All posts by Laura

Laura is Nora Roberts' personal publicist. She can be found on the Nora Roberts and JD Robb Official Fan Pages on Facebook, by Nora's side at book signings, and on the road from her home in Raleigh to Boonsboro every few weeks.

Sunday in New York

We arrive on Tues, to summer in October weather. After unpacking, our initial group—me, BW, Jason, Laura—hit the streets and the shops. I have an agenda every October trip, and that’s to get as close as possible to finishing my Christmas shopping as I can.

Get a good start on that agenda before it’s time for drinks, and a room service night.

Up early Wednesday, get a good workout in. BW and Laura, too. We’re having an Employee Fitness Challenge through our Fit In BoonsBoro back home. Fun stuff! BW and Laura get points walking a mile together. More shopping, more checks on that Christmas list. Jason and I have our own little FitBit competition, and while he’s usually 20-30k steps ahead of me, when we travel, I catch up. And hah, am am now in the lead.

Wall sits with drinks - aka multi-tasking. Photo by j a-b.

Lunch at a favorite pub, more shopping, and back home here where BW and Laura do their daily workout challenges together. Hysterical wall-sits (with alcohol) push-ups (and Laura’s wearing a dress for this one) squats, lunges. I get to watch as I did all that much earlier in the day.

Dinner’s a pleasant walk, then pizza.

Fall colors on the Helmsley Building. Photo by Laura

Laura’s husband’s coming up, so she moves out of our space and into her own. We have a girl shopping annual tradition with my agent and editor. Kat usually joins us, but she has stuff so won’t be up until late Thursday afternoon.

Where’s Nora? I posed for this one — was having great fun. Photo by Laura
Would you wear these? Photo by Laura

So good to see my NY pals—and my editor brings the finished cover for Year One. OMG!! It’s just fabulous.

More shopping, a fun, light lunch when the guys join us. Then a little more shopping. I am hitting my agenda, and hitting it hard!

Back to the hotel as we have an early dinner—and here’s Kat!! We’re eating early because we’re going to see Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly. The Divine Miss M. Bette. I’m thrilled at the idea of seeing one of my icons on stage.

We walk to the restaurant—just gorgeous weather—have a wonderful meal, then walk to the theater. I’m not surprised the performance is sold out. It’s Bette.

As much as I anticipated this, the reality exceeded. Aside from Bette (for the moment) the costumes, the lighting, the choreography, the chemistry, the voices, the whole works is just stupendous.

Now add Bette. And stupendous doesn’t cover it. When she first walks on stage, the house explodes. She’s tiny and glorious, and obviously having the time of her life. In turn she gives us the time of ours. Then there’s David Hyde Pierce, whom I adore. I’ve seen him on stage before, and he’s just as marvelous this time around.

The Hello Dolly number brings the house to its feet. The applause goes on and on for her solos. This is what’s meant by bringing down the house.

I’ve seen a lot of wonderful, memorable, fabulous shows on Broadway. Nothing beats this.

Playbills. Photo by Laura

Just wow.

Friday—after workout—Kat, Laura and I head out. Girl time, and more good shopping.

Stunners for Kat. Photo by Laura

Laura’s guy is off with some of his NY pals, BW’s having lunch with a couple of his, and Jason’s doing the same. Laura peels off so Kat and I walk downtown to meet our men for the new Blade Runner movie in IMAX.

Cool! Intense! Fun!

The long walk back, and room service. Laura and her guy have dinner and a show on their schedule.

Kat has to leave early Saturday morning so I say bye to my girl, get in my workout (still in the FitBit lead!). Jason has an errand, Laura and her guy have brunch with their daughter (Clare works in NY). BW’s arranged a photo shoot with a model in our triplex.

I have some specific type items on my agenda—and need to pick up the new glasses I got after my eye exam here on Wednesday. I promise to check my phone often so I can hook up with Jason and Laura.

On the street I see a gorgeous young woman wearing a man’s white dress shirt—mid-thigh—over-the-knee gray suede stiletto boots, a beret and big sunglasses. She looks amazing.

Jason’s errand’s done quick, so we text back and forth until we meet on the street. And he becomes my Sherpa. Head to hotel to dump bags, text Laura. Her guy’s meeting some of his old classmates, so she and Clare will hang with us while Jason and I have lunch.

