Monday: New Release Spotlight–The Darkest Lie

The Darkest Lie Release Blitz | Pintip Dunn |

I’m so excited to be part of the Release Blitz for Pintip Dunn’s THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book’s details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

The Darkest LieThe Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn | A Book and a Latte |

Publisher: Kensington YA

Publication: June 28, 2016


“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

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Excerpt from The Darkest Lie

“I’ve been researching the story of her suicide,” Sam says. “And I came across something in my research that nobody could explain.”

“What is it?” I say dully, even though I can probably guess. I mean, there’s lots that’s inexplicable about my mom’s behavior. Tons.

Like: How could a grown woman be sexually attracted to a boy? Or more importantly: Why would she act on it? And my personal favorite: Did she have any kind of moral fiber—even a few lost threads—at all?

But Sam bypasses all the obvious questions and picks up a lock of my hair. I feel the slight tug all the way to my roots.

“Her hair.” He rubs my strands between his fingers, and I suppress a shiver. “It was chopped off, jagged. One article said it looked like it was lopped off with a butcher knife.”

I shrug, but even that simple movement is infused with the awareness of his touch. Still, he doesn’t let go.

“They said she was crazy,” I say. “Out of her mind. Maybe she was disfiguring herself as a sign of her shame. Who knows what motivated her actions?”

But even as I repeat the explanation the detectives gave for just about everything, my dad’s words echo in my mind: I knew your mother. She wasn’t capable of those things. I don’t believe she did any of it.

All of a sudden, my excuses sound exactly like what they are—easy, surface-level assumptions designed to make it easier for the detectives to close the case.

Sam frowns. “I guess I could buy that if I hadn’t seen the interview with her hair stylist in one of the local papers.”

Oh. One of those. Every newspaper in a fifty-mile radius went berserk when my mom committed suicide. Every day, there was a new article, featuring interviews with her fellow teachers, former students, even our lawn guy, for god’s sake. If there was a story on her hair salon, I must’ve missed it.

“The stylist kept saying your mom’s haircut was inconceivable, and I couldn’t understand why. So when I was scooting past Cut & Dry the other day, I stopped to talk to her.”

“Did she confirm my mom was a natural redhead?” I raise my eyebrows. “Reveal the exact color of dye she used to cover her silver sparkles?”

“Not at all,” he says, and something about his tone stops me. The chill begins at the base of my spine and crawls its way up, one long spider leg at a time. “The stylist said she’s been cutting your mom’s hair for two decades. And in all that time, your mother never let her cut more than half an inch. In fact, she came into the salon two days before she died, and they had the exact same argument. The stylist tried to talk her into a bob, and your mom adamantly refused.”

Abruptly, he lets go of my hair, and the strands swing back over my shoulder, loose, unencumbered, and very, very cold.

Sam’s eyes pierce right into me. “So what I want to know is: What could’ve happened in two days that made her change her mind? Unless . . . she didn’t.”

Pintip DunnAbout Pintip Dunn

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, is a finalist in the Best First Book category of RWA’s RITA® contest. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at


There are 2 prizes! One winner will win a signed copy of THE DARKEST LIE (US only), and another winner will receive a $50 gift card to Amazon or Book Depository (international)!

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Spotlight Thursday: World Sisterhood of Bloggers

My friend and fellow writer Victoria Pitts-Caine nominated me to the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers. Thank you to her for including me in this fun exercise.

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The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you.
  • Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

Here are the questions Vicki asked me:

1. What’s your happiest holiday memory?

I remember several childhood Christmases with great fondness. Christmas was always a time of overabundance. Lots of presents, lots of food, lots of family to share it all with. I know many advocate scaling back to defeat commercialism and a sense of entitlement, but I just can’t do it. Everyone gets a gift from me. To my husband’s despair.

  1. Who was your favorite grade school teacher?

I was the weird kid who always liked school. I had several teachers I really enjoyed. Miss Cam Corlett in the fifth grade was definitely a favorite. And Mrs. Sumter from Boston in sixth grade also makes the cut. Mrs. Kuchenmeister deserves a mention just for her memorable name.

