Today I have Cora Carmack on the blog. She is of course, the fabulously talented New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Losing It and Faking It.

Her novella, Keeping Her, a sequel to Losing It comes out in August, and her third novel, Finding It, will be released this fall. As someone who's read them both, I can tell you that they're just as fabulous as her first two books. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed.

Okay, Cora, tell us what your most recent book is about in 140 characters or less.
FAKING IT is the story of two people who don’t fit together on paper, but through a bit of pretending, they discover something real.

And is this book part of a series?
It is, yes, but they don’t have to be read in order. FAKING IT is a stand-alone companion novel to my first book, LOSING IT.

What was your favorite scene to write and why?
I loved writing all of the scenes to do with Max’s music. But probably my favorite of those was the scene in which Cade sees her sing for the first time. That was a really fun moment to see through his eyes.

What turns you on creatively?
I’m a visual person, so usually something I see. I’ll see a particular landscape and want to write a scene there. I’ll see a guy sitting on a park bench or a girl waiting for the subway, and a whole story will start to unfurl in my head.

Music is a close second though.

Now, I've already talked about how you queried me after self-publishing Losing It, but I know there's more to the story. When you were querying how many (if any) rejection letters did you get? 
Well… because I’d self-pubbed LOSING IT, it was a bit of a different scenario. But long before I wrote LOSING IT, I’d queried another book. At that point, I think I queried just under 100 agents before being offered representation. Unfortunately, that book and that agent relationship didn’t work out.

So if Losing It wasn't the first novel you wrote, what was it? 
It was a YA fantasy novel that’s currently hidden away in the far, far reaches of outerspace… otherwise known as my computer.

What other jobs did you do to support your writing? 
Let’s see… I worked at Target all through college, as well as a smoothie place. I worked in a regional theatre. I was a high school theatre teacher. I worked for a literary agency and a small independent publisher.

And now I work for me. :)

Nothing better than working for yourself! If your first book was YA, what drew you to New Adult? 

I didn’t really actively decide to write New Adult. But my first new adult character, Bliss, came into my head almost fully formed. And she was in college, that much was certain. So, really I found myself writing New Adult by default.

Well, I know a lot of people who are glad that you did (including me!). Before you go, leave us with a quote from Faking It.
Absolutely! This is a quote that Cade says to Max in FAKING IT.

I’ll remind you every day how amazing it feels when your body touches mine. I’ll remind you of the good times, and help you forget the bad. I’ll remind you who you are when life has beaten you down and made you doubt it. I’ll bust down your door in the middle of the night and kiss you until you remember that your fears are just that, and they can’t control you. I’ll take my chances against your fickle heart if it means it’s mine.

Ah! I love that quote. 

Here's where you can find Cora on the internet:

Facebook: CoraCarmackBooks
Twitter: @CoraCarmack
Amazon Author Page:

To continue talking about New Adult, I've asked Colina Brennan to stop by for an interview. Her novel, Addicted to You, just came out on June 25th, and if you haven't read it yet, you should.

Hi Colina, tell us what your book is about in 140 characters or less.
Addicted to You is about Leah, who has no interest in love because she's convinced everyone eventually lets you down. Then she meets Will. Dun dun dun! :P

What was your favorite scene in Addicted to You to write?
Probably the scene where Leah and her brother run into Will at the party. A lot of things happen between the beginning of the night and the end of it, and it was fun writing about how their relationship subtly shifts.

This is your debut New Adult novel. Did you always want to be a writer? 
Yes. I’ve wanted to be many things growing up—artist, teacher, astronaut, archaeologist—but a writer has always been at the top of the list.

What was the first work you had published?
A short story for a science fiction e-zine. Yes, I love writing in multiple genres!

And for all the other writers out there, how did you get your agent?
The usual way—by querying her :)

This is true. I found her in the slush! How many (if any) rejection letters did you get?

I only know of two authors who never received a rejection letter. I’m not one of them. And there are too many to count.

Clearly I think anyone who sent you a rejection was delirious. But no matter, tell me, what was the first book that you wrote?
I wrote a lot of short horror stories as a child. Then I graduated to romance novels. From ghosts and murders to flowing raven locks. I’m not sure how that happened either.

I think that's sort of how my reading tastes evolved! Back to this book, why did you decide to self-publish Addicted to You?

I decided to go Indie with this book because I love having creative control of every part of the process. I can create my own cover, pick my own deadlines, organize my own promotion, and not have to worry about putting everything through the approval of a publisher first.

