When homicide detective Claire Morgan moved from Los Angeles to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, she hopes to settle into a more peaceful, simpler life. But fate has other plans in store, as she soon finds out when a soap opera star turns up dead. The star’s trip to a posh “wellness resort” ended with her being taped to a chair at a fully set table and submerged at the bottom of the lake.
At first, the resort’s owner, Dr. Nicholas Black, seemed to be Claire’s ally in uncovering the killer, but as their lives become more intimately entwined, his motivations start to seem suspect. Could he know more about his famous guest’s demise than he’s letting on?
Claire Morgan’s Ozarks adventures continue in Ladd’s newest thriller, Remember Murder, available now for pre-order.
I’m lucky enough to live just a few blocks from my city’s zoo, so my family takes frequent trips all year long. While it’s a beautiful zoo, I have to admit that I’ve often daydreamed of ways it could be even better. That’s why I was so excited to play Animal Park Tycoon. This multi-layered game lets you build and run your own zoo, with the goal of attracting curious visitors from around the world. And nothing brings in a crowd like a real live unicorn on exhibit—something you can unlock with superb game play.
Free Fridays app promotions refer specifically to the app in the NOOK Store.
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 Linda recommends:
Just imagine Cracker Barrel®, that wonderful country restaurant located all across the South with rocking chairs spread out across the front porch…but this time, there’s a woman sitting in one of them, young, dark-haired, pretty, and very dead. To Special Agent J.D. Cass and Chattanooga grief counselor, Audrey Sherrod, the worst part is what the victim is holding in her arms. Wrapped in a blue baby blanket, they find the skeletal remains of an infant, one reported missing years ago. So the hunt for the killer begins, the current homicide case closely entwined with a gruesome cold case. Audrey and J.D. circle each other at first, not quite sure they like each other very much, but as the case progresses with links to Audrey’s own tragic past, their initial distrust is replaced by a growing passion and respect for each other.
Barton’s plot is intricate and exciting enough to keep you glued to the pages long into the midnight hours. You won’t figure out the villain until the very last minute, trust me. Furthermore, there’s an equally good sequel available to continue the story called Don’t Say A Word. What more could you ask for? So sit back and enjoy yourself. I sure did!
The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver's been the good girl all her life, and it's gotten her nowhere. Now that her marriage has been busted up by her cheating ex, she's decided it's time to regroup and rediscover herself. This summer she's headed back to her hometown of Destiny, Ohio, to the very lakeshore cottage where she grew up, to figure out what life holds in store for her next.
While those books still appeal to young readers today, there’s a new kid on the block: John Grisham’s Theodore Boone, kid lawyer. In his latest caper, The Activist, Theodore digs deeper into his town’s heated political battle over environmental issues and uncovers corruption that could change everything. The kid lawyer won’t stop until justice is served.
I hope this smartly-told page-turner will bring the same enjoyment to young readers this summer that my favorite series brought to me.Read more...
Love Rocks is a monthly look at new self-published romance titles from the community of writers at Rock*ItReads.
Are you a reader who commits the “sin” of reading the back of the book before you start reading? I’m angelic in the sense that I always start at the beginning of a book without peeking ahead. I even read series in order as I don’t want to miss out on this or that tidbit that makes for a fuller read with each successive book.
Now it’s confession time. Recently, I read a series out of order. And it was awesome to become a full-blown sinner when it comes to leaping ahead! So what drove me to risk it all and leap across books in a series? A hero who is as wickedly sinful as they come. But to tell you about him, I have to tell you about the first book’s hero.
I stumbled onto The Wild One, the first book in Danelle Harmon’s, The de Montforte Brothers series quite by accident. The book’s premise intrigued me, and I wasn’t disappointed in Harmon’s execution of the plot. Set in the Georgian era, I found myself enjoying the tale of Juliet Paige and Lord Gareth.
Irresponsible, yet lovable, Gareth wants to be a hero. He just doesn’t know how to live up to his eldest brother’s, the manipulative Duke of Blackheath, expectations. Juliet, a practical Yankee from Boston, is the perfect foil for Gareth’s wild side. When the duke deliberately and artfully sets certain events into motion, Gareth finds himself forced to take on the role of hero.
It’s a delightful story with two lovable characters who counter each other’s flaws perfectly. But while reading The Wild One, I couldn’t stop looking for more scenes with the Duke of Blackheath. The first time he appeared in The Wild One, I loathed him. My loathing quickly changed to curiosity then an all–consuming desire to read the duke’s story. Completely out of character for me, I leaped over the other two books in the series to cuddle up in my chair with The Wicked One.
