Cover Reveal: Collide: Episode One!

Here is the cover for Collide: Episode One!
Just a reminder that there will be a total of five episodes and each episode will have a different cover. This cover, to me, at least, captures this first episode wonderfully. And like most of my covers, this one was made by Christa of Paper & Sage Design. ;)

Here is the description for Episode One:
Two Best Friends. One promise. And one night that will change everything.
When Gemma Michaels lost her brother, it was her best friend, Ben, that helped to piece her back together after her world fell apart. He swore to her brother that he would take care of her, that he would protect her. He told himself that she was off limits, but when a night out ends with Gemma saying the very words he's been eager to hear, he'll be forced to decide between what he wants and the limits he has forced himself to adhere to for so long.
Some risks are worth taking.
Just a reminder that Collide is a New Adult story. It is NOT meant for readers under the age of eighteen. I will have pre-order links up by Friday. Unfortunately, you'll be able to pre-order it everywhere...except for Amazon.

I'm excited for you guys to finally get to meet Ben & Gemma.
They are all sorts of adorable.

<3 Nicole


New to My Shelves + Updates!

What I picked up this week:
The Duff by Kody Keplinger

I wasn't entirely sold on the movie trailer for The Duff but everyone keeps insisting that the book is fantastic, so I decided to try it out.

That is actually the only book that I picked up this week because I'm far too behind on my reading. I'm hoping to finish a book or two soon. 

Now, onto the updates!

Collide: Episode One will officially release on December 18th, 2014! This installment is all sorts of fun and it really helps to establish the characters. The cover, which was done by Christa of Paper & Sage Design (who is one of my favorite people ever to work with), will be revealed on Monday! I had to change the cover because over the past year, the stock images with the couple I was using on the old cover ended up becoming really, really, really popular, and I know people hate to see the same stock images again and again. But I honestly feel like this cover is a better fit for the first installment anyway, so it's all good. =)

Survival Instinct: It's finally coming.... soon! I've missed these characters and this setting. I adore these characters (almost) as much as I adore the characters from the Emile Reed Chronicles. What I can say about this story? It is a zombie story, so expect some gore, but it doesn't focus on the zombies. It's more of a character story than anything. You'll be able to see the cover for this book on Wednesday. It was created by Kat Mellon. The cover is all sorts of prettyyyy.

The Untold Stories: I'm still working on this one. I should have a release date by the time Collide: Episode One comes out. The reason why this is taking so long is because I don't feel it's ready for release just yet. It still needs work, especially The Program Manual. (For those unaware, The Program Manual will be released with The Untold Stories.) Once I feel comfortable with the end result, it'll be available for your eyes to read. I promise. You'll probably get this before you get Survival Instinct, honestly.

Decoding Evie: This is looking like a January/February release. I think I'm changing the cover on this one, too. I'm a bit scared to release this story because it's so different from anything I've released. Yes, even Collide. The main difference is that Decoding Evie is basically a romantic comedy, while Collide is a contemporary romance novel.

Here's an updated release schedule for 2015:
Rebirth -- March 2015
As We Fall -- May 2015
As We Rise -- November 2015
Grow Up & Blow Away -- August 2015
Release -- Summer 2015
Is Love: Volumes 4-6 -- Summer 2015

I think that's everything? If I forgot something, please feel free to let me know. I have a crap memory.
I didn't include dates for the rest of the Collide series (four more installments) because I'll be releasing those as I'm ready. And I'm not including dates for The Untold Stories or Survival Instinct because those are releasing over the next couple of months.

<3 Nicole


An Update on COLLIDE.

Collide has been the book that I've wanted to trash on numerous occasions. Not because I didn't believe in the story, but because I couldn't stop reworking it. It was always meant to be a one-shot novel. And yet, I wanted to tell more. I wanted to add more.

Which is what has led to my decision to self-publish Collide as a novella series made up of five total episodes. Now, I'm not promising a set release schedule with this series. I want to say you'll receive an installment monthly since the book is done, but given how many times I've trashed this book and started from scratch? It's safe to say, I can't promise things won't change as I work on edits for each episode.

Here's what I can tell you about the five episodes:
1. Each one will only cost $0.99.
2. Each episode will have a minimum of fifty pages (some will be closer to seventy, but all will be over fifty).
3. There will be a collected edition of the series a month after episode five has been published.

