RWA, the Nora recap

My brain’s still a little blurred from a busy and fun week, and I know Laura posted some of the early highlights and pictures.
 
So from my POV.
 
I love when RWA’s in NYC or DC–that means no flying! It’s already started off well for me. Even counting a pit stop, it’s under five hours from portal to portal.
 
While I have to admit I normally avoid Times Square–CROWDED–the hotel worked really well for a conference of this size. As we have for too many years to count, Ruth Langan (a/k/a R.C. Ryan) and I share a suite. It’s so good to see Ruth, to have this week together. And to have it with pals.
 
We do an easy room service dinner with our gang–Laura, Kat, Janeen, Ruth and the delightful Sarah Morgan and Jill Shalvis. And Laura’s daughter, the gorgeous Clare arrives for a visit–with cookies AND new hair.
 
More fun with our full day off Tuesday–heading out to shop, have lunch, walk in the very lovely weather. (After Laura and I workout) Then some of us head downtown to have dinner with my amazing agent. This turns out to be a subway jaunt as getting a taxi in Time’s Square just doesn’t happen.
 
Wednesday is work mode. Get in that workout, then foreign press interviews most of the afternoon. Wednesday night is the fantastic Literacy Signing. It’s high energy, crowded with authors and readers, happy and noisy! It’s one of my favorite things to be a part of. Thanks to everyone who came out to help raise money for such a worthy cause.
 
A short walk after the massive signing to one of Laura’s favorite Italian restaurants. Easy to see why. Lovely food, easy, personable service. I really shouldn’t have ordered the gelato, but it was delish. And I tell myself I’ve walked it off.
 

Post literacy signing dinner and champagne at Amarone.
Post literacy signing dinner and champagne at Amarone.
Thursday is my Chat With, something else I enjoy doing. I just open it for Q&A as it’s more fun for everyone, I think, then doing a talk or presentation. I hope everyone who came enjoyed it as much as I did.   
(Note from Laura:  during the Chat With Nora shared the news the option for the Naked in Death Movie has lapsed and it’s back to the drawing board.)
Off for lunch with my editor–pizza and champagne–yes, I believe I will!
 
I think I had another interview–German–when I got back. Days blur together.
 

Friday shoes.
Friday shoes.
Friday is packed. Berkley signing, then a tea with my editor, agent and my Brit editor. And it’s party night! This turns my bedroom and bath into a dorm, which is fun for me as someone who grew up with brothers. Hair, makeup, clothes!
 

Kat working on Janeen's hair.
Kat working on Janeen’s hair.
Lovely Berkley party at The Bryant Park Grill–especially lovely since I saw a table being vacated and snagged it seconds after coming in. Again simply glorious weather, and here a beautiful setting, nice nibbly food, and more champagne.
 

Ruth and Nora at the Berkley party.
Ruth and Nora at the Berkley party.
From there, it’s the Harlequin party which is, as always, a fun, wild time. DJ, dancing, pretty clothes, faces you might have missed seeing at the hotel. It’s kick off your shoes time and shake it.
 

party night janeen
Heading to the next party. Photo by Janeen.
Hotel, feet up, unwind, night-night.
 

Home from dancing
Home from dancing
Saturday is blissfully open, so a relaxed and lazy start to the day. Then I must have red meat–really didn’t have a meal on Fri and my system is craving meat. Our Kat finds a steakhouse nearby and off we go. Our waiter is very French, and a little snooty initially, which is fine, adds to it. But he appears to fall for our Janeen. If she asked for something, he was all over it. And I got a wonderful steak sandwich. My system said: Thank you.
 

Ruth and Nora on RITA night
Ruth and Nora on RITA night
I host a cocktail party every year, before the Rita/Golden Heart ceremony. So it’s dorm time again, with Kat doing everyone’s hair, with makeup everywhere. My bedroom and bath are a girl disaster area, but the party area is perfect, and the catering staff is great.
 
It’s fun seeing everyone dressed up–but honestly, Kat looked beyond amazing. And our Sarah had come up from MD for the day just for this, and looked fabulous, too.
 
JD Robb is up for a Rita, which is great, and I’m presenting the award for Best First Book, my favorite award. I know people often say they didn’t expect to win, but I truly didn’t.

