New to My Shelves!

I made another trip to the library used book sale this weekend and picked up a few books. I'm actually really excited about what I was able to score! (A nearly brand-new copy of Sharp Objects for only $1.50? Sold!)

What I picked up at the book sale:
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
  • A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R.R. Martin
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Night of the Living Rerun (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 #2) by Arthur Byron Cover
  • House Corrino (Prelude to Dune #3) by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
  • Breathe: A Ghost Story by Cliff McNish
  • Halting State (Halting State #1) by Charles Stross
  • Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #5) by Douglas Adams
  • SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles #1) by D.J. MacHale
*I actually picked up The Martian from Amazon.

Other books I purchased:
  • Mind the Gap: Volume 3
  • Star Wars #1 (Exclusive Loot Crate Variant)
  • Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars by Alex Irvine
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
I've purchased multiple copies of Star Wars #1, but I'm still waiting for those to come in. The only one I've received so far is the Loot Crate variant since my Loot Crate came in this past week. And I'm still waiting for the first two volumes of Mind the Gap to come in. I had to order the third volume through Amazon since Midtown didn't have it in stock. I really enjoyed the first volume, so I can't wait to start the other two.

I also picked up a few eBooks this week:
  • Game for Marriage (Game for It #1) by Karen Erickson (Freebie!)
  • Inspire (The Muse #1) by Cora Carmack
  • Third Degree by Julie Cross

And I received a couple of books for review:
  • Snapped by Christine D'Abo
  • Greta and the Glass Kingdom by Chloe Jacobs
I'm currently reading Of Shadow & Stone and I just started Snapped (which I should finish by tomorrow), I plan on reading Greta #2 after those. 

What books did you pick up this week?



I've written a lot of books over the years. Capture was my first full-length novel. I managed to finish the first draft during NaNoWriMo 2010. To say that I didn't know what I was doing back then would be putting it nicely. I was so lost when it came to writing and publishing. Sure, I'd written a ton of poetry (some of which is being reworked and inserted into Grow Up & Blow Away, a contemporary novel I plan to query later this year). But I'd never attempted to write a novel before Capture.

I figured I'd write Capture and that would be it. I'd stay within that world and play with those characters. Well, that didn't happen. As soon as I finished Capture, Emile found her way inside of my head.

I was in my room binge-watching Dollhouse (yes, I'm still bitter over it being cancelled years ago). I love the show and I try and re-watch it every now and then. It was during that binge-watch that I found myself thinking about the technology and the harm it could do if it were real. I spent about a week or two plotting down notes - I believe that, before I'd started writing Program 13, I had around fifty sheets of paper covered with scattered notes and drawings. I couldn't get Emile or her story out of my head.

So, instead of focusing on Autumn and the Capture series, I found myself drafting Program 13. About a week into drafting it, I ended up traveling to Seattle, Washington to see White Lies perform. I'd never been to Seattle before then, so I never planned on setting the story there to begin with. In fact, I planned on creating a fake location for the story before I'd started writing. I only came to pick Seattle as the setting during my visit. Walking the streets downtime, it just felt right. I could picture my idea of Emile in my head roaming those streets, those alleys.

Once I returned from Seattle, it took about three weeks of solid writing time to knockout the first draft. At that time, I'd referred to Program 13 as a standalone title. I wasn't sure I had it in me to write more books in that world. And now, we're in 2015, and I've completed seven stories within that world, and I'm currently finishing up work on an eighth installment before I start on a ninth installment, Rebirth, that'll serve as a companion novel.

I'm beyond proud of this series. Don't get me wrong, I love all of my books. I wouldn't have written them if I didn't love them, but this series will forever hold a special place in my heart.

When I first started querying Program 13, I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured I'd see a ton of rejections and maybe a few partial requests. And that happened, yes, but what I'd imagined? It was way off. Most of the rejections were because there wasn't a romantic storyline. A good amount of others were because the publishers/agents weren't taking on science fiction. At one point, I'd received a full request from an editor that really liked the book, only to have a different editor at the same publisher e-mail the next day to tell me not to send in the full request. To say that I was deflated during the querying process would be a lie. I wanted to give up. It just seemed pointless.

Yeah, I could have added a romance between Emile and Colton, but that wasn't the story I wanted to tell. Trust me, I have NOTHING against adding romance. (Taylen and Lex in the Outbreak duology are the best example of this.) But this story didn't call for romance. This was never meant to be a romantic series. It was meant to question what it is that makes us human - if you strip away everything we know, everything we love, our memories, what else would be left? Would we be mindless machines? Or would we be able to find our way back?

To me, The Emile Reed Chronicles, is a story about love, about life, about death, about family, but most importantly, about self-discovery. Not only for Emile. Every single character in these books undergoes a change by the end of New Beginnings. We seem them at their worst. We see them lose everything. But then we see them fight for their survival, for the things they care about. We see hope inside of them. That was what I wanted to highlight.

And I hope that I was able to do that.

My sales for this series have never been fantastic. In fact, the Outbreak duology sells better than The Emile Reed Chronicles currently. Sure, sales spiked when the book was quoted on Criminal Minds. (I still have no clue how the writers came across that quote, but I will forever be grateful for that.) But the book has found readers. It has been read over 18k times on Wattpad. I've received a good amount of fan letters telling me how much they loved Emile's story. (Seriously, you guys are the best. You have NO idea how much fan-mail makes me happy.) To me? That's the important part. The Emile Reed Chronicles may not be a best-seller, but it has left an impact on the readers that have read the series.

So, since the series is complete, and I'm preparing to release two brand-new installments later this year, I've decided to giveaway not one but TWO signed paperback copies of The Emile Reed Chronicles: The Complete Series.

Here are the requirements to enter:
  • You must be at least thirteen years of age to enter.
  • You must live within the US. This book is massive, and there's no way in heck I'm going to be able to afford international shipping to get this out. Sorry, guys!
Here is how you enter:
  • Currently, Program 13 has over 60 ratings on Goodreads and a good amount of comments on Wattpad. Unfortunately, the book only has 13 reviews on Amazon. As a way to try and reach new readers for the series, you must leave a review for Program 13 (or any of my other titles, if you prefer) over on Amazon. 
  • You must like my Facebook page. (Link in the sidebar.)
After you do that? Comment below with your review link as well as the name you used to like my Facebook page.

Bonus Entries:
  • If you share this post on your blog or on Twitter, you score an extra entry. (You can do this once per day.)  
  • If you e-mail me proof of purchase of Program 13 (eBook), you score two extra entries (Once per person.)
The giveaway is open until February 14th, 2015. I will randomly draw TWO winners on the 15th of February.

**You can read both Program 12 and Program 13 for free (LEGALLY!) over on Wattpad.**

You guys honestly have no clue how much I appreciate each and every one of you. You have ALL been fantastic, and I appreciate all of the support you've shown me. I know I suck at responding to e-mails sometimes, but I do try and respond to each and every message. If you ever have a question, feel free to message me. If you need help getting started, I will try my best to help you out. (I know I could have used the help in the beginning.)

And for those that have asked numerous times: I promise, I am trying to figure out a possible signing event or even a convention appearance for this year. It's a lot financially, so it really depends on whether or not I can afford it. I'm trying, though. =)

<3 Nicole


Review: Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe!

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & SorceryRat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Paperback, 128 pages
Published: April 8th 2014 by Image ComicsReview Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon
Description From Goodreads:
Who are the Rat Queens?

A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they're in the business of killing all god's creatures for profit.

It's also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

Collecting Rat Queens #1-5!

My Review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: RAT QUEENS: VOLUME 1 is vulgar, insane, and entirely enjoyable.

I’ve been meaning to read this series since the series was optioned for an animated TV series – that was back in summer of 2014. I finally got around to checking the first volume out when I stumbled across it on NetGalley, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long.

I love female centric comics. I love diversity in comics. I enjoy crude humor. I adore complex characters. And I absolutely love well written/illustrated battle scenes. RAT QUEENS has all of that. This first volume was pure fun. I don’t know any other way to describe it other than by saying RAT QUEENS is an absolute joyride.

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New to My Shelves!

Books That I Purchased:
  • Jessica Jones: The Pulse by Brian Michael Bendis
I'm in full-on Jessica Jones mode since the show (A.K.A. JESSICA JONES) is supposed to start filming next month. As soon as I finish reading Alias, I'll start on this.

From NetGalley:
eBooks From the Library:
  • Her Forbidden Hero (Entangled Brazen) Laura Kaye
  • Tempting Acquisitions by Addison Fox
  • Until We End Frankie Brown

eBooks That I purchased:
  • Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
  • Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl


Book Review: Mind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann!

Mind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate StrangersMind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann
Paperback, 168 pages
Published: October 17th 2012 by Image ComicsReview Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Purchase Links: Amazon -- Midtown Comics -- Barnes & Noble

Description from Goodreads:
Elle Peterssen is young, wealthy, and beautiful - and there is a reason someone tried to kill her. Only, Elle doesn't remember any of this.

Mind the Gap, the new series by the Eisner Award-winning writer JIM McCANN (Return of the Dapper Men), is a mystery with a paranormal twist.

Elle, in a spirit form detached from her comatose body, must not only unravel the mystery of her attacker's identity and motive but her entire life as well.

Who can she trust, in both this word and in the gap she exists in that lies between life and death? Filled with twists and turns, Elle's life isn't the only one turned upside down by the attack on her life.

Deceit, secrets, and hidden agendas are everywhere in a story where everyone is a suspect, and no one is innocent.

Collects Mind the Gap #1-5.

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

MIND THE GAP: VOLUME 1 was a nice surprise of a read. The story is about Elle Peterssen, a young, wealthy girl that can't remember why someone tried to kill her.

The story begins with the attack that has left Elle in a coma. She becomes detached from her body, finding herself in a place called "The Garden", a place for comatose individuals trying to find their way back to their bodies. But Elle is different from the others in "The Garden". The first tease we see of this is when she accidentally takes over a man's body.

It's interesting watching as she struggles to remember how she got there, why someone wanted her dead (and who, for that matter), and why she's "different" from the others.

But the most interesting part of this story is how the mystery slowly starts to unravel. Just when you think you know who is responsible, something unexpected happens. I loved that about this story. I never knew what to expect.

The only downside was the huge cliffhanger at the end of the story, but since the other two volumes are readily available, that isn't exactly an issue.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, more than I thought I would, actually. The story is well written and the artwork & coloring is wonderful. I'd highly recommend giving it a read.

View all my reviews


Giveaway to Kick Off the New Year!

Want to win the books shown above? Well, now is your chance! Not only will one person win the four books shown above, but they'll also receive a nice amount of signed swag from me!

The books included in the giveaway:
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam (brand new)
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman (brand new)
  • Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout (old ARC)
  • Michael Vey Book 1 by Richard Paul Evans (old ARC)
Here are the rules for entering:
1. You need to be at least thirteen years old to enter.
2. You must live within the United States.

And here is how you enter:
1. Follow this blog.
2. Like my Facebook page. (Here's a link for you.)
3. Comment below after you have done BOTH things and be sure to include your e-mail address.

You have until 11:59PM EST on the 19th to enter.

Good luck! =)

Book Review: Dec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder!

Dec the HollsDec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder
Review Copy: Download on Amazon (Free!)
ebook, 42 pages
Published December 19th 2014

Description From Goodreads:
A week before Christmas, and all through office not a soul is stirring, not even a mouse. Holly is working overtime, cold and lonely and broke. Across the hall, Declan is lonely too, and thinking this Christmas is going to be a joke. Then one blustery night Holly’s car won’t start and Declan is there to help with a little love in his heart.

Open this gift from bestselling author Jasinda Wilder to find out if a single mother of two can let herself fall in love with her sexy-as-hell workaholic boss.

My Review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

DEC THE HOLLS was a cute novella.
I actually really enjoyed how it started out, but as the story progressed, I found myself wanting to stop reading... and this is only a novella.

This is my first book by Wilder, and it certainly won't be my last. She has a fun writing style, and I did enjoy how relatable she made Holly. She was a flawed female character that was also strong, something we don't always get to see in romance stories.

The reason I didn't enjoy this one as much as I'd hoped is simply because there was just too much insta-love. The relationship was completely rushed, and by the time I finished the story, I couldn't help but to think that an epilogue would have really helped this story.

Dec & Holly's relationship was sweet, yes, and I loved the whole Santa part of the story. But everything moved way too fast. I think their story would have worked best as a full-length novel rather than a fifty-something page story.

I gave this three stars, but I'm still unsure of my exact rating. I'm leaning more towards 2.75. I enjoyed Wilder's writing, but I can't say I loved the story. It moved way too fast and there wasn't enough of an ending for me.

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