Getting Advice From Strange Places

This may sound strange but I rarely ask for advice. I might ask for advice on good restaurants or shoe stores. but little else. Why do I rarely ask for advice? Because too often when I have in the past and followed it, I’ve regretted it. This makes me madder at myself than the other person. But I’ve learned that most people do not know anymore than I do.

Recently, I heard the best advice on how to deal with ignorant and purposely cruel people (E.g., reviews, not necessarily my own), and I want to share this advice with you.

Congratulations!

Sherry Haut!  You are the lucky winner of a $20 gift card of your choice to Amazon or B&N.  Be sure to contact me by email – Carla @ CarlaSwafford.com

Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter and READING it!!  LOL!

Everyone else: If you want to find out about my newest releases and exciting news, and my giveaways, specifically for my newsletter followers, go here to sign up.

Thanks!

Giveaway(s) over at Romance Magicians

Businessman Wearing CapeHey, I posted over at Romance Magicians and if you comment, you’ll be in a drawing for a $10 gift certificate.  That could buy you one to 10 books.  LOL!  See you there!

Oh, be on the lookout through the 31st. More giveaways are coming!

Time to Dance

My latest book!  Release date is February 16, 2016.  Isn’t it sexy? This is the first book from the Brothers of Mayhem series. Expect three more!  Yep. THREE!

Hidden Heat_SwaffordHere’s the unedited blurb for Hidden Heat.
Cassidy Ryder thinks nothing of wielding a bat against anyone who threatens her brother. The only problem is the teenager has disappeared while hanging around the Brothers of Mayhem Motorcycle Club, and their wall of menacing silence is driving her crazy.

Growing up in the middle of the MC has taught Cassidy to never fall for a biker. So when the newest Mayhem member, Thorn Savalas, plays white knight to her damsel in distress, she fights the attraction. But her big mouth has gotten her into deep trouble, and the only way for Thorn to protect Cassidy is to claim her as his old lady. Thorn’s aware of the fine line between pretending and what’s real, and his plan backfires when the MC’s president forces them to prove it by having sex.

As they become closer, Cassidy pieces together clues that point to Thorn working undercover. She offers to be his informant. He accepts, telling himself it has nothing to do with her tight jeans and sassy walk. And no matter how often she tells herself it is all an act with hot benefits, she still falls for the bad boy cop. Yet, she knows when he takes down the MC, he will disappear, leaving her behind, unloved and alone.

And chances are good that I’m getting another contract for THREE other books from a new series called the Wicked Dog Bail Bonds and Investigation. Oh, goodness, bad ass Bounty Hunters!

More Pictures From NYC Trip

IMG_0715

Shelf in wall at Madame X’s going up steps to Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0716

Picture at Madame X’s going up steps to Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0718

Crowd at Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0720

One of several seating areas for Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0722

Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0723

Lady Jane’s Salon

IMG_0724

Lady Jane’s Salon – The MC

IMG_0727

Another picture from the hotel. I couldn’t get over the crowds and the number of taxis.

IMG_0732

Stage set up with big pool for dogs to jump in. Might have been something to do with Good Morning America (building on left)

IMG_0734

Betty, me and Victoria – I look like I’m up to no good. Well, yeah.

IMG_0737

If my feet wasn’t hurting, I would’ve walked across the street and gotten a better picture. Love horses. And cops.

IMG_0740

Beautiful at night, heh?

IMG_0741

So many lights on.

IMG_0745

My buddy, Heather, giving a workshop. She actually made law interesting.

IMG_0749

Me with my 2015 RWA PRO Mentor award. So awesome!

IMG_0750

Almost looks like a painting.

IMG_0751

The ball at top is the one they drop on New Years.

IMG_0752

Yes. Another picture of Times Square. It was amazingly crowded.

IMG_0753

Times Square – buses, taxis and so many tourists!

IMG_0754

See!

IMG_0755

Random House’s cocktail party – view from window.

