Friday, December 30, 2011

Re-Run #6

This one was at a buddy's blog, Patricia Preston from October 23, 2011.

Thanks, Patricia, for asking me to post on your blog.  I’ve always loved hanging out with you.

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Re-Run #5

Here's one from October 18, 2011 that was at Reader Girls blog.


Thank you for asking me to visit your blog. I love seeing families reading together. My reading gene came from my dad and his dad. Then I passed it on to one of my daughters. We keep hoping to bring the college student into the fold once she graduates. Then again, she’s a professional student. So we have no idea when that will happen. She has promised to read my book. Isn’t that sweet? But we do plan to have a defibrillator nearby when she does. She’s destined to have a heart attack when she reads certain scenes in “Mom’s” book.

Your question to me was how does it feel to compete with established writers?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Re-Run #4

This one is from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read blog, October 20, 2011. It was a lot of fun to write. Hope you enjoy it.

You’re living on the edge by allowing me free rein in deciding what to post. But I’ll behave and do what I love to do more often than I like to admit. Make up lists. Yes. My OCD is showing. To make it a little less dry, I’ve decided to let my two main characters in Circle of Desire, Olivia St. Vincent and Collin Ryker, help out.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Re-Run #3

Continuing my revisit to blog posts that I made on blog tours, here's the one from The Heart of the Dragon Den, October 20, 2011.

Tell us a bit about yourself (50 words or less).  It’s no surprise that I love to write as I grew up with a dad who loved to entertain us with stories about his youth in a long ago era of lonely two lane highways and strong men protecting their families. With that rich history, I turned to writing romance.

Monday, December 26, 2011

On The Road Again

I'm over at Mina Khan's blog talking about what inspires me.  Come over and talk to me. You might win a copy of my book. Hey, I figure if I can't get people to buy it, I'll give them away.   LOL!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Re-Run #2

This post was at Black Seductions on October 19, 2011.  What I especially loved about this interview was the comments I received. Lots of them and some really interesting answers. Go and check them out. Oh, before I forget, some of the sites I'm sending you to are for people 18 and older. So if you're at work looking at them, be sure no one is around as they often have book covers that make mine look tame.

 I deleted the blurb of the book, but the rest of the post is here. Be sure to FOLLOW them on Twitter: @BVSBooks .

***

Thank you for inviting me to your blog. Like most authors, I enjoy talking about my books and love the opportunity.

You had asked, “What steps did I take to make my heroine someone the reader would like?”

Friday, December 23, 2011

Re-Runs of My Favorites

I've been doing the blog tour thang on and off since October. Mostly off than on, but I've enjoyed every stop, some more than others. One thing about blogging elsewhere, even though I place a link here, people forget or blogs die or whatever. So I decided to repost them here. For the next few days you'll see them in full or partial and including links back to the original blog/post.  But please comment here (better chance of me seeing it now).

Here's the first one at Among The Muses. (October 17, 2011.) A great interview/review website. And it's not just because they gave me such a good review or that I like the ladies who run it, but because the site is easy on the eyes and they keep it up. Gives you confidence in knowing that your work is respected when the site is professinal looking. Anyway, I always liked New Jersey people.

Oh, be sure to LIKE them on FacebookFOLLOW them on Twitter and FRIEND them on GoodReads.

What inspired you to write this book?
One of my all-time favorite TV series was Le Femme Nikita and my go-to-book of Linda Howard’s is ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN. Both deal with mercenaries, spies and assassins, and I find them fascinating. When I was writing the hero, Collin, for CIRCLE OF DESIRE, I was channeling Michael, the dangerous über spy from Nikita. His soft spoken, yet deadly voice always sent delicious chills down my back to my … uh, I made sure to listen to hear every word he said. I wanted my book to have those layers of danger and sexiness filling every page.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little Surprises

I'm over at Gnome de Plume talking about Little Surprises in books among other things. Come on over and comment. You might win a copy of my book. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Say What?

Am I the only one in the world that didn't know Walgreens sold . . .  uh . . . "Sexual Wellness" items on line? Blew my mind.  Click here to check it out. Now for me to check their prices. Ooops! Did I type that?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Little Presents

You know sometimes the best presents are the small ones. After updating iTunes's software on my desktop, I decided to check on my book. Yep. My book can be found on iTunes. Cool, isn't it? Anyway, last time I looked there were no reviews or ratings. My book looked so sad and lonesome.

Well, there is now.  Fifty-six ratings and three reviews. Thank goodness the reviews were awesome! And I didn't know any of the people. YAY!

