A Trilogy

Is THREE books. Three, then done. Over, finished, complete.

The Dragonheart Trilogy. Three books.

I know some readers sincerely feel that asking for more is flattering. It is, it really is. To a point. But there’s been a lot of demanding and haranguing over this one with readers who want, and demand and—sorry, not sorry— whine for more.

(And some do it after EVERY trilogy.)

Why can’t you write all the weddings?????

You know, I gave the reader a big, beautiful wedding, in detail within The Choice. The dress, the vows, the prep, the color, the music. All of it. Not enough, apparently.

Where is Marco’s wedding, where is Breen’s?

Down the road, dear readers. The trilogy ended. Worlds saved, evil defeated, lovers met.

We should’ve seen Sally and Derrick come over.

Down the road again. This is not a story line.

More grieving and a funeral for Sedrick. We did have grieving, but lives are lost in wars. That’s why wars suck out loud. There was no place for more.

We are not going to see Fin bond with his dragon. That was not the story. And the kid’s hardly more than a toddler when the story ends.

We want to see more babies.

 Down. The. Road. This was not the story.

Breen awakened. Breen became. Breen chose.

THAT was the story. Mission accomplished.

I cannot give each individual reader all they want. And I won’t.

I will tell you the story that comes to me, and work hard to make it the best I can. That’s my job. I can’t tie every aspect that every single reader wants up in a bow, and keep going and going. When it’s done, it’s done.

Can’t we just have a fourth book, or a novella, or a short story?

Oh, my Jesus, do you not think, seriously not think, of the time, effort, the work, the creatively involved it that? Like, snap your fingers and give us all what we want? No one can actually believe it works that way.

This will seem harsh to some, and some of you will be pissed at me. I PAY for the books, why can’t she do what I want? Because, dear readers, I write how I write. The story is what it is.

And no, there were no loose ends, I did not leave anyone hanging. Except those who want, want, want, want weddings, babies, intricate word pictures of everything that might happen next.

I worked very hard on this trilogy, I sweated over making it all flow to a natural conclusion. But for some, it’s just never, never, never enough.

I finished The Choice a year ago. I’ve written two In Deaths, a Roberts’s suspense and am working on the first book of a new trilogy. I’m never, never, never going to go back and write weddings and babies for this trilogy.

This is not a book. There is no conflict, internal or external. There are no hills and valleys. There would be just happy, happy, joy, joy. And that’s not how I work.

I loved writing this trilogy, I was totally invested in the characters. But it’s done.

What comes next is up to you.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and never thought of demanding a writer give me more. I want this, this, this. Come on, gimme.

It’s actually astonishing to me that some readers do just that.

I have no obligation to do that, and never will. I HATE some readers are disappointed. But there’s nothing I can or will do about it.

And the next trilogy. THREE books. When it’s done, it’s done. Absolutely no point in demanding more. The Lost Bride Trilogy will be three books. Some will ask for more. I’ll have moved on.

Let me add, please, if you’re going to bring up specifics, spoilers, plot points, you want to comment on, argue about, do it here, and not on Facebook. There are many readers who follow on FB who haven’t read the book or books. Laura is so clear about that, but some ignore it because they’re just unhappy.

I’m also going to add, if it’s not obvious, I’m really tired of some demanding what I can’t give. And begging for what I can’t and won’t give. It’s exhausting.

Nora

The Trilogy note

Dear reading pals,

Remember the agonizing days that ensued when you finished the Born in trilogy?  Or the Key Trilogy?  Or The Inn BoonsBoro trilogy?  

Heck, pick any trilogy that you hold dear.  

Remember the book hangover?  The absolute certainty you’d never meet characters as amazing as the Concannons, or the women of Indulgence or the Montgomery Brothers?  That life was bereft of light and laughter now that you didn’t know what would happen in their lives anymore and you were certain Nora NEEDED to provide more?

Even though you could always revisit the books any time you’d like, that first time was finished.  And oh, how it hurts to know you can’t read a book for the first time ever again.