Back to our favorite pub.

Clare heads off, and we head to The Gap—Laura and I both have specific wants here, and pretty much satisfy them. Then there’s the UGG store. I wasn’t looking for myself there—Kayla likes the classic tall UGGS—but found a pair of boots I couldn’t live without.

Annual photo of St. Pat’s. Photo by Laura

Oh, and sneakers in a deep orchid color—so light, so comfortable!

When we get back, BW’s about finished with his shoot, so we rest our busy feet and have a drink. We’re walking over to 9th for Italian for dinner. (Laura’s dh is having a fine time with his classmates.)

Long walk, but this weather! Good wine, great food, fun companions, and good service.

We meet up with Laura’s Mark after dinner, hang out in our suite awhile. I want to watch SNL, but conk.

Up early today, solid, cross-training workout. Then rest of our group is off to the Jets game (Laura and Mark are major Jets fans.) I bid them goodbye, clean myself up, and decide to walk uptown to Bloomie’s to hit that agenda again.

Do just fine, walk back, hit another shop. The housekeeper’s still dealing with our space when I get back. I see her once or twice a year, so we chat a little.

I show her a picture of Kayla on FB—who had her FIRST DATE last night. Homecoming. Oh, so beautiful, my girl. And she’s going with Handsome Henry. The housekeeper and I talk about how she’s just so grown up.

It’s lovely to come back to this same place year after year, because it adds such comfort to know the people who work here. I tell her I’ll see her in June when Kayla has her NY trip (just weeks before her SIXTEENTH!!!! Birthday).

Now on this Sunday in NY, I’ll finish this blog, which Laura will post after they get back. I hope the Jets are kicking it (not a football girl myself). I’m going to pour a drink, get my book and kick back instead of kicking it, for a bit.

We plan to head downtown tomorrow—have pizza, shop. Then we’ll see what we do for our last night in the city.

I love New York, I really do. The things you see, hear, the way it feels and moves. It’s so opposite where I make my home. So it’s nice to spend some time here, knowing my dogs, my quiet, my routine waits for me. 

Nora

Notes from Laura: very sad to report that the Jets lost, but my photo of me and my husband was on the huge scoreboard, so that was fun.

We saw War Paint with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole which was marvelous starting with this curtain in front of the stage. We’ll stay an extra day and see Donna Murphy play Dolly on Tuesday night.

Amazing curtain at War Paint. Photo by Laura

Oh and I have some #randomkatness for you:

Randomly, cats. #randomkatness
The mystery of Kat, halfway revealed. Selfie by Kat. #randomkatness

 

Work and Reward

I’ve been working pretty hard since our return from France. I like working hard, so that’s all good. But I like play time with pals, too. I had a great day/evening/night with good girl pals this week on our Try To Make It Annual Girls In Boonsboro trip.

I get into town early enough to take a new class at Fit In Boonsboro with my pal, JoAnne. Grabbed 45 on the elliptical first, then did 45 of boogying cardio after. Got my 90 in, and had fun doing it. That’s some work.

Reward came with lunch and champagne at Vesta with Jo, Laura, Pat, Mary Kay, Mary and Elaine. Good food, good pals, good wine.

Then it’s shopping–lots of opportunities for that in B’Boro. Josie’s On Main first stop geographically.

This mug caught Laura’s eye at Josie’s. Photo by Laura

I found myself a fun Witch Please tank that amused me–and has already been worn for a later workout. Among other things I picked up a few Christmas gifts, then we wandered down Main to Gifts In Boonsboro. Earrings! A gorgeous vase I’ve had my eye on–and a gift for my pal Ruth in Michigan. A just because as the black/white/gray soft as a cloud hand-made afghan said I Am Ruth’s. 

Among the amazing art on display at Gifts– a wedding cake of Savor the Moment pages. Photo by Laura

Onto TTP for more, and whee, they’ve put Stephen King’s new book written with his son Owen aside for me. Can’t wait to dig in.

Reward!

Then on this perfectly gorgeous October afternoon, it’s time to check into the inn, hang out in The Courtyard. More bubbly, yummy snacks, those good pals–and a couple of fun guests. 

