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. ➤


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.


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

Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 8.20.17

Hey, friends, how's tricks? You doing okay?

I'm plugging away, deep in writing mode as I prep for the LIE TO ME tour that's coming up soon. It's been a good writing week, actually—I've written my way past some tricky areas in Brit #5, which is always a great feeling when I can power through. I don't believe in writer's block, just bad plots. When I'm stuck for a couple of days, I take a breather, grab a couple of margaritas with my husband, and together we can usually hash out whatever the problem is. It's a beautiful thing.

Y'all ready for some links?

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Anyone want to buy a bookstore? Seattle Mystery Bookshop is up for sale. I have long admired this great store from afar, and I'm beyond thrilled to be signing there for my first time in a couple of weeks—but heartbroken the store is up for sale. I'd love to see it live on.

The email app that delights. I am a big fan of the Newton Mail client. Clean, minimalist, and easy to read and respond. What more do you need? Well, Windows fans, they are available for you now, too!

Harry Potter Nerds Rejoice: 2 New ‘History of Magic’ Books Coming This Fall. I'll take more Harry Potter any way I can get it, thank you very much.


Harry Potter-themed store opens in Toronto. And speaking of HP, I know where I'm making a pit stop when I'm in Toronto this fall... (y'all, Toronto even has an HP-themed bar!

A new-to-me travel tool: If you're looking for a cheap getaway, this site may help. 

Here's How Many Books You Could Read Every Month If You Cut Back Time Spent on Your Smartphone. Just a tech PSA. If you read your books on your phone, you are excused.

18 Tiny "Game Of Thrones" Details You Might Have Missed First Time Round. This season of GoT, we're getting all kinds of payoffs. This list may help you remember some nuggets you've forgotten so you can enjoy what's happening on the screen even more. #dragons

7 Reasons Slow Reading Is Actually A Good Thing, Because Being A Speed Reader Is Overrated. In case you needed a morale boost for that book it's taking you forever to finish. Read to your comfort speed, no more.

And closer to home:

Have you added LIE TO ME to Goodreads? One of the easiest ways you can (1) make sure you're ready for LIE TO ME's release and (2) help spread the word about my new book is to put it on your Goodreads shelf. Why's that? The more people who shelve the book on Goodreads, the more Goodreads will suggest it to new readers: it's a win-win situation! Speaking of Goodreads, my friend Debbie is running a LIE TO ME bookclub there in September and October, and you can join in. Trust me, you may want someone to talk about this book with when you finish. The more, the merrier!

That's it from me. Y'all enjoy the eclipse (and make sure you wear your eclipse glasses, pretty please), eat some fresh honeydew, read a good book, and we'll talk again soon.


Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 8.13.17

Hi, chickens, happy Sunday. Did y'all have a good week? As you know, I just got back from vacation (which was glorious). After a few days catching up, I'm happily back at work on Brit #5, trying to flesh out a rip-roaring adventure for Nick and Mike. Things are swimming along, and there's a big month of writing ahead. Summer's over for the kiddies, and now it is for me, too. 

I have a favor to ask you below, but we'll get to that later. Right now, it's time for links:

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? A fabulous long read with sobering statistics.

Aziz Ansari gave up using the internet for reading books. After reading articles like the last one, this gives me hope.

Why are cats afraid of water? This was the most retweeted article on my feed this week—for good reason. Face it, you've always wondered...

[Listen] The World's Most Glamorous Librarian. BookRiot brings us the life of Belle De Costa Greene, the most glamorous and influential librarian in early 20th Century America. And she is fascinating

Branch out from your usual genres this year (and 15 titles that will help you do just that). For those of you doing book challenges, Modern Mrs. Darcy may be able to help you out.

Megan Abbott on Genres. On the last season of A Word on Words, I talked to the brilliant Megan Abbott about the literary vs. genre divide. And her insight is pretty spectacular and totally spot-on. This week Poets & Writers picked up the interview, which turned out to be quite timely.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter's New Ride Promises to Be Scarier Than the Dark Arts. This is important. Obviously.

And closer to home: LIE TO ME is almost here!

Y'all, I have to tell you – I am so excited to share LIE TO ME with my chickens! You can start devouring Ethan and Sutton’s story on September 5!

If you'll indulge me, let's talk about this book a little bit.

I had a specific goal in mind when I wrote this story – stretch myself beyond my limits. Thankfully, some very important people agreed. Lee Child called LIE TO ME “wonderful... a one-more-chapter, don't-eat-dinner, stay-up-late sensation." Lisa Scottoline said LIE TO ME has “more twists and turns than the backroads of Tennessee.” And in their starred review, Publishers Weekly said LIE TO ME was “exceptional” and “may be [my] best work to date.”

