All posts by Laura

Laura is Nora Roberts' personal publicist. She can be found on the Nora Roberts and JD Robb Official Fan Pages on Facebook as well as on Instagram.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

And we did!

Our annual spa week just keeps getting better. And this year, the fabulous weather only added a great big plus.

It’s such a gift to have real time to hang out with pals, to catch up, relax, laugh, enjoy each other’s company and as much quiet time as you like. How much nicer can it be when you do all that when the sun’s shining and spring’s just blooming everywhere?

We took full advantage.

The car’s stuffed–though Kat took bunches, and Sarah came by and took more. We are loaded, and ready to go right on time.

We were greeted with a Derbt hat in the lobby.

Laura and I do have a tiny bit of work to do, and get that done shortly after our arrival. A quick video for Pen America to remind people book banning just sucks.

Then? Let the games begin!

We include our special guest Griffin in the mix who challenged many of our ladies to chases and races through the suite all week long. Who needs to work out when you’re getting your cardio running around with a four-year-old?

Jo and I do! Every morning our day starts off with a workout in the suite, and sometime during our sweat session, we hear his cheerful voice as he leads his mom in. The boy wakes up happy and ready for breakfast.

Mom needs coffee!

After that, who knows? It may be time for those chases and races, or for a walk outside. Maybe a treatment, a little shopping or a swim. Read a book, take a nap, have a cookie. The key word? Enjoy. *

Cocktail time. Room service mayhem.

Then? The games really begin.

Stupid Scoreboard

The scoreboard the Clever Kat made awaits. Some gather around the table for Scrabble, others grab controllers for bowling, then the first round of Just Dance. The Fabulous Prizes also await.

If memory serves, Kat takes the Scrabble game, and Sarah crushes her competitors in Just Dance and bowling. We round off the gaming portion of the day with a silly card game–Old Wive’s Tales.

Hilarity ensues.

We have our single day of rain, but that doesn’t dampen anyone spirits. Workout, hang out, races and chases. **

Nicole brought up her makeup kits–she’s a Seint artist. (I became a convert last year at girl spa.)


Kat hauled up my bags of purged clothes so it’s time to Shop Nora’s Closet.

It’s entertaining to watch clothes winging around the room.

More games. Some of us can’t stay the entire week, but when we’re all there, we’re nine. So it takes awhile, playing four at a time, to complete a round. So more Scrabble ***, more Dance, and we shoehorn in some Bowling.

Another gorgeous day dawns, and Jo and I get it going. After breakfast, Kat slips out. My day’s clear so she booked a treatment and I’m on Griffin duty.

He caught sight of her making her dash, and tried to catch her. Had a sad at the door of the suite. Not a fit–thankfully–just a sad. I asked if he wanted a hug. He said: Okay. And after sharing a hug and some soothing, all’s well again.

Especially when I suggest a walk down to the toy store.

Nemocolin’s expanding it’s Lodge area, so lots of construction. There’s a long, enclosed (temporary) walkway to the spa and the shops. This includes many steps up, and steps down. So this becomes an adventure.

It’s a good thing Nana keeps in shape, as Griffin deems running’s necessary on some stretches.

He selects a toy in about two seconds. No wavering, no hesitation. It’s some sort of colorful marble run. Build the run out of plastic pieces, put the marbles in the top of whatever run you’ve constructed and watch them go.

It says 8 and up, but I’ve seen him with this kind of deal before. And he’s clutching the box like it’s Christmas morning.

More Adventures On The Walkway.

Back in the suite, I offer to open the toy.

No, Mommy opens, and he sets the box very deliberately in the center of the parlor.

Okay then.

When she comes back, she does, and the toy’s a hit.

Kayla had to miss the first couple of days, but arrives. Now I have my girl and my boy! But she’s got some catching up to do.

But first! It’s Paint Time.

Jo, Laura and I picked the painting we’d do back in March on our visit. **** It’s a big, gorgeous poppy. It’s fun to create, play around with our own visions. I like to get up and walk around the tables a couple times during the session, see those visions.

Group art.