Nora on stage after receiving her RITA
Nora on stage after receiving her RITA

It’s a wonderful honor, and all the sweeter that my agent (my first and only) was there as she doesn’t often attend RWA. I felt the ceremony itself was wonderfully produced this year, ran so smooth, and it’s lovely to see so many happy faces. I also loved cheering when pal Jill Shalvis won her category. And ended the event so pleased to pass an award to the winner for Best First Book.

 
Back up for pjs, leftovers, relaxing until falling into bed some time around one.
 
We stay through Sun, sorry for our friends who have early flights. Sleep in a little (for me, that’s 7) laze around, pull it slowly together for a trip down to the High Line as Ruth, Kat and Janeen have never been. That gorgeous weather, the views, the flowers, the people. A perfect way to spend a Sunday. And a little shopping, too, with the find of a charming little shop downtown.
 

high line janeen
On the High Line — photo by Janeen.
Nora, Ruth and Janeen on the High Line
Nora, Ruth and Janeen on the High Line
Packing must be faced, but packing to come home isn’t nearly the ordeal packing to go is. We end it with room service and easy clothes, and most of us go to bed by ten.
 
I say goodbye to my Ruth in the morning–missed her the minute the door closed behind her. Gather the troops, all the bags–four women, a week in NYC–we have a lot of bags!
 
Trip home’s as easy as the trip in. My dogs are happy to see me, and BW arrives almost like he cued it.
 
Slept like a rock in my own bed, with a whole bunch of happy memories stored away.
 
Next year? San Diego!
Nora

RWA Days 3 and 4

Wednesday is the start of the work week at RWA.  Because I’m a slave driver, I set up interviews on Wednesday and Thursday with French and German media outlets in advance of the release of The Collector in Germany and the next In Death in France.  Nora sat with an interviewer from ARD and Focus as well as writers from Le Parisien and Maxi.  As soon as I know when the stories will be available, I’ll let everyone know.

20150722_102255~2
Media day shoes
20150722_102628~3
Media outfit

The Literacy signing was a huge success — so busy, I didn’t take a photo!  But as the Nora Roberts Foundation sponsored the event, we just learned the signing raised over $47,000 for literacy.  Thank you to everyone who came by!

Signing shoes
Signing shoes
The signing outfit.
The signing outfit.

Thursday, Nora took Q & As for an hour during her Chat With.  As always, she was entertaining and had the room convulsed with laughter several times.

Noras chat with shoes.
Noras chat with shoes.

IMG_20150723_110559

The last two interviews finished up by 4, then we all put on comfy clothes and hung out in the suite.

20150722_112839 20150722_130259 20150722_132001

Laura

TTP 20 weekend photo album

The TTP 20th Anniversary signing was tremendous fun.  Long, lines of patient readers, happy smiles as they met favorite authors, tired wrists and hands for all the authors.  My brain is still tired so I thought I’d just share some fun photos from the weekend.  ~Laura

20150718_104312
Noras shoes matched her sweater. And they were comfortable — I swear!
20150718_121344
Nalini Singh and Nora hard at work. Jason’s waiting for the next load of books to disperse.
20150718_121334
Nora’s wore wrist wrap for extra support. Piles of books — everywhere!
20150718_150724
Jill Shalvis brought her Alpha Man.
20150718_151246
There she is!
20150718_151845
Break time — Grace Burrowes, Jill Shalvis, Karen Rose and Beatriz Williams catch a quick breather.
20150718_164318
And when the authors take a break, I sit down. I took a moment to relax the smile muscles.
20150718_165050
All the authors!
20150719_133351
The entire group at Sunday’s FITS brunch.

Fun with Boys

I grew up with four brothers, had two sons, so I’m used to being outnumbered by the male of the species. That experience came in handy the last few days.
 
Last year I took Kayla on a little trip to NYC. A few days where she’d be able to choose what she wanted to do. That included lots of shopping, Cinderella on Broadway, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and just hanging out. We had Kat and Laura with us–and Laura’s daughter Clare for part of the time. Lots of female energy!
 
