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Special Announcement from Cora Carmack!

April 29, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:

 

ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

 

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven’t yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I’m not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

 

Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was “Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?”

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They’d make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end… I couldn’t envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It’s a wonderful experience, but in Stella’s case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said… Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, “Mine. This is my story.” I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn’t want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn’t mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, “Someone needs to tell this story. And I’m strong enough to do it. Let me.” And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I’d been adamant wasn’t right for her. Because as it turns out… Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren’t so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It’s about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It’s about the way that kind of event can change everything– how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It’s about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you’re still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…



ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

*****

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don’t have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I’ll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I’ll be able to ensure that I’m able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won’t be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you’ll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella’s story. When it’s finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack

 

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)

 

#WhenitHappened banner

And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW

 

HeadshotABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads

 

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PLAY ON – Promo Post (Blog Tour)

April 20, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

I am so excited to share with you the excerpt for PLAY ON today for my stop on the blog tour! I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I first heard about it and cannot wait for everyone to get their hands on this book and read it!

play on cover

Title: Play On

Author: Michelle Smith

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

 

Synopsis: In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

 

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

 

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.”

Pre-order Links and Goodreads:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads

EXCERPT:

In this scene, Marisa’s reporting for her first training session at the Braxton family’s flower shop, and Austin is in charge of the grand tour.

~

I clap my hands together and start for the first display cooler. Marisa’s shoes squeak against the floor as she follows me. “All right, then,” I say on an exhale, turning to her. She stares up at me, all bouncy ponytail and bright eyes. “We’re supposed to be training. So, first things first. Flowers: how much do you know about them?”

She giggles, and dang it, she needs to stop. Please make it stop. All these little things she does that make my stomach do weird flip-flops are going to turn into big things, and big things are a lot harder to ignore.

“It’s safe to say I know a bit about flowers,” Marisa says. “Your mom gave me one heck of a quiz during my interview to make sure I knew my stuff. She even asked what my favorite flower was and how often I’m supposed to change vase water. I mean, really?”

I twirl my finger, signaling for her to continue. “And your answers were…?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Purple roses. Every two-to-three days. Do you think I’m an amateur?”

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. I’d train her all day, every day as long as she kept smiling at me like she is now. But that smile falters as her gaze falls to the floor. She clears her throat and says, “Before we moved here, my mom was obsessed with gardening. She taught me everything I know.”

Her voice dips. Before I can ask if she’s all right, she shakes her head and looks back to me, her eyes not nearly as bright, but still as piercing as they were before.

I shrug and force a smile of my own. “Looks like we have something in common. My momma’s a gardening freak, too.” As if owning a flower shop didn’t already give that away. Strike two, Braxton.

She steps to my side, her arm brushing against mine as she gestures to the cooler. “Anyway, continue, Floral Prince. Teach me your ways. I’m sure you know much more than I do.”

I narrow my eyes. “You’re makin’ fun of me, aren’t you? Is it the apron? Because I’ll have you know, I’m rockin’ this apron.”

She grins. “I would never make fun of a prince,” she says seriously and curtsies. The girl freakin’ curtsies.

I cross my arms. “All right, feisty pants. I see what you did there.”

Her jaw drops. “You did not just call me feisty pants. What are you, sixty? Who even says that?”

“I do, obviously. And what I was going to say is, you can’t put whatever flowers you want in the cooler. This is where we keep the special order arrangements and loose flowers. Single roses and stuff like that.”

Instead of replying, her lips curve up again. My heart hammers against my chest. No matter how tough he acts, every guy dreams of someone looking at him this way. Like every word out of his mouth is coated in gold, even if it’s the cheesiest thing that person’s ever heard.

No one’s ever looked at me this way before, not even Jamie. It’s killer. And it’s kind of freaking me the hell out because I’d never even seen this girl until a week ago, and she’s got me acting like an idiot.

“What—” I cough to cover the crack in my voice. “What’s that look for?”

She shrugs and moves past me toward the cooler. In its reflection, I see her staring at the arrangements, her fingertips pressed lightly against the glass. “I like your voice,” she says. “It’s laid-back. Easy-going. Like you have all the time in the world.” She faces me again. “And your accent’s kind of to die for. But you can pretend I didn’t say that.”

