Friday, April 22, 2016

**GIVEAWAY** Interview with J T Ellison plus review of No One Knows

Today I'm so excited to be bringing one of my all time favorite authors back to the blog, I've read everything she's ever written and even had the great pleasure of meeting her in person a few years ago. She's never disappointed me but I don't think she's ever surprised me as much as she did with No One Knows. So without further ado I bring you JT Ellison!
JT's publisher Gallery Books is also sponsoring a giveaway so be sure to enter to win a copy too! Giveaway details below.

ISBN-13: 9781501118470
Publisher: Gallery Books-Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 03/22/2016
Length: 368pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible


With the same page-turning suspense as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s SecretNew York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison’s No One Knows is a “riveting…skillfully plotted” (Publishers Weekly) thriller that questions if the narrator’s husband really has returned from the dead—or if she’s merely losing her mind.
Aubrey Hamilton has been mourning her missing husband for five years, despite being even while she was considered the prime suspect in his murder. But when he is officially declared dead, there are still more questions than answers: Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered, or did he run away? And who is the new, mysterious and strangely familiar figureman suddenly appearing in Aubrey’s life? And has she finally lost her mind after years of loneliness and confusion?
No One Knows is an evocative mystery that explores the complex darkness within all of us, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins.

The Giveaway is for one print copy of
No One Knows US ONLY
Please use Rafflecopter form below to enter
Thanks Gallery Books
Good Luck!

Read an excerpt courtesy of JT:

Chapter one
Aubrey Nashville Today 
One thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days after Joshua Hamilton went missing, the State of Tennessee declared him legally dead. Aubrey, his wife (or former wife, or ex-wife, or widow—she had no idea how to refer to herself anymore), received the certified letter on a Friday. It came to the Montessori school where she taught, the very one she and Josh had attended as children. Came to her door in the middle of reading time, borne on the hands of Linda Pierce, the school’s long-standing principal, who looked as if someone had died. Which, in a way, they had. He had. Or so the State of Tennessee had officially declared. Aubrey had been against the declaration-of-death petition from the beginning. She didn’t want Josh’s estate settled. Didn’t want a date engraved on that stupid family stone obelisk that loomed over the graves of his ancestors at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Didn’t want to say good-bye forever. But Josh’s mother had insisted. She wanted closure. She wanted to move on with her life. She wanted Aubrey to move on with hers, too. She’d petitioned the court for the early ruling, and clearly the courts agreed. Everyone was ready to move on. Everyone but Aubrey. She’d felt poorly this morning when she woke, almost a portent of the day to come, but today was the last day of school before spring break, so she had to show, and be cheery, and help the kids with their party, and give them their extra-credit reading assignments. From the second they arrived, her students buzzed around her. It didn’t take long for Aubrey to catch the children’s enthusiasm and drop her previous malaise. It was a beautiful day: the sun glowed in the sky, dropping beams through the windows, creating slats of light on the multihued carpet. The kids spun through the light, whirling dervishes against a yellow backdrop. She didn’t even try to contain them; watching them, she felt exactly the same way. Breaks signaled many things to her, freedom most of all. Freedom to go her own way for a bit, to explore, to read, to gather herself. But when her classroom door opened unexpectedly, and Principal Pierce came into the room, the nausea returned with a vengeance, and her head started to pound. Aubrey watched her coming closer and closer. Her old friend’s face was strained, the furrows carved into her upper lip collapsed in on each other, her yellowed forefinger tapping against the pristine white-andblue envelope. She needed to file her nails. What was it about moments, the ones that start with a capital M, that made you notice each and every detail? Aubrey reminded herself of her situation. The children were watching. Trying to ignore the stares of the more precocious ones scattered about the classroom, gifted youngsters whose sensitivity to the emotions of others was finely honed, Aubrey took the letter from Linda, handed off the class into the woman’s very capable, nicotine-stained hands, and went to the ladies’ room in the staff lounge to read the contents. The letter was from her mother-in-law. Aubrey knew exactly what it contained. She tried to pretend her hands weren’t shaking. She flipped the lid down on the toilet, locked the door, then sat and ripped open the envelope. Inside was a piece of paper folded into thirds, topped with a handwritten note on a cheery yellow, daisy-covered Post-it. Aubrey felt that added just the right touch. Her mother-in-law always had been wildly incapable of any form of tact. There was no denying it now; her hands trembled violently as she unfolded the page. She looked to the handwritten note first. The words were carefully formed, a schoolgirl’s roundness to the old-fashioned cursive. Aubrey, For your records. Daisy Hamilton Scribbled in print beneath the painstakingly properly written note were the words: Joshua’s Mother Well, no kidding, Daisy. Like I could forget. The sticky note was attached to a printout of an email. It was from Daisy’s lawyer, the one who’d helped put this vehicle in motion last year, when Daisy decided to petition the courts to have Josh declared legally dead. Aubrey fingered the scar on her lip as she read. Dear Daisy, Per our earlier conversation, attached please find a copy of the Order entered from the civil court today by Judge Robinson. As I explained to you on the phone, this Order directs the Department of Vital Statistics to issue a death certificate for your son, Joshua David Hamilton, as of April 19 of this year. Now that this Order has been officially entered, we should take another look at the estate plan. Josh’s life insurance policy will be fulfilled as soon as the declaration is received, and I’d like you to be fully prepared if you plan to contest the contents. I will be forwarding you a final bill for my services on this matter in the next couple of days. Best personal regards, Rick Saeger And now it was official. In the eyes of the law, Joshua David Hamilton was no longer of this earth. No longer Aubrey’s husband. No longer Daisy’s son. No longer. Aubrey was suddenly unable to breathe. Even though she’d been expecting it, seeing the words in black-and-white, adorned by Daisy’s snippy little missive, killed her. Tears slid down her face, and she crumpled the letter against her thigh. Daisy was a bitch, always had been, and Aubrey got the message loud and clear. Get over it. Get on with your life. And watch out, kid, because I’m coming for that life insurance money. But just how do you move on when you can’t bury your husband? Five years later, there were still no good answers to the puzzle of Josh’s evaporation. One minute there, the next gone. Poof. Disappeared. Missing. Kidnapped, hit over the head, and suffering from severe amnesia, or—worse than the idea of his heart no longer beating—he’d chosen to leave her. Dead, but not dead. Without a body, how could they know for sure? Damn you, Josh. He was dead. Even Aubrey had to admit that to herself. It had taken a year to formulate that conclusion, a year of the worst possible days imaginable. As much as she hated to believe he was really gone, she knew he was. Because if he wasn’t, he would have let her know. He was the other half of her. The better half. The responsible half. The serious half. For him to be taken, or to have run away—no. He would never leave her of his own volition. Which meant he must be dead. The circle that was her life, a snake forever eating its tail. Aubrey didn’t know the answers to the riddle. Only knew that one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days ago, Josh had been nagging at her to hurry up and get in the car because they were late for one of his closest friend’s joint bachelor/bachelorette party. That they’d had a serious fender bender on the way to the party, which resulted in the small white scar that intersected Aubrey’s top lip in a way that didn’t detract from her heartshaped face. That they’d arrived at the hotel over an hour late, and Aubrey had offered to get them checked in while Josh went to find the groom and join the party. That he’d kissed her deeply before he went, making the cut on her lip throb in time with her heart. That he’d glanced back over his shoulder and given her that devastating half smile that had been melting her insides since she was seven and he was nine and he’d pushed her down on the hard playground asphalt and made her cry. That she’d repeated the words of this story so many times it had become a mantra. To the police. To the lawyers. To the media. To Daisy. To herself. Her world was broken into thirds. Seven and seventeen and five. Seven years before he came into her life. Seventeen in-between years when she’d seen Josh almost every day. Seventeen years of joy and fury and love and sex and marriage and heartache and happiness. Of prepubescent mating rituals, teenage angst, young-adult dawning realization, the inescapable knowledge that they couldn’t live without each other, culminating in a small wedding and three years of marital bliss. Five years of After. Five years of wondering. She thought they were happy. Late at night, in the After time, Aubrey would lie in their bed, still on her side, wearing one of his white oxford shirts she pretended held the lingering bits of his scent, and wonder: Weren’t we? Weren’t we happy? What was happiness? Where did it come from? How did you measure it? She’d always looked at the little things he did—from a sweet note in whatever book she was reading, to bringing her freshly-cut apples when she was vacuuming, or having a travel mug of hot Earl Grey tea waiting for her in the morning as she rushed out the door—as signs that he loved her. That he was happy, too. But then he was gone, and she had to pick up the pieces of their once life, shattered like the reflective glass of a broken mirror on the floor. Seven, and seventeen, and then five. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness. The State of Tennessee didn’t care about any of that. All the state cared about were the cold hard facts: one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days ago, Joshua David Hamilton disappeared from the face of the earth, and now enough time had passed that a stranger had declared him legally dead.

