Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - August 19.jpg

Hello, friends! Hope your Sunday is shaping up well. I'm home today after a whirlwind family trip to celebrate my dad's birthday. Much fun, food, and golf was had. Hmm... something else happened... Oh yeah, Brit in the FBI #6 is in the hands of the master! Which means I am D.O.N.E. with writing for a while. My mantra for the past 18 months has been -- "I can't, I have to work." Ten hour days, 6-7 days a week, I've had my head down, staring at my screen. Ick. I mean, it's fun, don't get me wrong,. But when your knee-jerk reaction to everything is I can't, I have to work... nope. Time to take a step back.

So guess what? My new mantra is -- "yes, let's do it!" Golf. Travel. Reading. Fresh air. Exercise. Friends. I will be refilling my well, one day at a time, until I feel the urge to create again. It's going to be a lovely few months.  

So, in the spirit of all work and no play makes JT a dull girl, I'm outta here. 💂🏻‍♂️

Let's take a look at the latest and greatest links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Reading a Book Takes Time—Deal With It. "Is our obsession with hurrying up getting in the way of our having fun?"


Who Owns Harry Potter? What J.K. Rowling's Series Can Teach Us About Copyright Law. "Culture is better, is more inclusive, is more dynamic (not to mention enjoyable) when the arts are thriving. Copyright law, says Bressler, incentivizes creativity."


Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work. Fascinating! I think every writer eventually wants to create their own language.


Fictional Glimpses of the Past: From the Tudors to the Czars. So many congrats to Ariel Lawhon on this excellent NYT review of I WAS ANASTASIA!


Woman becomes first-ever female infantry platoon commander in Marines. Go, sister, go!  #SemperFi


Emotions run high as Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor prepares to say goodbye. A heartbreaking loss to our community.


From Star Trek to Fifty Shades: how fanfiction went mainstream. "What separates these works from the Harry Potter fanfiction you find online may come down to snobbery. There is an undercurrent of misogyny in mainstream criticism of fanfiction, which is widely accepted to be dominated by women; one census of 10,500 AO3 users found that 80% of the users identified as female, with more users identified as genderqueer (6%) than male (4%). Novik has spent a good deal of time fighting against fanfiction’s stigma because she feels it is “an attack on women’s writing, specifically an attack on young women’s writing and the kind of stories that young women like to tell”."


The Writer's Life: Louise Candlish: Domestic Suspense from Across the Pond. Great interview. Such an interesting premise!

And closer to home:

My publisher is repackaging all the Samantha Owens novels and the new covers are dynamic and story-appropriate. I can't wait until we have all of them out for you. This past week we revealed Samantha Owens #2, EDGE OF BLACK! If you're curious about the origins of this story, check out this post.



What an awesome giveaway! Win all four of these upcoming fall thrillers: WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT by Mary Kubica, FOR BETTER AND WORSE by Margot Hunt, UNDER MY SKIN by Lisa Unger, and TEAR ME APART! 

US and Canada only. 

Don't forget! ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, the first book in my Taylor Jackson series, is on sale for $1.99! 


WHITEOUT, a Taylor Jackson novella is free on Instafreebie this week! Check out the other free thrillers and mysteries while you're over there.

Join Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson as she races to find a deadly assassin who’s seemingly blended in with the blizzard.

Metro Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson has reluctantly agreed to take the place of her fiancé, FBI profiler John Baldwin, as a presenter at the annual Freedom Conference, a foreign intelligence initiative attended by the best in the business of “clandestine services.” Then a blizzard effectively isolates their hotel on Chesapeake Bay: no power, no generators, and no possibility of outside help. When two guests go missing, and one of them is found dead in his room, Taylor discovers an assassin amongst the spies—one with a deadly score to settle.

Lots of fun stuff coming up, including the finalized tour dates for TEAR ME APART. I hope to see some of you on the road! That's all for now! Take a walk, hug your bestie, give your kitties a scratch, and I'll see you next week!

peace and hugs,

EDGE OF BLACK has a new look!

EDGE OF BLACK has a new look!

I was indulging in an age-old female tradition the other day—getting my nails done—when I overheard two older women strike up a conversation at the dryer. I listened with fascination as they circled each other, looking for that commonality that would allow them to have a meaningful exchange. One had children, the other didn’t. Strike one. One went to First Baptist, the other attended First Presbyterian. Strike two. They’d both discovered the nail salon about a month ago, and agreed it was one of the best they’d been to. And then came the home run: “Well, what did you do for work?”

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Sunday Smatterings

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Hello, everyone! Hope you're having a fine summer day. It's hard to believe Nashville schools are back in session. I, for one, refuse to end summer just yet. When I was growing up, we went back the Tuesday after Labor Day, a schedule I've stuck to my whole life. Granted, this year the schedule is a little odd because of the book release moving up, so we've swapped our dates for tour and vacation, but otherwise, lots of new beginnings ahead. It will be great to turn in a book and have the Fall staring at me, full of endless possibilities. Plus, my work/life balance is out of whack and it's time to get it in order.