It’s always amazing how completely different everyone’s vision is. And we’re getting better at this! They’re all so pretty, so individual. I put this session is the Artistic Success column.

It’s pizza night, and yum. And after pizza, it’s time for Kayla to catch up.

Which she does by topping the high school on Just Dance, AND then destroying the high score on Bowling by hitting NINE strikes in a row. Scrabble isn’t her game–or mine (I have no Scrabble strategy) so the first round there is complete.

Just another night of games.

The Magnificent Butlers send in an amazing gift. A cake fashioned into a gorgeous book, and one of my favorites. Jane Eyre. What a thoughtful and creative thing for them to do!

Plus delicious. A lovely way to celebrate the end of another happy day.

After the morning’s workout, Kayla and I have mani/pedis. I go for bright green–palm trees–on my toes with a bright blue–the sea–on the accent toe. I feel very summery, and relax with Dark Angel, John Sanford’s latest.

We’re down to 7 competitors. Kayla falls in Bowling, but triumphs in Just Dance. We have the four for the next round in Scrabble–Kat, Jo, Laura, Nicole.

Reverse Charades is always good for that ensuing hilarity. It never fails.

It’s hardly a wonder I slept like a rock every night.

Kayla has a massage. I have a facial–and more time for my book while I relax and wait for my appointment.

And the games are coming down to the sticking point. Kat and Jo will face off the next night in Scrabble finals. Kayla is victorious in Just Dance. Jo wins Bowling.

We play Exploding Kittens. This is a not-so-quiet riot. I can’t remember who won, but we had fun.

Kat has a solo paint session and slips out. Griffin does not have a sad this time. I watch him build a run for the marbles. Obviously, he inherited his parents’ mechanical abilities.

Kayla and I take him outside, down in a big garden area for many races, hide and seek and just sunshine.

Laura also has a paint session, and I run into her. Her painting–a crescent moon over blue mountains is gorgeous.

Our final meal together–more cake, lots of champagne. The Scrabble finals.

Jo doesn’t have a chance after Kat manages to play three 7-letter words. In a row. Nobody beats that.

Another round of Exploding Kittens.

It turns out Kat and Kayla tied in the overall, so this year we have co-Spa Queens. Well, done, girls!

One last workout with Jo, and time to pack up.

Somehow, even though we shouldn’t be taking back as much as we brought we us, we’re loaded. Enough Kat takes the bag of leftover prizes and games with her.

See you next year Stupid Scoreboard

More goodbye hugs, and I have a little bit of a sad myself.

But it was a fabulous week, and we’re already booked to do it again next year.

Here’s to girlfriends. They’re the best.

As we left, the lobby was transforming into the summer look


The Cranky Publicist take on things:

*For me, enjoy meant learning some new things. On the first day, Nicole and I made pasta which the chef paired with a red sauce. It was delish! (And we didn’t color coordinate, it just happened.)

Early dinner.

**I went to the other hotel a couple times for lunch.

Derby Hat in the Falling Rock lobby.

*** for some reason, the Scrabble gods feel I should always play Elaine. She was the first to go in our round, but opted to skip her play in favor of drawing seven new tiles. And then she played those seven tiles in her next turn.

****Back in March, when we asked to do that magnificent poppy with the group, Amanda and Sam of the amazing Nemacolin art team, told us that the artist would be in residence in May. Kathy Mazur was an absolute delight to meet and in turn was absolutely delighted to see all our takes on her art. Give her site a look, the art is lovely.

Back row: Elaine, Nora, Kayla, JoAnne, Pat and me/Front row: Sarah, Nicole, Jeannette, Kat and Kathy Mazur

Finally, this was an art week for me. Before the group paint class, I took an en plein air class with Sam. It’s one of my favorite views and I had so much capturing it with paint, instead of the camera.

And I still took photos of whatever caught my eye.

The lone tree
Floral displays
…and the f’ing wings

Identity discussion spot

Does summer (or winter if you live in the Southern Hemisphere) start when Nora’s standalone hits shelves? (I personally think so.)

Well, you can consider the season officially changed as Identity is on sale today.

I read it a long time ago, but can clearly remember all the twists, turns and fun of reading about Morgan Albright and the challenges she faced.