The ingredients for a leisurely spell in The Courtyard. Photo by Laura
The very surprised Jane and Michelle. Photo by Laura

And presents for me as my birthday’s coming. Cake, too. That’s a good deal.

I nearly forgot the photo! Photo by Laura

Before the evening ends, the webmaster for our businesses stops by on his way home from a Boy Scout meeting. He has his amazingly adorable son–also Owen. Owen is one of the top popcorn salesmen for the Scouts–and it’s easy to see why when he starts his pitch. My fave is when his dad said he could get the key for the storage place, break in and get the forms. Dad, says Owen, how do you break in with a key?

I bought the 22 pack of microwave Movie Theater (extra butter!). It’s delicious.

A fun day, a quiet night, another morning workout, then mmmm breakfast. I’m not a breakfast eater but it’s hard to resist the offerings at the inn.

All in all a lovely reward.

Then back to work.

Thursday my perfection of a hairdresser comes to do my cut and color, give BW a trim, get Logan’s hair cut before he catches the bus for school. This time Logan has a picture of the cut he wants. Harold makes it so. The result is a seriously happy teenage boy. Handsome, too. 

Logan. Hair by Harold. Photo by Nana.

And back to work. Sticking hard with it to get it off to my agent and editor before I pack for a week in NYC. Another reward.

Flowers come–calla lilies. Every year I give myself the gift of flowers every month. It makes me happy, especially in the winter. 

The calla lilies in bloom. Photo by Nora.

Friday I make red sauce for pasta for Kayla our running girl. She has a meet on Saturday. Logan, however, is done with pasta every Friday and gets to pick the main meal. He wants Grandda’s flank steak, my roasted rosemary potatoes. 

Aforementioned potatoes. Photo by Nora

We make this so. And I get more cake!!

Saturday I pack, or mostly. Workout first, then figuring out what I need for a fall week in the city. And then–reward–I take the DVD of Wonder Woman BW gave me and gorge on it and Owen’s popcorn.

Today, Jason and Kat will be here for a foundation meeting and dinner. BW made extra flank steak with this in mind. I have to make more potatoes, and they went over pretty big on Friday night.

Tomorrow, finish packing–not much there–and start refreshing myself on the Chronicles Of The One trilogy before I start writing the final book.

Work and reward. It’s a nice balance. Reward yourself!

Nora

On contests and publishing and such

From Nora: I want to address the disappointment from countries not included in the contests and giveaways offered by St. Martin’s Press.

First, I understand that disappointment. The announcements are presented on my FB page–which is international so everybody hears about them. Those who can’t participate feel excluded. However, St. Martin’s Press is my US publisher. They don’t publish me in Europe or Asia or any other country/continent. The rules and regulations in individual countries are, well, individual. They’re often complicated and restrictive. My US publisher offers these contests to US readers.

Canada is sometimes included–but then there’s Montreal, which has really odd rules and regulations on contests that make it weird and complicated to deal with.

I know my publisher in the UK has held contests and give-aways in the past–for the UK. The US and countries outside the UK were not included. The same goes for other publishers in other countries.

It is not, absolutely not, a matter of me–or SMP–not valuing or appreciating readers world wide. It’s a matter of those rules, regulation and logistics.

I can’t control this. I can’t change this. I know more about foreign restrictions on contests that I’d like to at this point. I don’t understand them, at all, but I know about them. The fact remains, I write the books. That’s it. That’s all. I don’t publish them, schedule them–in the US or anywhere else. I can’t control the fact that some of my books either aren’t published in your particular country, or are released way, way after they are in the US. Obviously, I’d love to have all of my books published everywhere across the globe, and in a timely fashion. But I can’t make that happen.

The best thing to do, regarding contests and giveaways when you’re outside the US is to contact my publisher in your country. Ask them, let them know you’d participate if they’d hold a contest. I’m assuming the publisher in your country has a FB page or a website. If not, there should be contact information in the book.

All I can do is write the books. Laura works hard to let readers know about the books, when they’re coming–but she’s in the US, too. It’s hard for her to know when one of my books is due to be released in all the other countries in all the world.

SMP is my US publisher, and they’re doing a lot of fun and creative and generous things for readers. Hopefully, you can convince whoever publishes me in your country to do something fun for you.

