10.30.2014

In Which I Fangirl Over CAPTAIN MARVEL.

If you follow me on Tumblr (NicoleSometimes) or Twitters (@NicoleSometimes), chances are you've seen me fangirling over the recent Phase Three announcement by Marvel. And if you have, I'm somewhat sorry. I'm just incredibly excited because Phase Three is everything I was hoping for (except we still don't have a Black Widow movie).


The two biggest announcements from the Phase Three reveal were Black Panther and Captain Marvel, followed closely by Inhumans. Why are these important? Well, Black Panther (which will star Chadwick Boseman, who is a fantastic actor), will be the first Marvel movie led by a person of color. And Captain Marvel? This will be the first female-led Marvel movie. And then there's Inhumans. Have you ever taken notice of how much I fangirl over Ms. Marvel? This is because of Kamala Khan who took on the Ms. Marvel moniker earlier this year. She's a person of color and she's also an Inhuman. Do you see what I'm getting at? With Captain Marvel getting her own film, followed shortly by Inhumans, there is a dang good chance we will get to see Kamala Khan on the big screen come Phase Four.

Wait a second - I thought this post was about Captain Marvel?
It is. It is very much about Captain Marvel.

This movie means a lot. And yes, so does Black Panther, but as a female comic book fan, Captain Marvel is more than just another comic book movie. Over the past couple of years, and especially after Black Widow played a huge part in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans have been begging for a Black Widow movie. It's something that we still have yet to get, and if we do? It won't be until at least 2019 now, which is insane considering Black Widow has been around since Iron Man 2 now, which was released four years ago.

As someone who attends conventions, I can tell you that I've seen a ton of Black Widow cosplayers at conventions, enough to more than likely fill a room . The fans are there, they want more Natasha, they want to see her head her own film. But if we even get one now? It'll more than likely be a prequel, or it'll feature a different Black Widow character as I don't see how a Black Widow solo film will fit into Phase Four. So yeah, after getting our hopes up, fans were eager to see what Marvel had in store for the Marvel Event they had planned for earlier this week.


The day before the event, Variety and Deadline had reported that Benedict Cumberbatch was in talks for Doctor Strange (which I'm actually more than okay with!), so everyone assumed he'd show up at the event, they'd reveal a release date for Doctor Strange, and that maybe they'd show some footage from Ant-Man and Age of Ultron. That was it, really. We didn't want to get our hopes up.

And then Kevin Feige unveiled all of Phase Three. Everything. 

He put it all out there, and something wonderful happened, both Captain Marvel and Black Panther had been officially announced. (Both movies have been speculated as being in development for a couple of years now, much like Black Widow, so they were never guaranteed.) I wasn't there, sadly, as I live on the east coast, but fans that were there uploaded videos to YouTube, and the screams that both of those movies received? It was amazing. What's even more amazing is knowing that both movies exist mainly because the fans demanded them.



The Captain Marvel movie we will be getting will feature Carol Danvers, a woman that is all sorts of fantastic, and one that only took on the Captain Marvel moniker back in 2012. She's had a small, but incredibly loyal and vocal, fan-base develop since then that refer to themselves as the Carol Corps. I am happily a member of this fan-base. We've been demanding a movie for sometime now, especially after it became clear we wouldn't be getting a Black Widow movie. But we figured if we got a movie, they'd start Carol off as Ms. Marvel. (Carol's history is a bit all over the place in the comics, so if you're looking for a great jumping on point, I'd say start here.)

Yeah, maybe that wouldn't have been a huge deal, but there's something about introducing Carol as Captain Marvel rather than Ms. Marvel that feels right. (Plus, I still want to see Kamala on the screen as Ms. Marvel, the girl has earned it with the way her comic has been selling.)

For me, Captain Marvel is a big deal. Actually, for a whole lot of comic book fans, the Captain Marvel movie is a HUGE deal. Carol is a strong female with superpowers, but most importantly, she's a flawed character. She isn't perfect, she makes mistakes, she misjudges things. But that's what I love about her. She isn't perfect, by any means, but she is an excellent figure for women - especially young girls - to look up to. Yes, she isn't real, she's fiction, but that doesn't mean she isn't someone that can be a figure for girls like Wonder Woman. (Both women are fantastic, I'm just partial to Marvel.)

For me, this is the beginning of what I (hope) is the birth of more female led superhero projects. Marvel will be delivering Agent Carter in January during Agents of SHIELD's hiatus, and even though the tagline on the promo is terrible, I'm really looking forward to this project because Hayley, who plays Peggy, has been very vocal about being a role model for young girls.


