5.10.2017

Some GOOD News... and Some BIG Changes!

Pardon my absence once again. Things are a bit hectic in my personal life at the moment. (For once, however, my health is actually decent, haha.)

As the title implies, though, I finally have some good news to share!

Not only is SURVIVAL INSTINCT coming out this month, but I've also signed on with InkSpell Publishing to help put out the entire COLLIDE series. I'm super excited about that part, and can't wait to start this journey with them. 

As for those that have been asking about REBIRTH? I haven't forgotten about that book -- or RELEASE, for that matter -- I just haven't been in the state of mind to work on that story. The problem with REBIRTH is that it gets dark. Like, super dark. (This isn't surprising given that it's about the villain from THE EMILE REED CHRONICLES.) But! Given everything going on with me right now? Putting my head back in McVeigh's space just isn't ideal. They're definitely coming this year, though. I just don't know when exactly.

And no, REBIRTH will not be included with THE EMILE REED CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE SERIES. This is because REBIRTH is a companion novel to that series. Although Emile gets introduced as the very end -- as I've always said, the final chapter will lead directly into PROGRAM 13 -- McVeigh's story is its own beast. 

In between all of this, I'm still trying to finish AS I FALL. However, I'm considering submitting it to a few publishers once it's complete, so no promises on the release date for that as of right now. I'm also writing a standalone novella that I plan on shopping around.

As for the changes? Well, because of the chaos that has been going on around me, I ended up making some massive changes to SURVIVAL INSTINCT. While I've been open about my health issues in recent years -- I'm currently dealing with some liver issues -- I haven't been open about everything else that has been going on. Let's just say that things haven't been great. This, surprisingly, has managed to give me a creative boost. (I know, it's insane!) So, SURVIVAL INSTINCT is no longer a standalone book. It's going to be a series. SURVIVAL INSTINCT will be the prequel to the series. I'm adjusting the price to $0.99 on Amazon. I've come to love these characters and the world I've created here, and writing about them has oddly enough helped me to deal with my personal life. The series will consist of SURVIVAL INSTINCT: THE PREQUEL, SURVIVAL INSTINCT: BOOK ONE, SURVIVAL INSTINCT: BOOK TWO. Both THE YEARNING and THE FACILITY will continue to serve as companion stories to the series.

I promise, I'm going to eventually write a standalone novel. I hope. 

Lots of goodies coming, folks! 

<3

Nicole


3.25.2017

New to My Shelves!


It has been quite some time since I've done one of these, but since I didn't have a second review ready for this week, I figured it was time to get back into old habits.



Books From the Library Book Sale:
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
  • Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
  • Mercy by Rebecca Lim
  • Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Lost Slayer by Christopher Golden
  • The Confession (Fear Street) by R.L. Stine
I really should avoid the book sale, but I couldn't. (In my defense, I did take my nephew who really wanted to go, so it's really not my fault.) However, I did find some wonderful books this time around. I managed to snag the complete Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy for under five bucks, and since I (sadly) haven't read it yet, I couldn't help myself. I also managed to find a brand new copy of Flat-Out Love, as well as a semi-used Buffy book to add to my ever-growing collection.


 

Books Purchased in General:
  • The Struggle (Titan #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I'm so behind on my reading, that I haven't even read this series yet, but I'm planning on it soon. I swear.


NetGalley Books:
  • Riot Street by Tyler King
  • Other Where: Muddy Waters by Sara O. Thompson

A general update:

I will be keeping up with blogging, but after being diagnosed with liver issues, I will only be able to maintain 2 reviews a week. If you're an author hoping to reach out to me for a review, at this time, I won't be able to do it. I'm focusing on my Net Galley books these days and trying to squeeze in books I own inbetween. Hopefully, things will calm down in the coming months and I'll be able to up my reading limit in due time.

<3 Nicole

3.20.2017

Book Review: Other Breakable Things by Kelley York & Rowan Altwood

Other Breakable ThingsOther Breakable Things by Kelley York
Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Pre-Order: Amazon

Description From Goodreads:

According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My Review:

This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. One moment I was ready to throw my Kindle across the room, beyond frustrated, while the next I found myself unable to stop reading.

I'm not big into cliche romance stories, and while this did have a fair share of cliches, the actual story being told was utterly fantastic, and that was what ultimately led to me pushing through the book. And while I'm glad that I did, I can't help but to feel that I wasn't prepared for the ending. (Even if it was the right way to end the story.)

I ultimately ended up requesting this book from NetGalley mainly because I enjoyed York's "Hushed," but also because I adored the cover. And while it wasn't as strong as "Hushed," it was a worthwhile read. It's ultimately a story about two people learning to live when life gives you every reason not to; it's not the easiest story to read at times, and there will be at least a few tears along the way, but the message in the end makes it all worth it.

My main issues:
While I did like Evelyn and Luc, a lot of their issues could have been solved if they'd just talked early on. As for their relationship, it did touch on plenty of cliches along the way.

What I really enjoyed:
Seeing these characters grow over the course of the book and coming to terms with the decisions they'd made and the hand they'd been dealt.

View all my reviews

3.15.2017

Book Review:The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets WorldThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published: February 7th, 2017 by Marvel Press
Review Copy: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon

Description From Goodreads:

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? SQUIRRELS! Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel! After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS? 

