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Monday, May 1, 2023

Blog Tour- LIAR'S BEACH by @katiecotugno With An Excerpt & #Giveaway! @DelacortePress, @GetUnderlined, & @RockstarBkTours

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the LIAR'S BEACH by Katie Cotugno Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:


Author: Katie Cotugno

Pub. Date: May 2, 2023

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 288

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/LIARS-BEACH

A fresh new take on Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles, with iconic detective Hercule Poirot recast as a brilliant, brash teen girl named Holiday, and narrated by her childhood friend Linden, an athlete-scholar who fits right in at his elite New England prep school—all the while hiding some secrets of his own.

Michael Linden—or just Linden to his preppy boarding school pals—doesn’t belong in wealthy, storied Martha’s Vineyard. But when his roommate Jasper invites him to spend the end of summer at his massive beachfront home, August House, Linden tries his best to fit in. Linden wouldn’t call it lying, exactly. Though it turns out August House is full of liars.

Then someone is found unconscious in Jasper’s pool, and everyone has something to hide—Jasper, his beautiful sister Eliza, their older brother Wells, and their friends. The accident is written off as just that—an accident—but Linden begins to wonder...

Enter: Holiday Proctor. Linden’s childhood friend, and the one person on the island who knows the truth about Linden. There’s nothing Holiday loves more than a good old-fashioned mystery and she’s convinced there's a potential killer on the Vineyard. The only question is…who?




Ten days before the police cars cruised silently down the driveway at August House and we all became a national news story, Jasper picked me up at the ferry in Vineyard Haven.

“There he is,” Jasper called, slouching elegantly against the driver’s side door of the Mercedes in sunglasses and a crisp white button-down rolled to the elbows. He looked like a magazine ad for a cologne called Entitlement. “What’s up, Linden?” He grabbed my duffel, tossing it carelessly into the back of the forest-green coupe. “I thought you were coming in last night.”

The buttery leather of the passenger seat was cool through my T-shirt as I slid into the car. “Ferry was full,” I lied. In fact, one of the other checkers at the grocery where I’d been working since June needed a shift covered, and even though I was technically done for the summer—the dorms at Bartley opened in two weeks—I wasn’t in any position to be turning down the cash. It wasn’t the first money-related fib I’d told Jasper, or any of our friends from boarding school in Northampton. And, in all likelihood, it wouldn’t be the last.

Jasper shrugged, incurious. “Well, I’m glad you’re here, anyway. How’s your foot?”

I wiggled my pale, skinny-looking ankle, just recently liberated from its fiberglass boot. “Still attached.” Then, not particularly wanting to talk about it, I raised my eyebrows. “What about you? Summer as dire as you thought it would be?”

“Total fucking snoozer,” Jasper said, peeling out of the parking lot. “Every day I think about committing a murder just to spice things up.” He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. “I’ll try to control myself now that you’re here, I guess.”

“Gentlemanly of you.”

“Yeah, well, I’m a gentleman.”

We cruised through Vineyard Haven, passing mom-and-pop clam shacks nestled between luxury boutiques and Michelin-star restaurants. I’d been to Martha’s Vineyard once before, as a little kid; some guy my mom was dating at the time had a summer rental in Edgartown and invited us out for the weekend. I think he was auditioning to be my new dad and spent forty-eight hours calling me bud and trying to convince me to toss a Frisbee around with him. In retaliation I accidentally-on-purpose stepped on a jellyfish and spent most of the weekend reading waterlogged mysteries under an umbrella, scowling as hard as I possibly could.

“How was the internship?” Jasper asked now, turning down the volume on the radio. The Mercedes was glamorously vintage enough that it didn’t have Bluetooth, static crackling intermittently as we reached the outskirts of town. It was more rural here than I remembered, dense woods out one window and long stretches of beach out the other, the haunted Gatsby green of summer exploding all around us.

“What?” I blinked. “Oh, it was fine. Also extremely fucking boring.” That was an invention too, an internship at a law firm in Post Office Square back at home. It was a stupid lie, the kind of thing that was easily fact-checked, but back at the beginning of the summer, Jasper kept making noise about coming to visit me in Boston, and it helped to have an excuse about why I was too busy.

