Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 5.13.18

Hello, friends, welcome to Sunday...and Happy Mother's Day! As a mother of cats myself, I look forward to a day of being waited on by my fur girls. (Ah... Well, a woman can dream...) 

Settle down and pick up your cuppa. We've got some links to read.

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

I want to be rich, and I'm not sorry. Fabulous piece — I’m right there with you, Jessica Knoll. No apologies needed for being a woman who works hard to achieve financial independence and freedom.

The birth of a book reviewer, by Debbie Haupt. A very cool essay about how a wonderful reviewer got in the game.

Which books made you a reader? These three authors have some surprising answers. I loved this! Including Lisa Ko, who was a guest on A WORD ON WORDS. 

Researchers train spider to jump on command. Can you imagine? Equal parts mystifying and terrifying...

Read the 100 List for PBS' Great American Read. Are your favorites on the list? Mine are!

A heartwarming moment with wild gorillas. Amazing. Can you imagine doing this? The baseball cap escapade made me tear up.

Every library has a story to tell. These three books about library history look super interesting. Could there be a nerdier subject? No. Do I care? Absolutely not.

And closer to home:

We made an audiobook! If you've been under a rock, you'll be thrilled to hear that the 13 stories from DEAD ENDS have been brought to life in audiobook. They're a killer way to pass the time as you drive, do the dishes, or run in the park (especially running—these stories are creepy as hell...). Our narrator, Courtney Parker, did a PHENOMENAL job, and I think you'll love it!

Click on your favorite retailer to get your copy:

Amazon  |  Audible  |  iTunes  |

And my story from this collection, Catwood, is available for sale as a single ebook! Just FYI for you...

That's it from me! Hope y'all have a great week. And tune into the newsletter Wednesday—I have some big news for you... Wait, you're not on the newsletter? Well, click here and we'll take care of that for you.


DEAD ENDS now available in audiobook! And "Catwood" is available in ebook!

Super fun and exciting release news today — DEAD ENDS is available in audiobook from all your favorite audio retailers! And, my story from the collection, CATWOOD, is also available in digital form. 

I’m so proud of this collection — the stories are wonderful, and to have them read aloud makes them nothing short of remarkable. Our narrator, Courtney Parker, has brought the stories and characters alive. There is something so unique about hearing your own words read to you. I know you’ll love listening to this awesome collection.

And here’s a little origin info about my story, CATWOOD.

People ask me all the time where I get my ideas. Well, CATWOOD is a totally meta story for me. 

the dock that inspired Catwood

A couple of years ago, I went on a writers retreat in the north Georgia mountains with a group of friends. The cabin was perfectly situated on a small pond, with a dock. The moment we arrived, we arrayed ourselves on that silent dock, stretching from the long car ride, then basking in the sun, staring idly at the water, chatting about our upcoming work. A story came to me right then, and I threw the bones of it together the moment I touched my laptop. The story was, of course, about a group of writers who go to a cabin in the woods with a pond and a dock, and, while there, find a body floating in the water.

I know, I know. It’s terrible of me to be thinking about dead bodies floating in ponds whilst sitting enjoying one, but that’s how my brain cooks. 

I tucked the idea away for a rainy day. And then DEAD ENDS happened, and I enjoyed the process of seeing my friends stories come to life so much that I wanted to join in. I decided to write the story about the body in the pond.

While I was thinking about it, I had this incredibly bizarro dream. I was standing in a cave with Margaret Atwood and she was screaming at the wind. Her screams were the only thing keeping us alive. And then a huge flock off birds dropped dead at her feet, and the wind ceased to blow.

Yeah. All the symbolism of that dream aside… I knew I had my tale. I stitched the dream and the pond imagery together with the photo of the house I’d given my authors, and CATWOOD was born. 

I hope you enjoy them both!

Look at this picture. Tell me what you see…

From childish demons to a mad novelist, from the Mississippi delta to the Appalachians, this collection from emerging voices and New York Times bestselling authors explores what happens when secrets that lie beneath the dust are disturbed—and our worst nightmares begin.


Five friends head on a weekend mountain getaway. Only four will return.

A group of writers from Nashville piles into a car and heads to the mountains of north Georgia for a work retreat—and a bit of drinking and gossip. They’ve booked a cabin in the woods with no internet and no cell service, and hopefully, no interruptions.

Near the cabin the friends discover the beautiful but decrepit Catwood manor, abandoned decades earlier. Detritus from its final lavish dinner party remains on the tables. Writer brains spin with a thousand questions, but two stand out: Why did the Catwood family abandon their mansion during a posh affair? And why did they never return?

A dark cave near the house may hold the answer. But learning the secret to the family’s disappearance will be deadly.






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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.


DEAD ENDS ebook on sale for $0.99!

Just in time for your Thanksgiving plane or car ride: the DEAD ENDS ebook is only $0.99!

These are perfectly binge-able nuggets of suspense from some of the best writers around (Jeff Abbott, Helen Ellis, Laura Benedict, Patti Callahan Henry, David Bell, to name a few). If you haven't picked up your copy, now's the time—the price doesn't get better than this!


Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 10.1.17

Hey, peeps, what's shakin'? Did you have a good week? We're on the final homestretch of 2017—how did we get all the way to October? Wasn't it just May? It's crazy what a summer of travel will do to your brain... luckily, this writer gets to slow down for a while really soon. 🙌

I may be a writer, but at heart, I am a reader first. That's how I fell in love with words, after all. And nothing makes me more giddy than J.T. the Reader hanging with an author she admires. This week, I saw Leigh Bardugo at Parnassus talking about her new book (YA fantasy FTW!), and I remembered just how awesome it is to be a reader, to fly to a new world on the wings of another writer's words. Books really are magic, you know? If you've never read Leigh Bardugo, I suggest you start with her Grisha series. It's the Ottoman Empire in a fantasy world, and it's astoundingly brilliant. You should check it out.

Anyway. Enough of that. Some links for your consideration:

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Spotify Can Curate a Throwback Soundtrack Based on the Year You Were Born. If you're hankering for a trip down memory lane, you're welcome.

The One Thing You Should Never Say to an Agent. Hubris is real. That's all I have to say.

Murder by the Book is proud to announce Book Lovers Care, a collectible book auction benefiting natural disaster relief. It's been a hard season for so many in the South. I hope you'll join me in donating whatever you can. We book people need to stick together.

Hans Christian Andersen Was a Terrible Houseguest, According to Charles Dickens. We all have our strengths. Being a fairytale guest was apparently not Hans Christian Andersen's...

Crime by the Book's September 2017 Recommended New Releases. Stock your TBR piles, friends! 

Macro Resistance and Micro Resistance. Another one for the aspiring writers among us. Mr. Pressfield knows all about resistance and its many forms.

The Jane Austen £10 note has entered circulation. This is the real reason we should all take a trip to Britain right now...

And closer to home...


DEAD ENDS is on sale now! If you've been living under a rock, you may have missed that we launched DEAD ENDS, the first multi-author anthology from my indie press Two Tales! I'm ridiculously excited to share this with y'all—there's so much talent in this book, I can hardly stand it! DEAD ENDS has arrived just in time for Halloween, perfect for reading by a fire with a mug of hot cider in hand. And it's available in hardcover, ebook, and paperback!


And in case you're having a hard week...

Just a cat, living the dream.

Here's a reminder that dreams really do come true. At least they do for Jameson Ellison, the silver mackerel tabby.

That's it from me! Y'all have a great week, pick up a copy of DEAD ENDS for you and a friend (hey, Halloween presents are a real thing...) and we'll talk again soon.