Category Archives: JT Ellison

Daily Tao ☯ 7.17.17

By J.T. Ellison

And… we’re back! Did you have a fabulous couple of weeks? We did. Amy had a blast on her travels, I got a ton of writing done, and now we’re back to regularly scheduled programming, albeit it with a bit of fantastic news to kick off the week:

LIE TO ME received a Starred Publisher’s Weekly review today!

★ Publishers Weekly

Successful authors Ethan and Sutton Montclair, the married couple at the heart of this exceptional domestic thriller from bestseller Ellison (No One Knows), lead a relatively quiet life in Franklin, Tenn., where they each work on their respective books. Then Ethan wakes up one morning to discover a note from Sutton telling him that she needs some time away and doesn’t want him looking for her. Distraught, Ethan contacts Sutton’s mother and her friends, yet all of them claim not to know where she is. When Ethan finally decides to get the police involved in searching for Sutton, he falls under suspicion. Witnesses claim that Ethan physically abused Sutton and was even responsible for the death of their infant son. Might Ethan, emotionally devastated as he appears, be a psychopathic killer? Ellison keeps the suspense high with chapters from the point of view of someone very evil. The person responsible for Sutton’s disappearance remains a mystery right up to the surprising finale. This standalone may be Ellison’s best work to date.

I cried. Of course I cried. A — it’s an incredible review. B — sometimes, you don’t believe what the people around you are saying, and you need affirmation from an anonymous stranger. Isn’t that how art works?

The hardest part for me is always when the book is no longer mine, and it’s gone out into the world to belong to others. You hope and pray it stands up straight, showers daily, puts on fresh underwear in case there’s an accident, comports itself with compassion and grace, doesn’t get drunk and fall down and skin its knee, but you never know what’s going to happen.

So I was incredibly excited when I saw the review. And then I opened my laptop and wrote, because the only way to deal with good news is to remember the way the good news came about, which is hard work. But all day, I kept looking at that star with a secret smile. I put myself out there with this one. It’s the book of my heart, and to have this recognition means everything to me.

Later, we celebrated as we do, with GF pizza and excellent champagne, and the last episodes of House of Cards and The Handmaid’s Tale. All in all, it was a perfect day.

So all is right in my world at the moment.

pre-order BLAME by Jeff Abbott

Now, I have a favor. There’s an incredible book about to make its debut in the world tomorrow. It’s called BLAME, and it’s by a good friend of mine, Jeff Abbott. I would have been sharing this news with you regardless, but I’m banging the drum a bit harder than usual because the Abbotts lost their house to a terrible fire last week, and the only thing I can do to help is spread the word. Supporting an artist in his time of need is the most worthy cause. You can get BLAME everywhere fine books are sold. Jeff’s signing at Book People tomorrow night, so you can even get one personalized and shipped. Click here for more info!

Here’s what I had to say about it — I give it 5 Stars!

“BLAME is a masterful suspense novel, full of dread, lies, and deceptions. Abbott is one of our finest writers, and BLAME takes his talents to new levels. Sinister and twisting, this is hands-down the best book you’ll read — and re-read — this year. Absolutely top-notch.”

Have a fabulous evening, chickens! It’s good to be back.

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.29.17 - Gone Fishin'

By J.T. Ellison

Remember the old signs you used to see on the doors of your favorite local establishments when they closed shop for a break? Well, Amy and I are hanging up our Gone Fishin’ sign, and will be incommunicado from July 1 – July 17. Amy is taking a well-deserved vacation, and I decided to shut down too, partially so she wasn’t worrying about the boss mucking things up whilst she was away (trust me when I say our machine is well-oiled, and I can break it) and partially because I’ve been on the road so much lately that I need to catch up on writing and rest. I’ve finally kicked the lingering bronchitis crud, and the renovations are done for a while, and there’s no travel until we head to the RITA Awards ceremony at the end of the month. Still, I’m feeling behind on things, so this is perfect timing.

