Author Spotlight: Pintip Dunn and THE DARKEST LIE

 

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I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow Golden Heart® Dreamweaver, Pintip Dunn! Pintip’s newest book is coming out soon and I couldn’t wait to share this excerpt with you all.

ABOUT THE DARKEST LIE 

“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… 

the darkest lie

THE DARKEST LIE: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

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ABOUT PINTIP DUNN:

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. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. 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 www.pintipdunn.com.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

GIVEAWAYS (2!)

PrizePack

Prize pack including the following 5 books!

 

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards

Find Me by Romily Bernard

From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

 

Rafflecopter Prize Pack:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf6e2d2816/?

Goodreads Giveaway for THE DARKEST LIE: 

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/177942-the-darkest-lie

 

 

Excerpt

The Darkest Lie, by Pintip Dunn

It’s time to view the body. Family first.

Well, technically, me first. There was always only three of us in the nuclear unit, and Dad’s been locked in the den for the past seventy-two hours. I’ve only seen him once, when he shuffled upstairs like a pajama-clad zombie and asked me if I’d eaten.

That was it: Did you eat?

Not: I prefer the cherry wood casket. Or: Let me make your grandma’s travel arrangements. Or even: I know this was Mom’s favorite dress, but isn’t the neckline a little…low?

Did I eat?

Yes, Dad. I had soup from the can and microwaved pizza rolls and a bowl of cereal. The food sloshes in my stomach now as I walk down the runner to the casket I picked out because of its mauve tint.

Calla lilies pile in urns around the viewing room, and the air-conditioning wars with the sweat along my hairline. My mom smiles at me from a portrait erected behind the casket. Her eyes are hesitant and a little wary, as if she knew, somehow, some way, she would wind up here. Lifeless. Pumped full of formaldehyde. About to be gawked at by a town full of gossips.

This was only going to end one of two ways—with Tabitha Brooks dead or in jail. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d give anything to see my mother behind bars.

I wade through the dense, chilly air and stop a few feet from the body. Behind me, my grandmother and aunt sit, a box of tissues between them, blowing their noses like it’s a sport.

“Look at our Cecilia,” Gram sniffs. “So brave. Not a single tear shed.”

If she only knew. I’m not brave. Fifteen minutes ago, I was retching into the toilet bowl. Five minutes from now, when the doors open for the visitation, I’ll be long gone, leaving Gram to shake people’s hands and deal with the bit lips, the knowing eyebrows, that inevitable speaking-in-a-funeral-parlor whisper. I can hear the titters: “Is it true? Tabitha’s heart stopped while she was boffing the high school quarterback? Why, she must’ve been twenty years his senior!”

Twenty-three years, to be exact, and a high school English teacher to boot. But she didn’t actually die during sex. Instead, a few days after Tommy Farrow came forward with their affair, my mother took her own life.

What could be a clearer admission of guilt? She might as well have been caught in the act. The investigation was shut down before it even began.

I take a shuddering breath. Two more minutes. A hundred and twenty seconds and then I can leave. I steel my shoulders and walk the final steps to my mother’s body.

Oh god. It’s even worse than I thought.

The room whirls around me, and nausea sprints up my throat. My hands shoot out to grab the casket, stopping short of actually touching the corpse.

This . . . this thing . . . can’t be my mother. She never smiled like that, all serene and peaceful-like. She never wore this much makeup; her red hair was never chopped so closely to her head. My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song.

Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.

———–

Thanks so much, Pintip, for letting me share this with my readers. I love the excerpt and can’t wait to read the whole book!

 

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Thursday Spotlight on a Friday

Today I’m turning over the blog to spotlight a new

Young Adult title from Cindy K. Green.