I'm curious, are your kids back to school? Do you love this week, or hate it?

Onward to the latest and greatest links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

The Calm of Everything as it Should Be. Read this twice. Seriously. Despite next week's looming deadline, I took Thursday morning off to do some tidying. I felt so much better having everything in its place. It helps to declutter, and if you're embracing minimalism, it makes your house a constant source of joy. But this is about so more than just straightening your house. It's a new way of life, one I wholly endorse.


Goodreads and the Crushing Weight of Literary FOMO.  I get this, I really do. I read so much, but I so rarely have the chance to read what everyone else is reading when they're excited about it. I try, though I'm already thinking 2019 might have to be the year I put my book buying on hold and try to catch up on my ridiculous TBR, instituting a new rule -- I will only buy a new book if I'm going to read it immediatley.


What "Life Pro Tip" have you learned from Reddit that you still use every time the situation presents itself? Seriously good stuff here.


Steven Soderbergh and the Artist’s Journey. "The artist’s journey can be pursued on an hour a day." It's true, peeps. If you want the artistic life, you make time for it. Period.


NASA assigns commercial crews to fly on Boeing, SpaceX spacecraft. Incredible — and long overdue. It still boggles my mind that we're paying $70 million plus to Russia every time one of our astronauts catches a ride to the ISS.


August’s Best New Thrillers - 7 Great New Thrillers and a Classic Clancy Bonus. TEAR ME APART is in good company! I still get verklempt seeing my name among the luminaries. I hope that never ends.


Giving Up Control at Work. Excellent life lessons for better work flow regardless of managerial status. Leigh and I talked this week about how much I enjoy delegating (Yes, you sense sarcasm there.) But when you have the right people, people you trust to do the work right, it's easy to cede control, knowing they're handling things. It's been a great life lesson for me.

And closer to home:

JT's Literati.jpg

Here's something special for you. Join my new Facebook group J.T. Ellison's Literati for book news, giveaways, glimpses into my writing life, and the chance to talk about the books you love (not mine...). We promise all kinds of bookish fun! 


Look at all these thrillers! Enter the BookSweeps giveaway to win a copy of the latest Brit in the FBI -- THE SIXTH DAY, Catherine's brand new Savich and Sherlock PARADOX, an ereader, and 25+ other thrillers!

I was so thrilled to learn Modern Mrs. Darcy included TEAR ME APART on her list of 24 much-anticipated new titles to add to your fall To Be Read list. What an honor -- and what a great list of books!

That's all for now! Check your email for the August newsletter, sharpen those pencils, harvest the last of your tomatoes, and I'll see you next week!

peace and hugs,

Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - August 6.jpg

Hello and happy Sunday, everyone! I was just staring out my front door and there are some yellowing leaves on the redbud. I know it's only the beginning of August, and it's currently 90 degrees out, but I sense Autumn is about to make herself known. 

It's been a stellar week here -- we finished the first draft of THE LAST SECOND. This new Brit in the FBI novel is a doozy, and I know you're going to love it. We've been cooking up all sorts of surprises, and Nicholas and Mike are in serious trouble in this one. They are sort of trouble magnets, aren't they? Makes for a lot of fun dreaming up plots, that's for sure. 

This is the 21st time I've typed ### wearing my finishing armor, AKA my battered Harvard T-shirt. I am going to have to attack it with needle and thread before book 22 ends, as it's getting a wee bit worn around the edges. Why this particular shirt? I was wearing it the first time I ever finished a novel, at my parents house, over Christmas break, many moons ago. Ever since, I don it when I think the end is in sight. It keeps my spirits bolstered, keeps me pushing toward the end. It's a weird trick, I know, but like a baseball player who won't shave their beard or change their socks when they're winning, I've learned the importance of respecting a streak.

I spent some time watching the awesome blood moon eclipse, too. Sadly, I had to watch online, but it was glorious. More on that to come, as it might feature in the new book....

Since I have to get back to revising, let's get on to the links!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories & Endeavor Content Developing Karin Slaughter’s Novel ‘Pieces Of Her’ For TV; Lesli Linka Glatter To Direct. Brilliant news! Karin's books are always brilliant and inventive. She never flinches, and I respect that about her so much. Seeing this come to life on the screen will be incredible.


How to Make This the Summer of Missing Out. I fully endorse JOMO! I regularly take social media sabbaticals, this takes it a step further. It's time to be more present, peeps.


5 Super Relatable Ways Authors Are Just Like You. You might know one or two of these folks. 😉


9 Things People Accidentally Do That Make Their Mondays Unproductive. Easy fixes that will absolutely boost your productivity! This isn't just for Mondays -- it's for every day.


Shakespeare as told through 'Game of Thrones' GIFs is unsurprisingly hilarious. This is incredible! I swear, the creativity out there never ceases to amaze me.


A taste of the nation’s most popular restaurants. I have three of these under my belt—how about you?


Cartoonist Colleen Doran on Productivity, Procrastination, and Setting Boundaries for Focus. If you don’t have the Freedom app, you don’t know what you’re missing. And by that I mean -- what could you be creating? 


