Category Archives: Books

A Trilogy

Is THREE books. Three, then done. Over, finished, complete.

The Dragonheart Trilogy. Three books.

I know some readers sincerely feel that asking for more is flattering. It is, it really is. To a point. But there’s been a lot of demanding and haranguing over this one with readers who want, and demand and—sorry, not sorry— whine for more.

(And some do it after EVERY trilogy.)

Why can’t you write all the weddings?????

You know, I gave the reader a big, beautiful wedding, in detail within The Choice. The dress, the vows, the prep, the color, the music. All of it. Not enough, apparently.

Where is Marco’s wedding, where is Breen’s?

Down the road, dear readers. The trilogy ended. Worlds saved, evil defeated, lovers met.

We should’ve seen Sally and Derrick come over.

Down the road again. This is not a story line.

More grieving and a funeral for Sedrick. We did have grieving, but lives are lost in wars. That’s why wars suck out loud. There was no place for more.

We are not going to see Fin bond with his dragon. That was not the story. And the kid’s hardly more than a toddler when the story ends.

We want to see more babies.

 Down. The. Road. This was not the story.

Breen awakened. Breen became. Breen chose.

THAT was the story. Mission accomplished.

I cannot give each individual reader all they want. And I won’t.

I will tell you the story that comes to me, and work hard to make it the best I can. That’s my job. I can’t tie every aspect that every single reader wants up in a bow, and keep going and going. When it’s done, it’s done.

Can’t we just have a fourth book, or a novella, or a short story?

Oh, my Jesus, do you not think, seriously not think, of the time, effort, the work, the creatively involved it that? Like, snap your fingers and give us all what we want? No one can actually believe it works that way.

This will seem harsh to some, and some of you will be pissed at me. I PAY for the books, why can’t she do what I want? Because, dear readers, I write how I write. The story is what it is.

And no, there were no loose ends, I did not leave anyone hanging. Except those who want, want, want, want weddings, babies, intricate word pictures of everything that might happen next.

I worked very hard on this trilogy, I sweated over making it all flow to a natural conclusion. But for some, it’s just never, never, never enough.

I finished The Choice a year ago. I’ve written two In Deaths, a Roberts’s suspense and am working on the first book of a new trilogy. I’m never, never, never going to go back and write weddings and babies for this trilogy.

This is not a book. There is no conflict, internal or external. There are no hills and valleys. There would be just happy, happy, joy, joy. And that’s not how I work.

I loved writing this trilogy, I was totally invested in the characters. But it’s done.

What comes next is up to you.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and never thought of demanding a writer give me more. I want this, this, this. Come on, gimme.

It’s actually astonishing to me that some readers do just that.

I have no obligation to do that, and never will. I HATE some readers are disappointed. But there’s nothing I can or will do about it.

And the next trilogy. THREE books. When it’s done, it’s done. Absolutely no point in demanding more. The Lost Bride Trilogy will be three books. Some will ask for more. I’ll have moved on.

Let me add, please, if you’re going to bring up specifics, spoilers, plot points, you want to comment on, argue about, do it here, and not on Facebook. There are many readers who follow on FB who haven’t read the book or books. Laura is so clear about that, but some ignore it because they’re just unhappy.

I’m also going to add, if it’s not obvious, I’m really tired of some demanding what I can’t give. And begging for what I can’t and won’t give. It’s exhausting.

Nora

The Trilogy note

Dear reading pals,

Remember the agonizing days that ensued when you finished the Born in trilogy?  Or the Key Trilogy?  Or The Inn BoonsBoro trilogy?  

Heck, pick any trilogy that you hold dear.  

Remember the book hangover?  The absolute certainty you’d never meet characters as amazing as the Concannons, or the women of Indulgence or the Montgomery Brothers?  That life was bereft of light and laughter now that you didn’t know what would happen in their lives anymore and you were certain Nora NEEDED to provide more?

Even though you could always revisit the books any time you’d like, that first time was finished.  And oh, how it hurts to know you can’t read a book for the first time ever again.

