Are you a “Norist?”

During a chat with Nora’s British editor at RWA, we discussed the upcoming Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy and wondered if Ashford Castle would see a bump in reservations from the series, the way Inn Boonsboro did on the heels of The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy.  (In fact, Little Brown UK plans a contest around the release of Dark Witch in October and the prize will be a stay at Ashford Castle!  Details to come.)

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Nora and Antonia Hodgson from Little Brown UK

Antonia, Nora’s Little Brown UK editor, said she liked to call that boost in guests at the Inn — and potentially Ashford Castle —  “Norism” while the readers who arrange travel based on Nora’s books are “Norists.”  It seems to me that Norists probably have more fun than any other sort of travelers: they are visiting places they loved reading about, they usually travel with like minded friends or (at the very least) patient family members.

Now that we’ve finished with the Italy travelogues, as the summer draws to a close in the Northern Hemisphere while spring dawns in the Southern Hemisphere, I have to ask:  Have you ever set a vacation around one of Nora’s books or series — for instance Ireland, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Boonsboro?  Or do you plan to?

Please share in the comments. If you have any, please send along any photos of such a trip to me at and we can create an album.


52 thoughts on “Are you a “Norist?””

  1. Nora’s Chesapeake Bay saga remains one of my favorites stories of all she’s written and I’d like to retire to that section of Maryland someday.

    I’ve always thought that would make an amazing movie – a big screen movie, not a Lifetime movie.

    1. I agree, Patty, that series would make an excellent big screen movie. I too wish to move to Maryland but would rather find a job out there sooner than later – loved everything about me trip last July and planning on going out for the August writer conference next year.

  2. YES!! After finding out Nora opened a B&B I knew I had to visit, After reading the Inn Boonsboro triology, well nothing was going to stop me. Not. One. Thing. My husband and I enjoyed a night there over the Christmas holiday last year, and I plan to return with a group of friends (that includes 2 authors) the last weekend in October. CAN’T WAIT!
    I read the Chesapeake Bay series around their original publication when we were stationed in Texas (I’m originally from Ohio), and often thought how amazing it would be to live in such a place. Flash forward a little more than 10 years later, and the air force brought us here to the Chesapeake Bay where we plan to stay for the rest of our lives.
    We are incredibly blessed!

  3. We planned our trip last summer around Boonsboro and the Inn. We called it our Historical Vacation because we were visiting Civil War battle sites. We visited Antietam and Harpers Ferry nearby. I couldn’t help but think of the McKade brothers while visiting Antietam. We loved our visit to Boonsboro and staying in the Inn, visiting Turn the Page Bookstore, eating at Vesta and Dan’s Restaurant. We stayed in the Eve and Roarke room at Inn Boonsboro. And yes, I did squeal a little when I saw the Eve and Roarke room. Especially when I found the gray button and saw Gallahad on the pillow!
    After leaving we continued on to Gettysburg and ended our trip at Appomattox Court House. Along the way we stopped at Mount Vernon and Monticello.
    So I guess I’m at Norist!

  4. I truly enjoy reading all Nora’s romance novels especially the Trilogy sets. I used to travel quite a bit but financially it isn’t feasible right now; so by reading her books I feel like a Norist since she writes as though I’m actually in the location at the moment of time. My husband, son and I love the Great Smokey Mountains and I would love to read about a romace happening there.

  5. When my husband and I went to Ireland three years ago, I deliberately visited several of the locations from Nora’s books, like locations from Born in Fire and I visited Dublin to see where Roarke grew up. I’ve actually already seen Ashford Castle, so I guess I was getting ready for the new trilogy early! 🙂


  6. I agree with Patty Blount…The Chesapeake Bay quartet is my all-time favorite…it moves my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Although i live far away, in Mumbai, India, the bay’s been on my must-visit list. But I love the passion with which Nora has described Ireland…one can just feel the love for the land in every book she has set there…be it the ‘Born-in…’ series or the ‘Jewels of the sun’ series. She has ignited the same love in my heart and I am planning a trip to the Irish countryside next year. I am a die-hard ‘Norist’….

  7. On a trip to Ireland in1975, my husband surprised me by booking a room at Ashford Castle for our 35th anniversary. It was wonderful! We had a beautiful room, enjoyed dinner there where I tried gooseberry fool for the first time as my dessert. The breakfast buffet was amazing, and we especially enjoyed walking the gardens. We went on foot through the woods to the town of Cong while we were there. Can’t wait for a the books to appear.

  8. Yes, we did, a few years ago when we were in Ireland, an entire day and night were planned in my itinerary for Ardmore. A most magical place indeed. And of course, we spent a weekend at Inn Boonsboro one year as well. Simply wonderful. We stayed in Darcy and Elizabeth but Lizzy wasn’t making her presence known to us then.