About the Author:

author photo michelle

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

 

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

 

 

Author Social Media Links:

 

Website |Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of the book (US only)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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The (Rocky) Road to Recovery: My Journey So Far

April 18, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

The last few months have been… interesting. Now that I have insurance, I have been in and out of doctor’s offices, blood work drawn, trips to the pharmacy have been more than I can count – but it’s all part of a process. It’s all part of being healthy again, living a new life and on the road to recovery.

On February 12, 2015 – I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

My entire life changed in that office. For awhile, I didn’t even feel like it was real. This couldn’t be my life. I was healthy, active and while yes, I could have eaten better at times, I tried my best to live a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic work life and balance school.

It didn’t matter. My blood glucose fasting results were a sky high level of 236. Any higher, and there was a very real chance I could have headed to the hospital because my glucose was too high. That’s a very scary thought and one that pushes me daily to get myself onto a healthy diet, keep active and make sure I take meds to help control my diabetes.

It’s barely been two months since I’ve been diagnosed. In that time I have:

– seen my numbers drop from the high 200’s to the 100’s (with a couple hypoglycemic episodes in there)

– started on two medications for diabetes, with insurance denying a third

– I attend my first diabetes class Tuesday morning

– Tackled a fabulous vacation and did well on my first big trip as a diabetic

– Proudly wear a medic alert bracelet

But it hasn’t been easy. Not at all. I still have not been able to cry over this diagnosis, because in a lot of ways – it doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem like this is my life. But it is. This is my life and I have to live it in the best way that I can to keep myself healthy. I have seen what out of control diabetes can do to people and I don’t want to go down that road.

I have had people tell me to my face that I “need to get on that” without understanding the negative impact it has on me. I’ve had people tell me that it’s because of all the sugar I’ve had that caused it, nope. That’s not it either. I have a family history of it, it’s genetic.

Recently, I’ve had someone I was close to decide to cut me out of their life because I was unable to make it to an event due to the fact that I was sick from the diabetes. I had been dealing with highs and lows and numbers bouncing all over the place, feeling weak and like I may pass out and realized, I have to stay home. I have to take care of myself and cannot risk an ER trip.

So, I stayed home.

Then I was berated, belittled, accused of some pretty nasty stuff and now feel like I have been cut from their life. All because I needed to take care of myself, because I was sick. Because I knew that had I pushed myself more than I already had, I would have ended up in the hospital.

This diagnosis is hard.

It means that I have had to make major changes to my life immediately. It means that I have had to give up things I loved, change my diet completely, test my sugar, learn my limits and make sure I take my medications every day at the same time so I don’t get worse.

Diabetes means that I have had to learn who really stays at my side and supports me, or who walks away. It means that people I thought I was close to had no idea I had diabetes until I mentioned it randomly. It means that I have had to say no to things I wish I could do because I am battling a low moment or I feel sick from the medications.

Most of all, it means learning to take care of myself. Learning that I have to take care of me and put my health first. It means that I can’t ignore the symptoms or a high or a low and that I have to act quickly. It means that there are days where no matter how well I eat and stay active, I’ll still have a high. Diabetes means that I have a life long, chronic illness.

It’s not going to go away. Yes, it can (and will) get better with management – but it’s been a long two months. Two months in and I still have so much to learn.

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far?

Take care of myself, no matter how hard it is, no matter how draining it can be. I have to take care of myself so I can be healthy for life and for my loved ones.

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VERUM by Courtney Cole Release Day Launch!

February 2, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 1 Comment

VERUM, the second book in Courtney Cole’s psychological mind-bending NOCTE Trilogy, is here.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Add it on Goodreads

VERUM-300pxMy name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

VERUM-LaunchDay-600px
Get VERUM (Nocte Trilogy #2):
Amazon
| iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add it on Goodreads
Get NOCTE, the first book in the trilogy:
Amazon
| iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add it on Goodreads

Sign up for Courtney Cole’s Superfan Newsletter to get updates on LUX, the final book in the NOCTE Trilogy, coming Summer 2015.

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Cover Reveal: Katie McGarry’s NOWHERE BUT HERE

January 29, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

West Side Story meets Sons of Anarchy?? Yes, please!