This year it was Logan’s turn. Months ago when I asked him where he wanted to go, he answered instantly:
 
I want to go to a foreign country (note, he’s been to Ireland and to Greece). I want to go to Canada. Puzzled at his choice, I asked him why. Because. I asked where in Canada. It didn’t matter.
 
I scratched my head over this for awhile, and offered Montreal. That was cool with him. I also figured this was a guy trip–his Grandda and his uncle Jason. But no, he wanted me, too. And Kat–but she had a cousin’s wedding during the time we could go. So just me on the girl side of things.
 
Tuesday we flew to Montreal with a very happy eleven-year-old boy, who’d packed for himself, and told his mom when she checked his bag, to be careful as he had it ORGANIZED.
 
I picked Montreal as I’ve been there a couple times, and it’s a lovely city–with the French aspect. And it’s a quick flight. And I’d found a wonderful hotel in Old Town with a big suite with terrific outdoor space.photo 1 (5)
 
We arrived mid-day, unpacked, caught our breath then headed out. Logan’s French consisted of bonjour and au revoir, so we decided he’d learn a word or phrase a day. Merci was day one, which he used at lunch.
 
What did the boy want to do in his foreign country of choice? Surprisingly, shopping was high on the list. I let him have his head–within reason–at a souvenir shop. One of his picks was a Canadian flag. Is he thinking about becoming an ex-pat?
 
Boy energy, as I know very well, is different than girl energy. He wanted to climb everything. Buildings, lamp posts, walls. As I rememberedphoto (5) Montreal is pretty, friendly, and it was just what he wanted. Both Jason and I took high school French (his four years to my two), so we could more or less get by–though everyone switches obligingly to English for the Americans.
 
We walked–a lot. Listened to music near The Science Center. It’s pretty great to walk around a city with a young boy who’s happy to be there, and happy to be with you.
 
When rain blew in, we headed back, had our dinner in the room.
 
Still raining the next day, so it’s handy we planned on spending most of it indoors. The Biodome is first–eco-systems of the world. After breakfast (my only sad is the Canadian DVD player won’t read my yoga disk) we cab it, and spend a chunk of time in Olympic Park–more climbing buildings–seeing sloths and birds, penguins, a lynx, fossils–and the coolest for me a full, intact skeleton photo (6)of a Beluga whale. A trip to the gift shop. He’s serious about shopping.
 
We take the Metro back to our neighborhood and have lunch in a kind of big diner. Busy, bustling place where our boy learns to say Je m’appelle Logan.
 
Back to the hotel for a little rest before the Big Night. I’d done some research on what to do with a kid in Montreal and came upon a place called SkyVenture. Here a wind-tunnel inside a big tube simulates a free fall from a plane. Oh, my boys were all about this!
 
What the information didn’t include was it’s out in the ‘burbs–a loooooong cab ride. But worth every minute. You get multiple flights–two for one minute, and the last for two minutes. Observers–like me (no, I don’t even want to consider knowing what it’s like to free fall) can stand or sit outside the tube, take pictures.
 
The group’s taken off with a very cute instructor for some training, then to suit up. I’ve watched a few other groups now, one flyer at a time in the tube with the instructor. It’s wild! Arms up above shoulders, belly down, legs out–or knees bent depending. And around and around, up and down you go with the wind whipping.
 
After each group’s finished, their instructor takes a minute inside, does fancy tricks–pretty amazing–flips and spins and dives.
 
Jason’s first, and off he goes! My boy’s flying. I can see it’s work, and the cute instructor’s there to correct form, but he’s got a big grin going for most of his first minute.
 
Now Logan. I swear he was a natural. First time out, he’s doing circles, following the instructor’s hand signals, grinning at me through the tube.
 photo (7)
BW’s next. He has a little trouble, but the instructor corrects, and he’s flying around the tube.
 
On the second flight, Jason’s already improved. And for Logan’s, I do as he requested and take a slow-motion video of him with his camera phone. What a riot! BW’s second flight is much smoother. And their long third is just great. I think they’d all be doing those flips and dives with a few more flights.
 photo (8)
A fabulous and unique experience for all–even the Observer. Followed by a loooooong cab ride home, a light dinner, and bed.
 
