A summer pastime

Nora was selected to Quirk Books’ Literary Baseball All-Star Team!  She’s playing the hot corner, just like her favorite baseball player, Brooks Robinson.

This got me to thinking:  who would I vote onto a Romance All-Start Baseball team?

I’m not going to choose positions, but for me, Nora would captain a team of Romance vets including Jane Austen, Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer, Linda Howard, Mary Balogh, Nalini Singh, Jill Shalvis and Sarah Morgan.

Who would play on your Romance All-Star team?

Laura

 

The name game

We’re having a quick discussion about the Dream trilogy on Nora’s Facebook page.  This is probably my most favorite of all the trilogies — I love those women and their friendship and generosity toward each other.

Or it could be that a Laura is the heroine of Finding the Dream.

Once I actually suggested to Nora that it might be simple and elegant to just name all her heroines Laura forever more.

She — rather unsympathetically — told me no.  I’ve slowly accepted that decision over the past decade and have instead enjoyed the variety of names of characters over the years.  My favorites?  Brooks (The Witness) and Cilla (Tribute).  I love Ford as a hero’s name too!

Readers have shared stories about the names they love in Nora’s books.  Some people have named their babies after a beloved character and send lovely photos.

How do you feel about character’s names?  Do you have a favorite?  ~Laura

Fall into a Brunch with Nora

How would you like to have brunch with Nora?

Now’s your chance as we begin taking reservations for our “Fall into a Brunch with Nora”. The brunch will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday, July 14th at Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House. The price of the Brunch will be $30 per person. This price includes your meal, drinks (non-alcoholic), dessert and gratuity for the wait staff.  Due to limited seating, we ask that you refrain from purchasing tickets for spouses or family members who are not Nora Fans.

Payment for the Brunch will only be accepted in “cash” format, i.e. cash, check or money order. Payments through PayPal can NOT be accepted.

We will also be holding a raffle for a chance to sit with Nora!! Three very lucky people will be chosen to sit at Nora’s table. These tickets can be purchased for an additional fee ($5.00 each) and all proceeds will go towards The Nora Roberts Foundation. Right before the Brunch, Nora will draw the names of those who will sit at her table. We will not be selling these tickets the day of the brunch, so please get yours early.

The final cut-off date for the purchase of tickets (Brunch and Raffle), or for reimbursements of ANY kind is June 28, 2013.

If you purchase a ticket and then find that you will not be able to attend, please contact me before this date. I will NOT be able to issue any refunds after the June 28th deadline.

If you would like to attend the Brunch, please email me at: ttpbrunch@gmail.com. I will send you a reply email with all the needed information so that you may purchase your tickets.

Hope to see you there!

~ Jeannie

Summer reading survival

Nora and I love to spend time at home though she seems to achieve that a little more consistently than I do these days.  She’s at her desk writing (next year’s hardcover — no title yet) while I’m heading out on a tour of the Mid-Atlantic states that will go from New Jersey to Virginia over the next week.

Guess where I’d rather be?

It’s taken a while but I’ve learned the beauty of driving to an audiobook soundtrack.  And instead of the usual 10 books (you know, 2 to read, 8 just in case) in my extra bag I’ve now got a kindle loaded up for reading when I get to the next stop.  (This time I’m driving, but when I fly I do carry at least one take off and landing book)

What are your tricks for keeping up with your favorite authors while you travel?  And who do you plan to read this summer? ~Laura

A spring evening

Turn the Page Bookstore took part in the spring edition of Girls’ Night Out in Boonsboro last Thursday.  I drove up to meet Nora and our pal Sarah for the event.  The weather was perfect, everyone was in a wonderful mood and conversation flowed on any and all subjects.  Here are a couple of photos:

IMG_1047 The Nora Room at Turn the Page.

IMG_1044Some of the crowd around the front door.

IMG_1052  What else do girls do on a a night out but show off their “guns”? (That’s Sarah, Nora and me, Laura.)

 

IMG_1051 For some people, the best part of the evening was running into Nora.

Here’s the question of the day:  If you ran into Nora on the street, what would you say/ask?

Laura

 

The Garden Report (Mother’s Day edition)

Nora sent photos from this weekend’s forays into the garden, including an update on growth in that well-loved face pot.  When I’m up at her house, it’s always fun to find the fanciful figures tucked in among the flowers.  There are so many that I’ve completely missed the face table (that’s missing it over more than five years, y’all)!  So she kindly sent a photo of that as well.

nr garden md 15 The goddess of the garden oversees all.

nr garden md 14 Look how the flowers have filled in.

nr garden md 13 Broken flowerpot?  Plant it!

nr garden md 12Barrel of flowers and grow bags at the ready.

nr garden md 11The higher planter holds Nora’s prized Meyer Lemon Tree.  The lemons she’s harvested have been wonderful!

nr garden md 7 Hidden in the garden…

nr garden md 3 See the face???

nr garden md 2 Garden wellies.

