Sunday Smatterings

Hello, chickens, Happy Sunday. How are you doing? I write to you from ALA, the conference for America's literary superheroes: librarians! I haven't been to this conference before, and I'm delighted to be here. Librarians are my people, and between panels and cocktails and talking about our favorite books, I can tell we're going to have a lot of fun together before the weekend is over.

Last week, Team JT put the final touches on LIE TO ME, and it's safely off to the printer. The next time I see those words, I'll be able to slide my fingers across them as they sit on printed pages. I can't tell you how much lighter I feel with this book officially out of my hands. The story is no longer mine—now it belongs to you, dear reader. I do hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday we shot the first episode of A WORD ON WORDS Season 3. I can't tell you who the guest was, but suffice it to say I was beyond thrilled to interview this giant in the publishing sphere. I can't wait to share this one with you later this summer!

Without further ado, here are the links you came for:


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

The Washington Post: kitten nursery saves tiny lives in a city aiming to become ‘no kill’. Talk about bringing a kitty mama to tears. Adopt, adopt, adopt.
 

The Kill Zone Blog: Empowering History? I always fall on the side of the empowered female heroine. Just sayin'.
 

Travel + Leisure: This Is the Ultimate Nanny Job Abroad — If You're Not Afraid of Ghosts. Let's  look at the trade-offs here: beautiful Scottish wilderness. Haunted house. I think I know what I'd choose...
 

theSkimm. If you don't read theSkimm, I highly suggest you begin to. Smart, to-the-point news that keeps you informed on the important things, and stuff on the lighter side, too.
 

The Guardian: Buying houses in cash and selling millions: meet self-publishing's 'hidden' authors. Because there's room for everyone at the table—even if you fashion the chair yourself.
 

Bustle: 14 Careers For Readers, Because It Is Possible to Make a Living Off Your Love of Books. Chin up, English majors. There are many opportunities to use your degree that don't end with "do you need room for cream?"
 

New York Public Library: Pencils At Dawn! 6 Writers and the Duels They Fought In. I really enjoy the New York Public Library's Twitter feed (follow them here, if you don't already). I'm always learning new, fascinating tidbits from them. This article was no exception.
 

YouTube: Game of Thrones Red Keep in Lego. Perfect for nerds of today and yesteryear (less than a month until Season 7, folks!!! Have you seen the new trailer? #WinterIsHere).


And closer to home:

5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017). From my zero-prep lunch to fashionable and comfy sandals, these five things are making me breathe easier.
 

Click here to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME. Mwahahahaha. 😈


That's it from me, darlings. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, stay in the shade, put on plenty of sunscreen, and we'll talk again soon.

xo,
J.T.

Daily Tao ☯ 6.19.17

You know it’s been a long day when you sit down after a reheated pizza dinner and look at property to buy in other countries. 

Though I am half Italian, I have an ongoing love affair with Scotland. It’s in my blood too — I’m a Wallace on my mom’s side, and my husband is a highlander — Clan McBean. My friend Brandee likes to feed my addiction, and is a terrible influence, regularly sending me stunning island and cottage real estate listings. I lost a good hour tonight running numbers on a property on the Isle of Skye (a favorite Scotch, Talisker, is made just down the road — talk about heaven!) 

I am feeling a strange desire to run away from home for a while. There’s so much going on that I can’t give anything my proper attention. The Kerr is going on vacation for a couple of weeks at the end of the month, and I might just take a small internet sabbatical at the same time myself. Would you forgive me if I disappeared for two weeks? 

It might save me a LOT of money — two weeks of sabbatical versus a downpayment on a small Scottish village….

The last pass of LIE TO ME is finished and into production. I won’t see it again until it’s between the covers. I might have vapors, but it’s done. 

Hope your day was lovely — sweet dreams!

Cottage Pie

One of our favorite dishes from the UK. Perfect for a chilly fall night. 30 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 package frozen sweet peas
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 large dashes garlic powder
  • 4 large dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 package beef gravy (can use onion gravy too)
  • 1 tablespoon HP Sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sheet puff pastry

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat, spread with olive oil. Sauté meat, onions and carrots until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, parsley and peas.
  3. In a small bowl, combine beef broth, tomato paste, gravy mix, ketchup, Worcestershire and HP Sauce. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. (You can add more flour if needed)
  4. Taste and make sure it's seasoned enough. Add more garlic or Worchestershire and salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 pan.
  6. While meat filling simmers, prepare the Mashed Potatoes: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  7. Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter or margarine, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.(Colby Jack is even better)
  8. Stretch one sheet of puff pastry over the top. Do not attach to the glass, just tuck the edges in. Vent with a fork.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.