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dallas

The Dos and Don’ts of College, According to Dallas and Stella

With each hour that passes, we’re just a little bit closer to May 13th, a.k.a the release day for All Lined Up, a.k.a. Cora is freaking out/imploding from excitement and/or nervousness. 
 

If this is the first you’ve heard of All Lined Up, learn more about it on Goodreads. You can also read the first thirty-four pages HERE. And if you need a little bit more motivation, pre-order ALU and register here and you’ll receive a BRAND NEW Garrick and Bliss scene post Losing It/Keeping Her! EVEN BETTER… you can now order your own signed paperback from Word Bookstore and get it on release day!

You’ve already met our heroine Dallas Cole and her best friend Stella Santos, and you may be wondering “How do two people who are so very different manage to stay friends?” Dallas and Stella are basically poster children for the old saying, “Opposites Attract.” Dallas is shy and awkward with a side of I-Hate-Everything. Stella is the life of the party, and nothing gets her down. When Dallas is all like,

Stella’s all like, 

But they make it work, because they understand when it’s okay to push each other’s buttons and when it’s better to take a wide berth. They soften each other, and pull each other away from their more extreme tendencies. Stella can get so wrapped up in the idea of having fun that she forgets about consequences or just pretends they don’t exist. Dallas is a little too constricted and a bit of a pessimist, and needs to loosen up. And so they’ve come up with a system for helping each other out of their comfort zones. It’s actually loosely based on a system I had with a very dear friend. I’ll let you guess whether I was the awkward or the wild one. Like there’s any doubt there.

Here’s a little snippet from the book to explain their system:

We have this rule, something that’s helped us stay friends despite

how completely polar opposite our personalities are. It’s a
system of give and take, wherein I temper her crazy side and she
forces me to live a little.

When Stella showed up to take the SATs drunk, she got the
Dallas Cole Don’t- Be- A- Douche Stamp of Disapproval. It was my
non- nagging way of telling her that she’d gone too far. And though
there wasn’t much to do about it that Saturday, Stella signed up to
take the test again, and when the next testing day rolled around,
she was sober and serious and pulled off a decent score.

Alternately, there is the Stella Santos Suck- It- Up- You- Prude
Stamp of Approval. That stamp has gotten me into more trouble
than I care to list, including Stella’s brilliant idea to wrap a house with
toilet paper and stick maxi pads to the glass front door. What her
plan didn’t include was the knowledge that said house belonged to a

policeman, who was not keen on being an advertisement for Kotex.

The stamps are a staple of their friendship, and no matter what… when a stamp is issued, you can’t say no. 

With that in mind, I’d like to present to you all The Dos and Don’ts of College, According to Dallas and Stella! See what gets approved and disapproved by our besties! 

 #1: 8 A.M. Psychology? You should…

#2: It’s Friday night! Time to…

 #3: After spending the night with a guy, you….
Or try to anyway…
#4: Girls’ Night Out! Grab your best friends so you can…
Try? Fail? Try again? Fail even harder?
 #5: Your crush is out with another girl, but you’re not the type to wallow in self pity. Instead…
Or don’t…
#6: If you can’t get into a club…
 #7: To commemorate a special occasion (or just because you want to)….
Or not…
 
 #8: Need some exercise? Try this…
#9: Hey, it worked for Bliss….
Not so much… 
#10. When in doubt…
And… hate yourself. 

(MAJOR thanks to Christine at I Heart Big Books for these amazing graphics!)

Want to find out if you’re a Stella or a Dallas? Take the quiz!!

Then please feel free to share your favorite advice from above! Or come up with your own! 

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)! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 almostall 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! 

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*