The final installment in Harmon’s series, Lucien’s story was all I hoped for. Lucien de Montforte, Duke of Blackheath and Eva de la Mouriére are wonderful adversaries. Their first scene together is just the way I like them—steamy and hot. Harmon’s description of Lucien makes him swoon-worthy for me.
“There was that same unsmiling face, glowing like Satan's in the candle's flickering light, its orange flame picking out the lofty cheekbones, the chiseled mouth with those hard, sculpted lips, the compelling profile with its noble brow and razor-straight nose.”
Dark and dangerous heroes have always been my undoing, and Harmon’s wonderful descriptions of Lucien kept me longing for more. But for all his wicked ways, it’s the tortured part of Lucien I found so appealing. He’s the type of hero you can’t help but fall in love with. Eva proved herself up to the task of ending Lucien’s patriarchal machinations. There’s even a small domination scene where Eva takes charge of their bedroom play. I loved seeing Lucien tied to the bed and hot with need.
All the books in this series are reissues from the late 90s. They have a bit more narrative than you’ll find in current historical romances, but Harmon’s ability to tell a great story didn’t make the expanded narrative an issue for me. I was compelled to keep turning the pages. With only a couple of typos and great formatting, these books made for a pleasurable read. I encourage you to become a sinner with me and read The Wicked One first!
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A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best for Assassin’s Heart. Her latest release, Love's Revenge is now available.
Ready, Set, Bowl!
While I had an unspectacular bowling career on my 2-person middle school team, I still look back fondly on those days spent at the local alley. But the sleek PBA Bowling Challenge app is a whole different (bowling) ball game. I had a great time picking out the exact ball that fits my style of play, and customizing the color for maximum opponent-intimidation impact
I love playing the career mode, where I’ve worked my way up the standings to take on some of the biggest names on the PBA, like Walter Ray Williams, Jr. and Pete Weber. There’s nothing as satisfying as hearing that ‘crack’ of the pins on yet another 10th-frame strike.
Here’s to a 300 game in your future on PBA Bowling Challenge!
"Hard to think of it as a debut, better to think of it as the beginning of a massive new adventure.”
-The Daily Mirror (UK)
Television veteran Simon Toyne’s debut novel is an ambitious conspiracy thriller that Brad Meltzer and Dan Brown fans will devour. The whole world is watching when a cloistered monk in modern day Turkey plunges to his death in front of television cameras. The monk’s act of defiance sets off a frenzy to discover what secrets lie behind the ancient walls, and why he sacrificed his life to put an end to them.
When the monk is identified, American journalist Liv Adamsen is shocked to discover that he’s the brother she’d written off as dead long ago. Her reporter’s instincts send her to investigate the secretive world her brother inhabited, and soon she’s battling a group of deadly monks who will go to any extreme to protect their millennia-old secret.
The second book in Toyne’s critically-acclaimed trilogy, The Key, is available for NOOK now.
Free Fridays app promotions refer specifically to the app in the NOOK Store.
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 Simon recommends:
When I was a child, one of my favorite books was The Incredible Journey, about the perilous adventures of two dogs—okay, and a cat—as they traverse 300 miles of harsh Canadian wilderness in search of their owners. The dogs, Luath, a Labrador retriever who is quilled in the face by a porcupine, can’t eat, and comes close to starving to death, and Bodger, the nearly blind bull terrier he guides to safety, were for me then, and are still, models of fortitude, bravery, cunning and loyalty. Much later my husband introduced me to Stickeen, the little dog who accompanied the naturalist John Muir across an Alaskan glacier, and inspired Muir to write a long magazine piece about what he saw as the emotional growth of the dog, from a wary fellow traveler to a deeply caring friend, which he told again in Stickeen, (1909) and again in Travels in Alaska which came out six years later. “Our storm battle for life brought him to light,” Muir wrote, “and through him as through a window I have ever since been looking with deeper sympathy into all my fellow mortals.”
Loyalty and fealty are common themes in books about heroic dogs, a literary tradition that must have started with Homer. In perhaps the most heartbreaking scene in The Odyssey, Odysseus returns home after his twenty year ordeal, finds his home overrun by dissolute suitors hoping to win the affections of his wife, Penelope, and his dog Argos, weak and sick and lying on a dung heap. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus endeavors to sneak into his own house and is unrecognized by all but one old friend—Argos. Not wanting to give himself away, Odysseus walks past the dog, pretending they are strangers. And then the dog, who has been patiently awaiting the arrival of his master for the better part of two decades, takes his last breath and dies. Talk about devotion.