Since Addicted to You is New Adult, something we're both currently addicted to, I should ask some New Adult questions. Here goes: 

Are there any authors you’d love to see do a New Adult book?
John Green. I think he’d rock it.

What would you love to see next in New Adult?
The growth of other genres. I’d love to see it explode in the same way Young Adult has.

And finally, leave us with a quote from your book:

Will would show her that he was an addiction worth keeping.

To learn more about Colina and her work, here's where you can find her on the internet. 

Facebook: BrennanColina
Twitter: @BrennanColina

And now it's contest time! I haven't done one of these in forever, but let's do another 100 word writing contest.

Here are the details:

You need to write a short story (100 words or less!) using these five words:


Post your story in the comments of this post by 11:59 pm on June 30th

What do you win?

A paperback copy of Addicted to You by Colina Brennan


A query critique--good for you or I'll even let you give it to a friend if you're feeling generous

Good luck!
So I've been reading a lot of New Adult recently (and of course as an agent, New Adult is on my wishlist, so if you've got one...).

If you're new to NA or if you you haven't gotten into it yet, here are the ones I'd recommend (and keep in mind, I'm a little biased since I rep some of these, but then again, I wouldn't rep them if I didn't love them).

In no particular order, here are my favorites:

Cora Carmack is responsible for converting me and turning me into a New Adult Addict so you can blame this whole thing on her and Losing ItI read it and couldn't stop laughing out loud and knew that this book was something special. Trust me when I tell you, Faking It, it's even better.

And I'm beyond excited for you guys to read Keeping Her, since well it's pretty awesome too. I'll also admit that I feel special and luck that I don't have to wait until August for it.

Wait for You by J. Lynn. This is the first Jennifer Armentrout novel I'd ever read, and trust me, it won't be the last. My favorite thing about this one is the characters.

Addicted to You by Colina Brennan. Everyone loves a guy with an accent. And trust me, you'll love this guy too. You'll also love the scene in the bar. (swoon!)

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers. This is like the ultimate forbidden romance. I read the final version of this on a plane to Frankfurt. I sat huddled in my seat alternating between feeling swoony and weepy.

And I just finished reading the follow up, A Little Too Much, and it's incredible.

Rule by Jay Crownover. This was a recommendation by Lisa (above). She sent me an email telling me I had to read Rule. It took me a few weeks, but I downloaded it and read it in one sitting. I love Rule. He's a great character and the drunk scene (you'll know which one when you read) was so realistic.

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne. I was a little worried that I wouldn't fall in love with Quinn who is a total bad boy and sort of okay, a major jerk, but I did! His transformation is fabulous, and I'm so excited to read the next book.

On the top of my To Be Read list is Spiral by Mila Ferrara which is Grey's Anatomy meets Silver Linings Playbook (how could I miss that, right?). I'm in the middle of The Edge of Never by JA Redmerski. And I'm going to work my way through this list of Hypable's NA Summer Reading.

Now, what else should be on my TBR list?

So I'm addicted to New Adult.

That's why I'm excited that Addicted to You by Colina Brennan is out today!

When twenty-one-year-old Leah Carter's latest one night stand burglarizes her apartment, her roommate forces her to attend therapy for sex addicts. Leah insists she isn't a sex addict; she just doesn't do relationships. After all, sooner or later, everyone lets you down.

At first, the group sessions are little more than an education on how to be promiscuous. Until she meets the newest addict—blue eyes, killer body, and a smile that tempts relapse.

Psychology student Will McLean is posing as a fellow addict while researching a case study on unusual addictions. But the more he learns about Leah, the more certain he is that his desire to break through her walls and unearth her secrets has nothing to do with his assignment.

As the uncertainties spike alongside the sexual tension, the only thing Leah knows for sure is that falling in love would be disastrous. Too bad love might be one addiction she can't kick.
If you're an NA fan, this is another new novel you'll have to add to your to be read list. Here's an excerpt:

