Happy Release Day, STOUTHEARTED!

The day is finally here! Stouthearted is finally available for you to read!
This book was a pain in my butt. It took a lot longer to write than I'd initially planned, although life being a jerk might have also had an effect on that, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. I think I tied things up rather nicely. *Fingers Crossed!*

eBook Price: $2.99
Paperback Price: $9.99

Note: The paperback price will go up soon, once I set up expanded distribution, so grab it at this price while you can. (This is because CreateSpace requires the price to go up for expanded distribution, unfortunately.)

Here's what I can say about Stouthearted without spoiling anything:
1. Chapter Nineteen and Chapter Twenty are pretty dang emotional.
2. There's a new romance that develops in the story (no, it doesn't involve the main three).
3. There is a happy ending of sorts for nearly everyone.
4. This really is the final book. I promise. I have no intention of revisiting these characters because there's nothing left to tell.
5. The paperbacks are really, really, really pretty and I would highly suggest picking one up. ;)

If you enjoy Stouthearted, I would really appreciate it if you left a review on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, and so on. =)

Now back to working on my next project!
<3 Nicole

Edited to add a quick giveaway! The first ten people to send me some sort of proof of purchase (eBook or paperback) will receive signed swag from me (US only as I'm too broke to do international shipping, sorry!)... and I'll even pick one of those ten people to receive a signed Stouthearted paperback copy. ;) There is no deadline for this. It's whenever I hit ten e-mails (send all e-mails to NicoleWritesYA@gmail.com). I'll announce the conclusion of the giveaway, as well as the winners, on my Facebook page!


In Which I Talk About THAT Article.

Over the weekend, a certain article was posted by a certain author. (I refuse to post her name as she seems to be basking in the attention.) I said a few words. And then I remained mum on the subject because I didn't want to become more frustrated than I already had.

But after seeing tweets (and Tumblr posts, apparently) that she has posted since, and how people are actually backing her actions? I feel the need to say more.

First off, let's start with the obvious: STALKING IS NEVER OKAY.
I can't believe this is even up for discussion right now.

Secondly: This author was NOT being catfished. Seriously, the fact that she even tried to use that as a reason is insane. When a book reviewer uses an online identity, this does not mean that they are pretending to be someone else to trick you. It's called keeping their personal life separate from their online life. Because, fun fact, people like to do that. (A perfect example of why people do this? Look at all of the threats females - and males - are receiving for speaking out about GamerGate.) Just because said reviewer, who is more than allowed to voice their HONEST opinion of a book, didn't use their real name does NOT mean you have the right to track them down in real life.

The fact that book bloggers now feel threatened? That is beyond wrong.
Most bloggers do this for free. They review books and promote books because they want to! They love reading, and they love sharing books they've enjoyed. They should not have to worry that, if they decide to post a one-star review, that their safety will be at risk. That's bullshit. (Excuse my language.)

I try to not post reviews lower than three stars on my blog, only because I feel as though it wouldn't be professional for me to do so, but I always post honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Always. Just because I do not like a book, it doesn't mean that someone else won't like it.

Fun fact #2: Every reader reads a book differently. This is important. This is why various reviews are important. Bad reviews can actually help to sell a book.

I just... how can someone even think that it would be okay to stalk someone over a freaking one-star review? How does that make any damn sense?

I'm getting tired of tweets saying that what she did was justified because the reviewer was a troll. Just because the reviewer had a made-up online identity (again, we can't prove this as the only evidence we even have of this is the crazed author's words) does not mean it is okay to stalk them. She rented a car in advance. She located her home address. She managed to get her work phone number. She knew what the lady's dog looked like. This isn't okay. NONE of this is okay. This is a breach of privacy that no blogger should ever have to endure.

This reviewer did NOT threaten the author's life. She simply stated how she felt in a review.
But the author? She threatened the reviewer's anonymity - she threatened the reviewer's life by taking it to the level that she did. She sent a person into to hiding, fearful for their own safety, all because of a freaking one-star review on her book.

I'm sorry, when the hell did stalking become okay? When the heck did it become okay to make someone feel as though their safety was at risk? When did it become okay to stop treating people as human beings? Maybe she did use a made-up online persona (if she did, it would STILL not be any of the author's business). Maybe she wanted to separate her blogging life from her real life - maybe she considered book blogging to be an escape. What right did this author have to take that away from her? What right did this author have to take her voice away from her? Because that is what a review is, someone using their voice to say what they feel, what they think. It's their voice.

I have never been so disgusted by an author as I have by this one. I have no interest in supporting her work, or any author that supports her, for that matter.

I just want to end this rant on this note:
Book bloggers, you are incredibly appreciated. Please know this. I would hate to see more bloggers leave the community simply because of the disgusting actions of one unstable author. We appreciate you guys, more than you know, and I hate that any of you are feeling uncomfortable, because it never should have come to this.


New to My Shelves: NYCC Edition!

I would have posted this last weekend, but I didn't return home from NYCC until Monday (the 13th), so I figured I'd hold off on posting a New to My Shelves post until today.

The free books I got from NYCC:
  • Bound by Night by Larissa Ione
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • In the Blood by Lisa Unger
  • Tween Hobo Off the Rails (Review can be found here.)
  • The Glittering World by Robert Levy
  • Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn
  • The Fearless by Emma Pass
  • Courtney Crumrin: Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh (this wasn't free; it was a signed copy I purchased)
  • Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
  • Rise Again Below Zero by Ben Tripp
  • The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
  • Phoenix Island by John Dixon
  • Are You My Boyfriend? by C.B. Bryza (Review can be found here.)

I didn't purchase too many books this week since I spent way too much money during NYCC, but I did grab a few.

 eBooks that I purchased:
  • Losing Track by Trisha Wolfe 
  • Fractured Lines by Jen McLaughlin

eBooks From the Library:
  • Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates
  • Flirting with Maybe by Wendy Higgins
  • Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
  • Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch


Saturday Update!

I've enrolled Arabella in Kindle Select. What this means is that, for the next three months, Arabella will be exclusive to Amazon. This also means that, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can currently read Arabella for free! It's hard to promote a standalone novella, so I'm trying a bunch of different things. Hopefully this helps Arabella to find new readers.

The paperback edition of Stouthearted is now live on Amazon! I ran into a few issues getting the paperback approved, but thanks to the help of Christa of Paper & Sage Design, everything is all good now! I'm really, really, really proud of this book, guys.

I've been catching up on my reading lately. (Finally!) I'm currently reading Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton, and I plan on starting The Fearless by Emma Pass as soon as I finish Seeker.

I'm planning on starting back On My TV soon. I haven't really been watching too many shows so far this season, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back and better than ever, so except me to return to covering that. I may also start covering Sleepy Hollow, assuming I catch-up soon. I'll also have a few movie reviews thrown in here and there, just to break things up a bit.

I'm also considering doing a Comics Round-Up post once a week, probably on Friday's. This way I can condense all of my comics updates. I'll post reviews, previews, news, etc. To keep things in line with the blog, I'll try to limit what kind of comics I cover on here.

As for writing updates: I've been busy submitting Collide to publishers, as well as revising Decoding Evie (which looks like will be self-published over the next two months). I'm also working on The Untold Stories (in case you missed the cover, it's over here) and As We Fall. I am still working out a concept for the As We Fall cover, but I'm hoping to have a cover to share by the end of next month. I'm hoping for a December release for As We Fall, but it all depends on how long it takes me to finish writing it and properly edit it.


<3 Nicole


Mini Review Post!

Are You My Boyfriend?Are You My Boyfriend? by C.B. Bryza
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Gallery Books
Review Copy: Received During NYCC
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble

Description from Goodreads:

My Review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up a copy of this book during NYCC.
It looked like it would be a quick, fun read. And while it was a quick read, I can't say it was exactly fun.

Are You My Boyfriend? is a parody of Are You My Mother?. It's a fun idea, but I didn't love how it was executed.

If you're looking for a fast read (seriously, it's a sixty-four page picture book), then give this one a shot. But I can't really recommend it as I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it.

Tween Hobo: Off the RailsTween Hobo: Off the Rails by Tween Hobo
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published: June 17th 2014 by Gallery Books
Review Copy: Received During NYCC
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble

Description from Goodreads:
 A hilarious and irreverent illustrated book based on the popular Twitter feed (@tweenhobo), featuring a young spunky girl who packs up her glitter pens and sneaks out of math class one Monday afternoon to traverse the railroads in search of freedom, adventure, and her own personal obsession: Justin Bieber tickets.

Get ready to laugh and learn with the littlest hobo. She’s only twelve years old, but a “hard twelve.” You’ll meet her friends: Stumptown Jim (a hero who tried his best to homeschool her on the road); Tin Cap Earl (who’s always up for shooting a “Call Me Maybe” parody video in a graveyard); Toothpick Frank (who loves Pinterest); Salt Chunk Annie (a “woman of the night,” whatever that means) and Hot Johnny Two-Cakes (who Tween Hobo swears she does NOT have a crush on).

Find out how she survives, thanks in part to the kindness of park rangers. You’ll hear her take on major cultural events (“I go off a fiscal cliff every time I go near a Claire’s.”). And you’ll enjoy beautiful hand-rendered illustrations that bring out the beauty in her words—just like how eyeliner makes a hobo’s look really pop.

Often snarky and frequently ridiculous, this imaginative journal-like book includes maps, jokes, laughs, doodles, tips, hobo symbols (“House with a triangle on top means PIZZA PARTY!!!), games, stories, and more. So grab your iPhone and wrap it in a handkerchief, tie it to a stick, and let’s roll!

My Review:
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*I received a free copy of this book during NYCC.*

I made it nearly to nearly 50% on this one before I bailed.
I was expecting a fun read, but that isn't what this book is. At all.
TWEEN HOBO: OFF THE RAILS is not a good book.
I don't like to post bad reviews. In fact, if I can't rate a book at least three stars, I usually avoid reviewing it. With this book, however, I feel the need to post a review.

What I did like about TWEEN HOBO:
1. It was a different kind of read; something that I haven't seen on the market yet, and that was refreshing.

And that is about where I stop with what I liked.

Now, onto what I didn't like:
1. I get that teens (er, tweens) feel like running away at times. I think that is a stage that we all go through at one point or another, but how this is handled is beyond realistic. She runs off one day when she's supposed to be at school, with her cell phone, mind you, and yet her parents never call to see where she is. In fact, the first bit of contact that is shown on the pages is from her teacher and it's long after she runs away.
2. This young girl runs away, and yet, she barely seems to run into trouble. In fact, she immediately runs into another train hopper, an older man that immediately takes to her as if she is his own daughter. He doesn't try to get her to go home. Instead, he takes her along with him as if it's nothing.
3. Back to her cell phone. She's constantly updating her Twitter account, her Instagram account, and her Facebook account... and still, there's no contact from her parents. And they never seem to bother to track her down. Again, I know this is supposed to be a *funny* book, but it's nowhere near realistic. There should be *some* sort of realism. Even if just a bit. =\

I don't know.
I really wanted to like this. It seemed like it could be a hilarious read, but I'm beyond disappointed. It just doesn't make sense, and I couldn't stand the main character. At times, she did come off as a tween, and that was great. But a majority of the time, her personality and her actions all felt forced.

Would I recommend this book? No.
Should you try it? Maybe. I mean, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy it. After all, there are plenty of positive reviews mixed in with the negative reviews.

View all my reviews



Cover Redesign: DEPROGRAMMED!

As you probbaly know, I've been working on updating the covers for the Emile Reed series for some time now. I'm terrible with Photoshop, and the original covers proved that. Thankfully, I've met a couple of fantastic cover designers thanks to the internet, and they've helped me to give the series an actual series feel, and I couldn't be happier with what they've done.

With that said, here is the updated cover for Deprogrammed:

And here is the paperback jacket:

Spiffy, right? The new paperbacks will be ready later this week, I just need Createspace to approve them. And the eBook cover has already been updated!

Here are the covers that Carrie (of Forward Authority Design) did for the first three installments of the Emile Reed Chronicles for comparison:

And here is the series cover created by Christa (of Paper & Sage Design):

I will continue working with Carrie to finish the covers for the rest of the series, so keep an eye out for more updated covers soon. (Yes, that means you'll be able to own pretty paperbacks soon enough!) =D

P.S. If you're in need of a cover designer, I'd HIGHLY recommend both Carrie and Christa. They've both been fantastic to work with, and I'm always blown away by what they are able to do with my crap descriptions of what I want on my covers. They're awesome ladies, and you'll enjoy working with them. I promise.


2015 Releases: What would you like to see from me?

I've been going over my 2015 release schedule, and as of right now, it's pretty light.

Here is what is scheduled to come out in 2015 from me:
  1. Rebirth (The Emile Reed Chronicles, Book 0.3)
  2. Release (The Lunica City Duet, Book Two)
  3. As We Rise (The Shaden Duet, Book Two)
  4. Grow Up & Blow Away (Stand-alone NA Contemp.)
I've been thinking about releasing a few novellas (around 30k-40k words). One being a science fiction novella, one being a series (Crave, which I've started revising for serial format), and a few New Adult contemporary romances (more along the lines of Collide and Decoding Evie than Arabella). But I've decided to see what all of you want to see from me in 2015.

So, if you want to see more of a specific genre from me, specific format, or whatever... let me know in the comments below! =)

P.S. Now that the new covers for the rest of the Emile Reed series are on being worked on, I'm finally working on the design for Rebirth. I'm hoping to have the cover and a release date ready to go by the end of December. =)