Katie McGarry’s newest novel, NOWHERE BUT HERE, has a cover and we are thrilled to get to help reveal it to you today. The first novel in her upcoming The Thunder Road Series, NOWHERE BUT HERE is a young adult contemporary romance that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. We have no doubt that when you get done, you’re going to wish you were on a motorcycle and had your own cut of leather across your back!

Follow along today as pieces of the cover are revealed, and then stop by the HarlequinTeen Page to see the full cover at 7pm EST! And that’s not all, of course! We have a few Behind-The-Scenes pictures from the photo shoot itself for you to enjoy as well! Check out the Behind-The-Scenes pictures and then scroll down for our puzzle piece!


Nowhere But Here BTSNowhere But Here BTSNowhere But Here BTSNowhere But Here BTSNowhere But Here BTS

And here’s the fifth piece to the cover for you!

C2_3pmEST

 

Don’t miss all of the puzzle piece reveals throughout the day!

 

11am EST

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NOWHERE BUT HERE Synopsis:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

Preorder NOWHERE BUT HERE

Amazon ** Kobo ** BAM ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads ** Pinterest ** Tumbler ** Instagram

 

Want to see the full cover for this upcoming release? Don’t forget to head over to Facebook at 7pm EST to catch the full reveal!

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Cora Carmack’s ALL PLAYED OUT – Cover Reveal

January 21, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

Holy smokes are we excited to bring you the cover for Cora Carmack’s ALL PLAYED OUT! ALL PLAYED OUT is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is the 3rd book in the Rusk University Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It is due to be released on May 12, 2015!! If you haven’t had a chance to read this sexy, fun series yet, be sure to grab ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN!

 

Image Map

 

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

Add ALL PLAYED OUT on Goodreads!

About ALL PLAYED OUT:

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

 

And don’t miss the first two books in the Rusk University Series…

RU books 1and 2 Banner

 

ALL LINED UP, Book 1

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

ALL BROKE DOWN, Book 2

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

 

 

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads

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2015 means…

January 17, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

2015 has one word for me: brave.

I was brave when I reached out for help through the county. I was brave when I opened up to my blog readers and told them what I was experiencing. I was brave when I told a group of friends just how bad things were for me.

I was brave when I walked into the doctor office and cried as I told him about my depression. I was brave when I told him everything I’d experienced, and that I was scared I wasn’t getting better.

Being brave means that 2015 is the year I put myself first. It’s the year I take care of myself. The year I do what I have to do to be healthy, happy and strong.

Being brave means that I realized I might have to let go of some things in my life. I have to let go of the worry, the doubt and the stress. I may have to let go of friendships, people in my life and things I can’t control.

Being brave in 2015 is realizing that if someone can’t be there for me when I need them the most, that I may have to let them go. It hurts but if they aren’t there when I need them the most in my life, can I trust them to be there in the good times? To share the joy with me, to celebrate. Instead, I’m facing the realization that they aren’t there now when I need them the most.

Being brave in 2015 means embracing new adventures – discovering great books, trips planned to travel across the country, hours of laughter and joy with my friends and family. It means standing up for myself and learning to love myself for who I am.

2015 means that even though I let go of the negative – I’m embracing the joy and open doors the year can bring me. It means stepping out into the world and embracing my life, how I want to love and what is waiting for me ahead.

Being brave in 2015 means letting go, but letting the brand new in.

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What’s Wrong With Me?

January 4, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 1 Comment

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around as much as I usually am. I’m quieter on social media. I don’t get out much other than work and basic errands. I’m quiet, don’t say much and don’t interact with my friends much.

As hard as it is to say, I know I need to say it.

I’m struggling with depression.

It’s quite possibly the worst round of depression I’ve ever dealt with, and it’s exhausting, terrifying and I am still wondering how I am supposed to pull myself out of this and come out stronger, healthier and happier on the other end.

Right now, I don’t think I ever will. That kills me to even think about. That’s how bad this is right now.

It’s the kind of depression where I’m so exhausted most of the day that I can barely keep my eyes open at times, but when I try to fall asleep – I can’t sleep. I doze off for a few minutes at a time, only to wake up even more exhausted than before. For the most part in the last couple of weeks, I have gotten half of my normal amount of sleep each night.

It’s the kind of depression where for most of the day, I’ll be fine – still down in the dumps and blue, but dealing okay. Then something, anything will flip a switch and I’ll lose my cool. I’ll cry over anything and everything, no matter how small. The little things that normally don’t bother me cause me to snap, to lock myself in my room.

