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Blink Blog: Goals, Reading Lists, and Valentine’s Day

We recently chatted with some of our Blink authors to ask about their goals for this year, what they’re reading, and if they have any plans for Valentine’s Day! Keep reading below to see what they had to say…

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Ashley Royer: I hope to do well at my first year of college! I’m nervous, but I’m excited too!

Christina June: I hope to be the very best me I can be.  Maybe that sounds cheesy, but in the current political climate, it would be easy to lose one’s self and lose sight of what’s truly important.

Evangeline Denmark: I’m really hoping this will be an intense writing year for me. I have several projects just begging for my attention, and I’d like to hole up as much as possible and just play with my words. Other than that, I’m making an effort to change the way our family eats. I’m trying to swap whole foods for convenience foods, which sounds easy but is a lot more work than you think. So, eat healthy and write, that’s what I hope to accomplish.

Jonathan Friesen: Balance. I know that’s not a concrete goal like writing a book in November or losing twenty pounds, but I think it’s more important. I want to figure out how to live as a full-time professor and a full-time author and a speaker and a substitute teacher and a home-school dad and a husband and … well, you get the idea. I lost my footing in 2016, and I need to get it back.

Lorie Langdon:  This year I hope to finish an epic fantasy novel I’m writing. It’s the biggest book I’ve ever taken on and I’ve thought about walking away from it several times. But the story is worth it and I don’t want to give up!

McCall Hoyle: I want to take drawing classes—not because I aspire to any great artistic endeavors. I want to write a story someday about a daughter and her estranged mother. I want their art to be the language that opens the door to their communicating and healing.

At the moment, the extent of my drawing ability includes stick people and the horses I spent hours and hours drawing and daydreaming about as a little girl. So I see lots of opportunity for growth in this area of my life.

Stephanie Morrill: I’m a big Kansas City Royals fan, and I’ve always wanted to go to a spring training game. Also,  I have several books that are begging to be written, and I’ve scheduled time with a writer friend to get away from home for a few days to write. We’ve done that several times now, and it’s always really fun.

What’s on your reading list for the year?

Ashley Royer: I have a lot of books I want to read! I’m going to start a book club with my followers soon, so that should be fun.

Christina June: I’m really looking forward to THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, ALLEGEDLY by Tiffany Jackson, DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone, THE GAUNTLET by Karuna Riazi, HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake, THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich, and A COURT OF WINGS & RUIN by Sarah J. Maas.  Among others!

Evangeline Denmark: Everything I didn’t get to last year. My TBR is insane! But it’s going to have to wait because next up I’m reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula with a friend in February. I haven’t read it since I was 18, but it’s one of my favorite books and definitely kindled my love of the Gothic and fantasy.

Jonathan Friesen: A classic horror story: I am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier.

A modern “love” story: Eleanor and Park.

And I will now admit that I have never read Harry Potter. (Collective gasp) But look at it this way; I have all the joy in front of me.

Lorie Langdon: So many things! A few new releases I’m looking forward to are: SHADOWCASTER by Cinda Williams Chima, THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW by Mary Weber, TOWARD A SECRET SKY by Heather Maclean, THE DARK DAYS PACT by Alison Goodman

McCall Hoyle: I’m in two debut author groups, so I have the opportunity to read lots and lots of Advance Reader Copies before the rest of the world. A couple debuts I’m especially looking forward to are: The Black Witch, by Laurie Forrest, and Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson.

Stephanie Morrill: I have several Beatriz Williams books on my reading list, A Certain Age and The Wicked City. Since I write stories set in the 1920s, I have to be really careful about when in my writing process I read books from the same era. Otherwise it can mess with my voice and style.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day plans or traditions?

Ashley Royer: I don’t have any traditions or any plans yet. The day after, I’m judging a local Spelling Bee, so I’ll probably be looking over the words on Valentine’s Day.

Christina June: No real traditions, other than we try to have a nice dinner.  Sometimes this means going out and sometimes it means staying in and cooking something we wouldn’t normally have.  My husband has mastered the art of the steakhouse filet mignon at home, which is in my top 5 favorite foods, so that’s a Valentine favorite.

Evangeline Denmark: Do you have any Valentine’s Day plans or traditions? Not really. Back in the days when music came on CDs, my husband and I would buy each other a CD for Valentine’s Day, preferably by an artist the other was not familiar with. I came up with this tradition thinking it was kind of romantic because you have to really know a person to know what music they like. Then I remembered my husband’s favorite band is The Eagles and I wondered how I ended up married to him in the first place. I can’t stand The Eagles. There, I said it. Anyway, we stopped giving each other CDs. But don’t worry, we’re fine. We agree on lots of other stuff.

Jonathan Friesen:  

Traditions.

Me: Isn’t Valentine’s Day coming soon?

Lovely Wife: Yeah, it was yesterday.

Me. Right. Well, I have something planned (thinking really hard)

Lovely Wife: Sure.

Me. Seriously, I do.

I imagine it going something like that.

Lorie Langdon:  My husband and I usually buy each other cards and do something low key like have an at home date night.  

McCall Hoyle: I’m sure my husband will plan something special. I’m pretty easy to please as long as there’s chocolate involved, preferably Godiva Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Oysters. Have you tried them? They’re not really oysters. They’re pretty milk chocolate seashells filled with hazelnut praline, and they are to die for.

Stephanie Morrill: Valentine’s Day is always a mix for me. Some years my husband and I don’t even exchange gifts. Other years he surprises me with diamond earrings. So I never really know what to plan for! We’ve given up on going out to dinner. We usually work together to make a special meal at home and enjoy it by candlelight with our three kids.

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