What’s Identity about?

Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party―attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar―her carefully built world is shattered.  

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.

This is the spot to discuss all things Identity so spoilers will be in the comments.

Share away!


Blooming May

I’m back on my feet—a little shaky, but back—after a nasty bout with vertigo. Hit Thursday morning, and knocked me flat. I had to miss our Girls Night Out as my world was spinning. Felt like crap Friday, but at least I could sit up. Slow but steady progress, and my first sloooow walk around the gardens on Sunday.

I’m not wired to spend three days in bed, but that’s pretty much what I did.

The walk outside lifted my spirits, a lot.

So much progress with all the flowers—though yesterday’s all-day rain has some heavy-headed.

I managed to mostly pack for our upcoming Girl Spa Week. And have to be grateful the vertigo didn’t strike a week later than it did.

I hope to be back to work on Monday.

But on this Mother’s Day, the sun’s shining and my flowers are blooming. Nasturtiums are starting to pop up, delphiniums blooming, yellow flags showing their color. Everything looking happy and healthy.

And of course, my f’ing wings are in place, right behind the front garden wall by our lane. I think they’ll like it there.

F’ing wings where they belong.

Laura’s out of town for a family wedding, so she’ll post this when she gets home. And before she faces the dreaded scoreboard our clever Kat’s making for our spa week.

I’m going to select and organize the Fabulous Prizes, then suspect I’ll take a nap.


I’m not home yet, but had a moment to get this set up. Now to take some deep breaths and ready myself for the scoreboard of doom.


I’m Getting Those F’ing Wings!!!

And I did, but that’s for later.

Derby time!

…and we’re off! Photo by BW

Smooth flight down—yay!—on Thursday, with our delightful cop, Justin, and equally delightful escort, Anne, picking us up for the ride into Louisville. Time for lunch, and yum, before it’s off to the hotel to unpack and decompress, then dude it up some for Club Night. Happily the event’s right here in the hotel. Especially since the theme is Bourbon Tasting. Sorry, Kentucky, not my drink, but my companions sampled some new to them bourbons.

Nora and BW, ready for fun. Photo by Laura.

Wonderful, big space, a fabulous rotations of live entertainment. And best of all reconnecting with some of our Derby family, much missed since Covid kept us home the last three years. Laura and Mark haven’t been to Derby with us since 2016. But they remember everybody!

Great weather, fun times. Lots of dancing. Felt good to get the groove on, and see so many shiny, happy faces.

I met Tricia Helfer, whom I’ve loved since Battlestar Galactica. Number Six!! She is ridiculously beautiful. We reconnect with the fabulous York Sisters, Tonya and Tammy, who put this incredible weekend together year after year. And so many more Derby pals—plus the chance to make new ones.

Bruce, Nora and Tonya York

Tumble into bed about midnight.

I do a very short little in-room workout in the a.m, then Anne’s taking me and Laura to get mani/pedis, shop, lunch while BW and Mark are off to the Oaks. I pick a filly—I have yet to win and Oaks race in all these years, but hope springs. BW will bet for me.

Off we go to a lovely salon with GREAT pedi chairs. Oh boy, ahhhh. Pretty fingers and toes for all. The guy who did my mani is also the manager—possibly the owner. Young guy who seriously knows how to multi-task and keep things moving smooth, even on the day before Derby when people are calling, doing walk-ins, chairs are rotating.

A pregnant mom and her little girl—maybe five—get pedis. So, so cute.

Our Italian restaurant (Grassa Gramma) for lunch is right next door, and it’s wonderful. We see a group of dressed-to-the-nine’s ladies sitting outside. Laura offers to take their photo—all there to celebrate one of the ladies’ birthday.

They’re all so pretty!

The dining room at Grassa Gramma.

The very ornate Italian decor of the restaurant  just sets the mood for my amazing spaghetti and meatballs. Anne and Laura both go for the pasta primavera. And nobody left hungry or disappointed.

Meanwhile. BW and Mark at the Oaks.

