4.19.2015

Sneak Peek at The Untold Stories!

The plan was to post the entire first chapter from Grant's short story in The Untold Stories, unfortunately, that plan has changed.... only because I feel like crap and don't have it in me to finish editing it right now.

So here's some of the first chapter:


Chapter One
I glanced up at the monitors, trying to make sense of the information that sat before me. “How is that even possible?” I mumbled, reaching for the tablet that sat on my chair.
“That can’t be right.” I tapped on the icon on the lower right hand side of the screen and zoomed in on the Program’s readings. She wasn’t supposed to react to the images.
She shouldn’t have reacted to the images.
But somehow, she had managed to do just that.
A loud bang sounded from the hallway outside of the room shortly before Charles McVeigh came barging in. I could see the frustration on his face, the irritation in his eyes, as he attempted to keep his anger in check. “That wasn’t supposed to happen,” he said. “Thompson, I thought I’d made myself clear. You were not to draw Emile out. You were simply to implant these images within her programming.”
I forced myself to focus, knowing that if I allowed myself to lose control, he’d begin to question me, and that was the one thing I needed to avoid. At all costs.
I turned my attention back to the monitors, trying to retrace every step.
I knew that I’d done everything right.
I had performed this procedure numerous time.
It had been implanted in my memory.
And yet, even though I’d done everything correctly, something had still caused things go to go awry.
McVeigh hovered over the Program, his eyes looking for something abnormal, something that would explain her readings, but I knew he’d find nothing. I’d done the exact same thing myself.
As he moved in beside me, I pressed my tablet to my side, making sure to remind myself to remain calm. There were some secrets meant to remain hidden, I’d told myself.
I was one of them.
He glanced back over his shoulder, his eyes locking onto mine with burning questions – ones that I held no answers to. “Sir, I assure you that the system was functioning properly. I’m not sure what happened.”
I knew the moment that the words left my mouth that they wouldn’t change his way of thinking. Charles McVeigh had made up his mind the second he’d entered the room.
“Functioning properly?” McVeigh scoffed. “If that were so, Thompson, that Program would have had the proper files installed onto her hard drive.”
I dropped my gaze to the tablet within my grasp. Tell me about it, I thought to myself.
Something was different about this Program. I’d had an idea of what it could be, but I refused to accept it as truth. Surely that wouldn’t be the case. Would it? I asked myself.
A snapping sound came from inside of the Pod as the Program’s hard drive clicked out of place. McVeigh moved in closer, hovering above the Program, meeting her stare as she opened her eyes. He pressed his finger to his bottom lip before speaking, “You need to fix this, or else she won’t be the only thing facing deactivation.”
On the health side of things:

I've been a bit better. I've mainly been focusing on work and blogging over here. (I try to keep busy writing, even when I don't feel like it.) I'm still having terrible headaches, and I'm still having dizzy spells and a general lack of energy. But my throat isn't closing - that's probably because I've started cutting dairy out of my diet - so that's still a plus.

I will start focusing more on writing starting this next week, which means you'll finally get some DEFINITE release dates from me soon!

<3 Nicole

4.01.2015

Let's Get Real: Why I've Been MIA + Updates.



These past six months have been absolutely horrible and chaotic and I just want to start this b apologizing to all of you…. Again.
I figured everything would be settled by now. It isn’t.
I figured the doctor would know what was wrong by now. They don’t.
I went for an MRI on my brain on Friday – my doctor wants to be sure there’s nothing wrong – and I wasn’t able to do it. I’m claustrophobic and I have terrible anxiety. (This is something I’ve been pretty open with on here. It’s also a huge reason – along with money – as to why I haven’t attended a convention as an author. I’d make myself sick with fear.) We tried two different machines, and I just couldn’t do it, especially since the doctor said I’d be on the table for over an hour. I have to go back to my doctor now and find a place nearby that does an open MRI. And then I have to wait for my health insurance to approve it before I can go get the MRI done.
To say that I’m stressed and at my breaking point would be putting it lightly. There’s only so much that I can handle. Being lightheaded, dizzy, and sick to my stomach every single day? That I can’t handle. Not to mention, I’ve currently had to revamp my entire diet due to my food allergies getting worse. On one hand, I’m okay with this as it’s forcing me to eat healthier. On the other hand, what I can eat is so limited right now that I’m going to need to go on vitamins in order to make it so that I’m not as sick. (I’ve also been dealing with anemia for about five-six years now too, which doesn’t help much.) I’m on a non-dairy diet, which is getting hard to adjust to, but it is helping with my throat.
That’s one good thing: I’m not having as much trouble swallowing/breathing these days.
But yeah, I’m nowhere near where I should be at health-wise.
I keep getting terrible dizzy spells, my throat still closes from time to time, and I’m just generally always exhausted. Work takes it out of me. I am active on the Marvel fan blog I contribute to, but other than that? I’ve kind of cut everything off.
That also includes my writing.
I have been working on The Untold Stories off and on, but everything else? I start back on it, and then I completely stop for about two weeks before touching it again. I’m trying to push myself, I just don’t have the motivation to write right now.
This is why I haven’t been around.
This is why I haven’t released anything this year.
I feel like a jackass for it, trust me.
I had all of these plans for 2015… and we’re four months in and I’ve accomplished NONE of them.
For this, I am beyond sorry. You guys don’t deserve to be kept waiting.
So here is what I’m going to do: Collide (Episode Two) will be ready in a few weeks. I need to do another read through or two, do some more edits, and purchase a cover. (Fun fact? Doctor Appointments, MRIs, etc. are all super expensive… or else this would have been done weeks ago.) Once I post the cover, expect the eBook to follow about a week afterwards. The Untold Stories should follow after.

