Displaying articles for: March 2013


"[Black Hole Sun] rockets readers to new frontiers…action packed."

- Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins



The first book in David Macinnis Gill’s popular science fiction series, Black Hole Sun is a masterful combination of great storytelling and impressive character-building. Young Durango is a disgraced mercenary, fighting battles on Mars while trying to save his imprisoned father from an even worse fate. He’s lost everything, and his desperation only makes him more dangerous to his enemies.


Durango and his crew are believable and compelling characters, making this more than just a shoot-em-up space adventure. But there’s plenty of fast-paced action, too. If you loved the nuanced complexity of the Hunger Games, this impressive series debut is for you.


Continue the adventures with the newest book in this critically-acclaimed series, Shadow of the Sun, available now for NOOK.




This free offer is a great way to start your kids on an exciting learning adventure, and once they’ve mastered the word challenges, they’ll be ready for more skill-building fun in Monkey Preschool Lunchbox & Monkey Math School Sunshine.



Free Fridays Recommends


Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what David recommends:



Fans of the popular story-driven adventure game Adera know that its rich, complex world lends itself well to the amaszing adventures of heroine Jane Sinclaire. Now Jane has jumped from screen to page, in the new book, Adera: The Soul Stone. Here's why author R.H. Stavis thinks you'll love the book, whether or not you're a diehard fan of the game:


The Soul Stone follows antiquities expert Jane Sinclaire as she's thrust into a world of murder, adventure, and romance. Like many heroines of novels, she must face enemies, learn to trust, and  potentially uncover new      

Each world Jane is a part of is its own, meaning that the book follows Jane on one journey, and the game follows her on another. So, those readers who do not play games will still enjoy the intrigue, mystery, and romance of Jane and Hawk's adventure in the novel.

The Soul Stone is the first of many of Jane and Hawk's explorations across the globe. It's where they discover each other, and through that, a bit of themselves. There's so much in store in the future, but it all begins here, in Thailand. Join them as they meet, fight for their lives, and fall in love...

In the Soul Stone.



Thanks to a series of hilarious, relatable books for middle-grade readers, and a popular film franchise, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is at the top of many kids’ reading lists. It’s important to keep children engaged once they’ve finished a new series, but it’s not always easy to figure out what they might like next.


If your kids have already memorized the full Wimpy Kid collection, here are some other books I think they’ll love:






















Tell Me: Which book series do your kids love?

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"Plenty of wacky humor and audacious wit in this mystery-laced escapade that provides a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western." – Library Journal



Who hasn’t daydreamed about ditching the rat race to start a whole new life? That’s just what big city journalist Libby Brown did when she left town after a messy break-up to pursue her childhood dream of owning a farm. But it doesn’t take her long to realize that running a farm isn’t the idyllic escape she had hoped for.


Luckily Libby has a handsome cowboy next door who comes to the rescue whenever she’s in over her head. Luke Rawlins is essential to her Wyoming farm’s survival, and as the two neighbors grow closer, she needs to decide if life on the ranch with a dreamboat cowboy is where she wants to stay.


Tell Me: What would you do if you left your old life completely behind?



The calendar says it’s spring, and while some of the country is still thawing out, at least the promise of warmer weather is just around the corner.


As Easter approaches, why not download a few seasonal apps to keep your relatives and friends entertained while you’re putting the finishing touches on the holiday meal? Just hand them your NOOK loaded with these great apps, and they’ll stay busy for hours:










Hop over to our Easter App Collection for more holiday app options.

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Lady Maggie is the dignified, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Moreland—and he’s eager to get her married off. Soon though, Lady Maggie’s personal letters go missing, and her reputation is in danger until they're safely returned. Enter the handsome and talented investigator Benjamin Hazlit.


Though Maggie would love to pursue the dashing Hazlit, she worries that the risks to her—and consequently to him—may not be worth the reward. Can their mutual passion overcome her fears?


You’ll find more romance and intrigue in the other books in Burrowe’s Duke’s Daughters series.