Shopping at Rodes with Beth next—a long Derby tradition. I score! But I had no doubt. Actually found the perfect wrap for the gala—much better than what I brought with me. Also some very cool and comfy sneakers. I don’t need more sneakers, but they’re so cute! And a little this, a little that.

Back to the hotel to chill before we glam it up for the gala. They hold a silent auction to benefit Blessings In A Backpack—such a good cause. And everybody gets spiffied up. I think the four of us—five including Anne—pulled off the spiff!

Gala ready.
Laura, Nora and Anne dressed for the evening.

But I continue my losing streak on the Oaks. Next time!

On the red carpet.

My first stop when we get down to the ballroom area, is that auction. I’ve already looked at some of the donated items on line, but did NOT spot the amazing wings until I saw them in person. And I immediate knew—I’m getting those f’ing wings. They’ll look so right in my gardens! I see a few other things—and hey, for the kids—so bid.

Those f’ing wings! Photo courtesey of Unbridled Eve.

More music—such great entertainment and all in a big ballroom that has simply gorgeous decor.

Tammy and Tonya York, acknowledging the Nora Roberts Foundation.
Tablescape. Photo by BW.

Someone else wants my wings—but they don’t have a chance. I’m determined! Bid, bid, bid, stalking bids with my phone, but still managing to get up and dance. You can’t NOT dance with that music pulling you up.

First act of the night – JD Shelburne.

When the auction closes, the f’ing wings are mine!! Was there any doubt? Once I find the perfect spot, I’ll take another picture.

The packed dance floor with Robin Wilson of The Gin Blossoms on stage.

More dancing, more happy—a quick stop to mug for the Photo Booth—then another tumble into bed.

We’re going to the track early—why not spend the day at the Downs? We ride with Lisa Leslie and Michael Lockwood… They’re not only TALL, but both are gorgeous. Plus so nice. BW and Mark sat with them at the Oaks on Friday, so they’re already Derby pals.

Michael Lockwood, BW and Lisa Leslie at the Oaks.
The early birds win the early races! Off to the Derby in style. Photo by BW

Perfect Derby weather, and a quick walk down the red carpet, then a longer one—always wear comfortable shoes to the Derby!—to our floor and our area for the day.

The best looking group on the red carpet.

And just in time to place a bet on the second race. And I’m a winner! Woo. As I am on the next race, and the one after. Whoa baby, I’m on a streak!

Lisa and Michael also hit on the first bet, and I believe the second. We seem to have a mind meld going on what horse to pick.

More people filter in, so many fun hats, pretty dresses, handsome suits! And so much happy energy. We have our fantastic long-time servers, Amy and Kim, and that’s another reunion.

I love standing out on the terrace, looking out at the track—so rich and brown against the green infield and the white buildings and stands.

More hugs and kisses, more catching up with old friends.

More betting!!

BW has his own serious system. Mine is—first always bet on the gray—and if no gray, I go by the name. What appeals. (Like one big winner for me, Webslinger. I’d always bet on Spider-Man!) I Always bet across the board. Win, Place Show.

Guess who won more races? Ha! I think I only had three races all day where one of my horses didn’t come in.

We’re honored to have the legendary Randy Travis and his lovely wife, Mary, at our table. Also J.D. Shelburne and his lovely wife, Amy. J.D. performed at the gala, so played a part in getting people on the dance floor.

Nora, Randy and Mary Travis

This is part of Derby magic for me, meeting people you admire for their art, their talent, then getting a chance to know the person behind that art, that talent.

When JD (Shelburne) meets JD (Robb).
Tricia Helfer and Nora.

For the Derby race, I also pick horses for my fam at home. Kayla happened to get home from college a couple days before we left, so I showed her the field. She picked Mage—for the name.

I also bet on Mage. Because, hey, magic.

As the big race approaches, the energy’s through the roof. The sun really does shine bright today on our old Kentucky home. Everyone crowds outside to watch the horses parade. They’re simply beautiful.

The packed stands pre-race 12 (Derby race).

All bets placed, the crowd in the stands and the infield are pumping out more energy.

And they’re off!

It’s simply impossible to describe the feeling. The cheers rising up, spreading out in a wall of sound. Then the stunning look of those athletes—horses and riders—flying over that oval. It’s thunder and lighting on four legs. As always, I lose track of my horses—the ones I bet. Because it just doesn’t matter now.

