Cora Carmack’s SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

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!!!

 

Check out this message 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: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW

 

HeadshotABOUT 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.

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads

 

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Release Day: Dropping Gloves by Catherine Gayle

Blurb:
She left to follow her dreams; she’s back to follow her heart.
 
Katie Weber left her heart in Portland to chase a career in Hollywood. Now she has returned to sing the national anthem for the Portland Storm for their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night. Her longtime crush, Jamie Babcock, is hurting just as much as she is. One look in his eyes is all it takes to know that. She’s done the Hollywood thing, though, and she’s over it, but it might be too late to dig herself out of the hole she’s dug with him.
 
Jamie’s already done everything humanly possible to let go of Katie, but she keeps coming
back, and she keeps crushing him all over again every time she leaves. His heart has been trampled on more than enough already. At some point, he has to draw the line. Doesn’t he?
 
Only, when it’s Katie, he’s not sure that’s even possible. She’s in Portland again right now,
but he can’t be sure for how long. Katie knows she has a fight on her hands, in more ways than one, if she’s going to convince Jamie she deserves another chance, but she’s willing to drop her gloves this time. Because in the game of love, all bets are off.
 
 
Buy Links:
Barnes N Nobles
Amazon
Smashwords
I Tunes
Kobo
Author Bio:
Catherine Gayle is a USA Today bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.
If you enjoyed this book and want to know when more like it will be available, be sure to sign up for Catherine’s mailing list. You can find out more on her website, her blog, at Red Door Reads, at Hockey Romance, at Facebook, on Twitter, and at Goodreads. If you want to see some of her cats’ antics and possibly the occasional video update from Catherine, visit her YouTube account.
 
 
 
 
 

Book Release: The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle

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ABOUT THE DUKE OF ANDELOT:
For fans of Tom Jones and The Scarlet Pimpernel comes a twisted, sexy tale that takes the French Revolution to smoldering new heights.Long before becoming the flamboyant courtesan known to men as Madame de Maitenon,Thérèse Angelique Bouchard, dreamed of becoming an actress capable of commanding not only the stage but all of Paris. Until she meets an extraordinary aristocratic gentleman who sweeps her into his arms and the danger of his life, while offering her the sort of wealth she
never imagined. What starts off as a seductive alliance, ends in her giving him the one thing she cannot afford: her love.

After the murder of his older brothers, Gérard Antoine Tolbert, becomes the last heir to the powerful dukedom of Andelot, leaving him to fight for not only his life, but the allegiance he holds for the crown. During the final rise of the French Revolution that whispers of the Delilah Teaserviolent change about to shake the entire country, Gérard meets an aspiring actress who introduces him into wanting more out of himself and life. In trying to protect her from their overly passionate alliance and those that want him dead, he must decide what matters most: his life or his heart.

AUTHOR NOTE: This sweeping saga will follow Madame de Maitenon and the Duc of Andelot from their youth in 1792, France, to what they ultimately become when the School of Gallantry series first starts in England, 1830.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VGT0NQ0
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121666231
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-duke-of-andelot/id977831286
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-duke-of-andelot
Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Delilah_Marvelle_The_Duke_of_Andelot?id=qrK9BwAAQBAJ

EXCERPT 3

His aloofness showed on his face. “I have a conscience, ma biche, so permit me to give you some advice.” Ignoring the basket she still held up, he rigidly leaned down toward her from within the saddle and rumbled out, “Go home. Paris does not need another penniless country girl trying to get famous. You will only end up whoring yourself out of desperation once you realize the stage pays nothing. Is that what you want? Because that is what awaits you. Acting, whoring, the pox, blaming everyone for your demise, followed by a quick death. If you are fortunate enough to die quick, that is.”

Book for DelilahHe was clearly not an optimist.

She gave him a withering look, lowering her basket. “I have much bigger plans and I can assure you, they do not include whoring myself to a man. If I wanted to do that, I could have easily stayed in Giverny. And whilst, yes, I often barter with men for whatever I need, my stage career comes first. I intend to be the next Mademoiselle Raucourt.”

“I certainly hope not. That woman is a whore. And not a very nice one at that.”

She glared. “How dare you insult the greatest actress in all of France?”

He lifted a brow. “How the hell do you think she became great?”

She gasped. “I am not about to listen to your vile gossip. I happen to like her. Ambition amongst females should be trumpeted not slapped.” Swinging away, she adjusted the heavy basket, wishing she hadn’t picked so many apples and trudged onward. “I will find my own way to Paris, merci. Whore myself, indeed. I have yet to find a man worthy of it. All you apes ever think about is food, wine and poom-poom.”

He paused from adjusting his felt hat. “What the devil are you talking about?”

Why did no one ever get it? “Sex. It sounds exactly what it looks like. Poom-poom.”

A cough escaped him. “Are you saying you have done such things?”

She rolled her eyes. “No. I have ten brothers under the age of eighteen. The eldest of them, at seventeen, is already engaged to one of the girls in the village due to his inability to control the stick between his now hairy legs. I caught Benoit with his bare arse in the air, grunting like the pig that he is. Not a pretty sight. Whilst my parents? Those two lusty little rabbits have made their bed squeak so much over the years, there are visible grooves in the wood floor that will soon take them and the entire bed to China.”

A laugh, low and deep and well-amused, escaped him. “I uh…thank you. I needed that. I have not laughed in…a long time.” He slowly trotted his horse after her and eyed her, amusement lighting his eyes. “I wish to be of assistance, my dear. Whatever you need, it is yours. How can I help?”

Oh, now he cared.

The Duke of Andelot ©2015 Delilah Marvelle

Giveaway:
Delilah is giving away the following:
—5 $10 Amazon GC
—2 $25 Amazon GC
—GRAND PRIZE $100 Amazon GC

RAFFLECOPTER FORM:
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FACEBOOK PARTY:
Date: Tuesday, April 14th
Time: 8-11PM EDT
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1567059163562364/

-Romance Reader Girl

Release Day: Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott & Kristen Mayer

 

Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.

Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.

As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.

Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.

The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.

But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.

When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?

 

 

 
 
Amazon     iBooks    Barnes & Noble   Kobo

A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.

My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t explain it.

Get it together, Ashlin.

“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?” My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy I felt pulsating within me.

He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”

Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a water.”

“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on the counter as he walked off to the left.

I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.

Seriously get it together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be thinking about is sex.

The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread was set in front of me.

It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”

The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.

He responded, “You’re welcome.”

Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.

“It’s that good, eh?”

I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the recipe.”

He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on special occasions.”

The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”

I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”

He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”

“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.

He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”

My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing

 

Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples, whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.

Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am in need of some fresh air.”

“Shall I join you?” he asked.

I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”

Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for dinner.

Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.

“It goes on forever,” I whispered.

“One can easily get lost back here.”

I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.

His eyes widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.

He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.

 

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Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!

She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.

In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.

 
 
Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager.
Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting
her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again.
With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story
entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a
couple of months.
 
At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept
it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had
the makings of a novel.
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and
meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily
in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very
blessed and thankful.

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