But then…you met the Templetons of the Dream trilogy, the valiant Six of The Circle Trilogy, the amazing cousins of The O’Dwyer Trilogy.  Or you visited Three Sisters Island…the charming village of Ardmore…watched the world rebuild through The One.

Get the pattern?  We all experience deep sadness when we close the final book in a series, sure we’ll never feel that way again.  

And then less than a year later, Nora hands us the first book in a new series.  I know some wait until all three are out, some will read them on publication day, then reread before the next book.  But in the end, all of us will meet a new set of people, even knowing that book hangover awaits at the end of the series.

Isn’t that the reason we all read Nora?  How reliably she gives us new, entertaining adventures that only she knows we need to read? (She wrote about trusting her in a post this fall.)

For nearly a week, I’ve seen a ton of comments wanting –no NEEDING — more of the Dragon Heart Legacy. Dig down, it’s wishing for a little more time with characters before saying goodbye.

If you look at the arc of the three books, Nora finished all she set out to do:  take a woman who has no knowledge of her tremendous potential and lead us to the point when she knows who she is and what she will do with her life.
There has been loss, there has been sadness, but on the whole Breen made her choices and there is happiness ahead. 

Nora took us on that journey and left Breen in a very good place. And we can all use our imagination to think of what happens next.

In my head, I see the comments now:

But Nora wrote a fourth book for The Quinn Brothers!!!  Why yes she did.  She was very upfront that Seth would get a story — after he’d had time to grow up.  So that’s why there’s three years between Inner Harbor (1998) and Chesapeake Blue (2001). Twenty-one years ago.

But Nora wrote four books for The Bride Quartet!!!!  
She had a cast of four characters and took them through a year in the life — New Year’s Day to New Year’s Day.  Quite honestly, my friends, I could hear the wedding fatigue in her voice when she was in the middle of writing Happy Ever After.  Honest to goodness, I experienced ONE real life wedding this year. I’m not sure how she created the details for multiple fictional weddings throughout that series.  So when she wrote The End, she meant it.

But Nora wrote novellas! 
No, she wrote two very short stories for the now defunct Waldenbooks newsletter which you can find here.  The novellas she did write were planned into the writing schedule as a project with friends. And she stopped writing novellas 7 years ago.

Nora of 2022 writes a very different sort of book than the Nora of 2009 who Wedding’d Herself Out writing The Bride Quartet.  She’s creating more complex worlds in her trilogies as well as her stand alones.  Let’s be real here: she writes two In Deaths a year to vacation with Eve and Roarke in a world she already knows.

It’s a huge compliment for readers to want more of characters and the world you create.  Readers have to understand that Nora’s currently deep in the first draft of the first book of the NEXT trilogy and Talamh is firmly in her rearview mirror. It’s been in the rearview mirror since December 2021.

I know a smidgeon of what the next trilogy is about and I think you’ll enjoy it tremendously.  Even as we all know I’ll have to re-post this letter in November 2025 when The Lost Bride Trilogy concludes.

We’ve got a lot more fun ahead of us.  Let’s keep our eyes on that. And enjoy.

Laura

PS. Three posts in a week??? Can the blog be springing back to life? Stay tuned.

The Choice discussion thread

It’s finally here: the conclusion of The Dragon Heart Legacy. And this is the space in which you can discuss all things The Choice freely.

The official description reads:

Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen―for now.

With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations―of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births―and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.

It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks―and her courage…

Share your thoughts on The Choice in the comments. As always, spoilers will happen, so read the comments at your own risk.

Laura

The Choice excerpt

https://fallintothestory.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/TheChoice.pdf

I would have sworn on all that I hold holy that I posted the excerpt from The Choice in September. I included it in the newsletter for Desperation in Death and the next step on my to-do list is to post here 48 hours later.

But when I saw a question about it on FB, I realized — to my horror — I hadn’t.

Anyway, the official copy reads:

Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen―for now.

With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations―of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births―and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.

It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks―and her courage…

Here is Chapter One.

The Choice is in stores November 22. So truly, not that long now.

I apologize for the delay and will pay more attention to my newsletter to-do list going forward.

