These are a few of my favorite apps

This month’s Writer Wednesday is all about the apps. I have so so many apps, like most peeps, but here are 5 of my faves that I think everyone should have on their phone:

Slack – Think group texting on steroids, but obviously you need to have some slack buddies to converse with in order to make this app useful. I’m a part of three writing/critique groups that use Slack. It takes our conversations off of Facebook or a group text message and puts them in a place where we can easily categorize by channel (aka topic), post documents, and photos. It’s got really great keyword search functionality, which makes it a much better option than Facebook AND it’s not as much as a time suck because you don’t get distracted by checking your FB feed.  If you have a chatty group that needs to stay organized online – give it a try.

Starbucks – Okay – it’s time for me to admit that I have a serious addiction to Starbucks iced coffee. Venti with 4 shots of vanilla, 4 shots of Classic and cream, to be exact. I love that I can order from my driveway and by the time I get to my neighborhood Starbucks, my order is ready and waiting. And I love the rewards and being able to pay with my app. It’s actually far too easy…

OneNote – I use OneNote to keep track of so many things, most notably my writing projects. For instance, the notebook for my latest novel contains lists, outlines, scenes, pictures, ideas, notes from my agent, pretty much anything related to the novel that I need to keep track of. I love how you can search by keyword so if I don’t remember exactly where something is in my notebook, I can easily find it. The beauty of OneNote is that you can sync your notebooks from your hard drive to the cloud and then access the cloud via the app on your phone.  I can see my book notes from phone!!!!  That means if I have an idea when I’m out and about, no need to grab a scrap piece of paper that might get lost. I can type (or dictate) into my phone, draw/write on the screen, and even upload photos and audio files.  OneNote is a phenomenal tool I highly recommend.

SkyGuide – I love stargazing, and this app helps me identify which constellations and celestial objects I’m looking at. You simply aim your phone at the sky and voila, it layers the phone screen on the nighttime sky, indicating what is what. Super cool. If you’re into learning the history behind the celestial objects, you click on the little information icon and up pops a wealth of info, including the pronunciation and ancient legends related to the star. I even use this app for novel writing research.

WordSwag – This is a phenomenal app for adding typography to pictures. Not only can you use photos from your camera roll, they also have images in their library you can use.  There are tons of fonts and font colors to chose from. I love posting quotes on social media, and this is my go to app for making them look fabulous.  I just made this one with a photo I took on Sunday while flying the friendly skies.

Of course, I have tons of other apps that I LOVE, but these are five of my favorites.  I’d love to hear which apps YOU can’t live without, so let me know in the comments. Also — some of my authorly friends are sharing their favorite apps. Check ’em out!

Tamra Baumann      |     Kay Hudson     |      Pamela Kopfler

Carol Post       |       Priscilla Oliveras   |      Sharon Wray

Sporty Girls Matter

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Today we celebrate the 31st National Girls & Women in Sports Day.  How cool is that, huh?! A day for us sporty girls!!  This year’s theme is Empowering Opportunity. My hope is that all girls who want to play sports, will get that chance; because through sports, girls can learn the power of teamwork, leadership skills, and sporty girls grow up to be self-confident women.

Our school district recognizes their female high school athletes with a #NGWSD program. In fact, in 2014, little ‘ole me was honored to be the keynote speaker. It was super cool to share with the auditorium of young athletes what opportunities were opened to me by participation in sports.

Yesterday, I took a super quick poll from a few girls on the track team about this year’s program and here’s what they said were the highlights:

 

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

 

Isn’t that great? Kudos to our school district for championing their female athletes, recognizing their achievements, empowering opportunity, but above all else, proving that sporty girls matter.

I’d love to hear about what’s going on in your area to recognize #NGWSD.

– TL –

Now this–I’ve got in the bag

So this month for Writer’s Wednesday, we’re blogging about what’s in our bag.

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I carry a bag. Not a purse. Because I’m just not a purse kinda girl. It’s this cool crossbody from REI. Isn’t that embroidered design cool? And the neutral gray and black goes with everything!! I actually have a weakness for bags and quite a collection of the utility-type variety. What the heck is a utility-type bag you may ask?

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— Can be worn across the body – you know – like a messenger bag

Roomy enough for my Surface Pro 3 and a book or Kindle. (However not too big that I look like a hobo. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking like a hobo, it’s just not generally how I roll)

— Plenty of cool pockets and compartments to keep my stuff organized

But you really want to know what I’m hiding in that bag, don’t you? Well – let’s see what I’ve got in here…

This by Tinrocket-2016-08-08-22-27-47

Contents of the main pocket

This by Tinrocket-2016-08-08-22-45-48

  These items were stashed in a couple other pockets

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And this is what’s in the last little zip pocket

So what I’m wondering is what all this stuff says about me? I’m thinking that I’m organized and pretty neat. What do you think? Care to share what’s in your bag?