And in case you missed it: Dan Brown's blockbuster thriller, The Da Vinci Code featuring the prologue & first chapter of the upcoming Robert Langdon adventure, Inferno, is free for a limited time.

Today’s Free Fridays App selection is one of our favorite - and messiest - NOOK Apps: Fruit Ninja - Puss in Boots.


This action-filled game combines one of our most popular app franchises with the irresistible hero of the hit animated movie, Puss in Boots. Who better to slice & dice his way through a series of fruit-mutilating challenges than the swashbuckling bandito Puss?


Fans of the classic Fruit Ninja will recognize the gameplay, updated with new challenges and Puss in Boots graphics. It's fun for all ages, and better yet, it's FREE for a limited time. Once you've mastered Fruit Ninja - Puss in Boots, the classic version of Fruit Ninja awaits your impeccable blade-work.



Free Fridays Recommends


Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Grace recommends:



Cora and Guy's tale is not your typical Regency drawing room drama, but rather, a story of high stakes, adventure, and the price paid by those who lived, fought and loved passionately in a world of clashing armies and ideals in flux. Tracey Devlyn's debut is a terrific read, and the start of a wonderful series.



With spring in full bloom—at least for the more temperate parts of the country—we wanted to revisit some of the most popular NOOK Books of years past, to see which spring titles were hot on NOOK.










Last year, spring was dominated by the Hunger Games Trilogy—benefiting from post-movie excitement—and of course the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. As better weather started to set in, readers turned their attention to the Cape Cod tale, A Month at the Shore—perhaps daydreaming about their own future beach escapes.


While many of these books are still quite popular with NOOK readers, I’m excited to see which titles become hits this spring.




Tell Me: Have you read any of these popular spring reads? What are you reading this spring?



It’s the first day of spring, and after a long winter (that’s still hanging on for some of the country), it’s time to celebrate with some really great reads at really low prices.


Among the excellent books to be found in our 101 NOOK Books Under $2.99 collection are Chris Cavender's piping-hot pizza shop mystery, A Slice of Murder; Molly Gloss's heartwarming tale of a young woman horse whisperer, The Hearts of Horses; and David Sheff's illuminating memoir of his son's addiction struggles, Beautiful Boy.
















Fifty Shades of Grey fans looking to get a taste of a hot new series without any risk should try the first installment of Sara Fawkes’ scintillating Anything He Wants series for free.






I'm pleased to introduce the first Love Rocks post on the NOOK Blog. Love Rocks is a look at new self-published romance titles from the community of writers at Rock*ItReads. Today's post by Margo Maguire highlights some irresistible historical romances.