And if you want to catch all the excerpts as they happen (i.e., not depend on my to-do lists), please sign up for Nora’s News — the sign up is at the bottom of the home page on both the Nora Roberts and JD Robb websites

Laura

Identity

Because it’s never too early to plan ahead, I’m pleased to share the cover of Identity — Nora’s May 2023 release (specifically, it’s out 5/23/23).

Isn’t it gorgeous??? St. Martin’s Press outdid themselves with this one.

So…what’s it about? The only official copy is this:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author’s terrifying new thriller about one man’s ice-cold malice, and one woman’s fight to reclaim her life.

St. Martin’s Press

I’ll share more after the new year. Promise.

In the meantime, there are early US pre-order links available. The rest will be posted in a couple months.

Turn the Page: https://bit.ly/TTPIdentity
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xAgTIq
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3DAzJ5I
BAM: https://bit.ly/3UnMB55
IndieBound: https://bit.ly/3qPBapr
Apple: TK
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3UndLcl
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3BSww0b

Laura

Desperation in Death discussion space

Today’s the day! Desperation in Death is officially on sale.

And this is the official space to discuss all things Desperation. Beware of spoilers in the comments.

Did you notice any of the questions I posed in the other thread? Or were you reading so fast to get to the conclusion that you’ll notice on the second read? Just curious.

Hope you enjoyed!

Laura

Trust Me

Desperation In Death comes out shortly. As always, I enjoyed spending time ( a lot on this side of the page!) in that world, with the characters who inhabit it. And hope you will, too.

Whenever we announce a new In Death, there’s excitement and speculation. There’s also—inevitably—a continuing complaint from some readers.

It goes something like this:

The last book (or books) disappointed me/ wasn’t up to par because —name a favorite reoccurring character or characters —wasn’t in it/them or wasn’t in it/them enough.

It’s difficult to address or explain the reasons for this in a two sentence reply on Facebook, so I decided to address and explain here.

First: Trust me.

If you’re invested and attached to these characters, it’s because I created them. I know them—and yes, gentle reader, even better than you because they came from me.

It’s my job to write the best book I can. To do that, I have to respect and honor the story, and the people in it. It’s simply not possible to craft the best book I can if I try to shoehorn every character—even your personal favorites—into every single book in the series.

When a recurring characters shows up, it’s because it fits the story, the scene, the tone, the purpose. When they don’t show up, they didn’t fit.

It’s my job to craft the story.

Trust me to do my job.

If I wrote thinking: I have to squeeze Mavis into this, and Bella, and Louise and Charles, and Nadine, Feeney, and so on, the story would suffer for it. I’m not going to do that. Not ever.

Let me add an aside. I absolutely love writing scenes with Bella. I find her a joy, and find more joy in seeing Mavis’s evolution as a mom. But the books aren’t about Bella, Mavis and motherhood, or Eve’s often baffled reaction to both.

When they do come in, it’s for a purpose. To further the story, to lighten or darken the mood, to provide information, to interact in a way that makes sense in the storyline.

I’ll add in the In Death world very little time spans between stories—much, much less time than the six months span in which they’re published. How would it make sense for Lt. Eve Dallas to interact with all the recurring characters every few days when she’s pretty busy investigating murders? It just doesn’t.

Connected to the above complaint is: There wasn’t enough Roarke—which I firmly believe a good portion of readers expressing this actually mean: Not enough sex with Roarke. (Hard to blame you!)

But the same reasons apply. I’m not going to shoehorn sex scenes in either. They, like any scene, either flow into the story, for a purpose, or they don’t. Also, Roarke’s pretty busy running his empire, and while I have crafted ways—that make sense to me—to have him on the page, contributing to the investigation, even just as a sounding board—he and Eve have their separate careers and duties to them.

Roarke doesn’t work at Central, or in the field. He’s evolved into a consultant—officially—because it made sense, and opened a way to give him more page time, and added to his understanding of and respect for what Eve does.

There are books in the series where nearly everyone finds a way onto the page—for a purpose. And there are books where hardly anyone outside the main characters show up. Because they don’t fit in that storyline.

