Category Archives: 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


Daily Tao ☯ 6.19.17

By J.T. Ellison

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!

Via: JT Ellison


Sunday Smatterings

By J.T. Ellison

Hi, chickens, welcome to Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy, and my friends who are dads, and you, too! If you didn’t know, Father’s Day originated as a day of remembrance for fathers who were gone. I’m so thankful I have mine to celebrate with.

What a week it has been, a hard one, a sobering one. The attack in Washington, intensive work, and a bevy of life’s little things that need my attention have drained me physically and emotionally. Time and again, I have gone back to the words of my friend, Rev. Katie Ladd, who shared how to begin to cope with tragedy and grief, and how we work for a better world after. Her words are still bringing me comfort and love in this hard week. I hope you find some light in them, too.

Here are a few other things that happened on the Internets this week:

BookExpo: Females as Strong as Hell Edition. Thank you, BookRiot, for rounding up the books with strong heroines we need to look for soon. We need more badass heroines, in fiction and real life.

2017 Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN. From sports to books to libraries, Nashville rules. Yay, NPL!

James Michener’s Nomadic Pursuit of Depth. Author of DEEP WORK (one of my favorite books ), Cal Newport, profiles the author’s great lengths to pursue his art. “If you want to produce big things, you need to be willing to go big with your work habits.” So true.

How Deep Work Can Change Your Life Forever: 3 Strategies to Overcome the Distractions. Speaking of Deep Work, productivity and publishing guru Michael Hyatt is a fan of Cal Newport, too. This is why.

Pain, satin and paper towels: What it takes for ballerinas to dance on their toes. It is amazing to see the lengths people will go, the sacrifices they will make, in pursuit of their art. Ballerinas sacrifice so much. Talk about true grit.

7 Books to Devour on a Plane. A fabulous reading list for your summer travel.

And closer to home:

Review: Lie to Me. I’ve seen reviews of LIE TO ME begin to trickle in, and I’m so pleased to find readers are enjoying it! I particularly enjoyed this review from Stacy Camp. Thank you, Stacy! (PS click here to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME!)

That’s it from me, y’all. I hope you have a great week, drink plenty of water, pick some flowers for your Dad or a friend, and we’ll talk again soon.


Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.15.17

By J.T. Ellison

I have a friend who signs off his emails “As you were, busy but happy…”

I love that, because that’s pretty much my life, busy but happy.

Though the busy overwhelmed today.

My page proofs are in for LIE TO ME, so it’s all stop on the new book to get them into shape. I missed most of the day working on them, though, because I had a luncheon commitment, at which I was the emcee. (I was a nervous wreck but managed to get through without either falling down or fainting, or even putting my foot too far down my throat. We call this a success.)

The air conditioning went out upstairs, and we’ve so far entertained two repairmen in two days. And the renovations chug along… the new bathroom floor is in and it’s divine, we have a new mantel, and I have SHELVES in my master bathroom — OMG, y’all, my linen closet is literally 10 inches deep and is out in the hall, so a place to have towels in my bathroom is mega-exciting! Plus, a new rug sample arrived — so far, the minions have given it the cold shoulder, though I think that’s just because of the scent, and not the look or feel. I hope.

Plus, two other smaller projects in the works needed attention, and… and… and…

I did stop and take a few nice, deep breaths this afternoon. I’ll do some yoga later on tonight, to ease myself out of the day, and all will be well in the world.

So a short one from me today as I work on my juggling skills! Hope you had a good day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Sweet dreams!

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.14.17

By J.T. Ellison

Another rough day. Another terror attack. In our backyards, this time. Or at least, my old backyard. Maybe that’s why it hit me so hard.

I was feeling (understandably) bleak this morning. Though I stayed away from most of social media, I did post about the shooting early on FB, and a pastor friend of mine, Rev. Katie Ladd, with whom I went to college (yes, we’ve been friends a very long time) commented back. In turn, I asked her for spiritual guidance, which she graciously gave. I asked if I could share it because it is so beautiful, and gave me a more than a small measure of peace. I hope it helps you this evening, too.

Sometimes feeling bleak, as difficult as it is, is the only thing to do in the face of overwhelming sorrow and heartbrokenness. The spiritual challenge is not to linger there too long. Mourn today – for those wounded, for those compelled to see violence as an answer for anything, for our country, for the already hard hearted and hateful sentiments springing up online. Mourn. Our country needs to pause and mourn for so much.

Here’s the spiritually challenging part. And (or “then” – it’s up to each of us is we can do this at the same time as mourning or if we need to wait) reach deep inside and reach out to community that serves as a reminder of the goodness in life. There is also that at work in our lives and in our world. I mean, look at us. We haven’t seen each other in a long time. Our politics are pretty different. I still love you and value our connection. I give thanks to God for you. Love and community can exist in this world – in the midst of difference and distance, in the midst of mourning and brokenness, in the midst of it all.

And then work. Work for a better world.

