Quick Update Post!

Sorry for the silence. Things are a bit hectic.

Things were a bit crazy following Hurricane Irma. Although the area of Florida I'm in didn't receive a direct hit, we did receive the "dirty side" of the storm bands and Irma managed to leave plenty of damage in her wake.

We (thankfully!) were only without power for sixteen hours, but internet was down for a lot longer so updating wasn't entirely possible. I did have my hotspot on my phone, but even that was spotty following the storm. Things are back to normal now, though, so it's update time!

The cover for Collide #1 is done and it's absolutely stunning. It was created by Najla Qamber Designs and I love, love, love it. I'm so excited for her to get to work on the cover for #2 soon, too. Unfortunately, I do not know when I can officially share the cover just yet. Once I turn in #3 this week, I'll try and find that out.

As stated above, I'm finishing up work on Collide #3 right now. This has been a hard book to write because it kind of took on a mind of its own 5k words in. Thankfully, I now only have two chapters left to write and I'm thrilled. It should be out in April 2018. (There won't be a long gap between the first three installments, so that's good!)

As for Seraphina? I intended to have that out this month, but after unexpectedly having gallbladder surgery, dealing with a hurricane, and trying to write the rest of the Collide series? I haven't had time to get that novella in shape for release. It's coming before the end of the year. Just be patient with me, please.

Now, onto Rebirth: Yes, that's still on track for December. I'm going back to work on it following Collide #3. (I'm taking a mini break before I write #4 and #5.) Pre-orders are not live yet but they're coming.

<3 Nicole


Anxiety and the Collide Series.

For those that have been following this blog for ahwile now, you'll recall that I signed on with InkSpell Publishing to release the Collide novella series beginning this December. While I've been rather quiet concerning what to expect from the series, I have shared a few teasers here and there that capture the playfulness of the books. So, I decided to do a quick blog post on Collide, which will relaunch with the first issue this December, and discuss how anxiety plays a vital part of the story being told throughout these five novella installments.

Anyone that knows me will tell you I have terrible anxiety. It's to the point that I get sick just at the thought of participating in a social activity. Going to eat with friends? Yeah, I'll be sick to my stomach the entire day and will more than likely cancel last minute. Going to a movie with people? Yep. Expect me to cancel because I can't force myself to get out of bed due to stomach pains. This is something that is normal for me; something I've struggled with since the eighth grade. (How and why my anxiety came about is not something I talk about publicly, but it wasn't a good event.) I'm on medicine, yes, but even that can only do so much.

So, with Collide tackling the subject of grief, I decided to explore what it's like living with anxiety on top of that. It makes for some heavy moments in the book, yes, but like I said, Collide is very much a light-hearted New Adult romance... so the heavy moments are spread out. That doesn't mean anxiety isn't discussed frequently throughout, especially when it comes to the third book.

For me, this series is personal because so much of what Gemma experiences in the story is stuff that I deal with on a daily basis. (Granted, she definitely handles most of it better.) 

I'm currently working on edits for the first book, and I hope to have them back in to my editor within two weeks. During that time, I'm also drafting book three, which should be completed soon. After that? I'll be working with the cover designer on the covers for the first two installments. It's going to be a crazy couple of months, but I can't wait to share this series with all of you.

Even better? The wait between books will not be long. Book one will hit in December, with book two coming in January. The plan is to have the last three books release in close fashion after that. 

<3 Nicole


New to My Shelves: Immortals, Grimnirs, and More!

It has been a bit since I've done one of these, but that's because I've been good about getting books since my to-read stack is enormous at the moment. But I ended up caving recently. In my defense, the used book sale at my library had 50% off of everything last weekend.

My Haul From the Used Book Sale:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Nikita: The Complete First Season on DVD
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
Joyland by Stephen King
Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen (Not Pictured)

Fun fact? All of this was $7 -- total. Considering things are a bit tight financially? I couldn't pass that up! Plus, a lot of these are books I've been meaning to read for some time now. (Especially We Were Liars.)

Books Purchased:
Immortals by Ednah Walters
Grimnirs by Ednah Walters

I devoured Runes, and even though I had some issues with it, I did thoroughly enjoy it. Because of this, I went ahead and purchased the next two installments. 

NetGalley Books:
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Uncanny by Sarah Fine

I also received my copies of Is Love: The Ridley Collection in paperback. I'm keeping one copy and plan to give the other three away at some point.

I'm hard at work on edits on Collide #1 and writing Collide #3, so I'll be quiet over the next week or two. Happy reading, folks!

<3 Nicole


(Blog Tour) Book Review: Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

I'm excited to be partaking in the blog tour for Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros!

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass...

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Project Pandora is a thrilling adventure full of intriguing characters and a fascinating world that is expertly crafted.

I will be the first to admit that I requested this book on NetGalley because of its cover. (It’s absolutely stunning.) I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I think it works better to go into this book as blind as possible. The action kicks off from the very first page; wasting no time taking our characters into this mysterious and deadly world. It’s crazy as all heck and will surely throw readers, but as you continue reading and the mystery is slowly revealed, it becomes hard to put down.

