Cover Reveals: Inspire + Inflict (Muse series) by Cora Carmack

Inflict MuseInspire Muse

I’m so excited to show you these two beautiful covers!!! Inflict, the second and upcoming book in the New Adult PNR series, Muse, will be out in January. Inspire, book 1, has also received a cover makeover! Both covers were designed by the talented Regina Wamba of Mae I Design.

Inspire

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

Available now on Amazon and other booksellers. ✦

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Inflict

Wilder Bell made a dangerous bargain…

For a chance at love, he gave up his life.

History knew Kalliope as an ancient Greek muse, but to Wilder, she was simply the woman he wanted to fall asleep with every night and wake up next to every morning. He made a deal with Hades, but the only thing the Lord of the Underworld deals in is death. Now Wilder is wasting away in a cold and wretched afterlife, waiting for Kalli to come for him. She will come. He has to believe that. Because the alternative is worse than death.

Kalliope lived her entire existence knowing that she was both a blessing and a curse to anyone she encountered. Wilder was no different. She loved him, and she got him killed. Now to get him back, she’ll have to face a scheming god, a perilous task, and death itself. But before it’s done, the Underworld will take more from her than she ever thought possible.

To be made whole, all must first be lost.

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Review: Inspire (#1, Muse) by Cora Carmack

My Thoughts

A stirring romance with a supernatural twist
that is deliciously sexy and entirely addictive.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Dec-15

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

My Review

Cora Carmack delivers a tantalizing forbidden love story with Inspire. It’s edgy, witty, sexy and mysterious with a unique supernatural twist that keeps us utterly addicted. It’s a perfect transitional book for contemporary readers, striking a lovely balance between traditional romance and paranormal. I loved the chemistry between our two protagonists, as their love story took shape… a relentless push and pull driven by emotion and anchored by a deadly truth.

“Creation and Destruction. These are the things I inspire.”

As a muse, Kalli knew temporary. She knew breakups. She knew the high of a quick inspirational fix and low of unending loneliness. Her power was both beauty and destruction, but lately it had felt like a curse—one that bridled her hopes of finding something real. Someone to love her for who she is, not what she inspired. Because although Kalli sparked greatness in musicians, designers and artists of all kinds, the high of inspiration was hollow and transient. She could never stay, never find love, never tempt those around her too much. Because the line between inspiration and madness was a fine one… a sharp, precarious edge she mustn’t cross.

“This is what it is to be a muse. I walk the line between want and need, between power and submission.”

As she danced from one relationship to the next, the burden of immortality weighed heavily upon her as the need for something more intensified. Despite her good intentions and her unique ability to create beauty, being around her was dangerous… a fact she recently experienced first hand. But the moment she met Wilder Bell, she felt something different. An undeniable attraction that made her usual control quiver. He’s everything she’s been looking for and everything she needs to stay away from.

“I’ve never known what it’s like to love someone, to build a life, to grow older… because loving me is dangerous. I’m the drug.”

Wilder is the perfect combination of sexy and sweet, passionate and steady. He seems all put together on the outside, but is also this disheveled, tatted up, rough-around-the-edges guy who is a bit of an enigma himself. He shoulders responsibility for a family that’s been torn apart, forsaken his own dreams to do the right thing. And just as Kalli is instantly drawn by Wilder, Wilder is intensely drawn to Kalli.

“I feel as if there’s a cord between us, and no matter where I go or what I think, I can still feel its weight, the reminding pressure that he’s there, that he’s not going away.”

Problem is Kalli is always running. Always warring with herself. Struggling between the pull of her heart’s desire and the push of her precarious reality. And yet, in the face of a storm of secrets, they fall hopelessly for each other, finding something real and beautiful and entirely dangerous. Something Kalli can’t seem to walk away from despite the many, many reasons she should. Wilder can’t make sense of Kalli’s vacillating ways, but he knows he can’t be without her.

“I don’t give a fuck about genius. But I’ll take madness if it gives me you first.”