ANDREA AND THE 5-DAY CHALLENGE

 

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Dear Lord,
I need Your help and sooner would be better than later. Wouldn’t you know it, just as soon as I decide to attempt the 5-Day Bible Study Challenge, my parents start heaping on loads of pressure to get me into Julliard. My friend Amy isn’t any better, urging me to ask Luke Ryan to homecoming. As if the cute, transfer jock would actually go out with me. I mean, we’re kinda friends, and I’ve enjoyed our Geometry study sessions, but in case Amy hasn’t noticed, I’m the invisible one at Aubrey Christian Academy, and I like it that way. On top of that, I have a feeling Luke’s concealing something behind those chocolate-brown eyes of his. I know I can be self-centered and a bit melodramatic, but I really do want to seek Your will for my life. Then maybe I’ll even figure out which direction points up.

Sincerely, Andrea Jamison
High School Junior
Change-o-phobic & complete neurotic

The eBook is FREE on my publisher’s website as part of a Lenten Giveaway.

Thanks, Carrie! Hope you all have a great Friday!

Release Day: Not Bound by Time

I’m so excited to welcome another friend to Live Vi-Carrie-ous today!

Victoria Pitts-Caine has been featured here before. Her books ALVARADO GOLD, CAIRO, and THE TEMPERING ANGEL have all been reviewed and enjoyed here.

Her latest is NOT BOUND BY TIME and I’m excited to ask Victoria a few questions about the story. She’s also provided us with a short excerpt down below.

Me 2014 #2_copyHi Victoria! Welcome. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

There’s something magical when love finds a way. The reader will discover there is hope and a little fairy-tale enchantment when the characters, even though they are in an unusual situation, manage to travel through time to their true loves.

 

 

Who is one of your favorite characters in the book and why?

Camille Windham is my favorite. She’s the first traveler and I took a little bit of my own ancestral background to create her.

Why did you decide to do a time travel?

I read Love of My Heart by Bess McBride and was haunted by the story and the concept. The couple discovers they were in love before in another time. I decided it was a genre I wanted to try. The Time Traveler’s Wife was another favorite.

What else about your book might grab the reader’s interest?

There are three separate but connected stories in Not Bound By Time and there’s a little bit for everyone from Western to World War II to protecting the Scottish regalia in the 1500’s.

How much of the book is realistic?

The portrayal of the characters in their day to day lives and what would have transpired in the time period they’re in is realistic, the traveling through time…well maybe not.

How did you come up with your title?

My desire with the storyline is to explain that time can’t hold someone who has found their soulmate and the characters find a way to be with that person even if they’re in another place and time.

Are the experiences in the book based on someone you know or your real life?

I do not know anyone in the book, but I’m interested in Victorian England and Camille travels from that time. She lives in a castle and is a nanny for her distant cousin’s children.

Who or what inspired you to write your book?

I don’t know if it was an inspiration or a challenge. I’m basically an inspirational romance writer and I wanted to write in a slightly different genre.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your books?

Time cannot imprison love nor hold it in place.

What other jobs have you held or do you hold besides writing?

Most of my jobs were in the clerical field, but I was an account executive for a recording studio for about five years. I retired as a staff technician after spending seventeen years in the environmental sector.

When did you know you wanted to write?

I wrote some twenty plus years ago, but put it aside to raise my children. When I started doing genealogy, I felt I had a story to tell about my family and wrote a novel, Rachel, based on family history. I may rewrite the book at some point now that I’m more comfortable with my craft.

What books influenced you most in your life?

I was read to as a small child and was captivated by Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I able to read on my own. I didn’t go back and read the classics until I was an adult or reading them to my own children. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and J.R.R. Tolkein.

How do you make time for your writing?

I actually found more time to write when I worked nine hours a day. I wrote at night and on the weekends. It’s about priorities with me. I’m good working with a plan in mind. If I schedule a writing time, I’m able to stick to it.

What writer would you like to be your mentor?

I had a wonderful mentor during my “growing up years” as a writer. Her name is Elnora King and she wrote under the pseudonym of Dianne King. She taught me so much – not just about writing but about life.

What are you reading now?

I read between three and five books a week and most of those go up for review on Amazon or on my blog. So right at this moment, I’m reading a romance. Tomorrow it might be a mystery/suspense. When I’m reading just for the fun of it, I like Catherine Ryan Hyde. I took a couple of classes from her and enjoy her books. I’m also into the whole Dan Brown thing and anxiously waiting for Brad Meltzer’s next release.

How do you “feed” your writing self?

Anything that brings writers together is a benefit. I think we all feed off of each other (in a good way). I facilitate a class once a week for writers where we read our work and do a short lesson. We share our triumphs and sorrows in life as well as in publishing. The triumphs usually with cake!

Congratulations on your new release! Enjoy the cake (I hope it’s chocolate)!

Victoria’s links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorVictoriaPittsCaine

Blog: http://victoriapitts-caine.blogspot.com

Website: http://vcaine.homestead.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VictoriaPittsC

Email: alvaradogold9@gmail.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1377310.Victoria_Pitts_Caine

Bio:

Victoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels. While her genre is inspirational, she has branched out into other areas such as her current release, Not Bound By Time and a YA mystery/suspense.

The author has received recognition from: Enduring Romance Top 10 Picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, HI Families Magazine and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel, Alvarado Gold, was published in 2007. To complete the trilogy which began with Alvarado Gold, Cairo was published in 2013 and The Tempering Agent in 2014.

She is the mother of two daughters. Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, church service and emergency radio communications.

Excerpt from Not Bound By Time:

The year was 1942, and Randolph Mitchell, along with several of his fellow soldiers, marched down a road pockmarked by shelling in London. He shuddered as a light mist fell around him. Late summer had gone.

A captain at twenty-two, Randolph’s first glimpses of war lay around him. Bile rose in his throat at the devastation. Is this what years of military boarding school has brought me to? He bent to retrieve a bit of paper. Printed roses danced on the edge, and with nowhere to discard it, he pocketed the small scrap of the life people there once lived.

When the men arrived in town earlier, Randolph spotted the young woman gazing into a merchant’s window. She carried herself with an air of importance. Ribbons and lace accented her oddly-layered clothes of multicolored fabrics. Such elaborate attire was ill-suited because people were starving and only making do. Randolph dismissed her unusual manner of dress. Who could she be? So out of place, yet so beautiful.

His troop moved up the street, and as he surveyed the area, he forced himself to forget the woman, but when he approached the shop, she turned, and their eyes met. Randolph Mitchell lost his heart in that split second, but it would take his head a while to figure it out. His eyes pursued her as she picked her way through the rubble of the bombed-out buildings.

“Hello,” he ventured.

As a delicate pink color rose from her neck, she turned her eyes toward the window. Randolph sauntered to stand beside her and glanced at their reflection. He stood a good foot taller than she. His wrinkled uniform caused a pang of self-consciousness, but his desire to speak to her quelled his embarrassment. “I’m Randolph Mitchell, US Army.” He smiled, studying her porcelain complexion and bright hazel eyes, hoping for a welcome response.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be talking to you,” the woman said.

“It’s safe. We’ve been sent here to protect you. Or err… your country.” Randolph took his cap off and grinned at her. “I, ah, we might make sure you get home. Do you live close by?”

The young woman’s face blanched as she shook her head. “I used to live here.” She sighed. Then she backed away, turned around, and started running.

Randolph clenched his fists. He had to find out.

“Wait! I didn’t mean any harm!” He called after her. “Your name? At least tell me your name!”

“Camille Windham,” came from her lips, and her name planted itself in Randolph’s heart.

She scampered down the walkway away from Randolph, leaving only her name.

Spotlight Thursday: Amy Patrick

I’m thrilled to share with you the cover of Amy Patrick’s upcoming book and a bit of information about Amy, a fellow 2014 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart ® finalist.

AmyAmy is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist (2013 and 2014). She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She’s been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.

You can find Amy online at:

http://www.amypatrickbooks.com/

https://twitter.com/amypatrickbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3247178.Amy_Patrick

About her new release:

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Channel 20Something by Amy Patrick
(20Something, #1)
Publication date: August 12th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life.” She has her first reporting job and her first apartment, but she’s yet to experience first love. Yes, she’s in a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart, and according to her friends and family, he’s perfect for her. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.
And while Heidi’s doing what she wants to do, she’s not where she wants to be. She longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.
Well-traveled Californian Aric Serrano plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. But when he walks into the newsroom and meets Heidi, he may have finally found something and someone worth committing to.
Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could avoid her new co-worker—he’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid. But that becomes impossible when she and Aric are forced to work together on the weekend news. Now there’s no denying the attraction between them, and she’ll have to decide between settling for the “good enough” life she already has or taking the risk of going for what she dreams of, an exciting career and a real love.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22430248-channel-20something

And now … the big reveal … the cover:

CTS FINAL COVER

Great cover and I love the summary! I can’t wait to get my hands on it, come August.

Thanks, Amy!

Author Spotlight: Susan May Warren

It’s no secret I’m a big Susan May Warren fan.

I got my hands on an early copy of her newest release, Take A Chance On Me.  

Susie’s Deep Haven series has been more of a bunch of loosely related books. Loosely related because they all took place in the fictional town of Deep Haven, Minnesota. Characters from one book would occasionally pop up in another story but she never gave away too much of the other book mentioned. 

Take A Chance on Me is the first of a series about a Deep Haven clan, the Christiansons. 

Warren put together these pictures of who she sees as her characters. Or who they look like. I’ve read Take A Chance On Me and I’m okay with these pictures. Stay tuned for a real review and a chance to win a Susan May Warren book!

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Thursday Author Spotlight: Patrick E. Craig

I had the privilege of meeting and working with Patrick last year at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. His first book was recently released from Harvest House. I reviewed it here and really enjoyed it.

Here are a few questions (and answers) from Patrick.

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You are a man who writes Amish fiction and there are very few out there. Why Amish?

In late 2010, I read a blog by Nick Harrison, a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers, whom I had met at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. Nick said for the first month of 2011 he would accept story ideas, and he liked Amish and quilting stories.

At first I thought, I’m a man and I know nothing about the Amish or quilting, but I felt compelled to go for it anyway. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God had put a wide-open door in front of me. I went for it and sent Nick a one-sheet for a story called “A Quilt For Jenna.”

What happened then?

Nick really liked the story idea and proposed that we consider it for an anthology of short stories. He asked for some sample chapters so I wrote three short ones, thinking that we were working on a short story.

So you were writing short chapters for a short story. How did it become a novel?

The 2011 Mt. Hermon Conference was coming up and I sent the chapters to Steve Laube, a literary agent, for a critique. At the conference, I met with Steve. He asked if the story could be a novel and if I could make a three-book series out of it. I took a deep breath and said that I could. I spoke with Nick, and he also encouraged me to make it into a novel.

So did you get your book deal then or later?

Much later. I left Mt. Hermon in April with a mission—to write two chapters a week and finish by August. I sent the complete manuscript to Nick and Steve on September 15th. Steve contacted me about representing me, and Nick pitched it to the editorial committee at Harvest House. Then three weeks later, I got an e-mail from Nick that said, “It’s a yes!” I signed with Steve, he negotiated the contract, and we were on the way. In a few short months I had gone from knowing nothing about the Amish or quilting to having a three-book deal with Harvest House and a top literary agent to represent me. I’m now working on the second book, “The Road Home.”

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned two things: first—if the Lord opens a door, step through it, and second—you must let the Lord put you in the way of people who can help you. Writer’s conferences are great for that, and Mt. Hermon is one of the best.

____________________

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career to follow Christ in 1984. He spent twenty-six years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor. He signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers for his Apple Creek Dreams series. The first book, A Quilt for Jenna, was released February 1, 2013. You can contact Patrick by email at Patrick@patrickecraig.com or on Twitter @patrickecraig.