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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
PS. Kat agreed to continuing with the #randomkatness, but only if I curated the photos and wrote the captions. I agreed.
The blog laid dormant for a few weeks as summer (and deadline) caught up with Nora and I took the time to start considering how else to use this space. The quiet is about to change as we’re less than a week from Nora’s 2017 travelogue, this time from Cote d’Azur and Provence.
Here’s a quick catch up:
After New York with Logan, Nora planned to finish writing the 2018 hardcover romantic suspense before leaving for the family trip to the spa. She ended up working 12-14 hours a day for nearly two weeks in order to meet the goal, and she did. Shelter in Place went off to her editor on a Sunday morning and she left for the spa less than 24 hours later.
(Did you catch the title?)
The entire group did a paint session and BW sent me the results:
Then it was home for a few days and a dip in the In Death waters for the second 2018 book before the TTP 22nd anniversary signing, the Fall into the Story brunch and our trip to The Greenbrier.
( NO TITLE on that In Death yet — it’s barely started.)
The signing was a lot of fun and the authors had a wonderful time.
Brunch, as always, was a delight. It’s so much fun to have a little more time to chat and share stories than we do at the signings.
I took the annual panorama of the entire group at the end of the brunch.
The next day, we were off to The Greenbrier for a week of work and relaxation. Oh, and games.* Nora, Ruth and I arrived first and took a quick, silly selfie to send BW.
We settled in, welcomed Kat and our Sarah, unpacked, got to know our engaging ghosts (the suite was full of excited energy that wasn’t just ours), and then planted ourselves on the private patio. We only left for walks or workouts or food.
Thursday, Nora and I did a Facebook Live — 40 minutes of conversation, some laughter and a lot of great information.
The week was wonderful. We’ve already booked next year.
*Yes, you read that right, games. BUT no scoreboard. Ruth Langan taught us Euchre and then Nora taught Ruth and me Hearts. I have no ability to strategize, but I did ok. So, cards are acceptable. They won’t be part of the Girls Spa trip so there will still be a Stupid Scoreboard.
I regret to inform you that I ended the week in possession of the gaudy Biggest Loser earrings. All my “friends” turned on me in my hour of need. The Mighty and Fearsome Elaine is the Grand Poobah Champion of Spa World with wins in Dance (poor, poor Sarah), Bowling and by getting the most answers in Reverse Charades.
When Nora added up the lowest scores, it came down to the slimmest margin between Mary and me. Nicole, sweet Nicole, turned to me and asked, “Wait, when did you start winning games? You didn’t win when I was here.” I told her I DIDN’T win, that was the point. She nodded and said, “Ohhhhh.”
An ear infection and URI can make anyone a little loopy.
Nora said it was too close to call. Mary said, “Oh just give it to Laura — it will fit her narrative.” And the rest of them agreed with applause. I guess accurate and unbiased reporting on the goings on during spa week begets frenemies willing to bring you low.
Sigh. I need to accept applications for new friends. The flurry of photos for Elaine’s THIRD coronation in six years ended up looking like this. I think it accurately shows my feelings on the subject.
But let’s backtrack a bit, shall we Diary Dear?
Thursday evening was a flurry of activity. The Mighty and Fearsome Elaine took on the Beautiful and Brilliant Sarah in a serious final round of Trivia. I captured this moment near the end of the round:
That begat the final result:
Elaine took the finals in Just Dance by a hair’s breadth, but my video won’t upload so I can’t prove it. Does that mean it REALLY happened?
And then she bowled. A game like no other with seven consecutive strikes.
A busy evening for the future champion who moved to the dining table for second round Scrabble Nicole, Pat and Kat. Nicole, still obviously somewhat alert despite her symptoms came in second and would play Kat in the finals.
Nora, the soul of tact and discretion, said at least 473 times, “Nicole is in the final! Let me repeat, Nicole and Kat are in the final!!!!” Perhaps her shock makes her Nicole’s “friend” as well.
Elaine chose her various prizes and then said, “I’m tired of winning. I have to go now.” Diary, I believe I hissed a little.
[From the Fearsome one’s private journal: “Yes! All is in place for my re-coronation! I shall sleep well tonight.”]
In the meantime, side bowling games abounded. Mary Kay had set the multipin scoring record of 560 the night before, so she sat and watched us try in vain to catch her.
[Excerpted from Mary Kay’s annals of fabulousness: “I’m still the bowling queen — I have a golden ball!”]
At one point JoAnne said Mary Kay should take a turn. Mary Kay replied, “I don’t want to keep demoralizing you.”
Diary, our egos are very healthy during spa week.
We saved Paint and Sip for the final night (though sadly, Pat had to miss it). For some misguided reason, Diary, I decided to let all the participants have a choice in what we painted so we could send the final pick to the teacher beforehand. Oh the opinions on color and flower and scene! But finally I herded my squirrels to one picture with the promise everyone could personalize the colors.
