Sunday Smatterings

Hello, chickens, Happy Sunday. How are you doing? I write to you from ALA, the conference for America's literary superheroes: librarians! I haven't been to this conference before, and I'm delighted to be here. Librarians are my people, and between panels and cocktails and talking about our favorite books, I can tell we're going to have a lot of fun together before the weekend is over.

Last week, Team JT put the final touches on LIE TO ME, and it's safely off to the printer. The next time I see those words, I'll be able to slide my fingers across them as they sit on printed pages. I can't tell you how much lighter I feel with this book officially out of my hands. The story is no longer mine—now it belongs to you, dear reader. I do hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday we shot the first episode of A WORD ON WORDS Season 3. I can't tell you who the guest was, but suffice it to say I was beyond thrilled to interview this giant in the publishing sphere. I can't wait to share this one with you later this summer!

Without further ado, here are the links you came for:

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

The Washington Post: kitten nursery saves tiny lives in a city aiming to become ‘no kill’. Talk about bringing a kitty mama to tears. Adopt, adopt, adopt.

The Kill Zone Blog: Empowering History? I always fall on the side of the empowered female heroine. Just sayin'.

Travel + Leisure: This Is the Ultimate Nanny Job Abroad — If You're Not Afraid of Ghosts. Let's  look at the trade-offs here: beautiful Scottish wilderness. Haunted house. I think I know what I'd choose...

theSkimm. If you don't read theSkimm, I highly suggest you begin to. Smart, to-the-point news that keeps you informed on the important things, and stuff on the lighter side, too.

The Guardian: Buying houses in cash and selling millions: meet self-publishing's 'hidden' authors. Because there's room for everyone at the table—even if you fashion the chair yourself.

Bustle: 14 Careers For Readers, Because It Is Possible to Make a Living Off Your Love of Books. Chin up, English majors. There are many opportunities to use your degree that don't end with "do you need room for cream?"

New York Public Library: Pencils At Dawn! 6 Writers and the Duels They Fought In. I really enjoy the New York Public Library's Twitter feed (follow them here, if you don't already). I'm always learning new, fascinating tidbits from them. This article was no exception.

YouTube: Game of Thrones Red Keep in Lego. Perfect for nerds of today and yesteryear (less than a month until Season 7, folks!!! Have you seen the new trailer? #WinterIsHere).

And closer to home:

5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017). From my zero-prep lunch to fashionable and comfy sandals, these five things are making me breathe easier.

Click here to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME. Mwahahahaha. 😈

That's it from me, darlings. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, stay in the shade, put on plenty of sunscreen, and we'll talk again soon.


Daily Tao ☯ 6.23.17

First day in a long time I’ve had to myself. No appointments, no shows to tape, no editorial fires to extinguish. Peace and quiet and words — it really doesn’t get much better than that.

Phase 1 of the remodel is wrapping today. The main guest bath is complete, and gorgeous. Master bed and bath, living room, and kitchen are repainted. We almost have everything in place (living room rug and a side table to come for living room—and OMG, this rug! It’s hide, it’s ombré, and it’s stunning!) and a trunk needs to be repaired and painted in the master. And of course, the curtains rehung, the paintings put back up. The touches, the finishes. I’m ready for it to be done. I do have to empty the bookshelves and put them back together by color. That’s going to be a fun project!

Phase 2 is ripping out the tile in our master bath and putting down fresh. It’s ten times the job the rest of this was — removing old tile is not for the faint of heart — and won’t start for a couple of weeks.

So when the painters leave and the run-through is done, we can start putting this house back together again. The kitties will be most pleased by this—their brush and some favorite toys are under plastic, soon to be unearthed; the couch has been out of commission for several days; their beds and trees have been moved around. They’re more displaced than us, I think. 

Once I can find the floor, it’s packing time again. I’m off to Chicago tomorrow for ALA — the American Library Association annual meeting —to talk about LIE TO ME. It’s my first time and I’m very excited — but I did decide to do a very business casual look this weekend. Jeans, blazer, boots. My new uniform! Part of that is comfort, the other — I can’t get to most of my clothes! Lord knows I’m not folding my unmentionables in front of the contractors…

All that said, I’ve managed to accomplish more today that most of the week combined. Lots of words. I wrote most of the day on the porch, in the rain, as TD Cindy came through. Breeze, humid, rainy—it was almost like writing at the beach. Almost. 

Have a lovely weekend!


J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at, or follow her online at or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017)

5 Things I'm Into This Month

Wireless Headphones

I have always preferred wired headphones because of the sound quality. I have an over-ear set of Bose for airplanes, and a noise-cancelling pair of Beats for the gym. But the technology has improved so much that I decided to give the some inexpensive wireless ones a try.

After a few fails, I settled on these from SoundPEATS. They are comfortable, the sound is good, the battery life is okay, and it frees me up to wander my house without the phone when I’m cleaning or folding. Win, win.

Deli Tray

Deli Trays

I have so much on my plate that food prep is the last thing on my priority list. Enter: the deli party tray. Fruit, cheese, meats, precut and ready to eat. I grab a bowl, dump in what I want, and voilà, lunch is served. 30 seconds from fridge to plate is my kind of set up. 

Eileen Fisher Women's Sport Platform Sandal

Like my ongoing search for the perfect bag, I am constantly looking for the perfect summer shoe to wear with dresses and pants. I have very sensitive feet with high arches, so heels have to be really, really comfortable (i.e.: Dansko clog-style sandals, which are clunky) and flats must have some sort of support. Tieks just haven’t been the answer for me. I wear a lot of Toms, but they are sometimes too casual for business casual.

Enter Eileen Fisher. My last royalty check, I splurged majorly and got myself a pair of these. 

They are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. The neutral color, the suede, the funky sole — all serve to be a great, stylish, fun summer conference shoe. I plan to be in these beauties at ALA!

Yoga with Adriene

My guru suggested Adriene as a stop gap between our session and she is simply wonderful. Yoga for everyone, she is fun, irreverent, with just the right amount of spiritual. No hard sell, heck, she’s free on YouTube and her website. I’ve now become a member so I can have access through the app, and I love it.

 Photo Credit:  Huntingdon Spa

Photo Credit:
Huntingdon Spa

Lash Tinting

I’m a blonde, and that means I have the ubiquitous problem of most blondes — our lashes disappear. I have plenty of them, you just can’t see them without mascara. I have friends who do extensions, but I’m so sensitive to chemicals I’m sure I’ll be allergic to the glue. The solution? Tinting.

I just did this for the first time this week, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to be able to skip mascara for day-to-day! FACE Nashville has a specialist, Kara, and it is quick, inexpensive, and worth every dime.


What are you into this month?

Daily Tao ☯ 6.20.17

Not a bad day. 400 words of fiction, 500 words of non-fiction, decisions made on a couple of soon-to-be-in-your-hands projects, and, because of your fabulous response, Amy and I decided that yes, we shall shut down the world for the two weeks between July 1-16. I think we both need some time to regroup, reset, and Lord knows that girl deserves a vacation. I’ll be doing mine writing style — which means I’ll be shutting off socials, email, and Internet and really going to town writing.

I am so excited! A writing vacation! In the middle of the summer! 

I am simply going to write as much as I can on the novel in a 14 day period, and see what happens. I don’t think I’m even going to set goals. I mean, I have my daily word count goals that must be met, but I’m not going to say — I’ll write X number of words, or X number of pages. I will simply write. No appointments. No blogging. No socials. Just deep work on the novel.

It’s going to take some prep beforehand, but I have to say, I am SO EXCITED!!!

The remodel is going well, too. The visions are starting to come together. Can’t wait to share some pics — they’ll be done Friday on stage 1!

Hope your day was great!

Daily Tao ☯ 6.19.17

You know it’s been a long day when you sit down after a reheated pizza dinner and look at property to buy in other countries. 

Though I am half Italian, I have an ongoing love affair with Scotland. It’s in my blood too — I’m a Wallace on my mom’s side, and my husband is a highlander — Clan McBean. My friend Brandee likes to feed my addiction, and is a terrible influence, regularly sending me stunning island and cottage real estate listings. I lost a good hour tonight running numbers on a property on the Isle of Skye (a favorite Scotch, Talisker, is made just down the road — talk about heaven!) 

I am feeling a strange desire to run away from home for a while. There’s so much going on that I can’t give anything my proper attention. The Kerr is going on vacation for a couple of weeks at the end of the month, and I might just take a small internet sabbatical at the same time myself. Would you forgive me if I disappeared for two weeks? 

It might save me a LOT of money — two weeks of sabbatical versus a downpayment on a small Scottish village….

The last pass of LIE TO ME is finished and into production. I won’t see it again until it’s between the covers. I might have vapors, but it’s done. 

Hope your day was lovely — sweet dreams!