Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - March 3.png

It is a VERY Happy Sunday, because at long last, I’ve finally put together a full draft of my new book, GOOD GIRLS LIE. The relief is overwhelming. This is the fastest concept to finished book I’ve done in years. I had a yearning last June to write a boarding school mystery, but that’s all it was, a yearning. I was busy trying to put together THE LAST SECOND, I had no room for more.

And yet… in August, on a flight to London, reading an article in Yoga Journal about one of my faves Kathryn Budig, she mentions jewelry designer Asha Patel. I misread the name as Ash. Ash. Ash… and on the next page was a story about former GoGos singer Belinda Carlisle.

Ash.

Carlisle.

Ash Carlisle.

Ash Carlisle is the most revered girl in an elite all-girls boarding school. Until students begin to die, and her past comes back to haunt her, and she goes from revered to reviled.

That was the end of August. I mentioned this little logline to my editor two weeks later and she loved it, but I was burnt out after the Brit deadline and TEAR ME APART’s release days earlier. Burnt out entirely. There was no way I could make a whole book out of that little logline by February.

And yet… somehow, I did. I started in October, in the midst of the launch of A THOUSAND DOORS. I set stringent goals, where I’d have to be at the end of November, December, January. I had to ask for a two-week extension to make a major POV shift. But yesterday, I typed THE END.

There is a LOT of work to be done to get this in shape. But you can’t edit a blank page.

As of this writing, GOOD GIRLS LIE is scheduled to release December 31. (I know some sites say September 3, but that’s incorrect.) I’ll let you know if that changes!


And hey, it’s March! Which means the 6th Brit in the FBI novel, THE LAST SECOND, is coming your way March 26. The Real Book Spy included THE LAST SECOND in his March 2019 Reading Guide. What an honor to be included! And the reviews are coming in, including a lovely star from Booklist. Hurrah!

Pre-ordering this title is a really big deal. Pre-orders are a big indicator of the book’s eventual success, and I would be so grateful if you could. To convince you, check out the very cool book trailer!

Phew. That’s a lot, but wait, there’s more… Time for the latest and greatest links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

How To Be Fully Alive, According To A Zen Monk. The key to happiness? Love well, my friends. Love well. Put aside your judgment, your dissatisfaction, and look for the good in people instead. It is there, I promise.

A Love Letter to Lovers of Outlander.  “Outlander speaks to deep, subterranean hopes, and because it’s about filling a lack. Desire is its lifeblood—its storytelling crests with want and reconciles upon satisfaction.” Last week I showed a stack of my favorite books, which include many classics and philosophical texts, from Hemingway to Woolf, but for the most enjoyable ride of a read, Outlander is just the ticket.

Betty Ballantine, one of the inventors of the modern paperback, dead at 99. It’s amazing to see how a part of our industry began. With all the forward-thinking we’re dealing with because of the digital disruption, sometimes it’s cool to look back to how it all started.

Standing at Ground Zero for UFO Believers. Calling THE LAST SECOND fans... the truth will set you free….

Romance, crime, comedy among genres explored at 2019 Southern Voices Festival. Lovely write up on the conference. It was a special weekend, and I hope to be invited back in the future. Such a great event!

Your Blue Is Not My Blue. This is my favorite story this week. It’s fascinating, and logical, considering.

Notes on My Literary Minimalism. Some great techniques here, though I suffer from literary maximalism.



Mattel Is Launching Astrophysicist Barbie This Year (an Astronaut, Too!) Finally, acknowledging women in the sciences. A great way to celebrate Barbie’s 60th birthday!


The Books That Mattered Most to David Bowie, Bibliophile. Couple of my faves on here...and oh, Bowie, you are so missed.

The Greatest Love Stories of All Time, According to Readers. What’s yours? Tell me in the comments!


What I’m Reading:

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

There’s a reason this book has been burning up the bestseller lists. It’s lovely. So atmospheric, so gorgeously written. An environmental mysterious love story that will break your heart and keep you guessing, it has all the lushness of the marsh at its center. Go forth and read it now, because the movie is sure to be a massive hit.


That’s it for now. Send me good editing juju, take a picture of your forsythia, if you have them, or make a snowman, if that’s your lot in weather life today, and I’ll see you next Sunday.

peace and hugs,
J.T.