We’ll see some unexpected twists before the oh-my-good-god end, which left me more than shocked and desperate to see what happens next. I loved that humor was threaded throughout, helping to give the story a relatedness amidst its mythological roots. As I mentioned above, there is a lot of romance, particularly midway through, as we see these two people fall deeply for each other, feeling that pulsating connection that wouldn’t sever despite Kalli’s best efforts. Through these moments, I tried to understand Kalli’s power, how it affected others and herself, and it all better clicked during the story’s climatic end. There’s so much to explore still, both emotionally and supernaturally, and I anxiously await how Cora Carmack will twist and tangle the story for us. As a lover of paranormal stories, I hope she takes us deeper into Kalli’s world to see how the decisions Kalli and Wilder made affect their future.

“Love me right now. Love me tomorrow. And the next day. The future isn’t written in stone. We decide it. Choose to love me every second. We’ll choose that together. The rest will all fall into place.”

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New Adult Paranormal Spotlight: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout + Inspire by Cora Carmack

NAPNR

Paranormal romance (PNR) is probably my very favorite genre of choice. I love the world building, the mystery and magic, the supernatural richness vitalizing a story that is all romance, suspense and sexiness. We’ve seen lots of Young Adult and Adult paranormal,  and finally, we’re seeing more New Adult titles on the burgeoning list of PNR must reads.

December is a particularly banner month with two of my favorite authors each releasing the first book in a new NA PNR series. I’m talking Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Inspire by Cora Carmack!!! And because I get all excited and giddy at discussing these books with you, I wanted to tempt you with an exclusive look at each of these books, with an exclusive excerpt as we countdown the days until these hit our ereaders. I’ll have reviews for both on USA Today, so you’ll have to stay tuned for my thoughts on each!

Wicked

Wicked is the first book in A Wicked Saga, and it is so freaking good! I loved it! The story is irresistibly sexy, wildly entertaining and teeming with Jennifer’s wry and memorable humor. But this time, the story is enlivened by the wickedness of the Fae, and the mystery and decadence that is New Orleans. Wicked will be out on December 8th.

★ Pre-order Wicked: AmazoniTunes ★

Synopsis

Dec-08

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

Excerpt

He dipped his chin, and my heart jumped. “You going to let go of my shirt? I mean, you don’t have to, but you keep tugging on my shirt like that, I’m going to get all kinds of naughty ideas that I will, without a doubt, act on.”

At first I didn’t get it. What the hell was he rambling on about? Parts of my body got hung up on the naughty ideas he’d act on and got all kinds of happy about that. My gaze dropped and I saw my hands were fisting his shirt, and . . . his arms weren’t around me anymore.

Oh my God, I was groping him—his shirt. Could you grope a shirt? I was pretty sure I was groping his shirt.

Dropping my hands, I took a step back and bounced into the brick wall. Total stealth move right there. I wanted to kick myself.

Ren’s eyes glimmered in the fading sunlight filtering between the buildings. He didn’t speak for a moment, just holding my stare with his and then, “We should probably clear out of the area.”

Good idea. Great idea. Witnesses could have given our description, and those we had on the force might not be around to play interference. Drawing in a deep breath, I reined in my newly discovered active lady bits as he stepped aside gracefully. For such a large guy, he moved as if he was made of air. Actually everything about the way he moved was fascinating to watch.

Or I really, seriously, just needed to get laid.

I sighed.

Then the worst possible thing in the history of mankind and beyond burst out of my mouth. “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Holy shit balls on Sunday, I did not just ask that. Ren looked over his shoulder at me, one eyebrow arched. I did ask that. Those words really did come out of my mouth and I wanted to maim myself, but I waited to hear his answer.

Ren’s grin was like dark chocolate, smooth and rich. “Not yet.”

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✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

Inspire

Inspire is Cora Carmack’s first foray into releasing a paranormal romance and I couldn’t be more excited!!! I know that Cora is a big reader of both paranormal and fantasy books, and I can’t wait to see what kind of story she delivers. Inspire’s protagonist, Kalliope, is an immortal muse who is tired of leading the same life, over and over again. It never changes, and all she really wants is something different… real. Then she meets Wilder Bell, who is everything she wants… but Kalli is the last thing he needs. If she stays with Wilder, she could find everything she’s hoped for, but ruin his life in the process. Expect the novel to be a little dark and edgy, with some sexiness, suspense and humor. Inspire is out December 15th.