Our last day is sunny and bright–perfect for our Metro trip to La Ronde–the big amusement park. Logan wants to play the pop the balloons game right after we walk in. I’ve had prior experience on this with him and know I’m going to be carting around some big stuffed animal. photo (9)And sure enough two minutes after we get there, I have a stuffed dog in my bag. Good thing I brought the big one.
 
His target here is Maison Rouge–a spooky maze with scary clowns. As neither one of us is interested in roller coasters, and the other men are, Logan and I get in line for the spook house, and BW and Jason head for the big wooden roller coaster.
 
Fifteen seconds after we’re in the spook house my boy freaks. I get it, clowns are scary enough, but I didn’t expect him to go postal. LOL. I have him clinging to me, his hoodie over his face until I can navigate us out–in the mostly dark with clowns popping out at us.
 
We won’t be doing that one again!
 
We chill out with a drink, meet our other guys. Bumper cars are more the thing.
 
We walk–gorgeous day–they ride, we eat, we walk (19,000 steps on my Fitbit that day), we shop. Or Logan and I shop while the others ride more roller coasters, including one that does corkscrews and makes my stomach pitch just watching.
 
Logan learns a bientot.
 
Logan and I wander and come to something called The Catapult. We watch as a man and his two kids are strapped into something that looks like a big net. And they’re hauled up, up, up, UP to this tower-like thing. Then the net drops away–I think I squealed–and they fly out way over the water. Catapulted. Swing back, fly out.
 
No, thanks.
 
Metro back–the subway system is most excellent–and exhausted flop down in the room.
 
Our departure day is again sunny and bright. Breakfast on the terrace. Logan learns to add. J’ai onze ans to Je m’appelle. Oh, and Salut.photo 2 (7)
 
Pack it up, and he says a bientot to the room as we head out.
 
We’re dropping Jason off in Boston where he’ll meet Kat for the wedding–and we do Customs there. Back to Hagerstown where his mom, sister and little brother are waiting. He’s learned m’amie, mon ami and mes amis on the plane. So says: Salut, mes amis. LOL.
 
Big hugs all around, and it’s a bientot, Logan, mon cher garcon.
 
A really delightful few days in the memory book.
Nora

Rainy Days and Sundays

Wrath of God rain whooshed and beat down all of Saturday. From my desk, early morning, I watched the trees whip around in a frenzy and thought, surely that can’t last for long.
 
Wrong.
 
But the deluge meant I had no excuse not to do a mini-purge of my closet and organize all my pretty new things from last weekend’s shopping trip. Or procrastinate tidying the One More Room and gathering the items to go into my Fall Into The Story Brunch raffle basket.
 
Or come up with reasons not to shovel out my poor, neglected house that collected clutter in the last week as I pushed down the path of finishing a book.
 
None of those things are nearly as much fun as being outside in the sunshine gardening on a Saturday in June.
 
BW spent the crazy rain day inside the redone shed, putting in the shelves, organizing it. When I finally get out there to look, I did a happy dance. And enjoyed the really pretty whiskey barrel of impatiens Kayla planted in April.
photo 1 (4) photo 2 (6)
 
The dogs spent part of the day in the mobile groomer’s truck. It was Parker’s first time, and he did very well. Grooming was timely as all three dogs decided to sprawl outside my little gym while I worked out–instead of in the many places outside that have cover. I had to stop and put them inside before they drowned.
 
The dogs smell nice–that won’t last–and my house looks like adults live here. That probably won’t last either.
 
Today there’s no the natives-have-snorted-a-whole-buncha-cocaine jungle drumbeat of rain, but it’s coolish and overcast. Still, I got the workout in early so I could get outside and weed. And pick up sticks, haul branches–BW had a photo shoot today, so this is solo–pull those sticks, branches and many leaves out of my beds. The sun came out for about forty seconds, and that was nice.photo 4 (4)
 
In my circuit, I checked the vegetable bags–why Parker dug at a pepper plant inside a bag is a mystery, but I saved it, and the little pepper on the plant. I find lots of little tomatoes, including the very cool purple cherry tomatoes we’re trying this year.
 