The race is on.

This is it, a breath-taking display of speed and athleticism. The wild excitement of that two minutes when thousands of people are focused on the same thing.

But as they’re coming down the stretch, I hear people shouting, Come on #8. Why, that’s Mage! And I see him, oh yeah, I see that beauty streaking toward the finish line. Just tearing up the track.

I realize no one’s going to catch that horse. Kayla and I have the Derby winner!!!

Now there’s the bonus of fun. Winner, winner! I love texting her she won, and her OMG reaction.

We have to say goodbye to many, but we always stay for the last two races. Mostly hoping traffic will ease up.

It’s starting to rain—lucky it held off for Derby!

The rain coming in

And Laura hits it big*—I have another winner to cap it off.

Then the long walk down, the search for the right lot where Justin waits to take us home.

Our hope re traffic wasn’t realized. Whew, it’s a long ride, but we made it. And Anne brings us pizza. Just the perfect end to a perfect day.

Nora, Justin Probus, BW and Anne Rademaker — the two people who made things happen.

At some point during that perfect day, I lost my voice. Just gone. But it seems to be coming back as I write this.

We’re heading to the airport soon—had to wait out a wild, really wild storm. Clearing up now—thank all the gods and goddesses.

Honestly couldn’t have had a better time, in better company. They’re going to ship my f’ing wings. Can’t wait to find the perfect spot for them.

Thank you again, Tonya and Tammy, for having us back for the best weekend of the year!

(Turns out not so lucky today—4-hour delay so far**, and who knows when we’ll finally take off!)


Notes from Laura:

*Let’s be honest, Nora’s big win is a tad larger than mine. But since my Derby win was $8 in 2016, I’ll take this.

**Our delay totaled 5 hours. At one point, the pilot told us we’d be parked for nearly two more hours, so he and his co-pilot were ordering some pizza — would we like some? Sure! Why not?

Then he told us we could step out on the tarmac to stretch our legs since we’d been in Justin’s car for two hours and then the plane for another two. Do something very few people ever get to do? Sure! Why not???

Just a small taste of the planes lined up.

We get back on the plane, finally start moving in a slow stop-and-go when the copilot springs up and re-opens the door. The pizza was coming out on a golf cart! He grabbed it and put it on an empty seat,

then once he closed the door, he came back and put the seatbelt around the precious cargo.

We were all home by 7 pm.


Welcome Spring!

First, it’s been a very long gap on the blog due to reasons. But we’re back!

There’s been a whole bunch going on in the last week or so, and I hope you’ll read the previous blog and consider a donation to EveryLibrary Institute, an organization that fights book banning and library defunding. I can’t stress enough how important I consider this fight for the freedom to read what you choose. And to keep libraries open and thriving.

This isn’t just about my books, and I joined this fight awhile ago. It’s about LGBTQ readers having the right to access books that tell stories with characters who deal with the issues they deal with—and YES, this includes teens. Maybe especially. It’s about books that deal with Black history and the experiences of people of color. It’s about attacking librarians and refusing to let them do the work they’re trained to do. It’s about the right to read what we like without having one person’s opinions and feelings outweigh that right.

As lovers of books, this is your fight, too. Donate. If you can’t, spread the word. You’re on social media or you wouldn’t be reading this. Use social media to stand against the bullies and bigots, and the misinformed.

Now for something happy!

A couple weeks ago, BW and I prepped the garden beds. Prepping included digging out ten million Black-Eyed Susans. I enjoy Susies, but they tend to spread insanely and take over. So we dug, and we dug, and we transplanted where we wanted them to stay.

The happy for me is this cleared more space. So I could get more plants!

And last Friday, I took off work and we headed to our fabulous garden center, Sunny Meadows. It’s so wonderful there, so pleasant, so beautiful. So many pretties, so well tended, to choose from.

We filled the bed of the truck, and then some.

All the flowers. Photo by BW.

Then, more fun! I spent considerable time setting out, shifting, looking over, changing my mind, setting elsewhere until I had what I wanted.