Every time I read that story, it gets me. Dog stories are often sad stories, even though dogs are so often happy, and goofy, and full of joy. When I bring my labradoodle, Pransky, to the nursing home where we work as a therapy dog team, she is welcomed there precisely because she is the bearer of good tidings, is allergic to sadness, and sometimes gets in the kind of canine trouble that makes people laugh. I once came across a book that announced on the title page that nothing bad happened to the dogs in the book, and I was grateful. Such is the legacy of reading, and rereading Dodie Smith’s classic “The Hundred and One Dalmatians,” in which so many dogs are in danger and their humans don’t seem to be up to the task of saving them. But then Pongo and Missis, the dalmatians whose puppies have been stolen by the evil Cruella de Vil, embark on their own cross-country journey, outwit all the bad guys, and after more downs than ups, finally triumph. Heroes, as these dog stories make clear, come in all colors, sizes, and leg counts.Read more...
The latest NOOK First collection offers a wide range of books for every type of reader--from a madcap PI mystery to the true story behind a hit motion picture. Below are four highlights from the current collection, but make sure to explore the entire offering of NOOK First titles.
After escaping her marriage, Jenn Galbraith hoped to start a new life with her four-year-old daughter, Emily. But Jenn’s ex-husband has other plans. Evan follows them to their new home in Vermont, determined to take their lives. He succeeds only in killing himself and hospitalizing Emily. Comatose and hovering between life and death, Emily meets Tara, a little girl who’s also searching for a way back to the world of the living. Upon waking, Emily is delighted to find Tara’s presence has followed her home.
Even in death, Evan seeks to stake his claim to Emily. His vengeful spirit pursues her and is repeatedly thwarted by Tara, the ghost of a child. Tara can hold Evan at bay, but she also has her own agenda: Emily is Tara’s last chance to live again.
“I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.
I give them my attention - they give me money and secrets. The money I have grown used to. The secrets are getting harder to take.
Then, with one chance encounter, everything changes and I have to decide: Keep the secrets and my safety? Or risk everything to save someone else?”
Her name is Bond. Jamie Bond. And she is licensed to kill any pre-nup you can throw at her.
Catching cheating husbands became Jamie Bond's life when her father was shot and wounded on the job, forcing Jamie to take over the family business: The Bond Agency. But three years later, the PI is shocked when the gun that wounded her father surfaces during a high-profile murder trial. Is this the connection Jamie's been waiting for to finally nail her father's shooter? But, oddly enough, Derek Bond doesn't seem interested. In fact, if Jamie didn't know better she'd say he's even trying to stop her from looking into it. Along with her team of bombshell investigators, Jamie suddenly finds herself in the middle of a cold case that's heating up the media, dodging old grudges and new enemies, while questioning the motives of those closest to her. If she can live with the truth, the secrets Jamie uncovers may bring down more than a marriage this time.
Daniel Lugo and Noel Adrian Doorbal were simple men: all they wanted—at first—was to be more pumped than the next guys, to own the workout floor, to look good. But then these pals, who worked as personal trainers at Miami’s Sun Gym, got a little itchy. The flash and cash flaunted by some of their clients was tempting….so tempting….and wouldn’t it be a piece of cake to get it for themselves?
Read the fascinating true story that became the hit motion picture starring Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg.Read more...
Dan Brown's highly-anticipated new Robert Langdon adventure, Inferno, is available for NOOK starting today.
To herald this major publishing event, we asked Brown to share some thoughts on his foray into the world of Dante's masterpiece:
I’ve known for at least a decade that I would one day write a novel incorporating the world of Dante Alighieri. While researching Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, I was immersed in church history and philosophy. One of the by-products of that research was my coming to understand that Dante’s popularized vision the afterlife deeply influenced our modern Christian perceptions of hell. The notion of hell certainly existed long before Dante, and yet only in vague terms. The Bible described hell as an underworld of unquenchable fire. Classical mythology was a bit more specific, describing various realms and monsters, but it wasn’t until Dante published The Divine Comedy that humankind was given a vivid, codified vision of the underworld. Dante described a multi-layered pit of misery where sinners endured specific punishments for specific sins, and this horrifying concept helped solidify hell as the deterrent to sin.
You researched Dante and the mysteries surrounding his life and work in Florence. What was your most surprising discovery.