And I find lots of deer damage. BW told me yesterday when he was in his office–front left corner of the house, lower level–he looked straight out at a deer munching away. Not a foot from the house, with dead nettle hanging out of its mouth. In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve never known the deer to eat dead nettle.
 
Fortunately I found blood meal that had been buried in the garden shed, now sitting tidily on the new shelves.
 
I see the mimosa trees blooming. BW and I started these beauties from seen years ago. I love the delicacy of those feathery pink blossoms.
 
The storm brought down a small branch from one of the mimosas, so I brought it in, cut some other flowers, made a little arrangement. Gotta look for that silver lining.
 photo 5 (1)
Now I’ve got a weeded garden and clean-enough house, and a free afternoon. I think it’s time to read a book somebody else sweated over.
Nora

Fun with Girls

Now that school’s out my granddaughter likes to hang out up here. She’ll be thirteen next month, and entertains herself very well while I’m working. We have little conversations when she wants lunch or a snack–for a kid who’s a size 00, she can eat. Since she’s an HGTV addict, she usually ends her afternoon watching that while I end mine with a workout. Then I watch with her until it’s time for her to go home.
 
It’s sweet and rewarding that an almost teenager likes hanging at Nana’s house. She does some chores, too, saving me that time. And a couple times a week, she goes into TTP with BW and works there.
 
On Friday, she was bookstore girl while Laura and I headed down the road to meet more girls for Kat’s birthday spree. This year we decided to make it a shopping/slumber party. We spend the day trying on clothes–total girl stuff. I must now do another closet purge, but I’m totally outfitted for upcoming events, including RWA in NY.
AND our annual Fall Into The Story Brunch–still have to put my raffle basket together for that. More fun with girls in July! I hope to see some of you there. While TTP’s anniversary signings are fun in their busy and bustling way, the brunch is relaxed, casual, with plenty of time to just hang out together.
 
Plus raffle baskets–and a chance to win a night at Inn BoonsBoro!
 
But back to shopping. I had to tell my beloved Kat it’s irritating everything looks good on her. (Laura’s note: it is!) Everything. At one point she put on what she considered a terrible outfit, and sorry, even the terrible looked good on her. (Laura’s note: it did!!) But I had to forgive her, as she was the birthday girl. (Laura’s note:  ok, fine.) And we’re both also well outfitted for our vacation late this summer in Montana. (Laura’s note:  I’m well outfitted for moving in late summer.)
 
After a full day of clothes and shoes . . . oooh, the shoes . . .

Many shoes.
Many shoes.

we could walk back to our hotel room instead of fighting traffic. A new tradition is born. So much more pleasant to have a slumber party, followed by a lazy morning and a drive home–where no one left empty-handed.

 
And when I got home, BW had my wonderful new birdbath fountain placed and running. I love it!photo 3 (4)
 
I also discovered the deer had an all-you-can-eat buffet while I was gone. Mowing down so many Black-Eyed-Susies–in one area they had to balance on a steep slope and lean over a wall to chomp them. And nearly all my lilies, which seriously breaks my heart. BW believes the deer repellent hype about three months. This will now be done weekly.
 
Yesterday I went out to weed, deadhead, got about three-quarters of the way down when I see the snake sunning itself on my garden wall. And that was the end of that. I tell BW, who says what kind of snake? It doesn’t matter!!!! But no, not a copperhead. When I see a copperhead I lead with COPPERHEAD rather than snake. But by the time he gets there, it’s gone.
 
I haul the bucket of weeds to the composter, hear a rustling–and my close encounter with the snake has my heart bumping. But I look up and see two deer moseying their way down out of the woods. They see me, too, and decide to bound away. I actually shout: Yeah, that’s right, bitches, run! And get the deer repellent. This took about one minute, and when I turn I see Parker is staring up in the woods, head cocked. I look. The deer are moseying right back. He barks at people when they drive up, but just gives the deer an interested look? (the other dogs don’t even bother with looking) So, in my way, I bark at them, and they run away again. And I spend the next half hour spraying stinky deer repellent on everything.
 
Gphoto 4 (3)ive an extra spray to the pretty purple coneflowers,just blooming, that I know deer so enjoy. The butterfly doesn’t seem bothered by it.
 
