Category Archive

all broke down

14 Things I LOVED About 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
(For real though…where has the time gone?! It feels like only yesterday we were freaking out about the possibility of our computers not working on January 1st.)
(#Y2K #neverforget)
As we turn towards 2015, I can’t help but reminisce on all the amazing things that happened in 2014. Here are some of my favorites: 
1. Introducing the world to Rusk University.
Like Dallas, I have a love/hate relationship with football. As such I never would have anticipated how much I would grow to love this series and these characters. Is it weird that they feel like old friends? Like… I just want to hang out with them. All the time. 
2. On a related note, creating Silas Moore.
He was my first attempt at writing a bad boy, and I love him so much. He’s still actually a pretty decent guy, because I am apparently incapable of writing true jerks. But I definitely caught the #SilasVirus when I was writing All Broke Down. Hopefully you did too. 
3. Taylor Swift giving us the glory that is “Shake It Off.”
THIS SONG IS MY JAM AND I’M NOT SORRY.
ALSO HOW AWKWARD AND BRILLIANT IS SHE?
AWKWARD PEOPLE NEED LOVE TOOOOOOO. 
4. Reading some AMAZING BOOKS.
2014 was the year I became addicted to audiobooks, and as such, the year I was able to find a better balance between reading and writing/working. I started the year obsessed with paranormal romance. First I fell for Jeaniene Frost and the Night Huntress series, then Larissa Ione and the Demonica series, then the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill, the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, and everything by Nalini Singh. Then I moved on to historical. My first time ever reading historical romance and it was AMAZING. I devoured everything Lisa Kleypas has ever written. Sarah Maclean too. Also Tessa Dare and Sabrina Jeffries. I also took the time to get back to my YA roots. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas blew my mind this year. As did the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. And I said goodbye to several favorite series including The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington. And of course… I read some fantastic NA books this year. This is the year I became even more obsessed with Samantha Young (seriously, she can do no wrong). I fangirled all over Christina Lauren. I read more from the consistently fabulous KA Tucker, Jay Crownover, Monica Murphy, and J. Lynn. And discovered some new favorites like Deeper by Robin York, Boomerang by Noelle August, When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill,  and Chase me by Tessa Bailey (I’m totally obsessed with her too. She’s the only author this year that I badgered to give me books early because I JUST COULDN’T WAIT). And now I’m ending the year with an AMAZING read by Caisey Quinn called Leaving Amarillo that just might end up being my favorite of the entire year (if I finish it before midnight). 
5. Meeting so many amazing people in so many amazing places.

I got to go to some fabulous places in 2014.
San Diego. Las Vegas. Baltimore. New York. San Antonio. New Orleans. Edinburgh. Dublin. Orlando. Des Moines. Miami. Nashville. Denver. And probably even more that I’m forgetting. I went so many places it’s hard to keep track of when they all happened. I got to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones. I met readers who loved my characters as much as I do, who talked Harry Potter/Dr. Who/All the nerdy things with me, who continually reminded me of how blessed I am to do what I love. I met some authors that I’ve admired for a long time. Sarah J. Maas? Totally fangirled all over her. Nalini Singh? Her too. Maria V. Snyder? I was very nearly speechless. Certainly quite awkward. I’m just gonna declare 2014’s official hashtag as #whatislife because I asked myself that on numerous occasions. I’ve always wanted to travel. And I can vividly remember my junior year in college when I decided to study abroad. I threw all my money and effort into making that trip happen because I was convinced it was my only shot. I’d prepared myself for a life as a starving artist, and I told myself that if I could just have that one adventure that maybe it would sustain me through all the rest of my years when my wanderlust would be stifled. It still blows my mind that I now get to travel for my job. That I travel so much I recognize flight attendants and TSA agents. 

6.  Writing stuff like this:

7.  Literally everything that Benedict Cumberbatch did.
 But especially his quadruple Ice Bucket Challenge. *drools*
8. Getting to spend another year with Kitty Katniss. 
ISN’T SHE PRECIOUS? #crazycatlady
9.  Making my return to fantasy with INSPIRE.

Most people don’t know this… but Losing It was the first time I ever wrote a contemporary story. Ever. Before that, I’d only written fantasy. For five years I wrote fantasy, and Losing It was just an itch I needed to scratch. It was a wonderful surprise and adventure when that book did as well as it did, and it set my life on a course I never could have imagined. I’ve loved each and every book I’ve written since then, but I spent a great deal of time missing fantasy. I love writing romance. I love writing about characters figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their life. But I also love that extra something special and unique that comes with writing a story that’s not quite realistic. I got to return to my first love with INSPIRE, melding the supernatural and mythology with the story of two people falling in love. And I cherished every moment. Thank you so much to those who took that leap with me and gave that new book a chance. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate it. Publishing that book fulfilled a dream I’ve had for many, many years. 