Nora

A note from Laura:  We all understand — from Nora to the publishers to me — that every reader has a choice about the way in which they read a book.  Some prefer libraries.  Some love to listen to a book to alleviate a commute or a workout.  Some prefer the portability of an e-book and the ease of having an entire library in a device.  Some like to hold a book but need paperbacks.  Some want the hot-off-the-press hardcover.

No choice is wrong but publishers can’t accommodate all readers in all ways.  The hardcover is the biggest push for a publisher and as a thank you to readers who make the choice to read them, to pay a premium price, they’ve added some extras.  Extras that don’t work on an e-reader or in a paperback.  I realize that disappoints readers who don’t live here in the US or who read other editions.  And while I sympathize, it’s not going to change.

BTW, you love hardcovers and borrow from the library, ask your librarian to make a copy of the back of the cover before they do the library binding.  As someone has said: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

 

 

 

All Quiet on the Western Maryland Front

And that’s just how I like it.

It’s been a good week here, a routine week–my favorite kind. Work, workouts, dogs, my favorite teenage boy after school. And the weather’s holding onto summer just a little longer.
Since my man took off for a week at the beach, and I stayed home, it’s been a week without cooking.
I made myself a list for the weekend, including some domestic stuff. Not a lot there as–sorry guys–men are messy. The house has stayed in order this week, so that item didn’t go on the list. Since it didn’t I took a couple hours to work instead, got the workout in after that, then started harvesting herbs.
I have four ice cube trays of chopped oregano in the freezer. I’ll pop them out, bag them today, then move on to basil–and rosemary if that fits my day.
My garden may be winding down, but I still had the pleasure of wandering out, cutting hydrangeas, and some this and that. My lovely editor sent me flowers last week, and as they’d faded some by Saturday, I culled out what could be culled, added those this and thats for a pretty little spot of color.
Hydrangea!
On display.

It’s nice to wake up to flowers, a clean kitchen counter, and snoring dogs.

Most mornings, Atticus comes up to my office when he’s ready to go out. He doesn’t much like to go out without Parker unless it’s an emergency. Getting Parker up in the morning is like dragging a teenage boy out of bed.
Five more minutes, Mom!
I start off cheerful. Let’s go, let’s go! Give him a pet–Come on, let’s go out. He’ll roll over, curl up. Every morning, same deal. I’ve found the only way to deal with it is to grab the end of his dog bed, haul up (he’s all muscle!) and roll him out. Then he yawns, stretches–all this while Atticus is dancing around. Gets up, stretches, stretches, takes a couple steps, stretches–and if I walk out expecting him to follow, he’ll try to sneak right back onto the dog bed.
When BW’s here, and gets the dogs up, I hear him go through the same routine. I imagine my voice mirrors the rising exasperation in his.
So we’ve done that today, and I had my hour or so up here to check on the world before feeding time.
Pancho is now pretty much completely deaf so he no longer hears my whistle. You can hear my whistle at least a quarter mile away–ask my boys. The other two come running like maniacs, but in the past couple months, either BW or I have to go around to the front of the house and the dog hut where Pancho spends most of his time sleeping. Wake him up–he’s always a little startled–then he’ll lumber around to the back of the house behind me.
Today Parker’s feeling frisky, so as we walk around, he charges Atticus. They jump, wrestle, leap on each other, growl and dance and carry on. Then in their wild joy ram straight into me. I repeat, Parker’s all muscle. And Atticus? To paraphrase the bard: He may be but little, but he is fierce.
They nearly took me down.
Anyway, that’s done.
Dogs! Atticus, Parker and Pancho.
I’m going to work for a bit, get in that workout, do the herbs. Then my weekend list is all checked off. (Routine–we hope–dentist visit in the morning, but I’m not thinking about that today.) I should have time to spend a little of a quiet Sunday with a book.
Before the dogs got going, at some trembling moment before full dawn, I looked out my office window. The sun must have been at some perfect point of rise because while the sky was more dark than light, it shot sparkles through my woods. It looked like faerie lights glimmering.
I figure with that start to the day it’s going to be a good one.
Nora

Being Home

Summer–my favorite season–is winding down. We’re approaching Mabon, the Autumn Equinox. With that fleeting balance of day and night, most harvesting’s done. My tomatoes sure are. My garden’s got the late summer shabbies though there are some pretty fabulous spots and corners of color and bloom still. Before much longer, I’ll be thinking about making soups, pulling on sweaters and boots.