For me, one of the most surprising themes of Dante’s Inferno is the portrayal of pride as the most serious of the seven deadly sins—a transgression punished in the deepest ring of hell. The notion of pride as the ultimate sin dovetails perfectly with Greek mythology, in which hubris is responsible for the downfall of the archetypal hero. In mythology, no man is more prideful than he who considers himself above the problems of the world…for example, the person who ignores injustice because it does not affect him directly. This notion is reflected in a famous paraphrasing of Dante’s text: The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. This is a recurring theme of the novel.
Dante's Divine Comedy is composed in an intricately braided poetic style as it tells the story of a poet's passage through hell, purgatory and paradise. What aspects of his style most influenced you in the writing of Inferno? Did you rely on a particular translation or translations?
The rhythm of Dante’s poetry and his use of anaphora (repetition of phrases) does indeed find its way into the novel’s “shade” sections and influences the way my villain speaks and writes. Additionally, Dante’s use of physical motion to keep his action moving is something I’ve always tried to do in my novels, and I certainly continued that in Inferno. Regarding translations of Dante’s original Italian, one of the great luxuries of writing this book in the digital age was that I was able very quickly and easily to compare multiple translations. At times, I was stunned by how greatly those translations differed. In the end, I found myself relying primarily on two – the translations by Longfellow and Mandelbaum.
The images of punishment throughout the Inferno are based on medieval conceptions of sin and its consequences. Do you find them still relevant to themes of good and evil in today's world?
Dante’s vision of justice relies on the concept of contrapasso (literally, suffering the opposite)—in a sense, the punishment precisely fits the crime. For example: a fortune teller who sins by seeing the future is punished by having his head placed on backwards so he can only see in reverse; a ruthless man who left another to starve to death is doomed to have his own bloody skull gnawed upon by the man he let starve; an adulterous couple who succumbed to lust is punished by being fused together sexually for all eternity without ever being satisfied. Today, in most cultures, the notions of contrapasso and “an eye for an eye” have disappeared, which may be one of the reasons that modern readers find Dante’s brutal punishments so fascinating.
Although Dante wrote his epic hundreds of years before Leonardo Da Vinci, the two men are connected by their shared Florentine heritage. Do you see any similarities between the two?
Beyond being fellow Florentines, Dante and Leonardo share an elite spot in the pantheon of artistic giants. Both The Divine Comedy and The Mona Lisa are examples of those rare human achievements that transcend their moments in history and become enduring cultural touchstones. Both masterpieces continue tospeak to us centuries after their creation and are considered examples of the finest works ever produced in their respective fields. Like Leonardo, Dante had a staggering influence on culture, religion, history, and the arts. In addition to codifying the early Christian vision of Hell, Dante inspired some of history’s greatest luminaries—Longfellow, Chaucer, Borges, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Monteverdi, Michelangelo, Blake, Dalí—and even a few modern video game designers.
Dante placed himself at the center of his poetic epic -- but he also called upon a figure from the classical world, the poet Virgil, as a trustworthy guide on his journey into darkness. Have you provided Robert Langdon with a Virgil?
Over the course of Langdon’s adventure, he encounters numerous characters who have counterparts in Dante’s Inferno. Some of these characters are overt. Others are more obscure. I’m hoping that some of the fun will be debating the parallels between Virgil’s descent and Langdon’s.
The opening of Inferno leaves us with tantalizing references to places and ideas that -- one hopes -- will be illuminated as the novel unfolds. Do you begin writing with the notion of implanting mysteries for your readers, or does that come later, as the story develops?
Before I begin writing any novel, I complete an extensive outline (the outline for The Da Vinci Code was over one hundred pages). Once I have a clear sense of the arc of the novel, I begin each chapter by deciding not what I’ll offer the reader, but rather what I’ll withhold. A readers’ desire to guess what I’ve hidden is always more exciting than anything I can show.
When we first encounter Robert Langdon in Inferno, he's in a place his work has made very familiar to him, but he's been plunged into truly unknown waters. When first you planned your new book, did you know you'd be making life this difficult for your hero?
Absolutely. Only by placing Langdon in a difficult position does he have a chance to be a hero.Read more...
While Mad Men explores the changing tide on the east coast, Mosley’s detective Easy Rawlins investigates the disappearance of an L.A. party fixture, Evander “Little Green” Noon. It’s 1967, and Little Green disappears after a drug-fueled night on the Sunset Strip. Rawlins’ investigation leads him on a trip that offers a revealing roadmap of a simultaneously hopeful and foreboding moment in American history.
Mosley hinted that his previous Easy Rawlins’ mystery, Blonde Faith, would be his last, but I’m glad to see the always-insightful detective back and in fine form once again.
Tell Me: Do you prefer east coast or west coast mysteries?Read more...