Happenings

I had so much happen lately, and there is a lot going to happen in the next few months. Like the following.

June 4, Saturday, I will be signing books at the Athens-Limestone Public Library.

Since I have so many announcements, I thought you might want to be the first to hear about it. So be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I plan to include an excerpt from FULL HEAT, and as a thank you, I will be giving away two $10 gift cards (Amazon) to some lucky newsletter recipients (in U.S. or international).

Click here to sign up. Then be sure to add me to your contact list.

Thanks bunches!

Romance Readers Luncheon

With two Romance Readers Luncheons coming up this year, one in Huntsville with Kristan Higgins and another in Birmingham with Jennifer Ashley (special guests Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love, and Lynn Raye Harris), I couldn’t help but remember about my favorite luncheon. It was the year Anne Stuart appeared as the keynote speaker in Birmingham.

Most people who follow me on my blog and Facebook know that I’m a big fan of hers.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00009] Anne’s Ice series is one of my favorites, especially the book FIRE AND ICE. Hey, I even have a hero named after her series and based on her hero in that book. Be sure to check out Ice Takahashi in my book, CIRCLE OF DISHONOR.

The best part of the luncheon with Anne was that I had volunteered to pick her up at the airport. Such a hardship. NOT! I greeted her with a sign that read “Your Greatest Fan!” Oh, yes, she had a worried look on her face. Think Stephen King’s MISERY. HA! I promised her I didn’t have a sledge hammer. She looked relieved to say the least. It was the best fifteen minutes I spent in a car. She was so much fun to talk with.

Though at any of the luncheons, you probably won’t have fifteen whole minutes of alone time like I did with one of my favorite authors, you do get a chance to speak with them, shake their hand, and get your book signed. I promise. They will be excited to be asked.

Plus you get a bag of free books, a chance at a door prize and other opportunities to take home a basket of goodies. And the authors (there are many) at each table usually have all kinds of fun swag for you to take home. Yes. You get to sit with a published author and ask questions to your hearts delight or sit there and listen to what others ask. If you’re an introvert, don’t worry. No need to say a word. Just sit and enjoy a lunch and lots of romantic literary energy around you.

So you want to know more about these fun happenings? Huntsville’s is June 11 at the Westin Hotel near Bridge Street Town Centre. Click here to find out more. Birmingham’s is November 5 at the Embassy Suites near the Riverchase Galleria in the suburb of Hoover. Click here to find out about this one. Come to one or both. You will have a great time. Food, free books, free author swag, opportunities to buy more books and get them signed by the author, and lots of entertainment.

Of course, I will be hanging around. Come and sit with me. Don’t leave me alone. You never know what kind of trouble I can get into. Well, maybe you want to help me get in trouble? Hmmm. You sound like my kind of people. HA!

Hope to see you there!

REVISED – Originally published on the Romance Magicians’ blog, August 25, 2015.

Hidden Heat_Swafford~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. She’s a rare creature in the Deep South, she loves hockey too. Her current book is the Brothers of Mayhem MC book, Full Heat_SwaffordHIDDEN HEAT. Be sure to check it out. The next one, FULL HEAT, will be released July 19.

http://www.carlaswafford.com
Look for me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Time Magazine, [Circle of Danger] “. . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it.”
Action-Adventure-Romantic-Suspense

Helpful, Friendly Book Stores

Hidden Heat_SwaffordSome of you know (if you live in the Birmingham area) the Book Rack that use to be in Roebuck was bought out years ago and moved to Trussville near Kohl’s.  It has a new owner again, and DeDe is romance friendly.  New address – see below. YAY!

Be sure to go by and visit her store. So nicely put together.

Whenever I go by a used book store, I check to see if they have my book(s) there. So far none.

I believe it could mean 1) not enough were sold to be sitting in a used book store, 2) people hated them so much, they threw them away, 3) they are sitting in TBR piles (that’s why I hate TBR piles) or 4) they loved them, and they’re on their favorite bookshelf.  With my crazy imagination, it’s got to be number 4.  LOL!

DeDe’s Book Rack

104 S Chalkville Rd, Suite 101

Trussville, AL 35173

She’s on Facebook too. Go and click like.

Come and See Me!

Be sure to come to the book signing on Saturday (April 9). It’s free to everyone.  I’ll be there!11 by 17

Authors are showing on Facebook the books and swag they will have at the signing too.

Out of My Control

There are times I have to say it over and over again. Oddly, I think about John Malkovich’s character saying “It’s beyond my control.” He was using it as a manipulation to drive another woman nuts. I use it to keep myself from going crazy worrying about things I have no true control over. I keep moving. I keep trying to look at the brighter side.

On my dad death’s in 2014, I’m sure he thought he left his affairs in order. He had a will and divided all his possessions between his three children. Easy-peasy.

Uh, no.

Dad had/has a loan on his house and market (flea market type building and land). The market has a buyer for it, but will take years to clear up. Long story. Today, we finally received a couple offers on the house. Another long story.

