Nicole Baart's 5 Firsts and Lasts

Sooo excited to debut another brand spankin' new feature!  Now we're asking our favorite authors to share the first and last time they've done--things like risks they've taken or kiss they've shared.  And the answers are JUICY!  so make sure to stay tuned! xoxo, L&L 51b0Am4n6-L._SY320_Our guest today: Nicole Baart

Why we love her: We can't put her books down!

Her latest: Sleeping In Eden (Out May 21st!)

The Scoop: On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa town of Blackhawk, Dr. Lucas Hudson is filling in for the vacationing coroner on a seemingly open-and-shut suicide case. His own life is crumbling around him, but when he unearths the body of a woman buried in the barn floor beneath the hanging corpse, he realizes this terrible discovery could change everything. . . .

Years before Lucas ever set foot in Blackhawk, Meg Painter met Dylan Reid. It was the summer before high school and the two quickly became inseparable. Although Meg’s older neighbor, Jess, was the safe choice, she couldn’t let go of Dylan no matter how hard she tried.

Caught in a web of jealousy and deceit that spiraled out of control, Meg’s choices in the past ultimately collide with Lucas’s discovery in the present, weaving together a taut story of unspoken secrets and the raw, complex passions of innocence lost.

Our thoughts: We promise you'll race through this thoughtful, intriguing book!

Giveaway: Five SIGNED copies, yo!  Just leave a comment here and you'll be entered.  We'll choose the winners on March 31st after 8am.

Fun Fact: Well, not really a fun fact--but Nicole is another wonderful S&S author caught up in all the B&N/S&S bulls*it going on. So PLEASE support her and this book by posting it and telling your friends!

Where to read more about Nicole: Her website, Facebook and Twitter!



My first kiss was in my best friend’s car. Front seat, people, get your minds out of the gutter. ;-) My best friend was a boy, and I had been in love with him for years. However, that much anticipated first kiss? A little underwhelming. I didn’t know what I was doing and it was sloppy and confusing.

My most recent kiss was a couple of hours ago. The love of my life and my husband of almost fourteen years caught me in the laundry room and we got a bit carried away... At least, until our two-year-old squeezed between us shouting, “Squish me! Squish me!” Nothing like the timing of a toddler.

Book you read

I can’t remember the first book I read, but my earliest memory of a truly gripping read was in fourth grade. My cousin and I had sleepovers nearly every weekend and we loved to lounge on small mountains of pillows and read to each other. One of our first picks was a library paperback called To Catch a Golden Ring. In my memory it’s an Outsiders themed sort of book, with a truly shocking tragedy that gave me nightmares for years. My cousin and I wept over it.

The most recent book I read is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I read it to my boys and we all adored it. I may or may not have cried like a baby and embarrassed my nine-year-old. (Though I think he was blinking back tears, too.)

Risk you took

When I was a little girl, my neighbor and I befriended a widowed farmer who lived down the street. We loved helping him collect eggs and try to catch the wild kittens that were born in the barn. We also loved playing in his haymow, and daring each other to do increasingly wild things (rappel down the side of the barn on a rope, climb the wide slats of the barn as high as we could go, etc.). Stretching the length of the haymow was a beam about five inches wide. At one end, the hay was stacked so high you could climb right onto the beam. At the other end was a 15-20 foot drop onto a wood plank floor. My friend was a gymnast and used to cartwheel across the beam. I was (still am) terrified of heights. But over the course of a summer I conquered my fear and learned to race across the beam full tilt. I was pretty proud of my accomplishment, though I’d never knowingly allow my own children to do something so dangerous!

One of the biggest risks I took recently was dancing in a local fundraiser spin-off of Dancing with the Stars. I was a last-minute add when one of the dancers broke her ankle, so my partner and I started off at a disadvantage. For ten days, we danced every night for at least two hours. I lost almost ten pounds and had blisters over nearly every inch of my feet. It was exhausting and terrifying because I am not the world’s most coordinated person... My rather ironic (and thankfully short-lived) nickname used to be Grace. But it was an absolutely amazing experience and one I wish I could repeat!

Hell ya! moment

I’m sure this isn’t my first Hell ya! moment, but it certainly sticks out in my mind... I wasn’t the most popular girl in my high school by a long shot (think gangly, awkward, Coke-bottle bespeckled girl aka the dorky Taylor Swift protagonist in the “You Belong With Me” video--only not nearly as cute), but my senior year I had a brief but thrilling romance with a gorgeous boy from another school. Gor. Geous. When I walked into my senior prom on his arm it felt like the climax of every classic click flick. I felt gorgeous by association. Of course, I’m probably the only one who remembers it that way!

One of my most recent Hell ya! moments happened when Publishers Weekly reviewed my 2012 release, Far From Here. I have a short wish-list of things I would love to accomplish in my career, and one of them was to receive a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Their anonymous reviews and reputation for sometimes brutal honesty make them a publication that I deeply respect... and kinda fear. But when my agent called to tell me that the review of Far From Here was live, and that it was a starred, featured review, I went a little ballistic. As my son would say, it was beast.

Thanks, Nicole!