Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Reveal: All Closed Off by Cora Carmack

I'm sure that many of you have noticed my undying admiration for an author by the name of Cora Carmack. I've read and reviewed nearly all of her books, and I also possess an unhealthy obsession with her fictional university. Because of this infinite love for both Cora and her Rusk University series, I am endlessly pleased to help her announce the release of the fourth book in her series!

Those of you who have read her previous books... we're finally getting Stella's story. We've asked and asked and asked, and we're finally receiving what we so desire. Stella's book will be called All Closed Off. Of course, I'm absolutely shaking with the need to hear about Stella and Ryan. However, this book will be more than just a romance. This novel is already very close to my heart because of what Stella went through at the end of All Broke Down. I don't want to spoil, but I will, for the sake of what I have to say.

Rape is a serious and important issue that needs to be talked about. Rape is ingrained in the fabric of our culture and society. We normalize it and brush it off and blame the victim and allow perpetrators to walk away. We mis-define it, teaching young girls that it doesn't count if you're drunk or it doesn't count if you led him on or it doesn't count if he was your friend. We narrow down the scope of what rape is: you can't be raped if you're a male, you can't be raped if you didn't actually say "No," you can't be raped if you have a lot of sex. We make people doubt that they were raped, make them hide in on themselves, make them avoid getting help. We teach children "don't get raped" instead of "don't rape." We blame clothes for the actions of people. Everything in our culture favors the perpetrator.

This has to stop. One of the best ways to start this cultural turnaround is by talking about it. By educating people and making people more aware of the struggles that our society places on a victim. We unfortunately live in a society that continues to assault the victim by failing to provide comfort, assistance, and justice. This book will be a fantastic way to take a big leap in a long battle. I'm insanely proud of Cora Carmack for taking this topic on and for giving victims of rape everywhere a voice.

So without further ado, here are some words from Cora herself.


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…


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.



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:

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.

And this is Nichol again. I'm not sure how many of you have read this far, but I just wanted to include more statistics. I actually did nearly a year long research paper on rape culture and the need for better education about sexual assault last year. So I have plenty of statistics that I'd like to share with you guys. If you have any questions about sources, let me know and I can let you know where the statistic is from.

  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 33 men in the United States have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lives.
  • FBI reports estimate that a woman's chance of being raped in a year is 1 in 1,100, though that doesn't account for underreporting.
  • The American Psychological Association estimated that, in reality, women have a 1 in 55 chance of being raped.

  • 60% of adolescent males in th United States found it acceptable to force sex on a girl in one or more situations.
  • 66% of boys and 57% of boys accept rape if the victim already got the perpetrator sexually excited.

  • 54% of all female victims were reaped before the age of 18.
  • 22% of rapes that occur before the age of 18 are also before the age of 12.
  • 1 in 4 female college students experience a rape or attempted rape.
  • 90% of rapes on campuses are acquaintance rapes (by someone who the victim is familiar with).
  • Less than 5% of college rape victims come forward about the rape.
  • 84% of women do not report their rapes to the police. 

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Top Ten" Tuesday: Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Each week, The Broke and Bookish host the Top Ten Tuesday discussion. They provide a bookish prompt and  other bloggers are welcome to share their "Top Ten" in the specific topic!

Today is a Tuesday, which means it's time for a Top Ten! Today's topic is "All Time Favorite Authors."

If I'm completely honest, I spent a solid ten (ha, top ten) minutes perusing my bookshelves, trying to make the difficult decision of which ten authors were my favorites. I love so many amazing authors, and I appreciate every single writer out there who shares their words with the world. However, after much deliberating, I settled on my top ten. In no particular order, I present you with my literary idols!

Cora Carmack
1. Cora Carmack
Those of you who have actually read my blog (and my reviews) understand how boundless my love for Cora Carmack is. It's safe to say that she is currently the top of the top; she's truly my favorite author right now. I actually met her at Apollycon in February 2015, where I also won an ARC of her upcoming book All Played Out (to be published on May 12)! I just about cried. I've reread each of her books at least once, and I've embarrassingly reread each of her Rusk University novels at least 5 times each. It never ceases to amaze me how Cora captures the voices of her characters. I never get sick of reading anything that comes out of her head. She's also super sweet on social media. I love her to bits!

Katie McGarry
2. Katie McGarry
Katie, Katie, Katie... I got to meet Katie at Apollycon this year as well, and she is so lovely! Crash Into You remains one of my favorite books (in addition to Take Me On). I love the complexity in her novels and the way that they all connect together. It is truly an art! I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Nowhere But Here. Katie has a way of creating relationships that no one expects. She brings "opposites attract" to a whole new level, and it's beautiful. The couples that she writes have the best balance and really bring out the best in each other. Not only that, but both her novels and her characters are so unique. Each person she brings to life on the page has so much depth. She's amazing!

Jennifer L. Armentrout
3. Jennifer L. Armentrout
I've actually met Jennifer twice, both of which were just fantastic! She's so genuine and fun. But to be completely honest, Jennifer is an anomaly. She cranks out books like a mad woman. That alone deserves an award. And they're actually quality books--she has both quantity and quality! She must have sold her soul to the devil. The Lux series remains one of my favorites to this day. She knows how to write chemistry and hot boys like it's nobody's business. I haven't read all of her books (a totally daunting task considering she's written what seems like hundreds), but I know that she spans across genres. She's written adult, science fiction, mystery, thriller, realistic fiction, new adult, young adult, just about everything. Honestly one of my all time favorites.