Now dig!

We spent the whole day doing just that. A gorgeous day, a laborious day, a very, very satisfying day. How I love taking a walk after and seeing the color, the textures, the possibilities.

They didn’t have my precious nasturtiums, but they had seeds! Now I wait for them to start popping up.

They called for rain, and as I’m planting, I ask the Higher Power to just give me more time. Just a little more. Can I have another hour?

And minutes after the job is done, the rain comes. So perfect, and now all the new plants get a good drink!

Saturday, I started on pots. I really didn’t realize I had so many I wanted to fill.

33. 33 pots to fill. What fun!

About the time I finished, Jason, Kat and Griffin drive up. Oh, so much more fun.

Kat tells me that earlier in the week there was a day without school. What shall we do? Griffin says—holding up a finger: I know! Nana’s house.

Can you imagine how delighted that makes me?

We play many games, have many chases. Colt’s here, and Griffin insists he join in. Colt is the very best of cousins.

A happy family weekend, start to finish.

The week’s been work-focused. We’re going back to the Derby next week for the first time in three years, and I’ll be so glad to see our Derby family again. But that means nose to the grindstone.

At least until the book banning bullshit happens. But I deal with that because it’s so very important.

Today, I’m making a pot roast with all the trimmings. I deal with the majority of packing for Derby—and that takes time and thought! But I want that mostly done so I can go nose to the grindstone until we leave on Thursday.

It’s cooler and rainy off and on today, so I may not get my walk-about outside. But it’s good for the new plants, so I’ll take it.

I hope spring’s treating you well, and if you don’t or can’t plant flowers, you can enjoy what others have. And that you can spend some of this weekend reading a book of your choice.


The state of the world of books

As much as I hoped to return to what we’d have called “regular” posting prior to 2020,  there’s an issue that’s now an official part of the rotation: protecting what we read and how we obtain books.

This is an add-on to a post from last fall regarding libraries. This post features books in general.  

Late last week, Nora learned from PEN America that a number of her books were banned from school libraries in Martin County, Florida. This includes The Bride Quartet! (?!?!)

The dangerous books.

She spoke to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post on Thursday and this is the story about the issue:  Florida’s book-ban frenzy targets Nora Roberts, and she’s not happy

This morning, Nora was part of a report on banned books on Good Morning America.  You can watch the report here:

Earlier in the week, EveryLibrary announced that Nora and The Nora Roberts Family Foundation made a generous donation to the organization to support the launch of Fight For the First, its new advocacy and organizing site with a mission of protecting the First Amendment in libraries across the country.

To quote the press release:

Ms. Roberts, the best-selling author of nearly 250 novels, has long been a champion of intellectual freedom and the importance of libraries as community resources. The Nora Roberts Family Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives that promote literacy, education, and the arts. Ms. Roberts’ donations to the EveryLibrary Institute will help the organization continue its work ensuring that all people have free and open access to information and ideas, and that libraries are able to provide a safe and welcoming space for all. The Foundation’s donation to EveryLibrary reflects its commitment to defending the right to free speech and access to libraries.

EveryLibrary’s mission is to defend and advance library values, including access to information and intellectual freedom.

Today, EveryLibrary launched a new campaign called the #NoraRobertsChallenge which asks readers and authors to join the fight with Nora by making a tax-deductible donation to fight against book bans and challenging  friends to do the same.

Again, as the daughter of a librarian and a person who basically spent all my free time in libraries as I grew up, I ask you all to consider the libraries – school and public  — in your area.  When they are threatened, speak up.  It’s the only way to combat the bullies who want to decide what’s best for all.

What’s best for all is the ability to roam the shelves in a library and perhaps luck into a new author who offers thought-provoking ideas.  That’s freedom.


It’s been a while…


(or should I write HELLLLLLLOOOOOOOO – like a shout into a canyon???)

I know it’s been quiet here on Fall into The Story.  There are a lot of behind-the-scenes reasons for that – from changing to a new platform to waging a battle against bot registrants to playing with/discarding all manner of new looks to the blog.

I figured since we’re all friends here, I’d invite you into the chaos while I attend to the final details.

