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.

Abandoned in Death Excerpt

A busy day on the blog — The Becoming discussion thread went live this morning and now I’ll share the excerpt from Abandoned in Death (out Feb 8 2022).

First, click HERE to see the cool cover reveal vid.

What’s Abandoned about you ask? Well here’s the official cover copy.

The woman’s body was found in the early morning, on a bench in a New York City playground. She was clean, her hair neatly arranged, her makeup carefully applied. But other things were very wrong—like the tattoo and piercings, clearly new. The clothes, decades out of date. The fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon around her neck. And the note: Bad Mommy, written in crayon as if by a child.

Eve Dallas turns to the department’s top profiler, who confirms what seems obvious to Eve: They’re dealing with a killer whose childhood involved some sort of trauma—a situation with which Eve is all too familiar. Yet the clues suggest a perpetrator who’d be roughly sixty years old, and there are no records of old crimes with a similar MO. What was the trigger that apparently reopened such an old wound and sent someone over the edge?

When Eve discovers that other young women—who physically resemble the first victim—have vanished, the clock starts ticking louder. But to solve this case she will need to find her way into a hidden place of dim light and concrete, into the distant past, and into the cold depths of a shattered mind.

And now here’s a look at Chapter One.

You can pre-order Abandoned in Death from your favorite retailer.

TTP: https://bit.ly/3bhlYKs
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ekAJ11
B&N: https://bit.ly/33hJ9Qw
IndieBound: https://bit.ly/33hJgvq
BAM: https://bit.ly/33iiP8Q
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2RDSW0w
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3nQE8aX
Google: https://bit.ly/2ZGFytb
Audible: https://adbl.co/2RI1js5

Laura

The Becoming Discussion Thread

Today’s finally the day we learn more about Breen and Marco’s adventure. The Becoming, book 2 in The Dragon Heart Legacy, has landed in stores, on ereaders, on audio.

Here’s the place to discuss all things about The Becoming. Did you race through? Did you savor? Share all the thoughts in the comments.

And please be aware, spoilers are allowed in the space.

Laura

October Busy

It feels a little odd to be busy with activities besides work and domestic tasks these days, but October opened up for it with a long-delayed trip to NYC.

We were able to schedule it around Kayla’s fall break from college, so I had my oldest and my youngest grandchild on the trip.

We limo’d up, and Griffin made it clear he was born for limo rides. We didn’t make it down the lane before the grins broke out. Such fun to see his pleasure with the height of his car seat and the window so he could see out, and his delight with the colored lights on the roof.

The half bag of chips he ate didn’t hurt either.

We had the amazing Kevin at the wheel, and a good thing. Minutes after our half-way there pit stop, he noted a radiator issue. Not only did he figure out where to stop where he could find a part, but he got it, and fixed the problem himself.

Kudos to Kevin.

We arrive.

Griffin’s play room for the week.

Griffin clearly loves hotels as much as limos as he had to race around everywhere, happy to explore. We unpack, settle in, and since we wouldn’t be eating out on this trip, hit up room service. Laura’s with us, so a happy family meal, plenty of hang out time before an early to bed on travel day.

Up bright and early for a workout, clean up and dress for our first shopping day.

Kayla gets reacquainted with the view to the south.
…and to the north.

Kayla hasn’t been to NYC in some time, (she’s just a little excited!) and needs business casual attire. She’s in several clubs at college—including the Honor Society—and they have dress codes. My girl has mostly sportswear and sweats—and some fancier duds, but nothing really that hits that middle ground.

Fun for Nana! And it’ll check off a certain college student’s Christmas gifts.

We approach this as shopping clusters and earmark a group for the first day. A rousing success. Not always easy as our girl has a hard time finding pants to fit her Double Zero frame. And she absolutely, no question, knows what she likes and what she doesn’t.

I respect that! Plus, I can’t fault the girl’s taste. On the other hand, it’s like dressing this tall, leggy doll—and everything looks good on her.