A little fall color.
Brilliant pots.
Happy flowers.
Thriving nasturtium

So, I for one, am holding tight to these last wonderfully warm days.

We had a busy summer around here. Lots of work, lots of travel. And we capped it off with our annual summer party.

That meant the weekend after we returned from France, we had party prep to deal with (and that’s after unpacking, putting awaying, nose to the grindstoning on the book).

While Jason and BW spent hours on a rainy Saturday setting up outside–awnings, tables, chairs, food stations–Kat and I spent hours inside (with some assist from our Sarah) cooking, baking, chopping, stirring. I think, in one day, we made up for our couple of weeks on holiday with no cooking involved.

Kat brought France back by making the amazing dessert we call pie-cream-pie. Labor intensive, creative and absolutely delicious.

Pie-cream-pie a la Kat.
Fruit salad in Kat’s carved watermelon.

Fortunately, the rainy Saturday turned into a pretty Sunday for the party. Lots of people, lots of food and drink. And that’s a wrap for another summer.

With that wrap, the kids head back to school. Kayla’s back in cross-country training. Run, Kayla! And Logan grew TWO inches while we were in France. We’re now eye-to-eye.

And at last, one completely at-home weekend follows. Nowhere we need to go. BW and I both spent it doing chores around here. It felt wonderful to put the house and yard back in order. But that short spurt of–for me–domestic bliss–led up to this past weekend’s signing at Turn The Page.

I knew going in this would be a long one. We were lucky to host three writers (and personal friends) who rarely come to our area. Our stellar line-up included–in alpha order: Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Susan Wiggs. A nice bonus for me to be able to catch up with all of them. And since some 360 readers–give or take–came through the doors, I wasn’t wrong about the long one. Five and a half hours rates as long–for the writers and the readers.

Pre-signing pano
Nora has readers of every age.
Bottom row: Alisha Rai, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora.
Middle row: Laura Treacey Bentley, Susan Wiggs, Kimberly Kincaid
Top: John Bede

Thanks to all who came to sign, to buy books, to be there, for their patience and fortitude.

Today, it’s warm and sunny–but I see one of the poplar trees out my window going yellow with September. I’ve tidied my house, done my workout (not easy to drag my butt out to my gym today!), and after I write this, I’m going to do exactly nothing for the rest of the day.

I want to add to anyone who’s had their lives and homes disrupted by Harvey or Irma, you’re all in my thoughts. I’ve been lighting candles for you, and will light one today before my nothing begins.

Nora

Note from Laura:  I came back from the beach to get to the signing. One last sunrise to hold me over until next year:

And in this week’s #randomkatness:

“May I help you?”

Bits/Pieces, Sunday 9/10

I don’t want to lose touch this fall so on those weekends Nora doesn’t share a blog post, I’l share updates.

The adventurers arrived home safely on August 27.  Word is that Nora got home, minimally unpacked, napped for a bit, then watched the Game of Thrones season finale.  She had to do this because I’d have whined at her to catch up. since we share our GoT thoughts every Monday.  (We loved the finale, btw.)

Then I left town for a long-planned working vacation at the beach with my husband.  We’ve had the usual mix of Outer Banks weather and since I get up to watch the sunrise, I work early so I can have cocktails on the beach in the afternoon.

Just before dawn. Photo by Laura Reeth

Nora adjusted to the time, dove back into the current WIP (an In Death, as we all know) for three days before it was time to prepare for the annual summer barbeque.  I’m afraid she was short one sous chef (me) but I hear the party was a success.  And Kat sent me a photo of her amazing watermelon carving for the fruit salad.

Kat + watermelon = greatness. Photo by kat

Once the Labor Day weekend was over, I hit my beach stride.  Nora hit the manuscript.  What can I say?  We each have our priorities.

Sunrise on the water. Photo by Laura Reeth

And, of course, September 6 brought Secrets In Death release day. The conversation continues on this thread.

On Wednesday, September 7, we shared the brand new author photo for Year One on all social media.  Isn’t it amazing?

Photo by Bruce Wilder.

I shared a couple of quotes on Facebook.

As well as a great review of Secrets in Death on Criminal Element (don’t forget to click on the fun GIFnotes tour of Secrets).