See, in 2007, my dad had a stroke. He owned a trucking company (he sold afterwards), and he and his co-driver had stopped at a rest stop in Virginia when it happened. If he had cooperated with the EMTs that were called in and gone to the local hospital, he probably would have recovered at least 80% to 90%. Heck, who knows, maybe in 100%. But he refused and waited until he arrived in Alabama before going to a hospital. NEVER DO THAT. Go immediately to the hospital. Have someone drive you or call 911 and tell them you’re having a stroke. Don’t worry if you’re wrong. Just do it.

So because of the stroke, he had numbness on his right side, and in turn, problems with falling and not being able to get up. And he had difficulties with speaking. He could talk, but every few words or so wouldn’t come out. He’d get so frustrated.

All of this was very hard for him. He loved working and talking, and suddenly he found he couldn’t do those two things.

I have to mention. My dad walked with a cane (his right side remained numb). Since his mouth wouldn’t work correctly (as he liked to say), he talked slower and with a stutter. I can’t tell you how upset I became with service people in restaurants and stores. They would talk to him as if he was a child or dumb. He wasn’t. People have to remember, just because a person has a problem talking, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re mentally deficient.

He continued to have physical problems. I believe toward the end, his depression grew until his being unable to work, unable to communicate, and unable to replenish his funds pushed him to do the only thing he thought would make everything better for everyone. He walked out of his home into the side yard and shot himself in the head.

In the year and seven months since then, I’ve worried about so much. I guess my biggest worry is that other people I love will begin to believe this is a solution to all their troubles. To me, it appears suicide can be contagious. Over the last thirty years, I have had three relatives on the same side of the family to commit suicide.

Please believe me. Your troubles might end, but you have created many, many problems for those left behind. For those who love you. For those who care about you. There will be a hole in their lives that can never be filled. They’ll wonder over and over again,”if only I did something different.” Tell them what’s happening. They would want to know. I swear.

Anyway, if you ever think of ending your life, be sure to call 800-273-8255. One of the great things about the Internet is how you can search out ways to move you from such dark thoughts. But why not talk to a live person who is trained to help you?

If you had a love one to have a stroke, be sure to click here and read the number one killer. Depression.

If you had a family member or love one who committed suicide, be sure to read this.

It’s a horrible thing, but you don’t have to be alone. Find the right people to talk about it, especially if the rest of the family or friends try to ignore it or say stupid things like, it was for the best. No. It wasn’t.

Anyway, I felt it was time for me to talk about it. I have a couple friends I told after it happened. Otherwise, only my family and I have talked about it and very little. I just hope and pray others will never have to go through it.

Why did I pick today to tell you about it? Because it’s my dad’s birthday. He would have been 85. I rather celebrate his birth. And if I can help one person, it will be worth typing the extremely personal details above.

Happy birthday, Dad. I love and miss you.

Real Men Play Hockey

I had to use that title on my Pinterest page too. You need to check it out. You won’t regret it. Hand to heart. Anyway, last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the Nashville Predators play against the LA Kings. Sadly, my team lost but it was so much fun. My daughters along with my best bud, Meda White, went with me.  We enjoyed a little sightseeing. The sun came out just for us. It’s our sunny personalities. HA!

By the time we left Nashville, the girls were fans. (Especially watching hockey players exercise. LOL!)

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My buddy, Meda White. Be sure to check out her books.

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Nashville

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Getting a little better with a selfie.

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My youngest.

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Nashville — old and new buildings

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So many cute bars and shops to check out!

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Crowded, but not horribly so. Music spilled out onto the streets everywhere.

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The whole crowd. (Yes, I’m terrible at selfies. I’ve been behind the camera for many years for a reason.)

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My eldest.

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I just thought it was cool. Yes. I’m a newbie.

Exercise that!

Exercise that!

Predators

Predators

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Pekka

Pekka

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View from our room

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Well Said

***Beware Spoiler**

When I received a notice of another five star review for Hidden Heat, I was excited to click on it and see what it said. (We authors can be such needy people.) The reviewer at I Heart YA Books blew me away with her insight into my heroine.

Several reviewers had mentioned their dissatisfaction in the heroine’s easy acceptance of the hero’s return at the end of the book. Of course, everyone feels differently about many situations, but no matter how I feel about it, this was Cassidy’s story and her reactions are her own. So I had planned to write a post on why my spunky heroine became such a pushover at the end.

But when I read the review, I felt the reviewer had said it all, and I asked permission to reprint. Debbie was a sweetheart and said okay.

Here’s the review.

——

Hidden Heat is a fantastic read. This might be one of the few times that I’ve loved the heroine more than the hero. Cassidy Ryder is a girl who definitely has her stuff together. I loved that Cassidy wasn’t a whiney girl—that she’s a mature-thinking woman even though she’s only twenty-one. And this came from Cassidy’s hard life of being raised around a Motorcycle Club. Daughter of an ex MC President and her mother who was murdered when she was a young girl, has made Cassidy tough. She had to grow up fast, especially when she had a young brother to take care of. With that thought in mind about Cassidy, that’s why I loved Cassidy and Thorn’s ending to their story. It’s just the way I would imagine Cassidy to be when Thorn returns.