  1. If life had taken you down a different path, what would you be doing now?

Oddly enough, I was thinking about that just this morning. I was thinking about a few friends from high school: the straight-laced guy who became an alcoholic. The free-spirit (and free-thinker) who became a Christian and lives the straight and narrow life now. The poet who died last year of cancer. Life never takes us down the expected path. I think I’d probably be either an attorney or an actress. Both careers appealed to me. I think I’m too self-conscious to drop my innate reserve to be a really good actress though. The law … maybe.

  1. What place in the world would you like to visit?

Europe. I’ve never been and I want to see it all. The castles in England. The villas in Italy. The French countryside.

  1. What’s your favorite dessert?

If it’s not chocolate, it’s not really dessert.

  1. If you were told you only had one day to live, how would you spend it?

With my family, eating, drinking, and laughing.

  1. Which do you like to do best: a movie rental and a bowl of popcorn, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate, or a day at the beach ending with watching the sunset?

I don’t think I can choose between those. I love them all!

  1. What’s your favorite electronic gadget?

It’s a toss up between my phone and the DVR.

  1. How will you (or how did you) spend New Year’s Eve?

We used to live in Pasadena where they host a little parade every New Year’s Day–you may have heard of it. 😉 So New Year’s is a big deal to us. We usually travel back to Pasadena and stay with friends. We went to the home of some other good friends New Year’s Eve where we ate yummy food and visited and caught up with each other. We often go to the parade, but for 2015 we decided it was too cold and we watched the floats and bands from the warmth of our friends’s couch. Then we went to another couple’s home to watch the Rose Bowl. And to eat some more, in case we were still hungry after the morning cinnamon rolls.

  1. Pets – cats, dogs, fish? What do you have?

We’re boarding our grand-dog Harry. What was supposed to be temporary has turned into permanent. He still loves our daughter best, but he really loves living with us. We’re in the country so he’s got room to run and rabbits to chase and lots of smells to sniff. We also have two cats. One is a recent arrival who adopted us when someone dumped him off nearby. We’re glad he found us and decided we suit his needs. He’s a fun addition to the household.

Okay, now it’s my turn to nominate some fellow writers:

Brenda Hendricks, Shay Fuller, Lisa Lickel, Beth Shriver, Becky Duncan, Toni Weymouth, Kelly Stanhope, L.T. Kodzo, Garrison Frewer, Susan Glass, and Marilyn Greene.

My questions for the next group of victims er … nominees:

1. What is your favorite inspirational quote?

2. Coffee or tea?

3. What’s your ideal Saturday look like?

4. Do you prefer beach or mountains for a getaway?

5. Favorite book in high school?

6. The classic book everyone raves about, but you just don’t ‘get.’

7. Favorite global cuisine?

8. Country or Pop music?

9. Must see holiday movie?

10. Do you watch any Bowl games? Rose? Super? Cotton?

Thank you friends! I look forward to reading your responses.

Media Monday: Tag, you’re it!

Every so often, like a chain letter, blog tour tags come along. When you’re tagged, you follow the instructions, play a while, then tag someone else and pass it along.

header 3Last week I was tagged by the lovely Marnee Bailey. You can read her blog here.

So, I’ve taken the baton. Here’s my post:

What am I working on?

My current Work-in-Progress (WIP) is a contemporary women’s fiction story about a successful radio psychologist who discovers she sacrificed her family for her career on the same day she achieves and loses her dream job.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write squeaky clean stories about real people in the real world. It’s not that my characters are inherently good, but they do try to make the world a better place. They have sex, they yell at their kids and spouse, they even swear occasionally, but just like I don’t want anyone else spying on me doing those things, I try to let my characters also do those things off the page.


Why do I write what I do?

I write stories that won’t let go of me. I want to know how Ginger, the radio psychologist will put her life back together after it falls apart.

How does your writing process work?

Typically, I write a very rough first draft pretty darn quickly. In a month or six weeks. Then I take several months going over it, rewriting, editing, polishing. I take it to my local critique group a chapter a week, and I send it to several online critique partners, then it finally goes to a friend or my husband for a beta read.

When I’m fast-drafting, I write 3,000 to 5,000 words a day and I do very little else. The dishes, laundry and dust bunnies all attest to that.

Speaking of doing little else, I’ve had a very busy few weeks and I neglected to line up anyone else to tag next. I’m going to go ahead and post this, and then find a friend or two to pass the baton to.

UPDATE: The lovely and talented Victoria Pitts Caine has agreed to step up. Check out her blog next week for a peek inside her writing process.