Category Archives: Books

Vendetta in Death teasers

We’re a week away from the Vendetta in Death release (see? it wasn’t that long). In a FITS tradition, I’ll share some teasers about the book over the next few days.

As always, these will not spoil the plot, they are just some Easter Eggs (as they say in the film business) to look out for when you read.

A quick reminder of the plot:

Eve’s up against a self-proclaimed Lady Justice. Once she chooses a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead to tempt him into her grasp. Once there, he’s powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s HR department has paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice does. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Eve and Roarke comb through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the secret to Lady Justice remains elusive. Her criminal crusade escalates rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled.

Tuesday, August 27:

That damn Icove movie gets in the way of everything.
Peabody shares some DLE experience.
Capt. Feeney, hero.

Wednesday, August 28:

Eve outlines a career goal for Peabody.
Eve presents her clear outline of justice.
Eve shares just a hint of Roarke’s fate if he ever cheated with Peabody.

Thursday, August 29

Peabody connects with a legend (who’s a fan – damn Icove Agenda!).
Peabody + Eve’s driving = mixed bag of reaction
AAC – Asses All Covered

Friday, August 30

Last one is three-in-one:
Every individual has specific definitions
For Eve — what is whimsy
For Bella — what is a toy
For Roarke — what is trauma
Find the answers to all of these things on Tuesday!

Laura

Under Currents discussion thread

On Sale today!

Today’s the day — Under Currents is available for your next summer read! And this is the place to discuss the book with other readers.

I know you read the excerpt a while back so here’s the book description to refresh your memory:

Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. While strangers and even Zane’s own aunt see his parents as the epitomes of a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, Zane and his sister Britt know there is something terribly wrong.

As his father’s violent, controlling rages and his mother’s complicity become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. In fear for his life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.


When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the facade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves.

Share your all your thoughts in the comments — and be ware: spoilers ahead.

Laura

Golden in Death cover and stuff

Hello blog family!

I think it’s pretty safe to say this year hasn’t followed the traditional path so far. As you’ve seen over the years, routine – in her work days, workouts, spa trips and vacations – is sacred to Nora.

As the calendar turned to 2019 both of us assumed the posts during the winter would follow the years prior, from Nora’s whole house clear out, to the adventures of being Home Alone while BW was away, then a smooth glide into Spa Girls, Derby, then summer.

But February happened, #copypastecris sat front and center in Nora’s head, and the winter slipped away. Nora wasn’t in the place to share regular happy updates of hearth, home and grandkids. I didn’t think humorous or cranky bits quite suited the mood here. So we — meaning I — let things slide.

Now I’m working at the beach office where I find my balance. Nora’s hit a run of relatively peaceful work days which brings her balance. And so I thought it was time to bring this space back to life with far more regular check ins.

Let’s start with the current book news.

Golden In Death is the 50th book in the series and to celebrate, Entertainment Weekly had the exclusive cover reveal.

Then St. Martins Press created this book trailer which features pulsating music and the cover on a stack of the In Deaths that came before.

Honestly I can’t wait to read it.

Here’s the cover in all it’s glory:

But, Laura!” I can hear you all say, “What’s it about????

Everyone is mum on that right now, including that crafty JD. All she’ll say is it’s about murder (duh) with a mysterious motive―and a terrifying weapon. Now I really can’t wait to read it.

You’ll find all the US pre-order links here. Nora’s other publishers will have links up well ahead of time. Promise.

That’s all I have up my sleeve at the moment. There will be a few St. Martin’s Press Golden promotions I’ll share as we head into the fall. Plus, there’s something in the works with Little Brown UK. So stay tuned.

Add to that, we have Under Currents in July, Vendetta in Death in September and the run up to The Rise of The Magicks in December. Not to mention the girls + Griffin trip to Greenbrier in July and Nora’s family vacation in Ireland in August. The rest of the year will pick up the pace quite nicely.

Now to take care of the dust bunnies in the media library.

See you soon.

Laura

Under Currents excerpt

Under Currents is Nora’s single title release this year — due in stores on July 9. (Isn’t the cover gorgeous?)

The official cover copy reads:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a novel about the power of family to harm—and to heal.

Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers—and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake—see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.

As his father’s violent, controlling rages—and his mother’s complicity—become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her Be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.

When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the façade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph—and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves…

Read the first chapter here: Chapter One.

And you can pre-order Under Currents in any of your favorite retailers:
Turn the Page: http://bit.ly/2yETAxO
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yETRAQ
Kindle: https://amzn.to/2yFyDmi
BN: http://bit.ly/2yGcmVj
NOOK: http://bit.ly/2yCXMxW
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2yGevjV
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yF3Nu6
iBooks: https://apple.co/2yIPG6Q

The Rise of Magicks

Happy New Year — here’s something to help with your plans: The Rise of Magicks is in stores November 26, 2019 (a little earlier than we originally announced). Details, excerpts, conversations to come but in the meantime you can slot that in for 329 days from now.

Here are some of the early pre-order links. I’ll add more once St. Martin’s Press reopens for business.