We had as much fun in the 2017 session as we did last year.
Amanda, the instructor, took this photo of everyone at the end.
And here’s a closer look at what we painted:
We ended the night with Scrabble (Kat won, Nicole placed admirably), Reverse Scrabble Charades (I’m actually not sharing THOSE photos) and the coronation.
And then, Diary, our week was over. Another wonderful seven days with girls, wine, games (ugh) and laughter.
In all seriousness Diary, it’s a wonderful gift Nora shares with us every spring. We all started out in different parts of Nora’s life and now all those parts blend like the paint above — we enhance, we embrace and we encourage. Some of us get together regularly, some we don’t see until spa week arrives, but the time doesn’t matter, the relationships do.
And so, I bid you farewell Diary. Word is my “friend” Nora may try to give her own version of the week. I would take it all with a grain of salt.
A quiet-ish week in Nora world. She’s revisiting a certain couple of someones in 2061 NYC, I hear. But whispers of a new book are all we get, considering there’s months to go until she shares with the rest of us. Let’s leave the writer alone and focus focus on finishing 2016 well, ok?
Last night was Girls’ Night Out at Turn the Pageand the turnout was nearly that of a signing. Gone are the days that Nora and I could wander through stores, check in at TTP so she could sign books, and then head out again. So many happy faces, so many celebrations, so much good energy showed up at Nora’s table. We had a very nice evening.
I decided to camp out at Nora’s for the evening and when I left this morning, I had to stop my car and take this photo of the drive. A color combination of fall and Christmas, no?
And I posted a couple of quotes on social media — what do you think? (Belated congratulations to all the Cubs fans out there — and sympathies to the Cleveland faithful).
Much more news next week (though I may play with the timing since I’ve got some travel for the holiday).
First, thank you to our veterans. As I posted on Facebook this morning, some of the most wonderful, poignant and gratifying emails are from members of the military and their families thanking Nora for the difference her books make in getting through the strains of deployment.
Second, despite the fact we’re all so weary of the voting process in the US, here’s something you can endorse:
Nora’s at the spa right now, but will be back in time for Girls Night Out at Turn the Page Bookstore on Thursday, November 17 from 6-9 pm. I’ve copied/pasted the info from the Facebook page since it’s not on the TTP website:
TTP received permission to sell 50 copies of ISLAND OF GLASS at this event (limit one per attendee)! This is pretty exciting for us since the actual release date isn’t until Dec. 6.
Then be sure to wander around town and stop in the many participating businesses, including our lovely neighboring shop Gifts Inn BoonsBoro. Visit all of the participating businesses with your punch sheet and you’ll have a chance to win a free night’s stay at Inn BoonsBoro and other prizes.
There is no charge for this event, but books signed at Turn the Page must be purchased here. Call TTP at 301-432-4588 for more details.
Finally, I posted some quotes on Facebook this week. Enjoy!
For the rest of the year, I plan to compile a weekly round up of social media goings on, photos that appeal to me and tidbits of info that just don’t fit into other posts. So, not a Cranky Publicist post (like the one I’ve drafted in my head about how can you be an In Death fan if you misspell Roarke???) but a neater way to keep you all filled in on what’s new and what’s not.
First up: theInn BoonsBoro package featuring an Evening with Nora sold out within hours. I’m pretty sure if it goes smoothly, there will be another one in the future. Stay tuned.
Next, St. Martin’s continues to be super excited about their first book with Nora/JD — Echoes in Death. They will release small bits — one liners really — over the weeks to come to whet appetites even more. Here’s the first one.
Continuing on the St. Martin’s Press theme (they are more excited than anyone about working with Nora!): they have an ongoing sweepstakes tied into Echoes in Death. The last two prizes are up for grabs soon — the last one is an Eve style leather coat! Details and rules* are here.
They also created an amazing pop-art poster for Echoes in Death and will giveaway to readers in the US and Canada (ex. Quebec)** who upload their pre-order receipts before midnight, Feb. 6, 2017. All details are listed here.
And, because excitement this big can’t be contained, they’ve revealed the cover for September 2017’s Secrets in Death.
I’ll have more information about it next week. Pre-order links are coming on line, but it’s still a little too early for some. Will list all the pre-order links next week. Promise!
Finally, at Saturday’s signing two readers (names escape me right now) told me all about one of their phones that took photos by saying “Cheese!” “Shoot” or “Capture!” It was a Samsung 7 and I have a 6. Nora will attest that I pouted about not having that amazing capability — which just made us laugh.
Back at the Fortress of Solitude that night, I googled voice triggered photos and found out that I could make my Samsung 6 do it. And it did! Here’s the evidence.
Then we set BW’s Samsung up as well. So happy faces all around, except for Nora’s pout that her iPhone didn’t take photos by talking to it.
Still she smiled for the photo.
OK, that’s week one of The Register.
Comments, questions, things you’ve found on your own? Share in the comments.