I knew from the first couple of pages that Shades of Honor by Wendy Lindstrom was going to be a book I could sink my teeth into. It’s 1870, and the hero, Ranford Grayson, has just returned home to a small town in New York with his shy, damaged four year-old daughter. Little Rebecca’s mother is very plausibly out of the picture, and the child’s caregivers have been less than ideal – the first one, a beloved nanny, abandoned her to start her own family, and the second was an abuser. Ranford goes home to his mother and three younger brothers, knowing it will be best for Rebecca.
But Ranford is not without his own inner demons. His experiences as a Union soldier in the Civil War have left him broken and suffering. We would call it post-traumatic stress disorder, but his 19th century family doesn’t understand it. Making matters worse, his brother, Kyle, has been running the sawmill that was to have been primarily Ranford’s, but shared by all four brothers. Kyle - who had other plans when Ranford joined the army - stayed and put his heart and soul into the mill, and he resents Ranford’s time away. Of course he has no interest in sharing his hard-wrought business with his long-absent brother.
Ranford understands this, and does not object when Kyle sends him to work in William Tucker’s livery. William is an old family friend who is ailing. It is his smart and resourceful daughter, Evelyn, who struggling to keep the livery afloat alone as well as take care of her father. She is also Kyle’s fiancée, but as she gains Rebecca’s trust and Ranford’s love, she realizes what is missing in her relationship with Kyle. Ranford’s homecoming creates a maelstrom of issues everyone must find a way to overcome.
Lindstrom writes a richly woven story that puts the reader right into the setting, with all the sights and sounds and smells of a post Civil War town. The conflicts are well-drawn and entirely believable, which makes Shades of Honor a tale well-worth reading. I look forward to reading the other Grayson brothers’ stories.
The anthology Once Upon a Ballroom – Original Short Stories by Caroline Linden, Katharine Ashe, Maya Rodale, and Miranda Neville is a delightful Regency read. The turning point of each of the four stories takes place in a ballroom, all in very different ways. Caroline Linden’s centers on a wife’s trust in a husband who is all too likely to be unfaithful. Katharine Ashe writes of a young man with a dark past who must rescue the object of his desire, a young lady who – knowing what she knows about him – should not want him. Maya Rodale relates the tale of a lady columnist who suffers unrequited love and is willing to risk everything to make it requited. Last but not least is Miranda Neville’s clever story of a couple of bibliophiles who have known each other for years, but only come together when they meet at a masquerade, in costumes neither one expects to see on the other.
The stories in Once Upon a Ballroom are short, poignant and completely fulfilling with lovely happily-ever-afters. And as an added bonus, there are long excerpts from each of these authors’ recent books. They’re perfect readings for getting a taste of some very excellent authors you might have missed.
Maya Rodale’s Seducing the Single Lady is a parody of Beyonce’s song All the Single Ladies. This is also a short read (although not as short as the stories in the Ballroom anthology) and is quite the Regency romp. It is the story of Susannah Grey, a young heiress whose father made a pact with a neighboring viscount that she would marry his son when they came of age. The son, Damien, spends years away, sowing his wild oats, while Susannah is orphaned and placed in the care of her abusive relatives. Damien does not answer any of her letters while he lives the high life abroad, doing whatever he pleases. At least, not until there is an incident that causes all of society to believe him dead, and makes Damien reevaluate everything.
He returns home, aware that his [now deceased] father believed his son was a disgrace. He cannot change his father’s opinion, but he decides he will follow the old viscount’s wishes and wed Susannah. Remembering the unattractive little “Christmas ham” of his childhood, he does not doubt he can win her and marry her within the month – and he wagers on it. But he discovers that Susannah is not at all the “scrappy brat” he was obliged to marry. She is all grown up, and imminently desirable.
It will not be so easy for Damien to whisk Susannah off to their nuptials, for she is free – truly free – for the first time in her life. And she has no intention of turning over her freedom, especially to the boy who was so callous during their childhood. Still, Damien wants her, and realizes he will have to woo her in order to win her. He understands it’s her freedom that he has to respect and court. And he does just that.
Seducing the Single Lady is a delightful historical romp that has me looking for more from Maya Rodale. 


Margo Maguire practiced critical care nursing for a lot of years before turning to writing. To date, she has published 20 sensual historicals and four novellas, translated into seventeen different languages. Some have been adapted as manga books. Her novella Brash is self-published. For more information, visit her website http://www.margomaguire.com/




An exclusive chance to share fun new learning apps with your kids on NOOK.


Now through April 11, NOOK is the only Android device where you can download Tribal Nova Partners’ award-winning “i Learn With” App series. Four new early childhood learning apps—targeted at ages 3 through 6—offer a curriculum-oriented, game-based school readiness program for children in preschool through kindergarten. Since the apps are based on National Education Standards and developed with the help of teachers and experts in early childhood development, I’m confident that my kids are getting a valuable and effective learning experience while still having fun. With the helpful progress tracker for parents, I can even check in on their improvement without having to look over their shoulder while they’re playing.


It’s no surprise that Ocean Adventures!  is currently the favorite in my house. My kids love anything aquatic, so they really enjoy identifying all of the undersea creatures while building their vocabulary and putting sentences together along the way. I especially like that the level of difficulty is self-adjusting so that it’s challenging for a range of ages and learning levels. Plus, like with all of the ‘i Learn With’ apps, my kids are motivated to keep improving thanks to the rewards they earn along the way.


Download these ‘i Learn With’ apps to start your kids on an educational adventure that they’ll love!


