open Internationally

Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.

All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cynthia Hand


Cynthia Hand divides her time between Southern California, where she lives with her husband and son, and southeast Idaho near the Teton mountains. She teaches creative writing at Pepperdine University.  She is the author of Unearthly.

You can visit Cynthia here.

More of Cynthia Hand‘s books:

Unearthly (Unearthly #1)


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

71 People left their mark' :

  1. Tynga, just a short question: Now with Rafflecopter using the Facebook API I can't include any extra info, ie the way I follow. Is it okay to leave it here? (If so: I'm following you via my feedreader, GFC and I think also via Networked Blogs with this name and my Facebook name.. Obviously)

    I hope the Christmas scene will someday be online! And with some other YA series getting four books (with no justification, seriously!) I really am sad that Unearthly didn't get permission for another installment. : (

    Happy Holidays and thank you for the giveaway,


    (PS: Is there some way to get the recipe for that cake? LOL)

  2. Its ok Pat =) I still need to adjust with the new Raffle =/

  3. Thank You for this opportunity :)

    Twitter follower @thenorms

  4. Wow how hard would that be to be planning for a 4th book but then have to change and adjust to make the third book the last!? Interesting!

  5. HAHAHHA Omg, your piano teacher and parents are so cute!! That's such a fun way of getting a kid to believe in their imaginations! Great story! I'm not sure if this is the story that the Rafflecopter form referred to, but it's a great one.:)

    Thanks for the giveaway, and happy holidays!


  6. So cute, it was great your teacher found a way to help your parents after all magical santa should stay as long as possible.

    i follow via email and via gfc ( isabelle frisch or miki)

    all the best

  7. Entered & shared. Rafflecopter wouldn't let me post tweet url for some reason, but I @'d you so it should show in your mentions.
    Excellent and enlightening interview, thanks! I really liked Unearthly and don't think it got as much publicity as it deserved. The world Hand created was intensely beautiful; enough to make me wish I were in Wyoming. Some day I'll find that setting. I can't wait to read Hallowed and would love an ARC and chance to review and help promote it! Unearthly was one of my favorite reads of 2011!

  8. Lol, love the Santa story! I've been worried about the same problem with my 11 year old. I just might have to ask your parents for advise!

  9. Seriously, that has to be one of the best Christmas stories ever! Your parents were very clever.

  10. Hi! Love that Santa's trick! I will certainly use it when I will have children! Thanks for this giveaway!

    GFC Proserpine


  11. Ahhh this is so awesome thanks for an awesome giveaway I wanna read this sequel so bad :D

  12. LOL! What an awesome story! (and the fact that you had such thoughtful people in your life to make such an effort to keep you believing in Santa).

    Thanks for the giveaway! (I bought Unearthly since it's on sale and I can't wait to read it!)

    GFC: erin (rafflecopter doesn't let you fill this in)
    email subscriber

  13. THis series looks really good I can't wait to read Unearthly. I loved your interview and the story about your parents, it was so sweet. Thanks for the give away.

    Stephanie Eckstein
    email subscriber eckstein99, gfc follower stephjx, and fb follower.

  14. Aww cute story. I honestly don't remember when/why I stopped believing in Santa. I think my parents were pretty sneaky about it too though.

    Thanks for the chance to win & happy holidays!

  15. That Santa story is classic!! LOL! Your parents sound very cool.

    GFC: ML

  16. The bright lights and decorations definitely gives Christmas a magical feel. It makes me wish they were on longer :) Thank you for sharing your story.

  17. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. I'm really excited to read Hallowed...cannot wait :)

  18. Aw, Santa stories makes me nostalgic about my childhood. :)

  19. Thanks for the great giveaway! I just picked up the first book for my new e-reader yesterday!

  20. lol such a fun Santa story! :D Poor you, being ratted out like that. Tsk tsk. It was a great plan, though :D

  21. Thank you for the interesting interview ladies! I enjoyed reading it.

  22. Funny story! I loved the interview questions :)

  23. Ha, that Santa story is so cute! She really did have really savvy parents.

  24. That story is so cute! Her parents were really tricky. The sewing kit thing is pretty funny. Thanks for the chance at a great giveaway. I loved Unearthly and am excited for Hallowed to come out.

  25. Really enjoyed this one and I don't normally enjoy Angel type stories, looking forward to reading Hallowed
    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

  26. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing and for the opportunity!

  27. Thanks, I love hearing about other people's Christmas traditions.


  28. Lol, that is funny. :D I have to say, that was a clever plan. :D

  29. I enjoyed thank you. I do love special Christmas stories.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  30. Very funny))) My parents were all for the truth. Thats why when I will have a child, he will bileve in Santa untill he is forty)))))

  31. thanks for this great interview, it was really interesting.

