Did you know the US hardcover edition of Echoes in Death has a surprise on the inside of the jacket? It’s an amazing poster of the night around the Flatiron Building. Did you also know that St. Martin’s Press thought it would fun to give readers a little extra with a hidden object game in that poster?
Here’s the key and some visual clues.
J.D. Robb in the window
Clock set to 10:10 for Nora’s birthday
Some Cranky Publicist notes:
Except for JD Robb, all the objects are symbols, not exact representation of the items. For instance — the snowflake hat is blue in the books, but blue wouldn’t show up in such a dark picture. Please go with the flow on this.
Somewhere down the road, St. Martin’s Press may provide a digital image for all readers, but for now, the only physical place for the hidden object poster is on the inside of the hardcover jacket — US edition.
When you only get one big storm in a season, the snowsteria can overwhelm. Monday is my regular grocery day so I was a bit impatient with the crowd at the store frantically stocking up everything from cookies to milk to Easter candy (just in case). And I mentally rolled my eyes at the person in front of me in line who had two huge bunches of green bananas in her order. Spring will be here before they are ripe.
But the hysteria did give me an opportunity to post this on social media:
Yes, they are all books scheduled for release later this year. Yes, it’s a tease. Yes, I know, I’m a meanypants.
And yes, I loved them all.
This year’s Home Alone time was a two-parter for Nora and BW is off to parts unknown for a few more days. Since I’m a sensible meanypants and never poke hibernating bears, I’ve left Nora in her Fortress of Solitude. Pretty sure she’s deep in the current WIP (work in progress) but taking regular trips to Poop City with Atticus.
Finally, St. Martin’s Press never stops! The team created this short video to continue the excitement about Echoes in Death. Enjoy!
The snow is pretty much done in Maryland and it’s just after noon on Tuesday so I suppose I need to get my workout in by shoveling. I hope everyone north of us is getting through the storm in good shape and that storm provisions hold up well.
I had a solid work week, the routine I like best. Get up, fiddle around, get to work, knock off, work out, have a glass of wine, think about dinner.
We had some ridiculously spring-time temps, then winter roared back. I believe my beloved tulip magnolia–my favorite early spring bloomer–is fried. The cold won’t hurt the daffodils popping up, and the forsythia will probably make it though–even if we get this winter storm and 10 inches of snow they’re warning us about.
But it’s still damn cold.
My lemon tree gave me a slice of summer. Only two lemons–one big, one small, but I just love having them. The tree needs a bigger pot, fresh soil–and may give me more fruit next time around. I need to get to that soon.
But at the moment, I’m busy with another gift.
12 years ago my pal Pat Gaffney let me know about a woman who bred Lab/Retriever mixes. She’d gone to check it out, and came home with Jolene. I went to check it out, and came home with Homer. Best dog ever.
A week or so ago, Pat struck up a conversation with a woman at her book club lunch. Pat’s been sad as she lost Joleen and her sweet Finney within three months of each other this winter. Pat said she and her husband were ready for another dog.
The woman told Pat about her daughter who with her husband has a farm in the area. Every year, with her family, Mary spends a month on St. Lucia, taking a good winter break. And for the past several years when down there, Mary’s worked with an organization that helps rescue, treat, neuter and place many of the strays on the island–so many poor little puppies. Every year, Mary brings back three or four of the puppies–now treated by a vet, fed, cared for. She fosters them while they adjust, then works to place them in forever homes.
That’s an amazing thing.
Pat contacted Mary, and the short version is she now has the perfectly adorable Louie. At the same time, she fell pretty hard for one of the other puppies, but they’d decided–and were firm–it was time for a smaller dog, and the other puppy wouldn’t qualify.
She emailed me, sent a picture. And that was that.
I contacted Mary. A little more magic came into play as it turned out Mary had to be about ten minutes from me yesterday. She could and would bring the pup, let him get acquainted with us and the big guys, and when she finished her business, she’d swing back by.
Not only was it pretty much love at first sight for me, but Parker and Pancho went into full body wags. Parker, especially, was insanely happy. The pup let it be known, straight off, he could handle himself, barking them back until he felt comfortable. He got comfortable pretty quick.
He has sweet, soulful eyes, a cheerful nature, great curiosity and is really well-mannered. I named him Atticus. It just suits him.
He now follows Parker pretty much everywhere.