And then there's also AKA Jessica Jones, which will more than likely hit Netflix in 2016.

We're reaching a point where comic book movies are no longer only about white males, something that while it doesn't seem like a big deal, actually is. The movies are finally catching up with the comic books themselves. (Yes, there was Blade, Elektra, Catwoman, etc... but those existed when comic book movies weren't as big as they are now.)

P.S. If you're not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you should really get on that. You can skip to the second half of the first season if you don't care for it, and then just catch-up on the rest of this season using On Demand or on ABC's website (I think). The storytelling is excellent these days, and there are plenty of wonderful female characters featured in the show.

10.25.2014

Saturday Update!


This Saturday Update is a bit all over the place today. My apologies.


1. Avengers: Age of Ultron: I happen to be one of the few that still eagerly awaits a new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. every week. (Seriously, much like Buffy, AoS found itself near the end of the first season. It's an excellent hour of television with some fantastic female characters.) So when it was announced that the Age of Ultron trailer would be attached to next week's episode, I was a bit giddy. And then I realized that week of waiting would be hell. And then a day or two later, the trailer had found it's way online, and it was all sorts of amazing. Again, I'm a huge Marvel fan (and comic book fan in general), so I've been in total fangirl mode since. If you follow me on Tumblr, I apologize for all of the AoU related reblogs. I'm just a bit too excited at the possibility of them touching on Natasha's origin story (ballerinas were in the trailer, I'm expecting her back story!), at the possibility of Carol Danvers being in the movie, and well? Pretty much all of it, really.

2. Writing Playlists: I meant to share my playlists for both Arabella and Stouthearted a while back, but I honestly forget, so here you go:



3. What I've Been Reading: I'm (still) reading Seeker, mainly because I haven't been able to find time to finish it. I'm really enjoying it, I just need time to sit down and read. I've also been trying to get through my stack of comics I need to catch-up on. Comics I've read recently that I would recommend picking up? Edge of Spider-Verse: Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman (I love everything about this one-shot*), the Bob's Burgers comics (they are just as great as the show), Ms. Marvel (the last issue wasn't my favorite, but this is a solid series), Captain Marvel (like with Ms. Marvel, the last issue I read wasn't my favorite, but this series is worth following), She-Hulk (this is actually getting canceled come January, but Soule's run is fantastic even if you don't care for the art), and Moon Knight (this is a violent comic, but the storytelling is excellent).

*It's worth noting that the excellent response to Edge of Spider-Verse: Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman has led to Gwen getting her own solo series as Spider-Woman in 2015.

4. New Paperbacks: My new copy of Deprogrammed came in along with my copy of Stouthearted. I love these covers. I have some amazing cover designers.




I don't have any writing updates this week because I haven't made much progress on anything. I've been working on As We Fall at every chance possible, but until I hit the halfway point on that one, I won't be sharing any teasers. As for The Untold Stories and The Program Manual, those should be available in December. I don't have a set release date yet, but I'm hoping I will soon.

There's one last thing that I wanted to touch on. It's a question I'm often asked... Do I plan on attending any conventions as an author? There's a reason I haven't done this yet. It isn't because I don't want to, trust me, I do. It's just not that simple. I suffer from severe anxiety. It's to the point where just thinking about being around a ton of people makes me physically ill. (I'm barely able to handle going to conventions as a guest because the crowding makes me incredibly uncomfortable.) I'm a quiet person that suffers from perma bitch face, sadly. I promise, I'm nice, I just don't know how to act in social situations when I don't know someone. And then there's also the factor of money. Going to a convention as an author is a heck of a lot more than just attending as a guest. I barely make enough money to pay my bills, so when I want to go somewhere? It takes a lot of pre-planning to make it financially work, and so far? I haven't been able to. It also doesn't help that I don't sell a lot of books.
I work full-time because I can't survive on what I make writing. (I'm not going to get into numbers, but let's just say I should probably stop publishing, like yesterday.) The amount of money I spend on book covers, editing, etc? It is a lotttttt. And when I'm not making even a tiny portion of that money back? It's hard to even consider blowing a little under a grand to attend a convention. I would love to meet my readers, honestly. That is one thing I would REALLY love to do. (Although, I'd end up being insanely awkward.) It just isn't possible right now.

Now to try and get some reading & writing done.
<3 Nicole

10.21.2014

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!

10.20.2014

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.

10.19.2014

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

10.18.2014

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

10.17.2014

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