Educational games for preschoolers and kindergarteners focusing on building grammar and vocabulary skills.






Practice numbers, counting & addition with these fun math educational games.







Ice Land Adventures!

A diverse selection of literacy games that encourage alphabet, spelling & phonics skills.






Planet Boing!

A FREE creativity game with activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners—a great introduction to the series.

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When Michael Stewart embarks on a journey back to ancient Rome, he never expects that he’ll be putting his daughter Elizabeth in danger. Elizabeth soon follows Michael through the church tunnel portal, but when she arrives her father has already returned home to the present day.


Now Elizabeth is alone in a dangerous and unfamiliar time and place, and Michael is a suspect in her disappearance. They’re separated by millennia, but united in the goal of bringing their family back together at any cost.


As an extra Friday treat, in celebration of Fiction Studio Books' second anniversary, the publisher is making Nook editions of five of its most acclaimed recent publications available for $1.99 each through March 18 here.




So I’m extra excited about today’s Free Fridays App selection: Jellyflop! In this physics-based adventure game, you get to help little Jelly achieve his dream of taking to the sky. This jellyfish wants to fly, and you can help him collect the feathers and gadgets he needs to help him take flight. The whole family will fall in love with the irresistible Jelly and his quixotic quest.


Download Jellyflop! for free now to start your amazing invertebrate adventures.



Free Fridays Recommends


Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Michael recommends:


As the baby boomers retire, a huge burden is about to be unleashed on the health care system of the United States. Millions of people will suffer from Alzheimer's. Having seen some relatives endure such challenges, I read the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova.


The author skillfully shows how the caretakers and friends and family were affected in handling the situation. Lisa's story helped open my eyes about this dreaded disease and how as a nation we must be prepared to handle the onslaught in the next couple of decades.


Ms. Genova told me: "I always believed in the book, that there was an audience who needed it. We know the facts and statistics and even the science. While that info is important, it tends to stay intellectual, in our heads. The people who love the 5.4 million Americans with AD are in need of something more. We need to understand the humanity behind those numbers and the science. We need to understand AD with our hearts."




We appreciate all the NOOK owners who have been spreading the word about NOOK to your friends and family. We’re grateful for all the folks who bought a NOOK because of passionate people like you.


Today we’re announcing a limited-time Spread the Word About NOOK offer. From now until June 14, 2013, you’ll get a $15 eGift Card for each person you refer to BN.com who purchases a NOOK HD or NOOK HD+ (limit of ten $15 eGift Cards per referrer). Plus, your friend will get a $15 eGift Card for taking your advice, too!


To qualify for this offer, please visit this page and follow the instructions for using your own personal referral link. Then let the referring begin!

Tell Me: What would you buy with your $15 eGift Card?





“Fly-fishing is a lifelong pursuit where one never actually perfects the skill but hopefully improves through time.”



To herald the publication of his suspenseful new Pickett novel, Breaking Point, I asked Box to tell us what he likes to do when he’s NOT writing the next Joe Pickett adventure.


When I’m not writing (or doing writing-like things) I’m fishing.  Fly-fishing, to be more specific.


Sure, I do all the standard household stuff and engage in plenty of other outdoor pursuits – hunting, skiing, hiking, camping – but the older I get, the more my passion grows for fly-fishing.  Thing is, I’m not sure I’m all that good at it and I don’t know if I ever will be.  Like golf -- from what I understand – fly-fishing is a lifelong pursuit where one never actually perfects the skill but hopefully improves through time.


Fly-fishing, unlike the bait-fishing or spin-casting I used to do, is an active sport.  There’s no sitting on a bank watching a bobber or trolling behind a boat.  One must be completely in the game to read the water, select the right fly, and make a proper cast.  You are of the water and the fish and the conditions, not just putting up with them.  It is harder than fishing with spinning rods and I likely catch far fewer fish.  But when I do, when I’m able to entice a big trout to take my fly and put up a fight, well, there is nothing quite like it.


