About NAKED HEAT

naked-heat-coverBeing a love ’em and leave ’em sort of guy, Wolf never expects to fall for Sofia Cruz. But he keeps their dating low-key, only talking about the here and now. All is good until he discovers her cousin is the leader of the hated Thirty-Second gang. Before their relationship becomes any deeper, he breaks it off and tries to stay away. That is until his MC marks her cousin for retaliation. Wolf kidnaps her. Just to make sure she’s safe.

Sofia is afraid to fall in love again. The men in her life have ignored or used her, especially her ex-husband. So finding out she’s dating a deadly Mayhem Brother, terrifies and excites her. She agrees not seeing each other again will be for the best. So why is she now handcuffed to the sexy biker? And why is she not sure if she wants to be set free?

Everything is looking up, Wolf has proclaimed her as his old lady, and she’s falling in love with the biker. Then her ex is released from prison, and she’s certain he wants revenge for her setting him up. Her cousin wants her back under his protection, and the president of the local MC has decided to use her in his goal to become the next Brothers of Mayhem national president.

To Wolf, it’s all simple. The only way for anyone to reach Sofia is over his dead body.

What? Another Newsletter?

tumblr_myfffeXLM61srko8to1_r1_500Today, I noticed my newsletter had 76 new subscribers to sign up this month. WOW! That was awesome, but when I looked at the list I noticed some were Spam addresses (9). Then I noticed quite a few of the older subscribers were not even opening my newsletters. Hadn’t for the last six or more newsletters, and that’s over a span of 18 months. So what happens to those? I delete them.

After I get a certain number of subscribers, I’ll have to start paying MailChimp when I send out a newsletter. Can’t have that, especially if they’re not reading the sucker.

Thus why I’m keeping an eye out. This is the third time I’ve culled out those who have no activity. Sure, it’s nice to have so many people receiving it, but really, it doesn’t do me any good if people are not even opening the email.

Love MailChimp. So easy to work with, and they give me some great info.

If you want to read my newsletter – I plan to send one out next month – you can sign up here.

Love My Shirt

img_1260For those who don’t know, I love hockey. See the jersey my husband’s cousin and his wife got me? I LOVE IT! I promise, Dan, I’ll get hubby to take my picture when I wear it. I’ve worn it at home a couple times already.

I have three favorite hockey players on the Nashville Predator’s team: Forsberg, Johansen, and Arvidisson. So I cherish my Forsberg jersey. It’s fantastic! I have tickets for a game this month and will be wearing it proudly.

If you don’t know, my love of hockey blossomed only a little over a year ago. Hey, I am a southern girl and most people in the South do not watch it, but I have to point out it’s becoming more popular each year down here. What with the Nashville Predators (Go Preds!) and the two teams in Florida. But people ask me all the time, why?

Think about it, college football is king in the South, but football has never caught my interest. I swear I’ve tried.

I love NASCAR (I haven’t turned in my Southern Belle card yet) and 48 Jimmie Johnson (yum), but the fast cars no longer hold my attention like when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was alive.

Truthfully, I could tell you all the things that led me to it, but mainly, I’ve found that I enjoy it for many reasons.

The fast pace:  The NHL players hit speeds of 20 to 30 miles an hour during 60 minutes of play, broken up in 20 minute periods. Each player will be on the ice for spurts of one to two minutes. Usually adding up to 15 to 20 minutes of play during the whole game. That doesn’t sound like much? Let me see you run with anywhere 15 to 25 pounds of equipment for that long. And that’s with someone chasing and slamming into you.

The strategy:  Think of it, they have to figure out how to get that little puck around that huge goalie and into the net while everyone else is wanting to take it from you. Teamwork is a major part of winning. Of course, that’s all true of any team sport.

The athletic stamina:  Re-read what I said in “fast pace” above.  OMG! Those big men on thin blades, falling or being pushed down or into the boards (the sides of the rink) and then jumping up as if nothing happened. They freaking amaze me.

The fights: Of course, I do get a little excited — no matter how sick it sounds — when a good fight breaks out, even if they are only shoving at each other. Men will be men, and I love celebrating that, especially since it is in a controlled environment. (Though I don’t care for boxing if you’re wondering.) Besides, next year, those same men could be traded to the same team and be best buds. I swear, that’s one of the things I love about men. They know how to prioritize.

