Hello NOOK Blog followers:

 

As of January 17, 2014, there is a new NOOK Blog with an updated look and feel. You can find the NEW NOOK Blog here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook-blog

 

You can expect the same great information on bestselling NOOK Books, apps, and special offers, and we’ll be offering more posts throughout the day -- including new features like Coolest Covers, Cooking with NOOK, It Bears Re-Tweeting, Online Storytime, and more. 

 

It’s easy to sign up and interact with our daily blog posts! Just click on a post and find the comments section. To add your comment, you can sign in with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account or you can create a Wordpress Disqus account.

 

You can also share our posts on social media, subscribe for updates on a particular conversation, and star posts that you particularly enjoy. It’s that simple!

 

 

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We hope you love the new NOOK Blog as much as we do. Let us know what you think, and make sure to bookmark our new page! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook-blog

 

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Batter up! Do you know any die-hard sports fans? It's Day 3 of NOOK's 12 Days Before Christmas! We have some NOOK books that sports nuts will love....

 

Orr by Bobby Orr

 

 He has never written a memoir, authorized a biography, or talked to journalists about his past, but now he is finally ready to tell his story.

Bobby Orr is often referred to as the greatest ever to play the game of hockey. From 1966 through the mid-seventies, he could change a game just by stepping on the ice. No defenseman had ever played the way he did, or received so many trophies, or set so many records, several of which still stand today.

But all the brilliant achievements leave unsaid as much as they reveal. They don’t tell what inspired Orr, what drove him, what it was like for a shy small-town kid to suddenly land in the full glare of the media. They don’t tell what it was like when the agent he regarded as a brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin. They don’t tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today.

He is speaking out now because “I am a parent and a grandparent and I believe that I have lessons worth passing on.”Orr: My Story is more than a book about hockey—it is about the making of a man. 

 

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Day 2 of the 12 Days Before Christmas! Do you know someone who loves to read about love?


These are the perfect NOOK books for any Romance fan this holiday season:

 

 

Starry Night  by Debbie Macomber

 

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author. 
 
Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.
 
Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

 

 

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.

Ireland.

County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

 

 

Hunted  by Karen Robards

 

’Twas the night before Christmas . . . and dozens of rich, influential hostages are trapped inside a sprawling lakefront mansion in New Orleans. The perp? Detective Reed Ware, model cop turned outlaw. After receiving a panicked call from Hollis “Holly” Bayard, a teenage street tough with a penchant for amateur sleuthing who stumbles upon the scene of a drug-deal-turned- murder, Ware finds his and his friend’s lives in dire danger. The crime Holly witnessed could be the biggest police cover-up this side of New Orleans—and no one’s talking. Driven to desperate measures to uncover the truth, Ware stages a coup at a Christmas party for the New Orleans elite, including the mayor, the council chairman, the sheriff, and the superintendent of police, who just happens to be hostage negotiator Caroline Wallace’s estranged father. 

Cool, calm, controlled. That’s Caroline’s reputation. But when she’s brought in to talk Ware off the proverbial ledge, she realizes no amount of false promises is going to placate this man, who looks even hotter than he did years ago when seventeen-year-old Caroline tried to seduce him. It was his duty to protect her family then. Now it’s her turn . . . if she can think fast enough over the pounding of her heart. 

When Caroline becomes wrapped up in the drama, it’s clear the sizzling tension she shared with Ware never let up. And the harder she tries to defuse the situation, the more she begins to wonder whose side she’s really on.

 

Gabriel's Redemption   by Sylvain Reynard

 

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

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Who's the most voracious reader on your holiday gift list? The first day of NOOK's 12 Days Before Christmas features the best of story fiction books & apps on NOOK! 

 

Gone Girl  by Gillian Flynn

 

 On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

 

Dust (Kay Scarpetta Series #21)  by Patricia Cornwell

 

Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino.

A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy.

At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipton, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultraviolet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and Scarpetta has reason to worry that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C. Stunningly, Scarpetta will discover that her FBI profiler husband, Benton Wesley, is convinced that certain people in the government, including his boss, don’t want the killer caught.

 

Totlandia   by Josie Brown

 

The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual spots are the ultimate parenting prize.

But not everyone is PHM&TC material. The club’s founder, Bettina Connaught Cross, adheres to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection…from tots or their moms.

In a world of power and prestige, no one has more than Bettina. And as every mom in Pacific Heights knows, you simply cannot cross her. But this year’s admissions process is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members against each other to prove their mettle.

But four of the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have a secret that would knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a husband—just a sperm donor—and she’s hiding a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna fears that her son may have special needs… just the excuse her sister-in-law, Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.

Can these hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?

 

The Husband's Secret  by Liane Moriarty

 

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

 

The Adventures of Mosaika  by Fire Maple Games

 

The strange feeling you had all day followed you to bed that night.

A sudden crash from the next room wakes you from dreams of magical lands, and sets your heart racing in your chest.

Sitting bolt upright in bed, the strange feeling returns as your eyes adjust to the darkness, focusing on the odd wooden symbols across the mantel of the fireplace. Almost as if something were calling you…

Turning on the lamp, you cautiously get up, moving towards the sound that woke you. This is your uncle’s house and though you’ve been here many times, it suddenly feels very different.

The room is littered with wonderfully strange and interesting artifacts, souvenirs from your uncle’s travels, from where he would not say. On the floor lays a small tiled box, broken open. Unfolding the paper nestled within it, you instantly recognize the symbols.

The fireplace!

Running back into the bedroom, you examine again the symbols on the paper. They match perfectly those in the woodwork of the mantel, but are arranged differently…

Though your hands are shaking with excitement, you work quickly, rearranging the wooden symbols to match the ones on the paper, hearing them click into place easily one after the other, until the pattern is complete.

Suddenly, beams of golden sunlight burst through the opening in the fireplace, cutting through the darkness in the room. Standing back with a gasp, you look through the opening, eyes wide in awe at the beautiful, magical land from your dream on the other side.

With a deep breath, you step through the opening and take your first steps into another world…

 

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum Series #20)  by Janet Evanovich

 

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

 

The Secret of Grisly Manor  by Fire Maple Games

 

Grandpa always was a little eccentric. A fantastic engineer, he was always buried in his work, always coming up with new ideas and inventions that as a child held you wide-eyed in awe.

Now, after many years, you return to the house that holds so many fond memories for you, with a promise from Grandpa to show you something truly amazing. You can’t even begin to imagine what it could be!

It’s a dark and stormy night as you arrive at Grisly Manor. The rain beats down hard, lightning flashes in the sky as the sound of thunder fills your ears. You already feel a little creeped out, but when you make your way inside, the house is curiously empty. Grandpa is nowhere to be found!

But his presence is everywhere.

Familiar objects have been re-engineered to create puzzles for you. Clues abound, and as each puzzle is solved, the solution to others present themselves. As well as new puzzles, of course.

Grandpa obviously spent a lot of time making sure that nobody could solve the myriad of puzzles strewn about the house. Nobody but you, his favorite grandchild…

Can you solve the mystery of Grisly Manor?

 

Sycamore Row  by John Grisham

 

John Grisham’s A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.

The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

 

 Want to see how easy it is to give NOOK Books & Apps this holiday season? Click here.

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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 Shannon recommends:

 

Christmas romances have always been my favorite, and this year I read one I found particularly exceptional. Starting from Scratch is a novella written by Stacy Gail, about a man who lost his memory in an IED attack and the woman who lost him in the aftermath. It's a reunion romance with all the fun trappings of the holiday, along with an emotional punch that gripped me from beginning to end. When I have to put down my device and wipe my eyes to keep reading, I know an author has written a wonderful love story between two people I'm totally invested in.

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Isabel Cooper.jpgIsabel Cooper loves to read about unlikely partnerships between book characters, even if she doesn't exactly like these pairings in real life. Today on the NOOK Blog, she discusses the unique relationship she created between a half-human, half-dragon Scottish Highland Laird and a diminuitive, London-bred secretary in her newest paranormal romance, Legend of the Highland Dragon.

 

I always hated it, in school, when teachers would make us move our desks around and be in groups with new people. I figured, first of all, it was none of their business whether we got to know each other or not, and second, please. By the middle of the year, I’d made all the friends I was going to. (And in morning classes, I wasn’t inclined to be friends with anyone, including people I already knew and loved. At 8 AM, I hate the entire population of Earth.) Forcing people to work together doesn’t do anything but annoy them!

 

Except, I love reading about exactly that. Unlikely partnerships, arranged marriages, people stuck in prison or elevators together, forming a team and ending up friends or even more: it’s a favorite trope of mine. Maybe it’s because I’m a New England introvert and *don’t* talk to strangers under normal circumstances. Maybe it’s because pressure, danger, or just unexpected situations let you discover more about yourself and the people you’re around. Forced proximity may be a pain in real life, but in fiction, at least, it creates a lot of opportunities.

 

So, when I was working out the plot for Legend of the Highland Dragon, I jumped at the chance to have my hero and heroine unwillingly sharing a house and a mission. Stephen doesn’t want a mortal girl wandering around his house or sharing his life, particularly when she has her own ideas about how to handle their predicament and doesn’t back down easily. Mina has plans for her life, and they don’t include being stuck with an arrogant Scottish lord who’s not even fully human. Neither of them are happy—but they’re grown-ups, so they work it out and, in the process, end up falling for each other.

 

Maybe that means my teachers had a point after all. Just…not before noon. Never before noon.

 

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The Valley of Amazement is acclaimed Chinese-American author Amy Tan's newest achievement, a historical novel of astounding power and emotion.

 

In late 19th-century Shanghai, Violet Minturn comes of age at the city's most eminent courtesan establishment, where her mother is an employee. But political unease and the eventual fall of the Chinese imperial dynasty forces Violet to become separated from her family and become a "virgin courtesan." Violet becomes a talented and successful businesswoman, but her inner turmoil propels her on a constant search for closure, tranquility, and love, over a span of 50 years between China and San Francisco.

 

Love Amy Tan? Find more of her highly lauded books here.

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It was a call that I answered a different way. My sister lost friends and a piece of her city. I was the one who she managed to contact that day before she began the long walk home through the ash. So I was the one who called her friends and family. I was the one who spent much of that tragic day listening to the stories of others. As I talked to more and more people, I started forming the ideas for the “Night Stalkers” series which took me almost a decade before I learned enough to begin writing.

 

Perhaps the key story for me from all that time is the one told to me by the Colonel I dedicated this 9781402258190_p0_v2_s114x166.JPGbook to and adapted to Tim’s transformation. Colonel Baker had decided to go out for a run, his assistant had declined joining him. As he returned toward the Pentagon, the jet flew in killing his entire department, including his assistant. I don’t like war. I am deeply a pacifist. But I have gained more than a respect for those who choose to serve, especially the career soldiers. I have gained an awe. It is that which I strive to capture in each book I write in this series.

 

The best way I know to honor them? I try to tell their stories with as much respect and accessibility tothe average reader as possible. And, along the way, I try to find them their soulmate, because, well, I love happy ever after endings and they bloody well deserve one! But as I said, sometimes the task is hard. To write Take Over at Midnight, I had to throw out a quarter of the first draft and try again. B&N Review columnist Eloisa James tells me I succeeded when she chose this book as one of the Best of 2013 Romances. I hope you enjoy it and the rest of my Night Stalker “family” as well.

 

 

 

Name: Lola LaRue

Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 3

Mission: Copilot deadly choppers on the world's most dangerous missions

 

Name: Tim Maloney

Rank: Sergeant

Mission: Man the guns and charm the ladies

 

The Past Doesn't Matter, When Their Future is Doomed…

Nothing sticks to "Crazy" Tim Maloney, until he falls hard for a tall Creole beauty with a haunted past and a penchant for reckless flying. Lola LaRue never thought she'd be susceptible to a man's desire, but even with Tim igniting her deepest passions, it may be too late now...With the nation under an imminent threat of biological warfare, Tim and Lola are the only ones who can stop the madness--and to do that, they're going to have to trust each other way beyond their limits...

 

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This month's NOOK Spotlight is author Tarquin Hall and his Vish Puri mystery series, featuring the first volume, The Case of the Missing Servant.

 

 Detective Vish Puri runs an elite P.I. agency in Delhi, India: the Most Private Investigators Agency, named for his main occupation as a background checker on prospective husbands and wives entering into arranged marriages. But in The Case of the Missing Servant, Vish runs aground of an entirely different case: a murder. Can Vish clear the name of the wrongly accused suspect, or will an innocent attorney go down for the homicide of his maid?

 

For more books in the Vish Puri mystery series, click here.

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The Mafia has always been a mysterious and intriguing subject in literature and film, and Rachel van Dyken was quickly sucked in when her husband introduced her to stories about the mob. So she decided to write a New Adult novel about forbidden love, within a backdrop of an irascible crime family. Today Rachel visits the NOOK Blog to discuss the inspiration behind her Eagle Elite series. The newest volume, Elect, is now available on NOOK.

 

 

I blame my husband. 

 

Okay, so maybe it's not totally his fault--but I think he'd like to take the credit for the idea behind my latest Eagle Elite series.  He's not a hug fan of sappy romance so he thought I should write something with more darkness…danger…intrigue. Thus, the Eagle Elite series was born. 

 

My husband has always had this fascination with the mafia, and the minute he started telling me stories about the original five families, as well as the background of a Sicilian mobster who had hidden out as a farmer around thirty miles away from our house, I was hooked. 

 

I mean a New Adult mafia story? My head started spinning. I had to write it. 

 

Four weeks later and I finished writing writing the first book in the series. Now that the second book, Elect, is about to release, I can honestly say I am completely sucked into the mafia underworld and I’m not sure I ever want to stop writing about it. 

 

Elect is Romeo and Juliet with a love triangle on steroids. I'm usually really good at explaining stories, but this one has me stumped because to explain it is to take away from the reading experience.  But one of my favorite things about this book, as well as this series, is that it's written from the male perspective. 

 

I love a challenge and that's exactly what this book was for me. It's not just the two main heroes’ POV's that we get a glimpse into, but the "bad guy" from the previous book. Writing in the male perspective gives an author so much freedom with a storyline;  it also makes it possible to dive into the more violent tendencies of a mafia boss as well as a made man. 

 

Romantically, being in the male perspective brings a sensual flavor to the book that, personally, I really enjoy as a reader and as an author. I love knowing that the guy is holding on by a thread, or that the other main character is slowly dying inside because his love isn't returned.  It makes the story more complicated, more heart-wrenching, and in the end, a lot more fun! 

 

I hope readers enjoy Elect as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you have the desire to dive into a Soprano meets Romeo and Juliet adventure, then you'll love the Eagle Elite series :smileywink: I know that I don't plan on putting the pen down anytime soon, especially now that I'm stuck in the middle of their world! 

 

- Rachel Van Dyken

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