Trust me to know when they fit, when they don’t.

Since I’m devoting a blog to this, let me address a couple more questions/hopes.

I have no idea—none at this time—if/when Baxter will enter into a serious relationship. I have no idea—none at this time—if/when Morris will find another love. The purpose of the series is clear in the name. In Death. It’s about a cop investigating murder. Each time, every time. That comes first. The primary purpose is not to hook up every character in a romantic relationship.

The secondary purpose is, absolutely, the connections—emotional connections, the evolution of long-standing characters, and/or the introduction of new ones. But the purpose is not romantic relationships for all. And for me, and I do know them, many of the characters are perfectly content with their lives as they stand.

I had no thought to write Nadine into a serious relationship. Until Apprentice In Death. It flowed out—from the scene where Jake first appeared because it fit, it made sense, and Jake’s character worked. The chemistry worked, a nice surprise for me.

The same thing may happen for one of the other characters in an upcoming book—as yet unwritten—or it may not. Ever.

And yes, Mavis is still pregnant, and will be for several more books. That’s how the timeline of the series works, it’s the way I structured it a couple decades ago. Decades for you and me, about three years for the characters in that world.

Some people may just be tired of the series, find themselves burnt out on it. That happens, and it’s okay. Some cycle through disappointment in a book or a couple in a row because they didn’t get to see their favorite(s) play a part.

I can only say to that: Trust me. They’ll be back when they have something to add to the story.

Again, I hope you enjoy Desperation In Death. And can happily tell you, Mavis, Leonardo and Bella all appear in this one. Because they fit.

Nora

Nightwork discussion thread

I know it’s a month off, but I think of release day for Nora’s summer book as the first day of summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere). Nightwork is on shelves now!

Harry Booth started stealing at nine to keep a roof over his ailing mother’s head. He slips into luxurious, empty homes at night to find items he can trade for precious cash for medical bills, the mortgage, for food. When his mother finally succumbed to cancer, he left Chicago—but kept up his nightwork. He developed into a master thief with a code of honor and an expertise in not attracting attention or getting attached.

When he meets Miranda Emerson, the powerful bond between them upends all his rules. But along the way, Booth has made some dangerous associations, including the ruthless Carter LaPorte, who sees Booth as a tool he controls for his own profit. Knowing LaPorte will leverage any personal connection, Booth abandons Miranda for her own safety—cruelly, with no explanation—and disappears.

But the connection between Miranda and Booth is too strong, pulling them inexorably back together. Now Booth must face LaPorte, to truly free himself and Miranda once and for all.

Here’s the place to discuss everything related to Nightwork — so spoilers very much ahead.

Personally, I loved this book so very much. Can’t wait to reread.

Laura

Abandoned in Death Teasers

I apologize for the delayed teasers this go round. Life has been spinning fast for me since December 1, culminating in hip surgery 5 days ago. To make it up to you, I offer a bunch of teasers in one shot.

As always, these are little Easter eggs (to borrow a film term) you’ll find in the book, not spoilers or major plot points.

I re-read Abandoned this week to create my list and it’s a fun, fast read. I think you’ll enjoy it.

So here we go:

  • The memo has gone out: Don’t mess with Bella’s territory.
  • Eve and Peabody are diametrically opposed on body art.
  • Summer internships are interesting and flexible.
  • Eve may have an unsettling definition of Good Mom.
  • It’s been nearly 3 years????
  • Always choose a meditation mantra that fits.
  • Could the perfect lip color get the bad guy?
  • Eve finally expresses an interest in real estate her reasons fascinate Roarke.
  • Life is a balance: you’re too young for some things/too old for others.
  • We learn Peabody has laid conversational traps for her partner.

If your copy of Abandoned in Death already arrived, please do not discuss the book in the comments here. I will open the discussion thread early Tuesday morning.

Laura

Nightwork excerpt

It’s never too early to plan summer reading, is it? To whet your appetite a little, I’m pleased to present the excerpt from Nora’s summer book Nightwork, out May 24.

Here’s the official book description:

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…

You’ll find Chapter 1 here. Enjoy!

Laura