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 would 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!)

IMG_1018

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

IMG_1036

Nashville

IMG_1037

Getting a little better with a selfie.

IMG_1019

My youngest.

IMG_7880

Nashville — old and new buildings

IMG_1021

So many cute bars and shops to check out!

IMG_1022

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

IMG_1024

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

IMG_1026

My eldest.

IMG_1050

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

Exercise that!

Exercise that!

Predators

Predators

IMG_1085 IMG_1090

Pekka

Pekka

IMG_1105

View from our room

IMG_1102 IMG_1104

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.

Hiddenheat

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?

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo Books

FULL HEAT coming July 5

Full Heat_Swafford

Forget shining armor. Motorcycle shop owner Mary Jane Parker could use a knight in black leather right about now. A local gang has been extorting her for protection money, and standing her ground would be a lot easier with the Brothers of Mayhem at her back. She just needs to convince the club’s new president to take the job. The powerful, brooding biker claims he’s not interested-but if his version of tough love is supposed to be punishment, Mary Jane would gladly misbehave for the rest of her life.

Storm Ryder has no interest in rescuing anyone but himself. He spent three agonizing years in prison, and there’s no way in hell he’s going back, not over a spoiled rich girl who’s flirting with trouble. So why does he find himself craving Mary Jane’s lips-and holding her close when he should be pushing her away? Deep down in his tortured soul, Storm knows she’ll be there for him. And when Mary Jane needs him most, he’ll find the courage to give her everything he’s got.

****

He kinda makes you think of this photo.

keanu_Reeves

***

Author Meda White and myself are having an Angel and Demon Party with lots of giveaways.  Come by and say you’ll be there on February 16, 2016.  That’s the day HIDDEN HEAT will be released.  YAY!

Facebook angel vs demon party

 

We will be giving away gift cards, books, and swag.  A few of these for example.

IMG_1010

The red oval is a jar opener/coaster.  I’m sure you can guess what the other two items are.  HA!

***

Staring Feb. 8 on Goodreads is Romance Week. Be sure to stop by my profile and ask me questions.  By the way, here’s my choice for most romantic quote.

Swafford_Gone With the Wind_Mitchell

***

I will be signing at several places this year.
April 7, 2016The Novel Experience, Atlanta GA
June 11, 2016:  Heart of Dixie Romance Readers Luncheon, Huntsville, AL
October 1, 2016: Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, Peachtree Corners, GA
November 5, 2016: Southern Magic Romance Readers Luncheon, Birmingham, AL

***

5c0e4973-dfa0-4ebc-b511-bc9a5a7b26e7_39301_CUSTOM

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know that I love hockey.  If you’re in Nashville on February 20, I’ll be at the Predators’ game against LA Kings.  Let me know if you’ll be there, and I’ll meet up with you and give you some swag. Hope to see you there.

Whew!  That’s it for now. Time for me to get back to working on NAKED HEAT (after the game tonight). That’s Wolf’s story. He’s kidnapped the love of his life, and he’s in deep do-do.  LOL!

Head Explodes

Angry, Frustrated WomanYep. Some days I feel my head will explode from all that I have to do and remember. I’m sure you’re the same way. So much information is thrown our way each day. Heck! Each second! I think all the information we receive in some ways makes us aware but not really smarter. So we have to decide what is important and what isn’t. So over the years I’ve narrowed down what I watch and read.

I’m looking forward to retiring from my day job. Then I can empty my head of all the useless (will be after I leave) information and make room for what I love. Reading and writing romance. Improving my craft, learning new ways to promote my books (if you don’t know they exist, how would you know to read them?), and so many interesting facets to being a published author.

One of my big drawbacks is my self-confidence. I believe a lot of authors have that problem. So something I read today I have to share with you. It got me to thinking. (HA!)

From Wizard of Oz
Wizard: Not having fear isn’t brave, it’s foolhardy. Any real hero knows fear.
Cowardly Lion: I’ll tell you one thing though, so does a real coward.
Wizard: The difference is a hero masters his fear.

So here’s to mastering my fears.

~~

On January 15, I will be at the Romance Magicians’ blog.  Come by and see me!