And now, from a reader’s point of view

Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent conversations both here and on Facebook. It’s an interesting, fascinating — at times frustrating — exercise to share information with well over a half million people worldwide.   You have to deal with a lot of questions and hand out a lot of disappointment along with lovely, satisfying dollops of exciting news and conversation.

The center of this blog and the pages on Facebook are a writer and her books.  You may not love every single book.  I don’t love every single book.  But I do anticipate each one and enjoy the worlds Nora/JD bring to me.

I’ve read Nora’s books from nearly the beginning of her career.  Actually, The Law is a Lady was the first book I remember consciously thinking “I want more from this author.”  Over the years as a reader then a colleague, I’ve read them all.  Some I reread regularly, some I enjoy and then just put away.  I’ve got my favorites (Naked in Death, The Villa, Three Fates) and my least favorite — for some reason it’s Born in Ice (I know, people loooooooove that book).  But books are a personal thing for me.  I don’t share I just enjoy.

In this easily accessible social media life we’re leading everyone has an opinion — Nora/JD included. But the word “opinion” doesn’t come with a gold-plated shield allowing a poster to be rude and presume to know what an author does and why under the umbrella of opinion.

What I saw in Nora’s recent posts was humor and a great deal of patience for and a respectful nod to readers’ opinions and requests. (Please remember the humor and patience have been honed over 30 years — what’s a fabulous question about a book to a new reader is usually one she’s heard many times over.)

Neither Nora nor I expect herd mentality here.  Every book will not be perfect for every reader. It’s not a fairy tale world full of rainbows and sparkles. Posts with dissenting points of view stay in the comments.  Here and on Facebook.

I’ve wondered over and over how come so many people love the humor of Nora’s heroines, but don’t quite like it when humor is used to illustrate that while readers may pine for certain events in the In Deaths or multiple additions to a series that’s finished (please see the Brides and the Quinns and the MacGregors) those things will never happen.  Somehow that’s interpreted as condescension or mocking when all it is is the answer no,

A great deal of my time is spent saying no.  The reader email is full of requests Nora outlined in Comas and Kidnappings and Orphans.  Oh my!  (those weren’t even the most jaw dropping requests) and I can’t answer them with half the humor Nora does.  A reader once wrote asking why the FAQ page on Nora’s website was so negative.  I could see her point because the FAQ is mainly made up of answers to those requests for something more. Those answers invariably disappoint someone.

It’s an endless cycle.  Sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it just makes me laugh because readers in general are a hopeful sort.  I spent years asking for stories about children in a certain Silhouette series when they got to be adults. Years.  And Nora was about to start those stories when she left that publisher.  So I feel the pain about wanting, needing more. I really, really do.

Bottom line?  Here’s why I can answer those questions with disappointing answers over and over:

Nora has given me three decades of wonder.  I’ll bet she’s given that to many readers.

She’s a proven commodity to me and I trust that she will take me to places I didn’t even know I wanted to visit.  I trust that I’ll have a fabulous time going to those places and meeting new characters who I’ll miss when I’m done.

Readers will outgrow authors.  I’ve done it more than once. I know Nora has too.  Sometimes you just need a break and return with vigor.  Sometimes you are done and are sad that an author’s books no longer work for you.

That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.

So the request going forward is to share your thoughts.  Positive or negative, please express those opinions in ways that don’t go over the line of respectful conversation. If you can’t do that, then please just don’t post. Walk away and find a new author.  We wish you only the best and hope you find the stories that you need.

For me?  I’ll just continue to trust that Nora will continue to tell me grand stories.


106 thoughts on “And now, from a reader’s point of view”

    1. I don’t understand people who can’t be respectful when they disagree with something. Honestly I don’t expect any author to write anything except the story they intended to write. Do I always like it? No, but I’m not the one writing it so I don’t get a say in what happens. I like what you said about outgrowing an author. I used to read a couple of very popular authors that I no longer read because their stories just don’t interest me anymore. So yes it does happen. For me personally I don’t see that ever happening with Nora Roberts.

      One of my all time Nora Roberts favorites is Hidden Riches. But the ones I tend to reread are the McKades, the McGregors, Stanislaskis, and the Stars of Mithra.

    2. Love Nora; old, new, J.D.Robb, etc. Just keep writing. I enjoy everything except vampires & zombies, so those I don’t read. The rest I devour, thanks for many years of great reading.

      1. Don’t be too quick to brush off some of Nora’s paranormal! I don’t like zombies or vampires either, but the Circle series is one of my favorites. It took me several years after it was published to read it, but I’ve read it over & over!

      2. Zombies? I knew the Circle Trilogy was vampires (one of my favorite trilogies, 2nd after The Sign of Seven), but I didn’t know Nora had written anything with zombies. Did I miss a book along the way?

    3. I tend to think that the ones who get their knickers in a twist and say that Nora is being condescending should look at it like this: there are many, many authors, especially established authors with careers that span decades, who would not even address those suggestions or concerns at all. Nora Roberts chooses to let us know our voices have been heard. Even when the answer is no, I think it’s great that she takes the time to address the question.
      I love Nora’s characters. I feel as if I’ve gotten to know Eve, Roarke, Peabody and the gang. I laugh with them. I cry with them. My trying to turn the story in a different direction would be tantamount to trying to force a friend to be someone he or she is not. We fell in love with these characters who tell their stories through Nora Roberts. We should sit back and let them – and Nora – tell their stories. We shouldn’t try to change those stories. Just my opinion.
      I just want to say thanks to Nora and Laura for addressing these issues in the classiest way possible.

    4. I think that, as readers, we become emotionally invested in our books, the characters in them, and the authors writing them. They’re important to us, and we tend to include tham in our personal lives, which then makes us feel entitled to have a degree of influence. I enjoy all of Nora’s books, but some I really love, and some I simply enjoy. I would never presume to criticize or recommend changes to any author. I’m glad that Nora has the confidence to write her stories in her own way, and I’m looking forward to the next.

