Happy Release Day, A THOUSAND DOORS!

Death hath a thousand doors to let out life: I shall find one.”

— Philip Massinger

I saw this quote years ago, and it sparked an idea. Now, over a decade later, you get to see what Massinger wrought in my mind. I found the door, now I bring you the lives… 

I am so thrilled to announce A THOUSAND DOORS: An Anthology of Many Lives is on sale today! 


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Having this book out in the world is an absolutely dream for me. I’ve been harboring this story ever since I saw the quote, about a young woman who is murdered, and as she dies, has the chance to lives all the lives she’d once dreamed of having.

I’ve likened it to Sliding Doors meets The Lovely Bones.

But it wasn’t my usual kind of story, and a very ambitious one at that, so I shelved it until I felt the time was right. I’m so glad I did, because as the years progressed, I realized how incredibly cool it would be if I had help writing Mia’s many lives.

Last year, I recruited some of my favorite writer friends to help me. Look at the amazing list of authors bringing Mia alive:

Kimberly Belle

Laura Benedict

A.F. Brady

Patti Callahan Henry

Paige Crutcher

Rebecca Drake

Heather Gudenkauf

Joy Jordan-Lake

Alisha Klapheke

Ariel Lawhon

Kerry Lonsdale

Catherine McKenzie

Kate Moretti

Lisa Patton

Kaira Rouda

This is the most unique, exciting project I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. It’s much more than an anthology, this is a novel. Over the course of the story, you are going to meet 16 different variations of Mia Jensen. You are going to journey through her lives, be shocked by her decisions, her actions, her vulnerabilities, her loves, her mistakes. You are going to get to know Mia better than she knows herself.

A THOUSAND DOORS is on sale in hardcover, trade paper, and ebook today, everywhere books are sold. Audio is coming after the first of the year. I hope you’ll talk to your favorite indie booksellers and librarians and ask them to stock the book, too.


Don’t Take My Word For It… Here’s What The Reviewers Are Saying


“I cannot express how unique, thrilling, and emotional of a ride it was to make my way through A Thousand Doors. The journey that Mia faces from beginning to end was suspenseful, tense, and gripping, and the ending tied everything together in a satisfying manner. Highly recommended to those who are finding the thriller genre a bit stale these days; A Thousand Doors is a breath of fresh air for readers who are feeling stuck in a rut.” –– Chelsea Humphrey, The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

“What makes this book so special is the different courses a person’s life can take and each author’s spin. If you have read each of the contributor’s work previously, you will see each story was ideal for that respective author. Each story is full of humor, intrigue, and suspense and very thought-provoking. Highly-entertaining!” –– Judith Collins, TLC Book Tours  


“A Thousand Doors is unlike any book I’ve ever read...an intriguing concept brought to fruition by an extremely talented and diverse group of women.” –– Susan Peterson, Goodreads


“This is one of those pieces of work that come along and leaves you thinking about every life choice you have ever made. And what would you do if you had the chance for a do over? Each story tells a different path and outcome. I have no idea how all of these authors came together and speak with the same voice. I have never read anything like this and it is just a brilliant idea and body of work.” –– Patricia Romero, Goodreads  


Here’s the official Jacket Copy


The day Mia Jensen died, she finally got to live…

WHAT IF?

We’ve all played the “what if” game. For Mia Jensen, “what if” is a fact of life. Dissatisfied with her choices, she often dreams about what could have been. Now she has the chance to know. But that knowledge is going to cost her dearly. Only through death can she fully realize the value of her life. 

Forty-year-old Mia Jensen is home after a terrible day, trying to figure out how she’s come to this point in her life, when she hears a strange noise from the kitchen. She investigates, only to be brutally attacked and left for dead. As she dies, she experiences some of the lives that could have been hers had she only made a different choice. 

Can one woman can find peace with the path she’s chosen before it slips through her fingers forever? 

Through the unique voices of New York Times bestsellers and rising stars in women’s fiction, A THOUSAND DOORS examines how our smallest decisions can create lasting effects, and asks the ultimate question—can we actually change our lives? 


I always have a soundtrack for my books, and A THOUSAND DOORS is no different… except this one was compiled en masse, with each author offering their own song to match their story. Can you guess which song goes to which life?