Due to snakes and deer, the gardening wasn’t nearly as much fun as shoes, shopping and girls, but I ended the day whipping up a batch of belinis. So it could be worse.  photo 2 (5)
Nora

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

I’m going to start with the bad and ugly, get it out of the way.
 
My guy’s away for a week–nearly over now. I opted not to go as our regular dog and house sitters are out of town, and you just can’t leave three dogs, much less a new one. And this is fine. I also had a lot of work and a deadline, so a week home alone is all good.
 
However.
 
Our Pancho (someone asked last time, and this is the name he came with when we rescued him at age two) decided about two years ago it was just too much trouble to go into the brush or the woods to poop, and chose to start pooping on the pavers. Nothing we’ve tried has discouraged this. Bad enough, but a couple of piles a day, which BW shoveled up routinely. It seems Parker decided: Oh, that’s how it’s done here. So now two dogs are using the pavers, and Parker’s taken it a step beyond. It’s like he thinks: I’ll go a little here, a little there, and gee, that looks like a fun spot, then there’s that one. So many, many little piles.
 
This week, I’ve been starting and ending my day shoveling poop. This does not make me happy. And also hosing down the pavers. Today, after shoveling NINE piles (and that’s just since yesterday evening) it occurred to me I should take the poop to a poop friendly area, lure the culprits and see if they latch on.
 
Next time.
 
Meanwhile, about half way through my week, I went out in the morning–pre-caffeine– to feed and water said dogs. And nearly stepped on what I took for a really big dead mouse–which explains why Homer wanted to sleep outside the door the night before. I hoped, very much, he’d take it off somewhere, but alas, by the next day, there it was. I had no choice, but shoveled, what I think was actually a mole, (so good boy on that) along with poop.
 
And this morning, I went down to see what the hell Parker was barking at like a maniac, and see the baby black snake right beside my back steps. I cannot handle snakes, seriously phobic there. I don’t care how little it is. I keep the door firmly shut, go workout–opposite side of the house. It’s still there when I get back, and I realize it’s a dead baby snake. This is somewhat better, but I’m still not touching it. I have a line.
 
This is my glamorous life.
 
And that’s the bad and the ugly.
 
The good is very good. If you read my previous Trouble Spots blog, you’ll have seen my worn old garden shed. In case not, and because it’s fun, I’m asking Laura to post the before and after pictures. I’m couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. And next weekend, BW and I will tackle organizing the interior.
 

Before
Before
After
After
My birdbath fountain came Thursday, and that was an adventure. The delivery guys are only authorized to drop it at the door, but as it’s over 300 pounds, and was packed in an enormous box with wood framing, they couldn’t get it off the truck without unboxing it. Lucky for me. Even that was a job and a half for them, but they helpfully hand-trucked it to where I want it. Laid it down there as BW and I will have to level the spot, settle it in. But it’s so what I wanted, and I can’t wait to see it in use.
 
I have a huge box full of packing straw, and wood on the side of my driveway. BW will have to deal with it.
 
I did my weekend gardening. And the lavender is just beautiful this year. Played with dogs. And in a little while I’m going back to relax beside the completed Project.
 
When I first moved here, I needed to have a well dug.  Everyone recommended I hire this guy with a divining rod to tell us where to dig it. Okay. So he comes with the well diggers, looks around, and walks over to this spot–not using the rod. Right here, he tells me.
 
Okay, why?
 
Because there’s an underground spring–that’s where we had the still.
 
Still makes me laugh. And he was right. They hit it fast, and we actually set the record for gallons per minute in the county. While my neighbors were deciding whether to do a load of laundry or take a shower, I could do laundry, run the dishwasher, the washing machine AND shower.
 
The downside was the spring formed a little pool which was basically a mud pool. And I have dogs. Over the years I’ve planted the area around the well–yellow flags as they like their feet wet, hostas as there’s a lot of shade, some trees, some spirea and so on. This is where the jewelweed thrives, especially.
Before
Before
 
But behind it was a crappy little area I never knew what to do with. Until I saw my heart’s desire at the nursery. A water feature, stone, long and curving and with pretty little waterfalls. I contacted our landscape guy, the amazing Brian who tackles the big jobs around here–like the gorgeous stone terraces and walls he built for us.
 