  32. Thanks for the great giveaway. I would love to read this series. I believe that there is a Santa Claus out there. I think all children and adults should hold unto that belief as long as possible. They should believe in Jesus because he does exist. We all need faith, hope and foregiveness. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  33. Funny story ! Thanks for sharing ! ^^

    Kara D

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Cute story! Thanks for the chance. I have been wanting to read this book.

  36. I love the Santa story! You were definitely tricky, Cynthia, I just guess your parents were even trickier!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I'm so excited to read Hallowed!

  37. Thanks for the giveaway! I've read unearthly and i absolutely fell in love with it

  38. Love the story definitely got me cracking up. Your parents are smart and very sneaky. The teacher telling her mother who told your parents haha loved that part. One crazy story lol.

  39. Thank you for the awesome giveaway. I loved Unearthly and I can't wait for Hollowed!

  40. i love that she really got from Santa what she told -- I know she was ratted out but she still got what she asked for

  41. aw. great post. i really like the sound of this trilogy!

  42. Quite the precocious little one, weren't you!! LOL I had to laugh at how clever you were! And I really want to have Christmas at your house so I can taste those cinnamon rolls! Yuuummmmm

  43. Love the Christmas story! I was smiling and laughing all the way through :] <3

  44. That Santa story was fun. I had those same questions, but in no way went to those extremes to catch anyone playing Santa. I asked my grandmother about it one year. Sure enough that year I got a present from Santa for the first time. Shortly thereafter I found out he wasn't real.

  45. Aw, so cute! What clever, clever parents.

  46. That's a cute story. My sister spoiled it for me. She told me when I was about 6 years old!

  47. So funny! My sister and I did the same thing (about the cookie) but my father didn't see the note, so we had our proves :)

    GFC: I love books
    email: ilovebooksblog(at)gmail(dot)com

  48. Cute story!



  49. Thank you very much for the great interview and giveaway! Happy New year!

  50. I like how she went about proving/disproving Santa scientifically : )

  51. I think it's awesome that her parents tried to make her prove her theory - and then that her piano teacher did everything she could to keep the magic alive.

  52. I loved Unearthly. One of my favorites of 2011. I cannot wait to read HAllowed.

    That Santa story was too cute. Loved it.

    jennifer k
    gfc jennifer

  53. I love Unearthly and I can't wait for Hallowed. Thanks for the amazing interview and giveaway! :D

    The Book Addicted Girl

  54. Loved the Christmas story!
    I still have to read Unearthly, I've had it in my TBR pile since February!

  55. Haha! Someone was bound to tell your parents what you asked Santa for. :) But that was definitely clever of you. Especially since you gave up on getting the doll you wanted just for a test. Nice story!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Happy New Year!


  56. So excited for this next book in the Unearthly series. I loved the interview. Crossing my fingers!

  57. Loved your Santa story! I never had to disprove his existence, I just looked in my mom's closet, saw Santa's "special" wrapping paper and knew!

  58. This has to be one of my favorite Santa story! Someone is just bound to tell your parents what you asked for. Awesome post and thanks for the giveaway!

  59. Your piano teacher. Haha. She's clever promised not to tell your parents, instead of promise not to tell anyone

  60. That's so cute! They really are savvy parents! :)

  61. I have very much so enjoyed this twist on the angel theory, and well that Santa story, it was great!

  62. Your Santa story was very funny and very clever!
    I would love to read Hallowed.

  63. Love the Santa story. your parents were good keeping the myth alive

  64. Google Friends Connect - following you publicly as (Louis)

    I enjoyed reading the Santa story :)

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  65. Great Santa story! leaving an instruction on what to bite is funny XD
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

    red_tigergirl2 (at) hotmail DOT COM

  66. It's been a long time since I heard a Santa story...I liked it, Cynthia!

    Twitter = @artsymusings
    sanashams [at] hotmail [dot] com

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  67. Loved the santa story. I could see my 9 year old doing that. She still is a santa believer and hope she does not ruin it for her younger brother, he is 6. I love that they still believe. Thanks for the fun post.
    This book looks great and would love to win and read. You are a new author for me and would love to win and read this book.

  68. Hillarious interview! So excited that there will be third book and can't wait to see what other projects she will be working on. Squee!

  69. The story is so cute! Santa works in a misterious ways! hahaha! Is really hard to first tell children about Santa and then telling the truth! Sigh! All for the christmas spirit!
    I'm GFC follower!
    Thank you for the chance!

  70. That's a hilarious story! Your parents were really dedicated to their deception!

    GFC : Allie