Later, Laura and I head to Stewart Wiseman as she needs shoes—and the 8th floor of Saks, usually a Nirvana, didn’t reach the march. She finds shoes, and I end up with two pair of boots I really needed need but seriously had to have! And I’m taking Kayla back as I’ve found the perfect black booties that’ll work with those tiny skirts.

Shopping for shoes.

A fun day, despite a bit of rain. Then a take-away meal that suits all.

And cake! Amazing birthday cake. And just beautiful flowers from my sweet family.

Not one…(this from Magnolia Bakery)…
but two cakes. This one from Milk Bar — and proclaimed the best cake ever by the birthday girl.

Another day, another cluster. I’m also bagging a few other gifts as we go, checking off that list! Plus it’s really, really good to be back in the energy of the city. It’s definitely not as crowded on the streets or in the stores, and it’s good to see most wearing masks. I’m also pleased a pair of my new boots prove incredibly comfortable throughout the urban hiking.

Laura, Kayla and I head up to our roof terrace with snacks and champagne. It’s a pretty day, but wow! Turns out the wind is wild up there that afternoon. We end up inside with the doors open.

There’s time to play trucks—Griffin’s newest love. And another successful take-out meal after another successful day of shopping.

[Note from Laura: Griffin’s other fun game with his parents.]

I like working out in the mornings with the city view. A big change from my usual, and after, I can head downstairs and see whoever’s up and about. My editor, Leslie, is coming by—I haven’t seen my pal for two years. It’s so good to see her again, to hang out awhile, to have to hike along on our next cluster.

Also fun to have yet another girl weigh in on fashion choices.

From left: Nora’s editor Leslie Gelbman, Nora and SMP Assoc. Director of Publicity John Karle

A long successful day, and Kat’s put out a pretty fruit and cheese platter to welcome us back. Goes well with wine!

My agent’s coming to join Leslie and the whole gang for a pizza dinner. Again, just so great to see her again, and to sit and talk with my NY connection. We’ve all been friends as well as partners for a very long time.

Sunset over Manhattan

An Uber trip (not ready to use the subway yet) downtown the next day so Kayla can visit PacSun. It’s not only a favorite store, but she just interviewed for and got a job working there. Another cluster, with that in the lead, then back to midtown to walk awhile.

Throughout the week, we shop, sit and talk, play, and sample many cuisines. Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian. Kayla, our vegetarian, doesn’t go hungry. A quick stop at the toy store to find a little something for my boy, and we three girls enjoy an outdoor lunch—until it chills down with a stiff breeze.

Who can resist an alicorn? Not Kayla!

Time to pack up, say goodbye, then it’s the long ride home.

Back in routine after a fun week. Making soup, harvesting more herbs. And writing, of course, which rolled, really rolled. I think the week off seriously recharged some batteries.

Have to say goodbye to my Kayla who has to head back to college.

And before we know it’s it’s Griffin’s third birthday.

Immersed in play.
Portrait of a three year old.

Toys! Cake! A very happy little boy. He took two of the little monster trucks Kayla’s mom bought him to bed with him along with his beloved stuffed dog Howl.

He’s just as happy this morning, and has yet to put them down.

I’ll be making a pot roast later, likely harvesting the last of the basil.

Tomorrow I have to see a specialist who’ll determine if this tooth—next to the last, upper left, can be saved. Not looking forward to that, either way. My teeth continue to work against me no matter how nice I am to them!

Anyway, after that stupid busy work, it’ll be back to routine.

As we ease toward Samhain, I’m pretty thrilled so much of my garden is blooming—or as Kayla would say—vibing and thriving. I know it won’t be long until that first hard frost, so I enjoy those blooms every day.

As I close this blog, I’m listening to my son play with his son in the other room.

It’s a really lovely sound on a Sunday morning.

Nora

A Sunday Cover Reveal

A surprise for this Sunday — I’m pleased to present the cover of Nora’s next summer book, Nightwork — out May 24, 2022.