IMG_0756

Random House’s cocktail party – Some famous names on those books.

IMG_0757

Random House – more books on shelves both sides. I didn’t stop to look.

IMG_0758

Purse I bought in NYC. Love it!

IMG_0759

Loved the little Minion show/ad in Times Square.

IMG_0760

There were a few naked women hanging around (pun intended). The men would pay to get their picture taken with them. One way to make a living.

IMG_0761

The lights fascinated me.

IMG_0762

And the crowds drove me nuts.

IMG_0763

See the M&M character? He was HUGE!

IMG_0764

Don’t know what the ad was, but it was so romantic, I had to take a picture.

IMG_0766

Yes. More of the same, sorta.

IMG_0768

Look close and you can see more naked girls. They had barely there bottoms and no tops. They have red, white and blue feathers on their heads. Just painted breasts.

IMG_0769

My chocolate RITA (Everyone got one at the award ceremony. It tasted like Easter Bunny.)

IMG_0774

I couldn’t resist and got Meda to take this picture while in our cab. HELLO KITTY! GIANT HELLO KITTY that is.

Party NYC

I had a blast in New York City. Here are some pictures to enjoy.

IMG_0613

Sightseeing cruise with buddy, Heather Leonard.

Bar with NASCAR on one of the TVs

Bar with NASCAR on one of the TVs

 

Intrepid Navy Ship in background with planes.

Intrepid Navy Ship in background with planes.

Times Square

Times Square ahead (Heather Leonard and Meda White in front of me)

Times Square

Near Times Square

IMG_0623

Statue of Liberty

IMG_0625

Abandoned building on island

IMG_0631

Yankee Stadium in background with cool speed boat

IMG_0635

Unusual Building near water

IMG_0624

Ellis Island and city in background.

IMG_0668

Heather and my other buddy, Meda. Had so much fun with these ladies.

IMG_0674

Went to see Wicked. Pretty good.

IMG_0676

One of the well dressed men I saw in NYC. SO MANY GOOD LOOKING MEN! My neck hurt from looking.

IMG_0679

They did a presentation and opened this wall. Then you saw NYC from way above.

IMG_0670

Food! This was one of the good restaurants. Sadly, I forgot the name but it was near the theater.

IMG_0681

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0682

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0683

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0680

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0694

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0693

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0695

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0692

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0697

Inside One World Trade Center.

IMG_0696

View from One World Trade Center (this was a floor – really an outside camera projecting beneath the glass)

IMG_0700

View from One World Trade Center. (Amazing, isn’t it?)

IMG_0699

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0701

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0703

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0704

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0705

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0706

Inside One World Trade Center.

IMG_0707

Inside One World Trade Center.

IMG_0690

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0702

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0698

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0709

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0714

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0691

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0712

View from One World Trade Center.

IMG_0711IMG_0710

I’m Anti-Martyrdom

tumblr_myfffeXLM61srko8to1_r1_500If you’re wondering what I mean, see if any of this sounds familiar?

  • Everyone ignores me in the meeting/class/workshop/conferences.
  • I’m always dumped on/given more work/forgotten.
  • Others have more fun/time to talk/goof off.

Oh, I’m sure I can think of a dozen more. Some that I’ve even said before I caught myself.

Really, people, most of those statements are simply because you won’t stand up for yourself or open up. Yes. I’m an extrovert, but I do have moments where I feel insecure. You wouldn’t know it but when I was a kid, I stuttered. Not terribly bad, but bad enough for people to poke fun at me. I still stutter when I get angry or extremely nervous. Plus I have difficulties pronouncing certain words. A little quirk of mine. I know what they mean, just don’t use them often enough in speech. And anyone who sees pictures of me know I’m overweight. Over the years, I’ve heard enough about that to be self-conscious.

Okay, what I’m getting to is that everyone have issues and insecurities. When you feel dumped on, ignored, or/and left out, stop and think of how you can fix it. More times than I can count the problem starts with yourself.

