Friday, April 18, 2014

Football Friday: Meet Stella Santos & a GIVEAWAY!


We're one week closer to the release of All Lined Up on May 13th! ARCS are out in the world, reviews are rolling in, and I'm SO excited. If you haven't heard about ALL LINED UP, you can check it out on goodreads. You can also read the first thirty four pages. AND... if you need more incentive, those who pre-order ALU and register here will give a BRAND NEW Garrick and Bliss scene Post-Losing It/Keeping Her. So far I introduced Carson McClain, and the heroine Dallas Cole, and now it's time to meet one of my FAVORITE characters!  




Stella is confident and bold and knows exactly who she is. She's always challenging Dallas to loosen up and have some fun, something she's very good at having. She's funny, and she'll say whatever she's thinking because she could care less what others think. 

Basically, she's everything I wish I was. ;) And because I love her so much, she plays a pretty big role in the series as a whole. 

Here's a few of my dream Stella's with some quotes! 






And because I love you guys... a slightly longer teaser featuring Stella and Dallas before one of Carson's games: 


I pull out my phone to text Carson, but I don’t know what to say. I want to tell him something that matters, something big, but the only thing that comes to mind are those three little words that we are so, so not ready for.
I tell Stella as much, and she pauses in unwrapping a piece of gum to say, “I’ve got three different words for you. Winning = BJ.”
“Stella!”
She pops the gum in her mouth. “You said you wanted something big that matters. I think that qualifies.”
“You’re terrible. And no help whatsoever.”
“Speaking of big things...” Her slow-spreading smile reminds me for the thousandth time how different we are. “How big is it? You can tell me.” 



I hope you enjoyed meeting Stella! Enter to win a signed advanced copy below! And come back next week for more chances to win and to meet more characters from the series! 
*cough* sexy football players up next *cough*





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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Football Friday: Meet Dallas Cole & an ARC giveaway!


We're one week closer to the release of All Lined Up on May 13th! ARCS are out in the world, reviews are rolling in, and I'm SO excited. If you haven't heard about ALL LINED UP, you can check it out on goodreads. You can also read the first thirty four pages. AND... if you need more incentive, those who pre-order ALU and register here will give a BRAND NEW Garrick and Bliss scene Post-Losing It/Keeping Her. Last week, I introduced Carson McClain, the first of multiple sexy football player book boyfriends in my new Rusk University series.

Today, I'm giving you the skinny on our heroine.


I try to get a new perspective in each of my books in an attempt to make sure as many people as possible can "see" themselves in my books and characters. So, with Dallas... I wanted to take a different route from most NA books. One reason it's so fun to write NA is that the characters are experiencing all kinds of new freedoms and getting to decide who they're going to be for the rest of their life. For All Lined Up, I threw that out the window and decided to take a look at what college is like for those who don't get to start over or get the freedom to do whatever they want. There are plenty of people who stay at home after they graduate high school, or go to college in the same town, or with people they knew from high school. 

Dallas has spent her whole life surrounded by this: 





All she wants from college is to get away and start fresh. She's a dance major, dying for the day when her father doesn't control her entire life, and she can move out of Texas and pursue what she loves. 

Then she finds out her father has taken the open coaching position at Rusk University, and that escape she'd planned gets crushed by the same thing that always seems to screw up her life: football. 

And she feels a bit like this: 


But you know... Dallas is a good ole Texas girl. We don't just take things lying down. So, she sucks it up and heads to her first college party in an attempt to have some fun and blow off steam. That's where she meets Carson McClain. He's the kind of guy that can make a girl forget all about why she had decided to hate college. 

Then she finds out he's on her father's football team. And, well... you see where this is going. 



A little more about Dallas: 

She's feisty and direct (aka... brutally honest). That's what happens when you're raised by a football coach. She's snarky and just a touch insecure (aren't we all?). She's unemotional and unattached and that's how she likes it. She prefers to push all of her emotions into her dancing where they're useful. 

And some of my favorite quotes with some potential Dallas's:





(Thanks to Amber, Yvette, and Kim for the awesome graphics. Love you ladies!)

And that's my Dallas. I can't wait for you all to meet her. As a Coach's daughter, it's hard for me not to see myself in her, except, you know, way cooler than me. 

And now that you've met Dallas, you can enter to win a signed advanced copy of All Lined Up! 

And if you want to Pre-Order ALU, you get 10 extra entries in the giveaway (plus that new Garrick/Bliss bonus scene I mentioned)! 



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Friday, April 4, 2014

FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Meet Carson McClain! Plus a Giveaway!



So, we're less than six weeks out from the release of ALL LINED UP on May 13th. If you've been under a rock for the last couple months, it's the start of a new series (the Rusk University series) all about college football. I grew up in Texas with a Coach for a father, so has a lot of me and a lot of my life in it. It's so close to my heart, and I'm so excited to share it with you. 