Turn the Page Bookstore: http://bit.ly/2PVNobh Kindle: https://amzn.to/2AcD0qo
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2PVcfMq
iBooks: https://apple.co/2GCcXi6
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2T9Ihq3

Laura

Of Blood & Bone discussion thread



So many questions get answers starting today.  Here’s the place to discuss all things Of Blood and Bone, the second book in Nora’s Chronicles of The One.

The book description:

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before―the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted―and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Remember, spoilers very much ahead.

Laura

The waiting game

When all the best things feel miles away

Thought I’d pop in for a minute to share that Kat’s a tad past her due date (10/17).  Nora waits on call with her packed bag and premade lasagna to help in any way when the Young Master arrives.  I promise to let you know all the news when I have some.

In the meantime, we’ll talk about other things worth waiting for.  On Tuesday, I shared the cover reveal video for Under Currents — Nora’s July 2019 release.   It’s gorgeous and spooky all at once.  What do you think?

Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers—and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake—see the public side of his parents, a successful surgeon and his stylish wife. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.

As his father’s violent, controlling rages—and his mother’s complicity—become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.

When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the façade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph—and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves…

You can pre-order Under Currents now:
Turn the Page: http://bit.ly/2yETAxO
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yETRAQ
Kindle: https://amzn.to/2yFyDmi
BN: http://bit.ly/2yGcmVj
NOOK: http://bit.ly/2yCXMxW
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2yGevjV
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yF3Nu6
iBooks: https://apple.co/2yIPG6Q

As you know, Nora and family moved their annual NYC fall trip to September to accommodate Kat’s due date.  I decided to keep the original dates and had my own adventure last week.  I’m afraid I didn’t finish my holiday shopping (code for I haven’t started) unlike some other people I could mention, but my husband and I got up to The Met, out to a NY Jets game and finished the trip with an evening at Springsteen on Broadway.  And I took photos along the way.

Fall still life.

from a walk on Fifth Avenue

On Tuesday, I spent some time in the Flatiron Building with Marissa Sangiacomo and Erica Martirano, members of Team Nora as well as the hosts of One True Pairing, a podcast about their favorite couples from all parts of pop culture.  We had a wide-ranging conversation about our favorite Nora Roberts couples, what writers owe their readers, white chocolate and how much Erica and I detest it. I think the segment airs the week of Thanksgiving, and I’ll share a link when it’s up.

My favorite building

Macmillan (St. Martin’s Press is an imprint) leaves the Flatiron Building next spring to a building further downtown,  so I take advantage of any visit to take a snap. 

And I think that’s just about all the news from this desk.  Back to waiting on the Young Master. Stay tuned!

Laura

Shelter in Place discussion thread

Shelter in Place is on sale today (May 29, 2018).  And this is the place to discuss so spoilers are very much ahead.

A quick reminder of the book description:

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.
The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.
But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.
I read Shelter a couple of months ago and loved it.  Some readers will focus on the opening chapters (I know this from some email already in my box).  Yes, the initial chapter is taut and scary and emotional. The rest of the book gives us a picture of people both strong and weak, some who run toward the past, some run away, some build better lives and some just sink.
Please share your thoughts in the comments, and remember to keep replies kind and polite.
Laura

Stuff and Nonsense

Some of you may be aware we had a bit of a tangle on the Dark In Death Discussion thread last week. A reader had strong (very) objections to the word skank as used to describe women Eve and Peabody warned about possible danger.

I don’t want to get more specific on the plot itself as some of you may not have read the book.

However, I will say, in this case, one of the women the reader sees in interview is wearing cock and ball earrings. The other has Sexy Bitch tattooed over her well-displayed chest. They are, basically, party girl groupies looking for the next score–sex, drugs, action. Whatever.

Peabody uses the term.

The reader had many objections–terrible to denigrate women (such terms are NEVER used to describe men)–cops would never use such terms (she included skirt and sidepiece in this claim) as they would be ‘raked over the coals’ for doing so. And it was her opinion as I wrote the book, I am therefore sexist and should correct this in the future.

Well, bullshit on all counts.

First, as I pointed out–pretty politely at first–I am not my characters nor are they me. And cop talk is cop talk. I also reminded her that a recurring sub-character is nicknamed Dickhead.

Not good enough–even when a couple of other posters who have some experience working or being around cops explained that yeah, cops talk to other cops in often harsh shorthand.

The reader escalated, got very personal and rude–not only to me at the end, but to other posters–until Laura had to step in, tell her she’d crossed all kinds of lines, and banned her.

First, I’ll say Laura doesn’t take banning a reader lightly. It has to be extreme, and this was.

It occurred to me during this incident, that the particular reader obviously didn’t get one of the main points of the book–from the perspective of the character whose books are being used to plot. murders.

This is fiction. This is a story. We who write try very hard to craft entertaining stories with compelling, interesting characters. We’re not writing about ourselves when we write fiction, and the actions, dialog, internalization, motivations of those characters must fit those characters. Not those of the person writing the story.

Just to take Eve Dallas as an example:

I love to shop; she hates it. She drinks gallons of coffee; I don’t drink it at all. She has a cat; I have dogs. Shoes for her are something you walk in. For me, shoes are . . . pretty much everything. I’ve never been in a physical fight–and hope that continues.