Then suddenly, it was Friday and the end of the week and we knew readers were facing adversity in so many places — recovering from Harvey, preparing for Irma, breathing in ash from western fires — and we wished everyone a safe weekend.

Hope you had exactly that.

Laura

PS.  Kat agreed to continuing with the #randomkatness, but only if I curated the photos and wrote the captions.  I agreed.

Cat in the driver’s seat. Photo by kat

Year One Excerpt

Late last fall, Nora wrote a blog post about New Directions in which she shared the challenges and excitement of starting down a new path.  I watched from the peanut gallery as Nora sweated through writing Year One.  She’d share tiny bits and pieces of what was happening in the book so I first met the characters and situations through her verbal storytelling.

When I had an opportunity to read it in the spring, I nearly swallowed Year One in one gulp.   I remembered the verbal cues and would get to one, then press on for the next.  It’s an amazing start to the ride.

Now,  it’s time for you to get a first taste of the journey that starts December 5.  I’ve read comments from long time readers unhappy with the direction, wanting more traditional romance.  For those readers, I ask you to consider this:  relationships are the framework of this book and Nora’s approach to relationships is why you’ve read her for more than 30 years.  There’s enough familiar to balance the different so I encourage you to give it a try.  Borrow from the library if you’re not keen to invest in something unknown.  But try.

You’ll find the first chapter here.

Laura

Secrets in Death teaser thread

We finally made it to a week out from the Secrets in Death release and you know what that means:  teaser time!   Are you doing ok?  Did you at least enjoy the summer (winter in the southern hemisphere) or wish it away? Is it mean to say I had to reread Secrets to come up with teasers?  Probably.  But I only speak the truth. 🙂

As always these are gentle teasers, no plot reveals, no mystery solved, just little nuggets to be on the lookout for.  I’ll post one a day through Thursday and update with the date.  Comments are absolutely welcome, spoilers are not.

And here we go:

Monday, August 28
After Eve contemplates small humans in smaller spaces, she ponders the puzzle of human conversation recorded for entertainment.

Tuesday, August 29
Before I post this one, I just have to comment that the majority of guesses guesses yesterday were way off the mark.  Way off.  Off enough that I had to quell the Cranky Publicist from replying– except once.  And now, Teaser #2:
Roarke and Summerset have a “well done, grasshopper” moment before images of Summerset nearly ruin a pie moment.  Oh and Scary Roarke may have met his match.

Wednesday, August 30
In which we learn Peabody has a fishing face, Kyung is as devious as he is diplomatic (aka not an asshole) and Trina gives good threats.

Cranky Publicist note:  I’m working from the beach right now, the worst possible place to feel cranky.  But that’s how I feel — frustrated by all the guesses/reader wishes that center around procreation.  As I mention at the top, these are not spoilers, they are teasers. Nuggets to look for — like the Easter eggs in Disney movies — as we move toward Eve solving the case.  They seem cryptic now, but should make sense in context.

For me, any changes for characters — whether it’s expanding what we know about them or new directions for them — constitute spoilers and I’m not about to give anything like that away in these posts. I think that’s part of the fun of reading a series like the In Deaths, letting the major changes/shifts come in without warning. 

We’ve got posts everywhere on this blog about no babies so please stop guessing that — for anyone.  Please read the answers Nora’s given for 22 years in our Index O’Answers.  Take your guesses outside the box and then see how they match up with the real thing.

And now, today’s teaser:

Good TV/vid will always have loyal fans, Peabody included.  Roarke takes a linguistic journey to a youthful memory.

September 1
In a change of pace, a bonus quote:
“You were born to be a cop, and I was born to be something else entirely.  I’d likely still be that, in only small ways that entertained me, if not for you.  You finished the process, we’ll say.”  Roarke


PS From Weary Nora*:
Laura and I really want these little bits from upcoming books to be fun for you guys. We want them to be fun for us, too. And honestly, truly, sincerely, the continued barrage of baby, baby, baby, babysitting, pregnancy eats away at the fun for us.

I honestly don’t know how I can make it more clear. IF–and that’s a very enormous if–if, if, if, Eve ever gets pregnant in the series it will be because I’ve decided it’s time to wrap it up. It will be the end. The end. I’m NEVER going to change my mind on this, as I’ve already stated countless times. I made this decision when I started the series, for all the reasons I’ve laid out before.