And I’m not a violent woman, though I write about violent men all the time in my books. Maybe there’s something deep inside I’ve never been aware of until I got older. Neither here or there.

Graceful, healthy men:   Yes, all things come down to men in my interests. I’ve come to terms with my hang up, so everyone needs to get over it.  *smirk*

Let me enjoy my sport. I’m proud that I finally picked one, and I personally think it’s the best.

Cover Reveal To The World

My book, NAKED HEAT, is coming out February 21, 2017. How appropriate is it that’s Sticky Bun Day? LOL! I guess I will be giving away sticky buns that day or something similar. Anyway, here’s the cover. My newsletter subscribers saw it last week. Click here to get news before everyone else.

naked-heat-cover

Cover Reveal Coming Soon

PrintWant to see my cover for NAKED HEAT, the third book in the Brothers of Mayhem series?  The cover will be in my next newsletter. By the way, all of the books are stand-alones, but in the same world of hot bikers.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter.  I plan to send it out in the next few days.

The book is scheduled to be out in February 2017.

Here’s an excerpt (unedited).

Resting against Hector’s side, she [Sofia] stepped outside and raised her hand to block the glare. Then the thunder of motorcycles surrounded her, shaking the ground beneath her feet. Billows of dust swirled in the air. The smell of gasoline and dirt in the cold air surrounded them.

Hector’s guards reached beneath their jackets for their guns, but he shouted at them to stand down.

Sofia’s heart clenched. Wolf stopped his motorcycle only a few feet away, spreading his legs to steady the bike. The blond man he’d pointed out as his president, Easy, pulled up beside him.

Her cousin let her go, pushing her a little behind him.

The blond man spoke first. “Toro, what are you doing in Brothers of Mayhem territory?”

“Just picking up my cousin. We’re leaving.” Hector’s arms remained relaxed down by his sides.

Wolf pushed down the kickstand and swung a long leg over the bike, standing next to it.

“Sofia, come here.” His voice was calm but firm.

Deep inside she wanted to follow his command, but she held her ground. Who knew what would happen if she moved? She didn’t want anyone hurt. Frozen, she rubbed her sweaty palms against her jeans.

Hector glanced behind him. She hated the disappointed look on his face. She’d been doing that a lot lately. Disappointing him.

“What’s my cousin to you, asshole?” Hector’s stance rigid with anger.

A couple of the Mayhem Brothers hollered and revved their engines in protest to Hector’s tone.

“She’s Wolf’s property,” Easy said.

“He’s f*cking insane.” Hector laughed.

Confused, she looked at Wolf. His hot gaze sent a delicious shiver down her body.

“She’s no one’s property, and certainly no lowlife c*ck-sucking biker’s,” Hector shouted.

The motorcycles became louder, a couple even burned rubber, smoke billowed, making it look and smell like hell. The president held up his hand, holding back his men from attacking.

Horrified at the thought of bloodshed on her hands, she stepped in front of Hector. His hands reached out for her, but she jerked away. She could hear Wolf’s cursing over the thundering engines.

“Go away, Wolf. I’m okay. Hector will keep me safe.”

Before anyone can say another threat, two deputy cars drove up, red and blue lights flashing. The deputy inside the truck stop had called in backup. Probably had peed in his pants on seeing the Thirty-Second and Brothers of Mayhem meeting up in the parking lot.

“We don’t have time for this.” The president twirled a finger in the air, indicating to pull together and move out. “Later asshole,” he said to Hector before gassing his bike and leaving.

Wolf stared at her for a few seconds and then remounted his bike. The president saluted the deputies as they sped by, flowing around the patrol cars, causing the deputies to press up against the sides to keep from being knocked down.