A quick update: after Nora’s January post about visiting Nemacolin with family, she’s been deep in work. As usual, she finished the first In Death for 2024 in January.  Now she’s deep in the weeds of the 2024 standalone (this year’s standalone, Identity, is out in a month. And the excerpt is here.)

Outside of work ,family events have taken up all her non-writing attention, meaning weekends have not lent themselves to updates.  She did complete this year’s whole house purge AND Bruce went on his winter trip for the first time since 2020.  (Nora reveled in a Home Alone that featured no mechanical breakdowns in the house.)

Nora, JoAnne and I returned to Nemacolin for a mini-girls spa week in early March.  Kayla was able to join us for part of the time – it was her Junior year (!?!!) spring break.  We had treatments, a paint night and did a puzzle – though nothing like the 2023 puzzle of cupcakes from hell.  Thank goodness.  And NO GAMES!!

Laura, Nora, Kayla & JoAnne in a floral mood.

A much simpler puzzle.

Nora mentioned to me late last week that she was going to get her hands in the dirt and start The Garden.  She’ll share more about that in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, we’re gearing up to attend The Kentucky Derby  next week.   Two weeks later I’ll be certain to share The Spa-Girls-Face-The-Stupid-Scoreboard™ posts.  Then before you know it, it will be time for the 2023 Travelogue! Where’s Nora going this year?  Well, I’m not sharing that right now, but I can say that she hasn’t been to this part of the world for over 30 years.

Basically, I have a publishing schedule in mind to carry us through the rest of the year.

We’re also transitioning Nora’s News to a different platform with the help of The Newsletter Ninja.  If you are a subscriber already, you will receive an update email about the changeover.  Since there are so many  names on the list, it’s a slow roll out so be patient!   If you haven’t received anything by mid May, let me know at so I can forward to Tammy and Stacey.   And if you’d like to subscribe go to the Nora Roberts or JD Robb websites, scroll to the bottom and subscribe in the box there.

My plan is to increase the newsletters to monthly.  Nora will write the pre-publication ones, while I’ll fill in with other things of interest like audio excerpts or contest.  Things that keep you in the loop.

In other housekeeping news, if you’d subscribed to receive emails any time there’s a new FITS post, unfortunately that list disappeared when I brought the blog over from InMotion to WordPress. Please re-subscribe so you get all the posts as they appear.

I’ve been waging war on bots in the user list here for a while.  I know I’ve inadvertently erased real accounts in my effort to be rid of invaders.  If you have a profile here, could you add your name to the profile? That way I know to keep you on the list.

What else?  I’ve been taking photos on walks again.  And I’ve been reading a lot this winter.

Art in the early morning.

Which brings me to the final point in this restart post:

Besides Nora’s personal updates, discussion threads, cover reveals and excerpts, what else would you like to see here?

Photos of Nora’s garden just because?

What are you reading or quarterly book recommendation posts?

Share what you want to see post-wise in the comments.


Payback in Death cover reveal

Payback in Death will be in stores September 5. Here’s the first look at the cover, and the description.

Lt. Eve Dallas is just home from a long overdue vacation when she responds to a call of an unattended death. The victim is Martin Greenleaf, retired Internal Affairs Captain.

At first glance, the scene appears to be suicide, but the closer Eve examines the body, the more suspicious she becomes.

An unlocked open window, a loving wife and family, a too-perfect suicide note—Eve’s gut says it’s a homicide. After all, Greenleaf put a lot of dirty cops away during his forty-seven years in Internal Affairs. It could very well be payback—and she will not rest until the case is closed.

You can pre-order Payback at these retailers. Please note, Audible pre-orders are found in the Amazon link.

Turn the Page:
Apple Books:
Google Play:


Identity excerpt

We’re just over 90 days from the release of Identity — Nora’s 2023 stand alone novel. I had a chance to read it a while back and the story is as stunning as the cover above.

What’s it about you ask? Here’s the official cover copy:

Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.

Here’s your chance to read Chapter One. (If you subscribe to Nora’s News then you’ve already had a chance to read this excerpt.)

Enjoy — can’t wait to discuss this book.