Nora Roberts writes 'Black Hills' | Black Hills Travel Blog

Nora Roberts writes 'Black Hills'

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Nora Roberts

It's one of those great coincidences: I just read a piece in New Yorker about Nora Roberts, one of the most prolific and successful writers of all time. And today I found out her newest book, a romance novel that comes out July 7, is named Black Hills.

And Black Hills, the book, was named by ABC News' "Good Morning America" to its summer reading list. Here's what Roberts' publisher, Penguin, has to say about Black Hills:

"A summer at his grandparents’ South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan’s idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he’s discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn’t as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop’s annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker’s body.

"As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father’s demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most.

"An investigator in New York, Coop recently left his fastpaced life to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something . . . or someone . . . has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil’s beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

"Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey."

Nora Roberts, if you didn't know, is an amazingly productive writer. Under her own name and under the name "J.D. Robb," she has published 182 novels -- about five per year these days. According the New Yorker story, Nora Roberts books sell at the rate of 27 per minute. She grosses $60 million a year, more than John Grisham or Stephen King, according toa Forbes estimate in 2004.

Her philosophy about writing? "Ass in chair," she said.

I hope to find out more, perhaps whether she brought her ass out to the Black Hills to research the book. But for now I wanted to let you now that you'll soon be seeing Black Hills on store shelves.

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About the Author

Dan is an on-again, off-again Black Hills resident since 1978. The Aberdeen native hit the road after high school, building houses in Boulder, working oil rigs on Colorado's Western Slope, delivering cars in California. In Wyoming and Idaho, he worked as a newspaper journalist. But the Black Hills kept luring him back. For 18 years, he wrote for the Rapid City Journal. The job gave him a chance to see the Hills from atop Mount Rushmore and the bottom of the Homestake Mine. Whenever possible, Dan grabs his dog Kody and heads to the Hills. These days, he's perfecting the art of low-impact backpacking: hike two hours to a scenic spot, break out the wine, cook up the pasta, watch the sunset and fall asleep under the stars.

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