    5. Oh, I liked this post. And the one you mentioned is next on my list. I’ve loved Nora Roberts since I picked up the first book I read by her….. the name of the book was the name of the town the heroine grew up in, and had returned to. I think I’ve re-read it in the past few years, but I can’t be positive – that was the late 80’s, or at the latest, 1990. I was introduced to her by my mother, and my mother, my sister and I have been reading her (both as NR and JDR) religiously ever since. My mom didn’t even TELL me that JDR was Nora Roberts until AFTER I finished the first book and loved it.
      I also understand outgrowing authors, and sometimes, entire subsets of genres, or maybe just certain authors in that subset, where the plot is always formulaic (historical romances by certain authors I used to like, or just about any book by an author 15 years ago, I devoured anything she put out), and then I have James Patterson, and I only read the “Womens Murder Club” books by him – I’ve tried the Alex Cross series, and didn’t like it, and I’m sure I’ve read other non series related books by him long ago, but I can’t remember them. I fervently hope I NEVER outgrow Nora as an author, under either name. It seems every time my mood is getting REALLY low, I hear about another new book, and she always pops it back up, and I end up falling asleep while I’m reading on my e-reader in bed (sometimes the only time I have to read, which is why I’m reading almost exclusively on the e-reader now) because I didn’t want to put the book down – so much so that I’ve found that I need to bookmark whatever page I’m reading, because on my Nook app on my tablet, the auto-shut off doesn’t happen, and turning pages is sooo sensitive, if my fingers twitch when I’m dozing, I end up moving by up to 50 pages in the two hours since I dozed off. Or I’ll dust off a book I haven’t read in AGES (the beauty of an e-reader – since I’ve gotten MOST of her books that I own in e format – is I don’t have to dig for the old books, they are there at my finger tips).
      I can understand others wanting to go back and revisit old characters that we have loved and check in on them, or check in on their children, when they written long enough ago that the children would be grown now, but past is past. How boring would it be to go back just to read the characters are blissfully happy and are back to their humdrum lives? And how UNFAIR to those beloved characters would it be for some NEW drama be inserted into their lives? Just my opinion. And like Michelle C. so deftly put it, I don’t see how people can’t just be respectful. It’s the authors right to make the story they intended, or rather, the story that comes out of them (I know there’s a difference), and no one has the right to question that. I really wish we could “like” others’ comments. 🙂

  1. Well said. For what it’s worth, I think both you and Nora do a wonderful job interacting with her readers, and I say that as someone who has see it in person as well as online. It must be exhausting, but you both handle it with humor and grace. Thank you 🙂

  2. I have the complete set of J. D. Robb. I love the Rorke and Dallas and the fellow castmates. It took me awhile th get the set. Haunted bookstores to find the first ones. Last year I read the whole set from #1 to the last one. Please don’t stop writing them.

  3. As always, well said Laura! I sincerely hope I NEVER outgrow Nora/JD. I read other authors while I wait on new books and have found some I enjoy a lot. But then I read a new Nora/JD book and I remember WHY I love them so much. Nora takes me places I have always wanted to go and like you, to some I didn’t know about. I always feel like I would know one of her places if I were to ever go there. Case in point, on one of her latest trips to Ireland, she posted a photo and before I even read the caption, I exclaimed to my husband, “That’s Ardmore!” Then when I read the caption, sure enough it was.
    I have dreamed of going to Ireland since I was a small child and Nora has taken me there several times over the years, preparing me for the real thing I will experience next month. My 60th birthday will be spent partly on the Cliffs of Moher and I will be at Land’s end also, something I feel like I will know befoer I see it because of the “In” trilogy.

    30 years is a long time to due what she does for us and I am forever grateful!

    Thanks to you all!

    1. Paula, have a wonderful time! While I love Ireland as a whole, County Clare is so special to me. I know you’ll love it. Happy birthday in advance.

      1. Since I’m waiting anxiously for Roarke and Eve September 9th I read 3 more of Nora’s books. I’m beginning the Irish trilogy Jewels of the Sun tonite. My mom left a me a treasure of books when she passed away. She had one JD book and a friend gave me 3 more JD books. Well I got hooked and bought all the rest at various places. computer, flea markets, etc. after reading them out of order I read them all again in order. OK back to Nora. I read many Nora books before I actually discovered JD. NORA thank you for your wonderful talent. You have kept me entertained these last 2 years. Can hardly wait for tonite to start Jewels of the Sun.

      2. I soooo want to go to Counties Clare and Mayo in Ireland now. Your descriptions are very vivid, and I like that they take place in the country, rather than in the big cities, so that I can hear about the rural areas.

    2. Paula, being of Scots/Irish heritage I too have always dreamed of going to Ireland (and Scotland). However that is something I will never be able to do. I also will be 60 this year (next month) so would you please, while you’re there, have a drink of your favorite beverage and toast my birthday for me? I also love the in Death series and see no reason to ask Nora to change the way she writes just because something is different than the way I personally think it should have been done. Roarke and Eve belong to her, not me. I feel privileged that she allows us to play in her worlds!

  4. I love Nora and I have a collection of her books, I have all of them, and eagerly wait for the next releases. After 62 years, I still love Nora,

  5. I have not read any of the JD Robb books I just happen to love Nora’s books, some I have read more than once. The Quinn brothers books are great. I never finished reading Phillip’s book, I’m not sure what happened there. But I bought all four on my nook and read them all and am just started Seth’s book. I just received my signed hard copy of the Collector. I think I have read all of her books. Love them all.

  6. Thanks so much for expanding on Nora’s previous post. Although I thought her post managed to use humor quite well to help illustrate the issues, I can understand that some folks might not have understood that.

    Nora is so lucky to have a friend and colleague who is so in tune with her.

    I am one of those people who will read virtually anything, but even we have favorite genres and authors. Nora/JD books definitely fall into my favorite catagories. Like you, some of the stories don’t capture my heart the way others do, but I always know that if it says Nora Roberts or JD Robb on the cover, it will be well written and more than worth my time and money.

    And tell Nora “Thank You” for all the effort, investigation, and heart she puts into her stories, so that I can fall in love with a few new books every year.

  7. As much as my craven heart has dreamed that someday little Liam Sweeney will grow up, meet, and have his HEA with wee Ailish Gallagher, I’m cool if it only happens in my head. I think it’s true of all writers; they have to write THEIR stories and THEIR characters. Not mine. That’s the way it should be.

  8. I look forward to Nora’s series. I am not a fan of the JD Robb books just a little too futuristic for me. But I would never criticize her work, she is a master in my book. I have enjoyed the Dark Witch Series so much I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Nora has inspired me to out Ireland on my bucket list of places to visits from her books. Please both of you keep up the great work.

