Win a copy of Tokyo Heist! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

The wind, the rain, my soaked Converse sneakers: I blame it all on my dad. It’s his fault I waited in front of Jet City Comics for over an hour before hopping a bus to Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Now I’m slogging downtown through a rainstorm, dragging my suitcase through puddles.

Most of the art galleries are already closed for the day, but the Margo Wise Gallery glows with cool light. I duck under the awning and wipe my steamed-up glasses. Through the gallery window, I scan the crowd. Well-dressed men and women gather around paintings, eating off tiny plates, but I don’t see anybody whom I know. A jazz trio plays in a corner. Everyone will stare when I go in. I don’t look like an artist’s daughter. I look like a runaway trying to score food.

But I was invited! I take the damp, creased postcard from the pocket of my leather jacket. GLENN MARKLUND, MADRONA GROVE: PAINTINGS FROM ORCAS ISLAND. ARTIST RECEPTION THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 6:00-8:00 PM. My name, Violet Rossi, appears on a label above my mom’s address. The other side shows one of my dad’s paintings: a lone madrona tree on a bluff, its bark a collage of mottled browns, its leaves dark green and waxy. Its trunk sways to the left, like a woman sticking out her hip. The tree radiates chikara, my favorite Japanese word. It means “confidence” or “power.”

I could use some chikara right now.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Diana Renn


 About the book:

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she’s walking into. Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger — including Violet’s and her father’s.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery — before it’s too late.

 What people are saying:

“Renn’s fun debut takes a kitchen-sink approach, throwing together romance, mystery, and action in a way that echoes the manga that 16-year-old Violet loves to read . . . . Fans of mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this just as much as fans of Japanese culture.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“A proficient caper spiced up by Violet’s eye for art.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Renn’s debut will be a surefire hit with Japanophiles, who will thoroughly appreciate Violet’s enthusiasm for the culture.”–Booklist

“The plot has lots of twist and turns, leaving readers on edge . . . . Readers will cheer for Violet as she uses her wits and outsmarts the adults.”–School Library Journal

“Renn keeps the tension high and the pace moving in a modern, unique whodunit . . . . Tokyo Heist is a refreshing break from the tsunami of dystopian, paranormal titles in the young adult aisle.”–Susan Carpenter, The Los Angeles Times

Released: June 14, 2012

About the author:

Diana Renn writes contemporary mysteries for young adults. She also writes short fiction and essays, which have been published in a variety of magazines. A Seattle native, she now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son. Tokyo Heist is her first novel. Visit her online atwww.dianarennbooks.com.

Giveaway:

Diana has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Tokyo Heist for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on June 27th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!