Relief almost had her sinking to her knees.

~~~~~

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

BOOKS A MILLION

KOBO BOOKS

iBOOKS

Book Signing Etiquette For Authors

Sbook-signingince my first book signing in 2012 at the RWA Literacy Event in Anaheim, I’ve been involved in numerous others. Some have been a bust and some have been wonderful. But I’ve found that some authors don’t understand how rude they can be to other authors during one. You thought I was going to talk about readers to authors or the other way around. I have links for those at the bottom.

When you’re sharing a table with one or two other authors, it’s important to not take up more than your share of the table. So what if you have twenty different types of swag, shelves, mini posters, etc., and the other author has only five copies of one book and a small stack of bookmarks. She deserves that room. Don’t be rude and ask if you can take up a little extra room — “she don’t need it.” WRONG! Readers need to be able to see her and not think she’s your assistant.

When a reader is talking to the author next to you, do not interrupt and draw the reader’s attention to you. The author will not appreciate your pulling her reader away from buying or talking about her book or whatever they are talking about. All part of being accessible to a possible fan. If you feel a need to say something, be sure it’s along the lines of praise for that author’s book or suggesting another book from that author. NEVER start talking about yours. At a book signing not along ago, I had this happen to me several times by the author next to me. You can imagine I don’t think much of that author and will ask to be moved in the future.

So you’re lucky and got assigned next to your good author friend or your favorite author. Before the doors open and the readers spill in, talk to your heart’s delight after the author has set up her table. Let her have a chance to get organized. Then when the readers come in, a short chat without readers nearby is okay, but no long, drawn out conversations. Readers will not want to interrupt and they’ll walk on by.

Place as many or all your boxes and bags including purse under the table. The author might need to leave early or want to hug a special reader. Don’t make her trip over your crap.

That’s all I can think of at this moment. Comment and let me know if you can think of anything else.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Links

General Etiquette for Authors

https://joanleacott.wordpress.com/articles/booksigning-etiquette/

Etiquette for Readers

http://www.trudicanavan.com/2011/04/book-signing-etiquette/

http://www.seattlemystery.com/signing-etiquette

Nora Robert’s book signings: http://ttpbooks.com/category/RULES.html

Let’s Celebrate With Giveaways

giveawayToday, I’m celebrating five years and seven books in publishing. On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, is when it all began, and I want to thank those who have and will read my books.

I’m giving away swag (cups, pens, jar openers -the red circle, book marks, etc.), and books, and gift cards.

How do you obtain such wonderful stuff? By telling me ONE of the following. Yep, you only have to answer one, but feel free to answer more.

1) What do you like about outlaw MC books?

2) What do you like about mercenary/spy/assassin books (similar to my Circle series)?

3) What other kind of book do you enjoy reading?

Be sure to leave me your email address. It will be used for the giveaway only.

Be aware that FULL HEAT, the second standalone book in the Brothers of Mayhem series, is on sale for 0.99 cents for a limited time.

AMAZON            BARNES AND NOBLE          KOBO          BOOKS A MILLION

And CIRCLE OF DESIRE is on sale for $1.99.

If you want to know about future books, giveaways, and sales, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. Click here and fill out the form.

NAKED HEAT is due to come out the end of February 2017.

Below are the books that make up The Circle series.

Winners will be announce after 9 p.m. tonight!

Celebration Starts Tomorrow

CircleofDesire mm cTomorrow, I will be celebrating five years published. My first book, CIRCLE OF DESIRE, came out Tuesday, October 18, 2011. Pretty neat, huh? Same date and day. If you want to check it out, it’s on sale for $1.99 (e-book).  Think James Bond and Le Femme Nikita.

Per one reader, Nikki, “I can’t even tell others how much I loved this book! I don’t read spy stuff, but this storyline works and is probably the HOTTEST set up I’ve ever read.”

Here’s an excerpt.

As soon as [Collin] walked into the suite, he knew something was wrong. The whirl of an electronic device starting up filled the room and a small green light bounced off the wall and then disappeared. He guessed it was now dancing on his back.

      “Olivia, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” He raised his hands and slowly turned around.

      Feet spread apart, dressed in black with a sporty red trim jacket, she held the sniper rifle they’d recently returned to her and forwarded to the hotel in several containers. He’d been impressed by its microcomputer, perfect for shooting in any kind of weather. Presently she had one eye to the night sight. Damn, the woman was stronger than he gave her credit for as she was holding, elbows out, an eighteen pound rifle and it barely moved.

     “You do know from this close of a range my torso would disintegrate into a hundred thousand tiny pieces, spreading blood and me everywhere in the room.”

      “Like I care,” she spit with menace. Her hand trembled and the barrel wobbled.

     “Can we talk about whatever has set you off?” He hadn’t expected her to become so angry about his turning her down.

     She shifted the rifle against her cheek, probably easing up a tight muscle. “I thought this job was too easy. What was the real reason I’m here? Have you worked out some type of trade with Jason?”

     Damn! He didn’t need this now. The sun was peeking around Camelback Mountain. They needed to get out of there.

     “No. You’ll have to trust me.” He was a crazy f**ker as all he could think about was how damn good she looked holding that rifle.

     “Oh, that makes a world of difference. Not!” She made another adjustment of the pad next to her cheek. “You get me all hot and bothered and then ignore me. You never finish what you start and I can’t–” As she crumbled to the ground, Rex caught the rifle.

     “Motherf**ker! What were you thinking? You’re going to f**k around until she kills you? Bloody hell! There wouldn’t be anything left for me to pick up.” Rex started breaking down the rifle, slapping each part into the shaking hands of one of his men.

     Collin knelt next to Olivia, pressing two fingers to the artery in her neck. His heartbeat matched hers as it continued to speed up.

     “What did you shoot her with?” Collin asked as he smoothed her hair out of her face.

     “The same as you did before. Twilight.” Rex sneered.

     “Damn, she’s going to be pissed again. We can’t keep knocking her out.” Collin scooped her into his arms. “Let’s go. Thank goodness we’ve got a private plane back.”

     “I’m all for dumping her out over Texas.” Rex followed leaving the clean up for his crew.

     “Now what has Texas ever done to you?”