    1. Diane Burnett-you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I love both her romance books and her In Death books. That might be because one of the genres I really like is science fiction.

  9. Finally someone standing tall. I am an avid Nora Roberts reader and while sometimes I am left wandering what about this that in a particular series. That’s all part of the journey. A good author leaves you wanting more. People need to be more respectful as it is by far to easy these days to put pen to paper or simply type away. Take a moment before you send it and think to yourself, if you were on the other end how would that make you feel.. Please Please never stop leaving us wanting more. Thank you for the many enjoyable books that I re read in between the next ones I really struggle to pick a favourite but of recent I really liked Whiskey Beach.

  10. Nora is my favorite author, so far I have. Enjoyed pretty much every book she has written. I love her way of working the people in her stories. J.D. Robbs Eve Dallas is my favorite and I have read each book. Keep up the GREAT EORK AND THANK YOU YOUR BOOKS HAVE HELPED ME THROUGH SO MUCH. !!!!!

  11. My first purchased Nora Roberts book was Dance Upon the Air. I believe I read the MacGregors previously from my mom’s collection, but DUTA was my first. Since then, I have bought every paperback I could find, and now I’m building a kindle collection. In all those books, the only one I didn’t particularly care for was Montana Sky. I can’t even tell you what it is about it, but I can’t sink into the way I can her other books. I didn’t even like the movie. But you know what… one book out of all the ones she’s written, and I read them all as soon as they are released. I think that’s pretty amazing. If Nora ever retires, I don’t know what I’ll do. She is truly unique, and amazing at what she does. You take these characters down whatever road the lead you on. I will gladly follow.

  12. I discovered Nora through Rafe McKade, which is an all time favorite of mine. My sister and I still talk about the scene at the end when he’s trying to give Regan poetry and romance and she goes to the bar to play pool in a leather skirt. The Sea Swept is good too, with Cam’s story being my favorite. I love In Death because my pet peeve with romance is that you don’t get to see the couples after the end of the story. Even in Nora’s series, the couple may show up as supporting actors, but it’s not the same. With In Death, you get Eve and Roarke and crew every time.

    I would so totally love to see HBO do In Death as it did with True Blood. I’d love to see Eve and Roarke come alive with all the grit and have it done well, which so far HBO seems to be able to do with books.

    1. I’ve been searching for this book! I’ve literally googled, “Nora Roberts, ending playing pool in a skirt” several times trying to find the title to read it again! Thank you so much ?

  13. I am one of the ones who like Born in Ice. I can also see why some people might not like it. It seems to have a little less excitement to it than her other books do. The only one of Nora/JD’s books I really don’t like is Conspiracy In Death. I didn’t like seeing Eve give up like she did. It kind of makes sense that she fell apart like that because being a cop was still her whole reason for being at that point. I’m glad she’s gotten to the point where she feels a little more comfortable having a life outside of work.

  14. I also wish that if people had to leave negative thoughts (which they have a right to) They could at least be polite about it. I also truly wish that she could have gone on with the MacGregors. I loved Daniel he was so fun read about. I also understand that those stories are part of another publisher and can’t be continued. I have read all of Nora’s books and have enjoyed the any trips to Ireland I have “taken” Keep it up I need a new vacation.

  15. Oh yeah, I’ve been one of those who wanted the MacGregor series to endlessly continue, generation after generation. But I get great pleasure in re-reading the ones that are there. Another of my favorites is the Born In series. Whatever occupation Nora focuses on in her books seems so interesting, that I even wanted to bake after reading Born In Ice. And now I want to house-sit. 🙂 She creates magic with her words and I for one will never outgrow Nora/JD.

  16. Hidden Riches got me hooked on Nora my senior yr in hs. I can’t wait for ANY of Nora/JD books! I can honestly say that even when money is tight, I will find a way to get my hand on her books no matter what! I don’t even bother to read the back to see what the story is about because I know it will be a great! I just look for NR to denotes 1st time in print and I am good to go! Keep up the great work NORA! You were my savior when my life fell apart 14 yrs ago. Without reading I would’ve have gone insane but instead it gave me courage to start over and laugh again! Thanks for that! I am trying to convince my husband to book a weekend at The Inn and hope to meet NORA one day! It’s on my wish list! 🙂

  17. I love the “in Death” series because I get to see the people evolve over time, I too would love to see more of the Born IN & Jewels series, but I understand that is not where Nora is going to go with it. One can dream though!

  18. Thank you, Laura

    Like you, I have been appalled at some of the comments people will post on Facebook. I find that social media seems to have given rise to an increased lack of civility, as if it’s okay to be rude to someone who can’t see you.

    As far as Ms. Roberts’ books, I won’t say I have read all of them, but I have read many, and look forward to many more. Like others, Ireland is on my list of places I wish to see, and the descriptions in Ms. Roberts’ books have only fed that desire.

  19. Very nice article. I really like the part about taking a break from an author. I did that with Nora for a few years then found myself devouring her books again. The same with a Robyne Carr. Life gets busy, we go through different seasons of our lives. But thankfully, our favorite authors are there for us when we are ready to reconnect.

  20. I have been reading Nora Roberts/ JD Robb books for many years. Like Laura I also don’t like them all, but I do respect the commitment of the writer. I don’t think we’re all meant to like everything in life, and if we did no one else would ever have their books read!! But to Nora as a writer I take my hat off to you, regardless if I like the book or not, you’ve taken me to a new palace, and given me something else to talk about in my book club nights. Just keep doing what you do .

  21. I’m amazed that readers think an author has the ability to tell their characters what to do. The characters drive the story and an author hangs on for dear life. So hang on and keep bringing us those wonderful stories.

  22. Spring 1983, I was having a mommy’s morning out. Son – 18 months old – was with my parents for spoiling time :). I went to a little hole-in-the-wall used bookstore and spent a very enjoyable hour poking around. I saw this book called “Irish Thoroughbred”, read the blurb on the back and bought it. OH WOW!!!! My mother and I were enchanted with the book. In fact, my poor old copy is falling apart, but, at least once a year I HAVE to re-read it as did my mother before she passed away. Since then I have bought ALL Nora Roberts/J D Robb books. She is by far the most erudite, pleasurable, imaginative author I have read since I first started reading for fun. I think that is the key to all reading enjoyment – for fun. My sincere appreciation, Ms. Roberts for 31 years of reading delight :). I look forward to MANY more years reading your books.