I could go on and on.

Part of the fun of writing is creating people, and the writer may have little in common with those people. Their worldviews may or may not mesh. Their backgrounds are very unlikely to.

Some readers may project the writer into the character, but that doesn’t make it true.

Moreover, it’s always struck me as very strange that certain readers will ask, insist even demand that I write what they want, or stop writing what they don’t.

You must stop using the word fuck! People don’t talk that way.

First do you live in the actual world? Second I’ll use whatever word I like as you’re not the boss of me. And more to the point, if my characters use this very versatile word, it’s because THEY’RE using it.

Your books have too much sex. Your books need more sex.

My books have the amount of sex that I, as the writer, feels suits the story and the characters having sex.

You need to go back to writing nice, sweet romance.

No. I need to write what I’m driven to write.

I’m sending you this religious pamphlet because you use the name of the Lord in vain, and I’m worried about your immortal soul.

Thank you for the thought, and maybe you shouldn’t read my books.

You write about witchcraft so I believe you’ve embraced Satan.

(Yes, all the above are true stories.)

Does a reader honestly believe I’m going to read one of these posts, emails, letters and say: OH! Sue in Tulsa doesn’t want any swearing in my books. No more swearing for my characters!

Or I won’t write about fictional witches because I’m suddenly afraid I’ve invited Satan into my life?

These readers don’t know me, and yet feel perfectly righteous about telling me I’m immoral or sexist or an animal hater (killed a fictional cat in a book once) or whatever their personal values dictate.

Laura gets most of this–and recently got an all-caps rant on my language, which included a slam at Diana Gabledon for using fuck in her books. Which the raging reader claimed hadn’t been invented by the time of Outlander (which she called Highlander in the screed). Well, as Laura said, she supposed the reader had never read Chaucer whose work well precedes the Jacobite Rebellion.

Readers don’t get to dictate. They don’t get a vote. They have tremendous power–to buy or not, to read or not. The reader who provided the springboard for this blog claimed that since she’d read the book, she had the right to critique it, and obviously all I wanted was constant praise.

Well, I’d rather get praised than slammed. Human here. Yet over three decades I’ve somehow managed to shoulder mixed or poor reviews, or handle readers’ individual complaints.

However, reading the book doesn’t give anyone the right to hurl personal insults at the writer of the book. That’s not a critique on the work.

Let me add that the fall back–you just want constant praise–is the often-used blast that usually comes when the person’s losing an argument.

It should be a clue when a reader is alone in an opinion in a group of other readers, when reasonable responses have been given. Instead of buying the clue, this type of person then hurls those insults at everyone.

And honestly, when one claims I’m sexist and need to knock it off because a cop character in a story uses the term to describe women whom I deliberately crafted to earn the designation, I tend to believe that particular reader is a little scary.

I know perfectly well some will read this and be insulted–claim I’m disrespectful to readers. But I don’t push readers into one lump. You are not the Borg. And some individuals who happen to read need to learn to separate reality from fiction. And need to understand my world–personally and professionally–doesn’t revolve around their demands.

To end this on a happier note, I spent yesterday in the kitchen (catch Eve doing that!). I made a couple of rounds of sour dough bread, which I’ll freeze as I made a pretty amazing beef stew with dumplings.

Sourdough with poppy and sesame seeds. Photo by NR

Beef stew with dumplings. Photo by NR

Leftovers tonight! So my afternoon will include reading someone else’s book.

Nora

Note from Laura:  As Department Head of Answering Letters,  I see a lot of fascinating messages.  There are the ones that move — loving stories about readers and the people in their live, for example the widower who reads the In Deaths because Eve reminds him of his wife, or the people who share how reading brought them closer to family members, or how just reading one of Nora/JD’s titled helped a reader out of a morass of depression because she saw a woman of strength in that book.

As the Department Head of Reading Complaints, I see all the examples Nora listed above.  With a few extra thrown in like “I’ll show you!  I’ll borrow your books from the library!!!” As a daughter of a librarian, sales to libraries are golden for an author so I just smile and wish them well.  Recently, a woman complained on behalf of herself, her mother, her sister, their hairdresser and other assorted people  (many of these come in from the group spokesperson) about Year One and how they just didn’t like it and all agree Nora should write happier books.  When I replied that maybe they’ve just outgrown Nora and should stop reading her for a while she came back with “You’re telling me NOT to buy Nora’s books???”  Well, yes. Borrow them, give yourself a break.  How does it serve anyone’s purpose for you to set yourself up to be miserable?

I’ve taken to charting when the standard complaints come in.  Around a full moons I see a rise in language complaints.  There are two full moons this month, so I’m extra braced.

Recently there’s been an uptick in emails like this one:  “Please stop showing so much of your boobs on morning television.  My 12 year old son is in the room and he doesn’t need to see it.”

She meant to write to Norah O’Donnell of CBS The Morning.  But I had a good laugh thinking of our Nora flashing the nation on morning TV.  And then I sent a correction.

Laura