It’s here. All new, 365 blank pages waiting to be written–and won’t that be fun?

Around here we ended the book of 2016 with friends and family, cooking and chopping and stirring for our annual New Year’s Day open house feast. For me New Year’s Eve starts early. Time to get those red beans I soaked overnight on the simmer with a ham hock, spices peppers and onions, and let’s add some wine to that water. Eggs to boil for later deviling. Can’t forget that old standard green bean casserole, but lets add some grated cheddar this year. Keep those herbs and spices out for a whole buncha ground round for meatballs.

Laura arrives in time to help roll 151 meatballs–I counted this year–and Sarah and Kayla are close behind. With a kitchen full of helping hands and girl power three dozen eggs are peeled, veggies peeled, chopped, sliced for roasting. Kayla makes brownies for the trifle, and my pop’s bread pudding.

Sarah and Laura at the Waldorf salad chopping portion of the day.

Kay;a on bread pudding duty.

And here are Kat and Jason with more supplies and more helping hands. My men head down to hang the gorgeous new sign by our bridge before they run out to get ice for all the coolers we’ll stock in the morning with soft drinks, beer, wine.

The new sign.

They have manly work to do, and I’m more than happy to be in the kitchen with my girls. There are two big-ass hams to bake, a million more veggies to chop for the crudite–and Kat’s got a design in mind for that. She is Kat, after all.

Champagne for the big girls and ginger ale for Kayla as we work through the afternoon. Chop, chop, chop fruit for a Waldorf salad. Girl pals are the best of the best.

Please keep those dogs out of my kitchen! Especially after we discover Parker has snatched what was left of the now discarded hamhock (that hadn’t quite made it out of the kitchen trash to the outside trash) and is gnawing on it on the living room rug.

After Laura and Sarah–thanks ladies–leave for their own New Year’s Eve celebrations they rest of us finish up. Let’s boil up some pasta and test out those meatballs. Mmmmm!

Hams glazed and done, food stuffed in fridges, with spillover outside–with dogs locked off the deck. And since Kayla’s staying over it’s time for games. A little Wii bowling–I am champ–a lot of Pictionary–BW and I are soundly defeated.

And the ball drops–three, two, one. Happy New Year.

2017 starts early for me, too. Get those hot dishes in the oven to warm, tidy what didn’t get tidy the night before, and soon my girls and boys are pitching in. Dogs banished from the kitchen. Up the stairs for this bowl or platter, down the stairs for this or that. Haul up the little bar, fill those coolers, light the candles.

From Kat’s brilliant mind and hands.

Kat’s crudite is, naturally, a piece of cheerful art.

Food everywhere–on the table, on the counter, the buffet the little server. And before long we have a houseful to enjoy all that labor in a big, noisy, happy celebration. Kids in the pool or game room, football fans in front of the big screen, friends here, there, everywhere. It’s time to spice some shrimp. Always time to open another bottle of champagne.

Lots of hugs, lots of laughs, LOTS of wine and food–a fine, fine way to write that first page on the book of 2017.

By ten the house is quiet. By about ten-fifteen I’m out for the count.

Up early again, but today I pack for a week at the spa. And let me say ahhh. The 31 pages of December, 2016 were written with the busy and the bright, with the happy and the occasional panic, were written with friends, family and a couple of tons of cooking time. I love ending the year with girls in the kitchen, beginning it with a houseful of friends.

The family holiday photo.

And love knowing I’m going to have a week–again with family and friends–where I won’t so much as boil a pot of water and at some point on any given day somebody will rub every kink and knot out of my body. I may write. I will definitely read what someone else sweated over. I expect to come back recharged, ready to hunker down and hibernate and write my way through the rest of the winter. Stories, on the literal page and the symbolic one, are waiting to be written.

I hope you all write happy and well through the year.


40 thoughts on “2017”

  1. Wishing you, your family, your friends, and of course your legions of fans a wondrous, miraculous, and joyful New Year. (And please tell Kat her crudité is a delight!)

  2. Happy 2017 to you abd your family. It was quite here. Our dog is afraid of fireworks and our new apartment is insulated well. No fireworks here but sounded like distant thunder from afar so dog did great. We rang in the New Year with a hug and Love YOU’s and good night’s.
    Your party was awesome as well as the beautiful sign. Have fun at the spa. Beth

  3. It’s a joy to read about the time spent with friends and family. You are very blessed. Happy New Year to you and yours and enjoy your spa week. I’m sure you’ve earned it!