 

 

A Friday question

At Turn the Page events, we meet a lot moms and daughters who share the love of Nora’s books.  With Mother’s Day (US) on Sunday, I wondered a couple of things:  do you share your books with your mother?  How much influence did your mom have on your reading choices?

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and for all those moms out there — hope a wonderful book is part of your Mother’s Day.  ~Laura

Nora’s Kentucky Derby recap

We love Derby! We’re so grateful to be asked to come, and to support a wonderful cause like Blessings In A Backpack. For one wonderful weekend in May I can support that cause, enjoy an amazing tradition, and have nothing but fun doing both.

Bruce, our daughter-in-law Kat and I arrived in Louisville on Thursday afternoon to glorious weather–and our traditional stop for lunch at the Dizzy Whiz with our pal and escort–the delightful Kathy Conway, and our cop for the weekend, the fabulous Brian.

Then it’s off to the hotel, to unpack, to unwind before suiting up for Club Night. This is our ninth Derby, so it’s a lot like a family reunion, catching up with friends we only see once a year. A poker tournament is a big part of Club Night, but since we’re lousy at Texas Hold ‘Em, we opt to just hang out, reconnect with those friends, enjoy the spread.

Friday is Oaks Day–for the guys in our group. Our son Jason arrives bright and early (he had work on Thursday). He and Bruce dress up for a day at the track–and looked pretty spiffy! Kat and I head out with our Kathy for a girl day. Manis and pedis–and I opt for bright green toes to match my Derby dress. More fun! And fun, too, as we’ve been going to this salon for several years, and can catch up with everyone there.

Off to a pretty ladies lunch–champagne for me!–relaxing, talking, then to the big part of the afternoon. Shopping. I know when I spot a bag I HAVE to have the minute I walk into my favorite store in Louisville, it’s going to be a good day. Following tradition, I find a cool pair of shoes for Bruce, and Father’s Day is now taken care of.

Back to the hotel where the talented Sarah will give us gala hair. The men come back–my filly didn’t come in–but they had as good a time as we did.

Now it’s get glam time for Unbridled Eve’s fabulous gala. The men look so handsome–but I have to say my Kat is just awesome. Kathy and her equally handsome son–in his ROTC uniform–are joining us for the evening.

BW and I walk the Red Carpet–also fun but always just a little odd for me considering I spend most of my time in pjs or sweats in front of a keyboard. But tonight’s special, and again for a wonderful cause. It’s fun to see what everyone’s wearing, too see the beautifully decorated venue. It’s such a happy weekend, and it pumps you up to be around such good, positive energy.

The silent auction benefits Blessings In A Backpack, and I’m happy to bid on items that catch my eye. Even happier when my bids hold up on several. We don’t stay too late–tomorrow’s the big day!

And it dawns chilly, rainy, windy. But we’re not going to let that dampen our spirits. It’s time for hats! Mine is made–as it is most years–by Hats By Penny–and this year is the best yet. I’m in love with it. I’m also glad I have a reasonably warm jacket to go over my spring green dress. I needed it.

There’s really nothing like seeing the Downs, each and every year. Nothing like the look and feel of it, the sounds of it, and all those happy people braving the rain to be a part of this first Saturday in May.

More familiar faces, more hugs–a challenge with big hats–and the incredible sight of the track, the sound of the horses, the pageantry.

The betting!

My luck is down. Race after race I can’t pick a horse to save me. I’ve had some tips on the Derby race, and consider all of them. I put a little on Goldencents–a local favorite, and some on Rosie, the female jockey. But Orb catches my eye, so I decide to put a chunk on him across the board.

You can actually feel the sizzle as the big race approaches. And the rain stops; the sky lightens a little. Everyone’s buzzing now, and piling out onto the terrace to wait and watch. The minute the gates open I forget–as I always do–the bet. It’s all about the horses, the incredible beauty of them, the speed–even on the sloppy track–the thunderous sound. Everyone cheers, shouts, whistles–it’s a wall of noise, and in that moment I don’t care who wins. I just want to watch the majesty of the moment.

But I do see a horse coming in from behind. Who is that? Just look at him, he’s glorious. I don’t realize until right before the finish it’s Orb. I pull for him then as much, probably more, due to his magnificent run than the bet.

Even when it’s done, the buzz continues. Cheers and more cheers–from winning bets and losing ones. I go inside to watch the race again on the TV, hear the announcers as that wall of sound during the race blocks everything else.

Then I cash in. Thank you, Orb!

We stay for the last two races–for the fun and to give traffic a chance to calm. The Surrounding games have loads to offer the gambler, it seems I’m solicitated just as much as online, things like “ CompareTheBets’ List of Promo Codes” can be heard from well dressed young men and such… But I remain focused on my current luck, and I hit the next two races as well. It’s fun to win, but the real thrill is Derby, and everything surrounding it.

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