Thursday, June 30, 2016

RITA Finalist Pintip Dunn Talks About Her Next Book--THE DARKEST LIE

 I'm so excited to welcome back Pintip Dunn, a Golden Heart sister, to Get Lost in a Story!  If you haven't read her RITA Finalist debut FORGET TOMORROW run, don't walk, to grab it! But today we're talking about Pintip's latest book THE DARKEST LIE - which released this week. 

Before we get to the good stuff--don't forget to comment below for a chance to win a Kindle copy of FORGET TOMORROW her stunning debut.


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 AmericaWashington Romance WritersYARWA, and The Golden Network.

Nan:  Impressive credientials!  

Let's talk about THE DARKEST LIE.


Is it better to live with a lie, or risk everything for the truth?

In Pintip Dunn’s gripping and timely novel, a young woman whose life unravels in the wake of her mother’s alleged suicide sets out to clear her name.

“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 resurface. 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…
Nan: I started the book last night. I love it!

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.
Nan: I missed the significance of her mother's hair when I started the book. (You will all have to buy the book to find out what I'm talking about!)


Add THE DARKEST LIE to your GoodReads shelf.


NAN: How often do you get lost in a story?
PINTIP:  I am (in my opinion!) a writer's dream reader. I very, very, very frequently get lost in a story. It used to be that I would read nearly every book in one sitting, simply because I could not put the story -- any story! -- down. This has changed since I've had three kids because I simply don't have time. Still, probably three or four times a year, I find a book that falls into this category. The holy-crap-it's-3-am-what-am-I-doing-I-have-to-get-up-early-oh-well-gotta-see-how-this-ends category. Of course, this number doesn't include the times I scold myself, "Put the book down. I mean it. Back slowly away from that book!" 
Nan: I know what you mean!

NAN: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book? 
PINTIP: Ha! This question is very timely because I just finished a book two days ago! (Girl in Between, out next July.) So the first thing I did was text a few of my writing friends, who have been following along with my goals and cheering me on. Then, I ran downstairs and hugged my kids and swung them around in a dance. And then I proceeded to beam for the rest of the night and feel a sense of complete and utter pride. I have just written another book! This book now exists in the world because of me.
Nan: Prosecco is usually involved when I finish a book. :-) 

NAN: What’s the last show you binge watched?
PINTIP: The 100! I am so freaking obsessed with this show. I watched the first two seasons back-to-back, and then for season 3, I had to wait an entire week in between episodes, which was just torture! Once season 3 ended, I still needed my fix, so I read the books, which are really different but still super fun. And once I finished those? I started watching season 1 all over again. 

Why do I love The 100? This show features complex characters who make really tough moral decisions. (Gee, that sounds kinda like my books! No wonder I love it so much!) 
Nan: Fun!

NAN: Who is your celebrity crush and why?
PINTIP: Bob Morley, who plays Bellamy Blake on The 100. Why?
1. Because I'm obsessed with the show (see answer above.) 
2. Because he is extremely cute. 
3. Because he loves his sister and will do anything to protect her. (Bellamy, not Bob. Perhaps Bob does, too. I have no idea.) 
4. Because he struggles with his morality. He tries to do what's right but doesn't always make the right decisions (Bellamy, not Bob). 
5. Because he is part-Filipino. (Bob, not Bellamy). 
6. And, because he is extremely cute. Oops, did I already say that? 
Nan: I'm sensing a recurring theme here! 
NAN'S GOTTA ASK:   What book are you currently reading?  
PINTIP: GOTTA ANSWER: Touching Fate, by Brenda Drake. I’m about halfway through this book and absolutely loving it! It’s a fun, super-fast read, about the extremely intriguing world of fate changers. As always, I am so impressed by the creativity of Brenda’s mind, and I love her easy flowing writing style. 
Nan: I don't think I've read any of her books.

REMEMBER YESTERDAY, book 2 in the Forget Tomorrow series, will release on October 4, 2016! 
Nan:  I can't wait!

I'm so excited you are celebrating your release with us, Pintip.  Thanks for spending the day here!


PINTIP WANTS TO KNOW: Is it better to live with a lie, or risk everything for the truth?

Pintip will be giving away an Kindle copy of FORGET TOMORROW to one lucky commenter. 


  1. Hi,

    it really does depend upon what the lie is. Sometimes it's better to reveal all & at other times to just let things lie.


    1. True. I think as I get older, I learn more about the wisdom of letting things lie, whereas when I was a teen, things were so black and white for me. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Wow, Pintip, what a great excerpt! But grrr because THE DARKEST LIE is sitting in my TBR pile--not to be touched until I finish my current m/s before my looming deadline. I prefer honesty as the guilt from a lie gets heavier over time. Unless the lie hurts no one but makes one person feel better- then eh, not such a big deal.

    1. Hi Lee! Thanks so much for stopping by, and good luck on that deadline! You are right --lies can get heavier over time! Great answer.

  3. Thanks for being here, Pintip. I know release week is crazy busy! Lies always seem to have a way of coming out, but like Lee says, if they don't hurt anyone--then not such a problem.
    (Now I have to work on WIP - and once I get my words in for the day I can finish THE DARKEST LIE! Fabulous!)

    1. Hi Nan! Thanks so much for having me! It's always so much fun to be on this blog, and I am so thrilled to be here. You all are the best! Now, go get that WIP done! You can do it!

  4. Pintip's bio makes me feel like a total slacker. Lol

    Can't wait to read this!!!

    1. You are ridiculous, you know that? Now, your output makes most of the world feel like a total slacker, myself included. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Pintip asked me to let everyone know that she is traveling today - so she will be checking in tonight!

    1. Late night last night, but morning is almost as good, right? 😀

  6. I have to agree it totally depends on the lie. In general, I prefer the truth. Easier to remember!

    1. Ha! That's a great reason to prefer the truth, Carrie! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. no idea

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. That's fair. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Another great interview, Nan and Pintip! <3

    Sounds like another amazing read!

    Can't wait to see you both.

    1. I can't wait to see you, either! Just a couple weeks now. Less than a couple weeks. Wow. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. You know I love this book, Pintip! I am thrilled that it's out in the world finally for others to enjoy. Great interview, Nan!

    1. Thanks so much, Denny! And thank for all of your support, critiques, and friendship while I was writing this book!