Over the years, I’ve amassed a ridiculous – but not unusual among fly-fishers – amount of gear.  Rods are like crack cocaine to a fly-fisherman, and I have dozens of them from willowy three-weights for small trout to fourteen-weight bruisers that can and have landed thirty-pound tuna and mahi-mahi in the ocean. I also have a drift boat and a raft for Rocky Mountain rivers.  Best of all, my wife and I own a cabin on the bank of a river (and my own fishing pond) where I’ve been able to attain my life’s dream: never having to break down the rod and put it back in its case.


NOOK First

Categories: NOOK First


Readers have found a lot of compelling reads from emerging authors, thanks to our NOOK First collection. We’re constantly updating our featured titles, so there’s always something fresh to dig into. Some recent favorites are highlighted below, but don’t forget to explore the entire range of NOOK First selections.




Sam Pink’s Rontel, the first novel from innovative publisher Electric Literature, is a love letter to Chicago that's full of unrequited affection, brimming with contempt and admiration, gratitude and spite. Subversive and shamelessly honest, Rontel is Knut Hamsun's Hunger for the millennial generation, and deserves a place among the great works of loner fiction next to Céline, Fante, Camus, and Bukowski.





Life has been good to Paul Tremblay. He has a decent job, a beautiful girlfriend, and a devoted pal. It's just another average day for average joe, Paul. That is, until he wakes up on a table in the morgue. Now, his heart doesn't beat, he doesn't breathe, and he keeps forgetting things like his own name. Desperate to get to his girlfriend, Linda, before it's too late, Paul sets off on a cross-country journey to Los Angeles. It's a journey of discovery for Paul: who he was, what he is now, and just how far he's willing to go to get to Linda. Will Linda still love him even though he's joined the ranks of the undead? Can he still convince her to marry him?




n 1997, Jonathan Gourlay travels to the island of Pohnpei, in the western Pacific Ocean, to teach English at the College of Micronesia. He is a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the language, the intricacies of Pohnpeian social life, and most of all, the mildly psychotropic drink sakau. But the society that he blunders into eventually becomes his adopted home for the next eleven years. Along the way, Gourlay endures plenty of minor embarrassments and one major heartbreak: his whirlwind marriage to a Pohnpeian woman comes apart and ends in tragedy, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his life and to raise his daughter alone.


"You wouldn’t think that someone so much given to decapitation, evisceration, immolation and more casual forms of mayhem would harbor the soul of a romantic."



Today, legendary Outlander author Diana Gabaldon is here to sing the praises of George R.R. Martin and his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. If you haven’t heard of the books, you’re likely familiar with the blockbuster HBO series it inspired, Game of Thrones (watch now on NOOK). With the third season set to premiere on March 31, Gabaldon is here to tell all the non-epic fantasy readers why she loves George and his work so much, and hopefully inspire some of you to take a chance on this marvelous author.



1. What I like most about George is that he kisses his wife’s hand in public—and has been with the same woman for more than thirty years.  You wouldn’t think that someone so much given to decapitation, evisceration, immolation and more casual forms of mayhem would harbor the soul of a romantic (nor would you expect the tender passion to flower in a man who wears a tugboat captain’s hat and suspenders with orange skulls on them)—but strong feeling is strong feeling, and you can’t evoke passion in readers without understanding what it is.  And only a true romantic would be able to get readers to invest themselves emotionally in characters they know are going to die messily in the near future.


2. What I like next best about George is that he has a Tower of Books.  An actual, multi-storeyed (with stairways and ladders) Tower of Books, attached to his house.  Who dares say the printed word is dead, in George’s hearing?


3. The next thing I like about George is the completeness of his imagination.  As one fan put it:  “There's never a moment when you see through the writing, if you know what I mean. The closest analogy I can come up with is; a really good actor is one who when you see their work you see the character and not the actor.”   As another eloquently said:  “His is a world where you never see the wires, the fake facades, or a strange lack of numbers in the crowd shots.”


4. I like George’s generosity of spirit in encouraging new writers, both personally and by exposing their work to a wider audience by giving them a place in some of the anthologies he edits (with Gardner Dozois).