JT welcome back to the blog my friend. Wow you have really outdone yourself with No One Knows.  
Give my readers a teaser please.
So glad to be back, and so glad you loved the book! Let’s see, a teaser—No One Knows is my first standalone novel, a psychological thriller set in Nashville, Tennessee. Aubrey Hamilton is the girl next door, a sweet Montessori teacher facing a terrible nightmare—a lifetime ahead without her first love. The book opens the day Aubrey’s husband Josh is declared legally dead by the State of Tennessee, a ruling that will trigger the fulfillment of a $5 million life insurance policy.
Joshua Hamilton was a dream come true for her—her childhood sweetheart, a noble man who was training to be a doctor when he went missing, five years earlier, leaving behind only a pool of blood on their living room floor. She’d never hurt him. Would she?

Has this story been on your mind for a while, did the idea come from a headline or something totally different?
A dream, actually. I dreamed I’d lost my husband—he was gone, forever, and I was heartbroken. The story grew from there. It took five years from start to finish, which is much longer than my usual cycle. The story simply wouldn’t leave me alone.

Holy cow your first stand-alone thriller, and a new publisher too.
But what does this mean for Sam, Nick and Mike?
All proceeds as planned (she says, praying for a few more hours in the day.) A new Taylor Jackson is up next: the prequel to her series, FIELD OF GRAVES, comes out June 14. Then Nick and Mike make a return in THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE (March 14, 2017) and I’m writing the next Sam (and Taylor) book right now. It’s called ALL FALL DOWN, and should be out in summer 2017. Like I said, I need a few more hours in the day!

JT this novel has gotten some rave reviews and is on some great pick lists too. I personally think it would make a fabulous book club read and will in fact will be suggesting it for my library district’s next book club selections.
Will there be reading guide questions at some point?
I hope so! I would love to see this become a book club favorite. It certainly has some meat to chew on, and from what I can tell, people are already divided by the ending, which should make for some fun arguing over wine and cheese!

You know usually I’m pretty adept at deciding whether a novel is plot or character driven, but this is such a masterful mix of both that I really can’t decide.
Was it made to be one or the other or was it in your evil plans all along to make readers scratch their heads over this question?
I had such a hard time deciding myself, actually. This started as a women’s fiction novel, more in the line of Liane Moriarty, where the characters are faced with a moral dilemma. And before I could stop myself, a twisting, turning, crazy plot appeared. It’s my natural thriller bent. It’s just in my blood.

JT speaking of the characters, each and every one in this story seems to be hiding something.
How do you keep all the stories straight, do you have an outline you work with, a bulletin board? I’m really curious.
I work in Scrivener, which is a really fabulous writing software, and I color code the scenes by character and timeframe (as NO ONE KNOWS goes back and forth in time). I had to pay close attention to which information comes into the story when, so I spent a lot of time dragging and dropping chapters around to make sure they made sense. But the characters really drive things along. How they react to the situations at hand gave me an excellent blueprint to work with.

JT, Daisy the No One Knows protagonist’s mother-in-law is a real piece of work right from the start.
Do you think her character would have worked if she were a nice person?
I think she would have, sure. There was something about her, though, that needed to be hard and detached. You have two women who absolutely adore this man who’s gone missing from their lives, and instead of banding together, they blame one another, hate one another. There is, of course, a very good reason why… Plus, I wanted to write an unlikeable character, because no matter how much the reader might despise Daisy, I think they’ll have sympathy for her, too. I like making unsympathetic characters sympathetic. There’s always something in a person’s soul that’s good.

In your other novels there are slight indications that I recognize as being your writing. But this one threw me, its almost as if its in a new voice.
Am I imagining things or are there differences?
I don’t think you’re imagining things. I think my writing has changed a bit over the years, hopefully for the better. For No One Knows, I wanted to indulge in the more literary side of my brain, let the language be more lush and provocative than with my detective series. I wanted to tap into a more sophisticated style. Hopefully I did.

In June you’re releasing Field of Graves, a Mira hardcover. In it you go back to the beginning of your first series staring Nashville Homicide detective Taylor Jackson, its in fact called #0 in the series.
You put Taylor on a hiatus for a few years what made you decide to bring her back now?
I’d written (including Field of Graves) nine Taylor books in a row. I wasn’t bored, but I was drained. I’d put her through hell, and we both needed a break. I wanted to try something different, something new. So I started writing No One Knows to indulge the desire, to spread my wings. As it happened, my publisher also wanted me to try something new, a spin-off series featuring Samantha Owens. So I wrote a couple of books with Sam, and then Catherine Coulter came calling and I wrote a couple of books with her. By then, I was ready to get back to Taylor. I love that I’ve been blessed enough with my career to try different things, different story styles, different characters and settings. I’d get bored doing the same thing over and over.

JT, thank you so much for answering these questions, will you be touring with this novel and are your events listed on your website?
The tour for No One Knows is nearly finished. I have just one more event, the Southern Kentucky BookFest. I will be back on the road in June for Field of Graves. Check out the events here – I’d love to see y’all on the road.
Thanks for having me, Deb! This was lovely!