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although often viewed as a joke, Squirrel Girl is easily one of Marvel's characters simply because of how fun she is. With that said, when I heard she'd be getting her own YA novel, I was thrilled and pre-ordered it immediately and I'm so glad that I did. What both Shannon & Dean have managed to craft here is a fun book. It's hard not to smile as you read along. The tone is light, as is expected in a Squirrel Girl story, and yet totally captivating.

For me, Squirrel Girl is one of those characters that deserves more love from readers, and this book proves exactly why -- she goes against the norm. Not only is she a girl with a squirrel tail (and teeth) as well as the abilities to match it, but she's also an optimistic hero.

Sure, the story is predictable at times. However, this is a middle grade novel, so that's to be expected. And yet, even though the entire villain plot-line in this book is predictable, it's such a fun part of the book. The villain is over the top and beyond stereotypical, but it works in this case, because he's the opposite of Squirrel Girl. Seeing the two of them go at it, struggling to understand one another? It's just fun to read.

With Shannon Hale having already confirmed a sequel, I can't wait to see what else they have in store for Doreen and Tippy Toe.

View all my reviews

3.14.2017

Book Review: A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Paperback, 247 pages
Published: May 2007 by Square Fish
Review Copy: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon

Description From Goodreads:
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

My Review:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I somehow missed out on reading this book when I was a child. Not sure how that happened, but I'm beyond glad I finally decided to give this a read. (Even more, I'm thrilled I found this at the library book sale, as I doubt I would have ever read it otherwise.) A short read full of intriguing characters, "A Wrinkle in Time" is definitely a classic.

I think that if I'd actually read this when I was younger? I would have loved it more, however, I still enjoyed the heck out of it. L'Engle has a way of crafting an entirely new world full of fascination and horrors with such ease. What she manages to accomplish in such little words is beyond impressive.

My only problems with this book had to be the pacing -- too fast in the bigger moments! -- and the ending. I wish it'd had more of a complete ending as I don't intend on reading the rest of the quintet just yet.

To sum it up? Although I didn't love it, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I can't wait to see the upcoming film adaption.

View all my reviews

3.07.2017

I'm Back, I'm Back!

I'm absolutely terrible at updating this. Wow.

If you follow me online, whether it be through Twitter or on my Facebook page, you'll know I've finally gotten back into the swing of things. I had a lot of personal stuff I had to deal with - from health issues, to mental issues, to a sprained knee & sprained fingers (shown below) - but I'm back, and man, it feels good.



So before I get into updates, let's quickly go over WHY I disappeared for so long.

There are things I've willingly shared with you guys, and there are things that I haven't shared with you guys. One of the things I haven't been open about is my struggle with ovarian cysts. Yes, we're going there. For years, I've had to deal with tons of pain due to these little beasts. In fact, they were so common, that I often found myself passing out from the pain. This went on for years. I was even hospitalized after one ruptured and seeped into my bloodstream when I was younger, so yeah, these has been a common issue for me, and they've only gotten worse over the years. Thankfully, it appears that, following a few different prescriptions, I'm okay - for now.

Of course, that's only one issue. Now, I'm dealing with issues concerning my liver and my chest. While I was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve last year, they're not sure that's the current issue, so it's back to tests.

Why am I telling you guys all of this? Because this is why you haven't seen any books from me. The idea of writing when all I wanted to do was curl up in a dark room and sleep just wasn't plausible. Heck, it got so bad that I even disappeared in real life. So yeah, needless to say, the past two years haven't been great. 

I owe you all so much for sticking by me. (Seriously!) I know it's a pain in the butt to have such a LONG wait between books, and I tried like heck to avoid these gaps, but when it came down to it I just didn't have a choice.

On the plus side, there have been some GOOD things to happen. I'm currently writing at Comic Book Resources, so if you're into geeky stuff, you can check out some of my ramblings over there.

There's also the news that SURVIVAL INSTINCT is coming on May 16th.

I know I've said this before, but this book is so important to me, guys. It's a standalone novel that, while about zombies, is also about so much more. (Think of it as a combination of the Emile Reed series and the Outbreak duology.) 

I will return to writing reviews soon. In fact, I finally opened my NetGalley account again, and I'm actually making my way through my massive to-read piles, so there's plenty of content coming your way!

<3 Nicole

11.24.2016

It's Been Awhile.

So, as you've probably noticed, I disappeared once again.
Unfortunately, it was due to health issues once more.

I've pretty much been sick non-stop for about three-four months now. I had a kidney infection for a bit there, as well as a couple more ruptured ovarian cysts that kind of knocked me on my ass. Now, I'm dealing with what feels like another cyst on the verge of rupturing, as well as a cold. So yeah, it hasn't been fun for me.

This, of course, has led to me not publishing a single thing. I was hoping to have the entire Guardians series completed and published, but that just wasn't possible. Being sick made me miserable, which only led to me being depressed, and when I get like that? I lack any and all motivation. I'm hoping to get back to work on Seraphina soon, but I can't make any promises.

I did want to apologize though. You guys shouldn't have to deal with broken promises, and due to health issues, that seems like all I'm able to give you these days.

Since I'll be home in bed tonight, as I'm in serious pain at the moment, I'm hoping I can whip up something fun for all of you. For now, the least I can say is thank you for continuing to follow me. It truly means more than you could possibly know.

<3
Nicole