LIE TO ME is now available in mass market paperback!

Who’s ready to meet Sutton and Ethan Montclair, two writers with secrets galore? Well, now’s your chance — the gorgeous mass market paperback of LIE TO ME has arrived! Grab one for you, and one for a gift. And if you see one in the wild, take a picture and send it to me. I’ll put your name in a hat for a special prize.

Sunday Smatterings

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Happy Sunday, and a blessed Easter to those who celebrate. I wish you peace and joy, today and all days!

It was a rather crazed week here. We have a vacation coming up, and the preparations coupled with the fact that I haven’t been able to do much outside of write, edit, promote for the past several months means I’ve let too much go around the house, too. Friday I did one more massive Goodwill run, and I can breathe easier. Re-homing my former treasures is one of my favorite things to do.

All of these “things” I’m juggling pale in comparison to an experience I had last week. As you may have heard, A THOUSAND DOORS was chosen for a very special bookclub in Iowa, Changing Lives Through Literature. The program has been geared toward men in the Iowa corrections system; this particular group was for women only, the first of its kind. Its members are women on parole, their parole officers and residential advisors, and the wonderful librarians who scouted this book for their book group. Over the course of the reading, many of our authors Skyped in with the group to discuss their individual stories. I participated as well, on the final day. The ladies brought me to tears a couple of times with their frankness, openness, and humility. An experience I will never forget.

Susan Henricks, director of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa, put this together, and Heather Gudenkauf, one of the authors in ATD, cat-wrangled us all together. You Iowans know how to get things done!

Susan sent me a wrap up, and I asked for permission to share here.

The group has finished now.  During our first session I asked the women to write down what they expected to get out of the group, and on the last day (10 sessions later) I asked them to write down what they got out of the group.  Here are a few of the responses at the end:

  • What did I learn? No matter what choices I make, I can start new every day 

  • Keep pushing, don’t give up

  • I wanted to learn some things I can use in everyday life and I did

  • I got a new perspective on life and that I can change my story at any time

  • Being involved with a program outside of the DRF makes our time together more open to discussion and [helps form] better relationships with the Parole or Residential Officers involved

Thank you for being a part of positive change!

Books change lives. I think we sometimes forget the effect our words have on people. That Mia’s many lives and choices helped real women facing real problems, hard choices that affect their very freedom, their safety, their lives, makes every ounce of labor that went into the project worth its weight in gold. I hope the program will grow to the entire state of Iowa and even farther, because giving women a voice, showing them how their lives can be changed, that they have control and agency, is incredibly powerful.

So you librarians and corrections officers out there — give Susan Henricks a shout and see how she did this. It’s a brilliant program, one that would benefit your patrons.

Let’s take a look at the latest links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

It was an absolute delight to interview the mega-bestseller Delia Owens in this week’s episode of A WORD ON WORDS. She was such a good sport, shooting outside on a very chilly day. #KeepReading

Dutch Artists Transform a Utrecht Apartment Building into a Tri-Level Trompe L'Oeil Bookcase. This is absolutely incredible!

A Bookstore Of One's Own. When you read an article and think to yourself, yes, I would like to own a niche bookstore focused on brilliant writings of lesser-known female authors...

The 12 Best Books of Spring. So excited to see the amazing Helen Ellis’s new collection of essays SOUTHERN LADY CODE on this list. You NEEDS, precious.

‘Game of Thrones' composer looks back on that iconic theme song. Composing fascinates me. I write to scores from both movies and television, and this breakdown makes me love the music for AGOT even more.

OK, this is the coolest - two poems by the great Daphne Du Maurier found hidden in picture frames? Makes me want to slip a little something into one of mine for fun. 

I was on Public Display Of Imagination Podcast last week! Listen in. Mark and I covered a range of topics from TEAR ME APART to the vagaries of social media to the importance of Project Semicolon in our lives.

A Bucks County bookstore is looking to sell its ‘wall of fame’ to keep the lights on. Think J.K. Rowling. What a treasure! But how sad. I hope they get the money they need.

Six Steps for Decluttering Your Kitchen . . . and Reclaiming the Heart of Your Home. Excellent advice. I’m looking at my counters right now thinking they could use a few less items…

13 Game of Thrones-Themed Tours You Can Take Around the World. Because Game of Thrones, y’all! Let’s go!

What I’m Reading:

BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND by Heather Gudenkauf

Speaking of the lovely, talented Heather, her new book just came out! Heather writes intricate, emotional suspense, and her latest, BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND, is hands down her best yet. Told through journals, police interviews, and a stellar narrative, this perfectly terrifying story is ripped from the headlines (there are parallels with the Slenderman case) and layered with Gudenkauf’s flair for small towns and intimate family portrayals. Heartbreaking. Devious. Intelligent. Misleading. Too familiar for comfort. I couldn’t put it down. Have you read Heather before? If not, add her to your list immediately!

What are you reading this weekend?

And with that, I’m off to find some jellybeans. Be kind to one another, take a 24-hour internet sabbatical, bake some cookies, and I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,

Sunday Smatterings

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Glorious, beautiful, happy Sunday to you! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I finished some huge projects this week and am feeling light and free. First was the round one copyedit of GOOD GIRLS LIE, which went very well. It’s off to galley now, record speed. I also had to sign a WAD of books for Brenda Novak’s incredible book group, which you can join here. I can’t wait to talk with them this fall - it is a superbly organized group. And just now finished the trade paperback read of THE LAST SECOND (yes, it’s already time for that.) And I’ve been playing with my secret project, too. All in all, a productive week.

And of course, the incredibly read A THOUSAND DOORS audiobook released. It’s absolutely wonderful. I am so impressed with Cassandra Campbell’s rendition of all the Mias.

Playoff hockey has started, too, which is a blast. Of course, pretty much every Predators game in Nashville feels like a playoff game. I won third place in my basketball bracket — I had Virginia winning it all. Well done, Cavaliers. I have been enjoying my evenings with the Dodgers in the background. And it’s Masters weekend. Will Tiger pull it off? [[OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!]]

Yes, my parents raised me on sports and books. This makes my husband very happy. I’ll be even happier when I get back on the links. I’ve been nursing a funky knee but I’m sure it’s improving. I need to chase the little white ball.

Enough about my athletic endeavors. Let’s take a look at the latest links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Mary Laura talked with memoirist Dani Shapiro in this week’s episode of A WORD ON WORDS. #KeepReading I was crushed that I had to skip out on both lurking at the taping and the event at Parnassus due to a cold. Boo hiss. I love Dani!

The Ultimate List of Local Bookstores: 51 Must-See Bookstores Across the US. How many have you been to? Who’s up for a road trip?

A Brief History of "Unlikeable" Protagonists. Brilliance from Laura Benedict, who is neither unlikeable nor unreliable.

A No-Frills Kitchen Still Cooks. Less is more in the kitchen, too! (She says, working at her kitchen island, looking at all the things on the counters…)

Why is reading in the pub so enjoyable? In praise of a very British pastime. “Reading this scene in your own crowded pub, you feel elusively connected to it. Life feeding fiction feeding life.” Bring on the fish and chips!

We Don’t Buy Things with Money, We Buy Them with Hours from our Life. Love this perspective! It really made me look at how and why I was spending.

Sometimes We Haunt Our Own Houses. A wonderful piece by Vanessa Savage.

Master Penman Jake Weidmann | HUMAN. Fantastic short video on the lost art of penmanship and art.

Do it yourshelf: the Jakarta libraries with book nooks on tuk-tuks. “Estimates suggest there are thousands of such libraries in Indonesia, started by ordinary people with great initiative to address the lack of books in their area and funded by occasional donations.” Super cool.

Healthiest Community in America: Douglas County, Colorado. Thanks to my parents for bringing me up in Douglas County. An absolutely magical place to call home.

What I’m Reading:

I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK: ESSAYS by Mary Laura Philpott

You may recognize Mary Laura’s name from our show A WORD ON WORDS but she’s also an extraordinary author whose new book is one of those incredible, touching memoirs that just might change your life. I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK was one of my favorite books of 2018 and it just came out. You need this book! What are you reading?

That’s more than enough from me. Buy a fun new umbrella, don't forget to dust your bookshelves, dispense of one kitchen tool you never use, I’ll see you next week. Go Preds! 🏒

peace and hugs,


I am so excited to announce the digital audiobook for A THOUSAND DOORS releases today! It’s read by the incredible Cassandra Campbell. I know you are going to love listening to Mia's adventures as much as we enjoyed writing them. (The physical audiobook will be available May 7.)

To celebrate the release, here is a roundup of all the good things that have happened to our collaboration since it released. Enjoy!


Publishers Weekly starred review


Book Reporter


The Pages In Between

A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog

Novel Gossip


Telegraph Herald: New Dubuque book club leads to self-reflection for women with criminal convictions (subscription-only)


The Big Thrill


“A fascinating premise lifts this excellent anthology compiled by Thriller Award winner Ellison…This volume not only provides great pleasure but also offers readers the opportunity to sample the work of first-class writers who may be new to them.”
—★ Publishers Weekly, starred review

"...[a] powerful, moving and fascinating anthology featuring 16 multitalented authors... A decade in the making, A Thousand Doors is worth the wait."

"I cannot express how unique, thrilling, and emotional of a ride it was to make my way through A Thousand Doors. The journey that Mia faces from beginning to end was suspenseful, tense, and gripping, and the ending tied everything together in a satisfying manner. Highly recommended to those who are finding the thriller genre a bit stale these days; A Thousand Doors is a breath of fresh air for readers who are feeling stuck in a rut."
—Chelsea Humphrey, The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

"What makes this book so special is the different courses a person's life can take and each author's spin. If you have read each of the contributor's work previously, you will see each story was ideal for that respective author. Each story is full of humor, intrigue, and suspense and very thought-provoking. Highly-entertaining!"
—Judith Collins, TLC Book Tours  

Sunday Smatterings

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Happy Sunday! I hope your first week of April was wonderful! It was a fun one here—one of my besties had a baby girl Tuesday, and she is the cutest thing ever. Auntie J is over the moon. Cohost with the most Mary Laura Philpott had a book launch Monday, and Thursday I got to interview the one and only Harlan Coben. Wednesday was a small celebration to honor THE LAST SECOND hitting the NYT, and the fun TV deal announcement (see below). Plus, there was a styling session, an office move, secret project progress, taxes, office inbox zero, email inbox zero, and a deep dive into the copyedit of GGL. Phew! Talk about jam-packed. Thank heavens I have a vacation coming up.

The week ahead is a special one, too, because A THOUSAND DOORS releases in audiobook Tuesday. It’s read by the brilliant Cassandra Campbell, and I know you’re going to love it!

And in case you’ve been under a rock…THE LAST SECOND is out there just waiting for you to grab it! Nicholas and Mike’s latest adventure is fun and frantic and unique.

An exciting development… 📺

As announced in Publisher’s Marketplace this week, LIE TO ME is (fingers crossed) making its way to La-La-Land! I’m excited to partner with Dynamic to bring Ethan and Sutton to life in the screen. More news as I have it….

We’re not done yet… On to the links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Thrilled to be joined by the lovely Lisa Patton and her dynamic novel RUSH in the loveliest kitchen in Nashville in this week’s episode of A WORD ON WORDS. #KeepReading

The 25 Most Beautiful Libraries in America. Have you visited any of these? 

2019 Spring Okra Picks. So many congrats to the brilliant Helen Ellis and Mary Laura Philpott on their Okra Picks. I am so excited for you to read their books - both brilliant, funny, honest, and raw.

The house in England that inspired Wuthering Heights is for sale. Dibs.

The Top 40 Thrillers Hitting Bookstores this Spring. What a list from The Real Book Spy. I’m honored THE LAST SECOND was included.

Here’s How I Work. Nora Roberts gives a breakdown of her writing process, her writing day, her writing life, her writing sleep… you get the idea. You want to be a writer? This is how it’s done. Preach, Nora.

The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2018. I do love me some learning.

NASA pulls all-female spacewalk due to sizing issues. I've now lost all hope. If NASA can't figure out how to dress their astronauts, how are we mere mortals supposed to ever pick the right outfit?

What Lynne Tillman Thinks About While Making Tea in the Morning. “A cup of tea made me feel better. Tea is the English placebo.”  I am indulged by a wonderful husband who makes tea for me, but there’s nothing so meditative as putting together a proper pot of tea.

Midlife Minimalists. Superb advice on living a little smaller so you can live bigger. I have been taking all this advice to heart lately, and trying to minimize my footprints.

"Go With What's Alive" and Other Writing Advice from Philip Roth. Ignore the last one... it’s a bit bleak. But the rest are pretty good.

What I’m Reading:

SHADOW OF THE LIONS by Christopher Swann

Suspense is the hot genre right now, and this entry more than holds its own. If you like boarding school mysteries, definitely read this awesome debut. What are you reading?

That’s more than enough from me. Declutter a drawer, send a friend a quick, encouraging note, start planning your summer vacay, and I’ll see you next week.

peace and hugs,