  9. Oh I TOTALLY did! Years ago, when I had been to TTP for a couple of years–after having read the Born In trilogy, I wanted so badly to go to Ireland, County Clare especially and had asked Lisa (the manager off TTP at the time to ask Nora and Nora came back with a few suggestions). Of course Drumoland Castle was waaay beyond my price, but I did visit Loop Head and Cliffs of Moehr, Quilty Bay (I think). Alas, those were the days before digital cameras and I went by myself and had a wonderful time and met so many wonderful people. Not a single rude person in Ireland or Scotland (decided to hop on a plane and visit friends I’d met via ADWOFF) and so split my vacation in August of 2001.

    I REALLY need to get back there and visit the other places, like Ardmore.

  10. My husband and I went to Baltimore this past summer to visit my brother-in-law and we stopped in boonsboro on the way down. My husband was very patient with me while I looked around and went in to TTP. He even bought me a charm bracelet from there. I didn’t get to go into the Inn, but definitely plan on going back and staying one day!

  11. I honeymooned in Ireland and HAD to go to Ardmore, AND my two daughters are named Brenna and Darcie. Also, I have a son Kaleb who was born right before the Sign of Seven trilogy came out. So you could say I’m a fan!

  12. Not planned, but when my company’s office on the Eastern Shore brought me out there for a couple of days, I dug up the Chesapeake Bay books and re-read them, then enjoyed seeing the place names as I drove down the peninsula.

  13. Love and all her books. Thoroughly enjoyed the Chesapeake Saga , not to mention the trilogy’s , Fire etc . Whiskey ISland is next . I also was able to see Italy through your eyes/ amazing ‘

  14. I just want to say that I’ve been a “Norist” for Years!! I love ALL your books and your
    Trilogies. But I think my most favorite
    book of all is “Carnal Innocence”. I
    absolutely love the character development
    of Tucker and Caroline and of Tucker
    with Cy Hatinger. I fell in love with
    all of the characters. I can’t tell you
    how many times I’ve read it! But, Nora
    I love ALL of your books. Your character
    development is incredible, and you
    truly are a very gifted writer. Thank you
    for all of your hard work all these years.
    Thank you thank you thank you!!

  15. Yes! My husband and I went to Ireland a few years back and since we were on the west coast I insisted on visiting all of the “Born In” series sites. It was awesome to see them in person when I had only read about them in Nora’s books. Next trip we’re definitely hitting the southern part to see the other Irish Trilogy sites. 😉

  16. oh yes…i am a Norist. I have always loved the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy but the one that will always be my forever favorite is Eve & Roarke of the In Death series.

  17. Never. Mostly because I’m from far far away.
    But I’ll get my revenge when I visit Italy next year ;). And it warms my heart beyond words when Nora leaves her Continent because somehow you get a bigger sense of “One more place for the “100 Nora places to visit before I… whatever” 🙂
    But “Norism” can also mean that you become more interested in something and try to learn more about a certain place, after reading in a Nora. It happened to me with Alaska after reading Northern Lights. Never much interested in Brides – I’ve been one too long ago and children will take some time to need the services – I find myself pffttting when I read about it in specialised mags with my “well, Nora already SAID that” ;).
    So, definetly, and proudly a Norist. Not (yet) weathy enough to indulge on it fully but one day, who knows?!

  18. I am fortunate to live in a Nora novel. I live in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, the setting for the Key Triology. I do enjoy traveling though and have visited the Chesapeake Shore area too. Have not done a Boonsboro Inn tour yet, but someday…..

  19. Hi Laura,
    Yes, I’m a Norist. It was the best trip I’ve ever taken. Last July I traveled to Boonsboro MD for a chance to see Nora and explore The MacKade Brothers by Nora Roberts, I really enjoyed that series and hoped to visit some of the Civil War historical sites while I was in the area. I never would have taken the trip without the Nora connection. I also enjoyed the book signing and Turn The Page Bookstore. I have pictures of my trip posted on my Facebook page and I’ll send you some of my favorites as well to your gmail account. I would love to travel to the UK to explore another of Nora’s book connections as well and look forward to being a Norist Tourist for many years to come. Thanks for all your great books, Nora – I really enjoy reading and re-reading your books and your audiobooks are the best produced out there. Keep on writing – Nora and keep on getting the word out – Laura.