Leah hated Thursdays. Specifically, she hated what she was forced to do on Thursdays—a program called ‘Heal the Heart, Save the Body,’ which was a convoluted way of saying ‘therapy for sex addicts.’
Despite her roommate’s insistence, Leah did not have a ‘sex problem.’ So she liked the occasional one night stand. So what? She was twenty-one and single. There was nothing wrong with wanting to make the most of it.
Yet here she was, preparing for another session where she’d have to listen to some old guy attempt to teach a room full of so-called sexual deviants the skills to function in a civilized world.
Because left to their own devices, they wouldn’t be able to resist the primal urge to hump everything that moved. Obviously.
Who decided sex was an addiction anyway? Or that someone should need therapy to “fix” it? Sex was good for you. It was a de-stresser. If it wasn’t, then you were doing it wrong.
She made a face at the platter of cookies set on an uneven seat a few feet away. She had tried one of them a few meetings ago, and it had nearly broken her tooth. They were sturdy enough to survive a nuclear apocalypse. They were cockroach cookies.
Maybe that was the key to these therapy sessions—to knock everyone out with stale confections so they were incapable of having sex.

Here's what I love about Addicted to You, other than Will, the really hot guy with an accent. These characters are working through issues while trying to find where they belong in the world. They're confident in certain areas of their lives while in other areas, they're fumbling to get through each day. 

And of course, a Happy Release Day announcement isn't complete without a giveaway :) Enter below!

This is the part of the story you might have already heard:

Cora Carmack queried me with Losing It. She had self published and was sky-rocketing through the ranks. Despite my skeptical position on New Adult as a genre, I loved her premise and smart query, so I requested the manuscript. She sent it immediately, and I sat at my desk and started to read. I signed her, we sold Losing It to HarperCollins and I announced to twitter that I had changed my mind about all things New Adult.

Here's the rest of the story:

Cora Carmack made me laugh. When I opened Losing It at my desk, I read the first three chapters before leaving to go to a networking event. During those chapters I couldn't help laugh out loud. In fact, I laughed so often and so loud at certain moments that two different people in the office asked me what I was reading.

That night at the event, I couldn't stop thinking about Losing It. I couldn't wait to get back to it so that I could finish reading. And I couldn't stop talking about it. I brought up New Adult to everyone who would listen. Then I told them about this great self-published book I was reading. (At least two people told me they downloaded it that night.)

When I got home, I continued reading--I read until very late into the hours of the morning and sent Cora Carmack a gushing email about how much I loved it.

Here's why I loved it:

It had all the things that I want in any manuscript: great characters, great writing, page-turning storytelling. I couldn't stop thinking about it. It made me laugh and swoon and cringe and even get a little teary eyed. The characters felt so real to me.

Even more than that, here's why it changed my mind about New Adult:

Losing It made me feel like I was in my early twenties again. I didn't have a hot British professor and my last year in college didn't end up with happily ever after, but I did have some Bliss-worthy awkward moments. More than that, I knew how she felt while struggling to fit into the adult world. I'd been lost, frustrated, and insecure. Part of me wanted to be an adult and was ready and part of me wasn't sure what I was supposed to do in order to feel like an adult.

That's why I fell for New Adult and what I love about it: that these authors and their books have managed to capture all of those different and complex feelings in such a visceral way. And of course that they've thrown a good romance into the mix doesn't hurt since I love all things romance.

But don't take just my word for it. I asked everyone else at New Leaf what they loved about New Adult, and here's what they said:

Joanna Volpe:
After reading so many dark and heavy stories for so long (which I do love), New Adult offered up something that could be equally meaty in terms of emotion, but lighter in tone. And dang are they sexy! The first real NA I read was Cora Carmack's LOSING IT, but after that, I just wanted...more. And there was so much out there to choose from! So I think what really made me fall for the genre as a whole is the immediacy of it all, both in purchasing and in the stories themselves. I have bought an embarrassing amount of them, and I just fly through them!

Kathleen Ortiz:
I'll admit: I wasn't a fan of New Adult at first because it seemed like many writers were trying to write a YA, insert a lot of sex, and say 'tada! New Adult!'

And then I read some NA that truly captured the essence of NA.

NA is still about having moments like this:

And yes, you may still need mom and dad:

You discover actually NEED a budget.

(I may or may not have an issue with this one but I digress. Cupcakes always have space in the budget)

You make good decisions:

And bad ones:

You continue to have some feelings from high school:


You learn to live with non-family members:

You still have many life lessons

But at the end of the day, I love NA when I find that character I can relate to:

And the character I can transform into and live vicariously through:

NA is about the experience from child to adult. And then realizing, you may be legally an adult but mentally still very much a child. The experience of making all the wrong choices to learn how to make the best ones. And the experience of truly discovering who you are -- and realizing the experience of truly discovering who you are is a life-long journey.

