Mini Reviews: Comic Book Style

I've fallen behind on my reading as of late, but I'm slowly trying to work my way through my to-read pile. To start off, in order to try and get back into the swing of things, I'm going to post a few mini reviews for some comic books that I've read recently.

Title: Mockingbird #1 by Chelsea Cain
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 2, 2015
Page Count: 33 pages
Description From Amazon: Mockingbird has always been one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents, but what happens when someone close to her is murdered? Forced to take matters into her own hands, someone is bound to pay! New York Times Bestselling Author Chelsea Cain joins the Marvel Universe to tell a story of bloody revenge! Plus, a special bonus story by superstar young adult author, Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), writer for the upcoming YA novel, Black Widow: Forever Red!

Mini Review: If you're a fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, then this is a must-read comic. Not only does it introduce Red Widow, a new character in the Marvel universe that fans will get to know better in Margaret Stohl's upcoming Black Widow novel, but it also does an excellent job at telling a fun, kick-ass story that works as a one-shot. As of right now, Marvel has not announced a new Mockingbird series, but I'm hoping that if they do - and I'd like to think they will if Marvel's Most Wanted gets picked up to series on ABC - they bring back Cain to write it.

Title: Wolf #1 by Ales Kot
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: July 22nd, 2015
Page Count: 64 pages
Description From Comixology: Bestselling new star writer ALES KOT teams up with white-hot artist MATT TAYLOR and DEADLY CLASS colorist extraordinaire LEE LOUGHRIDGE for an all-new ONGOING SERIES! The crime noir thrills and characters reminiscent of True Detective meet with mythical stakes worthy of Neil Gaiman's Sandman in this original fantasy/horror/crime saga for mature readers. Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse, California-style. The road to hell and back begins in a MAX-SIZED FIRST ISSUE, with fifty-eight pages of story and no ads!

Mini Review: I had high hopes for Wolf. The cover was fantastic and eye-catching and the description sounded excellent, it was hard not to be excited about Wolf. Unfortunately, that excited ended shortly after reading it. Wolf is good, don't get me wrong, but it's not great. My biggest issue was that, after sixty something pages, I still had far too many questions from a book that should have provided at least a few of them. I won't be continuing Wolf, unfortunately, but it's one still worth checking out.

Title: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1 by Kieron Gillen
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 12th, 2015
Page Count: 32 pages
Description From Comixology: The team behind the New York Times bestselling and Eisner-nominated smash hit THE WICKED + THE DIVINE return to the acclaimed urban fantasy where they first made their names. Nearly a decade ago, Emily Aster sold half her personality for the power to rule a coven of phonomancers. I'm sure nothing could go horribly, monstrously wrong now. In a world where Music is Magic, a song can save or ruin your life. In THE IMMATERIAL GIRL, we discover what a video can do.

Mini Review: I've enjoyed Gillen's work in the past. I adore The Wicked + the Divine, and I loved his work on Young Avengers, but Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl is a lot different. Is it as fantastic as those titles? No. Is it worth your time? Yes. The artwork is excellent, the coloring is wondering, and the storytelling is great. One of Gillen's biggest strengths is his ability to create realistic characters in these extraordinary settings. It's not something that a lot of writers can pull off, and yet, he manages to do it with such ease in each and every one of his projects. I'll definitely be continuing Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl - which is a mini-series - eager to see where the story goes.
Title: The Beauty #1 by Jeremy Haun  
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 12th, 2015
Page Count: 32 pages
Description From Comixology: THE PILOT SEASON WINNER RETURNS! Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was a sexually transmitted disease? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is attainable. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Foster and Vaughn will soon discover it comes at a terrible price. Writer/artist JEREMY HAUN (Constantine, Batwoman) and co-writer JASON A. HURLEY offer up a startling reflection on the cost of looking good in this procedural science fiction tale.

Mini Review: It's hard to say that the description for The Beauty pulled me in. Honestly, if anything, it made me indifferent to the title. The idea of an STD making people beautiful? It just didn't seem like an interesting premise, and yet, this comic works. The artwork is excellent and the story itself is well-written. It's mysterious, and full of well developed characters. It's hard not to be excited to see where this series goes over time.

Cover Reveal: WE ARE ALL STRANGERS + Free eBooks!

I'm finally getting around to re-publishing We Are All Strangers, a collection of short stories that I originally published a couple of years ago. Thanks to a brand new cover from Christa of Paper & Sage Design, as well as the addition of a few new stories, We Are All Strangers is finally ready to be released on October 6th, 2015. Pre-Orders will be available next week.

Along with the re-release of We Are All Strangers, I've also settled on a release date for The Untold Stories. You can catch it below, along with an unedited teaser.

And finally, for those of you that have been wanting to start The Outbreak Duology (Submerged and Stouthearted), you can currently download a free eBook copy for a very limited time from Smashwords!

Head over here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/534057 and use the coupon code VZ27X at checkout to get the eBook for free.

<3 Nicole


DECODING EVIE Is Now Available!