★ Pre-order Inspire exclusively on iTunes ★

Synopsis

Dec-15

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

Excerpt

She’s warring with herself. I can tell. And I just wish I knew what has her keeping her walls so high. I’ll take them down piece by piece if I have to.

“Wilder. I—“

“Tell me you remember how good it was. I’m not imagining that, am I? I get that you don’t do hook-ups, and that seeing me again is a reminder of that, but you don’t just throw a connection like that away because the timeline is wrong.”

“It’s not about that timeline.”

“Then tell me what it is. I want you. You want me. I’m not giving that up without a fight.”

“I’m not good for you.”

“First of all, bullshit. And second, what about what’s good for you? You’re in here alone while your friends are out there talking and laughing and drinking. You find someone you have mind-blowing chemistry with, and rather than seeing where it goes, you cut it off before it even gets started. Something happens in your life that throws you so off-kilter that you seek out comfort from a stranger. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know why. But I know you deserve more than one night. I know you deserve to laugh with your friends, not stand on the sidelines.”  I brace one hand on the counter beside her and lift the other to curve around her cheek. At my touch, her eyes flutter closed, and she exhales so strongly that I wonder how long she’s been holding her breath. “Stop telling yourself what you can’t have or shouldn’t have. You deserve more, Kalli.”

I throw my patience out the window, and bend to touch my mouth to hers. It’s just a light touch, but it causes a tug of desire at the base of my spine all the same. She doesn’t quite kiss me back, but her lips part, and I can feel the puff of her breath against my mouth, sharp and uncontrolled. I remember how much she liked it when I told her what I wanted to do to her, so I take a chance and push things a little further. I grab hold of her knees, and gently pull her legs apart. She gasps, and her eyes pop open, but she doesn’t move away. Our faces are an inch apart, eyes locked together as I settle between her thighs.

This,” I whisper against her mouth. “I remember how fucking good this was. To have your legs around me. The way we fit… it’s like you were made for me.  I remember how you taste. The sounds you made. If we were alone, I’d show you exactly what you deserve, sweet. You’d come apart on my fingers and my tongue and my cock.” Damn, just imagining what it would feel like to be inside her is enough to make me ache. “Then we’d do it all again. I’d make up for all the days that have passed since I last touched you. Would you let me do that? Or will you try to run from me again?” Her only answer is to close her eyes and let her head fall back. I lower my lips to the hollow of her neck and kiss her pulse. It beats franticly beneath her skin, and my touch is gentle even though all I want to do is crush her against me. “Maybe I should tie you to my bed,” I suggest. “You wouldn’t run then.”

Her right hand comes up to grip my bicep, and she squeezes hard.

“You like that?” Interesting. “You could let go with me, Kalli. I’d take care of you. If you’d let me.”

I pull back from her neck, passing my lips over her jaw first, then the corner of her mouth. But I don’t go any farther than that. I’m okay with being on the offensive, but I want her to be the one to drop the walls. If not, I’m only going to end up climbing them over and over again.

“I—“ She swallows, and her eyes flick back and forth between mine. “I don’t know if I can. If I can risk…” I brush my lips over hers, dragging my tongue over her bottom lip, and she moans. I swear to God, I can almost taste the sound on my tongue. So fucking sweet my head spins.

I want her to choose this, but clearly I’m not above playing a little dirty. All I can guess is that she’s been burned before, and she doesn’t want to chance it happening again.

“You’ve got to risk to get the reward,” I tell her, sliding a hand around her waist and inching her just a little closer. “I won’t hurt you, Kalli.”

She exhales sharply, and makes a noise that’s almost a laugh. Pressing her lips together, she looks as if she’s steeling herself. Whether to push me away or pull me closer, I’m not sure. And I don’t get the chance to find out.

Because at that moment, Lennox charges into the kitchen again. “Time for a drinking—damn it. I have the worst timing ever.”

Yes. Yes, she does.

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Review: All Broke Down (#2, Rusk University) by Cora Carmack

My Thoughts

A stirring romance with lots of emotional turmoil and sizzling chemistry.
My favorite Cora Carmack book to date!

5stars

Synopsis

all broke down coverDylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

My Review

What happens when you pair a volatile bad boy with a proper, go-getting political activist?