  20. Yes! Well, we didn’t set out to do so, but while we were in Ireland I found myself seeking out at much as I could from her books. While on the Cliffs of Mohr, I relived the Circle Trilogy (Morrigan’s Cross, etc.), and Giant’s Causeway made me think of it as well. Of course, many other parts of Ireland made me think of the Gallaghers of Admore, as well as the Donovans (Captivated, Entranced, Charmed, Enchanted – my favorites!!). When we were in Scotland, I couldn’t go anywhere without thinking of the MacGregors! Thank you, Nora!!!

  21. Nora’s made me dying to see Ireland. I did travel to Scotland a few years back, not imagining I would consider seeing Ireland. Since then, I’ve read Nora’s books and now I want to see Ireland so badly it hurts!! lol. I’ve been researching all of the places I want to see, and everything just looks so beautiful and the people seem so wonderfully lovable. Unfortunately I will have to wait a year or two, until my youngest daughter graduates (too many expenses there), but I am positive I will get there eventually. Tell Nora to keep up the good work and thank you for all of the enjoyment!!

  22. I love reading Nora’s books. I loose myself in them. The books I enjoy reading are the ones written around Ireland. I would love to go there some day. She brings everything to life. I want to thank you for continuing her writing and sharing her life with her followers. She is one special lady. Thank you Nora, you are a true GEM!

  23. i have not done planning a trip based on Nora’s books- but- Nora’s books themselves are a trip to another time and place, so they in themselves are a vacation! 🙂

  24. Everytime I pick up the world of Nora, I am there in it already. Living exactly in the opposite end of the world, in Australia, I am just chalking up the routes to visit and chain the memories that she has created for me. Being Eve’s ardent Peabody, I wish I could visit the land of Nora and that would be the dream come true. When I hear about Google glasses or Apple watch, I smirk, we know this already. The vision has been painted for us Norists already. Thanks Nora.

  25. My “I Read About It In A Nora Robert’s Book, So I MUST Go There” keeps growing. My husband keeps taking notes because he’s sweet & thoughtful & hopes to take me on at least one of those dream getaways! Ireland & Boonsboro are at the very top of my list! I can only hold onto my dreams right now because the budget doesn’t even allow for a camping trip. I shall wait patiently & eagerly. Inn Boonsboro in the fall keeps calling my name!

  26. I too am a Norist. I didn’t get to see the Boonsboro Inn (wasn’t yet open) when I went but I did go to TTP and the little shop with all the wonderful items of Roarke, etc. I want to go to Ireland which has always been my dream vacation, but now there are so many places there I want to see which means it’s a 4 week vacation – will take a couple of trips for that (Want to see Castle Donovan lol). From Baltimore and spend as much time on the Eastern Shore as I can so I have gotten to see lots of Nora places there. Want to also go back to Antietam and stay there so I can explore the Mckades places.

  27. Yes!! I have been to a few places in Ireland, and to Boonsboro. I wasn’t sure where to begin my adventure in Ireland so I decided to go t the places that Nora had written. I was not disappointed! going again next year! H

  28. I’m lucky, because I live in Maryland. I’m definitely a Norist. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Inn Boonsboro three times. My goal is to stay in every room. I’m a big fan of the McKade brothers series and have visited the Antietam battle site and Sharpsburg several times. I’ve also visited the Chesapeake Bay area.

    Still on my “to visit” list is Ireland. I’m hoping to visit Ardmore and Ashford Castle.

  29. I didn’t plan my trip to Boonsboro because of the Inn trilogy. I had wanted to stay there from the moment Nora announced they were building it on ADWOFF.

    It was a lot of fun to finally see the places I’d read about for so many years (Turn the Page, Gifts InnBoonsboro, Crawfords, Vesta, Dan’s Taphouse, etc). One of these days I hope to make it to a signing.

    Though I lived in England for five years, we never went to Ireland. I plan to get there one day and would love to stay at Ashford Castle and see Ardmore.

    I like the term Norist. I have a list of other places she’s written about I would like to go, but Ireland tops the list.

    ~Kelly (jns at ADWOFF)

    1. Oops, meant to add the Inn was wonderful. I stayed in the Elizabeth & Darcy room as well as Eve & Roarke. I plan to come back and stay in Jane & Rochester. The couple staying in that one allowed us a peak and that chaise lounge is more gorgeous in person. Seriously, pictures do not do the Inn justice.

  30. I have been a “Norist” for many years now. Have a trip planned to Boonsboro with my daughter…can’t wait!!!! 🙂

  31. I fell in love with Ireland reading The Gallaghers Triology. I knew once I started reading them I had to visit Ireland. My husband and I instantly fell in love with the country the minute our feet hit the ground. We decided to drive the ourselves on our trip and boy was that an experience. I told my husband I would love to visit the little town of Ardmore but we couldn’t find it on the map. So we just decided to drive and on the way to Waterford we passed a sign the said Ardmore! I couldn’t believe it, I made my husband turn around and we drove to the cute little town. I felt at home as soon as we arrived there. I think it was fate that I was meant to find the little town. I know if it weren’t for Nora’s love of Ireland and her awesome books I wouldn’t have went and I wouldn’t have fallen in love with a country I can’t wait to go back to. We also stayed at Ashford Castle simply beautiful….

