Month Long Contest with Surprises

Coming Soon Arrow

Be sure to check back on May 1 for a month long contest with a big giveaway of a mini iPad. Plus I plan to have several more giveaways throughout the month from my author friends.

This is my fourth anniversary of receiving an offer for publication from HarperCollins. On May 4, 2011, I received an email from an editor at Avon offering me a two book deal that later turned into another contract for one more book. That’s how Circle of Desire, Circle of Danger, and Circle of Deception came about.

In the last year, I’ve released two novellas, Circle of Dishonor and Circle of Defiance. Be sure to check them all out.

During the month of May, Circle of Dishonor will be free at Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Kobo, and several other book sellers.  Hopefully, I can get Amazon to play along too.

(The mini iPad will be for U.S. participates only due to postage and restricted laws on electronic equipment being shipped overseas.)

Advertisements

Just Chillin’

MM900046560Well, I say I’m just chilling, but really I’m writing and writing. With a lot of staring off into space wishing my brain would work faster. You know it’s kind of funny, when I wrote CIRCLE OF DANGER for Avon, I expected to have anxiety problems like most debut authors have with their second book. But no. It was one of the most painless books I’ve written. For some reason, it fell together so easily. Though I’m sure in the middle of it I hated the book . . . I always hate a book midway in my writing. It’s natural.

That’s when you worry it will be boring. When I may even become bored with the whole storyline. When all the doubts of being a decent writer comes to head. Of course, it makes me work harder to ensure the reader doesn’t fall asleep.

That’s where I’m at, at this point. I’m in the middle of the first book of a new series for Loveswept. That’s when the evil doubt-demon picks at me saying, who are you kidding? Maybe your husband is right and all of this is a lovely pipe dream. Maybe I need to give it up. (He actually said that a few months before I was offered my first contract. And I bet he still thinks that when he hears me moan about my dwindling sales and my vanishing dreams of becoming a NYT best selling author.)

So many authors worry about the second book slump where the next book contracted (and often in a series) doesn’t do as well as the first. Strangely, I didn’t worry about that. Maybe I should’ve. It’s just that I loved the second book of my first series as much as the first and the same for the third book. Though all three books are in the same series, they are all different and can be read in any order.

The first had a kick-ass heroine, the second had a heroine wanting to be kick-ass but finding out that wasn’t her talent, and the third was a laid back kick-ass, not high maintenance like the first one. She worried more about her past and how she could move on. I admire all three of those women. Maybe if someone were to ask me which one was I most like, I would say the wanna-be, Marie, in the second book. Though I would’ve preferred to be like the other two.

Back to what I’m doing now.

The new series is a contemporary set up in the world of motorcycle clubs, the 1%ers. Should be a piece of cake, right? New series, new start. But even so, you still have to meet the players, immerse yourself into their lifestyle and see what problems they’re in the middle of and running into before they can solve them to our satisfaction. So then they can have that beautiful, happy ending.

Yes, folks, I write romance, and I’m proud of it.

So I guess I’m having my second series doubts. The SSDs. Does sound like a disease. The cure is to keep writing. It’ll wear off. One day.

Okay. Back to work . . .

All Paths Lead to Books

Businessman Wearing CapeI usually avoid talking about the day job except for the occasional remarks about working overtime and it kicking my butt. But today I’m in the mood to talk in general about it.

A few years ago, I started the current job after an old one sold out and moved away. Freaking stressful. See, I’ve realized over the years, I’m a slow starter. At first I don’t know for sure what questions to ask. I mainly soak in as much information as my brain can handle. Then I work through the areas I need improvement. Along the way, I either make bad choices or good ones. Then I work out the kinks.

I’m not much for tooting my own horn, though you may say differently if you read my blog regularly. But really, this is my place to make all kinds of noise.

Anyway, the point I’m getting to is even though I’m slow, I catch on and it sticks. My job reviews are always great. And I feel my books are that way.

Thankfully my critique partner and my beta readers say my books get better and better. That is so satisfying. I know I love each book I write, but the last one is always my favorite. LOL! Maybe one day will come that I have an old favorite. We’ll see.

So I hope everyone will give each of my books a try. Remember they’re along the lines of James Bond or Nikita, but way hot! They’re a little out there in adventure, but they are written for pure entertainment.

Wait until I finish Jack’s story (Rex’s brother in CIRCLE OF DECEPTION). He has a few surprises. At times, he can be an asshole, but can’t we all? Katerina (CIRCLE OF DANGER) will certainly straighten out his butt. I hope to have this story completed and published by August.

In June, I’m planning to release a novella (short story) with Ice Takahashi (CIRCLE OF DANGER) as the hero. The heroine wasn’t in the previous books, but you will find out some truths about Ice’s past and his real name.Young model

“Ice” Takahashi’s final job for The Circle has an unexpected hitch in it; he’s fallen for an innocent civilian. When his mission goes haywire, he’s determined to protect her and still come out of it alive. Maybe he can be an honorable man who’s worthy of her love.

Lena Matthews feels like she’s playing with fire by dating the mysterious Master J. He’s exotic, dangerous, and exactly what she needs in her boring life. With the bad guys bearing down on them, she discovers a whole new world of sensuality that binds her heart to his forever.

Hero Angst of The Circle Books

Beware – some spoilers mixed in.

Who doesn’t love a hero with a problem?  It could be the trouble-making heroine he’s fallen in love with or it could be the garbage he brought to the story from years before. Sherrilyn Kenyon is great at making the hero suffer as a kid and young adult. I’m sure there are other authors who do the same. Personally, I believe I pick on the heroine more than the hero, but I thought I would go over the angst that came out of my stories for the men.