5. Good writing.  The man’s an honest-to-goodness Good Writer, who does great dialogue, vivid description, and smooth, muscular prose.  There are a lot of bestselling books that are horribly written, but have an interesting story, and there are a lot of beautifully written books that have very little story (these don’t tend to be best-sellers), but if you have someone who can bring to life the War of the Roses with dragons, while describing the movement of a character’s lips as being “like two worms f***ing,”  (I did say “vivid description,” didn’t I?) you know you’ve encountered a unique literary voice.





The final book in the late Robert Jordan’s blockbuster series, Memory of Light, is coming to NOOK on April 9 and is available for preorder now. Now's a great time to begin this epic journey for the low price of just $0.99.




That’s why I love the free Wikinvest Portfolio app. Now I can check in on all my investments right from my NOOK—whether I’m on lunch break at work or relaxing before bed with a good book. It’s easy to connect all of your investment accounts to the app—so if you have some investments with Charles Schwab, and a 401k with Fidelity, you won’t have to log in to a bunch of different websites just to do a quick check-in. Plus, Wikinvest offers up-to-the-minute market data and lots of articles with useful investment advice.


If you’re looking for a user-friendly and convenient way to keep an eye on your portfolio, download Wikinvest Portfolio and sync all your accounts right away.



Exciting Free Fridays News!

Starting today, every Friday we'll be highlighting a free NOOK App in addition to each week's book selection. Read on to discover today's Free Fridays App pick.




Rhodes made a splash on the literary scene in the 1970s, but a tragic motorcycle accident derailed his promising career. Driftless is his first novel in 30 years, and it's certainly worth the wait. Set in a rural and remote southwestern Wisconsin town, Rhodes' novel explores the lives of ordinary people who face extraordinary challenges. From an invalid who gambles away her family’s savings, to a widowed pastor who’s falling in love again, the intertwined stories form a portrait of our varied and complex human condition.


Luckily you won’t have to wait another 30 years for David Rhodes' next novel. Jewelweed is available for pre-order now.


We wanted to make a big splash for our very first Free Fridays App, so we turned to one of our favorite and most useful apps: OfficeSuite Professional 7 – a $14.99 value!


In today’s mobile culture, we’re all used to the convenience of being able to work whenever and wherever we are. With OfficeSuite, you can create, view, edit and print Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and attachments and view PDF files right on your NOOK. So when you’re at lunch and get an urgent email from your boss, just open OfficeSuite to get to work while you’re on-the-go.


Once you’ve used OfficeSuite Professional 7 a few times, you’ll wonder how you survived without it, so make sure you grab this limited-time free offer today!




Free Fridays Recommends


Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what David recommends:




tournament.of.books.rooster.jpgWhile most people equate March Madness with college basketball, serious readers turn their late-winter attention to the Tournament of Books for thrills. This year, NOOK is proud to be the official presenter of The Morning News’ battle royale of books.


Sixteen of the best books from 2012 will enter the bracket, but only one will emerge victorious—winning the coveted Rooster award. I’m happy to see some of my favorite recent books on the list, like Gone Girl and The Fault in Our Stars—two titles that NOOK readers are passionate about as well. The list is eclectic, well-considered, and provocative. Throughout the tournament, judges like bestselling author Lev Grossman and Beatrice blogger Ron Hogan will weigh in on their picks, with one book from their bracket advancing to the next round.


And that’s when the real fun begins. The best part of the Tournament of Books is the conversation it creates. The judges are passionate about books and their decisions, and The Morning News readers are equally enthusiastic. This year, I’m hoping you’ll join in the conversation.


Visit The Tournament of Books to see the latest results, discover some amazing books you may have missed, and share your thoughts.


Tell Me: What was your favorite book of 2012?



"Raven came alive for me, and I will be very sad to see her go."


Lauren Oliver’s dystopian Delirium trilogy has won over teen readers—and many adults—with its blend of non-stop action and triumphant love. With the publication of the final book, Requiem, fans will tearfully say goodbye to their favorite richly-drawn and heroic characters..