~~~

Full Heat_SwaffordAnd just so happens, tomorrow, FULL HEAT will be on sale for a limited time for 0.99 cents (e-book).  Here’s what reader Pinky had to say about it. “Carla Swafford does an amazing job at bringing to life the workings of a Motorcycle Club. The love scenes sizzle and do not disappoint.”

Be aware, that my outlaw MC books are close to true life. Not saying all are this wild and dangerous, but most are. At the same time, this is fiction and I take much license with it, in order to make it a romance.  YES!

Here’s an excerpt of FULL HEAT.

    Storm had watched her luscious lips move, not hearing one word. He’d never seen lips that needed to be kissed, bit, and sucked as much as hers. Hot damn! Every inch of her begged him to taste her. Usually, he lusted after big tits like the ones so many of the old ladies in the club flaunted. He had a feeling he was about to switch to a handful. Yeah.

     Small ones with hard little nipples perfect for tweaking.

     His gaze drifted back up to her face.

     One trimmed dark brow lifted as he looked into her eyes. Instead of embarrassment or anger, humor twinkled in their mossy depths. Sh*t! He f*cking loved that, a woman who didn’t play hard to get but didn’t throw her body at any available male.

     Too bad he had to scratch the idea of her being a porn star or a stripper. If she had been, convincing her to remove her clothes would’ve been so much easier.