CircleofDesire mm cCIRCLE OF DESIRE

In his twenties, Collin Ryker was the lead operative of the internal group of deadly mercenaries called the OS (Onyx Scepter), the heart of The Circle. When he realized his guardian, Theo, the head of the organization his father built, was insane, he convinced most of the operatives in the OS to follow him and split off from The Circle. The decision had been a hard one as when his parents had died in a car bomb, Theo had been there for him.

He’d lost his whole family when that car exploded and had to deal with survivor’s guilt. He worked at being like the father he admired by being emotionless and cold in his decision making. To him, that was a sign of a great leader. But when it came to Olivia, he loved fighting with her. They argue and actually try to kick each other’s butts, not abusively, as they love testing each other. The end results brought about some great love scenes.

I have to say he’s the only hero of The Circle series who has the least angst.

CIRCLE OF DANGERDanger cover2

Arthur Ryker is the leader of The Circle, and mercy, he has some big time angst. Let’s start with the scar on the side of face and body, and the blind eye. They are reminders from when his life fell apart. He’d been near the car that exploded with his mother and father inside. He’d tried to save them.

Then there is the psycho old leader, Theo. He blackmailed a teenager Ryker, promising to not rape a young girl if he obeyed him in all things, including a despicable act that Ryker had thought to never experience again. He has to live with his decisions.


Final Hi-Res CoverCIRCLE OF DECEPTION

Finally, Rex Drago’s angst has nothing to do with Theo. His is actually tied in with his height. You say, height? Yeah. His dad had the short man syndrome and resented a son who was taller than him by the time he reached high school. Even in elementary, he was taller than the other kids and adults treated him as if he was mentally handicapped. A child of that height should be older and smarter they thought.

He feels he’s not smart enough to be the second in command of The Circle.

Oh, and then there is the relationship between him and his bad ass brother, Jack. He tries to love his older brother, but with too much “water under the bridge,” it may be too late.

Side note about the series:

If you noticed in The Circle series, there is a thin string of the King Arthur legend references. The heaviest are in the first book. Psycho Theo dresses up like a knight, and he believes a sword proves he deserves to be a leader (feeling guilty much?). Of course, The Circle is in reference to the table that all the knights sat around. Last, but not least, Ryker’s first name in CIRCLE OF DANGER. Arthur.

There’s another reference to King Arthur’s legend in the books?  Do you know what it is? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a name.

Do You Have A Question?

MM900395769The other day, I was thinking how people may have questions about my books? Maybe you’re curious about how I choose the names and places? Why I matched up the characters the way I did? What do I plan for future books?

Well, if you have any questions, ask away.

Be Kind To An Author Day

Pawns In LoveI’ve decided to proclaim today as “Be Kind To An Author.”

So you have your favorites. Well, then go out and show them.

1) Review one or more of her book(s) or at least rate it.

2) Click LIKE on her Facebook page.

3) Follow her on Twitter (@carlaswafford).

4) Do all of the above on Goodreads.

5) Sign up for her newsletter.

Hey, I can only hope I’m one of your favorites.  😀

You’re invited to the party!

Final Hi-Res CoverCome to the party on Facebook! Lots and I mean lots of Avon authors! The party doesn’t end until midnight (EST). Lots of goodies being given away.  Winners will be announced tomorrow there.  I’m giving away my 3 books and swag. My post will be there at 7 p.m. (CST).  Check it out.  Click here.

Celebrating an Anniversary With Giveaways!

Today is my Second Anniversary of my debut book, CIRCLE OF DESIRE! Last year, I totally forgot to celebrate, so I thought I would make up for it today. I’ve decided to give away more than one prize.

1) In CIRCLE OF DESIRE, who was Theo’s current mistress?

The winner receives a $25 gift certificate to the book store of your choice.

2) In CIRCLE OF DANGER, who was Charlie in love with?

The winner receives a $15 gift certificate to the book store of your choice

3) In CIRCLE OF DECEPTION, who rode in to the rescue on a horse?

The winner receives a $10 gift certificate to the book store of your choice, and if you live in the U.S., I’ll send you a tee shirt that looks like this. (Size XL – if too large, you can wear it as a nightshirt.)

IMG_0074.JPG (2)

Rules: One winner per question (first one with the correct answer wins) and you can only win one prize. We need to share the love.

Good luck!

P.S. For those who haven’t read the books, Excerpts can be found at my website. Click here. They won’t give you the answers, but hopefully you’ll want to read them.

 

[The party has ended.  Be on the look out for next year. Updated 11/22/13.]

Feeling The Love

MM900041090

Though I’m still wary about Amazon.com (they are taking over the world), they provide a neat service to authors (no matter who publishes your books). They have an area called Author Central where authors can sign in and look at info from BookScan. That service shows your sales of paperbacks throughout mainland U.S.A. I have a feeling it’s not totally accurate, but that’s okay. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know anything until I receive my royalties payments. So I’m happy to see something in the meanwhile.

The info doesn’t tell you what store or who buys the book. It can tell you what city it was sold in. I’m happy and tickled to no end that the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne love my books. They’ve sold the most. I have a feeling that either a book store bought them or a large book club. THANK YOU!!

It’s no surprise that the second largest sale was in Alabama. I do a lot of book signings there. THANK YOU!!

And the third is all due to my friends at FreshFiction.com.  Yep, the Dallas-Ft. Worth area!
THANK YOU!!

Visiting Another Blog

I’m over at the Romance Magicians’ blog with my monthly post. Come by and visit, comment (just say hi) and see what I have to say about my writing style.