Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Special Book Announcement: Rusk University News from Cora Carmack

Hi Readers,

I am proud to bring to you this announcement by Cora Carmack. Those of you who are fans of her Rusk University series, and have read my review for All Broke Down know that there were many thoughts and feels. Reading this has eased away the worry and doubt that might have crossed through my mind.


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

    ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

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


A Letter from Cora

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

    Hello beloved readers!   The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?"   At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).   But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.    I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.   So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.   So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…   ALL CLOSED OFF:   Stella Santos is fine.   Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.   But none of that matters because she’s just fine.   For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.   When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.   Vulnerable.

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

#WhenitHappened banner

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

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her.  Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.   If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….   If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….   If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…   I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.   So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.   #WhenItHappened Google Form:


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

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    z-InkSlinger Blogger

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Apollycon Wrap-up!

Hi readers!

I know it's taken me a while to get this post up. I sincerely apologize, my life has been incredibly busy this past month. But, anyway let's get on to the good stuff shall we!

A couple of weeks ago. I attended the ApollyCon Author Event, that was to celebrate the release of Jennifer L. Armentrout's novel THE RETURN. It is the first novel in her Titan spin-off series! Now this was my first big author event and I had no idea what to expect. So I went with an open mind, and it was so much fun!

Yes, the lines were crazy, and yes there were a lot of people.

But It was a great time to meet some new people, and hang out with some old friends and fellow Carmcats!

Fellow Carmcats, Friends, and Part of the Safe Space Crew! Love you Ladies!
(Photo taken by Krista of Krista's Dust Jackets)

The first night that I got to the hotel I met with some friends, and we all had such a good time. We got lunch and then hung out until we were able to check in both at the hotel and the event. After a while we went to the hotel lobby and hung out some more, waiting for other person's to arrive. The happy hour was hopping!! Our group even made a new friend and her name was Shannon! She fit in with all of us perfectly and it was great meeting her! 

I only wish that I had taken more photos, I blame the said happy hour! HAHA. But we all had a fantastic time, so the lack of photos was totally worth it.

After the happy hour our group group met with some fellow Carmcats for an epic game of Cards Against Humanity! Who knew a night playing card games would be so much fun! 

( Photo by Lindsay, Cora's BFF! )

After our epic game of CAH, we all went to bed a crashed. After all tomorrow was going to be a very busy day! There were lines leading up to the ballroom, as well as in the ballroom! 

The picture below was once you got into the ballroom, the line continued outside and wrapped around a hallway, and into a lobby seating area!

( Photo by Krista of  Krista's Dust Jackets)

Especially to JLA's line, that one took us at least 2 hours to get to and that was after all the VIR time had gone by. They let us back in for a second go at getting to see the authors that we may have missed. The motto for the day between my friends and I was "Divide and Conquer!" And thank goodness we had done that, otherwise I don't think that we would have gotten to everyone.

Drew Leighty (Seth Cover Model) & Jennifer L. Armentrout

I was also able to meet Tessa Bailey, Jay Crownover, Jamie McGuire, Tiffany King, Megan Erickson, and Kristin Proby. As well as friend Cora Carmack! 

By the end of the event I had aquired 10 new books in addition to the 12 that I had brought with me. As well as a whole bunch of Swag! That ended up taking over my entire kitchen table! 

All the Swag

I feel that after this event I shall be prepared to attend any other author event that I attend in the near future! I already have some other events in mind and I could not be more excited!!

It was a crazy fun weekend! I went, I fangirled, and it was AMAZING!!!! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!!! 

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

COVER REVEAL BLITZ & GIVEAWAY: Loving Dallas by Caisey Quinn

I am beyond excited to be sharing with you the cover of Caisey Quinn's newest Neon Dreams novel LOVING DALLAS with you today! I just finished Leaving Amarillo and I could not put the book down. I absolutely LOVED it! I have been anxiously awaiting this book's release since I finished the first one! Today we are one step closer to 6.16.15!! Now without further adieu, how AMAZING is this cover!

LOVING DALLAS by Caisey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams #2
Publication Date: June 16, 2015 William Morrow
Genre: Comtemporary, New Adult, Romance

Every dream comes with a price.....
I'm familiar with it.
I've had to leave behind everyone I cared about -  my sister, my best friend, my band, and my high school sweetheart- in order to chase my dream of making it in Nashville.
But when Robyn Breeland walks back into my life, it's as if the universe had decided to give me a second chance. I'm just not sure its one I'm willing to take.


I practically majored it.
Dallas Lark was the first boy I ever loved and the one who'd shattered my heart into pieces. But I've moved on. Working in promotions at Midnight Bay Bourbon, I'm too busy to sit around and moping over my ex. But when my company decides to sponsor his tour, I'll have to face him whether I'm ready to or not. Dallas is determined to drive me to distraction, and my body begs me to let him. 
Trouble is, my heart can't tell the difference between a second chance and making the same mistake twice.


One of the absolute craziest things about writing Loving Dallas was the fact that it was like having two male leads. Dallas himself says it best in the chapter where he explains to Robyn about "Person Dallas" and "Performer Dallas."  The recording label he is hired onto quickly turns charming Dallas Lark from Amarillo (think: country cutie Easton Corbin) into the sexy, sharp-tongued Dallas Walker, a drifter with a shady past (think: country music outlaw Eric Church). I thought it might be fun to compare the two sides of my guy side by side! 


First up, even though he's really just one man, Dallas has a completely different style when he's on stage. If you were to see the laid back crooner around town, he'd be clad in a well worn-in flannel button down and his favorite pair of jeans and cowboy boots. There will likely be trucker hat providing some shade over his baby blues. However, stop in to see a show and you might not recognize him! On stage Dallas Walker rocks an edgier look including Aviators, leather jackets, and biker boots. Vintage rock band tees are a staple in the wardrobe of this version of Dallas! 


Dallas Lark is a caring and somewhat overprotective big brother to his little sister, Dixie. He believes women should be treated like the ladies that they are with the respect they deserve. He says Grace and he says ma'am, y'all! 

Dallas Walker on the other hand is a little rougher around the edge and if you get too close you might enter a danger zone where you end up in scandalous tabloid photos alongside country music's newest bad boy! 


Dallas Lark will forever carry a torch for his high school sweetheart, Robyn Breeland. She is and will always be his muse. 

Dallas Walker can't be tamed or tied down and women traipse in and out of his life quicker than Billboard chart toppers change places! He does certainly pay a lot of attention to one special lady that has yet to be identified by media sources. Rumor has it she's the one that got away! 

Which version of Dallas would be your favorite kind of book boyfriend? Decide for yourself on 6.16.15 when LOVING DALLAS GOES LIVE! 


Caisey Quinn

Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as serveral New Adult and Comtemporary Romance novels featuring southern girls finding love in unexpected places.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


“I’m still me,” he’d said before falling asleep.

I’d been about to snuggle down into that blissful murkiness of sleepy time when he’d said it.

No matter how much he’d changed, Dallas was still Dallas. And maybe I had a college degree and a big-girl job, but I was still the same girl he couldn’t forgive. I’d been an idiot, pushed him away so that he wouldn’t let my mom’s illness stop him from chasing his dreams. By the time I realized how unfair it was and how much I needed him, the damage was done and Dallas Lark had moved on.

I was the one who’d needed space, but Dallas ended up being the one to walk away for good.

Forget being on the same page; Dallas and I had been reading entirely different books when it came to our relationship. In mine, there was a happily ever after that involved making a life together. He wasn’t just in my story—he was my story. In his I was merely a chapter.

I’m still me.

I wanted to smack myself. Hard. Of course he was still him. And he’d still walk away, dragging my battered heart behind him while I

watched him leave. I’d hurt him, deeply. And I’d live with that regret for the rest of my life. He’d still be the guy who chose music over me, over us. He had even more reason to now that he was on this tour.

I waited there in his arms, forcing my steel walls back up between us while he drifted into unconsciousness. Once his breathing was deep and the light rumble of a snore settled into a steady rhythm, I slipped out of his bed and gathered my things as quietly as I could. Dressing quickly, I watched him, memorizing that peaceful look on his handsome face and promising myself this was a one-time thing. I wasn’t going to obsess over it. It was a life experience, one I didn’t regret but knew I’d be crazy to repeat.

I chanced one last look as I left, before I shut the door completely. The light from the hotel hallway sliced across him and he looked so . . . alone.

I closed the door and told myself this was for the best. What would having breakfast together or sharing a cab to the airport change? Nothing, that’s what.

This time, I’d been the one to leave. For the sake of my sanity and my heart, I could never fall into bed with Dallas Lark again.  


I hope that you guys are just as excited for this novels realase, and isn't the cover just spectacular!! I just can not get enough of it! Now before I let yo go, make sure enter the giveaway below to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 signed paperbacks of LEAVING AMARILLO!

Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Happy Reading!