Release Day Giveaway

Enter to win a $100 Parnassus Books gift card! This is my hometown bookstore and a wonderful place to shop—either in person or online. Thank you for celebrating with us!


As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude isn’t undertaken lightly. A great deal of time, effort, and care has gone into this story over the years, as well as putting the book together and getting it into your hands. My deepest thanks to Ariel Lawhon and Laura Benedict for helping me conceptualize and organize, Kim Killion for the beautiful cover art, and Phyllis DeBlanche for her editorial expertise, and the amazing Leigh Kramer for putting together a stunning series of images and PR material that has really helped Mia shine. And of course, without the amazing authors who brought Mia to life, this story would still be rattling around in my brain. Thank you, brilliant sisters of letters. You’ve made this all worthwhile. XO

And as always, thank you for being on this journey with me. 

Now, get thee gone, reader, and buy your copy of A THOUSAND DOORS, STAT! I can’t wait for you to read it!

I leave you with a final question.

Which life would you choose?

The Secret Is Out!

I’m finally ready to reveal the massive secret project I’ve been working on. Ready? 

🎉 I have a brand new book for you! 🎉

I am thrilled to announce A THOUSAND DOORS: An Anthology of Many Lives, will release from Two Tales Press November 5, 2018!

JTEllison_AThousandDoors_1400.jpg

The day Mia Jensen died, she finally got to live.

Hell of a tag line, wouldn’t you say? Here’s the rest:

WHAT IF...

We've all played the "what if" game. For Mia Jensen, "what if" is a fact of life. Dissatisfied with her choices, she often dreams about what could have been. Now she has the chance to know. But that knowledge is going to cost her dearly. Only through death can she fully realize the value of her life.

*

Forty-year-old Mia Jensen is home after a terrible day, trying to figure out how she's come to this point in her life, when she hears a strange noise from the kitchen. She investigates, only to be brutally attacked and left for dead. As she dies, she experiences some of the lives that could have been hers had she only made a different choice. 

Can one woman can find peace with the path she's chosen before it slips through her fingers forever?

*

Through the unique voices of New York Times bestsellers and rising stars in women's fiction, A THOUSAND DOORS examines how our smallest decisions can create lasting effects, and allows the thought—can we actually change our lives?


For almost a decade, I’ve been harboring a story. A young woman, murdered. And as she dies, she lives all the lives she’d once dreamed of having. Sliding Doors meets The Lovely Bones.

But it wasn’t my usual kind of story, and a very ambitious one at that, so I shelved it until I felt the time was right. I’m so glad I did, because as the years progressed, I realized I needed help writing Mia’s many lives.

Last year, I recruited some of my favorite writers and friends to help me. And oh, boy, did they hit it out of the park. Just look at the list of amazing authors who bring Mia to life:  

Kimberly Belle

Laura Benedict 

A.F. Brady 

Patti Callahan Henry 

Paige Crutcher 

Rebecca Drake 

Heather Gudenkauf 

Joy Jordan-Lake 

Alisha Klapheke 

Ariel Lawhon 

Kerry Lonsdale 

Catherine McKenzie 

Kate Moretti 

Lisa Patton 

Kaira Rouda 


This is the most unique, exciting project I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. It’s much more than an anthology, it is a full-on novel. Over the course of the story, you are going to meet 16 different variations of Mia Jensen. You are going to journey through her lives, be shocked by her decisions, her actions, her vulnerabilities, her loves, her mistakes. You are going to get to know Mia better than she knows herself.

A THOUSAND DOORS will be available in all formats (hardcover, trade paper, ebook, and audio) November 5, and I hope you’ll talk to your favorite indie booksellers and librarians and ask them to stock the book, too. 

So….

Surprise!!!!!!!!

Get the Book

AMAZON 
BARNES & NOBLE

Download the eBook

KINDLE 
NOOK 
iBOOKS 
KOBO 
GOOGLE PLAY

Add to Goodreads

New Offerings from Two Tales Press

My indie press is a place for experiments as much as a spot to publish my shorter work that doesn’t fit the traditional mode. This month, several projects I’ve been working on are finished and ready for sale.


