The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn - JenHalliganPR.com

I’m thrilled to take part in the Excerpt Blitz for Pintip Dunn’s upcoming YA thriller, THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book below, along with the teaser excerpt, and be sure to enter the giveaway!

The Darkest Lie | JenHalliganPR.comTHE DARKEST LIE
by Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release Date: 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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“This one will tug your heart and leave you breathless!”
–Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later

Excerpt from THE DARKEST LIE

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.


Pintip Dunn | JenHalliganPR.comAbout the Author

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. 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.

Giveaways (2!)

The Darkest Lie Blitz | Prize Pack | JenHalliganPR.com

One winner will receive a prize pack including the following 5 books: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn; Six Months Later by Natalie Richards; Find Me by Romily Bernard; and From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan; Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

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The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn


The Darkest Lie


by Pintip Dunn


Giveaway ends March 28, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.


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Creative Resistance: Letter to my WIP

I know I’ve done this before, written a letter to my WIP. This is, however, a new WIP, and seemingly, a new problem – or perhaps a similar problem and different way of dealing with it? Either way: confessedly this is how I’m not currently writing. 😉

Dear Draft 1 WIP,

We both know things aren’t great with us right now. We’re having some issues which, frankly, considering how new this whole thing is, are rather worrisome. I mean, I’m crazy about you! But, our relationship is new – we’ve barely made it past the first act. And you know what? I’m kind of wondering if we rushed into things.

Should I have spent more time at the plotting board before I agreed to that first act? Do I really know you that well? Well enough for the second act?? Because let’s face it – we better trust each other if we’re going in there.

And yeah, okay, I haven’t been perfect either. I have been seeing other WIPs occasionally, and yes, they may, ahem, be your series brothers – but only because we never agreed we’d be totally exclusive this fast! And because, well, you haven’t exactly been open about your intentions and plans, have you?

Sigh. I’m sorry. We can make this work. I really want this to work. I’m still crazy about you. Do you forgive me? Because we’re headed into it together, into the thick of the second act, and it’s not going to be easy, and for a long time, it’s not going to be easy. But I think we can pull through, I really do.

But it’d still be really helpful if you spoke up a bit more now and then, told me about your plans and a bit more about yourself.

Okay. That’s all.


Your author

So, um, can you tell I’m having some issues with the newest book? Do you ever start a draft or a new series and start to have doubts? How do you deal with them?

Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you a great week, and happy writing!

And now back to real writing for me. 😉


Plotting Board 1.5

There’s a small pile of chocolate wrappers on my daily log book and in front of my new plotting board, clear evidence the whole pre-plotting isn’t making the first draft completely easy-peasy, but it’s still coming along. 😉 

So since I last posted, I’ve made some alterations to my plotting board, things that made it work better for me.  

 The first thing you might notice is that there are fewer large index cards and more little sticky notes. This was because I found, especially in the first draft stage, that I don’t know all of the details to fill in each plot point, and that some of the plot points I had on there really weren’t working for me. So, I kept only those that were working for me, and then I’ve made up the rest with sticky notes. 

This time the colours matter too. Since I write romance, I made the primary romance beats (first kiss, first time they make love, etc) in pink. The great thing about the sticky notes is that although I thought one point would end up in act 1, it didn’t, but I can easily move the sticky note over to make sure I include it in act 2. The easily moveable notes also mean I can change my mind and add / delete notes as I see fit, which is fab. 

Down below I’ve also included my all-important “story book.” I used to cheap out and use one notebook for whatever story ideas came to me, but especially as I’ve gotten more into series development, I’ve switched instead to having notebooks dedicated to each new WIP. This one, because it’s the first book, will also include notes that will become part of the other books in the series. Essentially, this is where I scribble down anything that occurs to me – which may or may not make it into the book. From here I may make sticky notes and add them to the plotting board. You’ll also notice the pieces of paper stuck into the book. More on those another day. 🙂 

Oh, and the other addition I’ve made are the note cards spelling out general requirements for the act that I’ve got at the top of each act. This kind of helps guide me into what should be included in each act, and just as important, what I might be missing right now. 

So what do you think? How’s your plotting going? 

I know, super short post, but I’m supposed to be writing a new chapter. So back to the plotting board to figure out what it needs to include. 😉 

Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you happy writing!! 🙂