10. Crossing this rope bridge in Northern Ireland (and not dying!)
11.  Binge-watching Orphan Black (and subsequently forcing everyone I know to do the same.)
SEASON THREE STARTS APRIL 18TH! GET YOUR DVRs READY!!
12. Getting to discuss my very favorite chapter of Order of the Phoenix on Alohomora, the Harry Potter podcast from Mugglenet!
 Seriously… *pinch me* I can’t believe that actually happened. 
13. Writing stuff like this:
14.  The final thing I loved about 2014 was the way time flew by.

Seriously, this year passed so quickly that I kept getting confused between what was 2014 and what was 2013 when I wrote this post. And time only flies like that when you’re having fun. And while a career as an author means working crazy hours and traveling a lot and promoting until you feel like one of those inflatable flailing arm dudes just crying out in desperation, “BUY MY BOOK! PLEASE BUY MY BOOK!”, it is also the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s insane that I get to tell stories for a living. Because I spent so long just telling them for myself. And I still cannot believe that I get paid to do this.  And I’m just grateful to have had another year. Especially at a time when sales numbers are down and authors across the board are struggling, I’m thankful for all 365 days that I got to do what I loved. And I have my fingers crossed for 365 more. 

And now… a 15th thing to look forward to for 2015! 
I am so excited for so many of the projects I have coming in 2015! I’ve got several things in the works that I’m really excited about, but here’s a couple things I can tell you about now! 
There’s book 2 in the Muse series (sequel to INSPIRE):
Release date TBA, but mostly likely in the first half of the year. 
There’s also ALL PLAYED OUT coming in May! And I’m sooo excited for everyone to spend a little more time with Torres and Nell. I am obsessed with them. So here’s a little teaser from APO: 
“What is that?” I ask.
“A bad decision.”
“Then why are you making it for me?”
He shoots me a lopsided smile, and I’m forced to acknowledge that maybe the warmth creeping up my neck has far less to do with alcohol than I wish it did. “No, sweetheart. It’s called a bad decision. The drink. It’s my own special invention.”  
He hands me the cup, and I stare at it warily. He moves closer to me, nudging the cup closer to my mouth with his finger.
“Why should I trust you?”
He seems to enjoy my suspicion.
“Always gotta fight me. Just try it. It’s sweet. I guarantee you’ll like it much better than the beer.”
I take a deep breath, think of my list, and then lift it to my mouth. The flavor curls over my tongue, tangy and sweet. “I can’t even taste the alcohol,” I say.
He smiles. “That’s why it’s called bad decision. Because too many of those will sneak up on you.”
I take another drink, simultaneously watching him lift a beer, my old beer, to his lips. If you’d described the scene to me two weeks ago, my first thought would have been ew, germs. Now… it makes my mouth go dry, and I find myself watching his mouth long after he lowers the bottle. I clear my throat and take another sip to wet my inexplicably parched throat. I don’t know why anyone would choose beer over something like this. I tell him, “It’s really good. Thank you.”
He’s looking away from me and out at the party as he says, “For you, Nell, I’ll make as many bad decisions as you want.”
Then his gaze tracks back to mine, and he winks, and I know if I touched my skin now, it would be burning. 
(You can pre-order All Played Out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks, and you can add it on Goodreads too!) 
Thanks for another fabulous year! And may 2015 be just as awesome. May we all be a little happier, a little kinder, more understanding, more daring, and more true to ourselves. 
In Awkward Love <3,
Cora

The One with ALL BROKE DOWN!!! YAAAAAAY!!

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! ALL BROKE DOWN IS OUT IN THE WORLD FOR EVERYONE TO READ! I’ve spent all morning doing my own variations of a touchdown celebration….it’s looked kind of like this:

 …and this…
 …and this…
 ….and this….
 …but mostly this:
(I FEEL YOU, NUMBER 63!!)
If this is your first time visiting my blog and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, ALL BROKE DOWN is the second novel in my Rusk University series, and it released today! You can check it out on Goodreads, or keep reading below for more information. 😀

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, education—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail for a few hours, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and not at all her type, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

 Amazon  

Releasing a new book is always thrilling, but I feel extra eager for All Broke Down. A good girl meets bad boy story– it’s the longest book I’ve ever written (beating out Faking It by about 15k words) and by far the steamiest. As always, you can expect some awkward interaction, flirty dialogue, and realistic characters. Though darker than All Lined Up, you can still expect the same Friday Night Lights feel (but with more kissing). And if you haven’t read All Lined Up, that’s okay! Just as with all my books, they can stand alone and be read out of order.  
If you have some time today, I’d love for you to stop by the Rusk University Pep Rally on Facebook! The party started last night and we’ve had such a blast so far! We’ve got giveaways planned– signed books, gift cards, swag and more! And we’ve got some awesome Guest Authors who will be popping in for visits. People like Jay Crownover, Christina Lauren, K.A. Tucker, Melody Grace, Laura Kaye, Lauren Blakely, Sophie Jordan, Monica Murphy, Tessa Bailey, Chelsea Fine, Caisey Quinn, and Alyssa Rose Ivy. (I adore all of these peeps and hope you’re as excited as I am to hang out with them).  Check out this master post for links to all of the active giveaways, as well as any bonus content, deleted scenes, or teasers that have been posted in the event so far!
Thanks as always for reading! I’d love to hear from you guys today and over the next few days as you get to know Silas and Dylan! If you spot All Broke Down out in the wild, feel free to take a picture. Talk to me on Facebook and Twitter – y’all know I’m going to be glued there all day. 😉  If you’re looking for ways to help support me and the Rusk University series, consider telling your friends about the book and buying your copy during release week (if you don’t pre-order that is)! And if you’re willing to leave a review on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, or another retailer, that can go a long way to helping a book succeed! 

Here’s another little snippet of All Broke Down to help get you excited for Silas Moore!
******************************************************************************************
“You might think you need to stay away from me because I’m not your usual relationship material, but I think that’s exactly why you need me. You need to just have some fun. Be young for a little while before it’s too late.”

She sighs, flipping on her blinker with a little too much aggression, and turning onto another residential street.

“Okay.”

For a moment I think I’m just hearing what I want to hear.

“Okay what?”

“Okay, I’ll stop thinking so much.”

I wait for her to pause at a stop sign, and then I lean over and kiss her. She makes a surprised sound in my mouth, but then she hums when I drag my lips over her once, then again.

Someone honks behind us, but this time they can fucking wait. I throw my middle finger up to the douche behind us and press her back against her seat just long enough to make sure she knows she’s made a good decision.

I hear the car peel out around us, still honking, but I’m not about to let her run on me again.

When she’s making those little breathy noises again, and her hands have left the steering wheel to clutch at my hair, I slowly pull back.

“I think we’re already making tremendous advances in your therapy, Pickle.”

The dazed look on her face lasts only a few seconds before she pushes me back over into my seat and says, “God, you’re so arrogant.”

I laugh and don’t deny it.

She smooths her hair down and pulls away from the stop sign. She glances at me out of the corner of her eye every few seconds for the rest of the drive. Each look is like a shot of adrenaline and by the time she says, “We’re here,” it’s all I can do not to pin her to the seat again.

She slows to a stop behind a truck parked on the side of the road. The street is lined with cars for several hundred yards ahead of us, and a group of people is gathered in a yard a couple of houses down.

“We’re doing something with other people?” I sound like a whining kid because I’d thought I would have her to myself, that I could continue whittling down those walls of hers.

“Come on. We’re running a little late, and we still have to check in.”

I sigh and push open the door. As we get closer, I see tools and paint and hardware, and the picture begins to come together.

I loop an arm around her neck, and though she tenses, she doesn’t push me away. I lower my mouth to her ear and say, “You’re putting me to work.”

“You want to be a better leader for your team. First step to being a leader is learning to put others before yourself. Besides . . . sometimes a little work is good for you.”

“I can think of another way you could have put me to work that’s much more enjoyable.”

She does push me off then, but she’s smiling.

“I’m not talking about you and your . . . You know. This kind of work is positive. We’re helping people.”

“My way is just another kind of helping. And I promise it would be a very positive experience for all involved.”

“Just when I think I’ve got a handle on your ego, it gets even bigger.”

I grin. “I thought we weren’t talking about me and my you-know.”

She shoves at my arm, barely moving me an inch. “Oh my God. You’re terrible.”
************************************************************************************

If you’re waiting on the UPS guy to deliver your book, you can pass the time by reading the first two chapters of All Broke Down, as well as all the other teasers I’ve released so far, HERE!
I love you all so much! Like seriously…you guys don’t understand HOW much I love you.
<3 Cora

Football Friday: Meet Silas Moore + an ARC Giveaway!

We’re just FOUR DAYS away from the release of ALL BROKE DOWN! 
FOUR DAYS!!! Which, as you can probably guess, has me feeling a little bit like this…
 and a little bit like this….
 and basically a whole lot of this….

If you aren’t yet familiar with All Broke Down, you can check it out on Goodreads, and you can read the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS, as well as all the teasers I’ve released so far, here!  You can pre-order ABD on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or iTunes. AND THEN, if you need a little more incentive, those who pre-order All Broke down (in any format) and then enter their pre-order info HERE will receive an official Rusk University “Back to School” pack that includes a ton of Wildcat goodies – including a Rusk folder, swag, a pen, a temporary tattoo, and a little something special from Book 3, ALL PLAYED OUT!! (US only).

If you’re new to the Rusk University series, each book stands alone and can be read without reading the previous books. But if you want to check out book one, All Lined Up, it’s at a special promotional price of $.99 right now as we gear up for All Broke Down’s release!

Last week, I introduced you to Dylan Brenner, the heroine of All Broke Down. This week, I’d like to tell you all about my bad boy, Silas Moore!

Ahh… Silas. That dude does something to my heart. If you’ve read All Lined Up, you might think Silas is kind of a jerkface (SPOILER ALERT: he was). While he wasn’t the jerkiest jerkface in that book, he still was one of the antagonists who caused problems for Dallas and Carson. I knew as soon as I started writing him in ALU that he was eventually going to be the hero in one of the later books. I’ve written a lot of nice guys (Can I get an awww for Golden Boy?). And I thought it was about time I try my hand at something different. 
He makes some bad decisions. Okay, a lot of them. One of which lands him in a jail holding cell near the beginning of All Broke Down. I wanted him to be a bad boy, but at the same time, I’m not a fan of guys that treat girls badly and behave rudely. So I had to balance his issues with charm. And it was so much fun getting to dissect his behavior and learn why he behaves the way he does. Bottom line: Silas is just looking for a place he fits. Where he feels like he belongs. But that’s tough when you think you’re a screw-up who doesn’t deserve a chance at something better. So a lot of the time, he ends up sabotaging himself. 
Another thing I’m not a huge fan of? The idea that love can fix a bad boy. That a girl can somehow turn a jerk into a decent dude with some sexy smooching. Talk about pressure, man. So rather than falling into this cliche or avoiding it completely, I decided to embrace it, and turn it just a little on it’s head. When Silas finds himself in danger of losing his spot on the Rusk football team (the only place where he feels like he’s worth something), he turns to do-gooder Dylan and he asks for the cliche. He wants her to fix him. But he gets more than he bargained for when she puts him to work and makes him volunteer and work with charities. In the end though, Silas is the one who has to change himself. He has to figure out his worth off the field and out of the bedroom. 
This is what I picture Silas looking like. *swoon*
But of course… being the bad boy that he is… Silas doesn’t always play nice. He’s sexy and take charge,  and when he decides he wants Dylan, there’s nothing that will get in his way. 
And it just wouldn’t be right to talk about Silas without giving you a little taste of the smexy. So here’ s a little snippet to whet your appetite: 
I pull away enough to pop open another button, revealing the top of her cleavage. She shifts closer, and she’s soft everywhere I’m hard, and the friction turns my spine into a live wire.
“For the record, I still think this might be a bad idea.”
“For the record, I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had.”
Her fingers trace lightly back and forth over the back of my neck, and I’m a ticking time bomb. Each stroke makes my fuse a little bit shorter, and I need to get those buttons undone before I forget about not destroying her shirt.
With an agility and speed that I was missing today in practice, I have the rest of her buttons undone and her shirt open in seconds. Her bra is this pale purple that cups her small breasts perfectly. Her narrow waist flares out into curvy hips covered by a snug skirt. I can’t decide whether I want the skirt off or hiked up around her waist.
Deciding on the latter, I grip her hips and lift her up onto the kitchen counter. There’s a certain appeal in seeing her still in those fancy clothes, but pulled and bunched and revealed however I can manage. I love to see her go from pristine to disheveled all because of me. Slowly, I push the edge of her skirt up her thighs. When I can’t move it any farther, I say, “Lift up your hips.”
She wets her bottom lip, and my cock twitches at the sight. Her nerves just kick up my adrenaline. I give her a few seconds to adjust, taking two steps back to look at her.
She snaps her legs closed and sits up straight. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to decide exactly what I want to do to you.”
She hunches over, shaking her head and laughing under her breath. “It’s like you’re trying to give me a heart attack.”
“I don’t want to give you a heart attack. I want to make you come. The question is just how.”
She tilts her head to the side and blinks at me. “How are you so comfortable with this?”
I don’t think she wants the real answer to her question . . . that I’ve been doing this for a very long time, since before I was really even old enough to understand half of what I was doing.
“I just know what I want, what I like. And if you’ll let me, I’ll help you figure that out, too. You want that?”
Tentatively, she nods. I cross to her again and slide my hands up her thighs to where I left off with her skirt.
“So, tell me what you like, Dylan Brenner.”

MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. (If you want to see some more sexy Silas excerpts, check out ones that I’ve previously posted here).

I’d love it if you’d join me at the All Broke Down Pep Rally on October 27&28! It’s an online party, so you can attend from anywhere in the world (in your pajamas if you so choose), and we have an amazing line-up of guest authors who will be popping in throughout the day, and there’s going to be lots of giveaways and Wildcat-related fun! And in the spirit of Dylan and her charitable ways, if we get 350 people to RSVP to the event, I’ll donate $350 to a local non-profit homeless shelter. You can find more details about that at the pep rally link above. But I’d love for you to attend! And bring a friend!

There’s something about being so close to release day that makes me want to give stuff away…and since we’re four days away, that means there’s still time to win an ADVANCED copy of All Broke Down! Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a signed ARC of All Broke Down and an official Rusk University tote!

Football Friday: Meet Dylan Brenner + an ARC Giveaway!

We’re less than two weeks away from the release of ALL BROKE DOWN!!! ARCs have been distributed, reviews are starting to roll in, and my excitement level is through the freakin’ roof!

If you aren’t yet familiar with All Broke Down, you can check it out on Goodreads. (You can read the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of All Broke Down, as well as all the teasers I’ve released so far, here!  You can pre-order ABD on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or iTunes, and you can even pre-order a signed and personalized copy from Word Bookstores (ENDS TODAY 10/17). AND THEN, if you need a little more incentive, those who pre-order All Broke down and then enter their pre-order info HERE will receive an official Rusk University “Back to School” pack that includes a ton of Wildcat goodies – including a Rusk folder, swag, a pen, a temporary tattoo, and a little something special from Book 3, ALL PLAYED OUT!!

If you’re new to the Rusk University series, each book stands alone and can be read without reading the previous books. But if you want to check out book one, All Lined Up, it’s at a special promotional price of $.99 right now as we gear up for All Broke Down’s release!

Today, I’m excited to introduce you all to the heroine of All Broke Down: Dylan Brenner!

Dylan is a little bit hipster, with a touch of sophistication. These were my inspiration photos when I was writing her:

(Yes, I needed an outfit inspiration pic too 😀 ).

Dylan is the ultimate people pleaser. That’s the way she’s always connected with people, always found her worth. She’s the perfect child to her strict and not-so-nurturing adopted parents. She’s the ideal girlfriend for her (likely to be a politician someday) boyfriend. And she’s a compassionate activist for those less fortunate than herself.

Then her boyfriend breaks up with her. She feels like she’s suffocating in her own family. And a lapse in judgement (okay, total mind melt) gets her arrested at what was supposed to be a polite and peaceful protest. Dylan has always been respectful and straight-laced and the ultimate good girl. But she’s about to learn how to live for herself instead of other people, and a certain sexy football player is out to give her a lesson in what it feels like to be a little bad.

Here are a few graphic teasers from All Broke Down to give you a little more of Dylan: 
And this one’s not technically Dylan. It’s Silas. But it’s what he thinks about her and is one of my favorite moments in the book. *sigh*
And my favorite Dylan quote (and what could pretty much be the motto for the Rusk University series): 
“Why isn’t there a reality TV show filled with hot guys doing sweaty, mouth-watering tasks? Oh, right. That’s called sports.” 

Now that you’ve met Dylan, you can enter to win a signed advanced copy of All Broke Down PLUS a Rusk University notebook! It’s perfect for jotting down all your philanthropic ideas….or just writing “Future Mrs. Silas Moore”….not that Dylan does that or anything. (She totally does. Who among us can blame her?)

Giveaway is open internationally. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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