* While we love our worldwide readers and hate they have to miss out on the fun, there are varying rules and regulations regarding contests and sweepstakes in countries outside the US and Canada making it problematic and extremely difficult to create global contests.
** Canadians in Quebec can’t enter due to their own tight rules on sweepstakes. All other Canadians must answer a math question to make it a test of skill rather than chance.
It’s been a busy few weeks with birthdays, painting sessions and time in New York. Nora will get back to her regular weekend blog posts next weekend but I thought I’d share some visuals and some cool info for everyone. I think I’ll take it in chronological order.
Sunday, October 9 A group of us met at Inn BoonsBoro for their fourth Brushes & Bubbly session. Nora, Kayla, her mom Stacie, Mary Kay McComas and her sister, our friend Sarah and I joined nine other people in the dining room of the Inn to paint a mermaid, in honor of The Guardians Trilogy. Local artist Ronald Layman patiently led us through the layers needed to create depth and shadow and texture. We all had a great time.
Monday, October 10 (Birthday!) In honor of the birthday girl, St. Martin’s Press revealed the cover of the 2017 hardcover, Come Sundown:
Tuesday, October 11/Wednesday, October 12 The beginning of the annual fall trip. Nora, BW and Jason rode up to NYC and I met them at the hotel. I took this photo because I love those spires.
Thursday, October 13 After some very satisfying shopping and lunch — Kat (who joined us on Wednesday after flying in from a hiking trip with her cousins) scooped up these beauties —
we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the party St. Martin’s Press hosted to welcome Nora to the fold. Rain sprinkled in the afternoon, but the sun came out just as the party started. We all toasted Nora under the light of the setting sun on the rooftop patio.
Friday, October 15 Litographs went live with a Naked in Death infinity scarf in addition to t-shirts, totes, and posters! These super soft infinity scarves are available in your choice of 12 colors and 4 fonts. Shop today and Save $5 on your scarf with code NAKSCARF (valid through tomorrow, 10/18) https://litographs.typeform.com/to/Tm5XPa
The weekend was all about holiday shopping for Nora and spending time with my daughter for me. I headed back to Maryland early because I’m heading back to NJ next weekend. I’m sure Nora will fill us all in with what happened next when she gets back to her desk.
Before you read any further, please know that when I set up the blog all photos are right side up. I’m doing my best to figure out why they translate sideways on mobile devices. Laura
We started off Wednesday with movement. While Nora and Kat did a dvd workout in the suite, I walked up to the Midway. Loved this huge statue just by the water.
The day was free until the fabulous Literacy signing. Nora and I went down to see exactly where she’d sit and we ran into Mary Rhoades — the first person in line. The Marriott staff got her a chair so she’d be comfortable, then I offered to snap her photo with Nora, along with the second person in line, Amy who flew in from North Carolina (and if that’s the wrong name, please let me know!).
We met so many wonderful readers who patiently waited for a chance to meet Nora. The event brought in over $39,000 which put RWA over the $1 million mark for donations to Literacy over the past two decades.
Thursday was another free day. Nora and I took a turn around the conference area, then we met Ruth and took advantage of the glorious San Diego weather. As you can see below, it was cool in the shade so we had the fire pit turned on until Ruth could bask in the sun. And Nora wore boots.
I did not.
Friday was the busy day — Nora had her chat, then we lunched with the St. Martin’s team, then parties all around. I’m sure she’ll share more about it, so I’ll share some photos.
The start of the evening.
Saturday was all about the prep for Nora’s champagne reception. This year we had the fabulous view along with food and wine.
We cleaned up pretty well too.
We spent the final day over on Coronado, lunching at the Hotel Del, browsing through shops and breathing in the sea air. I’ll share photos when we’re back in Maryland, but for now we have another plane to catch.
Monday’s trip to San Diego was smooth as could be — the only real adventure was watching our driver figure out the way to pack all of the bags and five women in. Fortunately we had Kat on stand by to work her car magic just in case.
All the rooms, except Nora’s suite, were ready when we arrived. So did the only sensible thing: head down to eat by the pool. Margaritas, nachos and chips for all!
The continuing thread of the narrative this week will be the epic battle of heat v. cold. I’m traveling with a group of thin skinned shiverers! When we walk through any hall, go into any room, all I hear is a chorus complaining about how coooooold it is! My advice to suck it up is met with great disdain. But on Monday I was actually chilly in the shade with the stiff breeze.
We disbursed to unpack and settle. Then time to settle in on our balcony nest for the rest of the day.
Bed before 9 for everyone because we’re still on east coast time.
All of us were up early on Tuesday. I took a walk with Jill Shalvis, while Nora and Kat tackled dvd workouts. Then it was on to the serious part of the day: shopping. We found interesting clothing stores, the Nordstrom Café for lunch, then some more shopping before heading back to check in for the conference.
Once we checked in, it was back up to our balcony nest to listen to a concert and watch the water. A lovely early dinner ended the first full day at conference.