One thing was for sure: he needed to teach her the danger of walking into a biker’s bar without a bodyguard.

~~~

Here are the links to purchase the books tomorrow.  Oh, before I forget, be sure to come back here tomorrow.  I will be giving goodies away. More people who show up, the more goodies that will be given away.

AMAZON            BARNES AND NOBLE          KOBO          BOOKS A MILLION

If you want to know about future books, giveaways, and sales, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. Click here and fill out the form.

Thanks!

Letter to Realtors

our-house

Picture of our house years ago

In the next six months, hubby and I plan to sell our house of 23 years and move closer to the grandkids and our moms.  Presently, we’re around an hour away and the traffic between the families are getting worse each year.

 
So we’re moving into the country on the other side of the city, and we’re a little excited about it. And if you’re wondering, NO, WE ARE NOT DOWNSIZING. Why do people keep asking that? If we lived in a huge house, I could understand it, but we don’t. I had to tell people, if we move into a smaller home, I will have to strangle my hubby.

 
We have already started looking at homes in the areas we’re interested in. I have to say some people have poor taste when it comes to decorating their homes, while others are borderline hoarders. With that being said, hubby and I plan to donate the majority of our attic to the Good Will. We are presently forcing our daughters to take their childhood stuff that was stored in said attic into their homes. Now they are donating all of their precious memories they asked us to keep. HA! I knew it.

Anyway, we’ve already learned a lot about what we can expect for our money. And wow, there is a lot for the realtors to learn about taking pictures of those homes. So here’s my letter to the ladies and gentlemen selling homes (same goes to the “for sale by owner” sellers).

Realtors, when taking pictures of the houses you have for sale, remember the following.

1. Invest in a good digital camera. Heck, even some (expensive) phones have pretty good cameras in them now. Please have your children, niece, nephew, grandchildren show you how to use it correctly. Then the picture won’t be blurred or too dark.

2. I don’t care what the shower curtain looks like, or the beautiful foyer table. Close ups of those will not sale the house. Those items will be going with the original owners, unless the house comes furnished. Then I will throw away the curtain (yuck, germs), and sell most or all of the furnishings.

3. Similar to number two, but reference house fixtures staying there. Don’t take up-close pictures of the commode (double yuck), sink, dishwasher, or light fixtures. It’s amazing how I can tell what they are by looking at a picture of the whole room.

4. Speaking of dark, take the pictures during the day and not a cloudy day or late evening. Open the curtains. Dark rooms are depressing and I don’t want a depressing house. Or invest in a photographer’s light. Check Ebay or Craig’s list. Photographers are selling them all the time to upgrade or get out of the business.

5. Why are you showing pictures of trees and bushes? Be sure the outside of the house is in the picture if you do. One picture will do for that area. Not ten of the same spot from different angles.

6. Diplomatically, ask the owner to take down family pictures. We must imagine living there with our family pictures. This includes their favorite team’s memorabilia to make it look less obsessed. Of course, the same goes for their turtle collection.

7. Two pictures of the same room from different angles are fine, if you must. But please, I don’t need individual pictures of the window, closet, built-in shelves, and overhead light (see #3 above). I’ll come and visit the house if I’m interested and check them out.

What would you add?

What’s In a Title?

Hidden Heat_SwaffordThe other day at a meeting with other writers, one NYT bestseller author said she couldn’t start her book until she thought up a title. Most likely the publisher would change the title before releasing it, but it helped guide the author in the feel of the story line.

I totally understood what she meant. Ninety percent of the time, I have a title for the book I’m writing even before the first word is written. My editor at Loveswept understands that. She even helped me decide which one to use, and when the first title had to change, we worked together for the new one along with the other Brothers of Mayhem titles.

Hidden Heat was originally Burnout, but another author had one coming out with the same name. To think of it, I don’t remember seeing the book afterwards, but my goodness, everyone and his brother has that title. So I’m happy with Hidden Heat. LOVED the double entendre, don’t you? If you don’t know what I mean, then you need to read the book.

If you’re wondering, how can a title affect a story? If you read the title, How to Flirt With A Vampire, would you think it’s a romantic suspense? No. More like a romantic comedy paranormal. What about As Far As The Eye Could See? That could easily be a contemporary romance or literary fiction. Any title with dark, deep, blood, shade, kill, and die, can be romantic suspense or paranormal.

Most titles can be interchangeable and easily forgettable, but a writer or publisher should never let it be misleading, like placing the title Purple People of Mars, and it be about a gunslinger in the late 1800’s American west. (Made me remember the movie, Cowboys and Aliens. Good, fun movie if you don’t let logic play a part.)

Like I said, titles are important to me when I write. Since I started using Scrivener to organize my work-in-progress, I’ve started giving each scene a title. I usually have two scenesscenes per chapter (can be as many as four, but not as often), with one POV per scene. It helps me remember where I’m going with each scene. And if for any reason, I need to go back to a certain scene, it’s easier to find. Plus I love having fun with them. You should’ve seen Hidden Heat’s. I have to say they were hilarious and dirty.

Here’s an example from Naked Heat on the left.

For those who have taken my workshop, Save The Story, you will see I’ve used my beats for each chapter. Then the scenes are titled below it. You can almost tell what I’m about to write about. “Once more with a smile” should be easy to figure out considering I write HOT romantic suspense.  HA!

So, for many authors, the book’s title is important. Although most readers never remember them, no matter how good the book. For that matter, the story is more important. Well, that and the author’s name.🙂