Here’s the official cover copy:

Harry Booth started stealing at nine to keep a roof over his ailing mother’s head, slipping into luxurious, empty homes at night to find items he could trade for precious cash. When his mother finally succumbed to cancer, he left Chicago—but kept up his nightwork.

Wandering from the Outer Banks to Savannah to New Orleans, he dons new identities and stays careful, observant, distant. He can’t afford to attract attention—or get attached. Still, he can’t help letting his guard down when he meets Miranda Emerson. But the powerful bond between them cannot last—because not all thieves follow Harry’s code of honor. Some pay others to take risks so they can hoard more treasures. Some are driven by a desire to own people the way they own paintings and jewels. And after Harry takes a lucrative job commissioned by Carter LaPorte, LaPorte sees a tool he can use, and decides he wants to own Harry.

The man is a predator more frightening than the alligators that haunt the bayou—and when he strongarms Harry into robbing a Baltimore museum, Harry abandons Miranda—cruelly, with no explanation—and disappears. But no matter what name he uses or where he goes, LaPorte casts a shadow over Harry’s life. To truly free himself, he must face down his enemy once and for all. Only then can he hope to possess something more valuable than anything he has ever stolen…

US and Canadian readers can pre-order from the following links:

TTP: https://bit.ly/NightworkTTP
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3o16OzX (This link offers the option of the Hardcover or Kindle)
BN: https://bit.ly/3ENCP4I
IndieBound: https://bit.ly/2ZsjNk8
BAM: https://bit.ly/3ELzTFH
Apple: https://apple.co/2XRMFBT
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XSvvEc
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3lQ5tJL
Audible: https://adbl.co/3i3jJxL

Please note that covers and ordering info for the UK/AU/NZ/IRE/SA and Europe will follow.

Laura

Top of the In Death charts

While I’m not usually a list person, I know there are readers who love to create/debate/talk about them. So we’re adding another new, occasional feature here: Random Sunday Lists.

In the teasers for Forgotten in Death — which hit #1 on a few best seller lists, thank you all very much — I mentioned it was now in my top five In Death titles.

In the comments to that post, Lori K asked what’s in my top five.

My reply:

These four are set in stone. Number 5 rotates between Conspiracy, Survivor and now Forgotten — depending on the day/mood.

What are your top five In Deaths? Remember there are no rights and no wrongs. It’s just a little fun.

And no whining that I’ve set a limit. <g>

Laura

The Back Story: 9/12/21

Welcome to a new FITS feature: The Back Story. 

After the relatively silent summer, Nora and I batted around ideas to fill in the gaps between book excerpts and discussions. 

All the outside sources that inspired posts of the past have dried up.  Nora’s taken fewer trips in the last year. Signings remain on hold until at least 2022.  

And honestly, while you all admire her adherence to routine, there’s only so many times Nora wants to write about work, workouts, cooking or the glamour of scooping poop (which is happening now as BW is away for a week).

So this feature could fill the gap.  Just small peeks into the past and the present. Some days it will be Nora centric. Others it may be Laura centric. We’ll just see how it goes.

In today’s back story, did you know Nora got a 4th tattoo just after spa week? * I’m not sure we shared that or a photo, so here you go. 

Word is this was the most painful yet. 

Do you have any tattoos? Or one you dream of? Share in the comments.

Laura

*the others are a Celtic knot on an ankle, Ohm on a shoulder and the five-fold symbol on a forearm.

So September

I know I’m in the minority being sorry to say goodbye to summer heat. But I like September fine. My garden’s still blooming, and the sun’s finally shining again after a deluge of rain. We’re still seeing hummingbirds visiting their feeders or having a taste of my flowers.

I’ll miss all of that when winter blows in, so I’ll enjoy every minute of it I can while it lasts.

As all of us but the two youngest, not-yet-eligble grandkids are vaxxed, we were able to do some carefully selected traveling this summer. Not yet the long-promised trip to Italy for Kayla (hopefully next summer!) but fun family and/or friends time.

But mostly it’s been at-home, and the bright side—-because you have to find it—was more time for the gardens, for the work, more books to read and shows to watch.