Sarah Dessen
4. Sarah Dessen
Who doesn't love Sarah Dessen? She's absolutely iconic! I genuinely believe that Sarah Dessen was the Judy Blume of my generation. She writes those iconic teen love stories, those innocent and fresh-faced romances. However, she also writes novels that deal with abuse, teen pregnancy, friendship, eating disorders, and more. All of her books leave you feeling like something huge just happened. You just witnessed something big. My favorites are The Truth About Forever and Lock and Key, though I've read just about a dozen of her books. I've also recently reread some of them, and they bring me back to my early teens, when I was just discovering the absolute joys of reading. Sarah Dessen will always have a special place in my heart.

Melissa Landers
5. Melissa Landers
I still don't think that I'll ever get over Alienated. I'm typically not a huge science fiction girl, but that book got me good. Melissa so exquisitely built the world, the setting, and the characters. It never ceases to amaze me. I still haven't had the chance to read Invaded but it's at the top of my TBR list, as soon as I get a spare moment. I just love how Melissa flooded you with information without making you feel like she was flooding you with information. That takes real talent! Not to mention how wonderfully the relationship was written; it was one of the few literary relationships that I felt developed smoothly and naturally. Melissa is fantastic!

Jennifer Niven
6. Jennifer Niven
Everyone who read my review of All the Bright Places knows just how much I am in awe of Jennifer Niven. I met her at the NoVaTeen Book Festival in March 2015, and I genuinely teared up. I wouldn't let her talk to me about the book because I was actually on the brink of tears. A few seconds of discussion and I probably would've broken down in a puddle of sobs. It's amazing when words can have that much of an impact on a reader. Jennifer just has this way of conveying emotion and stringing sentences together that makes your soul ache. I've only read All the Bright Places by her, but it affected me enough to earn her a spot on my all time favorite list.

Veronica Roth
7. Veronica Roth
Yep, I'll be that cliche teen reader and declare Veronica Roth in my top ten. I know Divergent is mainstream now, but that doesn't change my love for the book. I say book because Insurgent grated my nerves and Allegiant killed me. Nonetheless, I truly admire Veronica. Not only is she massively successful, but she's also crazy young! She is honestly my career goal. Additionally, though Allegiant broke my heart, I respect Veronica Roth for her choice. It wasn't a happy ending, but it was an impressive ending. I also respect her for the way that she brought the series together. The world was intriguing and the explanation was fascinating. She truly made a new name for young adult literature everywhere. Because of this, I have reread Divergent alone just about six times, oops!

Richelle Mead
8. Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead is another author that inducted me into the realm of reading. The Vampire Academy series is probably one of my guiltiest pleasures. I've read the entire series twice or thrice. Richelle created the most intricate and fascinating creatures in those books. The Moroi, Strigoi, and Dhampir are the most interesting vampires I've ever encountered. In a world full of vampire books, it's impressive when someone actually manages to develop a unique take on the mythology. The relationships are fantastic, the friendships are inspiring, and the characters are insanely entertaining. Rose is one of my young adult idols. Fiercely protective of her friends, infinitely sarcastic, and endlessly tough... I wish I could be more like her! I haven't had the chance to read the spin-off series yet, but I've heard nothing but good things.

Michelle Hodkin
9. Michelle Hodkin
Michelle Hodkin is on this list because I have a never-ending admiration for mystery writers. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is quite honestly a work of art. I've explained in my review how it's just one of those books that leaves you whispering to an empty house with your mind blown. Anyone who manages to do that earns my endless respect. I just love how Michelle sucks you in. She throws you into the book and rattles you so that you can't even tell which side is up. That takes talent. Unfortunately, this is another case of "Nichol only read the first book." I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer way back when it first came out and never got around to reading the next installments. However, I've heard that they're just as amazing as the first novel.

10. Becca Fitzpatrick
I actually put Becca Fitzpatrick on this list for Black Ice, not the Hush, Hush series. I read Hush, Hush ages ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I didn't fall for Becca until I read Black Ice. I just found that book so astoundingly fascinating. The whole concept captivated me and it was so well done. The mystery resonated with me, just as Michelle Hodkin's talent in mystery did. I loved the romance and how it flowed naturally; both characters had reservations and it wasn't insta-love. The entire novel was just so impressive, so unique, and so well-done! It earned Becca a spot on this list for sure.

So there you have it! Those are my top ten all time favorite authors. I hope you enjoyed this extremely excessive post. Now tell me: who are your top ten all time favorites?

Thanks for reading! And I'm sorry I've been MIA for the last few weeks. I've been crazy busy preparing for AP exams and the next steps for college. Thanks to everyone who stuck with me.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trailer Reveal: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Today is a very exciting day, everyone! Not only is today the official reveal of the Nowhere But Here book trailer (eep), but it is also the day of my first ever trailer reveal. I'm so honored and happy to be able to share this trailer with you guys. I absolutely love Katie McGarry's books, and I'm so insanely pumped for the release of Nowhere But Here. I recently blogged about it in my "Waiting On" Wednesday post. I mean, come on... it's about a motorcycle club. How can you not be obsessed already? If you preorder the book, you also get Chasing Impossible (Abby and Logan's story from the Pushing the Limits series). So get ready--May 26th, here we come!

Without further ado, I present my first trailer reveal!

Nowhere But Here - cover

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Trailer Reveal for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance being published by Harlequin Teen and is a part of Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road Series. It is being released on May 26th, 2015!!

NOWHERE BUT HERE Pre-Order:Amazon ** Kobo ** B-A-M ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBoundAdd it to your Goodreads Now!

Pre-Order NOWHERE BUT HERE, Register your Pre-Order and you’ll get the eBook you’ve been asking for, Abby’s Story, CHASING IMPOSSIBLE absolutely free! PLUS, you’ll also be entered to win a $500 VISA Gift Card! Register at

Nowhere But Here preoder banner

And check out the amazing trailer for



An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Katie McGarry Author Photo

About Katie McGarry:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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