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Featured Author: Nora Roberts

I decided to feature Nora Roberts in this month's newsletter primarily because, since she started writing in the eighties, I think she has consistently been the most popular author in our bookstore from then until today. That is pretty amazing considering how genres wax and wane in popularity and how readers can be fickle in following the latest and greatest fiction star of the moment.


Nora Roberts first appeared in print in 1981 when she sold her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, to romance publisher Silhouette. In the next 3 years she wrote and published 23 more novels! She is credited with changing the form of romance books and making the characters much more honest and realistic, instead of the stock formula characters of previous romance literature.


After a decade she left the category romance behind and went "mainstream" but kept up her relentless pace. Nora Roberts says she writes eight hours a day, every day, even when she takes vacations. From 1991 until 2001 all 68 of the novels she published found a place on the New York Times bestseller lists. If you are tempted to try one of her novels I will give you a word of caution. She is well know for writing trilogies, so you will want to make sure you choose one of her stand alone books or the first novel in a trilogy. We can certainly help you with that or if you consult that website has a complete list of all her books and the order of all her trilogies. She writes all three books in a row to maintain continuity with her characters. She definitely gained my respect when I found out that she publishes her trilogies directly to paperback. She doesn't want her readers to have to wait as long as it takes hardcover editions to be published.

Nora Roberts has long been a favorite author of mine.  I first picked up the Irish Born Trilogy  and really loved it.  The stories about three sisters, living life on their own terms & falling in love really struck a cord in me.  Nora Roberts has a knack for writing about strong but flawed women, beautiful family bonds & characters who (despite driving each other crazy) respect & cherish one another. 
If you would like to try one of her books here a few of my favorite series:
  • Irish Born Trilogy
  • In The Garden
  • Inn BoonsBorro Trilogy
For a stand alone novel try:
  • The Search 
  • Black Hills
If you prefer a bit of mystery, the
"In Death" series
is like no other. 
Set just 50 years in the future, these novels bring a great group of characters back in each book.  Give them a try!
Heather T

Robert's publisher, Putnam, was unable to keep up with her amazing output so they requested she publish under a pseudonym so they could publish more of her books without saturating the market. It worked well for her since she had long wanted to write romantic suspense novels. She chose the name J.D. Robb, the initials of her sons and a shortened version of Roberts. She has now published over 40 books in this futuristic police procedural series known as the "In Death" series and featuring Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke. This series is extremely popular at the bookstore and staff members Shirley and Heather "fight" over who gets the latest book first when it comes into the bookstore.


Nora Roberts has received just about every romance writing award that exists. She was the first author inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Recently The New Yorker caller her "America's favorite novelist" and based on sales at the bookstore I have to agree with them!

Jill B.

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