My routine is just basically my always routine. Work, work-out, walk the gardens, cook, veg out. So it’s hard to complain when I have a house and grounds I love, work I love, and family and friends who are safe and well.

But, I can bitch a little!

More at-home time occasionally leads to a quick skim of social media where I find someone posting they’re looking forward to me and my 274 pseudonyms retiring. First, I have ONE pseudonym. One. About 40–count them, 40–years ago I used the name Jill March to sell one story to a long-defunct outlet. Used it once and never again. About 30-odd years ago I used the name Sarah Hardesty to publish ONE book in Great Britain because my publisher there insisted my readers would be confused as it was a historical. I pushed back, but I didn’t have the clout to push hard enough. And they soon realized I was right, then were wrong, and that was the end of Sarah Hardesty.

So one pseudonym with J.D. Robb, and that’s it. Other than you’re wrong to this idiot poster, I’d like to add: Bite me regarding retirement. You’re not in competition with me, nor me with you. The only person a writer should compete with is herself—trying to write a better book every time.

Or there’s the inevitable sad (or angry) demand that I stop using swear words in my books. It can be a religious thing: You have to stop taking the Lord’s name in vain! Or a prissy thing: It does your work no credit to use the F word. And usually followed by mini lecture, and often the claim that people don’t talk that way. To which I call bullshit. Yes, bullshit. And to these people I say, please don’t push your personal morals on me or my characters. Find someone else to read if it upsets you. There are lots and lots and lots of books to choose from.

Of course, there’s always the: I KNOW she uses a ghost writer routine. I know this because—no way she’s written that many, because her last book didn’t sound like her to me, because somebody on-line said so, because, because. To those who make this aggravating and false claim, I suggest you spend more time writing your own book.

It bounces around regularly that I chose the name J.D. Robb to hide the fact I’m a woman. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. I chose it because I wanted to use my sons’ initials—and I thought it sounded cool. That’s it. It’s always amazing to me that people who don’t know me, at all, claim to know the workings of my mind.

There’s more, of course, but more would turn this blog into a rant. I’ve concluded that lots and lots of people simply have too much time on their hands—sometimes that includes me!

I’m using some of that time on this September Sunday to work out—already done—walk the garden and cut some flowers for inside—check!—write this blog—almost there—then settle down to some on-line Christmas shopping. Should be fun. Then this evening I’m roasting a pork loin currently marinating, some roasted potatoes, and we’ll have some of the fresh local corn on the cob with that.

That sounds like a happier use of my time than rolling my eyes over someone’s weird-ass social media post.

And Monday morning, I’ll be back at my keyboard—not retired—writing my own book—by myself—which will surely include swear words. Since it’s a Robb I’m working on, let me be clear. I’m a woman.

Nora

The Becoming excerpt


I know you’ve been waiting for a peek at The Becoming, book 2 of The Dragon Heart Legacy, and that time has come!

First, the official description:

The world of magick and the world of man have long been estranged. But some – like Breen Siobhan Kelly – can walk between the two. She has just returned to Talamh, with her friend, Marco, who’s dazzled and disoriented by this realm–a place filled with dragons and faeries and mermaids (but no WiFi, to his chagrin). In Talamh, Breen is not the ordinary young schoolteacher he knew her as. Here she is learning to embrace the powers of her true identity. Marco is welcomed kindly by her people–and by Keegan, leader of the Fey. Keegan has trained Breen as a warrior, and his yearning for her has grown along with his admiration of her strength and skills.

But one member of Breen’s bloodline is not there to embrace her. Her grandfather, the outcast god Odran, plots to destroy Talamh–and now all must unite to defeat his dark forces. There will be losses and sorrows, betrayal and bloodshed. But through it, Breen Siobhan Kelly will take the next step on the journey to becoming all that she was born to be.

You’ll find the written excerpt here: The Becoming excerpt. And for the first time, we also have an early listen to the audio book: Audio excerpt.

Just 80 days until The Becoming is in stores on November 23. Enjoy!

Laura