STORIES OF THE NIGHT
(Print, Digital, Audio)

So many of you have asked for a print option for my short stories, and I listened. This hefty collection features 2 shorts (Gray Lady, Lady Gray and Catwood) and 2 novellas (The Endarkening and The Omen Days), and a sneak peek of LIE TO ME. And even more fun, I engaged the services of the brilliant Courtney Parker and Basil Sands to record the audiobook. So however you like to read, there’s a format especially for you.


NO ONE KNOWS - UK, Australia, Commonwealth version, German translation
(Print and Digital)

This is my first foray into publishing an actual novel, and I’ve been very excited by the response, especially in Germany. Having a book translated isn’t cheap, but if it continues to move copies, I may look at a few more translations in countries in which I sell well traditionally, especially French and Dutch. 

The book has a slightly different ending than its US counterpart, as well, so added bonus for you!


DEAD ENDS: Stories from the Gothic South
(Print, Digital, Audio)

The first anthology published by Two Tales features 13 southern gothic tales all centering around a single house. It’s a winner of a collection, with superb stories from a lot of my awesome writer friends. And it’s now available in a fabulous audiobook edition, read by Courtney Parker. 


There’s more to come from Two Tales this fall, including an anthology I am chomping at the bit to announce. Soon, lovelies, soon….

Thank you for supporting this fun indie venture. It means the world to me! 

On sale now: DEAD ENDS, a Southern Gothic collection!

I have a very exciting announcement.

As you know, I have been stocking Two Tales Press with my own short stories exclusively. But no more! 

Today we are releasing the first Two Tales Press Anthology — DEAD ENDS: Stories from the Gothic South — featuring 13 original stories by 13 incredible authors.

And even more fun, this is a themed anthology. I’ve said a million times how original and creative writers are. You can give 13 writers the same picture and they’ll give you 13 different stories. I decided to put my money where my mouth is when I saw this picture:

I approached some of my writer friends with the concept of writing a short story based on this photo, with the caveat that the story be gothic in nature and related to the south in some way. This all-star lineup proved my thesis perfectly. Their stories were so inventive and fun, creepy and profound, I decided to write one of my own to join in the fun!

Here are the wonderful authors whose stories appear in DEAD ENDS:

  1. Jeff Abbott
  2. Helen Ellis
  3. Patti Callahan Henry
  4. Amanda Stevens
  5. Paige Crutcher
  6. Dana Chamblee Carpenter
  7. Laura Benedict
  8. Bryon Quertermous
  9. Dave White
  10. Lisa Morton
  11. David Bell
  12. J.T. Ellison
  13. Ariel Lawhon
     

And here’s more about DEAD ENDS itself, which is now available for Pre-Order in ebook! (print pre-order available soon)
 

Look at this picture. Tell me what you see…

The American South is rife with stories of a haunted past—especially its houses. In this eclectic and impressive collection, thirteen novelists were asked to build their tales around the photo of a dilapidated mansion. They were given two requirements—the house must appear in the story, and it should be a Southern Gothic tale. And they delivered.

From childish demons to a mad novelist, from the Mississippi delta to the Appalachians, this collection from emerging voices and New York Times bestselling authors explores what happens when secrets that lie beneath the dust are disturbed—and our worst nightmares begin. 

Darkness lurks behind every corner, especially dead ends.
 

I can’t wait to get this incredible book into your hands. It will be available in both print and ebook September 28. You can request the physical book from your local indies, too! Just in time for Halloween reading….
 

Get Yours Now!

 

ebook: $3.99

Print: $13.99


Hardcover: $24.99

New story THE ENDARKENING on sale now!

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!

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!

Surprise! I have a new book out today!

My anniversary as a published author is just around the corner. My very first novel, ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, released into the world for the first time October 23, 2007. 

But 2006 was when everything started really happening for me. It was a huge year, very exciting, very scary. My awesome agent (the brilliant Scott Miller) was shopping my novel to New York publishers. I placed a couple of short stories. I was part of a stellar line-up on an award-winning blog called Murderati. 