Now, for those wondering why I decided to release the story this way:
1. As someone who sucks as self-marketing, I needed to find a way to release this story that would attract readers. Since I've yet to find a method of self-promotion that has really helped readers to discover my books, this feels like the best way. I won't be throwing up a single book and hoping it finds people... that seems to be my normal method.
2. The story works best as a novella series. This book is incredibly personal for me, and I wanted to be sure it was released in the best method possible. For those that haven't been following my blog, this past year has been kind of crappy in my personal life. Some things I've been open about, others I've been rather quiet about. The things I've been quiet about? I found a release for them in this story. Now, don't worry. When I say this book is a lot more light-hearted than my other projects, I do mean just that. Episode one is incredibly fun. Yes, as the episodes move along, the tone will slowly shift, but it won't ever lose that light-hearted feeling, I promise.
3. Releasing this story as a novella series allows me to add more to the story. The novel, even after I've rewritten it so much, did feel a bit stuffed. This allows me to spread the story out a bit more. (With each episode running around 20,000 words, that adds up to a 100,000 word novel.)

I will be revealing a brand new cover very soon.
I will also have a few pre-order links to share by the end of the month. (You'll be able to pre-order episode one through every eBook retailers except for Amazon, sadly.)

And before I go, here's an unedited teaser from Episode One of Collide:

Ben stood, the bag within his grasp, and made his way to the guest bathroom.
“Uh, what are you doing?”
“I’m getting ready for our date.”
“Don’t you have to ask the girl out on a date before you randomly show up at her apartment and tell her that you’re taking her out on a date?” I wasn’t entirely sure how this entire thing worked, really. My past relationships and dating choices weren’t exactly the greatest references of what to expect.
I sat waiting for a response that never came.
A moment later, I heard the bathroom door open. Ben strolled back into the living room dressed in a black button down shirt, black dress pants, and a pair of black leather loafers. His hair, usually tousled, was slicked back, showcasing his gorgeous gray eyes. I’d seen Ben dressed up a few times before, but this? This was absolute perfection.
My mouth fell open and I suddenly became incapable of speaking. Holy. Shit.
“What? I look ridiculous, right?” He hung his head and laughed. “I knew I shouldn’t have allowed Molly to go shopping for me.”
“Ridiculous?” I gawked. “Let’s put it this way: if I was drinking, I’d be doing everything in my power to avoid you right now.”
He arched a brow at me. “Really now?”
“Oh yeah,” I answered. “You’re looking totally doable.”
“Does that mean you’ll go out with me tonight?”
I wanted to laugh in his face. With him looking like that? There was no way in hell I’d be able to say no to going out with him tonight. But I wasn’t going to let him know that. If he was going to do this the right way, I was going to see to it that he did just that. “Maybe,” I answered. “If you ask me properly.”
He smiled and dropped down on his knee in front of me. “Gemma Michaels, will you please go do me the honor of accompanying me tonight on a romantic date?”
I pretended to think about it for a couple of seconds before I finally answered, “Yes, but you have to find a vase for these.” I handed him the tulips. “And thank you, for remembering.”
He shrugged it off. “There’s no need to thank me for remembering that you liked tulips, Gems. I’ve always made it a habit of memorizing what you’ve liked. I like seeing you smile, and I’ll do whatever is needed to do so.”
In that moment, as I made my way to my bedroom to get dressed, I thought that this could work. I finally allowed myself to believe that we could cross that line without destroying anything.


eBook Giveaway!

Around the time that my grandfather ended up going into the hospital, I had a few reviews I was supposed to be working on. One of them was for Lost in Starlight by Sherry Soule. I still haven't had time to read it, so I figured I'd giveaway a copy of the book on my blog hoping to help Lost in Starlight find some new readers. =)

This giveaway is for an eBook copy of Lost in Starlight. I will gift the winner a copy of the book through Amazon.

Before I go over how to enter, here are the requirements in order to enter:
1. You must be at least thirteen years of age to enter.
2. You must be able to provide a valid e-mail address if you win.

How to enter:
1. "Like" my Facebook page. (Here's the link.)
2. Follow Sherry on Twitter. (Here's the link.)
2. Post one of the following on my page: a photo of you holding one of my books (could be a physical copy or a copy on your e-reader device), your favorite character from any of my books and a short description as to why, or which of my books is your favorite and a short description as to why.
3. If the winner (who will be chosen randomly using Random.org) ends up doing all three things instead of just one thing listed above? They'll also receive a $5 Amazon gift-card.

You have until 11:30PM on 11/24/14 to enter.
I'll randomly draw a winner on the 25th.


New to My Shelves!

So, I think it is safe to say I'm no longer participating in NaNo this year. I fell behind when I was sick, and there's no way in heck I can catch-up at this point. This doesn't mean I won't be updating The Shadow Program (the book I'm writing on Wattpad) regularly, because I will, but that is the only NaNo-type project I'll be working on. On the plus side? Not working on NaNo will allow me to (hopefully) get on a regular blogging schedule... beginning with today's New to My Shelves post!
eBooks that I purchased:
Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, Book 1) by Courtney Cole
ARV-3 (The After Light Saga, Book 1) by Cameo Renae
Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Because You Exist (Light in the Dark Series, #1) by Tiffany Truitt 

Books that I purchased:
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Between by Megan Whitmer

Comic Books I Purchased:
The Superior Spider-Man #32
The Amazing Spider-Man #9
Thor #2
She-Hulk #10
Captain Marvel #9
All-New Captain America #1
Bucky Barnes Winter Soldier #2
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1
Hawkeye vs Deadpool #2

Some rambling about comics:
Three of my favorite female-led comics out right now? Thor, Captain Marvel, and She-Hulk (which ends after two more issues, sadly). Also worth picking up? The current Black Widow series which is fantastic, the new Ms. Marvel series which I will continue to recommend to everyone, and Elektra (which I think is also on the cancellation block, sadly). Also? The new Spider-Woman solo series kicks off next week, so I'd suggest picking that up. ;)


Saturday Update!

The blog has been quiet again, and I feel horrible for that. Unfortunately, I've been sick. I'm not sure what's going on. I'm actually waiting on blood test results to come back in, and I also have to go for an ultrasound because my doctor thinks certain issues could be related to my gallbladder. Due to all of this, I haven't really been worried about reading, blogging, or much of anything, really. I'm feeling a little better, but not entirely well enough to squeeze in time for reading and writing after I get home from work.

Other than that, here is what has been going on:

1. Collide: I hate querying. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. However, this book is special to me. Like I've said before. I want to try and find the right home before I go the self-publishing route. I'm terrible at marketing, and this book is completely different than anything else I've written. I've been submitting it to small publishers, and while I wish I could offer up an update, I can't. That's the downside to querying. It could take months before you hear anythinggggg. Now, if I can't find a home for the book by the end of January, expect to hear a new title, a new release date, and to see a brand new cover.

2. The Untold Stories: I've missed the world of the Emile Reed Chronicles so freaking much. I thought I'd had enough of that world, that I couldn't tell any more stories featuring those characters, but that has proven to be a lie. I'm really happy with how this collection is coming along and I'm hoping to have some teasers to share soon. As for a release date? I'm thinking early 2015. I planned for a 2014 release, but I need more time to edit it. What I can promise: You'll have it before March 2015.

3. The Shadow Program: I'm currently writing a book completely on Wattpad. It's unedited, and I don't have an outline so I can't say for sure what the ending will be, but I'm really liking where the story is heading. The best part? It's a New Adult spy/assassin story. I'm probably going to self-publish this at some point in 2015 after I finish it and edit it.

4. Cover Reveals: I'm working on getting the new covers for the rest of the Emile Reed Chronicles (only three left, guys!), a cover for As We Fall, a cover for Survival Instinct (read below for more information on this one), and Rebirth. Basically, I have a lot that I'm working on right now.

5. Survival Instinct: So here's the deal, I had every intention of turning this into a full-length novel, but I've since decided that the story would work best as an on-going novella series. The first installment should be out in February. I'm expecting each installment to run around fifty-seventy pages. Each installment will cost only $0.99 as to keep it affordable. (There will also be a collection of each season for those that would rather pay one price for all of the installments.)

<3 Nicole


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.