Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - Summer.jpg

Hello, chickens! I snuck away to Colorado this week to visit my parents and get a bunch of words done. There is nothing better than writing in the mountains. I am always über productive while I'm here. Maybe it's the thinner air. I miss darling husband and the minions, but I've also gotten to see my brother and nephews, and hopefully there will be a niece sighting as well. Golf, too. Gotta have some time on the links. 

 

Speaking of links... Here's the latest news and bookish goodness!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Apple Unveils New Book App. Go Apple Go! You all know by now that I am an agnostic book buyer, spreading the love across digital platforms, indie bookstores, and chains. Hope this new app will help Apple keep gaining ground! (And maybe they'll add support for audiobooks to the Apple Watch... just sayin')  
 

8 Crime Novels Of Women Starting Over - Crime Fiction as a Safe Space to Imagine Change. "Crime fiction is the perfect safe space for me to explore my own growth and transformation. The characters are often similar to myself, or a close friend, or my neighbor across the street, or a woman I used to work with. It allows me to envision what would happen if I, too, dared to change something major in my life—including the consequences of making those decisions—without having to actually change anything at all."

 

Digital Wellness for Grown Ups. As usual, Cal Newport speaks sense. I admit I use an app to help me turn off my internet (Freedom) but I also do have the strength of will to set down my phone and pick up a book. You do, too!

 

The 25 Best New Books to Put in Your Beach Bag This Summer. Fun list! I'm especially looking forward to Girls' Night Out, Give Me Your Hand, and When Life Gives You Lululemons... Assistant Leigh plans on reading The Kiss Quotient this weekend and has When Katie Met Cassidy and The Incendiaries on her radar.

 

A Peculiar Audacity. A good lesson: you are the steward of you career. Don’t let it happen to you; make it happen for you. When we creatives allow other teammates to make decisions for us, bad things can happen.

 

Here’s how the Queen uses her royal iPad. To watch foalings, natch.

 

12 Books That Could Be This Summer's 'Gone Girl'. I want them alllll!


And closer to home:

Anna Quindlen AWOW.jpg

Have you missed the most recent A WORD ON WORDS? Last week's interview with Anna Quindlen was joyous, exciting, moving, and smart. Exit West with Mohsin Hamid was an incredibly thought-provoking interview that I know you're going to love! 


That's all for now! Take a hike, eat some watermelon, and we'll talk again soon.

xo,
J.T.

Sabbatical is over, so... I’m back!

Honey, I'm home...

Hello, good people! My social media Lenten fast was lovely and calm, but now I’m back — rested, recharged, and full of words. I hope you’ve had a lovely six weeks without me! Many props to The Kerr, who handled the socials so wonderfully! I know y’all had fun with her — thanks for all your sweet notes to us both.

Oh, SO MANY THINGS to talk about!
 

Blog Resurrection


I missed the bulk of the #quitfacebook kerfuffle, but I know many of you aren’t entranced with how FB is handling your info. Neither am I.

Because I would hate to lose touch with you if you are leaving, I’ve decided to resurrect my blog. 

Aside from the privacy issues, FB frustrates me to pieces because while so many of you have joined my author page, you rarely see the posts unless I pay to boost them, so I think it's time to invite you to join me in my blog and we’ll go from there. 

I have to admit, I’m rather excited to be jumping back into non-fiction. I miss blogging, but it won't exactly be regimented. Whatever is on my mind, I’m going to share. I’ve been very inspired by Nora Roberts’ blog lately. It’s fun, and relaxed, and that’s my goal. Don’t be surprised to see some rebranding happening next week, too. 

And do me a small favor? Leave a comment to let me know you’re around and reading. Writing into the void isn’t fun! 


New Books


THE SIXTH DAY is about to release (April 10).

Romantic Times gave it an extremely rare 5 Star Gold rating. It’s as crazy a thriller ride as you will take this year, guaranteed to please fans of the series, and hopefully entrance new ones as well.