I don’t want to do anything – just going to work before the holiday break was a struggle. I barely made it through each shift and I tried so hard to keep myself in one piece until I got home. I watched the clock anxiously; I made myself focus on something, anything other than what was going on in my head. It was exhausting, it was a battle.

It’s the kind of depression where I’m not eating much – and even when I do eat? It’s only because my body has gotten to the point where I will be sick or pass out because I haven’t eaten enough. I’ve lost weight, I know I have. I don’t know how much, but I’ve noticed because my clothes are loose on me, nothing fits right, nothing feels comfortable.

It’s the kind of depression where I don’t want to do anything I love. I can’t read. I can’t listen to music. I can’t watch my favorite movies or television shows. I sit in my room in my bed, in the dark and stare at the walls for hours. Sometimes I’ll have the television on, but I am not paying attention to it. I’m still in the dark, wrapped up in my blankets and wondering when this will end.

This is the kind of depression where I will curl up at the end of the night and fight back the tears as I try to go to sleep. I wonder what’s wrong with me, why this is happening, when it will end and I try to tell myself that I have to take it day by day. I tell myself that I got through this before, I can do this again – but this is the worst I have experienced.

I’m not myself.

It has been the longest and hardest month I have ever gone through.

What is worse are the weird thoughts in my head. I hate them. They scare me. They don’t happen often, but when they do – it startles me and really makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I know what’s wrong with me. I’m depressed. I’m a shell of myself and I’m waiting for the light to come through, waiting for something to change.

There are days where I sit for hours and wonder if I am making it sound worse than I really feel, if it isn’t this bad and someone will come up to me and tell me that. I wonder if this will end and I’ll feel like myself the next morning, but I don’t. I wake up, hoping it’s the day where I will finally feel like things are turning around… only to face the cruel reality that it hasn’t.

This is the kind of depression where it’s hard to just get up and do those basic things I need to do in order to get through the day. Getting through work or a quick grocery shopping trip have become something that a exhausting and nerve wracking. I go out and I put on the face that everyone is used to – the happy, normal, take it as it comes kind of girl.

Except on the inside, I’m broken, sad, depressed and trying to figure out what my next step is. Nothing I’m used to doing is fun – friends have had to drag me out of the house to get me to do something, anything. I’m not excited (or even focused enough) to read or watch television. I barely have enough energy to roll out of bed most days.

It’s been like this for a month.

Failing my math class after sixteen weeks of working my ass off, countless hours of homework, studying, going to class, asking questions, getting help from friends and family members – and still I didn’t pass. I was in a funk before that – but this was my breaking point.

I realized that no one is going to know that I am struggling unless I tell them. No one will know that I need a little extra love or time, a little more understanding or space unless I speak up. No one will know that I’m stuck in a deep and dark place, trying to find my way out unless I tell them. Everyone thinks I’m okay – that I’m maybe just worn out or overwhelmed – no one has really realized that I’m depressed.

I’m depressed.

It scares me. The way I feel scares me, the thoughts that randomly creep into my head scare me and I am depressed. Making it through each day in one piece is hard – I’m mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I cry over anything and everything. Even the smallest thing will make my mood crumble.

So no, I’m not okay and it is harder than you can ever imagine to sit and here and tell everyone that. I’m not okay. I’m struggling. I’m depressed. I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m not myself. I’m in a dark place, I’m exhausted, beaten down and not sure where things will go from here. I can only take things one day at a time, one step at a time.

But the truth is, I’m struggling with this round of depression. Really struggling.

 

 

 

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Cora Carmack’s INSPIRE Blog Tour – Excerpt

December 19, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

Inspire BT Banner

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for INSPIRE! Today I am sharing with you an excerpt and I can promise you – you NEED this book in your life! Ever since I found out about this story, I KNEW I had to have it and that it would be my fresh start into reading paranormal! I cannot wait to hear what you all have to say about this book and I know it is absolutely gorgeous and a breathtaking story!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

INSPIRE_2400

About INSPIRE:

 

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

 

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EXCERPT:

He undoes the button at the top of his pants, and I’m so eager to have him that I feel giddy.

