Category Archives: reader discussions

Birthright Week 2

Time for a second week of Birthright discussion! Do you like this book chat idea? Do you feel you need a new post per discussion prompt or are you ok with five prompts during the week? Any and all feedback is welcome as we figure this out!

MARCH 30: I do like a man with a plan. And Jake is full of them, isn’t he?  I enjoyed their rhythm in work and conversation. You?

MARCH 31: I’m not sure how to describe my reaction to these lines. Sympathy for everyone involved is at the forefront, especially for Callie who is so pulled in many emotional directions.

APRIL 1 — Doug was so impatient and brusque when we met him, but these few lines gave him all my sympathy. So torn between past and present.

APRIL 2 — Courtship banter, Doug and Lana style. 

Laura

Book Chat: Birthright

Time to start a new adventure: Book Chats here on the blog.

You’ll have to bear with me as I figure out the best ways to do this. For now, I’ll add a different graphic to this post Monday through Friday (and if we need more, I’ll make it so).

The first book is Birthright. If you haven’t read it in a while here’s the quick summary:

When five-thousand-year-old human bones are found at a construction site in the small town of Woodsboro, the news draws archaeologist Callie Dunbrook out of her sabbatical and into a whirlwind of adventure, danger, and romance.

While overseeing the dig, she must try to make sense of a cloud of death and misfortune that hangs over the project-fueling rumors that the site is cursed. And she must cope with the presence of her irritating-but irresistible-ex-husband, Jake. Furthermore, when a stranger claims to know a secret about her privileged Boston childhood, she is forced to question her own past as well.

MARCH 23: First conversation point:  Is there anything you love — even with any discomforts — as much as Callie loves archaeology? 

MARCH 24: Lana and Tyler Campbell are the first locals Callie meets in Woodsboro. Not sure I like Callie’s philosophy about kids or her immediate nickname for Tyler more. You?

MARCH 25: Doug Cullen considering how and why his family unraveled so completely. The hard part of these sentences is you can feel for everyone involved. 

MARCH 26: I love a book in which I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing. For Birthright, watching Lana court Doug was so much fun.  Are there secondary characters you’ve rooted on as much as you did the main couple?

MARCH 27: And then Jake Graystone swaggers on the page with his smug walk (Callie’s words). Here we have an example of Love Talk, Callie and Jake style. What appealed to you about Jake?

Laura

Hideaway

Out May 26

In a first for me, we have the excerpt before the cover copy. Hideaway is Nora’s big book for the year and is out on May 26.

All I know is what Nora told me while she was writing it, but that’s about seven conversations spanning months. For now, here’s the one-sentence description:

A family ranch in Big Sur country and a legacy of Hollywood royalty set the stage for Nora Roberts’ emotional new suspense novel.

You’ll get more information from the first chapter, which you can find here: Chapter One

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

Readers are Amazing

Current plagiarism update: 86 books/36 writers

This is a very long slog on many fronts. There are days since all this started it feels as if we’re battling Hydra. Slash at one head, more pop up.

But we’re slashing away, and we’re moving forward.

Writers wouldn’t be able to move forward on any of this without readers.

A reader first discovered the copied passages in Serruya’s book and notified Courtney Milan of the infringement. We wouldn’t know the stunning extent of this one woman’s thievery without that first reader. And all the other readers who’ve since dug in, looked for other copying. Generated lists, kept track, gave support, shared outrage.

You can’t fight if you don’t know. And it’s damn hard to keep fighting without support.

It was a reader who first discovered copied passages in Janet Dailey’s Notorious and notified me. I might never have known my work had been stolen.

It’s almost always a reader.

Readers have beat the drum against the scammers on the Kindle platform, helping to alert writers. Now both readers and writers–traditionally published, indie, hybrid–who are honest and hard-working are digging deep into this morass to uncover the muck.

For writers this slog is a matter of protecting their work, their livelihoods, and the honorable profession of storytelling. For readers? It’s a labor of love, and it’s about the books they love. It’s about a moral center.

There are writers much more tech savvy than I am (that’s not a hard one!) who are spending precious time helping to expose these cheats and liars and con artists who think of books only as assets, only as a way to make money. They scam their way to every dollar.

There’s no way any of this could be done without the readers who took the time, made the effort–continue to take the time, make the effort–to help. The readers who made noise because this is just wrong. Because they care about books and the people who work to write them.

I’m so grateful to the readers who sounded the alarm, to the writers who are diving deep, to all helping to expose this ugly, ugly underbelly that contaminates what we–writers and readers–love and respect.

Readers and writers are connected–strongly, even personally–through the art of storytelling. Those who corrupt that art won’t win.

When we win this, every writer who takes pen to paper, sits at a keyboard facing a blank screen, struggles to create worlds with words will have readers to thank for the victory.

I’m so grateful. I know there are scores like me who are grateful.

We won’t forget.

Nora

Connections in Death discussion thread

And now the year can really start — Connections in Death arrives in stores/on e-readers today. And here’s the place to discuss it all.

A quick reminder of the cover copy:

In this gritty and gripping new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Eve Dallas fights to save the innocent—and serve justice to the guilty—on the streets of New York.

Eve and Roarke are close to opening build a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads—and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering—whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.

Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison—and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.

Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances…

So, how fast did you read it? Did you find all the teasers?

Hope you enjoyed!

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

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