Want Enormous Success? Immediately Stop Doing What Everyone Else Is Doing. When they zig, you zag. This is especially good advice for new writers. Don't write to the market. Don't write what's popular. Write what you're passionate about, what you can't stop thinking about. Make a new trend. 

And closer to home:

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Deal alert! ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, the first book in my Taylor Jackson series, is on sale for $1.99! 

Some secrets should stay buried.

When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene -- the prior victim's severed hand.

Ambitious TV reporter Whitney Connolly is certain the Southern Strangler is her ticket out of Nashville; she's got a scoop that could break the case. She has no idea how close this story really is -- or what it will cost her.

As the killer spirals out of control, everyone involved must face a horrible truth -- that the purest evil is born of private lies.

The reviews are coming in...

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I can't believe TEAR ME APART is almost here!!!!!! I'm so honored to be getting some awesome trade reviews. We've finalized the tour, as well, you can take a gander here. I hope I get to visit with some of you out on the road!

That's all for now! Send someone you haven't talked to in a while a letter, dance around your living room, buy yourself a good luck T-shirt, and I'll see you next week!

peace and hugs,

Sunday Smatterings

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Happy Sunday, everyone! I busted out of the writing cave for a weekend getaway to celebrate my darling husband's birthday. As I am *this* close to finishing a draft of the new book, it was wonderful to take off for a couple of days, take in a baseball game (Go Dodgers!), have a stellar meal and a nice bottle of wine, and for once, not be staring at my screen. With all the date changes and deadline shifting that's gone on the past 18 months, I've been running with my hair on fire. But there was no way I was going to miss spending a couple of quiet days with my sweetie. Happy birthday, Randy! 🎂 🎁 🎉

The thrillerkittens have been giving me fits, too. Jordan had a scratch or bite that got infected and wouldn't heal, and after a few tries, we had to put her in a onesie so she'd leave it alone. If you are ever blue, or having a bad day, a cat in a onesie will solve all your ills. She's like a little beat poet in her turtleneck; I want to put black glasses on her and hand her a cigarette. (I'm laughing as I write this and she knew it, so now the beat poet is purring in my lap.) Jameson, not to be outdone, has been doing everything she can to draw attention away from her sister. Trust me when I say Feliway Multicat is a good thing.

I'm actually enjoying these last couple of writing weeks as the deadline looms. All the craziness aside, the research for this book has been really fun, and now that the words are on the page, I'm not nearly as stressed. Keep sending me good juju; we're only a couple of weeks out!

So with that, I will leave you to the links! On to the latest and greatest book world buzz!

Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

‘A Discovery Of Witches’: Sundance Now & Shudder To Stream Sky’s Drama Series. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! And American release! I can't wait! 🧛‍♂️ 


Sugar, Spice, and Ruthlessness: What Unconventional YA Heroines Are Made Of. “Giving anger its rightful place in girls' lives is long overdue. Screw likable. I want my heroines determined, relentless, even vicious.” This is a fabulous piece. It's not the female rage we've been hearing so much of...its female complexity, which is so much fun. I've always tried to write complex, exceptional women. Do they get angry, spout off? Sure. They wouldn't be real otherwise. This is how you make a your female characters intense without toppling over into caricature.


Turns out you can't hack everything. "Because real living isn’t about a shortcut. You have to experience things and get through them, and enjoy the process and the added hands on learning that you’ll pick up along the way." A superb article on why we shouldn't be taking so many shortcuts. I'm in!


Obsession, Identity, and the New Thriller - A New Wave of Thrillers Redefines Women's Roles and Desires. Another fascinating, insightful piece. I love that we're having these conversations again.


The 7 Things Everyone Needs to Get Rid Of to Be Instantly Happier. This is not your average decluttering list and we would be wise to heed its wisdom. 


A Mad Woman on Fire: On Sylvia Plath and Female Rage. I do love seeing Plath get credit for her work instead of her demise. Nicely done, Megan Abbott. Also, don't be offset by the female rage moniker, that's not really what this is. It's complexity again, just with a darker bent.


John Williams' early life: How a NoHo kid and UCLA Bruin became the movie music man. I am a huge John Williams fan. I write to so many of his original scores it's wild. I loved reading how he started, and his incredible work ethic.

And closer to home:

BCon panel postcard - concept 1C

I'm so excited that my new release date means I get to go to Bouchercon! This is one of my favorite conferences and I'm thrilled to be going again. And my panel is going to be a blast. What a lineup! A.C. Frieden made this fantastic graphic for our panel at Bouchercon 2018. Put it on your calendars!

Those of you who have been keeping an eye on the Events page may have seen some additions this week. I'm so excited to share I'll be heading to Murder By The Book in Houston August 30. And I'm excited to launch TEAR ME APART with my fellow Nashvillians at Parnassus Books August 29. Please let me know if you'll be stopping by!

That's all for now! Summer is almost over. Go buy some pencils, luxuriate in the heat, do something today just for you–a book, a sweet treat, a bath–something to help you decompress, and I'll see you next week!

peace and hugs,