Thanks so much for stopping by. And be sure to check out what some of my author friends have in their bags. .Nerd smile

Tamra Baumann      |     Kay Hudson     |      Wendy LaCapra

Carol Post       |       Priscilla Oliveras

Release Blitz: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie Release Blitz | Pintip Dunn | JenHalliganPR.com

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 | bookandlatte.com

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…

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 www.pintipdunn.com.

Giveaway

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)! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s my Pitch Wars 2016 Mentee Bio

It’s almost Pitch Wars time!! Thanks to Brenda Drake for hosting such a fabulous contest. And thanks to the mentors who are offering up their time to help make our manuscripts shine.  This year I’m hoping to be selected as a mentee, so I’m here to #PimpMyBio.

Warning! Warning! This is a gif-less post.

A little bit about me:

I was an Olympic hopeful a very, very, VERY long time ago. USA Gear 1This picture is of me back in the day. Sporting my Team USA kit for a photo shoot. Athletics are still very near and dear to my heart, especially the importance of girls having the opportunity to participate in sports.

One of my proudest moments was being chosen as the keynote speaker at a National Girls and Women in Sports Day event and talking to an auditorium full of high school female student-athletes about how sports made a difference in my life and what a difference it will make in theirs. Girls in sports is my passion, so I write young adult novels with smart, athletic heroines who are chasing their dreams, not just boys. But all of my stories DO have a great love story. And kissing. Lots of kissing.

When I’m not day-jobbing, writing, or doing family stuff, you might find me out for a run. Gotta keep in shape so I don’t lag too far behind the cross country team during practice… Here are some more facts:

♦  I’ve recently developed an obsession with Pandora’s This American Life podcast and The Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
♦  I am addicted to Starbucks iced coffee.  Seriously. Addicted. It’s bad.
  I didn’t say “Yes” when my husband asked me to marry him.
  I’m a runner – but NO, I do NOT run marathons.
♦  Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, which means I often eat breakfasty foods for lunch and dinner.
 My family hates shopping with me if it involves a bookstore or office supplies.


A little bit about my story:

BETWEEN NEVER AND ALWAYS is a YA contemporary sports romance. Think: “The Lance Armstrong scandal” meets Anna and the French Kiss. And if you don’t know what the Lance Armstrong scandal is – well…it’s just one of the biggest cheating scandals to rock the world of sport.

2nd Final NA

 

A little bit about why I’d make a good mentee:

  This story has done well in some RWA contests, but I want to make sure it’s the best it can be before I get query happy.
  I’m a very hard worker and will bring my “A” game to the revision process.
  I work well under pressure.
  I take criticism well and know there’s tons I can learn to take my writing to the next level.
  I love working as part of a team and welcome the mentor-mentee partnership.
  Granola. I’ll just leave it at that…

You can find me on Twitter – @tlwrites. There are tons of other #PitchWars mentees to checkout. You can find their bios here..

An Unforgettable Adventure in France

 

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It’s Writer Wednesday, where myself and some of my author friends get together to blog about the same topic. This month we’re sharing our favorite vacations.

I had a hard time choosing just one, but here are some photos from one of my absolute favorite vacations – a trip to Paris with my guy.  This was our 2nd trip to France and we spent an entire week living a little like Parisians. We stayed in a quaint little hotel on the Left Bank in the Montparnasse quarter, called Hotel du Midi. Which incidentally is the same hotel we stayed on our first trip to Paris. It’s super convenient to the Metro, a bakery where we could load up on chocolate croissants, and a market for yogurt, fruit, and bottled water.

Flowers in the Garden

Although the weather was a little cool, the spring flowers were in bloom and the city was alive with color. This is one of my favorite photos and was taken at Champ de Mars, the park that’s also home to the Eiffel Tower…

 

Eiffel Tower 1

Ahhhh…Le Tour Eiffel… See that observation area on top of the tower? On a beautiful summer night many, many, many years ago (on our first trip to Paris), my guy asked me to marry him. Up there. Under the stars. With “The City of Light” glowing below us. It still makes me squee just thinking about it. (Truth be told – that’s probably my all-time favorite vacation but that was before digital cameras and I have only a handful of crappy photos that wouldn’t make for a good blog post.)

