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.