The talented Nicole Tone’s beautiful  novel, Without Benefits, is out in a little less than three months! But today we get a first look at the amazing cover, designed by Ashley at Cardboard Monet!

I’ve loved this book since the moment Nicole told me about it. It’s a moving lyrical novel, capturing all those complicated adult emotions of love, family, and what-might-have-beens.

More info (plus a giveaway for a Seattle adult coloring book!) below!

Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away.

But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget.

Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York.

Without Benefits is a beautiful and moving exploration of modern relationships and family written in the vein of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Renee Carlino.

So here it is…

The moment we’ve been waiting for…




Isn’t it gorgeous? Pre-order your copy today!
And, click on the below for a lovely giveaway, including an adult coloring book, bath bomb, and nail polish!
Click here to open Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Nicole Tone is a freelance editor, MFA student, traveler, pet collector, binge-watcher, and a self-proclaimed coffee snob. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three cats, and two very large dogs, but spends as much of her time in Seattle as possible. You can like her page on Facebook, @ her on Twitter, swoon over dream houses together on Pinterest, and add Without Benefits on Goodreads.

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The Bright Side of Subjectivity

For as long as I’ve been a writer, there’s a term I’ve struggled to grasp: subjectivity.

It always seems to be used negatively, paired with an apologetic shrug. “Sorry that person didn’t like your work. It’s just subjective, you know?”

But I didn’t know. I came from a educational and professional background where (besides, like, Bernie Madoff ) there was a right, and a wrong. A clear cut answer. A way to plug numbers into a formula and receive the correct answer. Subjectivity was a strange, dark cloud, hanging over everything I attempted. Why couldn’t I write something everyone would love? What was I doing wrong?

I thought, hmm. Maybe I should just become better! Then, I shall be able to vanquish subjectivity! But, even after spending a year studying craft books, working with freelance editors, and pushing myself, I still got negative feedback that was… subjective.

Someone suggested that I read one-star reviews of my favorite books. This technique, they suggested, would make me realize even this amazing authors got subjective, negative reviews of their books. Instead, because I am made of fiery passion and undying loyalty, I wanted to fight every deluded fool who couldn’t see the obvious talent of my favorites.

Meanwhile, I was also getting positive feedback. People liked my work, adored certain characters, laughed at my jokes. It didn’t matter to me. I was more concerned with fighting the big-bad subjectivity monster. Surely, there had to be some formula I could apply to make it go away, and have everyone equally love my work.

Spoiler: there’s no way to ever do that. I’m going to skip over the months I spent bashing my head against a wall, and instead tell you about what finally made me realize what subjectivity truly is.

What happened was… I read a book.

Of course, I’d read plenty of books during my battles with the smoggy subjectivity monster, but this book I LOVED. It was one of those books that turned me into a book evangelist, pushing the book at everyone I knew. Shockingly, some of my friends didn’t like the book. Or they did, but they didn’t like the same things I did. I had no real reason for why I loved the book, aside from a fuzzy feeling of it hitting me in just the right brain spots, like the way a cold glass of water quenches more on a hot day. I couldn’t point to any narrative craft, any technique the author used to specifically make me adore the book. I just knew that my world was a better place with the book in it.

I loved the book, subjectively.

That’s the bright side of the mysterious subjectivity-monster we forget sometimes. The same inexplicable force that causes some people to dislike our works (or not love it enough to accept it) also allows people to adore  our work. Subjectivity fuels book deals, creates fanart, causes readers to squee in 5 star reviews. So the next time you get mad at that subjective rejection, remember there’s someone out there who will subjectively love your work.

Don’t give up, darlings!


This week I had the privilege of reading an advanced reviewer copy of SCAVENGER OF SOULS, Joshua David Bellin’s new work, (release date 8/23/2016)

For those of you who haven’t read the first book in the series, SURVIVAL COLONY 9, the books take place in an arid, desolate world, where monsters known as the Skaldi hunt down the few remaining humans. No one is safe, and our protagonist, Querry, faces many challenges in his quest for survival. 27206580

“Answers aren’t always true,” she said. “And the truth isn’t always the answer you want.”–Scavenger of Souls, by Joshua David Bellin.

SCAVENGER kicks off explosively, and the pace never wavers. Querry is a brave, likable protagonist, who is growing into a fine leader. Mercy, who features on the cover, is a new character, and one of my favorite ones in all of YA sci-i. Her charisma imbues all of  her actions, and she’s a force to be reckoned with. The worldbuilding is incredible, creepy and bleak, but populated with characters who will win (and break your heart)

This book is perfect for fans of the TV show, The 100, with its teen characters forced to grow up fast in a cruel, dangerous world. Both teens and adults will like the book, with its well-crafted, tightly crafted plot. and high stakes. Also, can we talk about how INCREDIBLE that cover is?

Haven’t read SURVIVAL COLONY 9 yet? Check out the rafflecopter below! I’m giving out a paperback copy (USA only) or an E-copy (international!)