It took some time–he’s exacting–and it was a whole bunch of work–laying pipe, electric–which meant digging trenches–and all that before starting to set the stone.
 
The day I walked back, heard the water, saw it, I did a happy dance. And also realized we didn’t want to put grass back in close to the waterfall. I needed plantings and mulch. Hey, Brian.
 
I told him I want a Rose of Sharon, have always wanted one and right there is a perfect spot. I want a dwarf weeper–a bloomer, and some flowering shrubs here and here, and something over there. I gave him basic choices, but as we’ve worked together for years, left a lot up to him. He knows my tastes.
After
After
 
When he was done (still have to deal with the ground behind the mulch, seed it) it was more fabulous than I imagined–and I image very well. I’ve ordered a stone bench as the wood one I had seems not quite right. And I found a little light for accent.
 
I feel like I have this new, pretty little world to enjoy.
 
My lovely new space almost makes up for poop on the pavers. But I’m about to hand over the shovel to BW, and retire from that field.
 
And the dead snake will be waiting for him.
 
I’m going to pour myself a glass of champagne, go out and enjoy my very, very good.
Nora

The NR Effect

Nearly three years after The Perfect Hope hit stores, a week still doesn’t go by in which a reader realizes that Inn BoonsBoro is a real place (Turn the Page and Vesta too).  A good many readers followed Nora and BW’s rehab of love that restored a broken down, tree-growing, pigeon-hosting old building to its current glory.  But there are plenty of others who read the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy and thought they were fabulous works of fiction, only to be stunned when they saw the Inn on CBS Sunday Morning or read about it in a newspaper.

One of the best emails that ever came to my inbox was from a reader congratulating Nora on the fabulous marketing campaign for the trilogy that went the extra mile by creating a realistic website for the fictional Inn BoonsBoro.  I had a great laugh, then corrected the assumption.

Boonsboro is not the first place to feel what I call the NR Effect.  The Born In and the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogies still draw readers to both County Clare and Ardmore.  In fact, I just heard from my Ardmore contact John Supple who wrote “we still have a number of people calling on a regular basis to Ardmore all because of Nora and some often find they would like to stay over in this beautiful village but would move on due to lack of accommodation.

“We now have a number of people within Ardmore who have accommodation — from houses to lovely cottages to Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels — to rent for people who want to spend an extra few days.” He said if any readers are planning a trip to Ardmore, to contact John at cottageardmore@gmail.com to arrange quality accommodation to suit any budget.

Ashford Castle and the town of Cong still see many Cousins O’Dwyer readers and we hear often from people who have gone on the falcon walks there.

There is a very clever In Death reader who has created her own personal tours of NYC that visit landmarks still standing in 2058.  And we get requests all the time for suggestions for places to travel.

A couple of weeks ago, Buddy MacLean, the owner of The Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gaitlinburg TN called Inn BoonsBoro.   A guest that week visited because she’d read about the resort in The Liar.  Buddy was astonished when the guest showed him her copy of the book and went off to purchase one.  That same week a bus tour group stayed on the property and when Buddy mentioned The Liar, the women on the tour said they’d all purchase a copy before they headed home.

After looking it up on the internet, I asked Nora about choosing The Lodge (POTENTIAL SPOILER AHEAD:  this is the hotel where the woman who confronts Shelby about Richard stays when she comes to Rendezvous Ridge).  Nora said she was looking for a pretty, sort of out-of-the-way place. She used The Google, looked at a few and liked the look of The Lodge, and the name. It just worked.

Well, the team at The Lodge at Buckberry Creek is so pleased by their ties to The Liar, they wrote back and said they created a discount code for Nora’s readers.  Readers who wish to stay at The Lodge at Buckberry Creek can mention the promo code NORA2015 when booking and they will receive a 10% discount on their room rate and will receive a $50 voucher towards dinner.  The promo applies to guests who book prior to 10/2/15 and only valid on stays prior to 7/2/16.  Cannot be combined with other discounts.

If my husband and I weren’t building a home this summer I think we would be heading to the Smokies.

Laura

The official blog for Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb readers