I'm a few days late on writing this and for that I apologize, but Decoding Evie is finally out!

This is another novella, which means it's only around 10k words. It's a short, cute read that focuses solely on romance. It was a story that came about because I needed something fun to work on after having spent so long in the world of the Emile Reed Chronicles.

You can currently purchase a copy through all eBook retailers for only $0.99! (And no, the price will not be rising. This is the set price.)

Right now I'm working on both Collide: Episode Two and The Untold Stories.
I'm hoping to have one of them released by mid-October. At that point, the loan I had to take out to pay for my dog's surgery will have been paid off, so paying for editing and a cover will be a lot easier to manage.

Again, I do apologize for all of the delays this past year. Life has given me a lot of curve balls, and I had to kind of bounce back from everything.

<3 Nicole


DECODING EVIE Coming This Friday!

I'm still putting the final touches on it, but I've officially uploaded Decoding Evie for preorder through Draft2Digital. What does this mean? You'll be able to pre-order the story soon through Kobo, iTunes, Nook, and Scribd. (I can't post a preorder to Amazon right now, unfortunately.)

I'm very, very excited about this one because it's a rom-com. It's fun and flirty. It's a nice quick read if you're looking for some full with romance.

I'll have the full description soon, but I can tell you that it's a novella and that it'll only cost $0.99!

I'm also working on We Are All Strangers, which should be out soon. Unfortunately, I had to spend a couple grand on my dog's surgery last month, so funds are a bit tight at the moment. Once I've ordered a cover, I'll be sure to go ahead and publish it!

<3 Nicole


Updates: Decoding Evie and More!

It has been some time since I've updated this thing, and for that, I apologize.

If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, chances are you've read what happened with my dog, Sadie. About two weeks ago, she started acting funny - didn't really want to eat, barely moved around - but we couldn't figure out what was wrong. She was bleeding, with no open wounds, and she just wasn't herself. Looking at her eyes, it was easy to tell that something was really, really wrong. So we took her to an animal hospital. I had an idea of what the problem could have been, as I'd read around online before bringing her, and it looked as though all of her symptoms lined up with pyometra - a deadly infection. It took the vet all of one look to agree, and next thing I knew, we were lining up her surgery.

They kept her overnight to get her started on antibiotics and fluids, and she went into surgery the next morning. The vet said that the infection had become so bad, that had he waited another hour or so, she would have died during surgery. (Again, all of the symptoms came on all at once and seemingly out of nowhere.) They released her home a few days later, and since then, I've been busy keeping an eye on her. She has to take medicine three times a day, we have to make sure her staples are clean and she doesn't try to get to them, she has to be taken out for short walks every few hours, etc. She has been doing great, but now her back leg is starting to bother her. (Something the vet wants to look at when I take her back in on Thursday to get her staples out.)

So yeah, things have been rather stressful lately. I'm not avoiding being active on social media, I promise. My head has just been elsewhere.

On a happier note! I'm finalizing edits on Decoding Evie right now! I hope you guys like this story. It's a bit of a departure for me, because it's more of a rom-com type novella. I needed to work on something fun, and Decoding Evie was born out of it. As soon as I hit publish, I'll make sure to let everyone know. (Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook!)

<3 Nicole



I ended up posting the cover for Is Love: The Ridley Collection over on Facebook earlier this week, but for those that may have missed it, I figured I'd post it over here as well.

As with most of my covers, this one was designed by Christa of Paper & Sage Design.

This series is something that came about while writing Submerged. (The original version.) I'd written the first line, with no clue what I actually wanted the story to be about, but in the end I found myself loving Ridley's story. It isn't one that is for everyone. The collections are short (all three collections will only run around 17k words total), but they do tell a complete story. The characters are also younger than most of my other characters. And it's more of a romance story than anything else I've written - yes, even Collide.

For those interested, you can pick up the first of three collection, Is Love: The Ridley Collection, by heading over here!

<3 Nicole 


Cover Reveal: Rebirth!

It has been awhile since I've written something on here that didn't include bad news, so I'm super thrilled to be revealing the cover for Rebirth today!

This book is happening because of the fans that told me how much they loved McVeigh and wanted a chance to get to know him better. Rebirth should answer any and all questions readers may have regarding his true motivations during The Emile Reed Chronicles. Yes, he is a monster, but this book shows us who he was before that. The novel itself is a prequel set way before the events of The Emile Reed Chronicles, although the epilogue leads directly into Program 12 and Program 13.

Those of you that won signed copies of the cover, you should have them in about two weeks. I'm waiting on the prints to come in from Snapfish. Once they do, I'll go ahead and sign them, and then they should be in the mail within a few days after that.

I will be revealing the brand new cover for Is Love: Volumes 1-3, now titled Is Love: Ridley Collection, on Thursday. I meant to finish this series two years ago. Unfortunately, the bad feedback from most readers led to me losing my desire to finish the series. Thankfully, my desire to work on the series has come back and the next three volumes will be available later this year.

<3 Nicole