The best resistance to the powers of violence, death, and despair is laughter. Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy. So laugh along the way.

You already know all of this. I hope these little reminders don’t come across as trite. Mostly I want to say that I understand why you would feel bleak. It is normal. And I care.

“Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy.”

These are words to live by.

Sweet dreams.

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.13.17

By J.T. Ellison

I got upset with Facebook this morning for the ridiculous way they “serve” me to the people who have liked and follow my official J.T. Ellison page. I don’t normally pop off but it’s been really bad this past week, literally a fraction of people being served the posts, so I complained—and more than quadrupled the past few post’s engagement.

It made me wonder… yes, Facebook wants me to advertise, but on a more personal level, I see this happen elsewhere. I post something happy and inspirational, and get a lovely, but intimate response. I lose my temper or bitch about something, and it’s like opening the floodgates.

Are we all so dissatisfied with our worlds right now? Or is it something else entirely—people are so ready to comfort, to jump in and say hey, you’re going to be okay, it’s all good?

I prefer the latter, and it certainly feels that way to me.

I loved that the majority of the comments today were “I see you.” In a fast-paced world with a ton of distractions, it was very cool to not only have people comment, but to use that particular phraseology.

Sometimes, it does feel like we aren’t seen. We’re talked to, we’re preached to, we’re forgotten. To be seen, to really be top of mind to a virtual friend—it takes effort, on both sides.

I see you. I see all the comment, the likes, the messages. I am glad to hear you see me, too.

Fun writing day today — great progress on THE BLOOD CABAL, the outline is officially submitted and the story is working well—and edits on a new short story I will have in your hands pretty soon! (How’s that for a tease???)

Sweet, non-grumpy dreams!

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.12.17

By J.T. Ellison

I was watching a movie over the weekend that I’d never seen before—Love is a Many Splendored Thing—and one of the lines is about the precious stone jade, and how the Chinese people feel when you wear jade, part of their souls/personalities attach to it. When you gift someone a piece of jade you’ve worn, it’s like giving them a part of you.

A beautiful concept, and I of course couldn’t help but wonder at my choice of names for the thrillercat—Jade—and how she forever marked me.

I love thinking about how we touch those around us, how we live on in memory. How a smell or a sound can evoke a fully corporeal person—or former pet—to us. Love always ends tragically, right?

For all its many faults, the plot of the movie was fascinating to me. Set in the 1950s, it’s the story of an “Eurasion” female doctor who falls in love with a married but separated American war correspondent. Their romance is illicit, and she is shunned by her family, looked down upon by her boss’s meddlesome wife and the other doctors she works with, loses her job, the works.

Have we changed so much since then? In many ways, yes. In many ways, no. There are always going to be people who disapprove of non-homogenous choices.

But I have a question: when did the tragic endings of romances move into the need for a happily ever after? It makes sense that the movies made during the war eras explored the tragic loss of true love. But nowadays, the happily ever after—HEA—seems to be a must for a romance novel or movie. To the point that we’ve lost the concept of loss.

Maybe that’s why the wonderful film La-La-Land was such a success. The tragic nature allows us to mourn our own lost loves. Better to have loved and lost…

Opinions please, because I’m genuinely curious—are you cool with the tragic ending, or is HEA your thing?

Oh, good writing day today, too— cruising right along with 1800….

Via: JT Ellison


Sunday Smatterings

By J.T. Ellison

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!

This is what marriage is. 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.


Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.9.17

By J.T. Ellison

Excellent writing day today. The girls and I hung out on the porch, they: melting into little kitten-sized puddles in the sun, me: typing away. As of this moment, I’ve crossed the 10K line on the book—which means technically, I’m over 1/10th of the way done!—and the story is starting to shape up. I’m going to write some more before I shut down for the night, but I wanted to get this blog done first. A palette cleanser, so to speak.

Preds were outplayed and lost big last night, which was a shame, but they’re back in Nashville Sunday, and I’m sure we’ll whoop some Penguin butt. And then it’s back to Pittsburgh. Our boys need to dig deep to beat them in their own house in Game 7, but it’s not over until the fat penguin sings.

Quick alert: June newsletter is in your inboxes. If you didn’t get it, check your spam, and if you’re using Gmail, your promotions tab. If you find it there, a favor — drag it to your inbox so Gmail knows it’s a legit email you’ve requested! Same for Outlook users, as it might be stripped out of your focused inbox.

Why is this a good newsletter, you ask? Because it has an excerpt of LIE TO ME, so you definitely want to get it opened!

Oh, the remodel is going great — demo was quick, quiet, and the big push starts again Monday! Still trying to find a rug that’s cut pile, not loop, but of all the problems to have…

So it’s a quiet weekend ahead for us. It’s going to be beautiful weather, but since the mister and I are still battling this funk, I foresee a lot of reading and writing, and maybe even some decluttering, if I get the energy. At least the laundry folded and me unpacked — I sort of came back from New York and collapsed.

Have a lovely weekend, chickens!

Via: JT Ellison