On a happier note? I have contacted both of my cover designers about projects I planned to have done a while ago. The cover for Rebirth will be ready next month. If you were an entrant in that giveaway on Facebook? Your signed print of the cover will go out late in May. (Please e-mail me your mailing address if you haven’t done so already.) As for the rest of the Emile Reed Chronicles covers, I’ve contacted Carrie about those. But she’s a writer too, a pretty awesome one at that, and I won’t have an idea of when those will be ready for some time.
I don’t want to set a schedule for anything else for the rest of the year. All I can promise is that, after I release The Untold Stories, which will include The Program Manual, I will be focusing solely on the Collide series. Given that each installment will receive its own cover, those will either be released monthly or bi-monthly. It depends on how much these doctor visits continue to drain my bank account. As for what will come after? It’ll more than likely be Rebirth, as Christa will have the cover completed for that one in May, but I can’t promise anything.
I do apologize for this crap.
I think to make up for it, I’ll rework some of my old projects and go ahead and publish those so that you guys have something. (There are a ton of them.)
I adore each and every one of you, and I hope to be around more soon.
<3 Nicole

P.S. I apologize in advance for any errors. I didn't have my glasses on when I wrote this, and I honestly have no clue where the heck I put them.

3.15.2015

New to My Shelves!



I'm slowly easing myself back into things. I've been writing steadily for a few days now. I've started reading again. (I'm currently reading Dualed and really liking it.) And I'm easing myself back into working out now that I can finally move about for longer than an hour without feeling as though I'm about pass out. I know that doesn't sound like much, but given how I've been feeling for the past month (heck, the past two years, honestly), all of this is a big deal to me.

Anyway, I made the mistake of visiting Book Outlet yet again and picked up a few books.


The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett
Every Day (Every Day #1) by David Levithan
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood BrownThe Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray

Salvage (Salvage #1) by Alexandra Duncan

These are all books I've been wanting to read for some time, so I'm pretty excited.


3.08.2015

New to My Shelves + Update!


My signed copies of The Return & Wicked came in this week! I actually forgot that I'd ordered these, so it was a nice surprise to come home to the other day.


Update Time:

I revealed the cover for THE OUTBREAK DUOLOGY over on Facebook yesterday. In case you missed it, here it is:

As for health updates.... things were going better, but now I'm sick, so it's a step backwards. The migraines are back, and I'm having trouble swallowing again. Still, I expect to be back to reading/writing/blogging this week. Maybe not to the extent that I'm used to, but I won't be taking another break. I do go for an MRI on my brain in two weeks, so I'm hoping they'll have a better idea what is going on then.

<3 Nicole

3.06.2015

Teaser Friday!

It's nearly 11PM at night, and I'm just now posting the spoilers I promised all of you earlier today. My apologies. I actually left work later than intended and didn't get home until 9PM. On the plus side? Better than never, right?!

First up, here's a teaser from THE UNTOLD STORIES featuring Chloe, aka the subject with the Vesta Corp scientists as her landlord.

There were few things I dreaded as much as rent day.
You were the idiot that decided to live in downtown Seattle, I reminded myself.
As I made my way to the leasing office, with the last bit of my cash stuffed away in an envelope for rent, I couldn’t help but to feel as though someone was watching me.
At first, I thought I was being paranoid. After all, I had a habit of thinking everyone and everything was out to hurt me – a side effect of a traumatic experience as a teenager.
But this felt different.

Now, I should note that this has not been fully edited. I've just started working on edits, so chances are this text will change a bit upon publication, but for now, here's your first look at a BRAND NEW (she didn't have a name in the series, so she's brand new as far as I'm concerned) character being properly introduced into The Emile Reed Chronicles.

Now, onto COLLIDE: EPISODE TWO. Due to medical expenses, I don't know that I'll be able to purchase individual covers as planned, so for now, I'm just going to continue using the same cover from the first episode.

Here's a quick look at EPISODE TWO (which will pick up exactly where EPISODE ONE left off):
I felt the phone slip from my fingers as I sat in shock atop my bed. Although I tried, I couldn't bring myself to move.
My chest was heavy as I struggled to catch my breath.
This couldn't be happening.
And one final note for SUBMERGED fans, I'm happy to say I contacted one of my lovely cover designers to work on the cover for THE OUTBREAK DUOLOGY! So the omnibus should be headed your way in about a week. I just need to finalize the short stories for the eBook. There will be a paperback edition down the road. (Given that sales on THE EMILE REED CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE SERIES are pretty much non-existent, I'm holding off on releasing the paperback edition of this series.)