“Wait,” I say. Then I scoot back down the bed, still holding the blankets tight against me. “I want to.”

He makes a sound low in his throat, but drops his hand away. I reach for the front of his jeans and seek out the zipper. I suck my bottom lip between my teeth as I drag it down. Since the denim is wet, it takes both of my hands to inch the jeans down his hips. Then I let him kick them off the rest of the way, along with his shoes. Underneath he wears black boxer briefs.

Boxer briefs are hands down the best invention of the last century.

I lift my eyes to his, and his gaze pierces through me as I drag that last item of clothing down his hips, too.

And suddenly, I’m nervous.

I’ve never slept with someone like this. Without knowing exactly where we stand, and how things will end with the other person. Every other time, I’ve been in control. But now, the balance of power is completely off because I want this with a desperation that puts too much out of my control.

I lift my hand and wrap my fingers around his erection, thinking maybe it will shift that balance, give me the upper hand. He utters my name with a low growl and smoothes a hand over my cheek, resting one callused thumb on my bottom lip. I tighten my grip and give a slow tug.

“Jesus, Kalli. You feel so good.”

I kiss his thumb when it passes over my lips again, and he bends, taking my mouth in a bruising kiss. He pulls back the covers and grips my hips to slide me further up the bed. Back in the open air, I should be cold, but I’m not. In fact, I’m burning up.

Wilder crawls up my body, his limbs sleek and strong. He dips and places a kiss on my sternum, just between the swell of my breasts. He closes his eyes, humming under his breath and drags his stubbled cheek over the sensitive swell of skin until his hot breath skates over the tip.

I cry out, arching under him, and he’s barely even touched me.

“I think,” he says, murmuring just above my skin, “that this part of you will have to wait.”

“Wait?” I ask, breathless.

“Mmhmm. I told you that I’m going to know all of you, but you’re so fucking responsive. And so damn sweet. I know if I taste you here …” His teeth graze my nipple for just a second, and my back nearly bows off the bed. “I’ll get impatient if I take your perfect breast into my mouth, and I won’t be able to resist being inside you.”

“So don’t. You’re not the only one who lacks patience.”

He chuckles, moving over to kiss my shoulder. “I made a promise, sweet. And I keep my promises.”

 

 

Headshot

About Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

 

Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Author Goodreads

INSPIRE Goodreads

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cora Carmack’s INSPIRE – Release Day Launch

December 15, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

Inspire RDL Banner

 

We are so incredibly excited to be able to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack’s INSPIRE! INSPIRE is a New Adult Paranormal Romance novel and the first book in her new Muse Series!! Holy canoli, y’all. Go out and get this today!

 

Inspire

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About INSPIRE:

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

 

Inspire Teaser 3

Excerpt:

I can feel Wilder’s breath against my lips. More than that, I can see it. The sun has set and the temperature has dropped, and air fogs between us. There’s something about actually seeing it, like our lips are touching, we are touching, despite the distance between. And as we sway from side to side, my heart gradually begins to pick up speed.

The strains of guitar music flowing out from the restaurant are nearly indecipherable over the heavy heartbeat in my ears. But Wilder must hear it. His hands are strong on my body, guiding my movements, and I’m practically clay in his palms.

We dance, eyes on eyes, lips nearly on lips, and there is lightning beneath my skin each time his body brushes against mine in a new way. His touch is firm, but gentle, never pushing or pressuring, though I can tell from the dark look in his eyes that he’s just as affected as I am. The music shifts, building to a crescendo, and he spins us. My chest pushes tight against his, and I bite back a gasp. I don’t know if it’s the cold or him or some combination of both, but the tips of my breasts are painfully tight. Just the pressure of my bra is enough to rub them raw.

I remember the night at his apartment, the way he’d taken his time learning my body. I think of the heat of his mouth on my skin, and the memory alone is enough to make me shiver and clench.

He’s back to being business, grown-up Wilder tonight in his button down and glasses. Only now that I know him, it doesn’t seem like such a stark difference. He is neither the straight-laced man nor the tattooed bad boy. Or perhaps he’s both. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Wilder is caring and loyal and strong and so sexy that I’m having trouble remembering why I shouldn’t push him into the backseat of his SUV and crawl on top of him.

Inspire Teaser 1

 

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

 

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** INSPIRE Goodreads

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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