Holiday Greetings, Winter 2020

Dear Friend,

This fall, my twenty-second novel, The Return, was released and I have been humbled by the heartwarming responses that I’ve received from readers. Writing the book was an absolute pleasure for me which makes it all the sweeter that The Return debuted as #1 on the New York Times bestseller list! This year has been particularly challenging all around the world and this holiday season, I want to express my gratitude to you, all my readers and the fans that have continued to believe in the power of storytelling. Whether you are a long-time reader of my work or just picked up The Return on impulse because you were looking for an escape, please know how much I appreciate you. 

I also want to express thanks to the readers that came out this fall to see me on my socially-distanced book tour. While it may not have been what we’ve all come to expect from such events, the dedication to health and safety shown by our bookseller hosts was remarkable. This was also the first time we partnered with select independent bookshops to offer thousands of hand-signed books for pickup and delivery to local readers that didn’t feel comfortable attending a book tour event in person. Making connections with readers is one of my favorite parts of being an author, and I was happy to be able to continue the tradition of touring with a new novel even in this difficult year.

In the spirit of surprise and spreading joy, there is something special about all hardcover editions of The Return: the paper jacket that wraps the book is reversible! As the video below shows, you can simply take off the cover and flip it around to see beautiful winter themed artwork.

Something extra special about the hardcover of Nicholas Sparks's latest mega bestseller The Return: it has a reversible cover for the holidays!

Last, as we head into the holiday shopping season, there are a number of related deals and Black Friday specials for my novels that you’ll be seeing online and in major retail stores. I also want to share my love for supporting small business owners and, of course, local bookshops. I’m thrilled to say that this December, my publisher will be running a holiday giveaway on social media that highlights a selection of speciality and handmade gifts made by local businesses in my hometown of New Bern, NC. I hope you’ll take a moment to explore some of the unique gift options from shops just around the corner from you this holiday season.

Sending you warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday as well as a new year full of opportunities and promise.

Nicholas Sparks

The Return is now available!

I am looking forward to my new novel, The Return, being out in the world and hearing what all of you think. I’m also looking forward to seeing some of you on my socially distant book tour (details and ticket information can be found here on my website). I am grateful to be able to support booksellers during these challenging times, and I appreciate everyone who has worked so hard to make these events possible and safe.

If you can’t make it to an event in person, I hope you'll tune in online for my virtual event on September 30 with author Elin Hilderbrand. It will be hosted by Warwick’s, the country's oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore, and they, along with other select independent bookstores across the US, are offering a limited number of signed copies of The Return for reader pick up or delivery.

There is also a special offer for my readers from Walmart right now. With any in-store purchase of The Return, you can receive your choice of a free Nicholas Sparks audiobook (details will be on your store receipt).

The Return is set in my hometown of New Bern, North Carolina, which has been a constant source of inspiration for me. Additional inspiration for the book came to me in other ways, which I've shared in this video:

Inspiration Video for The Return
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks talks about the inspirations behind his new novel, The Return. Now available everywhere books are sold.

Again, I look forward to connecting with you - online, in person or whatever way it will be - during my book tour in the coming weeks. In the meantime, be safe and well.

Sincerely yours,

Nicholas Sparks

P.S. If you finish The Return and need some other books to read, here are some that I’ve been enjoying lately:

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Nickel Boys is loosely based on events that occurred at the Arthur Dozier reformatory school in Florida.  In the novel, the reformatory school is known as The Nickel Academy and it tells the story of Elwood Curtis and the abuse he suffered there.  His only friend, another boy named Turner, tries to teach Curtis lessons for survival in what he views as a cruel world.  The language and writing style make the entire story sing with authenticity while the slowly mounting horror keeps the pages turning.  It is a novel that will make you think.

Show them You’re Good:  A Portrait of Boys in the City of Angels the Year Before College by Jeff Hobbs This non-fiction book follows four young men as they prepare for college; all four are deftly drawn, and the reader can’t help but reflect back on that stressful period of their own life.  The book follows them through various adolescent rituals, while highlighting the personal challenges that each of them face.  Above all, it’s simply well-written.

Gratitude for our book tour partners that went above and beyond.

The Return's book tour was the first time Nicholas and his publisher had the pleasure of partnering with a number of select independent bookshops across the country to offer thousands of hand-signed books for pickup and delivery to local readers that didn’t feel comfortable attending a book tour event in person. 

Making connections with readers is one of the best parts of being an author, and Nicholas was happy to be able to continue the tradition of touring with a new novel even through this difficult time. His gratitude goes out to these remarkable booksellers:

Please note that while some booksellers may still have a few signed copies for purchase, during the tour quantities were limited at each location. Please contact the stores directly to find out they still have signed books available and to inquire about pick up, delivery and shipping options.

Changing Hands Bookstore
Tempe, AZ
changinghands.com

Book Passage
Corte Madera, CA
bookpassage.com

Warwicks
La Jolla, CA
warwicks.com

Vroman's Bookstore
Pasadena, CA
vromansbookstore.com

Bookshop Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
bookshopsantacruz.com

Mountain Bookshop
Sonora, CA
facebook.com/MountainBookshop

Maria's Bookshop
Durango, CO
mariasbookshop.com

Lake Forest Book Store
Lake Forest, IL
lakeforestbookstore.com

Anderson's Bookshops
Naperville, IL
andersonsbookshop.com

Joseph-Beth Books
Lexington, KY
josephbeth.com

An Unlikely Story
Plainville, MA
anunlikelystory.com

A Likely Story
Sykesville, MD
sykesvillebooks.com

Neighborhood Reads
Washington, MO
neighborhoodreads.com

Lemuria Bookstore
Jackson, MS
lemuriabooks.com

Buxton Village Books
Buxton, NC
buxtonvillagebooks.com

Park Road Books
Charlotte, NC
parkroadbooks.com

The Island Bookstore
Duck, NC
islandbooksobx.com

Books Unlimited
Franklin, NC
booksunlimitednc.com

Sunrise Books
High Point, NC
sunrisebookshp.indielite.org

Quail Ridge Books
Raleigh, NC
quailridgebooks.com

Page 158 Books
Wake Forest, NC
page158books.com

The Bookworm
Omaha, NE
bookwormomaha.com

Innisfree Bookshop
Meredith, NH
innisfreebookshop.com

Joseph-Beth Books
Cincinnati, OH
josephbeth.com

Books And Greetings
Northvale, NJ
booksandgreetings.com

Brace Books & More
Ponca City, OK
bracebooks.indielite.org

Doylestown Bookshop
Doylestown, PA
doylestownbookshop.com

Leana's Books & More
Hermitage, PA
leanasbooks.com

Savoy Bookshop & Cafe
Westerly, RI
banksquarebooks.com/westerly-store

Fiction Addiction
Greenville, SC
fiction-addiction.com

Book People
Austin, TX
bookpeople.com

Blue Willow Books
Houston, TX
bluewillowbookshop.com

Givens Books
Lynchburg, VA
givensbooks.com

Prince Books
Norfolk, VA
prince-books.com

Book Tour Updates for The Return

The release of my next book, The Return, is just weeks away and with it comes new opportunities for me to connect with readers during my book tour. As mentioned in my last letter, these are challenging times but I won’t let my readers down. Special arrangements have been made and this year’s tour will include both virtual events and in-store photo-ops. Here is your first look at my US book tour schedule!

Tuesday, Sept 29th – Books-A-Million, New Bern NC
Wednesday, Sept 30th – Warwick’s, A Virtual Event with Elin Hilderbrand
Thursday, Oct 1st – The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines NC
Friday, Oct 2nd – Writer’s Block Bookstore, Winter Park FL
Saturday, Oct 3rd – FoxTale Book Shoppe, Atlanta GA
Sunday, Oct 4th – Fiction Addiction, Greenville SC
Monday, Oct 5th – Barnes & Noble, Charlotte NC

You can get details on each event and purchase tickets by visiting my events section.

Please note that for my upcoming book tour, all events require tickets that must be purchased PRIOR to the event date and there are a number of other policy changes* that have been put in place as precautions due to Covid-19. The health and safety of all of my readers as well as bookseller staff members is the most important thing. While I hope to be able to see you on the road during the tour, if you do not feel comfortable attending an in-person event, our hosting booksellers can help you purchase a signed copy online, for a limited time, and arrange for getting the book to you.

I look forward to the chance to connect with you - in whatever way that happens to be - when my book tour for The Return kicks off on September 29th.

In the meantime, wishing you a happy and healthy rest of your summer.

Nicholas Sparks
Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Text Message

* Please note the following general event policies put in place as precautions due to Covid-19:

- All events require tickets that must be purchased PRIOR to the day of the event.
- All in-person event tickets include a signed first edition of The Return and a socially-distanced meet-and-greet with Nicholas. A professional photographer will also be present to take a photo that can be downloaded after the event by attendees at no cost. 
- Nicholas will not be able to personalize books or sign copies of previous releases.
- If you are not feeling well or have recently tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you contact the event host and make arrangements to pick up your book at another time or have it shipped.
- All event information is subject to change and specific protocols may vary at different hosting booksellers so please check for updates on the booksellers’ websites and event pages prior to the event. If the in-person events have to go virtual, due to changed state or local requirements, all attendees will be notified by the hosting bookseller. 

Book Tour Update, Giveaway & Exclusive Online Preview

As we all navigate these challenging times, I can’t help but be grateful for connections that I have with readers. This would normally be the time that I’d be announcing a list of signing appearances for my latest novel, The Return, which will be available in stores on September 29. Unfortunately, with conditions being what they are across the US, that isn’t possible yet. My publishing team is hard at work coming up with new and exciting ways for me to connect with you this fall, and we’re hoping to have a mix of in-person and virtual events that will be announced in the next few weeks. Of course, everything is subject to change, but as I write this, I am hopeful that we will be able to bring these plans to fruition in a way that will allow us to connect like never before. 

Speaking of new ways to keep in touch, you can now send me text messages at (252) 262-2447 or sign up online here using any device to get exclusive text updates before anyone else. As an added bonus, if you connect with me by text before the end of this Saturday, you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win one of ten signed advance readers’ copies of my new novel!

My twenty-second novel, The Return, is a story about learning the true meaning of love and forgiveness and how, in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began. As a thank you to my email mailing list subscribers, I sent out a link to an exclusive online preview of the book. You can also get the link by signing up for my mailing list now. If you read the preview, let me know what you think by sending me a message on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by text

I’ll reach out again as soon as I have updates for this fall - until then, be well.

Sincerely yours,

The Return, In Stores September 2020

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