I liked the idea of teenage assassins who were a part of a mysterious program, never truly aware of who or what they were. It’s an intriguing premise, one that isn’t easy to pull off, as it’s important to maintain the same level of suspense throughout, and yet, Aden Polydoros managed to do just that.

The varying points of view help to keep the book exciting, as we shift between these various characters and truly dive into their desires, their faults, and their strengths. However, the most interesting character was easily Hades who had the best arc throughout the story, compared to someone like Elizabeth, who admittedly had the weakest storyline of the bunch.

That doesn’t mean the book is without its flaws, though. As strong as the book is, it still manages to lose steam near the end. Some things felt repetitive and the action was mainly “off screen,” whereas the author had done such a great job of highlighting the action throughout the rest of the book. It’s because of this that I had to give the book four stars as opposed to five stars. The ending just fell flat, which was unfortunate. I do still plan to read the rest of the series, though.

One final note: I did like the use of the Greek codenames, however, it did seem weird to use Apollo and Artemis as the code names for a duo in the book given there’s a romantic aspect to the characters in this story.

View all my reviews

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US.Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

And make sure to enter the giveaway!
Giveaway Details: Project Pandora Prize Pack (US) or a $10 Amazon Gift card (INT) 


Book Review: Runes (Runes #1) by Ednah Walters

Runes (Runes, #1)Runes by Ednah Walters
Review Copy: Purchased
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Download: Amazon (Free!)
Release Date: June 8th, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for such a long time now. I'm not sure why I hadn't taken the time to read it earlier, but I'm glad I finally jumped in. Although I had my issues with the book, I thoroughly enjoyed Runes and the world that Walters crafted with this first installment.

I've seen Runes compared to Twilight from time to time, and while I understand those comparisons regarding the relationship between Torin and Raine -- as it does mirror Bella and Edward at times -- I don't think it's fair to write the story off as "another Twilight." (That's not a knock on Twilight either. I still admittedly like the Twilight series.) My biggest problem with the romantic relationship here, and I don't feel this is a spoiler, is that Raine is highly unlikable when it comes to how she treats Eirik while she longs for Torin. I don't particularly care for cheating in storylines, but that won't necessarily keep me from reading a book. The problem here is that it starts off early on and just continues throughout the entire story, so it becomes frustrating.

On the plus side, while I didn't care for the way certain relationships were handled in this book, I really enjoyed the world Walters established here. There's so much mythology at play and she manages to weave it into something special.

Even with my issues -- namely Raine -- I do intend to finish the series as I actually kind of liked Torin and Raine together. That and I actually like Cora and Eirik and can't wait to see how their roles expand in this series going forward.

View all my reviews


Book Review: Superfail by Max Brunner and Dustin Mackay

SuperfailSuperfail by Max Brunner
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Release Date: October 17th 2017 by Running Press Kids

Laser vision isn't so hot when you're cross-eyed, and supersonic flight's a real downer when motion sickness keeps you grounded.

Twelve-year-old Marshall Preston is a Defective--a person with superhuman abilities that are restricted by some very human setbacks. While other kids are recruited to superhero teams, Marshall's stuck in seventh grade with a kid who can run at super speed but can't turn a corner, another with a radioactive peanut allergy that turns him into a swollen Hulk, and a telepath who reads everyone's thoughts out loud.

Defectives like Marshall aren't exactly superhero material, but when he uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, Marshall and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you're defective doesn't mean you can't save the day.

My Review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The entire time I was reading this book, I had a smile on my face. It's a fun graphic novel with an important message.

When I initially stumbled upon Superfail on Netflix, I wasn't sure what to expect. I admittedly don't read many Middle Grade novels, so I wasn't sure if this one would hold my interest, and yet, I found myself unable to stop reading once I'd started. Max Brunner has crafted such a fun story about a group of outcast superheroes that serves an important message of acceptance. (In fact, I immediately preordered a copy for my nephew once I finished reading it.)

The artwork is fantastic and truly adds to the story, yes, but it's the dialogue and the exploration of these characters that are so often pushed aside that makes this story shine. They may be Defectives, but this group of characters are a great bunch of superheroes in the end.

View all my reviews


Cover Real: SERAPHINA, The Third Novella in the Guardians Series!

I know I've been quiet on here. I'm currently healing from surgery -- I finally had my gallbladder removed -- and I'm sore as all hell. So this is a bit late. I already posted it on Twitter and Facebook, but for those of you that missed it, here is the full cover for Seraphina! This is the third novella in the Guardians series, following Arabella and The Shadow Program

Full synopsis is still to come.

I originally planned on releasing it next month, however, the deadline for Collide #3 was moved up -- which is a good thing! -- so I can't focus on Seraphina at the moment. While this means a September release isn't guaranteed. I can promise it'll be released before December. 

Like the covers for Arabella and The Shadow Program, the cover for Seraphina was created by Christa of Paper and Sage Design.

And now I'm back to resting/writing on my Alphasmart as I still can't sit up that long to use my laptop. I'm in and out of Twitter if you need me, but for the most part, I won't be back around full-time for a bit. (Gotta heal first!)

<3 Nicole