  4. Happy New Year to you and yours! Hoping 2017 is everything we could all hope for, and as always Thank You for sharing all of your wonderful stories, they have gotten me through some really bad patches these last couple of years.

  5. Wishing you and your family – AND your wonderful publicist as well as her family – the Happiest of New Years – filled with love , good health and joy. Thank you – too – for the many wonderful hours I spent reading in 2016 – words written by either Nora Roberts or JD Robb – indeed, they were highlights of my year! I cannot wait for my 2017 pre-ordered gifts of more beautiful – more touching as well as educational – “wordsmithing”.

  6. Happy New Year, Nora, Laura and families. May 2017 be a year filled with love and laughter. I was delighted to receive your latest trilogy as a Christmas gift from a friend who is also a fan. (I usually wait to read your trilogies until they’re all out.) I’m halfway through the last book and am not only enjoying the story – of course – but keep stopping to look at the gorgeous covers, inside and out.

  7. Happy New Year to you, Laura and your families. I hope 2017 will be a more peaceful one than 2016. What a treasure you have in Laura. To come help prepare food, and then go off to her own New years party- that’s devotion.
    I too was wondering about the beautiful sign, & what it means. We all are grateful to you for your talent. I’m looking forward to February and the new ID book. Thank God that there is not a lazy bone in your body- to even contemplate doing some writing while at the spa- that’s really above and beyond.

  8. Loved this blog. Kat’s crudite reminded me of something that Anya for the Guardian trilogy would come up with. 🙂 I want to know if the spa week is the one where the game leader board that Laura is not so fond of, gets to go along? Enjoy!!

        1. Sorry Laura but those are my very favorite blogs of the year, you all have so much fun and I enjoy your side notes as much as I do Nora’s blogs.

  9. The sign, pronounced ‘she’, is Irish for the faerie race–or faerie hill where they live.

  10. Happy New Year to you and your family Nora. May 2017 bring you many blessings and much inspiration! Spa week sounds fabulous. Have fun! Great sign. I have a feeling your home is a slice of a faerie hill in Ireland. Say hi to Laura.

  11. Nora, thanks so much! I loved taking a peek into your personal life. May you bless us with more good stories this year! I AM A FAN!
    PS It was such fun to receive a Christmas card from Eve and Roarke just as I was finishing Festive in Death.

  12. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Years and may you and your family have a blessed 2017.
    Thanks so much for the Card from Eve & Roarke. I can not wait until Echies in Death is Here.

  13. Bright blessings on you and the family, Nora.

    Thank you for many hours of reading pleasure….and for the newsy Falling into the story blog.

    Happy New Year….

  14. Thank you so much! I always enjoy reading your blog. I hope you and your family have a very blessed and Happy New Year!

  15. Love Kat’s artistic design..
    .and all sounds wonderful!! We are thankful for you Nora! Thank you for sharing with us!!

  16. Your love and understanding of the intricacies of family shine through the pages of your books. It touches a place deep inside and leaves your readers feeling home-sick after a book is completed.
    Happy New Year!
    Kat Graham

  17. Oh my, how fun it must have been around your home this weekend. My husband and I used to do all the cooking and planning and gathering of friends and family, but slowed down a few years ago. Hearing of your wonderful time encourages me to think “maybe we should start it up again.”
    I love your new sign – wow!
    Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2017 – Happy New Years.

  18. Happy New Year to the inhabitants, their family and their friends on the Faerie Hill in Maryland!! What an elegant sign! Love your blog, love the fact that you share so much with us (we practically feel part of the family!!) Enjoy your well deserved spa week and afterwards onwards to new adventures! May you and yours be blessed with health, strength and success in all that you do! You are a great family and I put Laura right in it as well. She is so devoted! Can’t wait to read more of your new releases this year.

  19. It’s so fun to read your posts. As others commented, the sharing makes us all feel a part of you. And that is your gift, isn’t it? Your ability to paint with words so that we are there . . . venturing either into the pages of your books, or sneaking a peek at what it’s like in Nora Land, at your home, your sanctuary.

    Blessings, blessings on you and yours this bright 2017. Grateful for the time you take for us; please remember to take time for you.

  20. Happy Healthy New Year! Love Kayla’s apron,did she make it from one of her dad’s old shirts? And Kay’s crudités design reminds me of Annika’s tablescapes in the Guardian trilogy, which I just finished and loved. Have fun at the spa

  21. As always enjoy reading about the happenings in your real life. Helps me bide my time until next new book. God bless your home and family and thanks for sharing it all.

  22. Nora,
    I have read all of the Eve Dallas books . Keep them coming.

    Hope you and your family have a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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