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!

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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. 🙂