This book is a big one, y’all. It would mean the world to me if you supported LIE TO ME the way you have with my past work.

How can you help, you ask?

I’ll be honest – a pre-order means EVERYTHING for this book. Pre-orders are vital to a book’s early success. It tells bookstores to order more copies, it helps with placement on the front tables and bestseller lists, it gets libraries excited to stock the title – everything a book needs to be a success. And it’s all in your very capable hands.

Plus, you have options! You can order it in your preferred format – trade paperback, hardcover, digital, or audio – right now. No waiting six months to a year for the more cost-effective paperback. Cool, right? (FYI, the trade paperback is only 10 bucks. Just sayin’.)

So if you would, pick up a copy, rate it on Goodreads, leave a review at your favorite retailer, copy and paste the image above on your social feeds, tell a friend about it: every little thing helps, and I am so grateful for any support you can give.

Thank you, thank you for coming on this journey with me. I’m thrilled to share my writing world with you!

That's it from me. Y'all have a great week, go get a popsicle, finish the book you're reading, and we'll talk again soon!


12.04.16 - Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 12.04.16

Hello, darlings, welcome to December! Did you have a good week? The holiday season has definitely arrived: front doors are bedecked with wreaths, spruces peek out of living room windows, neighborhoods twinkle after dark. It's a magical time of year, for sure. I try to savor the season as much as I can, try not to get caught in the checklists and party planning and tying the perfect ribbons. Because when you get caught up in the little things, you tend to lose sight of the big ones—like spending time with the people you love. That's what holidays are made of, right?

Remember: you can do anything, but you can't do everything.

At any rate...

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:


This is the stuff Internet dreams are made of: an adorable cat video. If you're having a bad day, GO WATCH THIS.

Speaking of heartwarming things, a bookstore in Michigan helps children who are timid readers by hosting a Reading with Zoey the Therapy Dog day in their shop. Be still, my heart.

In Illinois, a repo man paid off an elderly couple's car... and gave it back to them. More of this, please, and not just during the holiday season.

November is always National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short), and some writers adopt fun habits or locales to soldier through those 50,000 words they agreed to write. But these writers won... because they spent NaNoWriMo in a French castle.

Hey, fellow Potterheads, check out this amazing HP Christmas tree!


And closer to home:


The FIELD OF GRAVES paperback came out this week! 🎉 Grab a copy for you and a friend (because stocking stuffers, am I right?).

Big news from The Wine Vixen: the Netflix of wine has arrived. You're welcome.

My December News comes out this week! Are you signed up to get it? If not, click here (and snag your free ebook).


That it from me! Go sit by a fire, grab a book and a hot beverage, and we'll talk again soon.


11.13.16 - Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 11.13.16

Another Sunday, this one much darker and colder than the last, as fall has finally settled in and (thank heavens) daylight savings is over. I'm not a fan of DST. I must be part bear -- the longer nights and earlier sunsets means I sleep better, get up earlier, and am in general a happier camper. Isn't that odd? 

I spent the week relatively unplugged, working feverishly on the revisions of my new standalone novel. Thursday night I spoke to my alumni association (RMWC, represent!), a fun night dredging up memories of the people who told me I wouldn't ever get published (HA! I say. So there!) but I've been home the remainder of the time typing and petting the cats, so I'm in turns stir crazy and ready to sleep for a week. One fun thing, we have a new title, and a new release date. Ready?

LIE TO ME will appear on shelves September 5, 2017.  

I do have to share one great mistake: 

Typo I just found: She died of a heroine overdose.

And with that, here's what happened on the Internets this week:


The quite divine Parnassus Books is celebrating their 5th anniversary. I can hardly believe it's been five years, and I am so honored to call them my home store. Happy Anniversary!

I know we've all done our Meyers-Briggs tests, but I particularly like this site's in-depth analysis. Which one are you? (I'm an INTJ, btw.)

You're not dreaming: turning the clock back an hour takes a toll on your mental health. Here's how.

The answer to many of life's questions is "be more like Beyoncé." Wherever you are on the Beyoncé spectrum, I think you'll agree she does social media the way we probably all should.

Two of my favorite things combined: Harry Potter yoga!!!!!

These giant flip books in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire are mesmerizing.


And closer to home:

On the Tao this week, Amy and I came up with 40 things to take your mind off the election (still valid), and I talked about my recent trip to visit my publisher (spoiler alert: click for book news!).

There's still time to enter to win a copy of NO ONE KNOWS, plus 30+ more thrillers + a Kindle Fire!

And Leonard Cohen passed. Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs. So I leave you with the SNL version. That's all I have this week. I love you, I stand with you, and we'll talk again soon.