We pulled off the main road and cruised for another ten minutes down a winding dirt lane, the occasional flare of sunlight sneaking through the dense, leafy canopy overhead. Every once in a while we passed what I assumed were private driveways, but for the most part the effect was more remote wilderness than island paradise. I was just starting to wonder if maybe I’d misunderstood what he’d said about his parents’ place being at the beach when all at once the landscape opened up and there it was, standing tall and grand and enormous against the shocking blue sky.

“So,” Jasper said, “this is August House.”

“Uh.” I cleared my throat. “Sweet.” Over the last few years I’d gotten pretty good at not acting impressed by other people’s giant houses, but I had to work to keep a straight face as he pulled into the circular drive, crushed seashells crunching under the wheels of the convertible. August House was a massive old white-shingled situation with a wide wraparound porch and a second-floor balcony and an actual, honest-to-god turret, plus a widow’s walk up on the roof. Hydrangeas lined the walkway in an explosion of pink and blue and purple. An American flag flapped cheerily in the breeze.

I tried not to gape as I climbed out of the passenger seat, Jasper killing the engine and tucking the keys up under the visor. “Leave that,” he said when I reached for my duffel. “Dean will bring it up.”

I had no idea who Dean was, but I slung the bag over my shoulder anyway and followed Jasper through a white wooden gate and past a meticulously tended vegetable garden off to the side of the house. Out in the backyard was a giant bean-shaped pool flanked by a neat row of wooden lounge chairs and a covered patio housing a table with seating for twelve at least. A gap in the tall green hedges led to a staircase directly down to the beach: I could hear the waves crashing, smell the sharp brine of the ocean.

“Linden is here,” Jasper announced, opening a second gate onto the pool deck.

Wells saluted from the water, where he was floating on an enormous inflatable raft shaped like a unicorn, his pale skin gone summer tan. “Hey, bro,” he called, “what’s up?”

“Not much.” I grinned. Jasper’s brother had graduated from Bartley two years earlier, back when we were freshmen. He was a business major at Harvard now, though according to Jasper, he spent most of his time getting drunk at the Owl Clubhouse on Holyoke Street. “Nice ride.”

“Thinking about entering her in the Head of the Charles this year,” he replied, then nodded at a guy sprawled on a lounge chair in a pair of lime-green swim trunks. “That’s Doc; he lives down the beach. Doc, Linden; Linden, Doc. Linden’s first name isn’t Linden. Doc’s first name isn’t Doc.”

I looked across the patio in not-entirely-pleasant surprise. “We…actually know each other,” I confessed.

“I mean, not formally.” Doc extended a smooth brown hand in my direction. “What’s up, dude?”

“Oh shit,” Jasper said before I could answer, “that’s right, you guys are both lax nerds.” He grinned. “There’s definitely a joke in there about like, sticks and balls or some fucking thing, so just pretend it was funny, okay?”

“We always pretend you’re funny,” Doc reminded him, but his dark eyes were on me as we shook. “You still starting for Bartley this fall?” he asked. “I heard you busted your ankle back in the spring.”

“Oh yeah,” I managed with what I hoped was a casual shake of my head, “for sure.” Doc was a star attackman for Ashcroft, a boarding school down in Rhode Island; he’d basically crushed us in last year’s championship game, and that was when I’d been in the best physical condition of my entire life. The thought of facing him on the field after a summer spent hobbling back and forth to physical therapy made me feel slightly queasy. “It was no big deal. All good now.”

Jasper nodded at his twin sister, Eliza, who was sitting at the patio table along with a redhead I didn’t recognize, a hand of gin rummy laid out between them. “You guys know each other too, right?” he asked.

Eliza waved from across the yard. “Oh,” she called, “Linden and I go way back.”

“Old friends,” I agreed. In fact, we’d only met a couple of times before—once when the Kendricks had come to Bartley for Wells’s graduation, and another time when she’d taken the train out to stay with some friend of hers in the girls’ dorm and tagged along with us to a party. She lived at home with her parents in Connecticut, I knew, and was some kind of northeast horseback-riding champion. Last year Jasper had a photo pinned to his bulletin board of his whole family at one of her meets, Eliza in the full outfit with the breeches and helmet and everything like she was a nineteenth-century British archduke, but right now she was wearing sunglasses and a gingham bikini, her dark blond hair just skimming her shoulders. I glanced at her, then back at the others. Glanced at her again.

“I’m Meredith,” the redhead volunteered pointedly.

