Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with Holly Cupala

I am very excited to have Holly Cupala via video on my blog today.  Holly is a first time author who has written a beautiful story titled Tell me a Secret.  Tell me a Secret is published by HarperCollins and was released on June 22nd 2010.  Holly has also provided an excerpt of her book which is listed below.  I will be posting a review of Tell me a Secret this week and there is still time to sign up to win my gently used advance readers copy.

Check out Holly interviewing herself.  Holly's husband/video editor pulled a parent trap.

The next stop for Holly's tour is...tomorrow at Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf! You can also view the full tour schedule here.

• Leave comments at any official tour stop or Holly’s blog ( throughout the tour! Each comment counts as an entry (one comment per post*).
• Tweet about the tour (@hollycupala) and tell us what you think!
• Post about the tour, then leave a comment at my blog with a link.

Each week's prizes will be announced at Holly’s blog the following week - check back to see if you've won and contact us at the contact link at (we will hold prizes for 2 weeks).

* Comment calculation: for instance, during week one you can comment once at every official stop, and once on any of my posts for that week to be entered in that week's prize drawing.

Excerpt of Tell me a Secret

It’s tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl. It’s like living at the foot of a mountain blocking out the sun, and no one ever thinks to say, “Damn, that mountain is big.” Or, “Wonder what’s on the other side?” It’s just something we live with, so big we hardly notice it’s there. Not even when it’s crushing us under its terrible weight.

No one mentions my sister. If they do, it’s mentioning her by omission, relief that I am nothing like her. I am the good sister. Thank God.

To speak of my sister . . . there’s nothing more sacrilegious. Alexandra, Andra, Alex. Xanda—who was, and is, and is to come. To speak her name is my family’s purest form of blasphemy.

To think of Xanda is to conjure up a person out of phase with the rest of us. Gym socks and mary janes. Lipstick always slightly outside the lines, as if she were just the victim of a mad, messy kiss. Laddered stockings with dresses that were decidedly un-churchy. Sloppy in a way that was somehow repulsive and delectable at the same time. Repulsive to my parents. Delectable to me.

At ten, I was practicing her pout in the mirror. By twelve, I was trying on her clothes (in secret, of course), thrilled with the way her shorts hugged my cheeks and made my underpants seem obsolete. Xanda was seventeen. She didn’t wear underpants.

One day she caught me in her boots and safety-pin dress, the one she had painstakingly assembled like rock-star chain mail. I was so scared I poked a pin through the end of my pinky. I imagined her taking off one of her stilettos and plunging it into my heart.

But Xanda didn’t skewer me. Instead, she threw back her head and laughed a dazzling, tonsil-baring laugh, then smothered me in a hug. She had that sour, sharp smell, and I knew she had been with Andre—Andre, of the sultry voice and skin the shade of coffee with milk. Café con leche, as he put it. Sweet and dangerous. A bit of a con, said Andre. A bit of a letch, said my sister.

After she bandaged my finger, Xanda insisted I try on the matching safety-pin leg warmers. They hung like chains around my ankles. Clump, clump, drag. With a heavy grasp, she steered us both toward the full-length mirror hung on the back of her bedroom door. The metal of the safety pins shimmered down my straight, twelve-year-old hips. Xanda stood behind me, the glow of the bedroom window lighting up the pale chaos of her hair in a halo. She shimmered, too, but in a different kind of way. Her sheer white dress fluttered around her, a ghost trapped behind my chain-link figure. When she smiled, she looked like an unholy angel.

She studied my face with one eye closed, like an artist sizing up a canvas. “You know what?” she said. “I don’t think you should be Mandy anymore.”

“Should I be Miranda now?” I asked.

“No, I was thinking more like . . . Rand. Rand is so much cooler than Mandy. Kind of edgy. Don’t you think?”

I tested the name in my mouth. Rand. Rand would wear a safety-pin dress. Rand could probably go without underpants now and then. Rand sounded almost like Xanda. I liked it.

“Do you want to know a secret?” I whispered to the sister in the mirror.

“Tell me,” she whispered back. “Tell me, and I’ll tell you one.”

Tell Me a Secret. Copyright © 2010 by Holly Cupala. Tell Me a Secret will be published by HarperCollins June 22, 2010.


  1. Hey there, nice interview! :) I do love secrets. Also, you're so lucky you got to go to ALA! Every book blogger who has gone to either ALA or BEA bring back an enormous hoard of ARCs and swag, and it pains me to be so far away from it all.

    I've already read the preview, but it was nice re-reading it. I am so excited for my copy to reach my doorstep, and I have to thank you billions for that, Holly!!!

    Also, I'm following you Cari. Your blog is pretty neat. Keep it up!

  2. I have been wanting to read this book! I have heard many great things about it. I'm here from the comment exchange, and am a new follower :)

  3. I really loved this book! It was awesome, I can't wait to read your review! =)

  4. wow lovely interview shes so adorable lol its so cool that you asked her those questions she seems like a darling, happy reading Cari! =)

  5. Very cool interview! I am really excited to read Tell Me a Secret! Holly seems like a lovely person. :)

  6. Haha, you're too cute, Holly.

  7. I read the first two chapters of this book and was hooked. Now, I just need to order it!

  8. Hi, everyone! I hope you had a terrific holiday, and thanks for stopping by Cari's blog! (And also thx for not thinking I'm completely crazy). ;)

    This has been a lot of fun, and I really appreciate all of you!

  9. That was such a funny video lol. Very cool! :)

  10. I love it, you interviewing yourself. LOL!

  11. Oh my gosh. Seriously this may be the cutest online interview I have ever seen.
    Great questions!
    Clever adorable video/answers.
    Bravo bravo bravo!
    I'm SO adding this to my GoogleBuzz :)

  12. I posted about this:

  13. Hehehe, fun interview, and she was doing it with a perfectly straight face! (I don't think I would've been able to. Then again, I'm not an author.)

  14. wow! awesome video interview!! love it :)

  15. Thank you Holly for such an amazing interview! Also thank you to all who have stopped by to comment.

  16. Thanks, Cari, for having me and for all of the kind things you've said about Tell Me a Secret! I hope you enjoy, everyone!

  17. This sounds great! Can't wait to read it!

  18. I want to read this book! It sounds awesome! And I love the cover too! :)