Like... this excited.



If you need a recap for what the book is about, here's the synopsis:

ALL LINED UP Synopsis:
In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

For the last month, I've been posting #FootballFriday stuff on my Facebook and Twitter (mostly consisting of attractive football players because THAT'S HOW WE DO). But today I wanted to go a little further and introduce you to one specific attractive football player.

His name is Carson McClain, and he's the male main character in All Lined Up.



To start, here's a few pictures I used for inspiration when I was writing the book:



Carson is your all-American boy-next-door. He's Texas born-and-bred with just a little bit of country in him. His best feature is his charming smile (because hot Southern boys always have a charming smile). Dallas is pretty partial to his arms, too. You know, with him being a quarterback and all. 



Carson is focused and determined, and his number one goal? To be the starting quarterback for the Rusk University Football team. He puts in hours and hours of extra practice to make that happen, which is part of the reason why Dallas reacts like this when she sees him without his shirt on for the first time:


But more than how he looks, I just love Carson as a character. He's thoughtful and sweet and funny. Here's a few of my favorite Carson lines from the book: 


I keep my eyes on my feet as he ask, "So, Daredevil, besides jumping off balconies, what other crazy things do you spend your time doing?"
"Hanging out in backyards with complete strangers, obviously."
His blue eyes are practically twinkling when he nudges my shoulder and says, "I've had my hands up your skirt, Daredevil. I think that qualifies me as an acquaintance at least." 


***

"You're it for me. So run if you'd like, but I'll follow. You can try to hold me at arm's length, but I'll never stop trying to pull you close. Be scared if you must, but you're not going to lose me. Not unless your dad comes in and finds me here, then neither of us will have a choice. "



SQUEEEE!!! Well, now you've met my Carson. To me, he's like a mix between Cade and Garrick, so if you're fond of Golden Boy or British Boy, I think you'll enjoy meeting this Country Boy. :)

If you haven't already, please:

Add All Lined Up on Goodreads.
Pre-order your copy! Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks
Read the first three chapters here!


And for stopping by to meet Carson, you can also enter to win some Rusk University swag! This week I'm giving away a Rusk T-shirt! Enter via Rafflecopter below. And stop in next week to meet our heroine, Dallas. And for another chance to win swag from Rusk! 



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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The One Where You Can Meet Dallas and Carson!



Hello my loves!!

I am so, so, SO deep in the writing cave at the moment for book two of the Rusk University series, which if you don't already know is titled ALL BROKE DOWN.

See what I did there? Here's a hint... Book three will start with the word All, too. :)

Anyway, I'm in that final hibernation phase of writing a book where I feel a little like this.

But I'm trucking along. I just wanted to pop in and tell you that today was the massive Excerpt release organized by Inkslinger PR and William Morrow Books. Tons of blogs have participated, posted the excerpt, and talked about All Lined Up, including some street team members who have already read the book and *might* share some of their insight. :) I'll be retweeting posts all day on Twitter if you want to go check them out. 
But I'm also posting the excerpt here for you guys to read! And just to make things a little interesting, I'm posting a giveaway, too! Stay tuned after the excerpt for giveaway details! 
In case you need a refresher on All Lined Up and the Rusk Series... 

ALL LINED UP Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.



And now it's giveaway time! I'll choose 5 winners to receive Cora Carmack swag packs that include:



*Signed ALU postcard
*Signed Losing It Series Bookmarks
*Rusk University bottle opener w/ quote from the book
*Rusk University sticker
*"Awkward people need love, too" bracelet

Open Internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter below! Thanks for reading guys!

Remember to add All Lined Up on Goodreads and Pre-order your copy today!


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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The One with MY TEAM!! OMG!!!

So, first, let me start by saying how completely EXCITED I AM about this. Writing (and then promoting) can be such a lonely job. The idea of having a team to talk about and support my book is kind of the most awesome thing EVER. I'm so glad my publisher decided to do this.



Then there was the fact that over 250 people turned in applications in only a matter of days. Guys, for real, you made me feel so overwhelmed with love and support. And not gonna lie... you made this awkward girl feel pretty cool. 

(Can you imagine how this would turn out if I was doing it? GUM EVERYWHERE.)

Anyway, back to the street team! After basking for a while in all the awesome, my heart started to sink. Because not only were there so many of you, but I adored you all! And my publisher's limit for the street team was 25 people. TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE OUT OF OVER TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY. 


I was going through and making notes, and I literally had HUNDREDS of entries marked as maybes. Because every time I tried to cross someone off the list, I was all...


Because so many of you, I recognize from talking online, or meeting at events, or I read your awesome blogs, and it was just too hard. TOO HARD, I TELL YOU.


So, I brought in the professionals (aka my publicity team) and had them start narrowing it down. Because it probably would have taken me months to decide (if ever). And though it was difficult, they got the team down to twenty-five (miracle workers, I tell you). 

Before I reveal the final twenty-five chosen, I want you guys to know that if you weren't chosen, it doesn't mean that my publisher (or me) doesn't think you're amazing. We're so appreciative of your support, and we always, always want you to have the chance to be involved. If you're a blogger and you haven't already, I highly encourage you to sign up for the InkSlinger PR mailing list. That's the absolute best way to make sure you get in on my cover reveals and other events, if you're interested. 

The aim of this wasn't just to go through and choose the biggest and most popular blogs. The aim was to create a team with various strengths and skill sets. So, though online followings were a big consideration, things like location and specialties and enthusiasm also played a big part. What I'm saying is... it's kind of like this... 


So, without further delay... 


(Okay... maybe a little more delay because I just have to say one more time that I wish we could have had you all. We will most likely start fresh with a new team for each book in the series, so it definitely won't be your last chance to get involved.)


Okay, but for real now, I present to you the RUSK UNIVERSITY STREET TEAM! 

Alana Rock
Amber Noffke
Amoolya Parichuri
Andy Estrada
Anabel Jimenez
Betsy Gehring
Christine from I*Heart*BigBooks
Danielle Finnegan
Elizabeth Lattanzi
Emily Key
Ethan Gregory
Jen Strand
Kaitlan Heaton
Katelyn Torrey
Kim Baker
Krista Davis
Lucy Tonkin
Maggie Hall
Megan Gallt
Momo Xiong
Sara Butler
Stephanie Charlefour
Stephanie Gibson
Yesi Cavasos
Yvette Cervera

If you made the team, I'll be in touch within the next couple days to get things rolling. SO SO excited! 

THANK YOU so much to everyone who applied. Please know you have my love and adoration. And though I wasn't allowed to keep you all (*SOB*), I can give you all something for your willingness to support me and my work. Here's a little snippet of ALL LINED UP in thanks! It's in Dallas's POV toward the beginning of the book. And her friend Stella is dragging her to her first Frat party. (Oh, college). 



For one glorious month, I had entertained visions and fantasies of what college would be like. Rusk wasn’t my ideal school, far from it, but it was something. I could finally make my own decisions and not have to worry about them migrating to the coach’s office before lunchtime. I had ached for high school graduation day like there was a knife in my gut, and I couldn’t pull it out until May. Then my dad was offered the open position here at Rusk, and I feel like I’m still gasping for breath around that knife.
Maybe we aren’t in high school anymore. But it’s the same damn misery with a different name.
Unless I do something about it.
But it’s easier to be miserable, so I shake off Stella’s grasp. “All it takes is one person to say something to someone, who tells some else, who mentions it at church or practice or anywhere, and I’m dead. Stick a fork in me and dip me in hot lava. Dead.”
“God, you’re so overdramatic. Sooner or later, you’ve got to stop being scared of your dad. If you don’t, you’re going to graduate college a virgin with half a dozen cats, some dumb-ass degree he wants that you couldn’t care less about, and only professors and academic journals for friends.”
I wince, because she’s right about almost all of it. She would be furious if she knew I wasn’t a virgin and didn’t tell her. I’d always meant to, but it isn’t exactly my proudest memory, and the longer I’d put it off, the easier it had become to pretend that it wasn’t a thing. I refuse to let it be a thing. Instead, I roll my eyes and say, “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“Hey, I’m just being the voice of reason here.”
“More like the devil on my shoulder.”
“I accept that role.” Stella cackles and nudges her elbow in my side like she’s just said the funniest joke ever. And in spite of myself, I crack a smile.
I stare up at the Delta Sigma house. All the frat houses on campus are old colonial-style mansions with creeping ivy and pearly white columns. They look so presentable…probably in an effort to hide the absolute debauchery that happens inside.
God, I just thought the word debauchery. Stella’s right. I am going to end up a lame cat lady, probably yelling at people from my front porch and waving my cane around like a madwoman.
It just isn’t fair.
College is supposed to be a time to break free, to start fresh. You would think being the football coach’s daughter would be a benefit. I know more about the sport than half the guys at our school, knowledge that should make it easy to land a date.
If they weren’t all petrified of my father.

Love you guys! Thanks for being so awesome! 





Thursday, February 27, 2014

The One Where You Can Join My Team!

As we near the launch of my new Rusk University series and the release of All Lined Up on May 13th, I've been thinking a lot about introducing these new characters and this new world to my awesome readers. Such a huge part of the series is the football team as a whole. Sure, they play football and all that, but there's also a lot going on with them behind the scenes. Dating drama, scandal drama, competitive drama. ALL KINDS OF DRAMA.