Cassidy handled her relationship with Thorn—who’s an undercover cop—with the right frame of mind. Cassidy knew that when she was falling in love with Thorn, there was no guarantee that she and Thorn would have a future together. Cassidy also knew Thorn would go on to the next undercover job, so she accepted what she was getting into when she fell in love with Thorn. I know I’m talking about the ending first in my review, but I just thought it was an awesome, happily ever after ending with Cassidy and Thorn, because of Cassidy’s maturity in the way she handled things. Great communication between the Cassidy and Thorn.

Thorn Savalas is a cop working undercover to bring down the top leaders in the Brothers of Mayhem MC. But just when he’s close to getting the information he needs to finish the job, Cassidy Ryder walks into the Brother of Mayhem’s bar with a baseball bat looking for her younger brother, Storm, who’s been hanging with the MC. And the only way for Thorn to protect the headstrong, sassy mouthed Cassidy from getting killed is to claim her as his old lady. Cassidy and Thorn’s hot, steamy hook-up will become their most dangerous adventure to their forever love story.

Hidden Heat is a keep you on the edge suspense with a sizzling hot romance. It also has a tiny little twist at the end that will melt your heart. I recommend Cassidy and Thorn’s story as a must read.

                                    5 Hearts of Love for Cassidy & Thorn

——

Well said, Debbie.  Thank you. Hugs.

Be sure to check out her reviews. Click here.

Come and Visit

Hidden Heat_SwaffordI’m over at Harlequin Junkie’s website today.  Be sure to come over and comment and sign up for the giveaway. You might win a copy of HIDDEN HEAT (ebook)!  They interviewed me too. You might find it of interest and a little entertaining.

(Plus I made a boo-boo on the interview. Geez! I placed an “ing” on a word that didn’t belong. Yes. It bothers the crap out of me. *sigh* Oh, well. Play WALDO and see if you can find it there.)

If you liked the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, you might be amused by how I described HIDDEN HEAT.  LOL!  I’m so retro 80’s lately.  I blame my buddy, Meda White, for that. Check out her latest book and you’ll know why.  HA!

Countdown begins…

You can purchase Hidden Heat on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, and iBooks!

Click on this link to go to blogs that will be telling you about my book and giving away $25 gift card.

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What People Are Saying . . .

This is what readers on Goodreads are saying about HIDDEN HEAT coming out February 16.

“This is a great ride that has a lot of surprises . . . I am looking forward to see what’s next from this author because I have become a fan.”

“I promise you will love it!!”

“I completely enjoyed this story, it’s many plot twists & turns had me riveted. I loved Thorn’s crazy relatives!”

“Overall Hidden Heat is a fantastic introduction to the Brothers Of Mayhem with more characters to be explored such as Wolf, Angel and of course Storm…his story is not yet over.”

“Fans of the genre will love this book. I have added the author to my must read authors’ list.”

“Wow! I really liked it. This author will definitely be on my watch list.”

“There is a LOT of drama and angst and twists, so there will be no further story line hints given… READ IT…. and start begging Carla for the sequel!”

“A thrilling story, full of surprises, intrigue, steamy passion and some really nasty sounding dudes (makes a change from everyone looking hot and sexy). I loved it.”

“For me it was fast paced and an exciting read. Will definitely be looking for more of the Brothers of Mayhem in the future.”

“I really liked Thorn. A LOT.”

“Cassidy is a tough chic that looks out for her brother.”

“The bat swinging bundle of hotness who busted into the Skull and Bones is none other than the daughter of the founding Skull…

“Swafford wrote a compelling story of how far will the love for a brother take you.”

“I liked the fact that Cass was a kick ass take no prisoner chick, and Thorn (Holy hell) he sounds totally HOT!”

“I couldn’t put this book down.”

“This is my first book by this author and I loved it.”

“I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.”

“My Favorite Moment: I really loved when Cassidy found out the real story about who Thorn is.”

“Super easy read, great flow, great character development and I really enjoyed it.”

“Cassidy was a strong female lead and even though she knew something would get her into trouble, she did it anyway because she knew without a doubt it was the right thing to do.”

“The plot is fairly well developed with about as much mistrust as you might expect within the motorcycle club . . .”

“Every few pages, just when you think you have a handle on the plot line another twist comes along.”

“I was instantly pulled into this story. It was an easy read. It had a great flow to it. I am looking forward to the next in the series. ”

“I could not put this book down. I loved Cassidy and her determination to protect her brother from the harsh life within the MC.”

“Such an amazing and exciting story!! Started reading and could not stop until I was completely finished! 100% recommend!!”

“I hated to say goodbye to Cassidy and Thorn. 5 stars!!”

“Carla S[w]afford has a new fan due to her depth of characters and twisting plot lines”

“Two very different people, with lots of plot twist to make you keep reading to find out more.”

“Carla is great at weaving suspense into her romances so this was hit for me.”

Hey, I believe in celebrating the positive! Thank you, everyone!  I can’t wait until you read Storm’s book (FULL HEAT). It’s going to blow your socks off!  An angst filled hero and a laid-back heroine. What a switch, heh?

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