If I don’t want to feel that way, I found if I open myself up, things change. If they act like an asshole, the world is large. look for another friend, nice acquaintance or companion. There are others out and about who are in the same spot.

So keep that in mind next time you feel like a martyr.

Why do you think all of those nerd movies are so successful? One nerd finds like minded nerds to hang around.

The Contest Continues for the iPad Mini

New Jack Drago adIf you haven’t caught the news here or on Facebook, I’ve decided to give more people time to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE (novella – in other words, short story) and answer the questions for a chance to win the iPad Mini. The contest has been extended to June 30. If you’ve already read it, click here and answer the questions. They give you three possible answers. They’re not easy, and a couple are trick questions. BUT, if you read the book, you won’t have a problem.

CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE is only $2.99.  And during the contest, I’ve made CIRCLE OF DISHONOR free during this time. So double bonus!

Here’s a little tidbit from CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE. (No answers given away.)

He lightly squeezed the woman in his arms. Who was he kidding? He was up shit creek without a paddle when Kat learned the truth. So, he’d keep her safe and when it was over, leave. Same old, same old. Chances were she wouldn’t want anything to do with him when she found out he still worked for The Circle, and they had set her up.

[June 30, 2015: Congratulations to Jenn Williams. She was one of the few to answer all the questions correctly. The iPad Mini will be mailed this week!  Please keep reading!  Thanks! Carla]

Welcome Katherine Bone (Giveaway)

MyLadyRogue500x750Please welcome Katherine Bone! I love this woman. She’s sweet and talented. Not only talented in her writing, but in making jewelry. I have a beautiful pair of cameo earrings she gave me for just being her roommate at a conference a couple years ago.

Lucky me!  I’ll be your roommate anytime, Kathy!

In the hope that she will look favorably on me again, I will be giving away her book, My Lady Rogue (ebook).  The winner will be picked from a commenter and announced on Wednesday night (May 27).

~~~~

Everything Simon and Gillian have done has led to this moment… Will it be too late?

Baroness Gillian Chauncey thought she’d seen everything during her years of devotion to England. But as war escalates and political bonds are severed, a devastating betrayal forces Gillian to make a life or death decision to save the man she loves.

Lord Simon Danbury’s loyalty to the crown has never been questioned — until now. As death’s darkening veil cascades over London, a hostile mole inside Nelson’s Tea tries to assassinate him. Surrounded by the greatest spies in England, only one thing stands to defeat him — losing the one woman who has made life worth living.

Excerpt

“DO YOU REALLY think this will be the last time we are all gathered together?” Gillian moved into Simon’s welcoming embrace, swallowing back a heart wrenching sob.

Ten minutes had passed since Garrick had left the townhouse. Ten long minutes of watching Simon’s brows furrow ever tighter, deepening until the aristocratic lines of his handsome face were grossly disfigured. Gillian couldn’t bear the ugly transformation, for his expression only hinted at the war building inside him. His steadfast code of morality and honor had consistently succeeded in suppressing his own needs and desires. What of sorrow? Would the news of Nelson’s death prove a more impenetrable shield? Could she shore up this wounded man’s agony? And more importantly, how could she if she tried?

In the past, their separations had been purely physical, an exhausting distance no preoccupation could eliminate. Today, her new enemy held greater influence on Simon’s emotions than marriage vows and honor. And she knew well enough the folly of ignoring this new foe. She’d seen what despair had done to Garrick.

She ran her fingers over Simon’s shoulders, luxuriating in the feel of the exquisite lines of his tailored morning coat. They were as close as they could possibly be, and yet the distance had never been further. Too much stood between them, Lady Danbury’s and Nelson’s deaths, the fate of Nelson’s Tea, their unspoken feelings. Did he feel it too? She’d long dreamed of sharing a deeper intimacy with this man who haunted her days and nights, absorbing his scent of sandalwood and spice, taking all of him, holding nothing back. Now she suppressed a shiver in the resounding quiet. Her long wait for Simon had come to an end at last, hadn’t it? But at what cost?

Her heart cried out with longing. He was no longer married. He could be hers, if not for the sorrowful voices haunting their lives or the ones they heard pulsating throughout the city.

Nelson is dead! Nelson is dead!

Simon inhaled deeply, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “We cannot fail. Our business is not only risky, it relies solely on His Majesty’s grace. With Nelson’s assistance, leadership, and guidance, we were assured good measure. No longer.”

She hesitated to ask why. “And now?”

Surely King George respected Simon enough to allow him to continue Nelson’s Tea after he and Lucien had saved the king’s life at Drury Lane?

His winded sigh heightened her doubts. “I’m not as certain as I once was. Without Nelson at the helm, Nelson’s Tea’s motivation is gone. Once morale is gone—”

“Not all gone,” she said, clinging to him as if her life depended on it. And it did. Simon was everything to her. He was her night and day, her moral compass. He was the most intelligent man she’d ever met. His skill at disguise, his mastery of language, culture, and stratagem far outweighed any nobles servicing England in the House of Lords or the Admiralty Board.

He stepped back, only slightly, and lifted her chin, tilting her face up to his. Her gaze traveled from the lapels of his coat to his starched cravat, upper neck, and chin, finally settling on his generous sensual mouth. She held her breath as hundreds of butterflies fluttered to break free from her chest and waited for him to speak as if her very life depended on his next words.

“You and I are not of this world, are we?”

She closed her eyes absorbing his warmth like she’d been deprived of the noonday sun. “I am part of any world you reside in, Simon. I would follow you anywhere.”

When he said nothing, she opened her eyes, suppressing the chill that swept over her. Why wouldn’t he let go and just be? She leaned toward him, absorbing the power emanating from his body.

Dark hair draped over his forehead as he glanced down at her. Heaven help her, she was a selfish woman. She trembled with desire, wanting his mouth on hers, longing to know how he tasted. She wanted assurances, his promise that their dreams of being together hadn’t been crushed. It was wrong to desire these things, so very wrong. It was too soon.

