Sunday Smatterings - Easter Edition

Sunday Smatterings 4.1.18

Happy Easter and Blessed Passover to all who celebrate!

We are pretty low key for Easter this weekend. No travel, no family commitments. Since the cats don't appreciate hidden eggs unless they're full of treats, we're going to have a lovely brunch somewhere around town, and, once stuffed, go see a movie. If the weather is nice enough, maybe a round of golf or a nice long walk to spend some time in nature, pondering the mysteries of life. Isn't that what Easter is about -- the mystery of life? Methinks yes. 

And Easter on April Fool's Day is weird. Just sayin'.

With that in mind... onward!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Crime by the Book's FAQ. Fun insights from one of my fave bloggers, who is doing an A+ job of reviewing crime fiction. Plus, she is my style guru... I long to hang out in New York coffeeshops looking so cool...

Gratitude comes from noticing your life, not thinking about it. When I say "gratitude attitude," this is what I mean.

This is why we're all reading "up lit." It's nice to see I'm not the only one whose tastes are changing. I've been moving away from violence in my reading -- and in my writing, as well.

"Fear is good quality control." – Colson Whitehead on the writer's life. A fascinating look into Colson Whitehead's reddit AMA. 

12 ways to decompress after high stress. Self-care is necessary, especially after your hair has been on fire. I am a firm believer in self-care. Anything to give your poor mind and body a break will make you happier and more productive.

On social media, and its discontents. Cal Newport is a really interesting dude, and his thoughtfulness on the vagaries of the internet fascinate me. He's displayed great plasticity on his theories, too -- well explained here.

I WAS ANASTASIA by Ariel Lawhon. My dear friend, historical novelist Ariel Lawhon, released a magnificent book this week about Anastasia Romanov and the woman who claimed to be her, Anna Anderson. This is a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it.

Do you like candles? I met the owner of the EKKO Candle company this week whilst waiting for my tea to steep at a local coffeehouse. She kindly gifted me with a Tuscan Cedarwood that I've been burning all week. If you're looking for hand-crafted soy-based candles, these are delightful! 

And closer to home:

I'm resurrecting the blog! And no, this is not an April Fool's joke. With all the fuss about privacy on the socials, I think it's time to offer a safe space for conversation that will hopefully be fun, inviting, and chatty! Plus, I won't be sharing your information with the top bidder. Also, no rules. I'm posting when the spirit strikes me, so be sure to sign up for updates, or subscribe in your RSS reader, and please, don't forget to let me know your here with a brief comment. Ask a question, get an answer... guaranteed! 

Amy and I have been making books! In case you haven't heard, 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! Stat tuned for news on that soon...

Surprise: a Blog-Only Contest Exclusive!

Leave a comment here on the blog between now and Wednesday, April 4 at 6pm CST, and I'll choose two readers at random to win a brand-new signed hardcover of THE SIXTH DAY! Trust me when I say this book is mind-blowingly crazy. 

Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 6.11.17

Hi, y'all, welcome to Sunday.

It's been a relatively quiet week at chez Ellison. I've been nursing this rebound cold, been provided chicken soup and bone broth by dear friends who want to see me well. The Preds have left me breathless (and hoarse) during their Stanley Cup run. We started the main guest bathroom renovation this week, and I was shocked by how quiet the demolition was. Seriously, they were like little mice, and suddenly, the bath was taken back to studs. I got to see my friend Heather Gudenkauf and talk to her about her new book. Busy, but fun. And amid all the chaos, I was doing my job, plugging along, working on the new Brit in the FBI—this is going to be such a fun ride. I think you'll enjoy it.

Here for links, are you? Here you go.

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Writing Through Rejection. Yes. Yes. Yes. If you want to be any kind of artist—writer, painter, dancer, chef, whatever—you must be okay with rejection. Not everyone is going to be on board with your vision. That's all right. You are not for everyone, you are not Nutella. (and check out the quote from Suzanne Brockman, it's brilliant)

Blake Lively to Star in Thriller The Husband’s Secret from Big Little Lies Author. Fans of Liane Moriarty, rejoice! CBS Films is adapting this juicy novel. Haven't read the book yet? You should. Check it out here, it's a great summer read.

Making a Marriage Magically Tidy. If you've never read Helen Ellis, you're going to want to fix that right now. Helen wrote one of my all-time favorite novels, EATING THE CHESHIRE CAT, along with the deliciously dark and hilarious short story collection, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE. If you're a struggling slob, or have ever lived with one, please read this wonderful piece. You'll have tears rolling down your face by the time you're done.

How to Quit Diet Coke. The struggle is real. Modern Mrs. Darcy tells us how to ditch the habit.

‘Not a Sound’: A thriller worth staying up all night to finish. Maureen Corrigan, book reviewer for NPR's Fresh Air, gives Heather Gudenkauf's newest two thumbs up! I must say, I agree: NOT A SOUND is fantastic, a brilliant summer read.

BookExpo 2017: J.T. Ellison Changes It Up. While I was in New York last week, I got to talk to Publishers Weekly about LIE TO ME, and why I'm writing standalone novels now. So much fun!

[video] This is what marriage is. I don't know that I've ever laughed harder. Though it applies to more than just marriage when it comes to me... 

And closer to home:

Read the first 3 chapters of LIE TO ME! The June newsletter went out this week, and tucked inside was an offer to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME—for free! Read it, and let me know what you think. (Aren't signed up for the newsletter? Whatcha waiting for? You get a free ebook, and stay in the know. Join the list today!)

Deal alert: 14 (Taylor Jackson #2) is on sale for .99 through tomorrow! Get it now!

Win a Mega Bundle of Contemporary Mysteries & Thrillers + MORE! There's still time to enter this contest (where you could win NO ONE KNOWS and an eReader). Don't miss out! Entry only takes two seconds. Good luck!

That's it from me. Y'all have a good week, GO PREDS, and we'll chat again soon.


10.30.16 - Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 10.30.16

Hello, friends, and welcome to All Hallows' Eve Eve! Do you have your candy ready for the trick-or-treaters? Have a big party planned? What's your costume going to be?? I think it'll be a quiet night for the Ellison house, though I should probably get last-minute costumes for the Thrillerkittens... after all, All Souls is our 3 year cataversary. How cute would that be?

I went to Canada this week, and met with my publisher. It was awesome. More on that later in the week, when I can do it justice. I am beavering away on the last pass on THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, so no more fun for me until that's complete. 



Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

I adore my A Word on Words co-host, Mary Laura Philpott. A brilliant mind with a wit to match, she wrote this piece in The Washington Post this week. Y'all. Read it to your kids today—it's so important to teach our girls they can save themselves, no matter who and where they are.

Need a last-minute Halloween costume idea? I've got 10 creepy costumes from books, ready and waiting for you to recreate them! 👻

Speaking of books, here are 11 of the greatest parties in literature! Which one would you like to go to the most? Hmm...

Y'all know I'm a sucker for office supplies. Which is why I love these desk accessories for book lovers! Be still, my heart.

Heads up: 50+ paranormal romance novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire (!) are up for grabs! Click here to enter.

"I can’t stress enough the importance of getting away. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but changing your location, taking some time off, and unplugging does wonders in the long run." YES!!! I couldn't agree more. A change of scenery is a good thing when you're stuck in a rut, and this is why it's good to get away every once in a while.

And closer to home:

The Wine Vixen found 12 spooky wines for Halloween!

If you've been waiting for the NO ONE KNOWS paperback, now's your chance—it comes out on Tuesday! Paperbacks make a great stocking stuffer, I'm just sayin'.

Deal Alert: What Lies Behind is .99 on Kindle today only! What a bargain!

That's it from me! Have SO MUCH FUN tomorrow, be nice to your trick-or-treaters, and we'll talk again soon!



2.1.16 - Winter Pick-Me-Up Contest!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter

The Final Cut

by Catherine Coulter

Giveaway ends February 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Y'all, it's February. The days are short, it's cold outside, and it's been a long time since I've eaten a vegetable that wasn't shipped to Publix from South America.

I know, I'm just a ray of sunshine. I'm a riot at parties, too.

You know what we all need? A nice winter pick-me-up. And what's a bigger breath of fresh air than a big ol' free book to read by the fire?

If you've never read mine and Catherine's A Brit in the FBI series, buckle up: I'm giving away three copies of the first book in the series, THE FINAL CUT. All you have to do is enter via the Goodreads portal above.

Good luck!

On Changes Afoot

You will be so proud.

Those of you who know me know I am a world-class control freak. World. Class. I am also a Taurus, which means I don't do well with change. But of late, I'm spending much too much time on the business of being a writer instead of the writing part of being a writer.

This is in part my inability to allow others to help me, a trait I've exhibited since I was a young child, one that isn't necessarily a good thing, and in part the sad reality that I started programming computers in the 7th grade, and have always been comfortable with code. You know how we all have special, idiosyncratic little talents? One of mine, probably as high up the food chain as my innate ability to spill tea on my research materials, is the bizarre ability to spot discrepancies in large chunks of seemingly indecipherable code. I probably could have gotten work with the NSA. Can't balance a checkbook or tell time, but give me a 17 digit number for my library card and I'll have it down pat after a few reads. What's worse, I know my credit card numbers. Dangerous, that.*

This isn't a strong ability, but one that drives me to Figure Things Out. As such, I tend to be able to teach myself computer stuff without a problem. Which means, of course, that I've been running my own website, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, etc., from the beginning. It hasn't made sense to give over to someone else - in the time it would take me to compose the email asking for a change, I can just do it myself.

That's not to say I'm good at it. On the contrary, just because I can doesn't mean I should. Because it isn't my main focus, I don't necessarily know all the tricks, so it takes me ten times as long as it would an expert. Plus I'm a perfectionist. I'll do something ten times over that's probably just fine the first time.

And so. I've decided to hire an expert. Content will still come from my brain, but the techy aspects will be controlled by others.

I only have a few hives. I trust they will get better by the end of the day.

A few changes will be quickly apparent. A monthly contest will be instituted, as will a monthly newsletter. The content therein will have more of an "insider" bent than what you're currently seeing, so be sure to sign up. I've killed the Twitter feed to my personal Facebook page, I hope you understand. The two mediums are simple not congruent. But I will post the blog there, with links I think are worthwhile included.

Also, more housekeeping details: Comments have been turned back on. It came to my attention that not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter (GASP. Say it isn't so!)** and emailing me comments is a pain. You have been heard. Forgive me using Captcha, but it at least arrests some of the spammers.

And now is the time. Seize the day! If there's anything you'd like to see - changes you think need made to the site, to the blog, things I'm missing, topics you'd like me to write about, etc., leave a comment.

I'm off to immerse myself back in my research. For your reading pleasure in the meantime, please see the following blogs of writers I admire:

Laura Benedict

Deanna Raybourn

Greg Rucka

Laura Lippman

Dani Shapiro

Louise Penny

Murder She Writes

Stephen Pressfield


Doug Richardson

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

Happy Wednesday to you all!

* Yes, all of this is probably undiagnosed Aspergers, but quirky is just a nicer term, don't you think?

** Kidding. I actually greatly admire folks who can manage without being sucked down the rabbit hole.