But then…you met the Templetons of the Dream trilogy, the valiant Six of The Circle Trilogy, the amazing cousins of The O’Dwyer Trilogy.  Or you visited Three Sisters Island…the charming village of Ardmore…watched the world rebuild through The One.

Get the pattern?  We all experience deep sadness when we close the final book in a series, sure we’ll never feel that way again.  

And then less than a year later, Nora hands us the first book in a new series.  I know some wait until all three are out, some will read them on publication day, then reread before the next book.  But in the end, all of us will meet a new set of people, even knowing that book hangover awaits at the end of the series.

Isn’t that the reason we all read Nora?  How reliably she gives us new, entertaining adventures that only she knows we need to read? (She wrote about trusting her in a post this fall.)

For nearly a week, I’ve seen a ton of comments wanting –no NEEDING — more of the Dragon Heart Legacy. Dig down, it’s wishing for a little more time with characters before saying goodbye.

If you look at the arc of the three books, Nora finished all she set out to do:  take a woman who has no knowledge of her tremendous potential and lead us to the point when she knows who she is and what she will do with her life.
There has been loss, there has been sadness, but on the whole Breen made her choices and there is happiness ahead. 

Nora took us on that journey and left Breen in a very good place. And we can all use our imagination to think of what happens next.

In my head, I see the comments now:

But Nora wrote a fourth book for The Quinn Brothers!!!  Why yes she did.  She was very upfront that Seth would get a story — after he’d had time to grow up.  So that’s why there’s three years between Inner Harbor (1998) and Chesapeake Blue (2001). Twenty-one years ago.

But Nora wrote four books for The Bride Quartet!!!!  
She had a cast of four characters and took them through a year in the life — New Year’s Day to New Year’s Day.  Quite honestly, my friends, I could hear the wedding fatigue in her voice when she was in the middle of writing Happy Ever After.  Honest to goodness, I experienced ONE real life wedding this year. I’m not sure how she created the details for multiple fictional weddings throughout that series.  So when she wrote The End, she meant it.

But Nora wrote novellas! 
No, she wrote two very short stories for the now defunct Waldenbooks newsletter which you can find here.  The novellas she did write were planned into the writing schedule as a project with friends. And she stopped writing novellas 7 years ago.

Nora of 2022 writes a very different sort of book than the Nora of 2009 who Wedding’d Herself Out writing The Bride Quartet.  She’s creating more complex worlds in her trilogies as well as her stand alones.  Let’s be real here: she writes two In Deaths a year to vacation with Eve and Roarke in a world she already knows.

It’s a huge compliment for readers to want more of characters and the world you create.  Readers have to understand that Nora’s currently deep in the first draft of the first book of the NEXT trilogy and Talamh is firmly in her rearview mirror. It’s been in the rearview mirror since December 2021.

I know a smidgeon of what the next trilogy is about and I think you’ll enjoy it tremendously.  Even as we all know I’ll have to re-post this letter in November 2025 when The Lost Bride Trilogy concludes.

We’ve got a lot more fun ahead of us.  Let’s keep our eyes on that. And enjoy.

Laura

PS. Three posts in a week??? Can the blog be springing back to life? Stay tuned.

Encore in Death excerpt

It’s the end of Thanksgiving weekend in the US — what better time to set our sights for 2023 and the Encore in Death release on February 7?

If you subscribe to Nora’s News, you’ve already read Chapter One when I sent the newsletter out over a week ago. Now it’s time to share with everyone.

Here’s the cover copy for Encore:

It was a glittering event full of A-listers, hosted by Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh, a celebrity couple who’d conquered both Hollywood and Broadway. And now Eve Dallas has made her entrance—but not as a guest. After raising a toast, Fitzhugh fell to the floor and died, with physical symptoms pointing to cyanide, and the police have crashed the party.

From all accounts, he wasn’t the kind of star who made enemies. Everyone loved him—even his ex-wife. And since the champagne cocktail that killed him was originally intended for Eliza, it’s possible she was the real target, with a recently fired assistant, a bitter rival, and an obsessed fan in the picture. With so many attendees, staff, and servers, Eve has her work cut out determining who committed murder in the middle of the crowd—and what was their motivation. As one who’s not fond of the spotlight herself, she dreads the media circus surrounding a case like this. All she wants is to figure out who’s truly innocent, and who’s only acting that way…

Here’s your first look at Encore in Death, Chapter One.

Enjoy!

Laura

The Choice discussion thread

It’s finally here: the conclusion of The Dragon Heart Legacy. And this is the space in which you can discuss all things The Choice freely.

The official description reads:

Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen―for now.

With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations―of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births―and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.

It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks―and her courage…

Share your thoughts on The Choice in the comments. As always, spoilers will happen, so read the comments at your own risk.

Laura

The Choice excerpt

https://fallintothestory.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/TheChoice.pdf

I would have sworn on all that I hold holy that I posted the excerpt from The Choice in September. I included it in the newsletter for Desperation in Death and the next step on my to-do list is to post here 48 hours later.

But when I saw a question about it on FB, I realized — to my horror — I hadn’t.

Anyway, the official copy reads:

Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen―for now.

With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations―of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births―and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.

It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks―and her courage…

Here is Chapter One.

The Choice is in stores November 22. So truly, not that long now.

I apologize for the delay and will pay more attention to my newsletter to-do list going forward.

And if you want to catch all the excerpts as they happen (i.e., not depend on my to-do lists), please sign up for Nora’s News — the sign up is at the bottom of the home page on both the Nora Roberts and JD Robb websites

Laura

Nora in NY (Sung to I Love NY)

A fall trip to New York City is one of Nora’s fondest traditions that dates back to the years of fall book tours. New York would be the last stop on the tour, then BW and the family would meet her at the Palace to relax after weeks on the road. It was the breather before the holidays.

Well, a breather and a chance for Nora to finish her holiday shopping. She still does. [humbug]

Her favorite place to stay is the Champagne Suite at the Palace which is large enough for the entire family to stay comfortably.

The view from the suite’s living room. Photo by Laura

Covid interrupted the trip in 2020 and in 2021, the suite was taken for Nora’s dates. This year? She was back, baby. Broadway and dining out remain off the table for now, so BW opted to stay home. Kayla planned to come on her fall break, then had an opportunity to travel with friends. So Nora, Jason, Kat and Griffin rode up in a new-to-them small bus. Everyone was comfortable and Griffin loved it.

Champagne for the champagne suite in the large box. Photo by BW.

I love October in New York for the weather and the sports. My husband and I drove up a day early so we could see the Mets on Saturday night (the only win in the series against the Padres) and then the Jets on Sunday afternoon. We were 2 for 2 for in-person sports so happy, despite the Mets losing the series on Sunday night. We’re native New Yorkers and just keep hold of our teams.

Nora and family arrived Saturday afternoon after creeping so slowly through tunnel traffic I had to leave for Citifield before they reached the hotel. I popped up for a quick hello before football, but didn’t spend time with them  until Monday.

It was an absolutely gorgeous October 10 (aka someone’s birthday), even with the Columbus Day Parade screwing up our walk to the new flagship UGG store on Fifth. Nora, Kat and I spent a nice hour wandering, then an enforced 25 minutes watching the parade since we were held at a crosswalk until a break in the marchers.

Stepping off. Photo by Laura

Once allowed to cross, we headed back to the hotel for a break. Then I had a late lunch with my sister downtown and Nora decided to walk up Madison Avenue on a gift mission.

A side note: Sunday evening, Kat’s nephews and nibling came over from New Jersey with their moms.  When they got to the suite, they reported meeting Dennis Quaid in the lobby. Nora replied, “You should have called me – I love Dennis Quaid!!”  Please note, I only run into athletes and saw many San Diego Padres and the Cleveland Guardians — also at the Palace.

Back to Monday. We get on at the 53rd floor, then the elevator opened at the 51st and Mr. Quaid walks in, finishing up a conversation with someone who remained on his floor.  He was in front of me, looking ahead at the doors — as one does on an elevator.  I looked over at Nora who gave me bug-eyes.  (Later, Kat said he probably caught us in the reflection of the doors ruining all my fantasies of being cool.) 

Dennis Quaid half turns and asks what we’re all doing today.  I told him we were riding the elevator until we ran into him.  And then we all chatted a bit on the minute long ride.  He’s doing a project for HBO Max with Stephen Soderbergh.  (Ok, he mentioned Soderbergh and I googled the rest.) 

Guess who else is in the project? Timothy Olyphant!  We hoped to run into DQ again to find out where Timothy Olyphant is staying.  No such luck.  But a fun birthday story.

On Tuesday, Nora and Jason took Griffin to the Central Park Zoo.  I walked uptown with them to enjoy the lovely morning. Griffin was taking in all the sights and sounds. Every time he heard a horn or a siren he’d yell “Watch out!” as safety always comes first.

When they returned in the afternoon, Nora and Jason reported that Griffin took a couple moments to look over the Spider Web Scramble Net, but once he watched some kids playing, he climbed up and had the best time — never once letting go of his truck.

Griffin getting the lay of the web. Photo by j a-b.

After nearly an hour, Jason retrieved Griffin so they could take in some more sights at the zoo. That turned into a ramble in the park to find the carousel — which dad and boy enjoyed a lot.

Carousel smiles. Photo by j a-b.

On the walk back, they found a subway stop with Nora’s intials.

Nora’s station. Photo by j a-b.

In big Griffin news, next week he turns 4 AND starts school!

In Griffin and Nana news, Nora got in an extra 5K steps every day with Griffin — either chasing, racing or playing hide and seek.

Does a Cranky Publicist do any of that? Why no, but we got into a great rhythm of him doing a run and when he’d get near me, I’d ask “Stop or Go?” He’d reply “GO!” and keep on the move. Satisfactory exchange on both sides.

Wednesday was a walk around day. I’ve taken on an intern this year — specifically The Inquisitive Intern, to contrast with a Cranky Publicist. Paige is helping me with some social media graphics as well as behind the scenes research for future updates to the websites and this blog.

We shopped for sneakers for Griffin and more Christmas gifts (bah, humbug) then had an al fresco lunch near Rockefeller Center.  Nora and Paige bonded by the time the french fries were served.  And you’ll see more of Paige as the year goes by.

No ice skating until November — rollerskaters out in force. Photo by Laura
Paige, the Inquisitive Intern, and Nora.

Thursday was the only rainy day. Nora, Jason and Kat had a Nora Roberts Family Foundation meeting so I rambled around — down to the Flatiron Building and back up to St. Patrick’s. Then I met my husband for a couple beers at an Irish pub. A perfect NYC day.

NYPL on a rainy day. Photo by Laura.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photo by Laura.

Friday was a matter of tying up any loose ends for shopping — which meant a stop at Uniqlo and later Sephora. I also had to show Nora the seasonal decorations on Papillon, a restaurant on 54th street.

That last afternoon, we sat down for a Facebook Live on the JD Robb page — we shared stories about the trip, revealed the title of the September 2023 In Death and answered a few questions. I know it will fill in some of the blanks: https://fb.watch/giBC6xltbK/

A few more favorite photos from the week.

Love this view. Photo by Laura.
Light at night. Photo by Laura.

A lovely week indeed.

Laura

Identity

Because it’s never too early to plan ahead, I’m pleased to share the cover of Identity — Nora’s May 2023 release (specifically, it’s out 5/23/23).

Isn’t it gorgeous??? St. Martin’s Press outdid themselves with this one.

So…what’s it about? The only official copy is this:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author’s terrifying new thriller about one man’s ice-cold malice, and one woman’s fight to reclaim her life.

St. Martin’s Press

I’ll share more after the new year. Promise.

In the meantime, there are early US pre-order links available. The rest will be posted in a couple months.

Turn the Page: https://bit.ly/TTPIdentity
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xAgTIq
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3DAzJ5I
BAM: https://bit.ly/3UnMB55
IndieBound: https://bit.ly/3qPBapr
Apple: TK
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3UndLcl
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3BSww0b

Laura

Desperation in Death discussion space

Today’s the day! Desperation in Death is officially on sale.

And this is the official space to discuss all things Desperation. Beware of spoilers in the comments.

Did you notice any of the questions I posed in the other thread? Or were you reading so fast to get to the conclusion that you’ll notice on the second read? Just curious.

Hope you enjoyed!

Laura

Desperation in Death Teasers

We’re three days away from Desperation in Death arriving on shelves, to your house by mail or to your e-reader by magic, so that means it’s time for a few teasers. Not spoilers, just a few little things to notice as you read.

Usually I have some ideas of what will work as teasers when I first read an in Death — in this case, January. But this is a case that is worked in fewer than five days. There’s a lot pushing Eve in Desperation from every direction. Even scenes that lighten the mood momentarily could spoil the experience.

Here’s the official cover copy:

As Desperation opens, two girls plot to escape The Pleasure Academy – a place of living nightmares.  Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina may have been the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian, injured, terrified, wanders the streets of New York.  Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.

Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas  she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Roarke worries about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she’s desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.

In the end, I decided that it would be best to share some questions I pondered during the read and reread. Next time I may go back to riddles, or in a real challenge, haikus.

  • There’s a person who DOESN’T know Eve from the vid?
  • Should I rename my bras? (you’ll see)
  • Who would you choose as the next cop to step up for an an exam?
  • Is Roarke allowed to apply Master of all He Surveys practices to work the Marriage Rules?
  • Who knew our favorite entrepreneur carried warm weather gear?
  • Who would come out on top if Eve and Mavis ever really had a fight?
  • Nannies can come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Finally, in a departure, my favorite line: “Uh-oh. Mom’s home.”

I’ll open the discussion thread early on Tuesday, so you can discuss any and all thoughts there.

Laura

A note from Laura

A Monday afternoon blog post is rare, but I thought this was important.  

Last week, The Washington Post ran this story.

Nora was appalled and asked me to find a way for her to help them bridge the gap — personally, not through the Nora Roberts Foundation.  I contacted the WaPo reporter who provided me with the GoFundMe information. 

Yesterday, Nora made a donation that will make all the difference to the Fund Patmos Library campaign.

Ron French at Bridge Michigan reached out to me after Nora’s donation.  Bridge Michigan ran the original story about the Patmos Library being defunded along with several follow-ups on the fundraising campaign.

Ron’s most recent piece went live today:  https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/romance-author-nora-roberts-helps-save-mi-library-defunded-over-lgbtq-books

I have many emotions about the vote to defund and Nora’s determination to help.  When I was 9 years old, the first place I was allowed to talk to on my own was the Brooklyn Public Library.  Eight blocks down Fort Hamilton Parkway to the magical place where I could choose my own adventure.  Where I could fill up summer days with stories.  I went pretty much every day.

My first paying job was working as a page at the South Orange (NJ) Public Library Children’s Room — spent all my college years earning $2.25 (might have been $1.75) an hour so I could be around books.  My mom decided after raising seven kids that being a librarian would be a good second career.  She was a Children’s Librarian, then the director of the Florham Park (NJ) Public library for over 25 years.

So libraries are in my blood.  And the thought that access to the services a library offers and the shelves full of interesting stories could be voted away because people don’t agree with all the information in those books is a nightmare.  

I’m grateful Nora stepped up.  Thank you emails from librarians have been streaming in.

And lesson learned, I will pay better attention to the salvos fired at the libraries around me so I’m prepared to fight for their right to remain open with access to all.

For those who would like to donate, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/f/fund-patmos-library-for-2023

Laura

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