A contemporary fantasy YA debut from Rochelle Hassan about monsters, magic, and wicked fae, perfect for fans of The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Hazel Wood
As the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts―an uncommonly magical place―Aziza El-Amin has bargained with wood nymphs, rescued palm-sized fairies from house cats, banished flesh-eating shadows from the local park. But when a dark entity awakens in the forest outside of town, eroding the invisible boundary between the human world and fairyland, run-of-the-mill fae mischief turns into outright aggression, and the danger―to herself and others―becomes too great for her to handle alone.
Leo Merritt is no stranger to magical catastrophes. On his sixteenth birthday, a dormant curse kicked in and ripped away all his memories of his true love. A miserable year has passed since then. He’s road-tripped up and down the East Coast looking for a way to get his memories back and hit one dead end after another. He doesn’t even know his true love’s name, but he feels the absence in his life, and it’s haunting.
Desperate for answers, he makes a pact with Aziza: he’ll provide much-needed backup on her nightly patrols, and in exchange, she’ll help him break the curse.
When the creature in the woods sets its sights on them, their survival depends on the aid of a mysterious young necromancer they’re not certain they can trust. But they’ll have to work together to eradicate the new threat and take back their hometown … even if it forces them to uncover deeply buried secrets and make devastating sacrifices.
Daniel Henning is a director, producer, actor, and writer. His work has been seen on HBO, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, MTV, Comedy Central, and on stages throughout Southern California. He won a 2017 Telly Award for "Best Writer" for the film version of his play The Tragedy of JFK (as Told by Wm. Shakespeare). As director and writer, his TV and film work includes MTV's Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and the film Critic's Choice. He won the NAACP Theatre Award for "Best Director of a Musical" for The Wild Party.
He is the Founding Artistic Director of Hollywood's The Blank Theatre, winning over 200 awards for his productions, including "Best Production," from LA Drama Critic Circle, LA Weekly, Ovations, NAACP, etc. Henning has been inspirational to thousands of young artists through his creation of The Blank's Young Playwrights Festival (the only professional nationwide competition for playwrights aged nine to nineteen). He directed the first play by 2016 Tony Award Winner for "Best Play" Stephen Karam when Stephen was seventeen and a winner in The Blank's Young Playwrights Festival.
Henning has also been an acting teacher and coach and is known for his ability to spot young talent. He has given opportunities to many young actors who later went on to success in Hollywood including Tessa Thompson, Noah Wyle, Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. He coached Sarah Michelle Gellar on her auditions for the landmark TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and they shared a close personal friendship, even traveling to Australia together with family for New Year's Eve 2000, where the paparazzi photographed Henning and Gellar dancing. For several months, Henning was rumored to be dating Gellar in the Australian fan magazines (including Big Hit Magazine), which, of course, was inaccurate as Henning was traveling with his husband, Rick Baumgartner.
He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and American Conservatory Theatre. His work for LGBTQ Equality includes creating the fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of the Black Cat Protests (the first major LGBTQ Demonstration in the US) and directing and hosting the 2017 LA City Council LGBTQ Pride Ceremony. He was recently honored by the CA State Legislature for his work in LGBTQ Equality and nurturing the future of the Arts.
He has also narrated dozens of audiobooks, both nonfiction and fiction.
Dan Bittner is an actor and voice artist. He has appeared in The Wolf of Wall Street and Adventureland. His audiobook narration credits include the Relic Master series by Catherine Fisher and Stolen by Melissa de la Cruz.