My Review

JT Ellison’s first stand-alone thriller, No One Knows, is the best thing I’ve read in YEARS, from her unforgettable characters to her OMG, explosive ending she has really outdone herself. The storyline is heartbreaking, exhilarating and frustrating with fabulously thin morality lines that she delivers via her fast-paced, eloquent, addictive narrative, leading readers on a merry chase feeding us snippets of information while ever so slowly filling in her masterful puzzle pieces. Her characters are exquisite and unbelievably authentic from her mother-in-law from hell to her damaged yet resilient heroine and then she sweetens the character pot further with “the other man”. Her fluctuating between the past and present and the knock-your-socks-off ending are but two reasons this is a “must read” and one for your keeper shelf.  If you’re looking for a mild-mannered read look elsewhere because this book should come with a warning.
JT I’m in awe, Brava!!!
Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five days ago after disappearing without a trace Aubrey Hamilton’s husband, Josh has been officially declared dead. Against her wishes, her mother-in-law, Daisy successfully petitioned the court and will now also contest the payout of Josh’s life insurance policy trying to instill herself as the soul beneficiary. Her mother-in-law who has never for one-minute thought she was good enough for Josh, and who has been vocal about her allegations that Aubrey killed him. Maybe its time to put Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five days of suffering, heartache, of accusations, of her being arrested for first degree murder, of incarceration, Daisy’s testimony for the prosecution and Aubrey’s eventual exoneration, behind her. Because her soul mate and love of her life would not have allowed her to go through all that pain and suffering if her was still alive. Can she let him go, can she move forward, is the man she just met who makes her feel alive her future, or is she still in the clutches of her Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five day nightmare.

 Connect with JT- Website - Facebook - Twitter

Suzanne DuBose Photography.

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fourteen critically acclaimed thrillers and is the coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With more than a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. She is also the cohost of A Word on Words, Nashville’s premiere literary TV series, which airs on Nashville Public Television. She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville, where she enjoys fine wine and good notebooks. Visit, and follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick or at

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  1. This sounds like a great book. I love Thrillers and don't read nearly enough of them. I'm adding this one to my TBR list to try very soon.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  2. This sounds kind of intense! Definitely would make a good book club or buddy read!

    1. Oh definitely a good book club read. I'm getting it for mine :)

  3. Great review and can't wait to read it!

  4. I have read several of JT's novels which are enthralling. Thanks for this feature and giveaway.

  5. Oh that would be a gut wrenching dream. Yay for turning it into what sounds like an awesome read :D

  6. I'm reading my first JT novel, Edge of Black and loving it, so know I will read more!

  7. Okay I have been avoiding this one, but do you know you have changed my mind. Now I feel I have gotta read it. Won't be for awhile, but you have convinced me!

  8. I've only read one of her books.

    1. Hey Ryan good to see you on the blog. Which one did you read and what did you think?

      good Luck and take care

  9. I've read ALL of JT's books and have started collecting them (Half Price Books, anyone?). I always read them from my library first. Can't wait to read this one - I'm in line at the library.

    1. Thanks stitchkat, BTW what do you stitch? Good luck that your wait won't be long! I also have all of her books.

  10. Women/General fiction is all I can read lately. Will definitely check this out, blogs I followed who've read this and loved it. I'll take y'all's recs to heart :)

    1. Hi thanks for the visit and the comment, good luck!

  11. This is in my tbr pile and will soon be devoured!

  12. I have not read any of JT Ellison's books. looking forward to reading one soon.

  13. Does anyone know if there is a list of book club questions anywhere yet? I am meeting up with some friends this week and I have not been able to find anything. I would love a few questions to guide our discussion.

    1. Hey Jen. No unfortunately there are not any discussion questions out there. But you're welcome to use the ones I created for my goodreads group discussion. All I ask is that you give me credit for them.

      Discussion questions for No One Knows

      1. Okay let’s start from the end.
      Did you like the ending why or why not?

      2. What were your final feelings about Aubry when all her secrets were revealed?

      3. Lets talk about Daisy for a while
      why do you think she was so hateful towards Aubrey even when she was just a young girl?

      4. Do you think she always saw her as a threat?

      5. Tell me your reaction when she drove into Aubrey's house.

      6. We haven't really talked about Chase
      What do you think of him as a whole?

      7. What about how he went about investigating Josh's disappearance at the beginning, misleading and lying?

      8. About him forgiving and marrying Aubrey in the end?

      9. What about the revelation of being Josh's brother, was that too over the top or did you like it?

    2. Thank you. That gives us a place to start.