It’s been 12 years since I had a puppy–both Parker and Pancho came into our lives at age 3 and 2 respectively. It’s work. Countless trips out to Poop City a day–and in the dark. And thanks to this stupid turn in the weather, the cold. It was 17 degrees when I took Atticus out this morning at 5:30 by the clock–4:30 by my body clock. Thanks, Daylight Savings Time.
We’ve had more misses than hits with our first full day of housebreaking, but he’ll catch on. He’s a bright boy. You have to watch them, learn their tells–and make sure you provide lots of chew treats and toys. And try to keep the older dogs from stealing from the little guy.
Atticus will, no question, interrupt my work often for awhile–and I have to say, the book was rolling.
But it’s so worth it.
I wish I’d had a camera in my hand when Logan dropped by yesterday afternoon. His face just lit up–and Atticus bounded straight for him. Puppy, the boy thought. Boy, thought the dog. With equal delight.
We brought Homer’s dog bed up for Atticus. It’s a three dog night here now.
We also rolled up the brand new rugs I just put down to set off the new upholstery. Better safe than sorry, and I’m confident Atticus will learn how things roll.
Clearly, he was meant to be ours, we were meant to be his.
It’s really lovely when a gift falls into your hands.
Atticus was being raised in a storm drain with his littermates, by a mama who was doing the best she could. Now he, and pups like Pat’s Louie, are healthy, safe and loved.
We’re so grateful to Mary, who–also clearly–has a heart of gold, and the volunteers of St. Lucia Animal Protection Society. They care for the sick, the lost, the helpless, the neglected for the sake of caring. Bright blessings on them, and all who do this kind and important work.
It’s about time to take Atticus out to Poop City again. Hopefully we’ll hit. Either way, he’s home. His humans and his brothers couldn’t be happier.
Nora discussed her upcoming trilogy in this post last fall. Today, I’m so excited to share the cover reveal video St. Martin’s Press created for this amazing cover along with our first look at details of the book.
The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.
As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.
Just not much going on around here because it’s hibernation time.
Delighted to report that Logan–who’s grown another inch according to the Nana Hug-O-Meter and verified by measuring tape–scored a three-pointer to help his team win his basketball game. And Kayla–running the 3200 and the 4×800 relay–helped the Boonsboro Girls Indoor Track Team win the State Championship.
Pretty sweet all around.
Meanwhile after work and workouts, I played (a little obsessively) with a Christmas gift from Jason and Kat. When we vacation together, we do fun panorama photos, with staging and considerable choreography. So for Christmas, they got me a jigsaw puzzle comprised of four of those panos. Fun, challenging and unique. And accomplished! Even if a piece appears to have gone missing from Sorento.
I’m also thrilled my newly reupholstered living room furniture is now in place. And relieved it received potentially future interior designer Kayla’s approval. I like the cheerful, bright and warm look of it, and that I successfully played off the bird pillows I’m so fond of, and the gorgeous throw my agent brought me back from a trip to India.
Otherwise I’m deep into the book, socked in and happy to be so.
Since I’m here, I’m going to (once again) address a few points, as apparently there’s been a revival of chatter, misinformation and odd assertions on the internet.
Roarke is Roarke. Period. No, no, a thousand times no, he was not named Patrick after his despicable father. He is not, has never been a junior. He is very simply, now and forever–before and after and always–Roarke.
Readers dissatisfied with that are just going to have to accept it.
And just because Roarke rhymes with stork doesn’t equal baby. There will be no baby, biological, adopted, fostered, in dreams or conceived by Eve and Roarke in an alternate universe. (Also no to pregnancy scares which is just silly.) This is simply not going to happen for reasons I’ve explained many times. And no, Eve and Roarke will not babysit for Bella. Why in God’s name–seriously–would they? I really think Mavis and Leonardo can handle finding their own child care when necessary.
Eve will not find long-lost relations. This will not happen. Period. Done. Please??? And her father is DEAD. Really most sincerely dead. Doornail dead. Dead as Moses.
Supporting characters will not take the spotlight as Eve and/or Roarke are sidelined by injury, kidnapping, amnesia or alien abduction. They are, and will remain supporting characters.
I’m never, ever going to ask for reader input into storylines. I do not, as some believe, take reader suggestions and work them into a story, or adjust future stories, character traits, dialog or actions due to reader chatter (be it positive or negative). I write in my own little bubble, and that’s never going to change. If a reader feels ‘it’s time’ I shake things up, freshen things up, it may be that reader needs a break from my work. Nothing at all wrong with that.
In very practical terms, in logistical terms, by the time the chatter starts on a new book, the next is already written and with my publisher–and often the next two as the books are published every six months, and my personal process is to work about a year ahead of publication.
So the chatter doesn’t apply for me from a practical or a creative standpoint. Especially from the creative side.
As a writer, as a creator of a long-running series with recurring characters, I have to think both of the long view and each individual book. It all has to make sense within the world created, for the characters drawn, for the interpersonal relationships of those characters.
Trust me, I know the world and the characters.
Now, I’m going to drop myself into a different work with different characters. I like it in my bubble.
Which is what’s going on around here. I’m in hibernation mode–mostly–so it’s just work, work out, dinner, sleep. Repeat.
It’s what I call the best.
I do break hibernation a bit here and there. The kids are allowed into the cave. With Kayla off to run in States–go, team!– to end her track season, and Logan’s basketball season winding up, I may see a little more of them. That’s always a bright spot in this relentlessly gloomy winter.
As a sign they’re pretty grown up, what was once a toy room/guest room is now, after my purge, just a guest room. Nobody plays with the toys any more, so it’s time to pass them on. A little sad, but then I remember a couple weeks ago after a sleep-over, Kayla and I putting our makeup on together in the bathroom mirror. Every stage has its little pleasures.
Plus, I picked out new paint and bedding for the room. I’ll enjoy seeing it freshened up. And our Sarah who often bunks there after a book signing will, too.
And thanks to Sarah’s gift of an amaryllis kit, I have a gorgeous February bloom.
While I ‘appeared’ in New York to celebrate my first release with St. Martin’s Press, I didn’t have to leave home to do it. My amazing publisher projected the cover of Echoes In Death, front and back on the Flatiron Building. This is just too cool. It’s also pretty sweet having a publishing team who thinks of the just too cool–so I can stay home and write while they do innovating marketing, create fun contests and design fabulous covers.
I can’t count the ways I love my home with them, and the people in it.
Last weekend I serious broke hibernation when BW and I went into Fit In Boonsboro to take their first Cize Alive class. I’m a big fan of Cize and of Shaun T, and use his DVDs regularly in my workouts at home. Knowing this, our manager Heidi gave me a little nudge to attend. And since my pal JoAnne planned to go, and added a second nudge, in I went. And BW decided to give it a go with me.
Fun stuff–fun, sweaty stuff–with a happy class and seriously energetic instructors in Heidi and Teri.
And we have video! Oddly, muscle memory goes to crap when you turn from the front of the room to the side to get the video, but I think the class pulled it off. I’m absolutely sure Fit’s members are going to love this addition.
The last break–and it will very likely be the very, very last until spring–hits today. If you’re a fan of NPR, you’ll have listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. If you haven’t, you’re missing something. I’m delighted they invited me to be their guest on the Not My Job segment. I recorded it live Thursday night–by phone–and it airs today and tomorrow on NPR. You’ll want to check your local listings if you’re interested. (And the segment is now online.)
Now with the annual house purging done and nothing on my schedule for WEEKS that takes me out of the house, I’m hunkering down. I’m working on the second book of the new trilogy, and can say without hesitation, it’s sucking my brain dry by the end of every day. It’s hard, complicated writing, and I couldn’t be happier doing it.
The day is finally here! I write this post at 7:15 am on Tuesday, February 7 and I have a feeling some of you are just rounding third and heading for home in your first frantic read. Just as I know there are many others who cleared this as a holiday from work to read in peace. And then there are the strong and patient readers who have many different reasons to wait a little while longer.
However you approach reading an In Death book, I hope you enjoyed it. IMO, Echoes is a lot of case and a really interesting one. What did you think? Did you find any of the things I mentioned in the teasers?
This is the safe space to discuss any and all of Echoes in Death. And to forestall the inevitable question that follows — usually with a wink or smiley face but I know you sincerely mean it — Secrets in Death will be out on September 5.
We must be less than a week out from release if I’m putting together teasers for Echoes in Death! As always these do not spoil the case in any way, just consider them some nuggets you’ll unearth along the way.
As a refresher, the Echoes in Death excerpt is here.
And I recently shared the Echoes in Death commercialfrom St. Martin’s Press on social media. I think the universal response has been “Cool!!!”
I’ll add a teaser to this post the next three days. Come back and check tomorrow.
Three small things:
1) When Peabody sees how Eve dressed for the charity ball, she immediately coins a new word.
2) Sticky buns get to everyone, even Eve.
3) New closets can get to her too.
St. Martin’s Press created this fun infographic for In Death basics. Some readers commented on Facebook that there are 54 published pieces in the series, but SMP took the facts from the Did You Know feature on the website where I deal with full-length books only. There’s so much more to add, but for a piece on the basics, I think it’s fun.
Now for today’s teasers.
Feb. 2 Two things that come and go quickly, one that is dear to my heart:
1. What do an inventor, a tragic Greek hero and an egg-laying mammal have in common? Peabody will help you out on that one.
2. Dr. Mira is braver than Eve.
3. Who is Nora’s border collie? (That may take some time.)
Feb. 3 Three more passing things:
1. A snowy night brings out Eve’s protectiveness to a certain butler, for pragmatic reasons.
2. A snowy night is a good time to fill in pop culture gaps.
3. Some gifts are sheer perfection.
That’s it for the teasers — a lot of this book is the case and you want to encounter that at your own pace. Come Feb. 7 you can discover the rest for yourself.
Notes: This is the final reminder of the Echoes in Death sweepstakes from St. Martin’s Press (open to readers in the US and Canada — except Quebec). The grand prize is a leather coat and all the details are here.
There’s also time to submit your pre-order receipt for a limited edition pop-art In Death poster. Again, as this is Nora’s US publisher the offer is open only to readers in the US and Canada (ex. Quebec). Unfortunately rules on sweepstakes are imposed country by country and it’s just not possible to open this to international readers — as much as we’d like to. For information and how to submit your receipt, please click here.
We’ve had a gray and gloomy couple of weeks. The sun took a winter holiday and left us in dim and dank for far too long. Cranky rain, a little ice storm, and late night a dusting of snow.
I’d rather have the snow. At least it’s white and bright.
I may not notice the gloom so much when I’m into the workday, but before and after–gloom, gloom, gloom.
Gotta find those bright spots elsewhere.
A friend gave me some narcissus she’d started forcing–so sweet. And now they’re tall and lovely and give me one of those little bright spots. Another gave me an amaryllis I’ve just started. Can’t wait to see it grow and bloom.
I’ve been purging every weekend–and leaving myself brighter spots as I go. I really have to stop buying scarves–I won’t, but I really should. And jackets. I try not to leave the house, so why do I need so many scarves and jackets?
A big bright spot was dinner with the kids. Not much brighter than happy, chatty kids–and all with excellent report cards. As Nana pays for As, they’re currently rich, happy, chatty kids.
Kayla came to hang with me on Saturday–more bright–and I had bread dough rising, a pot roast with the trimmings on the simmer. Since I had the girl, why not purge the bathroom–and my makeup drawers? Much more fun with a girl pal, and one who loves samples (I had a ton) and makeup as much as I do. She left with a bag that made her happy, and I’m left with more organized drawers and baskets, making me happy.
And BW’s happy with a pot roast for dinner. Good deal all around.
More purging Sunday–one more weekend should do it–then . . . is that the sun? I believe it might be. For a minute or two anyway.
Logan asked me to come to his basketball game–and how could a Nana say no to that? BW had a photo commitment. He’d entered some photos in the annual contest the Washington County Museum holds. He’d meet us if he could.
Lots of games scheduled in the Boonsboro High School gym. I get there as one’s nearly over. Nice for Logan his mom’s parents came, too. And his sister and little brother. We can hang out on the bleachers until it’s his game time and form a solid rooting section. And just before, here come’s Grandda–feeling pretty bright himself as one of his photos took best in Washington County.
Logan’s not a big guy, but with his recent growth spurt–he’s just past the five foot mark now–I note Number Two is no longer the shortest on the court. He’s little, but he’s fast and feisty!
The kids are good, and I like that the bleachers clap or respond to good plays by both teams. Good sportsmanship starts with coaches and parents. These are good sports.
Logan’s team won, both teams played hard and well. More bright spots in him getting many rebounds–and scoring two baskets. Biggest bright spot of the day, his flushed and happy face when we hug goodbye.
Now the weekend’s behind me, and the workweek begins. In the gray, apparently. No sun out there today. So my bright spot will be the book that’s going pretty well, no need to put on a scarf or a jacket and–at least on this Monday morning–a reasonably well ordered house.
That’ll do. I hope if you’re caught under these gray skies you find the bright here and there.
When a day planned for the keyboard and the book ends up being spent in the car and in two dentist’s chairs–with the bonus of a root canal–it definitely sucks.
But I now know I can get from my pajamas into street clothes, slap on enough makeup as to not frighten small children in approximately five minutes. When the goal is to make an emergency dentist appointment at an office forty minutes away (if no slow pokes hog the road in front of me), with fifty minutes to make it with a banging tooth, it can be done.
I’m grateful my guy squeezed me in so fast, and when the issue required the specialist, they booked me an appointment the same day. Enough time to get to the pharmacy in Boonsboro to fill the Rx for antibiotics–and pop the first of those suckers in the parking lot. Enough time to consider running back home to get the phone I left, in my rush, on the kitchen counter, then scrap that and live dangerously.
So a couple hours poking around at Turn The Page before driving back to Hagerstown, and into another dentist chair. But got the four tubs of books signed while I was there.
I don’t like needles–who does?–but I’m thinking: Jab that thing in there and numb this bitch. And ahhh, numbness=relief of pain. And the endless drilling will mean fix. This is not my first root canal, and I try to find my Zen. Not an easy task, but you gotta try.
Six and a half hours after my mad dash out of the house, I’m home again. Yay.
I find it almost inevitable that a crazy tooth thing will explode on me over a weekend. Is this a test of character? I’d like to skip it next time.
However, on Saturday it was just sore and annoying, with my plan to call for help on Monday morning. It wasn’t bad enough I skipped my workout. In fact the workout was a nice distraction. Domestic stuff also distracted. Time to shovel out the rest of the holiday stuff, start putting the house back together.
I’m having my living room furniture reupholstered–Kayla is pleased with me here–so my empty living room echoes.
With my house back in shape, and my man preparing to have an evening with football, I get myself ready for A Night With Nora at the inn.
We’re going to do a little meet and greet over wine and cheese, then a Q&A, then some photos. An easy, fun evening–despite the crap weather. It’s warm and cozy at the inn, so who cares about the ugly, chilly rain spitting outside?
I think we all had fun. Enough I’ll definitely consider doing this again. We had husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, girl pals–such a nice, happy mix of people. And the ice held off, so driving home wasn’t bad at all.
However, waking up before dawn with a tooth banging like a hammer? Not fun. Working out distracted, a little, and I started my annual purge. Gotta keep the mind off the banging! I hit my One More Room, which is always satisfying. Then my shoe closet. I think my friends who wear size seven will be pleased.
I decide to make soup because I know I’m going to need it.
Kayla has her State champion cross-country team here for a little celebration–and the surprise of State Champ jackets Nana and Grandda bought. In rural area schools, especially, football gets all the bucks. These girls ran hard, and deserve their rewards.
I can hear them chattering and laughing down in the family room–this is after a scavenger hunt outside, and a trip from here down to the mailbox at the start of our lane. A quarter mile. The coaches come up to thank me while I’m cooking–and happily say they expect Kayla to use that quarter mile for training over the summer.
The team gets to swim, eat pizza and snacks, enjoy each other. These are, seriously, delightful girls.
I pop Motrin–and actually consider taking one of BW’s pain meds. Sanity comes back when I calculate he’s got fourteen inches and about ninety pounds on me. I’ll stick with Motrin and add some wine to that.
Can’t pop the Motrin for another four hours, but you can always pour another glass of wine. I do.
Colt comes up to hang with me. He’s had enough of girls. Nana doesn’t count! So he eats his pizza at the counter while I cook, and distracts me from the banging.
The girls come up to give me a framed picture of the champs. I’d just told BW I wanted to get a picture, and boom–wish granted. And they’ve all signed the mat inside the frame. I love this, a lot.
I’ll say again, absolutely delightful girls with caring, devoted coaches. Kayla chose well–and we’re told qualified to run in the County meet (she’s doing indoor track over the winter) this Friday.
Run, Kayla, run!
When the soup’s simmering and the house is quiet again, I decide to get into my pjs and watch bedroom tv. Actually fall asleep for about twenty minutes. Pain is lessened. I know–from experience–this means the abscess is leaking, relieving the pressure. I don’t really care as the pain’s gone from ringing the bell at ten to about a five. I’ll take it. And the soup BW brings me on a tray.
So a crappy, annoying weekend can still have it’s high points and bright spots. And now it’s in my rearview mirror. Bye-bye!
My jaw is sore and tender this morning, but that’ll pass. And there’s always wine at the end of the day! It’s gloomy out–the world outside my office window is gray and brown. I don’t have to go out into it. Instead, I’m going inside a story–the best distraction ever. And may just write in my pjs all day.