It’s amazing to look back on that year. I’m so glad I was a regular blogger, because I’m not much of a journaler, and the blog gives me a week-by-week snapshot of all the exciting things that happened those first couple of years. 

Now, I have 18 novels under my belt, and a wad of short stories. I co-write with Catherine Coulter, and co-host a literary television show. I’m writing standalones on my own—my ultimate goal—and I’ve started a publishing house for my fiction that doesn’t fit in with my traditionally published work.

Which is why I’m writing this post. 

Over the years, many people have asked if they could have a print version of my shorts. I’m so thrilled to be able to offer this option at last.

Today, my very first print novel through Two Tales Press is available. It’s aptly named THE FIRST DECADE, and represents my most popular and personal favorite short stories written over the past ten years.

It also has two brand-new, never-before-seen stories that I wrote expressly for this collection. Plus, it’s a delight to have my best work over the past ten years in one place, in a tangible, physical book. Because we all love that new book smell, right?

THE FIRST DECADE is available through all your favorite retailers, and with any luck, your local independent bookstore as well.

(though you will have to ask them to order it for you) We are partnering with several stores where you’ll be able to get copies (more on that later). 

I hope you’ll grab this one today, and spread the news to your friends as well.

 

Buy the Print Book

Download the Ebook

Thank you for always supporting me and my writing. You mean the world to me!

A Surprise for You - a Brand New Christmas Story

I wrote you a story!

My very first Christmas story is now available for all your ereading pleasure!


Inspired by one of my favorite songs, THE OMEN DAYS is a Christmas ghost story about one broken heart, the vagaries of the season, one creepy killer, and of course, a ghost, set in Nashville against the backdrop of Twelvetide, the twelve days of Christmas.

This is a brand new story that has never been published before, written expressly for Two Tales – and you! It's available at these ebook stores:

I hope you love it, and if you do, you’ll take a moment to leave a review and spread the word. 

Also, there is an exclusive sneak peek inside of my upcoming standalone thriller, NO ONE KNOWS (3.22.16), plus other treats. I've even got a playlist that inspired the story on the product page. Let me know what you think!

Stay warm, and Merry Everything!
J.T.

On New Ventures

Two Tales Press

We are in a glorious time for writing.

Writers now have immediate access to readers—not only through books, but through a vast compendium of outlets: magazines, newspapers, blogs, social media, and now ebooks. The Internet has given us freedom to create and share our work directly, and this unfettered access is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.


I was an early adopter of the idea of independent publishing, selling my shorts on Amazon as individual stories and anthologies.

Content wasn’t hard to come by—instead of quipping on Facebook and Twitter, writers spent their down time trying to impress each other with clever and scary short fiction. One of the saddest casualties of the social media storm were the smaller online sites and magazines, run by laypeople, writers all, that encouraged writers to share their free-form work. Flash fiction, a very short form, usually less than 1,000 words, was a hit, with multiple websites supporting authors, published and not, who wanted to try their hand at the challenge: tell a complete story without breaking the fixed word count.

Many of us took the challenge, myself included. There was something magical about sharing these quick little stories, written the same day as they appeared online. Of course, now that we can publish a novel the day after we finish it (thought I wouldn’t recommend that course—editing is still paramount, and that takes time) the novelty of flash fiction has worn off.   


I’ve long looked to short stories as a way to have a bit of fun with my writing, to step outside my comfort zone.

I call it my Johnny Depp career path, doing only what I love, and what’s fun. First person, horror, flash fiction—these are the ways I get my jollies on the side. I’d written three novels before I ever tried my hand at short fiction. But when I did, I discovered an entirely new world, and my love of the short form grew from there. I began placing stories in magazines, writing for anthologies, for the online forums, the works. I love the freedom and limitations of the form, and I still use it as a playground of sorts, a way to stretch my wings and explore genres I wouldn’t normally write in.

My short stories are little slices, vignettes. Crimes of the heart, the mind, the soul.

They’re the bits and pieces that fall from my mind while I’m writing long form novels, the ideas that don’t have a place in my current work. Some are quite short, others have bloomed into novellas. Some have been published before, some are brand new.


I decided to start my own publishing house, Two Tales Press, so you could get a taste of these sweet little lies, too.