Jasper smirked. “And that’s Meredith,” he admitted, and I waved. “Come on,” he continued, “I’ll give you the tour.”

I followed him across the patio, past an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill and through the sliding glass door into the cool, quiet house. “Meredith’s parents used to have a place nearby, but they sold it last year,” he informed me, “which means she’s been at our house, like. All. Fucking. Summer.”

“Uh-oh,” I said with a laugh. His voice suggested either a decades-long blood feud or a vacation hookup gone bad. “Did you guys, like…?”

“Oh, fuck no,” Jasper said, like the very thought of it had his dick shriveling up in horror. “She’s had a boyfriend since the Stone Age. And they’re both idiots.” He shrugged, reaching down to pet the golden retriever snoozing in a monogrammed bed near the mudroom. “This is Whimsy,” he told me. “Come on, this way.”

I’d had it in my head that beach houses were sort of scruffy, full of cast-off furniture and yellowing sci-fi paperbacks, but the Kendricks’ looked freshly renovated, with huge picture windows framing a view of the ocean and an open kitchen that would have made my mom weep with pleasure. Right away I was worried about spilling something, even though I wasn’t holding anything I could possibly spill.

Jas led me through the dining room and into the living room, past an actual library with built-in bookcases lining the three walls that didn’t look out over the garden. And it all just kept going: we passed a study and a sunroom and a den with a projector screen, the sectional so wide and deep I had to physically stop myself from face-planting directly onto it and passing out until school started. August House was the kind of place where any number of people could stay for an indefinite length of time without anyone noticing—not like the apartment I shared with my mom back in East Boston, where my aunt Rosie had come to visit over Christmas and left her bras draped over the shower-curtain rod for days on end, the scent of her perfume hanging thickly in the air.

We traipsed up a flight of steps and down a long hallway, then turned and climbed another staircase that doubled back on itself until finally we got to a bedroom with walls that curved gently on two sides—the turret room, I realized, the one I’d seen from outside.

“Sorry it’s so small,” Jasper said, though it was bigger than both my room at home and the one we’d shared freshman year at Bartley, when we’d first been roommates. “Meredith is hogging the good guest room, since, you know, she lives with us now.”

I shook my head. “Dude, it’s fine.” The bed was an intricately carved four-poster, the duvet cover a cheery blue-and-white stripe. A quartet of framed botanical prints hung on the far wall.

“They’re poisonous,” Jas said when he saw me looking at them.


“The plants,” he explained, gesturing with his chin. “Foxglove, hogweed, hemlock, stinging nettle. Those drawings are all over the house. My mom bought this whole collection of them from some botanist’s estate sale in Newport, then got them home and some friend of hers was like, Hey, dumbass, you realize the unifying theme of those flowers is that every single one of them is extremely fucking lethal. But by then she’d already paid her decorator to come and hang them.” He shrugged. “Anyway, your bathroom is around the corner. Just be careful because you have to hold the flusher down an extra minute if you take a shit.”

I nodded. “Thanks for the tip.”

“No problem. Meet you down at the pool.” He shut the door behind him, his footsteps thundering down the narrow staircase. “Glad you’re here, dude!”

Once he was gone, I looked at the plants for a moment longer, telling myself there was no reason to feel the tiniest bit creeped out by their graceful leaves and delicate, dangerous flowers. Then I changed into my bathing suit and headed downstairs.



About Katie Cotugno:

Katie Cotugno is the New York Times bestselling author of seven messy, complicated feminist YA love stories, as well as the adult novel Birds of California (Harper Perennial, 2022). She is also the co-author, with Candace Bushnell, of Rules for Being a Girl. Her books have been honored by the Junior Library Guild, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, and the Kentucky Association of School Librarians, among others, and translated into more than fifteen languages.  Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and Argestes, as well as many other literary magazines. She studied Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and received her MFA in Fiction at Lesley University. She lives in Boston with her family.

Katie is represented by Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.


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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of LIAR'S BEACH, US Only.

Ends May 9th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


YA Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post



Review/IG Post



IG Review



IG Review



IG Review/TikTok Post



Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post



IG Review



Review/IG Post


A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

Week Two:


Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt/IG Post



Tik Tok Review/IG Post



IG Review


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic



IG Review



Review/IG Post



IG Post



IG Review



IG Review


Book Briefs

Review/IG Post

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