 

Notre Dame

Our visit to The Notre-Dame Cathedral included a hike up 387 spiral stone stairs to the towers. After easing past the Emmanuel Bell, we stepped outside to see the stunning 360 degree view of Paris. But the best part was getting up close and personal with the massive stone gargoyles guarding the French Gothic cathedral. (So yeah – remember my previous comment about digital cameras. This trip was also taken before digital cameras were all the rage, and none of my gargoyle photos came out. But here’s one I found on Morguefile)

gargoyle

Isn’t he cool???  After visiting Notre-Dame, we headed for Île Saint-Louis. We crossed Pont Saint-Louis and a few blocks later we arrived at Berthillon – which has been called the “grande dame of glaces” and where you can get your ice cream topped with the most amazing Crème Chantilly. I still think about the delicious ice cream and will certainly go back the next time I’m in Paris.

 

The Bridge

Here’s the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge that links the Louvre with the south side of the Seine. I believe I was taking this photo of the artist-guy in the center of the picture. I’m not sure what he was sketching, but he makes a good subject, doesn’t he?  I just love the cool artsy vibe around Paris. Especially all of the artists painting, sketching or busking on the bridges and next to the canal. Of course we visited the Louvre, but since we’d been before, we just picked a few exhibits to check out.

A different thing we did was a visit to The Catacombs, an underground cemetery in Paris. It was fascinating, but not for the squeamish or claustrophobic. We also took the train out to Versailles to check out their stunning gardens, all abloom for spring..

 

Normandy

Perhaps the most memorable part of the trip was our excursion to Normandy. It was wicked cold and kind of rainy, for which we woefully unprepared. Can you see how cold I am in the photo?  I believe this was taken at Caen, where we stopped to visit the Memorial de Caen. Then we were off to Omaha Beach

The Beach

It was sobering and humbling to stand on the cliff, listen to the waves crash in the distance, and think about what those soldiers faced as they landed on those shores…

It’s definitely a trip I will never forget. Do you have one of those? Feel free to share in the comments..

And some of my writer friends are sharing their stories. Please stop by and say hi.

Tamra Baumann      |     Kay Hudson     |      Jean Willett

Carol Post       |       Sharon Wray

 

Writer Wednesday: What You Wanted to be When You Grew Up

 

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In honor of all the graduations occurring in the next month, I’m joining with a fabulous group of writers to share what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Awhile back, I did a similar blog post, called Truck Driver, NFL Referee or NOT. In that post I talked a little bit about aspirations and how those change over the years. And yes – when I was little, I wanted to drive one of these:

Photo by Spanish Coches via Wikimedia Commons

 

For the longest time, I wanted to be the first female NFL referee.

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Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

 

Then I wanted to be an architect. I would study the floor plans in home magazines and create my own dream mansions on paper. My favorite feature that I just had to have in my future home – a sweeping staircase and a bridge. Like the one in the photo below.

sweeping staircase and bridge

 

Then I realized being an architect required something like five years of college and at the time, the job prospects weren’t that stellar. That’s when I decided, I’d start a career at a fancy hotel. I’d work my way up from concierge to hotel manager.

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Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

But then this happened…

hurdles in hs

That’s me on the right – running track in high school. This sparked my desire to be a sports journalist. Which morphed into wanting to be Katie Couric. (Yes, I used Katie Couric to describe “the career.”) That was until I realized how early one has to wake up if they are going to be on the Today Show. Ugghhh. Not an option for this night owl.

Ultimately I earned a couple degrees in business and for my day job, I work in healthcare IT. But at night I’m doing what I think deep down I always wanted to be – a writer. My novels are about athletic girls chasing their dreams – in sport, in life, and in love. So I guess I did end up being a sports writer after all.

How about you? What were your sky high aspirations when you were younger?

Some of my writer friends are sharing their stories. Please stop by and say hi.

Tamra Baumann      |     Kay Hudson     |      Priscilla Oliveras

Carol Post       |       Sharon Wray

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Cover Reveal: Shadow by Christi J. Whitney

I am so pleased to participate in the cover reveal for Christi J. Whitney’s second book in The Romany Outcasts Series – SHADOW. I’ve already had the please of reading it, and let me tell you, this novel is so, so, SO good!!  Check out the blurb and the excerpt to see what I’m talking about. You’ll definitely want to pre-order this one.

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SHADOW
The Romany Outcasts Series Book Two
by Christi J. Whitney

Publisher: Harper Voyager
Digital release date: June 2, 2016

“When stone hearts break they shatter.”

Sebastian Grey used to be a normal teenager. Now he’s a creature whose sole purpose is to be a guardian for secretive gypsy clans.

When the Romany gypsies need his help, Sebastian is given a second chance to protect Josephine Romany – the girl he loves. But this is no easy task when some of them think he’s as bad as the shadow creatures attacking their camp.

Yet to keep Josephine safe, Sebastian might have to embrace his darker side. Even if that means choosing between his humanity and becoming the monster everyone believes him to be…

Goodreads  |  Pre-Order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo!

And if you haven’t read GREY, the first installment of The Romany Outcasts Series, is on sale for only 99 cents until April 25. Get it at Amazon!!

Now drumroll, please…

Excerpt from SHADOW

‘My apologies if Caliban hurt you,’ said the man. ‘It’s what he’s trained to do.’

The men lowered their hoods. It was Phillipe and Stephan – two of Quentin’s Marksmen. They watched me with disgusted expressions as I forced myself to stand. My muscles felt like iron cords.

‘You’ve trained him to attack innocent people?’ I snarled, brushing myself off.

‘Of course not,’ Phillipe sneered. ‘He’s trained to attack your kind.’

My kind.

I really hated that phrase.

I examined my arm. The sleeve of my jacket was ripped, but there wasn’t a mark on my gray skin. My eyes widened. Not even a scratch. But it still hurt like crazy, and I rubbed my arm gingerly.

‘It’s fortunate we weren’t out with the rest of the dogs,’ said Stephan with a cold smile. ‘Caliban here is relatively mild-tempered.’

As if on cue, the dog’s muzzle flashed with sharp teeth.

‘Nicolas asked me to come,’ I said evenly.

Stephan tilted his chin. ‘Yes, we know.’

I was about to get an escort, I realized.

‘Come with us,’ Phillipe ordered.

Stephan slid his bow from his shoulder and fitted an arrow to the string. ‘Caliban and I will follow behind. Just as a precaution, of course – in case you start getting any ideas in that ugly gray head of yours.’

Quentin Marks’ welcoming committee was not something I’d anticipated. I gathered my bags, and Phillipe led our unpleasant little party across the Sutallee Bridge. I unconsciously slowed as we passed over the abandoned mine shaft where Josephine and I had taken refuge so long ago. There was a sharp poke in the middle of my back, right between my pent wings.

‘Move it,’ Stephan said, jabbing me again. ‘We’re already late for lunch.’

I fought the insanely strong desire to whirl around and shove the arrow down his throat. Instead, I bit my lip, tasting blood, and picked up my pace. We reached the iron fence that surrounded the Fairgrounds. Phillipe pulled out a ring of keys and opened the gate.

I’d assumed everything would look as it had the last time I’d been within the walls of the Circe de Romany. But there were no tents or pavilions. No rides or decorations, either. Only trailers – along with several RVs, trucks, and buses – arranged in a tight circle, right in the middle of the property.

Their configuration created a large open space in the center of the caravan. Tarps were arranged over tables and chairs. A fire pit had been built, and laundry hung from clotheslines spread between trailers. People bustled around the clearing, preparing for the approaching storm. Another peal of thunder echoed overhead. The clouds had thickened, and the sky looked ready to split apart at any moment.

‘Hurry it up,’ said Stephan with another jab to my back. ‘I don’t intend to get wet.’

Lightning flashed. Women scurried to get the clothes off the lines while men anchored the tarps more securely in the ground. Phillipe led me to a small trailer and flung open the door.

‘Get inside.’

The howling wind was motivation enough – even without Stephan’s sharp arrow in my back – and I scampered up the steps. My nose instantly wrinkled at the unpleasant smell. Phillipe caught my look.

‘The dog trailer,’ he said.

‘Just be glad they’re out on patrol,’ said Stephan with a malicious laugh. ‘They’re quite territorial.’

The Marksmen backed me into the stinky enclosure, weapons drawn.

‘We’ll come for you when Nicolas returns,’ said Phillipe. ‘Until then, welcome home.’

With that, he slammed the door, locking me inside.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

So yeah – wasn’t that exciting?!  I hope you’re intrigued and go pre-order this amazing book. Until next time… #BeAwesome

– TL –

Excerpt Blitz: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

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! This novel sounds A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but don’t take my word for it..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… Goodreads | Pre-order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

“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.

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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.

Two Giveaways

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 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads

Book Giveaway

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie

by Pintip Dunn

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

Enter Giveaway

5 Dr. Seuss books you’ve never heard of

In honor of Read Across America Day (aka Dr. Seuss Day), here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss books that you may have never heard of. In no particular order…

Hooper Humperdink...Not Him      I'm not going to get up today      Marvin K Mooney

Please Try to Remember the First of Octember2    Wacky Wednesday2

What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books? Have any obscure Dr. Seuss titles hiding on your bookshelf? Leave a comment here or tweet at me.

– TL –