During my sabbital, Catherine and I hooked up out in California and put together the 6th Brit in the FBI novel, which I am working on right now. We even have a title, though I don’t think she’s released that info yet (#socialmediasabbatical). It’s been a research-intensive month, with so many things to learn. The writing is underway, though! I had a great writing retreat in March, and am now regularly laying down words again. 
 

TEAR ME APART went through two edits whilst I was away.

It’s going to be in galley soon, and we’re finalizing the cover. I just received the AAs — author alterations, aka last pass pages. This is my last chance to make any changes to the book before it goes into production. We do have back cover copy to share, so look for that on the blog shortly. Suffice it to say... Girl, Interrupted grows up. 


Other Projects


Amy and I have been making books!

We have a spiffy new German version of NO ONE KNOWS for sale, and we’re busy putting together some print versions of my most recent short stories.

And (drumroll... 🥁) We're about to release our first Two Tales audiobook: an incredible vocal performance of the DEAD ENDS anthology! And there’s more in the works, including another anthology that is going to blow your mind. 

A WORD ON WORDS has seen many new entries these past few weeks, so you need to check them out ASAP! One of the things that I think is very cool about AWOW is the fact that my co-host (Mary Laura Philpott) and I are both writers. It makes these interviews very much peer-to-peer, adding insight to both how we work and how the authors we’re interviewing approach their craft, books, and life in general. 

I have some more news that I can’t share yet and it’s about killing me to stay quiet, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. Trust me, you will be the first to know when I can tell you.
 


That’s enough for now! 

Since you haven’t seen them here in a while, here are a few shots of Jameson and Jordan, aka The Minions, on our latest adventure. They are very happy to be home and back on their porch.

 

Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 11.5.2017

Morning, gentle readers, and happy Sunday. How was your week? We're still recovering from the World Series at Chez Ellison. We're a baseball house, and Dodgers in particular—DH has been a lifelong fan. I found it so amusing when people started using the diminutive DH to refer to their "darling husband" online—for a long while, I wondered why people were calling their partner the designated hitter.) But what a thrilling series it was. Congrats to you Astros fans—y'all should be proud, and I am so happy to see Houston back in the hearts and minds of the country. 

Nearing the end of the first draft of Brit #5 (it has a new name, which I announced in this month's newsletter: THE SIXTH DAY!). This is the craziest part of writing: all the threads come together at a clip, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I pound away at the keyboard... and cooking dinner has becomes the best form of procrastination. Plus, with the new chill in the air, the recipes that don't work for summer (I'm looking at you, chili!) come back into the rotation. This isn't DH's first deadline rodeo, so he's been surprised when I want to make dinner. Such is being married to a writer; we are mercurial beasts!

And without further ado...


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:


This is how a word gets into the dictionary. Admit it, you've always wanted to know. Personally, I spent an awful lot of time with my Webster's growing up...
 

Anti-frantic. A great message as we head into the busy holiday season. I don't get twerped out about the holidays. Decorating takes an hour, I know all my recipes by heart, I do my cards early and my shopping mostly online from fun indie retailers. Let's all take a breath, shall we?
 

Actors and actresses who write, from Tom Hanks to Molly Ringwald. I think we're sometimes led down the path that artists are one trick ponies, but if you think about the way actors need to interpret the writer, it's not surprising many of them take up the pen.
 

How I read 100 books in a year (and you can too). With all the distractions floating around, it's hard to get through one book, let alone 100. If you're eyeing a book challenge in 2018, you may find this article useful. I'm behind on my count right now, but I'm gaining steam going into the winter months!
 

These Golden Snitch-Topped Butterbeer Donuts Are What Potterhead Dreams Are Made Of. Holy sugar rush, Batman. 😍
 

The new decluttering trend is called Swedish Death Cleaning and we tried it. Sounds scary, but perhaps a great way to clear the clutter once and for all. It's a bit morbid, though, so be warned.
 

Let Me Count The Ways. ATTENTION WRITING DATA GEEKS: Scrivener 3.0 will give you MORE than you can possible handle. (What's Scrivener, you ask? Only the best writing software ever. And add in some Scapple for brainstorming, too!)


And closer to home:

A WORD ON WORDS Season 3 is here! Click Play to watch the latest episode.

I recently sat down with the author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (yep, like the Oscar-winning movie), Matthew Quick. His newest book, THE REASON YOU'RE ALIVE, is one of the best I've read this year—so nuanced, so poignant. And Mr. Quick himself is delightful: I could have talked to him all day.

I like to ask each author I interview a few of the same questions, just to get different perspectives. One question I ask is if the writer is creatively satisfied. Mr. Quick had one of my favorite answers to that question, which you get to see in this video.


That's it from me! Y'all be good, rake someone's leaves, light a cinnamon candle and watch a good movie or two, and we'll talk again soon. Speaking of movies—what's your favorite for the season ahead?

xo,
J.T.

Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 9.17.17

Hey, y'all. How's tricks? Yours truly is back in Nashville for the first time in a long while. I loved, loved, loved meeting so many of you out on the road. But this introvert is overjoyed to be back with her hubby, her cats, and pots of tea within arm's reach. It's the little things, you know.

Fun news: If you didn't get to see me on tour, join me for my LiveSigning this Thursday night at 7:00 pm CT! Details are below. Bonus – you don't even have to leave your couch to attend. 🎉🎉🎉

Now it's back to work for me, conjuring new adventures for Nicholas and Mike. Things are going to be quiet on this front while I whip our new book into shape. But don't worry, I'm not disappearing for long. I'll see many of you at Bouchercon mid-October! 

And without further ado...


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

11 Literary Destinations Every Book-Lover Should Visit in the Fall. Autumn is just around the corner, and it's the best time of year to be a book geek! Here's where you should go on a literary road trip.
 

What I've Been Reading Lately: The New and the Notable. Great book finder Anne Bogel dishes on the five books she's been loving lately. Stock those TBR piles, y'all!
 

The Crazy Story Behind the First Book Published in the (Future) United States. An escape from England, an indentured servant with a mysterious past, and an untimely death while crossing the Atlantic—it sounds like a juicy plot, doesn't it?
 

The not-so-easy Weasley quiz. They aren't kidding. How many did you get? My score was deemed "Weason-able." #WeasleyIsOurKing
 

THE ABANDONED HEART by Laura Benedict is out in paperback! My bestie writes Southern Gothic fiction, and it is superb. Check out the last of her Bliss House trilogy, now at a killer bargain price.
 

Best Books of the Month: September Edition. Speaking of good books, check out these favorites from suspense authors Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (word on the street is there's a giveaway attached to this post...).
 

U.S. Postal Service unveils series of stamps honoring children's book "The Snowy Day." Just in time for the holidays! 
 

16 New Thriller Books Coming Out This Fall. So many book roundups hit the feeds this time of year, and for good reason: fall is a treasure trove for us book lovers. BookBub gives us even more books for our TBR piles.
 

A Big Ol' Interview about LIE TO ME with Book Reporter. This was a fun one—lots of great questions!


And closer to home:

 
 

Did I not visit your city for the LIE TO ME tour? Worry not, chicken: at my LiveSigning (with special guest, historical novelist and my dear friend Ariel Lawhon!), you can get a signed book AND ask me questions – all from your own couch!

Click here to get your signed copy. ➤ https://livesigning.com/jt

 
 
 

Pre-Order DEAD ENDS: Stories from the Gothic South, edited by ME! Look at this lineup. Look at it. Y'all, this anthology is packed with creepy goodness from emerging voices and NYT bestsellers, and will arrive just in time for Halloween reading. 

It's. So. Good. Order your copy today! It's in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.

 
 
 

John Grisham tried to write a book without lawyers in it. And he (almost) succeeded.

His latest, CAMINO ISLAND, is a fascinating look into the world of stolen rare books, and he takes us along for the ride.

I have been sitting on this interview for months, desperate to tell you about it, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you! Mr. Grisham was a gracious, insightful, and disarmingly funny guest. I was thrilled to sit down with him for this week’s episode of A WORD ON WORDS. #keepreading


That's it from me! Enjoy some lovely autumn weather, bake some brownies for the neighbors, buy a pumpkin or two, and we'll talk again soon.

xo,
J.T.


P.S. I'm thinking of you, my Texas and Florida chickens. 

Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 9.10.17

Hello, lovelies. How are you? While it's been a wild ride this week, I have to admit I've been following Irma reports quite closely. Many friends and loved ones in the storm's path, so while I'm still on tour today, my heart is with you, beloved Florida. Y'all stay strong and safe. ❤️

LIE TO ME touring has made me quite the road warrior—it's been so much fun seeing so many of you in person, and saying hi to new faces. Today I'm in the Bay Area, teaching at the Book Passage Mystery Conference. I prefer to think of it as corrupting the young writers of America, but YMMV...

I'm off to Seattle tonight, signing tomorrow at the wonderful Seattle Mystery Bookshop, then off to my Colorado stomping grounds, where I'll be talking with the brilliant Chris Goff at Tattered Cover – Aspen Grove on Tuesday night. Then a little break. Whew!

Without further ado...


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:


The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States. It's the most wonderful time of the year! 🍂 Even more fun: Sutton and Ethan Montclair's Franklin, TN, is on the list. 
 

The Greatest Goths in Literary History. I've always been a little punk rock and enjoyed the darker side of things—heck, I'm even putting out a Southern Gothic collection later this month! Here's to the darker writers who came before us.
 

White Shoes After Labor Day: Can You Do It? What say you, dear reader? Can you do it? Full disclosure, I have never owned a pair of white shoes (see punk rocker, above), so I'm doubly fascinated.
 

Book Review: The Perfect Pencil. Y'all know how much I love a good pencil. That is why the nerd in me wants to read this book.
 

Ian McEwan's Enchanted Garden. Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the floor. 😮 WANT!!!!! (The house ain't bad, either...)
 

Sidekicks People Like Better Than the Main Character. Do you agree?
 

A Book to Watch Out For: I WAS ANASTASIA by Ariel Lawhon. Historical fiction fans, and history fans in general, don't walk—run—to get a copy of this book. I WAS ANASTASIA comes out next March, but those of you with NetGalley access can request it now. I got my hands on an advanced copy, and it's INCREDIBLE.
 

[video] New A Word on Words episode: Chemical Reaction with Weike Wang. This week's episode of AWOW finds my cohost Mary Laura Philpott chatting with CHEMISTRY author Weike Wang about her debut book, a coming-of-age novel about a young (unnamed) female scientist who must recalibrate her life when her academic career goes off track. Interesting!


And closer to home:

It's here: LIE TO ME is out! If you've been living under a rock (or missed the banner at the top of the page), you may not know that my newest standalone novel, LIE TO ME, came out this week. And oh, has it been a week. I've been overwhelmed by the flood of well wishes and love from all of you. LIE TO ME is stocked in stores across the land in all formats.  Even The Washington Post ran a review that said I've crafted a "compelling story" (let the angels rejoice!). It's been quite a ride—thank you for making all of this happen. ❤️

A few pieces that have run during LIE TO ME release week:

  • Pushing Boundaries. If you're looking for ways to level up your writing, I give you 6 ways to do just that.
  • Libro.fm's Books We Love. This sampling of HarperCollins new releases popular in independent bookstores is perfect for your audiophiles.
  • Instagram Tour of Franklin, TN. The settings in my novels are, to me, characters unto themselves. I love the verisimilitude of writing a place I know so well. LIE TO ME is set in the beautiful, idyllic town of Franklin, twenty miles south of Nashville. If you'd like to see if the settings in LIE TO ME match your imagination, take a peek at my Instagram.

That's it from me! Y'all be good, be safe, read a good book, take a walk in the cooler evenings, and we'll talk again soon.

xo,
J.T.