    1. That was my first book too. I remember being excited when I saw Ms Roberts book the first time outside the Romance series section. Have read everything since. I am truly awed by her imagination, humor and creativity. Cannot wait for the next books.

    2. This sounds like me. Irish Throughbred was the first Nora book I read and I have read every one since (up to and including The Collector) I can honestly say I loved the all except for The Reef, I couldn’t get into that one. Though if I had to pick a favourite I would say Holiday In Death. That’s the one that hooked me on the In Death series. I love the serial aspect to the series. Keep up the good work Nora. You are appreciated!

  23. I love all Nora’s and JD Robbs books. They have brought me endless reading pleasure. Thoroughly enjoyed Concealed in Death and eagerly wait each and every publication.

  24. What a great post – thank you! I’m in awe of anyone – author, celebrity, gee, ordinary everyday people – who navigate the online world these days. When you put something ‘out there’ there area always a million views about it. I don’t have a million followers on anything that I write – but you and Nora do and you do such a great job of interacting with us all. Thank you for all that you do!

  25. I love Nora and JD’s books! And if I happen not to like one as much that’s how it goes, everyone likes different things and you will never be able to please all of the people all of the time. I have so much fun in all the places she takes me to, and the people I meet…thank you! 🙂

  26. First of all, thank you, Laura for your candor and the awesome job you do keeping Nora/JD fans informed and connected. It’s got to be a big job, and you do it well.
    I am a long time reader/fan, and I am proud to call Nora my favorite author. I became a fan along with my late Mom and we both loved both the Nora and JD Robb books- I miss sharing them with her. My husband has become a fan as well, and we both love reading and discussing her books. We are hoping to someday visit the Inn and stay in the Eve and Roark room. I told my husband that the sight of that grey button on the dresser will probably bring me to tears. I would never dream of advising Nora to change a thing! Her books have kept me spellbound for about half my life- I think she is doing just fine on her own. I look forward to each new release, and although I have my own favorites (The Three Sisters trilogy, Carolina Moon, Midnight Bayou) each book brings something new and interesting! Why Nora has taught me just about everything I know about horses, wine making, fire jumping- you name it! Thanks for all of the fun and memories !

  27. Imagination is a wonderful thing, sometimes it plods along dealing with everyday things.
    But, when it breaks loose like an eagle in flight it is simply a sight to behold!
    To be able to sit here in the middle of the night, and say I have read and ” enjoyed” every book Nora has written is an understatement!
    To be able to take all of us on these fantastic rides is truly a special gift!
    Thank You, Nora/JD.

  28. I work in a library in a rural area of Australia, and let me tell you – we have a hard time keeping Nora’s novels (including the In Death series) on our shelves. Between the 8 or 9 branches we are linked with Nora/JD gets a lot of love. In my own case, half the books on my (7′ by 4′) shelves have been written by Nora either as herself or as JD Robb, and I love the conversations my patrons and I have about her books also. So we all hope she keeps writing for as long as it remains something she wants to do. *Lots of love from Down Under*

  29. Yes! Totally love that you wrote this even though it’s a shame that you had to. Reading Nora has been an absolute joy since I stumbled across her books and started seeking out more. Of course some books mean more than others and of course I’d love to know what happened next to my favourite characters, but that’s what my imagination is for. Thank you Nora for getting me to read again, and for making me want to try writing too! Oh, and I loved being able to give away all those fresh new copies of Black Hills for world book night x x

  30. A few years ago all we would have had is the books- little other comment- now ok it could be argued that these sites are advertising – so what? They are still great! It is brilliant to be a bit closer to the creative process and I totally agree with those folk who enjoy it- those who carp get on everyone’s nerves and never produce anything usefull ‘in life’. I am writing my own stuff- I don’t know how Nora does it and it doesn’t matter anyway – I have to write my stories my way – the fact that she can regularly write such different themes,still be fresh and have such a big series as In Death deserves the massive readership and success and I wish her well – I am flabbergasted that people would aske her to write their books and share royalties- I don’t expect any one is daft enough to ask me the same thing but I would be a lot less cheerful and polite about the refusal! I am glad Nora will occasionally speak out firmly- if people don’t defend themselves and their interests on line then miserable chaos wins!

  31. l don’t know that l have all of Nora’s books l do have all of the Death series, including those writen with other authers. I love her books because they are unexspected. By that I mean unless in a series you don’t know where she will take you but you are sure to enjoy going.

  32. Laura, I’m sorry you had to write yout comments. We as fans have to accept that the writer knows what’s best for her characters, and maybe try to tease out some storyline tidbit, but NOT change the whole path! Seeing Nora ecplain repeatedly NO babies, no adoptions, was frustrating for me, so I can only imagine how she felt!
    You’re right, sometimes you need a break from an author. I needed a break from Nora’s writing, bit NEVER J.D.Robb! I just came back to Nora with The Collector and just finished re-reading Concealed in Death.
    I too wished the McGregor and O’Hurley sagas could have continued into children/grandchildren romances, but she left Hardwick publisher. I sometimes re-read. My autographed copy of Without a Trace, holds place of honor in the paperback bookcase :-).
    Keep helping Nora/J.D. do the great job she does. I apologize for those fans that ‘just don’t get it’!

  33. I’ve always been an avid reader. Nora is one of the reasons for that. I’ve never ever got the thought in my head that it is my right to critique an author on anything that they do. I don’t like people being rude to any authors, because without them I wouldn’t be able to spend my free time doing what I love. And that is reading a great story.

    P.S. “But the word “opinion” doesn’t come with a gold-plated shield allowing a poster to be rude and presume to know what an author does and why under the umbrella of opinion.”

    I love this line, you explained it perfectly using one sentence.

  34. I love reading all Nora Roberts / J.B.Robb Books I have all of them .

  35. Well, I guess I am oblivious to the drama of all that you mentioned but you make numerous valid points. Since I read both Nora and you, I am amazed I missed it. I am assuming someone did not like the new “O’Dwyer” series by NR? Very simply, for me, the quality of the work by both of you is amazingly entertaining every single time. It is given and accepted that people will have various tastes and opinions of authors, works and genre’s. That diversity is what makes us all interesting and gives readers something to discuss. What troubles me is the attitude of society, in general, that it is okay to blast or criticize a book or author, or any issue for that matter, in social media. We have lost our sensitivity and common courtesy. We have stopped being kind. Social media allows us to say just about anything and be cloaked somewhat in anonymity. I sometimes rant to my students about the overall lack of personal ethics prevailing in our culture today and this is a classic example. I just recently finished The Collector and Far Gone. Loved them both. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have felt the need to vent my dislike on Facebook. I guess some people with nothing better to do, massive insecurities and an unhappy life, need to share the misery. What a shame.

