Thursday, January 2, 2020

Blog Tour - Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison - Review and Author Q&A!

Y'all, let me tell you how pumped I am to talk about Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison today. This was a wild thriller - beyond wild actually, and I absolutely loved it.

Today is an especially exciting day on the blog as I'm hosting a blog tour stop for the book. With this, I'm going to give you my review, and I'm sharing a Q&A with the author!

Oh, and the best news? This book is out now! So, you can finish reading this post and immediately go off to get this book in your life.

But first, here are some thoughts from the author!

Do you plan your books in advance or let them develop as you write?

Both. Sometimes the story just unfolds, and sometimes I have to relentlessly work on themes and turning points and characters’ points of view. Every book is different, every book has its own unique challenges. I’m always thinking about what’s next, and sometimes even what’s after that. But when it comes to actually sitting down to write, I like to let the story unfold a bit, let it stretch its wings, before I try to lash it to the mast and conform it to my vision.

What does a day in the life of J.T. Ellison look like?

It’s rather blissful. It starts rather lazily, with the cats cuddled into my arms and the newspaper on my iPad, then progresses to kicking the lazy beasts out, pouring a cup of tea and handling email. I am not a morning person, so I tend to do business in the morning and writing in the afternoon, when I’m sharper. I’ve always wanted to be the writer who gets up at 5 am to write whilst the birds chirp and the house sleeps, watching the sun rise and running five miles before the rest of the world is awake, but alas, it was not meant to be. You need to go to a concert that starts at ten p.m., I’m your girl. 


What does the act of writing mean to you?

It’s a sacred contract with me and a mythical “someone” who might read the words at some point in the future and find them entertaining or moving. It’s sheer magic on my end, creating, and sheer magic on the readers’ end, when they get to experience what was in my head as I was writing. It’s the most incredible mystical experience out there.


What did you want to be as a child? Was it an author?
I desperately wanted to be Colorado’s first female firefighter. When that job was taken, I cast about. Doctor. Lawyer. Fighter Pilot. Spy. International business maven. Olympic swimmer. Poet. In the end, being a writer was my only choice. That way, I get to experience all the lives I could have led.

Tell us about what you’re working on now.

I’m writing a novel about a destination wedding that goes very, very wrong. It has loose ties to Rebecca, and it is titled HER DARK LIES. 


Okay, now, let me tell y'all all about Good Girls Lie!

Good Girls Lie takes place at the Goode School, a prestigious all-girls boarding school in Virginia. The school is known for its strict honor code, and it demands both the best in academics and telling the truth. The story begins with a death as a student's body is discovered at the school. The book then goes back in time to explain how the story got to here. This includes the arrival of Ash, a British student. With Ash's arrival, she learns of the secret societies, hierarchy, and rules (both written and unwritten) that govern the school.

Much of the story is about the dynamics of different students at the school. While there is a strict honor code, there are secrets and lies bubbling below the surface. As the story moves towards the death where things began, suspense builds as to what happened and who might be responsible. What is great about this suspense is how the author plays with emotion to build it. You can see there is some evil and scheming going on, but you can't quite figure out who is responsible. And the person responsible shifts, so one moment you could feel sympathy for one character, and the next, you feel it for another. It was this plot device that kept me guessing throughout. I knew things weren't just happening, but I couldn't quite figure out why. I also found I wanted to believe characters, but because of the way the story was told, I always held onto some suspicions about who was really good and telling the truth.

The twists in this one are so good, and they go until the very last pages. Again, much of this is you don't know who you can trust as a truth-teller. In the school, there is a strong want to fit in, so you have to wonder what lengths people will go to in order to make this happen. Ash also is a character with secrets. She is recently orphaned after the death of her parents, and she comes to the school having changed her name to escape this tragedy. As she finds her place at the school, she interacts with a variety of students finding both friends and enemies. 

With this review, I realize I haven't given a ton of plot details, and that is quite intentional. To walk you through too much gives away the feels you get as each secret and lie is unwound! This is the type of book that makes you gasp when the twists come to fruition. And then just as you think you've got it figured out, there is another curveball that comes into the mix. This is a thriller driven by characters and their secrets, and I just could not get enough. If you want something that embodies a page-turning thriller, look no further than right here!


Author Bio: 

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville's premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Book Summary:
Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.