~~~~

Katherine Bone has been passionate about all things historical since she was an Army bratMy Lady Rogue Meme traveling all over the world. Initially, she dreamed of being an artist, but when she met and fell in love with Prince Charming, her own dashing Lieutenant vowing duty, honor, and country, she found herself saying, “I do.” Whisked away to Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals, where tales of swashbuckling adventure filled the lonely gaps when the Army called Charming away, Katherine’s imagination took flight. No longer nomadic, she calls the south home and spends most of her time daydreaming about Charming and heroes of yesteryear.

~~~~

Website

Pinterest

Facebook- Official Fan Page

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

Tumblr

Tsu

~~~~

 

Welcome Hildie McQueen (Giveaway)

Last Hero Sml Say hello to Hildie McQueen. I love her name.  Cool, heh? And her too. Sweet and loves to give me a hard time. (So deserved.) That’s true love, right?  HA!

She will be giving away a $25 gift card to a commenter.  Be sure to say hi.

~~~~blurb~~~~

Mega star Jensen Ford returns to his home state of Tennessee, to film a blockbuster film. Although the pretty local bakery owner catches his eye, she could never survive his Hollywood lifestyle. His mind knows its best to keep her at arms length, but how to convince his heart?

Cassie Tucker doesn’t like arrogant Jensen Ford, definitely doesn’t want to get to know him either. With a cupcake shop to run, an ex harassing her and her younger brother moving in, she doesn’t have time for the movie star’s antics.

Is it fate or happenstance that they end up alone together time after time?

~~~~Bio~~~~

Amazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical, paranormal and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.

Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.Hilda HS Pub 2

Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.

She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly boy Chihuahuas and a spoiled rotten girl Chi named Lola.

Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HildieMcQueen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HildieMcQueen

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HildieMcQueen