But I didn’t want to leave you high and dry, so don’t be surprised to see the tweets and Facebooks still rolling (I LOVE being able to schedule in advance for moments like this) and of course, a quick reminder of our news from yesterday, if you missed it—there is a brand new short story never before published available on all e-reading platforms (now including Google Play!).

THE ENDARKENING is part romance, part horror, and utterly surreal, all with a Scottish backdrop. I hope you love it, because it was a blast to write. If you love it too, please don’t hesitate to leave a review. If you hate it, send me a note, instead. (LOL) I just thought we needed a little Halloween in July…

Here’s where you can get it:


Kobo


Kindle


Google Play


iBooks


Nook

So with that, I bid you adieu for a couple of weeks! Have a fantastic celebration of our independence on the 4th of July, wave your sparklers high in the air, and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks!

Via: JT Ellison

    

New Story THE ENDARKENING On Sale Now!

By J.T. Ellison

A couple of weeks ago, I asked if people would freak out if I wrote a dark romantic horror story. I was very heartened by the response (especially because I already had the story finished and it’s been sitting on my computer, waiting to go to a good home, for months.) So here’s a treat for you — a brand new story called THE ENDARKENING!

The Endarkening - on sale now!

Art is her refuge, her passion—and her hell.

American art student Evie Williams is studying abroad in Edinburgh and having the time of her life—especially when she falls hard for Thomas MacBean, a sexy art dealer with a Highlander’s brogue. But as Thomas and Evie’s romance heats up, so does Evie’s fascination with a special exhibit of dark art at a local gallery. Normally frightened by sinister subjects, sensitive Evie finds herself entranced by one painting in particular, and soon, can’t pull herself away.

Who, or what, has she really encountered?

The story was inspired by a show I saw on the BBC in which brilliant Scottish crime fiction author Ian Rankin was interviewed whilst attending an exhibit at the Dovecot in Edinburgh. The installation was called THE SCOTTISH ENDARKENMENT: Age and Unreason from 1945 to the Present, and featured very dark art indeed. One of the paintings looked like a Rothko, but I couldn’t identify it, so I reached out to Ian, who sent me to the Dovecot, and they helped me find the painting, which was actually by William Turnbull.

As I watched the super cool video the Dovecot had put together to show off the installation, seeing painting after painting, a completely surreal idea surfaced. What if there was a painting that was actually a serial killer?

I outlined the story at that moment, and wrote it soon after, quite quickly, in big swaths of time. It simply poured out of me, and when you read it, I think you’ll understand why that was at once exciting and horrifying.

Writing is always a gift, but sometimes it has a bit too much of The Red Shoes in it, don’t you think? 👠👠

I hope you enjoy this dark little tale! Available in ebook at all e-retailers!


Kobo


Kindle


Google Play


iBooks


Nook

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.28.17

By J.T. Ellison

After the writer’s death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.

— Day One Inspirations

Interesting creative day today. Reworked a scene that’s been bothering me in the manuscript, then dealt with a lingering annoyance. I’ve had a To Do on my Wunderlist for a few months called “Create a mental inventory.” I don’t know why lunch today became the moment to tackle this, but tackle it I did. You see, I’ve been offloading ideas as they happen into my Day One journal, but I’d neglected to mark any of them in a specific (read searchable) way. Well, now they are. Thirteen solid, doable, interesting story ideas, all coded and tagged so I can pull them up at a moment’s notice. And offloaded, and backed up, and printed out.

Maybe it was the malware attack that launched yesterday, maybe it was some weird premonition that my computer might freak out, but I knew I needed to do this immediately. I feel much, much better now. (Hello, OCD.)

I used to write these ideas down in a notebook, but with the advent of Day One, which syncs across all my devices, being able to access this anywhere is too cool, and so it became my go to for story creation.

I blog in it, too. I actually have entries dating back to 2004. You know what that first post is? My first major rejection, by a leading NY editor, on the book that 12 years later was published as FIELD OF GRAVES. (Awww… admittedly, poor kid J.T. was pretty well crushed that day.)

It’s kind of nice to be able to look back and see this, and know that things were soon to change. It took another year, but things did pick up. And here we are now, a career underway, more ideas than I have time to write. Pretty cool.

I have to admit, though, when I opened Day One to do today’s blog, I was a bit shocked to see the weird quote at the beginning of the blog. It’s true, absolutely. These daily entires,my daily devotions, whether I share them online or keep them private, really are a love letter, left behind.

On that note, sweet dreams — and be sure to come by the blog tomorrow for some fun news!

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.27.17

By J.T. Ellison

We have such a huge surprise for you later this week I can hardly stand it. But stand it I shall, because time is fleet and in just a couple of days I’ll be sharing some very fun news.

First day home was a good one. Dentist this morning, so I’m all bright and shiny, but the gas always makes me sort of dopey for the rest of the day, so I’ve been handling business stuff and emptying email and prepping for the big Internet vacation that starts Saturday AM.

In wonderful news, my BFF is coming to stay this weekend, and my tiny little writing group will be joining us at the house for a retreat this weekend. I expect tons of words, a few great movies, some scotch and champagne, boatloads of salami and cheese and fruit, and bonding time that is long overdue.

Writer bonding is very important. This group in particular is very small and very intimate, and we keep each other on track to meet our deadlines and push ourselves to new heights. I’m so incredibly blessed to have these women in my life. They are the place I go to celebrate, to cry, to gnash my teeth. We are separated so much of the time––physically, by our genres, by our familial obligations––that having almost everyone together in person will be amazing. (One of our brethren can’t make it. We are crushed and will miss her dreadfully. ☹️)

So no new fiction words, though I did do some editing, and thinking, and bullet journaling, and transcribing of notes for the scenes to come tomorrow. I feel big word counts ahead…

Sweet dreams!

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.26.17

By J.T. Ellison

Evening, folks! How’s tricks?

My weekend at ALA was wonderful. I met a ton of awesome librarians, signed a wad of books, had another (!) gorgeous banner on display. I also had a chance to hang with a bunch of Team JT folks and bond with two fabulous authors: AF Brady (THE BLIND) and Kaira Rouda (BEST DAY EVER). Our panel was a blast, and the three of us became tight friends very quickly. There’s really nothing better than finding super smart, super funny women writers to play with. Especially when there is champagne and ice cream bars involved.

But I am so happy to be home. And I don’t have to go anywhere until the RITA Awards at the end of the month. Which means I have four weeks of WRITING ahead of me, and nothing else. I can’t wait.

It’s been a glorious afternoon on the porch. Amy and I had our weekly staff meeting, the kitties are napping in the sun, hummingbirds are zooming about, and I just saw a pair of gold finches who I think might be taking up residence in the “SEE ROCK CITY” birdhouse. It’s rather idyllic here today.

Hope your day was lovely, too.

Via: JT Ellison

    

Sunday Smatterings

By J.T. Ellison

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.

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.23.17

By J.T. Ellison

First day in a long time I’ve had to myself. No appointments, no shows to tape, no editorial fires to extinguish. Peace and quiet and words — it really doesn’t get much better than that.

Phase 1 of the remodel is wrapping today. The main guest bath is complete, and gorgeous. Master bed and bath, living room, and kitchen are repainted. We almost have everything in place (living room rug and a side table to come for living room—and OMG, this rug! It’s hide, it’s ombré, and it’s stunning!) and a trunk needs to be repaired and painted in the master. And of course, the curtains rehung, the paintings put back up. The touches, the finishes. I’m ready for it to be done. I do have to empty the bookshelves and put them back together by color. That’s going to be a fun project!

Phase 2 is ripping out the tile in our master bath and putting down fresh. It’s ten times the job the rest of this was — removing old tile is not for the faint of heart — and won’t start for a couple of weeks.

So when the painters leave and the run-through is done, we can start putting this house back together again. The kitties will be most pleased by this—their brush and some favorite toys are under plastic, soon to be unearthed; the couch has been out of commission for several days; their beds and trees have been moved around. They’re more displaced than us, I think.