And I love it.

Danielle Barthel:
I love that NA is really a bridge between YA lit and adult fiction. I never felt that I needed that bridge until I read a few NA books and realized that, as a 20-something myself, these characters were going through some of the same things that I was. You're not too long after college, trying to figure out who you are and where you belong and who can help you on your way to your destination, and being able to read about situations that I could empathize with, or at least truly understand, gave me a real appreciation for the genre.

Sarah Goldberg:
I'm usually a reluctant reader of contemporary romance, but New Adult has made me reconsider. I recently read a comment on YA romances--and I can't seem to track down the source--by someone who said (and I paraphrase) that teen romance usually isn't forever, but great YA romances tells stories about the relationships that the characters need at that moment. NA appeals to me because it often picks up on that: there doesn't have to be a traditional Happily Ever After . . . but the relationship is just right for the characters, then. Having emerged from my early twenties not too long ago, I appreciate seeing that experience in print. Those NA relationships, college majors, and job experiences may not be forever for most of us, but they're worth it.

Now, whether you're addicted to New Adult or not sure what it's all about, at New Leaf, we've put together an epic Addicted to New Adult Giveaway. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So many of you may know this already, but for a long time, I was not sold on the idea of New Adult. In fact a number of times, I said it wasn't a thing or that I didn't believe in it.

I wasn't sure what it meant or where I was sell it or where the books would go on a shelf in a store or how it differed from just regular adult books with twenty-something characters who would appeal to younger readers. It seemed amorphous and everyone seemed to have different viewpoints about what it was.

Some of that hasn't changed.

I still don't know where the books fit best on a shelf. (Most are being shelved in romance.) I still think New Adult can sometimes be described as adult books with crossover appeal and that there are some adult books out there that could have been called New Adult if the term was around when they'd been published. I'm still not sure if or how New Adult will break out into other genres besides contemporary romance.

But as I mentioned on twitter six months ago, when I read Losing It by Cora Carmack, I officially ate my words about New Adult not being a thing. I was wrong. It suddenly had become something I really (really) liked.

If you're not sure what New Adult is, here's a definition that I like. I'm also going to paraphrase Cora Carmack who said that if YA tells stories of teens becoming adults, then NA tells stories of characters who are now adults in the eyes of the world, but they're looking around and asking themselves "now what?"

Because there's a lot of great writers who are writing in this genre. I've been reading as many of them as I can in my spare time, and I'm really excited about the genre. In fact, I like New Adult so much that I'm pretty addicted to it. As a result, I want to talk about it more.

If you're addicted to New Adult too, here's how you can let everyone now.

Display this banner on your blog/website and join me June 24th-July 16th in discussions about New Adult.

Tomorrow I'll be kicking off the discussion by telling the world how I fell for New Adult--and so will everyone else at New Leaf.
I sold this book so of course I love it, but trust me when I tell you that if you're a fan of new adult or just plain old romance, you're going to love it too.

Here's the description of A Little Too Far, the new adult novel by Lisa Desrochers that will be available September 17th!

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome. But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

And here's your chance to win a swag pack for A Little Too Far.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Guys, it's here! Faking It by Cora Carmack is finally available!!

I can tell you quite honestly, that Cora sent me the first draft of Faking It to me on a Friday evening. I intended to read just a few chapters and then relax on the couch for an hour of TV before bed. Suddenly, I was sobbing, it was three am, and I was only a chapter away from finishing the manuscript. 

It was a good cry, trust me.

Cora Carmack is a fierce talent. I love working with her and I can't wait for everyone out there to now be able to enjoy Faking It the way I have!

The lovely Sarah Goldberg is on the blog today, and she's giving away a book that she absolutely loved:

BY REFERRAL ONLY is a forthcoming New Adult title by friend and all around awesome human being Lyla Payne. It is the second installment in her Whitman University series: smart and sexy NA featuring a revolving cast of characters. I loved it. I even reviewed it on Goodreads.

About the Book:

After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough. 

Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

I'm giving away one signed (!) ARC of the novel. Open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Lyla: 

Lyla has long had a love of stories. A few years ago she decided to put them down on the page, and even though Lyla has a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where she found a home. When the idea for Broken at Love (her first New Adult title) arrived, Lyla couldn’t wait to try something new – and she’s hooked. In her spare time, Lyla watches a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), plays a ton of tennis, and dedicates a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

Find her on Twitter or on her website.