Random in Death excerpt

It’s not too long until the first of Nora’s 2024 releases hit the shelves, so I thought it time to share the excerpt of Random in Death.*

Here’s the official cover copy:

Jenna’s parents had finally given in, and there she was, at a New York club with her best friends, watching the legendary band Avenue A, carrying her demo in hopes of slipping it to the guitarist, Jake Kincade. Then, from the stage, Jake catches her eye, and smiles. It’s the best night of her life. It’s the last night of her life.

Minutes later, Jake’s in the alley getting some fresh air, and the girl from the dance floor comes stumbling out, sick and confused and deathly pale. He tries to help, but it’s no use. He doesn’t know that someone in the crowd has jabbed her with a needle. When Nadine arrives, she knows the only thing left to do for the girl is call her friend, Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

Lab results show a toxic mix of substances in the victim’s body—and for an extra touch of viciousness, the needle was teeming with infectious agents. Dallas searches for a pattern but there are no obvious clues why this levelheaded sixteen-year-old, passionate about her music, would be targeted.

And that worries Eve. Because if Jenna wasn’t targeted, if she was just the random, unlucky victim of a madman consumed by hatred, there are likely more deaths to come.

Now here’s the excerpt: Prologue & Chapter One.

Random in Death is in stores January 23.


*If you subscribe to Nora’s News, you read this nearly 3 weeks ago. A good reason to get on the list. Just go to the JD Robb website, scroll to the bottom, add your email to the box and hit enter.

Clover’s Clever Playlist

…is now available on Spotify.

As I posted on Facebook: Music chosen from beyond plays a part in Inheritance (it’s not a spoiler, it’s in the cover copy).  In the spirit of the holidays, we put together Clover’s Clever Playlist as a little gift for you this season.  And to carry you along until book 2 is on shelves in November 2024.  – Nora, Laura & Team Nora  

Just follow this link and enjoy! Clover’s Clever Playlist


The first reaction

Last March I headed to the spa with Nora and JoAnne, ready for a quiet week of work, painting, puzzles and reading. Always reading.

People ask me regularly if I read Nora’s books while she’s writing them.

I’m on the left.


Nora writes alone, finishes alone, then sends the manuscript to her editor and agent. I knew this process going in 18 years ago. You don’t meddle with success.

However, over the years, on more than one occasion the publicity team asked me what I thought about quotes from an upcoming book — one I hadn’t read. So I did request to be part of the second tier of readers after the first editing pass.

Readers, I had Inheritance on my Kindle as we drove to the spa.

The week was March-y in that Laurel Highlands way — blustery, calm, sunny, overcast, freezing precip and then sudden dry over the course of a day. We came and went from the suite. I hit the gym, Nora and Jo did their ensuite workouts. We painted flowers in the art studio, did some puzzles. A good, relaxing week.

Then came that fateful day — Saturday, March 11.

A blustery, freezing precip kind of day, one that lent itself to just snuggling in. I’d sampled Inheritance a bit over the week, but this was a dedicated-to-reading kind of afternoon.

There I was, sipping a glass of Veuve, propped up by pillows on the couch, reading away. Time went by at a pleasant clip.

I really liked Sonya and Cleo, the music, the dogs, Trey and Owen, the town…I began to read faster. Then faster. I was gripped with a sense of urgency and when I glanced down at Time Remaining in Book — 20 minutes…14 minutes…6 minutes…the dread set in.

No! Wait! Really????

Yes, my hair looked that good after lying about on a couch.

I finished it.

Then my friends, I slapped my kindle shut with great emphasis and looked directly at the creator and said, “What the fuck????”

With a dazed look, Nora pulled herself up from the depths of her John Sandford novel, shook her head and said, “What?”

“Inheritance ends like that???” I demanded my voice pitching higher with each word.

“Well that was the right place to stop. Leslie liked it.” Then she kind of smiled, pleased with my reaction.

(This meant I had to text WTF to Nora’s editor next. And she, too, was pleased I liked the book.)

Now, dear readers, please keep in mind I’m pretty able to move on after finishing a book or a movie, but this was in the moment.

As a side note, have you ever read the science on reaction? According to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, author of A Stroke of Insight, “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”

A random aside I know, but it explains why I can move along — entertainment wise.

So I stomped around a bit, then remembered four decades of absolute trust in Nora to deliver a wonderful second book, and calmed down. All was good. (I did plan pick up some knitting to deal with the book hangover.)

Except then it hit me: “Do you realize what this will mean in terms of reader response at the end of November???” Delivered in a much higher pitch.

Again my hair looked this good on a lazy Saturday in March. <g>

I needed to stomp it off again. Then settle in — crankily — for the 8.5 months until release day. Remember: I may read things early, but I still have the exact amount of time to wait as you do.

And you all delivered the reactions well. WTF???

But I’m not writing this post to dwell on our shock. That should pass.

Here’s what’s on my mind: in the heat of the moment, everyone seems to have forgotten that since 2016 Nora’s trilogies are published a year apart. We’ll get part 2 (which is titled The Mirror, no descriptions yet) in November 2024.

And the finale in November 2025.

We have to tuck our inner Veruca Salts away and be patient. And once you’ve gone through the 90 seconds of emotional reaction, you’ll see that we’re lucky readers overall.

If you read Nora and JD, there are four new books coming your way in 2024. If you only read Nora, there’s a summer read (the twisty, fascinating Mind Games in May) and The Mirror. Two books in a year is generous, to say the least.

And there are other things you can read/watch starting with Nora’s conversation with Lulu Garcia-Narvarro in the NYT.

In a couple weeks, I’ll share the link to Inheritance’s playlist. (Please note, Nora does NOT listen to music when she writes — the songs were all part of the story.)

The year will pass. And how we choose to fill that year is up to each individual. I’m opting to dance around, read other authors, watch a few movies and be grateful for what’s up ahead.


Inheritance discussion spot

Inheritance is in stores today! The first book in The Lost Bride Trilogy sets the stage for what’s to come and this is the place to discuss.

First, the official description:

Graphic designer Sonya MacTavish is stunned to learn that her late father had a twin brother he never knew about. When her uncle, Collin Poole, left her almost everything he owned, including a majestic Victorian house on the Maine coast, his will stipulates she must live in it for at least three years. With her engagement recently broken, her freelance business just getting off the ground, she sets off to find out why the boys were separated at birth.

Trey Doyle welcomes Sonya to sprawling clifftop manor.  He acknowledges that yes, the place is haunted…but just a little. Sure enough, Sonya finds objects moved and music playing out of nowhere. She sees a painting by her father inexplicably hanging in her deceased uncle’s office, and a portrait of a woman named Astrid — Trey refers to her as “the first lost bride.” It’s becoming clear that Sonya has inherited far more than a house. She has inherited a centuries-old curse, and a puzzle to be solved if there is any hope of breaking it…

So…what did you think of Inheritance?

And remember, spoilers are very much ahead.


Weekend Busy

A favorite view. Photo by Laura.
Adventure time. Photo by Nora.
A good day. Photo by Nora
JR and Kayla with a view. Photo by Laura
Three bean soup. Photo by Nora.
Focaccia. Photo by Nora.

Fall into Fall

Cover reveal: Mind Games

It’s never to early to plan for next year — especially when your favorite author writes books a year ahead of their pub dates.

Here’s the cover reveal for Mind Games, out May 21, 2024. I’ll add pre-order links below.

Out May 21, 2024

And we’ll get plenty more more details closer to next May.

TTP: https://bit.ly/MindGamesTTP
Amazon: https://bitly.ws/UEr5
B&N: https://bitly.ws/UEs6
BAM: https://bitly.ws/UErF
Bookshop: https://bitly.ws/UErz
Apple Books: https://bitly.ws/UErV
Kobo: https://bitly.ws/UErM
Google Play: https://bitly.ws/UErJ


Inheritance excerpt

Payback in Death discussion thread

Payback in Death teasers

We’re 8 days from Payback in Death hitting store shelves and ereaders. And in what’s become a tradition, I’ll share some teasers for you to look for as you read. As always, these are not spoilers to the case, just items that caught my eye.

First, here’s the official copy about Payback in Death:

The teasers below pick up after Chapter One which you can read here and is a lovely end to Eve and Roarke’s vacation.

Over the course of Payback, we learn:

– BUT is such a flexible word.
– Jenkinson still has a way with a certain word.
– when you look at the list, friends come in all shapes and sizes.
– there are still arguments for buying v shopping.
– one can have concerns about in utero anchoring.
– Fate has lovely decorating tricks up her sleeve.
– Peabody still looks good in a righteous rage.
– Eve has some issues with ice pops.
– it’s not hard to follow Roarke’s example.

For the rest, I’ll let you read on your own.

The discussion thread opens on September 5.


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