We asked Lauren which character she’ll miss most, and why:



But as I began writing, I became increasingly drawn to Raven and her stark, black-and-white vision of the world; to the ways that she uses her political beliefs to justify deception and even cruelty; to the lies she tells not just to others, but to herself. She conceals uncertainty with displays of confidence and even arrogance; she rigorously represses her past and her history in an attempt to rewrite it. Maybe that’s why she appealed to me so strongly. I can very much relate to someone who tries to maintain order in a world that resists control. I can sympathize with someone who teeters on the edge of disaster, but refuses to fall.


I think I’ll miss her because I felt there was so much more to her story and her history that even I, as the writer, was only just touching. The best stories—and the best characters—are the ones that surprise even the writer, that begin to live and function on their own. Raven came alive for me, and I will be very sad to see her go.




The interactive 39 Clues series has been a huge hit with bright young readers, combining adventure, history, and danger all in one page-turning series. With today’s publication of Day of Doom, we asked author David Baldacci—known for his adult bestsellers—what attracted him to this fantastic kids' series.


I am thrilled to have written Day of Doom, the final book in The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series for kids. Jumping on board the “39 Clues” Express was an easy decision. Millions of kids around the world have read and loved the books, and this was a terrific opportunity to stretch my creative wings and write for that audience. Kids today are very sophisticated; I enjoyed the challenge of writing to keep them engaged and spellbound. And working with Scholastic, which has showered the young reading world with terrific books, was definitely a plus.


The story also allowed me to showcase my interest in history. Setting part of the novel in history-filled Washington, D.C., and building into the plot one of America’s most prestigious museums, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where one can explore the country’s past, was an added bonus.


As the great writer William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” In those few words, Faulkner made a startling, and in my mind correct, claim: that we are all connected somehow, no matter the time period. Our present day foreshadows to a great degree what will come next.  So studying history is like getting the answer to an exam before you even take it, except that you aren’t cheating!


I’m looking forward to today’s publication of Day of Doom and especially to the webcast, Decoding History: A Virtual Field Trip to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, that will take place today, too. In the webcast, viewers will be escorted on a fun and fast trip through the museum by yours truly. I can promise that whatever your age, you will learn things you didn’t know and laugh at some of the things you will see. And our behind-the-scenes tour will make you want to take your own trip to the Museum.


Kids who’ve read one book or 100 will enjoy Day of Doom.  Just remember: It’s not for the faint-hearted (he says, winking).  


App Buzz: Toon Goggles

Categories: App Buzz



But unlike when I was a kid, nowadays ‘cartoon’ does not always equal ‘family friendly.’ So I’m weary of letting my little ones watch TV unsupervised. That’s why I’ve absolutely come to depend on the Toon Goggles app. All of the featured cartoons are 100% parent-approved and completely appropriate for young viewers. So you can let your kids go wild, finding unique and original cartoons to stream on NOOK without stumbling on adult-themed animation.


Download Toon Goggles for free and rest easy as your kids enjoy hours of wholesome entertainment on NOOK.    

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“Exceptional. Mystery, crime scene drama, and more than enough romance to keep the heart pumping blend seamlessly into an enthralling read that kept me glued to the pages.”

-Kim Harrison, New York Times bestselling author



In this dark and intriguing adventure, former P.I. and current flawed-angel Griffin Shaw is on earth to collect the soul of the soon-to-be deceased journalist Kit Craig. But when Griffin sees the lovely Kit, he has a change of heart and vows to protect her from her predestined death.


Now that he’s defied his heavenly orders, Griffin isn’t quite sure of his next move. Besides taking on protecting Kit from harm, Griffin decides to do a little terrestrial sleuthing—looking into the facts surrounding his own murder and plotting revenge for his wife’s death.


As the angel and the intrepid journalist team up, a bond starts to form that may put both of them in even more danger still.


You won’t want to miss the latest book in the Celestial Blues series, The Lost, available for pre-order now.



Free Fridays Recommends

Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Vicki recommends: