Monday, September 30, 2013

The One with the New Series!

Yep. You read that title right... A NEW SERIES.

I feel like we've been sitting on this news FOREVER. Though really, it hasn't been that long. It all started back in June at the Harper Collins party at Book Expo America. I was hanging out with my editor, agent, publicist, a few other authors, and some bloggers. A few of us had grown up in Texas, so we got to chatting about how Texas is practically a foreign country. 

And talk turned (as it inevitably does with Texas) to football. Like how pretty much EVERY school in Texas has a hand sign associated with their mascot. My high school (like the University of Texas) was the longhorns (Hook 'Em). My university was the Bears, and I remember vividly sitting in my orientation group being introduced to the "bear claw." They took it seriously. You had to have the shape exactly right, and there was a special motion and a group phrase and everything. Sure, teams outside of Texas have these things on occasion, but in Texas, it is an art form. 

Then, of course, there are the mums. I didn't realize until I graduated college and got out of Texas that everyone else in the world didn't wear mums for homecoming. Don't know what a mum is? You're not alone. Essentially, they are these giant flower ribbon things that a date gives you for homecoming. 

And with mums... the bigger, THE BETTER. 

Again, Mums are an art form. It takes a lot of work (and many safety pins) to wear those suckers without them completely stretching out your shirt or causing a wardrobe malfunction. Then, of course, everyone hangs their mums on their wall as keepsakes. I had mums with stuffed animals and bells and christmas lights. One even played music. 

Such is the world when you grow up in Texas. 

In the midst of this conversation, I mentioned in passing that I really should write an NA version of Friday Night Lights because I am intimately familiar with that world. 

I grew up in small town Texas with a coach for a father. My dad coached football and basketball and track and tennis (like I said... SMALL town). For as long as I can remember, my life revolved around Friday nights. One of my earliest memories was tumbling down the bleachers at a game and busting up my knees.  I remember being that girl in middle school who had to explain to all the other girls what a first down was. And my poor sports-obsessed father gave birth to three girls. So all of us had a first hand look at what it was like to be the coach's daughter. 

Spoiler alert: It makes for some dating difficulties. Like when your dad makes a rule that whoever is dating you has to do push ups anytime a whistle blows. 

(Thanks Dad). 

Fast forward a month and a half to mid-July and the RWA conference... I've just turned in a pass of Finding It, and my agent and I have turned our eye to what's next. In true overkill-Cora fashion, I send my agent a massive email with like, oh, a dozen different book ideas, most of them series which means it was many more than just a dozen. (This is why I love Suzie. She's the best, and didn't even blink an eye). 

So, we sit down and talk about them and make plans to pitch some things to my editor Amanda when we go to dinner that night. One of those dozen books was an idea about the daughter of a college football coach. :) 

That same night at dinner, we'd been sitting down for maybe, oh, two minutes before my editor looks at me. She smiles and says, "So once upon a time you mentioned the idea of an NA Friday Night Lights."

As it turns out, I didn't even have to pitch the idea. She was already sold. 

Thus the Rusk University series was born. I've got three books planned with three swoon-worthy football boys. I cannot WAIT to introduce you to them all! 

But mostly, I'm excited to write Dallas's story. It's a unique life, living with football as a sibling. Sometimes you resent it. Sometimes you love it. But it's always, always in your blood. 

Time for me to jump back into that world. :) Wish me luck!

And just because I LOVE YOU ALL! Here's a tiny little tease: 

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

The first book is currently set to release in May, and you can already pre-order the paperback! And the e-book!  You can also add it on Goodreads!

P.S. I know, I know! May is SO far (only really... it isn't considering I'm still writing the book). But I guess it's a good thing FINDING IT releases in just over two weeks and Seeking Her releases in January. That should tide you over a bit. :) 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The One Where Bliss Might Have Leprosy

Hey Guys! It's that time again. It's the second Friday Flash Fiction! 

Here's the gist of it. Every Friday, I'm going to make a post on my Facebook page calling for writing prompts. You can pick any character from my books-- main characters like Garrick or Cade or minor characters like Rusty and Spencer. Comment on my post with that character's name and then a place or object for a prompt. Heck, you can even post things like songs or pictures. Anything you'd like to see me write. 

Then, I'll pick one and write just a fast and fun little snippet to post here on my blog. 

So, in our second week, we had some more fantastic prompts (including a couple of really fantastic Max/Cade ones). But since Max and Cade won out last week, I decided this one should be Garrick and Bliss. 

PROMPT: Bliss and Garrick go to the vet with Hamlet

So, without further ado, here's my Flash Fiction Friday entry #2


WARNING PART TWO: This is unedited. Like... I wrote it on my phone. So, if there are errors, don't judge me. 

WARNING PART THREE: This is NOT an excerpt from any upcoming book. This is just for fun. 

"Garrick, answer your damn phone! I've left you a hundred messages, and if you don't get here soon, your fiancĂ© might be shredded into tiny little pieces by a sick demon cat." 

I knelt beside Hamlet who laid on her side in the middle of our bed. She was lethargic and her stomach looked bloated, but even so she let out a low, warning growl when I reached a hand out toward her. 

"Yeah, yeah. I get it. You want to claw out my eyes, but let's just call a truce, okay?" 
Hamlet hissed like I was spraying her with Holy water. 

"I love you, you stupid evil beast. Let me help you!" She growled again, but this time the noise drifted off into a sickly moan. "Okay. That's it." 

I gripped the edge of the comforter and flipped it over the top of Hamlet. then i dragged the bulky covers into my arms, a spitting Hamlet rolled up inside. I maneuvered her so that only her head was poking out to breathe then I jogged to the door.  

I flew down the stairs, calling Garrick again. I left him another message, telling him to meet me at the vet's office. Then I flagged down a cab and jumped in the back with my furry devil. 

Twenty minutes later I discovered the one person that Hamlet despised more than me-- a bespectacled man with a sharp needle. 

"Hold him still."

"She's a her." 

"It's named Hamlet."

"Yeah! I know... So?" 

Hamlet's prickly persona was rubbing off on me. 

"Just hold her."

I tried. I really did. But even on her deathbed, Hamlet didn't want me to touch her. 

Maybe she was one if those gifted animals that could sniff out cancer. Or leprosy. Maybe that's why she would touch me.

Luckily, Garrick breezed in at that moment. 

"Oh Thank God." I pointed at Hamlet. "Fix this!" 

Garrick wrapped one arm around my shoulder, kissing my temple (he didn't seem worried about leprosy), and then laid a hand on Hamlet. 

The cat whisperer struck again. Even the vet stared in awe as Hamlet settled down. she was so still and quiet, she could have been sleeping. They should hire him as a human sedative. 

"I'm sorry. Rehearsal ran long."
I leaned against his chest, and nodded. "That's okay. I handled it." 

He grinned down at me, those blue eyes sparkling. 

"You brought the whole comforter off our bed?"
"Duh. Did you want me to require plastic surgery before our wedding?" 

"Of course not."

He grinned, leaning down to capture my lips in a quick, tingling kiss. 

"Is this a bad time to suggest we train Hamlet to be our ring bearer?" 

Hamlet let out a horrifying growl as the vet pressed on her stomach. 

I pointed a thumb at her hissing form and replied, "What she said." 

There you go. Nothing too swoony, I know. But what can I say? Hamlet is a mood killer. :) See you next Friday  for another Friday Flash Fiction! 

If you enjoyed seeing Bliss and Garrick again, make sure you've checked out their newest novella, KEEPING HER. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

The One with Max in an Angel Costume

So... sometimes you're editing something and your brain just kind of gives out on you. Like so...

And you keep telling yourself to power through. To keep going. You eat some chocolate, drown yourself in caffeine, and then jump back in. And if that doesn't work, you try something like this: 

Except, you know, I'm not much of a gun person. So, I decided to do something different. Just to take a quick break and have some fun, I decided to start something I've been thinking about doing FOREVER. 


Here's the gist of it. Every Friday, I'm going to make a post on my Facebook page calling for writing prompts. You can pick any character from my books-- main characters like Garrick or Cade or minor characters like Rusty and Spencer. Comment on my post with that character's name and then a place or object for a prompt. Heck, you can even post things like songs or pictures. Anything you'd like to see me write. 

Then, I'll pick one and write just a fast and fun little snippet to post here on my blog. 

So, I posted my first call for prompts an hour or so ago, and though there were some awesome suggestions (like Bliss in a Sex Shop), I decided to go with the very first comment. 

PROMPT: Max (from FAKING IT) outside a church in strange clothes. 

What can I say? I like a challenge. 

So, without further ado, here's my Flash Fiction Friday entry NUMERO UNO! 


WARNING PART TWO: This is unedited. Like... I wrote it in fifteen minutes. So, if there are errors, don't judge me. 

WARNING PART THREE: This is NOT an excerpt from any upcoming book. This is just for fun. If I ever decide to write about Max and Cade again, I promise I'll tell you all. 

“Stop staring at me.” I pulled at the polyester costume, already uncomfortable.
Cade didn’t even blink. “I’m sorry. I just can’t stop.”
Between gigs on stage, years spent dressing up for my parents, and nights spent dancing at Trestle, I didn’t think there was an outfit in the world that I couldn’t handle. Then again, I hadn’t ever really thought I’d be standing outside a massive Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas decked out in an angel costume.
“I’m still not quite sure how your Grandma convinced me to be in this play thing.”
Cade touched the tip of one of my glitter-vomit wings and shrugged. “She’s persuasive.”
“I know, right? I mean, you think she’s this sweet little old lady, and then bam! She just gets you out of nowhere. I’m kinda worried I’m gonna wake up tomorrow without my kidney.”
He leaned in and placed a kiss on my cheek. “Yes. That’s my Grams. The black market organ dealer.”
His kiss settled me a little bit, but not enough.
“Why couldn’t you be the angel? I don’t even go to church here. Is this what happens to every girl you bring home to visit?”
“One, the angel dress looks much better on you than it would on me.” His hand smoothed across my waist around to the small of my back. “And two, it’s just you. You’re the only girl I’ve ever brought home.” 
His other hand touched my cheek, feather soft and sweet.
“I guess it’s only fair. When I brought you home, you were subjected to a complete family fallout. I suppose I can handle being an angel for twenty minutes.”
He titled my chin up and kissed me slowly.
I forgot about the itchy polyester and the wings that were shedding glitter all over the place. Cade was good about that… making me forget everything else but him.
He leaned his forehead against mine and smiled. “I promise to make it up to you with a few less than angelic moments later tonight.”
“Damn right, you will.”
He laughed, and his Grandma appeared then at the back door to the church, waving a hand at me that said it was almost time.
Time for my acting debut.
Halo, wings, tattoos, and all. 

Well, there you have it! A little peek at Cade and Max after the events of FAKING IT. So, I'll be doing this every Friday. So start brainstorming prompts for what you'd like to see me write! They can be ridiculous or serious. And make sure you're following me on Facebook, so you don't miss out!

P.S. I'm going to have HUGE announcement early next week! Get excited!

P.P.S. Starting Tuesday, we'll be expanding the FINDING IT preview on Facebook by one chapter every week until the book releases! You can already read the first forty or so pages here!

P.P.P.S. FINDING IT releases in less than a month! Oct. 15th!  And the paperback version of KEEPING HER releases October 1st! You can pre-order it now from Amazon or B&N for less than $4. Not bad, right? It likely will be difficult to find in stores since it's just a novella, so I highly suggest pre-ordering if you want one!

Okay. I think that's it. Probably.

See you next Friday for some more Flash Fiction!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The One with JLA's Massive Contest



Okay, so Jennifer L. Armentrout is doing this EPIC contest. Seriously EPIC. And I'm participating as a judge! Whoo-hooooo!  

Here's the gist of it: Out there in the world some fantabulous book lover is going to sit down and write some fanfiction using books by JLA, me, Sophie Jordan, or Laura Kaye (or some combination there of). Fanfiction (in case you didn't know) is using copyrighted characters from a published book and creating your own story (just for fun). And in fanfiction, pretty much everything goes. You could have JLA's characters meet character's from Laura's book. You could have Bliss and Garrick become dragons like in Sophie's YA series. You could write a scene that's missing from one of our books. You could write our characters ten years in the future or have them time travel. Literally... ANYTHING. GOES. 

Once you have your fanfiction, turn it in! And if we choose it as the best entry, you could be heading to New Orleans next year for the RT Booklovers Convention (only the most fun convention... evah!)

So there's my spiel. Now I'll let JLA tell you all the details. 

See... Here she is! Telling you the deets. :) 


2014 RT Book Lover's Convention will be in New Orleans. For those who've never had the pleasure of attending the RT Convention, it caters to both writers and readers. It's nearly a week long event where you can mingle with other readers, writers, and most likely, your favorite authors. You can attend panels focused on readers and you can attend panels that are for writers. Not only that, you get to meet top agents and editors. A lot of agent/editor referrals come from events like RT.  And there's parties, awards ceremonies, slumber parties, Teen Day, and a GIANT BOOK fair with hundreds of the hottest authors.
And did I mention it's also in New Orleans?
So I got to thinking. How could I come up with a contest centered around one of the hottest events in the biz?
And so I did.
Fan Fic Me all the way to the 2014 RT Convention
Contest Prizes?
Grand Prize
You will be flown into New Orleans on Tuesday, May 13th 2014 (if flying is required) and you will be able to attend all the RT events and panels through the 17th of May, leaving on Sunday.
Your hotel will be covered.
Your registration, valued at $495 will be covered.
You will be at RT, hanging with readers and writers.
1st Runner Up
Signed books from Cora Carmack, Laura Kaye, Sophie Jordan, me, and a slew more, plus goodies
2nd Runner Up
Signed books from Cora Carmack, Laura Kaye, Sophie Jordan, me, and a slew more, plus goodies

  • How do you enter?
Put your writing caps on, kiddos. To enter this contest you will need to fan fic one of the books below to enter. You can mix and match books, characters. You can flip a POV of a scene or you can create a whole new one. What you write is up to you. You just cannot exceed 1500 words.
Once you've written your fan fic, please submit it to this email:
You must include the following items with your submission. If not, your submission is automatically deleted.
1. Your full name and full address
2. Date of Birth
3. Email address where we can get in contact with you

If you are unable to provide any of that information, the submission will not be accepted. No exceptions, guys! We have to very age and location. 

  • How this will work?
All entries must be received by November 12th or before we receive a 180 entries. Website will be updated with submissions.
Entries will be judged by an all star cast of New York Times Bestselling authors, an agent, a member of RT Book Reviews, Two super popular bloggers, and the most important judge:  a reader.
NYTimes Bestselling Author Laura Kaye
NYTimes Bestselling Author Sophie Jordan
NYTimes Bestselling Author Cora Carmack
Agent Extraordinaire Kevan Lyon
RT Web Editor Elissa Petruzzi
Stacey O'Neale from Fantasy Book Addict
The Team behind Mundie Moms
The. Reader.
And me.

The Winners will be announced on January 12th, 2014

Short Story Guidelines
  • Cannot exceed 1500 words.
  • Books you can fan fict can be any book written by the below authors: Me (under my real and pen name), Cora Carmack, Laura Kaye, and Sophie Jordan
  • Blow our minds.
Rules/Disclaimers/And other important stuff you NEED to read
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Entries under this age will be null and voided. No exceptions. I cannot be responsible for a minor attending this event.
  • Entry cannot exceed 1500 words and must be submitted by November 12th 2013 or before 150 entries have been received. Website will be updated with number of entries.
  • Upon entering the contest, you are agreeing to attend RT 2014 in NOLA. Please do not enter this contest if there is even a small chance you will not be able to attend due to any reason. I will be paying for the flight, the hotel, and the registration. Most of these are nonrefundable. If you back out, that’s a lot of money down the drain.
  • Author, Judges, and RT Book Convention hold no liability for anything in this contest. So that means by entering, if you win and the airline loses your luggage or, in your excitement, you jump over your couch and break a leg, we are not responsible.
  • This contest is not sponsored by RT Book Reviews and is solely financed by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
  • By entering, you are a giving me the permission to share your short story through any venue I see fit. I will not be publishing the stories for financial gain, but story may be shared in a promotional or other way related to the contest.
For International Peeps
Originally, I was only going to limit the contest to US and Canada entries, simply because of the cost of international flights and all the other things to take in consideration: passports, potential customs issues, entry and exit of the states, and all that jazz. That’s a lot of money and a lot of responsibility. However, I have come up with an alternative. Please see the guidelines before for International entry. DO NOT enter the contest unless you can accept the guidelines. I do not want to award this prize to a winner who cannot attend the event due to International travel issues.
  • An international winner will be awarded a $700 voucher toward airfare (the approximate cost of a US city to US city flight), and the winner will be responsible for the remaining cost to travel into the US. Before entering this contest, ask yourself if you have the funds to cover the rest of the trip. Check out rates. Get information. DO NOT enter if you cannot purchase the rest of the ticket.
  • International winner must have a valid passport and meet all traveling requirements that are set forth by the United States Government.
This is a prize package that averages between $2,000-$3,000 when its all said and done. It's huge. It's epic. It's going to be a hell of a lot of fun in New Orleans.
Your hotel room is already booked.
Your flight is waiting for you.
Your registration is pending.
So what are you waiting for?

That's all the info from Jen! Make sure to check out her original post on her blog and ask any questions you may have there! 

But be advised! We're only taking the first 180 entries, so you better get cracking! 

In Awkward <3, 


Monday, September 9, 2013

The One with Another Novella

Hello my loves!

I am back at my new home in New York (which is STILL covered in boxes... I procrastinate) after a fabulous weekend in Seattle.

Seriously. If I hadn't just moved to New York, I would be looking at places in Seattle right now. I was THAT in love with the city. If you've never been, you should definitely put it on your list of places to vacation someday. I, myself, can't wait to go back. Hopefully for a longer trip this time.

The Seattle signing was amazing. I met so many wonderful fans and had a blast chatting with them all. I also got to meet a few authors I love for the first time (like Kristen Proby. Adore her). Thanks so much to everyone who came out. Loved loved loved it.

And now for the good stuff. An announcement... When we sold Garrick and Bliss's novella, Keeping Her, to Harper, we also sold a second novella.

I'm happy to announce that second novella now has a name and a release date! It will be from the point-of-view of Jackson Hunt, the hero of FINDING IT. He looks a little like this in my head...

(You're welcome for that visual). 

In some ways it is a Pre-quel to Finding It. It starts before the events of that book, but then about half the novella will overlap with Finding It and give you scenes from that book in Jackson's POV. It was a blast to write. And I love Jackson like WHOA. And I can't wait for you all to read Finding It! Just a little over a month (Oct 15th), and you'll be able to! So don't forget to add that book on Goodreads and buy it when it releases! 

And once you've read FINDING IT, you'll be able to pick up the novella, SEEKING HER on January 28th 2014 for only $1.99! You can pre-order it here

And if you're a blogger who wants to participate in the cover reveal later this year, make sure you've joined by blogger mailer list that is at the top of my sidebar on the upper righthand side of the blog. That list will guarantee you get contacted for future cover reveals and announcements. :) 

And now... I'll leave you to imagine Jackson Hunt's abs and celebrate. :) 

(Yes... Sadly... that's kind of how I dance). 

UPDATE: P.S. I'm attending the Houston Book Rave Event on Nov. 2nd, but if you can't be there, you can still order SIGNED books! Don't miss your chance to get signed copies of Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The One Where I Suck (Not Literally, but Well... You know)

*peeks out from under rock*

AHHHHH my God, I have been so MIA that MIA doesn't even begin to describe my MIA-ness.

I suck.

I'm sorry. Incredibly sorry.

My only excuse is that I have been busy writing books! And signing books! And traveling! Oh, and I moved, too!

But hey! A lot has happened in that time. Most of it very good. So bear with me... this will be the catch up posts of all catch-up posts. But there is one VERY important announcement and a giveaway coming near the end.

For one, KEEPING HER made the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller list! HUZZAH! That was awesome. And I did something that looked a little like this...

I have visited some truly FANTASTIC places. Really. London. Toronto. Atlanta. New York. Las Vegas. Many for the first time. 

London kept my mom's appendix. So there's that. We forever left our mark. :) I met some fabulous bloggers, some of whom had been with me from the very beginning and hold a truly special place in my heart. We had a fab event where among other things, I read from my books. You can hear me read from FAKING IT here. Toronto was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to go back and spend a little more time there. RWA in Atlanta was understandably AMAZING. There is something so awe-inspiring about that many booklovers in one place. New York is... well... I loved it enough to move here. That should say something! ;) And Las Vegas... the land of the Naughty Mafia. I had a BLAST... friends, food, fun, and too much gambling. Haha. Hey, it was my first time! I needed the full experience. 

If you missed me at any of these events, make sure and check out my Appearances page. 

Several other AMAZING things have happened, two in particular. Unfortunately... I can't share about those yet. SOON. Within the month, I hope to be able to tell you about ALL THE GOOD THINGS. Feel free to speculate in the mean time. ;)

Here's the part with the announcement. 

A very important, not quite as exciting, announcement. 

Remember this book? 

The one about Kelsey and Jackson (who might be my FAVORITE book boyfriend yet! Don't believe me? I'm not alone). 

Well... originally it was due to release October 1st here in the US and the end of September in the UK. Things have... changed. It will now be releasing October 15th in the US and October 10th in the UK. 

I know... I know... before you do something drastic... 

Hear me out. There's a good reason! In simplest terms, we needed those extra two weeks to make sure the book was in the best possible shape. The last thing I wanted to do was put out a book I wasn't proud of. I always want to give you the best story I can. 

AND... that extra time allowed us to do something VERY special  for Finding It. We've known for a month or so that we were pushing back the release day, but I've been putting off telling everyone because I wanted to be able to tell you about that VERY SPECIAL thing, too. Unfortunately... I can't tell you about that thing. Not yet. But considering we're less than a month out from the original publication, and I was seeing contradicting posts, I thought it was time that I went ahead and made the announcement. 

So all in all, pushing it back two weeks sucks. I know. BUT... It will be worth it. 

(Or you know, I'm Cora). 

P.S. When you do get to read about and fall in love with Jackson Hunt... you'll be glad to know he's getting his own NOVELLA! I just finished it (squee) and it will be releasing early 2014! 

Well, then. Now that you've stuck with me through the updates and the sad!face announcement, you'll be happy to know I've got some good news! 

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME! In honor of hitting 11,000 likes on Facebook, I'm giving away this giant stash of books. 

ARC of Foreplay by Sophie Jordan (Signed)
ARC of A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrocher
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
Losing It (Signed)
Faking It (Signed)
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
ARC of Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Signed) 
"Awkward people need love, too" Bracelets 
Signed Bookmarks
Signed Losing It Rack cards
Signed Faking It Rack cards

(P.S. I know I said I was going to give away a stuffed version of Hamlet, but I'm still looking. Next time!)

I'll be choosing THREE winners! 

The Grand prize winner will get: Signed Losing It, Signed Faking It, One additional book of their choice, plus swag. 

The Second prize winner will get to choose two books from the remaining books, plus swag. 

The Third prize winner will get the remaining two books, plus swag. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway