Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - December 2.jpg

Happy December! We’re barreling into the end of the year, aren’t we. The holidays sometimes feel like a freight train is bearing down on me, but this year, I’m feeling quite mellow. I have a lot of writing to do, so I’m taking it very easy on the decorating, not having any parties at the house, and saying no to the things that don’t serve me. I’ve streamlined so much of my process — the cards are here and ready to go into the envelopes, and that’s usually the weird big boogeyman that hangs over the month for me. I’ve done most of my shopping. I’m thinking about an alternative tree this year, but so many have been cut and need a home, I’m sure there’s a Charlie Brown tree out there waiting for us. (Plus, the minions LOVE to lay in the fur tree skirt…. yeah, OK, decision made. Real tree it is…) I’m even considering (quite seriously) a 6 week internet sabbatical while I try to get this draft finished. I’ve lost a couple of writing days to title brainstorms (have one for the next book, which is always a good thing, but this one is eluding us) so I need the quiet time.

My desk should arrive today, too! I bought (the cats) a rug to go under it, and I love the way it’s all coming together. The floor model chair I brought home is being replaced by a new one today, too. I’m starting to feel exceptionally creative in the new space, which is exactly what it was designed to do. If all goes well, I will post some photos of the finished product next week.

I’m still listening to Stephen King’s ON WRITING, and I’m telling you, if you haven’t read or listened, and you’re even mildly interested in being a writer, you really should. One of my favorite tips: who are you writing for? Choose that person, and write for them and them alone.

Oh, and one last holiday note: If you’re able, would you look at the angel trees available in your area — and don’t forget the animal shelters? This is also a great time of year for clearing out the closets, and the shelters can always use old towels for the kitties and puppies, and that coat you haven’t worn in three years would make someone in need a great gift. Just sayin’.

Be the light, friends. That’s what the spirit of the season is all about.

On to the links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Is It Time for Us to Rethink How We Give Gifts? A fitting start, yes? I’m doing more with less these days, for sure. I will never give up gifts entirely, because there’s nothing I like more than surprising people with something I’ve thought long and hard about, but I’m doing a lot more homemade, or locally bought, or charitable. We all have so much, it makes me happy to share.

8 Tips For Overcoming 'Reader's Block.' Great tips! There’s really nothing worse than a reading slump.

How to Create a Writing Routine That Lasts. I feel like I have links to these kinds of links — how to build habits — a lot. Perhaps that’s because I’m constantly searching for the best way to do things. This has some good ideas.

Cozying Up Your Reading Space for Winter. Bring on the cozy! 

Everything We Know About the New 'Rebecca' Movie on Netflix. You all know how much I love this story, and its many iterations— I can’t wait to see this! Also, if you haven’t read THE WINTERS yet, put it on your list. It’s fantastic.

Mercury Retrograde Winter 2018 Is Happening During Uranus & Neptune Retrograde, Too. No wonder I’ve been feeling so rebellious!

What’s Inside Ina Garten’s Pantry? If you’ve ever wondered about Ina’s favorite brand of salt or chocolate, you’re in luck! I watched an episode this week in which she made herbed cheese dip (herbed fromage blanc, to be exact) and I am trying it STAT.

The First Step — try to hit the barn. “For whatever reason when it comes to our goals, we let the fear of missing or the fear of imperfection keep us from the starting line. We take ourselves out of the race before the gun goes off.” Superb piece. Simply superb.

How was the scoring system in American football devised? In case you, like me, were wondering why football scoring is so wildly divergent from the rest of organized pro sports and your significant other didn't have an answer ( a rare occurrence, I swear it.)

6 best yoga apps. Fabulous roundup, from Yoga With Adriene (my personal favorite) to FitStar Yoga to Down Dog…


And closer to home:

It’s been a really nice year for reviews! A THOUSAND DOORS received a starred review from Publishers Weekly this week! We all put so much work into it and to have it honored thusly in the trades is the pinnacle of a wonderful year’s work. I’ll be flying high for a while! To have it come on the heels of the incredible review for TEAR ME APART — trust me when I say I was so shocked, and so grateful, for both cool moments this year.

You can get your copies from the buttons…


What I’m Reading:

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS is a fantastic book and it’s relaunching one of the greatest book clubs to grace the online world: She Reads. You should definitely check them out and join the conversation! I was lucky enough to see Liane Moriarty in person a few weeks back and she was simply magnificent - so self-deprecatingly funny.

And since we’re talking about books, can I invite you to follow me on Bookbub? This is one of the best ways to keep on top of new releases, deals, and other treats.


Look at this giveaway from BookSweeps! Not only can you enter to win a copy of LIE TO ME, you’ll also be eligible to win 30+ thrillers and an e-reader. It doesn’t get much better than this!


Lisa Unger is running an incredible giveaway in honor of Giving Tuesday! Make a donation and you could win books from some of the biggest, most acclaimed authors in the world, including me, Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Karin Slaughter, Mary Higgins Clark, Alafair Burke, Sara Blaedel, Kate White, Mary Kubica, Gregg Hurwitz, Sarah Weinman, Carol Goodman, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Ace Atkins, Jo Nesbo, C.J. Tudor, Jeff Abbott, Heather Gudenkauf, Lori Roy, Cara Black, Chris Bohjalian, Christina Alger, Bryan Reardon, K.J. Howe, and more!


I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,
J.T.