Giveaways from Loveswept


Isn’t he gorgeous, especially in leather pants?

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter.  Click here.  And these are the reasons why.

Random House will be giving away ebooks and a $20 gift card. Each day you’ll receive a newsletter with how to win that day’s giveaway.
Day 1 Tuesday 12/1: Alpha Males with Jackie Ashenden and Maisey Yates

Enter to win The Deacons of Bourbon Street series, including MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane, FIRE ME UP by Rachael Johns, HOLD ME DOWN by Jackie Ashenden, and STRIP YOU BARE by Maisey Yates. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.

Day 2 Friday 12/4: Hot Men and Fast Cars with Erin McCarthy and Tracy Wolff.

Enter to win FLAT OUT SEXY by Erin McCarthy and ACCELERATE by Tracy Wolff. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.

Day 3 Tuesday 12/8: Molly O’Keefe and Tracy Wolff play “Never have I ever.”

Enter to win EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID by M. O’Keefe. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.

Day 4 Friday 12/11: Three authors talk about Motorcycle Clubs and what makes the men hot! Carla Swafford, Megan Crane, and Violetta Rand

Enter to win PERSUASION by Violetta Rand and HIDDEN HEAT by Carla Swafford. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.

Day 5 Tuesday 12/15: Authors play Kill, Marry, Shag!

Enter to win a $20 gift card to the ebook retailer of your choice.

Be sure to sign up for the other authors’ newsletters too!


psychoHave you ever heard someone say about another person, “She’s the same every day.” They are usually referring to an even tempered, always pleasant person. They meant it as a compliment. I never thought it like that. To have the same emotion without showing frustration, anger, joy, despair, etc., something isn’t right. But that’s only one face the person is showing.

No, they weren’t saying it about me. HA!

We all know that people have more than one face. You’re probably thinking split personality, No. Think of it this way.

When you’re at work, you act like an professional (I hope). You watch how you talk and act.

When you’re at home, and if you have children, you show another side of yourself. You sure can’t treat them like co-workers. You have a spouse, you talk differently with them. Don’t want to treat her/him like a child. You have a mom or/and dad, once again another face to each one. You meet a stranger you’re interested in knowing, or a stranger you want to go away, you’ll find yourself talking and acting differently.

Of course, there are outside factors that can change how a person responds. Maybe a death of a love one or being involved in a horrific accident. Then from that day on, more faces are presented to different people.

That’s why one person can remark how even tempered a person is at work, while another will remember that same person went bonkers at a ball game.

We each have faces to fit the situation, time and place, but each face or tone is a small piece of the same person inside.That’s why you can know a person for years and they can act in an unexpected manner.

Okay. That’s all the lite-psychology for today.  LOL!

So if you’re told your hero or heroine acted out of character, it is most likely you didn’t make clear the motives or circumstances behind the tone, attitude or feeling. No need to go into details about the physical abuse a character went through as a child. Usually, it can be done with one sentence when we want to present another aspect of the character’s personality. Later in the story, you can sprinkle more of the backstory. No need to info dump.

End of lesson for the day.  :-)

Getting All Revved Up

How well do you remember things? I forget stuff all the time. So go to Amazon and preorder Hidden Heat. Click here. Presto! On February 16, it will show up on your Kindle or in an email.
Hidden Heat Facebook ad

Watching The Voice

If y8251a-adamlevine25e225802599sgirlfriend252cannevyalitsynaandadamlevineinvoguerussiaou don’t know already, I’m a big fan of Adam Levine. I love Maroon 5. And yes, I enjoy Pharrell (talent galore) and Blake (funny!). So watching The Voice makes sense. The blind auditions are the best part (along with Adam).  In fact, Adam is who I based Thorn (HIDDEN HEAT) on. Just had to say it. Now back to my writing (FULL HEAT).

Taking Time To Brush The Hero’s Teeth

Beautiful Woman Enjoys CoffeeOver the last year, I’ve read on Facebook and reviews for other authors’ books, readers complaining about the characters not taking baths, mowing the lawn, doing laundry, or needing to stop to pee. *snicker* They’re talking about the hero and heroine doing normal activities that a person will often do throughout the day.

I know sometimes I get so involved in writing the romance or the suspense, I forget to let my characters eat or sleep. So this is a valid concern.

Of course, the knee-jerk response is to say all of that will slow down the story.

In any book that is fast paced, high energy like most of mine, I have to remind myself to let the characters catch their breath, have a little down time. When I’m in edits, I try to make sure they get plenty of food and rest and try to think of other small daily functions I can mention.

Note that I said mention.

Don’t start explaining to the reader how she or he separated the colors from whites, folded the laundry, and placed them in the closet. Unless she’s a psycho serial killer and has a body in the closet and the laundry belongs to her victims, I rather not read about it.

If you want to show that moment of normalcy, you can have the hero changing the oil in his souped up classic Camaro and planning in his head the next raid against the bad guys. Maybe using a wrench to bang on the stuck oil pan in anger when he remembers what had gone wrong with the last mission. You get the idea. The everyday function is in the background. Kind of like, the characters are walking and thinking or talking. You don’t describe each step.

Well, like everything, unless he’s escaping from a killer and clinging to a ledge of a mountain. Then each step will count.

GOODNESS!  I can’t help it.  There is a good reason I write romantic suspense.

But it’s important to remember that whatever you place in that type of scene, you must have the plot moving forward, a tidbit of information the reader needs to put two and two together then or later. Or prepare the reader for what will come next. Along the way, this is a good time to show characterization.

Anyway, I believe you get the idea.  I’ll shut up now.

My Thoughts on Self-Publishing

Hidden Heat_SwaffordYep. My thoughts. Doesn’t mean they’re written in stone or scientifically correct, this is mostly just what I read and heard from others, and personal experience.

Sadly, I believe that the majority of the people who self-publish are like the thousands of people who went to California or Alaska to strike it rich. No. The gold wasn’t spread across the ground in nuggets. No. You couldn’t sit there and expect things to happen. Yes. There are people waiting to take your money and give little in return.

First a fact, I asked my editor and agent a simple question. Since the self-publishing boom, have you seen a decline, same amount, or increase in submissions? My agent said it was the same amount, while my editor said it had increased.*tumblr_myfffeXLM61srko8to1_r1_500

I truly thought it would be less. So often I hear from those who are self-published that they will never go through a traditional publisher. God bless America! I think it’s great they have the choice.

But from the information my agent and editor kindly provided me, I understand that to mean writers still prefer the traditional route. No surprise there.

I know I prefer going with a traditional publishing house. Yes, I do have two novellas (short books) I self-published, and will probably do it again in the future for the heck of it. Overall, I rather have a publishing house handling/paying for the editing, cover, and distribution.

To me, self-publishing took too much time away from what I prefer to do: to be with my family and write. (I have a full time day job.) Plus to self-publish a book correctly, it takes money. I spent $500 per novella to prepare them for publication.

I’m sure there are dozens of stories out there about a person who didn’t pay for editing, did their own art work and published it only on Amazon and made thousands of dollars. Yet, at the same time those dozens have to be compared to the thousands upon thousands of people who self-published with little to no success.

Woman Reading a DiaryThink of it this way, in 2013, there were 11 MILLION books for sale on Amazon (includes nonfiction). Presently, there are over 900,000 Kindle books. I like the playing field to be stacked in my favor, and personally, being published traditionally does that. Another way to do that is to improve my writing. It takes constant work.

Nothing is perfect. Nothing is easy. As Ray Bradbury said, “–hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice.”

And goodness, I do practice.

If you’re interested in checking out my books, click on a link below.

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*Random House use to be an agent only publishing house until they started Loveswept back up (2011) as an e-book imprint. Now you can submit to Loveswept without an agent.

Researching My Next Series

Hidden Heat_Swafford

Release date: February 16, 2016

A couple times recently, I’ve been asked about my research on my latest series, Brothers of Mayhem. First, let me say that most writers love to do research. We love to read about other people’s lives and the way they handle certain situations. Hey, we love to sit in a mall or in front of stores and watch people walk by. We will assess their way of life by the clothes they wear, how they hold themselves (their stance), the way they walk, and often they will show up in our books.

So when writers research a book or new series, it’s a win-win. Books and reading about other people lives, we’re in hog heaven.

For my next series, I did research about outlaw motorcycle clubs. Youtube was helpful. There are lots of documentaries, specially for each outlaw MC known to man. Well, it feels that way. I probably watched ten of the videos, including just general ones on riding motorcycles. And of course, I watch shows on TV. Previously, Sons of Anarchy along with whatever shows that have popped up on TV (e.g. Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels).

Then I bought two romances with the central characters being in outlaw MCs. I quickly realized that was a mistake. They are NOT the kind of heroes I want to write. I love alpha heroes, but I don’t want them crude or just downright mean. That was all confirmed when my beta reader mentioned she started reading MC stories after my first three chapters hooked her, and some of the stories she read were waaaay over the edge. She liked the milder but still sexy ones.

I also bought two autobiographies about undercover agents in MCs and one about a confidential informant. Here are the books.

  • No Angel by Jay Dobyns and Nils Johnson-Shelton – “My harrowing under cover journey to the inner circle of the Hells Angels.”
  • Under and Alone by William Queen – “The True story of the undercover agent who infiltrated America’s most violent outlaw motorcycle gang.”
  • Gods of Mischief by George Rowe – “My undercover vendetta to take down the Vagos outlaw motorcycle gang.”

And I drew from my misspent youth for a few other aspects of the book. I’ve talked a little about that before. Click here.  When I was younger, I had ridden on a few motorcycles (passenger only – chopper, touring bike, and dirt bike – yep, it was rough bitch-riding on the last one), but never felt the need to buy one or keep riding.

Research can become addictive. So you have to learn to limit it. I felt I have it covered now.

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? 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.


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 @

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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!