Once I can find the floor, it’s packing time again. I’m off to Chicago tomorrow for ALA — the American Library Association annual meeting —to talk about LIE TO ME. It’s my first time and I’m very excited — but I did decide to do a very business casual look this weekend. Jeans, blazer, boots. My new uniform! Part of that is comfort, the other — I can’t get to most of my clothes! Lord knows I’m not folding my unmentionables in front of the contractors…

All that said, I’ve managed to accomplish more today that most of the week combined. Lots of words. I wrote most of the day on the porch, in the rain, as TD Cindy came through. Breeze, humid, rainy—it was almost like writing at the beach. Almost.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Via: JT Ellison

    

5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017)

By J.T. Ellison

Running with Mic

Wireless Headphones

I have always preferred wired headphones because of the sound quality. I have an over-eat set of Bose for airplanes, and a noise-cancelling pair of Beats for the gym. But the technology has improved so much that I decided to give the some inexpensive wireless ones a try.

After a few fails, I settled on these from SoundPEATS. They are comfortable, the sound is good, the battery life is okay, and it frees me up to wander my house without the phone when I’m cleaning or folding. Win, win.


Deli Tray

Deli Trays

I have so much on my plate that food prep is the last thing on my priority list. Enter: the deli party tray. Fruit, cheese, meats, precut and ready to eat. I grab a bowl, dump in what I want, and voilà, lunch is served. 30 seconds from fridge to plate is my kind of set up.


Eileen Fisher Sport Platform Sandal

Eileen Fisher Women’s Sport Platform Sandal

Like my ongoing search for the perfect bag, I am constantly looking for the perfect summer shoe to wear with dresses and pants. I have very sensitive feet with high arches, so heels have to be really, really comfortable (i.e.: Dansko clog-style sandals, which are clunky) and flats must have some sort of support. Tieks just haven’t been the answer for me. I wear a lot of Toms, but they are sometimes too casual for business casual.

Enter Eileen Fisher. My last royalty check, I splurged majorly and got myself a pair of these.

They are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. The neutral color, the suede, the funky sole — all serve to be a great, stylish, fun summer conference shoe. I plan to be in these beauties at ALA!


Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

My guru suggested Adriene as a stop gap between our session and she is simply wonderful. Yoga for everyone, she is fun, irreverent, with just the right amount of spiritual. No hard sell, heck, she’s free on YouTube and her website. I’ve now become a member so I can have access through the app, and I love it.


Photo Credit: Huntingdon Spa

Photo Credit:
Huntingdon Spa

Lash Tinting

I’m a blonde, and that means I have the ubiquitous problem of most blondes — our lashes disappear. I have plenty of them, you just can’t see them without mascara. I have friends who do extensions, but I’m so sensitive to chemicals I’m sure I’ll be allergic to the glue. The solution? Tinting.

I just did this for the first time this week, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to be able to skip mascara for day-to-day! FACE Nashville has a specialist, Kara, and it is quick, inexpensive, and worth every dime.

Via: JT Ellison

    

Daily Tao ☯ 6.20.17

By J.T. Ellison

Not a bad day. 400 words of fiction, 500 words of non-fiction, decisions made on a couple of soon-to-be-in-your-hands projects, and, because of your fabulous response, Amy and I decided that yes, we shall shut down the world for the two weeks between July 1-16. I think we both need some time to regroup, reset, and Lord knows that girl deserves a vacation. I’ll be doing mine writing style — which means I’ll be shutting off socials, email, and Internet and really going to town writing.

I am so excited! A writing vacation! In the middle of the summer!

I am simply going to write as much as I can on the novel in a 14 day period, and see what happens. I don’t think I’m even going to set goals. I mean, I have my daily word count goals that must be met, but I’m not going to say — I’ll write X number of words, or X number of pages. I will simply write. No appointments. No blogging. No socials. Just deep work on the novel.

It’s going to take some prep beforehand, but I have to say, I am SO EXCITED!!!

The remodel is going well, too. The visions are starting to come together. Can’t wait to share some pics — they’ll be done Friday on stage 1!

Hope your day was great!

Via: JT Ellison

    

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