Someone else, at some point, MAY have a baby. But Laura certainly wouldn’t give that away on the blog. NO ONE is having a baby in Secrets. No one is pregnant. No one is babysitting.

The series is about murder and investigation, and yes, relationships. It has some humor, but the series is NOT a romantic comedy, and never will be.

I really hope you enjoy Secrets In Death. When you read it, I think you’ll see just how clever Laura’s little teases have been.

*Trademark pending 🙂

 

Eze, France Day 1

The full view. Photo by ja-b.

What happened to July? I’ll tell you what happened to mine–with regrets for not posting to the blog for the bulk of the month.

A book ate my summer. I pulled what we’ll call an Eve Dallas for about three weeks to get a book finished before the crazy travel started. 12-15 hour days, eating pizza at my desk. But it worked! Any time I had for writing went into finishing next summer’s hardcover.

Then it was a week at the spa with friends and family–always so much fun to spend that week with happy kids. Then a week with girls at the amazing Greenbrier where we shared our gorgeous space with several playful ghosts. We did a Facebook Live from there, you can check it out from my FB page. Fun stuff.

Unpack, pack, write, unpack, pack, write gobbled up a lot of the summer.

And yesterday, after a pretty smooth flight, we arrived in Nice. Gorgeous Weather greeted us. Summer blue skies, puffy clouds, balmy breezes. The drive from there to our hotel for our three-day stay in the area was highway mostly, but oh, those hills and all the red-roofed houses climbing them. The splashes of color from flowers and gardens. Palm trees and cacti.

And we’re greeted by the concierge who whisks us to a balcony to sit while our rooms are readied. He offers champagne. I accept. We catch our breath looking out at the Med, the clumps of land jutting into it, the gliding white boats, the muscular mega yachts.

The view by day. Photo by ja-b.

Up to Kat’s and Jason’s room–so pretty! Such views, and their own little balcony. Then down to ours, and more pretty with a lovely terrace. I don’t look down from the rail as that rolls my stomach. But I can look out, see Nice in the distance, watch the white boats with their white wakes skim over the blue.

We need a nap! I’m down for two hours, know that’s all I should take if I want to adjust to the time change. Drag myself up. Need to walk some, so I prod BW to do the same. Down the brick path,  down the stone steps, into little shops just to browse for now as the brain’s still pretty soft. Feel less logy, and the air’s just delicious.

We go into a pretty little church, and the bells strike four.

Shop directory. Photo by j a-b.
The source of the bells. Photo by kat.

Start our walk back, run into Kat and Jason who’ve finished their nap. Off they go for a walk, and it’s definitely time for more champagne on the terrace. It’s starting to feel like holiday.

We have a lazy late afternoon followed by a fancy dinner, again on a terrace with those views, and as the evening slides into night, all the lights sparkle on those clumps and juts of land. The moon’s full but for a bite.

Dinner with a view. Photo by ja-b.

In bed by elevenish, and I’m stunned when I don’t wake till seven. Late for me, and lovely to wake late with that view greeting me. Kat’s up on her balcony, and comes down to hang. Being Kat, she’s found a market on her phone app. She and Jason will take the three mile walk and see what they see. I gear up and do a workout on my terrace. BW’s just back from getting the rental car we’ll use to drive to Monaco tomorrow. Woo! Monte Carlo. I’ve always wanted to see Monaco, and now it’s a easy drive from where we are.

We’ll walk about today and explore what’s billed as Jardin Exotique. We’ll all about pizza and gelato today, too.

In a few days, we’ll pack up and drive to Provence, settle in for two weeks. But this little interlude has, so far, been perfect. Gotta get myself cleaned up for today’s adventure.

A bientot!

The view by night. Photo by bw.

Nora

A PS from Laura:  I get all the photos and am able to choose what illustrates Nora’s posts the best.  Usually I can intuit my way into the caption, but sometimes I’m stumped.  More often than not, it’s a clever, quirky photo from Kat.  So when I can, I’ll add a photo that falls into Random Katness.  Today, I bring to you the puzzle of the door locks — and I’m absolutely certain Kat’s had  a wonderful time figuring them out.

The puzzle of the locks. Photo by kat.