Instant, angst-ridden, burn-up-the-pages chemistry. I loved this second installment in the Rusk University series. I loved how different it was than the first book (which I loved as well) and yet it still infused all the exciting, coming-of-age elements of the Rusk world. With Silas as its central character, however, the story took on a darker, more explosive and tumultuous tone and I was surprised at how Silas, an antagonist in All Lined Up, managed to evoke so much feeling and heart with his story. Cora Carmack reminds us at what an expert she is in creating that irresistible crackle between two characters. The chemistry that burns, then flickers and then burns even hotter, and these two have enough desire to detonate. This is a story about the past gripping your present, about facades dulling the life you live… it’s about anger and hurt and forgiveness and acceptance, and of course love. Because with Silas and Dylan… nothing is ever as it seems.

“Football. Fighting. Fucking. That’s what I know how to do.”

Silas is not your typical Rusk University student. He’s not wealthy. He doesn’t drive a fancy car. He hasn’t had it easy. His whole life is football. It’s the one thing he’s really good at. The one thing that gives him a fighting chance to overcome what’s inevitable in his mind. Because his past has crippled him with insecurities, with fear, as if he’s one bad decision away from trashing his entire future. But he’s trying. Trying to keep focus. Trying to be the leader Coach Cole wants him to be. But when his old friend and team disappointment, Levi, calls after being released from jail, he can’t help but fall back into old patterns. And the moment hurtful words are exchanged… the kind that attack the very soul of your deepest fears, it’s his fists that unleash his raging emotions.

Like always. It was inevitable.

“The bad seems to follow me. Or hell… Maybe it’s me that follows the bad. Maybe I don’t know who I am apart from that.”

When Silas ends up behind bars, the last thing he expects is a beautiful girl to be in the cell across from him. Dylan is a passionate, caring person. One who wants to make a difference. A fixer inexorably drawn to a cause. With a wealthy, influential family, perfection and decorum are expected, and she fears anything short of that impossible notion will take away the love and security she hasn’t always had. When her gaze meets Silas, she’s immediately unsettled and flustered at the hulking, gorgeous man with the intense stare.

“So he doesn’t tick any of my usual boxes, but there’s something in the way he looks at me. In his eyes, there’s this strange kind of appreciation that is part attraction, part something else that makes me feel rare and precious and… seen.”

Unlikely circumstances bring these two very different people together, unexpected desire tethers them even tighter, but it’s an unspoken understanding that allows them to really see the other. We realize they’ve both struggled to belong, struggled to overcome a past that won’t let go, struggled to find a way to let themselves show the world who they truly are. While Silas is brimming with volatility, rage, anger and aggression, Dylan is an empty shell afraid to enliven her personality with who she really is… not who she is expected to be. They strike a deal to help each other out, because suddenly, Silas really does need fixing. His spot on the football team is in danger and Silas is willing to do anything to hold on to his one shot at a future.

“You are in so much trouble, Dylan Brenner.  And trouble’s name is Silas Moore.”

Silas and Dylan’s “non-relationship” relationship takes off from there. They are exactly what the other needs, and they sort of save each other. But just as emotions intensify and progress is made and hearts fill with promise… the truth of their disparity opens up a chasm that tears them apart. Could they really be so different… come from two different worlds and somehow make it work? Could they be happy? Could they change their inevitable fates?

“I’m bad… a bad decision, bad seed, bad blood… whatever you want to call it, that’s what I am. And it’s only a matter of time until it has me turning out just like Levi, cut off from the people I know and the only thing I love.”

I loved the emotional turmoil of the book, loved how I felt the characters so much, loved the super sexy times, and especially loved the juxtaposition of these two seemingly different people who were passionate and fiercely loyal. It’s my favorite Cora Carmack book to date and I can’t wait to see what she does with Torres’ book next.

“Me and her together… I believe we’re big enough to face whatever comes.”

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Reading Order and Links

Each book can be read as a standalone. Click image below to purchase from Amazon U.S.

all lined up all broke down cover

All Lined Up (#1): Amazon | iTunes | B&N
All Broke Down (#2): Amazon | iTunes | B&N
All Played Out (#3): Amazon

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