  32. I have read most of Nora’s books. I dream of the day I can make it to stay at Inn Boonsboro. This is by far one of my favorite trilogies!

  33. Didn’t plan the vacation myself, but when my in laws planned a holiday for us to Ennis and Clare, I definitely brought along my Morrigans Cross trilogy to get in a mood for the place!

  34. I developed a yen for Ireland after reading the “Born In” trilogy and it inspired my first trip. I knew I wanted to drive up the west coast to Galway instead of touring the bigger cities. The Gallagher trilogy captivated me as well, but it took me 2 more trips before I made it to Ardmore. I spent an amazing day in the town, seeing every site in the books. I didn’t see Carrick, but I paid my respects to St Declan.

  35. Nora’s books on Ireland developed into a wonderful two week trip all around Ireland from Dublin south, then up the west coast into Northern Ireland and back to Dublin.. It was a trip of a lifetime with my daughter.
    Thank you Nora for those wonderful Irish stories.

  36. I AM A NEW Norist. I started reading her books last year. I loved her gardening trilogy! Her characters come alive in her books! My daughter-in-law introduced me to her writings. I can hardly wait to read a few pages every day!

  37. Norist, acutely. We didn’t plan the vacation around it, but last year my daughter and I road-tripped from Texas to Washington, DC. I had just finished the The Last Boyfriend and had read much about the Inn and Boonsboro in online news stories and such. So … we took a detour and made an extra stop in Boonsboro. Lovely town. I would love to go back and stay at the Inn. After reading Nora’s books and travelogues, Ireland and Italy are on my bucket list, as well.

  38. Have not visited yet, but do plan to do chesapeake bay and innsboro and ireland! My 3 favorite series…

  39. Yes. I was studying abroad in England when the Ardmore trilogy was announced and was planning my spring break travel. I was already going to Ireland and Waterford (love the crystal!) and discovered I could carve out time to take a side trip over to Ardmore. I like to think I was the first person to visit due to the trilogy 😀 When my family did a huge family trip to Ireland, I said I wanted to head back to Ardmore. I got to show them the Cliff Walk, and get a new vase from Ardmore Pottery as the one I’d gotten during my first trip had gotten cracked during a move.

  40. When I turned 40 in 2009 my BFF and I planned a trip that included staying at Inn Boonsboro (stayed in Jane and Rochester’s room). We continued our travels down to Washington, DC, where a friend of mine took us on a day trip to Chesapeake Bay. It was amazing! I was thrilled to stand on the shores and realize this is where the Quinn brothers lived. Now if I could have just found them… 😉

  41. Not yet but I will be for my 40th birthday :). I am planning a 2 week vacation with my best friend and she doesn’t know it yet but we are going to be visiting quite a few places from Nora’s books.

  42. I’d been to Ireland before I started reading Nora’s books, but I’ve always loved planning vacations after books I’ve read. Not just Nora’s books either, does that count? Heading back to Carmel and Monterey after reading the Dream series, token visits to Boonsboro and Georgetown. I also just spent a long weekend on Orcas Island and am ready to move there forever. it’s too much fun to visit a place after I’ve had such a wonderful time in the perfect world created in my favorite books.

  43. Been reading Nora for many years and am proud to say have read the JD Robb series all the way through three times 🙂 Met Nora about 16 years ago when my now husband (then potential boyfriend) took me to Turn the Book. Nora was gracious and I knew enough to bring chocolate. LOL. My 15th wedding anniversary is coming up. I think I qualify as a Norist!

  44. After reading they Inn at Boonsboro trilogy I definitely want to visit and see in person all the places that Nora has taken me to in her stories! It would be like being part of the story! I would also love to be able to make it to a signing at TTP Bookstore. Now that would be an awesome trip.

  45. Several years ago I went on a tour in Ireland. Spen 2 nights at Ashford Castle and 2 at Dromoland Castle. Can’t wait for the stories around Ashford. It is truly a beautiful location.

  46. I have never been much of a reader until I found Nora’s books. My favorites so far have been the trilogy of seven. But, I am loving the Witness and finding it hard to put down. Love her books.

  47. Ihave never thought that anyone can t write about everything,I can’t wait for my next journey to talk to the witch to see the family.Nora you are fantastic and I dont miss one book,thankyou from South Africa!

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