  36. I am a new reader of Nora’s books, probably been reading them for 10 years or so.

    I have to go to Amazon quite a lot to purchase a book for my next fix.

    My bookcase has no other author on it. I can’t bear to part with any of them.

    I have just finished re reading the Stars of Mithra. The first two books were published together in one book and I had to get the third book, which again has two stories in it.

    Now I have 4 new books waiting to be read. Will finish Treasures Found, Treasures Lost today and start on the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy. Can’t wait.

    Keep on doing what you are doing Nora. I for one love every word you put on paper.

  37. Well said and it sounds like respect and manners anywhere online or otherwise is a fading. I feel grateful we have so much to choose from with Nora’s books as well as others and the stories they tell are theirs to tell. Also its nice we get to have access to you Laura to hear first hand about the author and comments about the stories. Thank you Nora for being one of my favorites!!

  38. I don’t believe Nora writes easy peasy stories anymore. And why would/should she?!

    World (mentalities, lifestyles…) evolved and what people looked forward in a boox evolved also. And she complied. It will suit some it won’t others.

    I know it would freak me out if she wrote the same stories after so many years. The same ay I’d freak if my taste didn’t change after so many years…

    I believe that’s the reason of one common complaint I’ve read lately: “I’ve jumped through several pages to get where I wanted to the point of having to go back to understand the scene” 😉 that’s the reason why Nora told those jumped pages, wouldn’t you think?! Because a book is a sum of all the parts.

    I know it would enrage Nora the way I read her (and others’) books – I read a bit, then a I jump through the book, then I read the end – after getting “the point” I’m abble to start from the beggining and enjoy the all.

    I like to find Nora in my dailylife. How, when, what? Well, I see some decor that suits that home she “showed” us. I read about “what does the way you eat tells about how you’re in bed?” (yes, really!) and I think “pffft Nora saw that eons ago” ;). I see Johnny Depp named The Sexiest Man Alive AFTER Nora bringing it up in the first book of Bride’s Quartet!!!!

    That’s what makes me tingle and reach for her books over and over. Other people find suggestions for travelling. Some people find suggestions of how to deal with this and that. That’s her Power. Not ours. We don’t own her pen. Or computer. We owe her Art. This is my point of view. And my gratefulness to The Best Writer E-V-E-R 🙂

  39. I just finished re reading born in death. Love that book it’s so funny. But it show’s the reason Eve and Roarke don’t need to be having babies any time soon. Once a baby happens, all the funny baby fear and a great part of the on going story would be lost. Same with the candy thief, do we really want Eve to catch them, it’s more fun to have them slipping into the next book. I’ve re read the In Death books so many times on my PC and nook, that if they were paper books they would be dog earred and well worn and they still make me laugh and still keep me coming back for more.

  40. Well said. The reader doesn’t always get what they want because they are not the writer. Period.

    I, personally, love the In Death series and always finish the latest with satisfaction and anticipation for the next one. I wouldn’t presume to send a suggestion to the actual writer and then get angry when I don’t like the “no” I get as a response.

  41. One of the most compelling series for me was the Circle trilogy. I cried at the last chapter it was so moving. The one series I don’ re-read is the Key series. We all have our our good, bad and OK by a lot of authors and some fall out of favor, Nora hasn’t for me and i can’t see her ever doing so as she delivers the type of reading I love. When I am not in the mood for her I pick up someone else..simple.

  42. Laura, like you, I have read Nora for 30 years and have read almost every book she has written. Most of the books I liked, a few I wouldn’t read again. My favorite of all time, is her In-Death Series that I have read and listened to over and over again. How she has been able to come up with such a wonderful variety of stories and characters is truly amazing. I have never written her to “suggest” a storyline – she’s able to come up with ideas all her own – and has kept us all coming back for more. Guess you can surmise, Nora is my favorite author. I plan to read whatever she writes. Judy Kentrus.

  43. Thank you Laura, for expanding on this. All my friends know that I hold Nora to a high standard, because well, she set the bar so high, so when she writes a book, that I don’t like as much, I feel very disappointed. For example, I was not a fan of the Bride Quartet–because I didn’t feel, especially in the last one, that the characters had been fleshed out enough by the time their story came ’round. And my friends made fun of me for having hissy fits over all those acronyms, and me trying to figure out what they stood for. Or when she uses “anal” for analysis in the in deaths! It took me a few moments when analysis suddenly morphed into anal without a period to get what it was supposed to be.

    That said, even when I don’t like a certain book or series, I still love Nora. They’re still good, but not as good as they could be, is where my mind goes. And when she’s good, she’s on FIRE. I’ve been reading Nora since I was 12, basically for 30 years. But never have I ever read a story back to back to back like I did with The Witness when it came out. I was riveted. Hooked. Couldn’t put it down. Chasing Fire had me gnawing on my knuckles and sitting on the edge of my sofa. Carnal Innocence and Divine Evil scared the bejesus out of me.

    It was reading the Born In trilogy that gave me the courage to finally go visit Ireland, County Clare, specifically in the summer of 2001. And Nora was gracious enough to give me suggestions as to where I could go to stay and what to see. I think I still have that email somewhere! And it didn’t disappoint. I mean to go back and visit the places I didn’t get a chance to go see.

    I also love the In Deaths, even though through the years, Peabody has frustrated me beyond end. Nora knows this. Heck, everyone who knows me, and who also read them, know this. And I keep reading. Because Nora/JD brings these characters to LIFE and make them so real, I can believe that they are real people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read her books over and over again, or how much comfort one Daniel MacGregor and his machinations have given me. For me, I’d always hoped to have read Amelia MacGregor Blade’s story, or Cybil’s older twin brother and sister. But like Laura said, Nora had stopped writing for Silhouette so I’ll never know who they ended up with and how Daniel managed to get them married off, with them thinking they did it on their own.

    So, as long as Nora keeps writing, this reader and avid fan will continue to keep reading.

    1. I was not a fan of the Bride Quartet because I got so mad at the heroine at the end of the second book. I always felt that she behaved like a spoiled brat and SHE should have groveled and not the hero. BUT, that aside, it just shows me how the story, and characters that were created, so engrossed and affected me that I had such strong feelings about them.

  44. I feel sorry that some folks are so rude. To be able to write like Nora Roberts/JD Robb is such a gift. My first Nora Roberts book was Promise Me Tomorrow. I still have it and while it is not my favorite Nora Roberts book it is the one that got me started and I will never give it up. I read and enjoy other authors but I rarely keep their books. I pass them on to others but I never part with a Nora Roberts/JD Robb book. Please keep doing what you do exactly they way you always have. Thank you.

    1. Gail,

      Honestly, I think the fact that you came back after Promise Me Tomorrow makes you a reader with an eye to talent. LOL


  45. Very well said. It’s appalling to see how some people act when they have a computer screen to hide behind!


  46. “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.”
    If it was easy to do what Nora does (create fabulous stories for all of us to escape into) then we’d all be doing it. Love the books, love the characters, love the author. Period. The End.
    Thank you, Nora (and Laura), for your time, patience and humor.

  47. Thank you, Laura, for capping off this discussion. Very well, I might add.
    I read lots of different authors and am always on the lookout for new ones that I can enjoy to the extent that I enjoy Nora/JD. I can honestly say, I haven’t found one that matches her consistently, high quality writing in book after book after book. Also, the only author that I choose to reread, some books (In Death) several times a year.
    The best compliment that I can give Nora, is the fact that my husband read and very much enjoyed her “Circle” trilogy. (My personal favorite) He is a voracious, eclectic reader but would not normally choose to read a “romance”. Of course, being a guy, the vampire theme appealed to him and I think the strong male characters in those books really made those stories. He discovered and verified what I had always told him that Nora Roberts is a master story teller.
    Looking forward to seeing all those story ideas in Nora’s head come to fruition on paper and in my hand and on my bookshelf for many years to come!

  48. Before I was educated, I thought Nora’s books were strictly romances. I liked romantic suspense. So the first book of hers was Glory in Death. And I immediately went back and found the rest. At that time there were about 4 or 5 more “In Death’s. that’s when I found out that JD Robb and Nora was the same person. As they say, the rest is history!
    I believe going through a few half priced book stores I eventually found them all. It’s possible there might be a few out there I haven’t read, but I’ll find them someday!
    Yes there are some I don’t like as much as others but they are all well written. But Eve and Roarke will always be my favorites!
    I just want to thank you, Laura and Nora for all that you do!

  49. That is truly the heart of it isn’t it….TRUST. You AE absolutely on point — after 30 years I trust that Nora will provide a fabulous ride. I think of Naked in Death and how I was extremely cautious even though I already adored everything Nora wrote. I just didn’t think it would work…but I trusted that the experiences Nora gifted me with would continue and I jumped in and I’ve never ever been sorry. There are some I’ve liked more than others……sure–and one I never want to re read again, but I stand in awe of the talent and raw skill she brings to each new book and appreciate her perspective no matter where it takes me. Thank you Nora and thank you Laura!

  50. As a new reader, I asked the questions every new reader does (can you write a sequel to a stand alone). Nora politely and patiently answered that she doesn’t write answers to stand alones. I’ve asked my share of stoooopid questions over the years on adwoff, and Nora patiently answered them. The FAQ’s are the same ones every new reader asks, and there are variations of the questions on every authors page. (or on any web page) Another author has a poll on her site, and someone thinks one of the options on the answers is offensive. I don’t see it that way, but that person wants everyone to bombard the author’s site with requests to have that option removed. Sad.

  51. Well said Laura…I would not presume to tell ANY author what or how she should write. I read because it’s a peaceful escape from the realities of life. When I was having chemo, I would make sure a book was the first thing I brought with me. Books can be treasures to be kept and enjoyed over and over or they can be just okay and forgotten after finishing. As an avid reader of many genres, I don’t always “love” every book I read. Who does? I’ve been reading Nora since her first book was published…. many many years and many many enjoyable hours of reading. I am a fan and that is the only thing I would ever tell Nora…..except to say how much enjoyment I’ve had over the years reading her books. They never disappoint….they always entertain with laughs….tears shed…and many interesting things learned. I will always keep coming back for more!!!

  52. How very well said! Over the years i have found and outgrown authors, although Nora/JD is forever a favorite. It has taken me quite some time but I have managed to collect all but a few of the books she has written. I revisit them all periodically depending on what mood I am in. There have been times where I wish a series could continue but understand the reasons Nora has given for not continuing them. My family and friends all know new release dates and add to my collection constantly. I even have several signed by Nora/JD…its also the only collection I won’t loan out! I do however recommend them all often! Thanks for so many of my favorite characters and stories I continue to look forward to them all!

  53. I do so love my Nora Roberts books. Most prolific writer! She is amazing with all the different stories she comes up with! I keep all of her books, for later rereads! I have just turned 81,(a couple of weeks ago!), & fully intend to go back & do that!!! I cannot believe the criticism from people who likely couldn’t string two sentences together, but can have the ignorance to try to tell a best-selling author, how to write!!! There’s a simple answer,
    ; don’t read it, if you don’t like it…I thoroughly enjoy her stories, otherwise, I wouldn’t be anxiously awaiting arrival of next exciting book! Thanks, Nora & Laura, for the updates! I still have a lovely Christmas card I got several yrs, ago, that I was honored to receive!! I had a lot of fun with it…. Thanks for much enjoyment with your books……….

  54. I love all of Nora’s and JD’s books. the Triologies are definitely my favorites. I guess sommewhere deep down inside of me i believe in the Magic. I wish that I had the imagination and capabilities to write. I started reading Nora/ JD way back in the 80’s and I can remember how myself and my fellow workers would have discussions on our lunch hours regarding the books. I Thank You Nora/JD for being a unique part of my life.

  55. I usually do not read or comment on this type of thing, but your lure on fb caught my interest.
    I do not understand how people can be so cruel and negative on an area of expertise they have no experience in or regarding someone they have never even met. I did not see what was said but imagine it was unnecessary and unproductive.
    Nora Roberts/ JD has been one of my favorite authors for more years than I can count. Any book that can draw you into being one of the characters or lets you enjoy the pull away from your own reality, is a gift.
    I do not know what goes into being an author/writer but imagine there is much more to it than the educational components of proper sentence, herione, antagonist, plot, ect.
    I appreciate the gift that Nora Roberts has and her dedication of producing book after book for my pleasure. To her I send a heartfelt “Thank you!” for her hard work, dedication and sharing her stories.

  56. I, too, have outgrown several authors. With most long series I start to feeling like each new book is nothing more than a repeat of a previous book with the names changed. Nora however, writing as JD has managed to keep me interested in the in Death books about 30 books past when I would normally be bored with a series!! The characters have managed to stay fresh and grow in fascinating directions. I never get the feeling that I have read the plot to the newest book before.

    I have to admit. though, that I have never read any of the books under Nora’s name. I prefer to read paranormal, supernatural, and scifi books. My local librarian recommended the in Death series to me and I will be forever grateful. I own every singe one of the series in epub and am eagerly awaiting September so I can read Festive in Death.

    Long may you keep writing Nora!!!!

    1. DJ,

      In terms of your preference for the supernatural/paranormal you might like Nora’s Circle Trilogy (Morrigan’s Cross, Dance of the Gods, The Valley of Silence) and the Sign of Seven trilogy (Blood Brothers, The Hollow, The Pagan Stone).


      1. I’ll have to see if my library has the first in that series and check it out! Thanks for the tip Laura.

  57. I love Nora/JD and read it all, no questions asked. She’s one of my few “buy it, no matter what” authors and I have yet to be disappointed. Sure, I like some more than others but they all resonate and always, ALWAYS, they are a good read.

    My personal favorites tend to be the trilogies with a dash (or more) of the supernatural. The Circle of Seven are on my reread rotation every year so I’ll count that as a favorite series and even though parts were so hard for me to read, I loved New York To Dallas.

  58. I remember an old interview that Nora Roberts gave about the In Death series. In that interview, she had stated she didn’t know if she was going to be able to write three books in the series when she first started it. Now, many years later, she is closing in on 40 books in the series. I’ve read every one of them, most more than once. No other series has kept my interest for so long except Sherlock Holmes. I may not have liked everything about every book, but I have enjoyed the journey and the evolution of the cast of characters. I enjoy the little surprises in each book and applaud the dedication, the consistency and the craftsmanship that goes into each novel.

  59. I just want to say thanks for all the blogs and the time you (Laura and Nora) put into them. I really enjoy reading which books are favorites, which are not and why…I like hearing which book began a reader’s becoming hooked on Nora/JD Robb…I can think “Oh that was one of my favorites!” or “How could you not like that book!” or “What, have I heard of that one? Need to find it!” I cannot imagine the time and effort that goes into researching…I am thinking of Fiona in The Search as a dog trainer and Rowan in Catching Fire as a fire jumper…but I thank you for all the work and the marvelous tales you give us. My first Nora book was Once More With Feeling; least favorite Black Hills…just could not get interested; favorite is a toughie…all the Chesapeake Bay books and The Search if I had to pick. Thank you so much, Nora! Keep it up. God bless.

  60. I have been reading Nora Robert’s for over thirty years, since I found her very first book in the used book store in CFB Lahr, Germany as a young military wife. My collection holds every book she has ever written, and that includes JD Robb. Out of all of her books there are only four that I have not re-read more than once.
    I have gone to an e-reader for most of my every day reading, but Nora is still purchased in book form and added to the bookshelf. We were in Maryland five years ago and one of the side-trips we made was to Boonesborough to the Turn the Page Bookstore, which is why I love the Boonesborough trilogy. She has offered me many escapes over many years and for that I thank her very much.

  61. Well said Laura!!! I can guarantee I will never outgrow Nora/JD. I have been a big fan from the beginning.

  62. I look forward to every book that Nora comes out with! I actually count down the days, and make sure all my chores are done the day prior that way I can sit down with the book and read it the day it comes out. My friend is going to Inn Boonsboro (she will be there today) . I showed her pictures from when I went there, and didn’t know she was a Nora Roberts fan, she mentioned it to her husband that it was something she would love to do. Her husband contacted me to get the information for the Inn, and is taking her there for their 25th wedding anniversary. I re-read the trilogy last week, and I am jealous that she will be there. I looked at ttp’s website and sent money with her to get some things for me (can’t wait for the coffee mug (I will have it faced to me by which book I am reading J.D. or Nora).
    I didn’t start reading the J.D. Robb books until we booked the Eve & Roarke room, and now that I have finished the series (3 times in order) I can’t wait to start over again.
    I look forward to every book, and just enjoy falling into the story, whether it is in 2060, or in Ireland.

  63. I have said this once but it bears repeating. I read books because I can’t write. I am in awe of people who can. Nora does a great job with telling a story that captures you from beginning to end. I understand the comment of out growing authors as I have done so in the past, that is my flaw not a negitive against the writer. My needs a s a reader changed.

    So keep writing to please you Nora as you are the one who has to enjoy what you are doing to keep doing it so well!!!

  64. It seems that people have lost the ability to respectfully disagree and the ability to tolerate differences of opinion. How sad. Personal taste in fiction is highly subjective. Why don’t people understand that?

    I read in a variety of genres. I write speculative fiction with romantic elements, mostly dystopian. I’ve read several books in the JD Robb series, and a few of Nora’s romances and RS stories. My favorites are Northern Lights, The Witness, and Naked in Death.

    I adore stories about strong independent women who live their lives alone, and then love finds them unexpectedly.

    I wish more talented authors like Nora would write more stories in the speculative fiction genre – expand from the Eve Dallas crime stories into RS or even straight Romance, set in future times and places.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you much future success.

  65. Hooray Laura and thank you – your comments are right on target. I love Nora’s writing but love JD more LOL. I take a break from Nora’s books, but never JDs . But I love this blog and comments from Nora and comments from you. Keep up the great work

  66. I have been a Nora Roberts fan for many years I accidentally found a JD Robb book at the library and was a fan before I knew Nora Roberts wrote the series . I have all her books and I re-read them often. I am content to let Nora take the wheel and just enjoy the journey. Thank you Ms. Nora for many hours of pleasure

  67. Nora, your books are always a wonderful escape to the many places I may never get to visit. They allow me to get away from the realities of life, which tend to bog us all down, at one time or another. I have a Celtic Knot necklace which I wear every day, as a reminder that Ireland is definitely on my bucket list. So, I’m wondering if there is any place you would like to visit, personally, that you haven’t been to yet, or perhaps making it a setting for one of your stories? Thank you for your gift and sharing it with us all.

  68. Thank you Laura. Ms. Roberts chose well with you. As a reader, I send my gratitude for the adventures she has given me though her talent.

  69. Well said! I know that I very much enjoy my Nora time. Thanks to her I have been to places that I might never have gone to, and went there because of her. Blessed Be and keep writing!!!!!

  70. It’s always interesting to hear what someone’s favorite Nora books are…there are so many great stories-
    Mine are Public Secrets, Survivor in Death, Celebrity in Death…. and too many more to mention! I just so thankful Nora has the imagination and talent to provide us with so many stories each year- Thank you!!!

  71. I have recently gone from someone who would never read a vampire story (God I really hate Twilight), to an absolute addict to the BDB series. So, I never say never about anything anymore. As for Nora/JDR, I think her books cover just about everything one could want to read. If one book (or3) isn’t your cup of tea chalk it up to a miss and go on. There are In Death books I haven’t cared for in regards to the main storyline, but even in those I generally loved the sub-stories. I am firmly in the school of thought that an author writes what they want and if some people can’t hang that’s on them. I recently got into huge, long intensive conversations online over one of my favorite authors re-writing a rape scene in one of my favorite books from the ’80’s. I know she find it from pressure, whether it was from the readers or the publisher I don’t really care. The fact is, it changed the intensity of that relationship and that act. Whether I like the content of one of Nora/JDR’s books or not, I will buy the next book because it is only a temporary affliction.

    Bottom line is, I come here and to her other websites to get information. I do not go there to intimate that I know more about writing a novel than she does. Nor do I think I know more about her characters than she does. They did, after all, come from her mind, not mine. People need to lighten up.

    Back to my position on the body less weekend…they couldn’t get married, have a honeymoon or anniversary without one, so….

    As for my position on children, we have a group at Goodreads where there is a thread that only discusses this subject. There are more opinions out there on this subject than could ever occur. I say we just let Nora write her magic and I for one will still be buying these books in twenty years.

  72. I just love Noras/JD’s books. The in Death books are my very favourite books ever. I found them, well, I guess three years ago. Started with the 18th book and in the end I realized that it is a series. 🙂 So I started to collect them all. Every month I bought four new ones. So I am a swiss girl and read the in Death books in German no fourth times. (re-read them all the time) And now I collect the english ones. I want them in both languages because I just love it. I also love Noras lovestorys (trilogies and so on) but also her other books. Mostly I read them in German but I started to buy the english ones some time ago.
    Just go on writing I can’t imagine that I will ever outgrow Nora Roberts or J.D.Robb the books are way too good in my opinion.
    I just don’t understand why Nora Roberts had to explain such many times why she don’t and won’t use readers ideas. I totally understand her even if I as a reader and fan I have some thoughts about how the lifes of the characters maybe goes on after the end of a book (trilogy, …) But that are just mine and they grew in my mind because I didn’t want to say goodbye to them after the ending of a book. Nora should please just go on writing her brilliant stories like she did before. I’m so thankful that I have her books to read, they’re just: completly fantastic, wonderful ….
    My favourite books are:
    -The first two/three in death books. Just love the way Eve and Roare met and see their relationship growing.
    -The Witness
    -Gallaghers Trilogy
    -Quinn Series
    And the last trilogy I didn’t remember the english names. 😉 (The ones about Laura Tempelton, Margo and Kate)

    (Sorry for mistakes I’m not so good at english grammar, I’m swiss 😉 )

  73. As is so happens, I am exploring early Nora Roberts. Currently reading Second Nature . Loving looking at the changes in lifestyles over the years!

  74. Well said, Laura.

    I read every In Death book as soon as it comes out, pre-ordered through amazon Kindle. I devour it in 24 – 48 hours and then can’t wait for the next one. My husband even knows not to pester me when I am reading one. He just says “JD Robb book, right?” and I nod. After that he leaves me to my immersion in that world. I happen to love the futuristic aspect of it. I would hate to think that the year 2060 was just like what we are living in now.

    After I discovered that the author was also Nora Roberts, I gave those a try too. I don’t get all of them but I do get most of them and I am working my way back through older series as time and inclination allow.

    I’m beginning to replace all my hard copy books with eBooks and as I replace my Nora/JD books, I have been donating them to libraries so that other new readers can stumble upon them and enjoy them as much as I have.

    Bravo to you and Nora for dealing with questions, comments and suggestions with patience, grace and humor.


  75. Dear Ms. Roberts,
    thank you for many enjoyable years of reading, my favorite pastime. My first Nora Roberts book was Sweet Revenge, about a princess who was a thief. That got me hooked on your books. I just finished the Collector& enjoyed it very much. Like everyone else I have my favorites. I am eagerly waiting for Festive in Death & the last book to the O’Dwyer Trilogy.

    Paula Boisvert

  76. I love the books. I had quit reading much fiction until I found these books. I hesitate to ask but…one thing…I would like is a few more pages of happy in each book. Just a bit more of the fun times of them together…any of the main characters and good daily life. Thank you for hours and hours of enjoyment.

  77. Please never stop writing about Eve, Roake and all the other characters in your book, if people have a problem with it as you said go to another author I have read the IN death series twice and I’m reading them again waiting for the next one. I know as long as you writ them I will read them. You are a very good author. Thank You for hours of enjoyment and providing a way to get away for a while from all the problems of life and never have to leave my home.

  78. I love Nora Roberts and J. D. Robb!! Some more than others, but they never fail to disappoint. I like that she has so many different ideas and am amazed that they end up so awesome considering the rigorous schedule she keeps to make sure we have all of these wonderful books to read EVERY year. And my love for the majority of her characters knows no bounds. The thing that usually has me stumped is where on earth does she come up with all these creative and sometimes strange (meant in a very positive way) jobs/careers some of her characters have?!? It is enjoyably baffling and keeps me wondering long after reading one of her books. I’m sure she probably gets this question, but I have yet to come across someone who’s asked it or the answer to it.

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