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football

ALL PLAYED OUT Cover Reveal + Behind the Scenes!!

First of all, welcome to the first blog on my SHINY NEW WEBSITE!! We’ve been working on this for awhile, and I’m super pleased with how it turned out. Feel free to click around, and be sure to check back often. We’re a work in progress, but we’ve got some fun plans for this place. 

Now let’s get down to business….TO DEFEAT THE HUNS!

tumblr_mvxgkhfFYs1sh4reto1_500(Anyone? Just me? Anyway….)

Today, I’m REALLY FREAKING EXCITED about ALL PLAYED OUT!!

ALL PLAYED OUT is the third book in the Rusk University series. It’s a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel published by William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins) and it’s scheduled to release on May 12, 2015.

ALL PLAYED OUT
by Cora Carmack

Available May 12, 2015

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 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.

Pre-order ALL PLAYED OUT on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks. Plus you can add it on Goodreads!

Now, I know what you’re thinking….

tumblr_milmeh3x6J1qj13q4o2_250 And I totally get it! I want to share Nell and Torres’ story with you guys SOOOOOOOOO badly – but unfortunately, I can’t quite yet. But I have the next best thing – the cover!!

But first… a behind the scenes look!

For the first time in NINE books (holy crap! NINE!), I got to do something special with APO. My publisher organized a cover shoot, and not only did I get to pick the models, but I got to GO!

Our photographer was the incredible Kelsey Kukal-Keeton of K Keeton Designs, and we did the shoot near where she lives in Springfield, MO. She managed to get us some time inside a fraternity loft from a local university (apparently, they can’t party in their house in campus, so they needed a party apartment downtown. Lolforever).
Did I mention that the shoot was the day after Halloween? YEAHHH. And that we arranged for them to just leave the apartment how it had been after the party because we wanted that authentic post-frat party feel?  Yeaaaaah. I might have spotted a little vomit on the couch, and then didn’t sit down for the rest of the time I was there.

yuckBut anyway… we arrived at around 10 AM and one of the fraternity guys came downstairs to let us in. From the moment we got into the stairwell, it smelled overwhelmingly of beer and poor life choices. In fact, there were several empty beer cans on the ground as we climbed a few flights of stairs up to where we’d be shooting.

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It was decorated like you might expect a fraternity loft to be. Beer signs. A huge beer pong table hung by chains from the ceiling. And a giant ass American flag. #MERICA. There were half-full beer cans on a few surfaces. A nearly empty keg in the corner. And those massive gray outdoor trashcans. Three of them. Full of empty cans. They even had a fog machine, guys. This was serious.

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Enter our models: Autumn and Isaiah.

They were both gorgeous. And so SUPER nice. And also made uncomfortable by our surroundings.

Autumn and Isaiah

So, left alone to our own devices, I did some snooping in an attempt to find some cleaning supplies to make the area we’d be shooting a little more… hospitable. Unfortunately, the only cleaning supply they had on hand was WINDEX.

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There was one point while we were setting up that a half naked dude came out of the back hallway in search of a phone he’d lost the night before.  We all helped him search. Well… everyone else helped while I tried not to laugh and took terrible, blurry, surreptitious photos.

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Later, a door opened in the back hallway and 2 dude and like 5 girls made the walk of shame. I was too slow to get pictures of that.

*curses the heavens*

But finally, we got down to business.

Kelsey was great, as was her husband who assisted her. And the models totally rocked it. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I would have been happy to have 95% of the pictures as my cover. They did sweet and sexy and SEXIER.

Here’s a few awesome outtakes that were some of our favorites, but we didn’t use in the end.

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*fans self*

But then there was a point toward the end of the shoot where we started taking photos that might be good for the teaser graphics we’re all so fond of. And since Torres is freaking hilarious (Gah, I love him so much), I figured we’d have at least one teaser with a funny one liner. So, we tried for some shots where they were smiling and laughing together. It took a little bit to get a decent shot. (IT’S REALLY HARD TO LAUGH ON COMMAND AND NOT LOOK LIKE A DOUCHE). But eventually we all started laughing about how bad they were at laughing, and Kelsey snapped this shot that was just so genuine and cute. It was only supposed to be for a teaser graphic.

But when I saw it I fell in love. This shot IS Torres and Nell.

We could have gone with any one of the gorgeous pictures above and had a super hot, sexy cover. And it would have been great. Because Torres is pretty freaking sexy (There’s this scene in a library, and another scene in his truck, and another– I digress).

But the smexy is not what sets this book apart. It’s the characters. They’re hilarious. And vibrant. And awkward.

And this cover is all of those things.

So without further ado… I present to you, the cover for All Played Out!

Pre-order ALL PLAYED OUT on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iBooks. Plus you can add it on Goodreads!

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And just in case this cover wasn’t exciting enough, check out this other tidbit of Rusk University news….

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Your eyes are NOT deceiving you! ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN are on sale for only 99 CENTS EACH!! That’s crazy town! So it’s a great time to start the series if you haven’t, or to share it with a friend!

All Lined Up: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks
All Broke Down: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks

AND… AND… AND…

You might be aware of a new book I released in December. A sexy NA paranormal called INSPIRE.

And it, too, is on sale for $.99 for a limited time only!

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Amazon| B&N | iBooks

Even if you’ve not read paranormal before, I hope you’ll give it a shot. At it’s core, it’s still very much so an NA romance. In fact, there are whole sections of the book that don’t feel even remotely paranormal. It’s got all the angst and real life struggle of NA with a little extra oomph. And Wilder gives Silas Moore a run for his money in the sexy book boyfriend department. ;)

And that’s the last of my announcements. I want to give one final gigantic thanks to Kelsey of K Keeton Designs and the Harper design team for being the absolute best.

And for sticking around, have a little more Torres. :)

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To make sure you never miss important news about releases and sales and special content, sign up for my newsletter.

footballfridays

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!

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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 :D ).

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. :)

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footballfridays

Football Friday: Meet Coach Cole and the Rusk University Wildcats (Plus a Giveaway)!

Well, guys, here we are. Four days away from the release of All Lined Up, and I am basically just in a constant state of:

As excited as I am that ALU releases in four days (please refer to the .gifs above for more information), I’m a little sad at the same time, because it means this is the last #FootballFriday. I’ve so enjoyed celebrating this hashtag every week in our little corner of the internet! The good news is that once All Lined Up is out, EVERY day can be #FootballFriday! Please tweet or facebook me pictures of hot Football players. I will NEVER say no to that. :) 

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 in case you need MORE incentive, if you pre-order ALU and  register here, you’ll get  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! So far I introduced Carson McClainthe heroine Dallas ColeBFF slash Badass Stella Santos, bad boys Levi and Silas, and team manager Ryan.

A quick re-cap

So, on this final football Friday, we’re talking about the team in general. 
Just like the Losing It series, each book will focus on a new couple, but I really wanted the team as a whole to feel like a character that you got to follow the arc of through the entire series. So each book fleshes out the team a little more and introduces new players. It’s been so much fun to write the team all together that this series might just never end. I’ll just keep adding more and more players and continuing Rusk’s story. Maybe. :) 
So, here’s what you need to know. The Rusk University football team has seen better days. So in the first book, All Lined Up they’ve brought in a coach with a reputation for turning around losing programs. That would be Dallas’s dad, Coach Cole. Here’s a little teaser introduction to him: 
The Coach was definitely one of my favorite characters to write. I got to write the cool speeches he gives to pump up the team. Here’s a little snippet of one of those: 

And one particular speech of his makes me tear up EVERY TIME (but you’ll have to read the book to see that one). Which is weird, I know, because I wrote it. But the coach is so much like my dad (who was a coach before he retired), so I’m naturally pretty emotionally attached to him. And for whatever reason, I’ve always been the type of person to cry at Sports movies. Remember the Titans? HITS ME RIGHT IN THE FEELS.
You may be thinking that ALU isn’t for you if you’re not a big football fan. But you’re not alone there, I promise! Dallas, the main character, pretty much loathes football. So I think (I HOPE) I’ve written it in a way where you don’t have to care about football to enjoy the book. I’ll admit that I even have a love/hate relationship with football. It’s a natural by-product of being surrounded by it all my life. But with ALU, I wasn’t trying to capture the sport, but rather the spirit of it. The way it brings people together and lifts people up. 

I got to write the fun team and university traditions. The good days and the bad ones. I got to write the team dynamic– the way the guys mess with each other and butt heads. Really, they’re like one big dysfunctional (very attractive and muscled) family. 
(This guy may or may not be from the scene that makes me tear up every time). 

Plus… I mentioned all the attractive and muscled players… yeah? 
I hope you’ll love meeting the team as much as I loved creating it. And make sure you’re following my facebook and twitter because we’ve got some pretty awesome stuff planned next week for the release! And I want to say a huge thank you in advance to all those who will buy, read, review, etc! I couldn’t do what I do without you, and I cannot tell you how appreciative I am! 
Now… enter to win my very LAST ARC of All Lined Up! Open Internationally! 

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Football Friday: Meet Ryan Blake plus a Giveaway!

GUYS. IT’S MAY.
THAT MEANS ALL LINED UP COMES OUT THIS MONTH!

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. EVEN BETTER… you can now order your own signed paperback from Word Bookstore and get it on release day! So far I introduced Carson McClainthe heroine Dallas ColeBFF slash Badass Stella Santos, and bad boys Levi and Silas.

And now I’m introducing Ryan Blake, team manager and Carson’s friend.
Ryan is a bit on the nerdy side, but he still loves sports and aspires to be an athletic trainer. When he and Carson become friends, he gives a much-needed bit of levity. Carson is so focused and determined that he’ll drive himself into the ground. Ryan helps him work towards his goal of becoming starting quarterback, but also helps him loosen up. Ryan is funny, shamelessly flirty, and extremely loyal.
Here’s a few teaser graphics from ALU:
I mentioned he was shameless… right? ;)
Ryan is actually the hero of book three in the series, which I’m scheduled to start working on soon, and I’m so excited. I have a feeling I’m going to laugh A LOT in that book. :)
And that’s Ryan. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed ARC and meet him in person! (Or you know… in pages).

And if you’re heading to RT convention in New Orleans, or you live in the area, join me (and a bunch of other awesome authors) for a signing on release day (May 13th) at Garden District Books! 

 

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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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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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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! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ER-banner-ALU

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

dwight-fist-pump

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!