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Friday, September 8, 2017

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison + Giveaway (US/Can)

Lie to Me
J.T. Ellison

Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel.

They built a life on lies

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Hanging up with Ivy, Ethan felt partially vindicated. Sutton was hiding something from him. He’d known that from the beginning. She wasn’t the kind of girl to reveal herself on the first date—well, not in a this is my past, warts and all sort of way. She wasn’t one for looking back.

Especially because of her awful relationship with her mother, Ethan had always believed there was something about Sutton’s past she was keeping private, keeping secret. Truth be told, he found it rather alluring, for the first few years, anyway. He’d asked once or twice what she was holding back, but she’d go ice cold and would stop speaking to him. When he left it alone, she warmed up. Live in the now, and his ice princess would positively melt, and their lives would be spectacularly peaceful again.

He glanced over his shoulder. He almost expected her to be there, watching him. This was all a test, just to see how far he’d go to invade her privacy again, and Sutton would be livid that he’d been in her things.

Again. Because they’d been through this once before.

He used to—used to—check her internet history, trying to understand the mercurial woman he’d married. It was fascinating, her focus, and terrifying, all at the same time. Two years ago, for two weeks straight, she’d done nothing more than delve deep into something called Borderline Personality Disorder. For a while, he’d thought she was researching for a character, but, curious, he started reading the same websites, and everything he saw startled him. She was researching herself. Looking for ways to handle the disease.

God, it explained so much. The narcissism, the coldness, the inappropriate affect when bad things happened to good people. She seemed so compassionless to him, lacking some sort of inner core that he’d never experienced in another person. Sometimes it turned him on, but other times, it scared him to the bone.

He’d known then he should confront her, get her to a psychiatrist, get her on medication. But the mind of a writer is a curious place. It can see the smallest fragment of reality and spin it into a world heretofore unknown.

So instead of sitting down with his wife and asking what he could do to help, he’d made an epic, life-changing mistake He’d taken the kernel of the idea, married it to the research, and built himself a character.

Strike one, buddy.

And of course, that character came alive for him in ways no one could ever imagine, considering the model was only an arm’s length away. The story unfolded in front of him, and he was helpless to stop it. Once the woman in his brain came to life, it was as if he were on a train, barreling toward the station.

If only he’d known he was actually on a steep descent into the depths of the earth.

He’d pitched the idea to Bill, a story about a sociopathic young mother struggling to be normal, and Bill had sold the idea to Ethan’s publisher the next day, for a gigantic wad of cash.

He had asked them to be very careful when they publicly discussed the sale, wanting to be sure no one let slip the subject of the book. Of course, some intern blew it, entranced with the description, and posted the blurb of what the book was about from his proposal in the actual announcement. And Sutton had seen it.

He thought he’d known coldness from her before. Now he was face-to-face with an Antarctic glacier. His own fault, too. That breach started them down the long path, unraveled their relationship quickly and neatly. The things that followed—the affair, the death of the baby, the book cancellation, now Sutton’s disappearance, was all because he’d decided to be an arse and profit on her back.

Oddly, they never discussed what they both knew—he’d been spying on her, and had taken her work for his own. Her work on herself. She mentioned casually she’d changed her passwords, citing a hack of her email, but they both knew she was furious. So angry she couldn’t even confront him. An anger so righteous and pure he deserved to be divorced.

And instead, she’d gotten pregnant.

Why couldn’t he just tell her the truth? Would it have stopped the progression of their disastrous world?

Ethan, you are responsible for this.

Back from his remembrances, sitting at her desk, he really, really didn’t want to snoop. After all that happened, it made him terribly uncomfortable. He knew better. But under the guise of the police might be called, I need to do my homework, he started opening drawers.

Top drawer: Ink, Post-it notes, Clairefontaine notebooks, all pristinely kept.

Second drawer: Stapler, scissors, checkbooks and deposit slips.

Third drawer: Her current files.

And one from the past.

The folder was labeled—Brother P-Touch labeled; Sutton was nothing if not organized—Baby.

The pain seized his heart and he gasped aloud. The baby was always in the back of his mind. A whisper on his lips. But seeing the file, he knew what was inside, and he lifted it carefully, as if it were a bomb that would explode and shatter all the windows. He couldn’t help himself. As he pulled it from the drawer, something hard and white slipped out and landed on the floor, and he fumbled the file, and all the contents spilled out onto the white oak planks.

Doctor’s files, an ultrasound, and a pregnancy test.

God, she’d kept the pregnancy test. The pregnancy he’d forced on her after he’d broken her trust.

Sutton was right in her silent reproaches. He was a reprehensible creature. Who did that to their wife? To the one they loved more than life itself?

What the fuck did the word love mean, anyway?

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series, A Brit in the FBI with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Lie to Me—yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
When do you think it is acceptable to lie?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. J.T. and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin MIRA!
Giveaway ends September 22nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!