Teamwork is such a huge part of the story, and so much of publishing is about teamwork too. I have people behind me like my editor, agent, and publicists. More than that though, I have you guys. You're the driving force behind everything that happens with my books, and none of it would be possible without you. 

So, I thought it was time to make that team official. 

CALLING ALL READERS, BLOGGERS, AND JUST GENERALLY AWESOME PEOPLE! 

I want YOU on the Rusk University Street Team! Yes, You!


What is a Street Team? (Great question!)

A street team is the ultimate set of super readers. I'm looking for people who've read all my books, and love my characters, and are eager for my next fictional journey! A street team helps spread the word about an authors books-- online, in person, and IN SPACE. (Okay... maybe not in space, but you get the idea.) In exchange for all that support, you basically become my people. You get all the inside info, special stuff, and tacklehugs and tequila if I ever meet you in person (The tequila is optional. The tacklehug is not.)


Interested? Here's some more details. 

Here's what's in for you: 

  • Exclusive giveaways ONLY for street team members. ARCs, Swag, Signed copies, and other special stuff. Your odds of winning are MUCH better than when competing with the masses. 
  • Exclusive content and news. When a new book is releasing or I'm writing a new project, you guys will be the first to hear about it! You'll also be the first people I torture tease with excerpts! 
  • Swag for you! Swag for your friends! Swag for strangers you bombard on the street! You shall be the swag queens (or kings... I'm looking at you, rare and exotic male fan).
  • Every active street team member's name will appear in the acknowledgments of my books. Show all your friends how important and beloved you are! 
  • Membership in the exclusive Street team facebook group! Here you can chat with other fans, brainstorm promotional ideas, and hang out with me! I'll pop in for exclusive street team chats and hang outs. Not to mention I might pick your brain about books and characters you'd like to see. ;) 
  • One extra lucky Street Team member will get to join me as my assistant at an upcoming signing after the release of the book! I'll take care of your flight and hotel, and we'll just hang out, meet book people, bask in our awkward goodness. 
As a street team member, there's lots of things you can do to help my books succeed. You don't have to do all of these, but these are some ways that the team can show their support. 

In person you can...

  • Talk the books up and share promo material with friends, family, co-workers, and bookclubs. You can even drop off promo materials at bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, etc. 
  • Buy my books the first week of release, which helps it get more visibility, thereby selling more books
  • Ask your local library to order my books. Give the librarians the title, name and publisher of each book. In the same vein, ask your local bookstore to stock my books if they don't already. 

Online you can... 

  • Share your (honest) review/rating of the book via Amazon, iBooks, BN.com, and Goodreads. I can't even begin to express how big a deal this is in terms of discoverability for new books. 
  • Share interviews, reviews, cover reveals, and other promotional events across your social media and online platforms (Blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Spread the word about my books to your online friends and followers. 
  • “Like” my books and me on Amazon.com & BN.com
  • Like, Retweet, and Share whenever/whatever you can!
  • Recommend the books on Goodreads and elsewhere. As readers, you wield so much influence. And every little bit helps! 
Many of you already do so much of this already, for which I am IMMENSELY grateful. These little things really do go a long way to helping a book succeed! You guys are THE BEST. 



So if you love my books and are looking forward to All Lined Up (check out the goodreads page here), I'd love to have you on the team! If you want an idea of what the book will be like, you can read an excerpt here

To apply to be on the team, fill out the information below. Because team members will receive goodies and extras, there's a limited number of spots available. So, make your applications count! We're looking for the most excited fans who are eager to help out! 

The DEADLINE is 6PM ET on THURSDAY, MARCH 6TH!

We'll be announcing the final team sometime the next day on FRIDAY, MARCH 7TH! 

Fill out the information below, and I CANNOT wait to meet you guys and have some of you join to Rusk Team! 


*Application window is now closed*

STAY TUNED FOR THE STREET TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The One Where Dallas Falls for Carson... Sort Of.

Hey Lovelies!!!

I'm hard at work on Rusk University Book #2, but wanted to stop in for a quick update.

All Lined Up releases May 13th, which seems SO FAR AWAY... I know.

*COME CLOSER MY PRECIOUS*


Luckily, there's a huge sneak peek over on the RT Book Reviews website today! It's from relatively early in the book and is from Carson's POV. If you need a recap: Dallas is the heroine, and her dad is the university football coach. She's sworn off football and it's players, but when she hits it off with Carson, she doesn't realize he's on her Dad's team. 

*womp womp*

Carson doesn't know who she is either, and the last thing he needs is to jeopardize his spot on the team. This particular excerpt comes right after Dallas has had a rather, *ahem* unfortunate run-in with not only her ex-boyfriend, but also with another douchebag from the team. Their first meeting occurs after Carson sees Dallas screaming out her frustration at a frat party. 

So without further ado... Go meet Carson McClain

*HUGS*