That was a nice little Christmas present to me.  Thank you whoever you are with an iPod or iPad or iPhone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Talking About Recipes

Yep. The non-domesticated woman is talking about a girly-girly subject. But most of you know why. I've lost a lot of weight and hope to continue to do so. Come and see what I have to say about it on Chicklets In The Kitchen blog.  See you there!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Clubs

I thought I would mention here. If you're a member of a book club and interested in reading my book, email me and let's talk. I could possibly hook you up with some copies.  :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Break Out The Champagne!

WOW! I finished Circle of Danger today. Whew! The last scene and half took it out of me. Not so much the action but all the emotion and trying to not be sappy. I can't tell you how many books I scan over the last few pages. The sappy emotion drives me nuts. I guess that why I aways like to set up the next book during that scene. You still get the I Love Yous in without making your teeth hurt..  :-)

Now to send off to my betas. They have their work cut out for them. Though I was careful and had edited on the way, I know there are probably spots that need work. They'll catch places where I don't tell enough info or drag it out.  Looking forward to what they have to say. Considering this time they will be doing it for a published author. LOL!!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Little Update Mash Up

The week has slipped by and it's the weekend again. Thank goodness. I need to get back to working on my book. So close. So very close to the end. I feel like I've been saying that for months, but this is REALLY close. Two more scenes. Technically, one and half scenes, as I'm half through with one. The climatic one at the end. Then the next scene will be the wrap up (Smoochie..I love you...No, I love you more) and the set up for the third book. That will be Rex and A.J.'s book.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Today, my writers group had their Christmas party at my house.  Check out the highlights. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Renaissance Men

One thing that’s been surprising about my book being published is the number of men who are willing to read it. It is a romance. So far I know of two men who have read it or they said they did. And a couple others are claiming to be reading it or plan to read it. That’s cool.


No, I didn’t ask them about the hot scenes. Funny thing is I like hearing what the women think about them. Usually, that consists of “Oh, wow! That was hot!” But I would be a little uncomfortable discussing any aspect of those scenes with a man, except for my husband. Now if I could get him to read it (NOT!), I’d gladly talk about them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Want Your Stories Vanilla Or With Sprinkles and Swirls?

My kids love to tease me on how I love for the interior walls of my house to be white. So I gave in, and my husband and I painted the living room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom a sandy tan color. They turned out rather nice.

The reason I mention this is I was thinking today about some of the things people say in my book's reviews. I know. I'm to ignore the reviews and write what I like. And I do love my story. If someone else had written Circle of Desire, I would've placed the book on my keeper shelf and look for more books from that author.

Let me tell you why.

I love books where the hero and heroine are different from the hundreds of other books out there. I like the guy to be really good and really bad and all in the same book. He's not vanilla. He doesn't always do the right thing for the right reason. He's human. He's influenced by what has happened to him in the past and what is going on in his life at the time and how he wants the future to be. The only part of the book I want to be the same as all other romances is that when he falls in love, he falls hard. That helps the happy ending to be believable.

The heroine needs to be strong but not bitchy. She voices her opinion when and how she likes. She doesn't bite her tongue, unless she wants the guy to stick his foot into his own mouth. She can stand toe to toe with the hero and still come out being her own person. BUT, I want the book to be believable when it comes to life. I know that when a woman and a man are trained in martial arts, most men can beat women. Not always, but men are made to be strong. That's just the way they're built. (THANK YOU, GOD!)  I don't want my men to be dumb as I want the women to be smart. So women are smart enough not to try to beat a guy with strength but with her brains. And sometimes, when the woman falls in love, she doesn't mind the man being stronger. There is nothing wrong with that. I want my woman (beginning to sound weird, but you know I'm talking about the heroines I write in my books. LOL!) to love being a woman. She doesn't want to be a man. She can do a man's job, but still be a woman at the end of the day and be happy about it.

None of my heroines are abused by the heroes. Especially in Circle of Desire, Olivia loves to play rough with Collin. She likes that he gets turned on when they fight. They're not hitting each other in the face. Actually, it's more like wrestling, with one tripping the other and a lot of rubbing of one body against the other.  She's not afraid of Collin. She knows he's a good guy having to do a hard job.

If you want goody two-shoes heroes and heroines who whine about how their high school sweetheart cheated on them or how their daddies didn't get them their ponies when they were little, go read the vanilla books. Please don't read mine.

Or just grow up.

[By the way, if you like Circle of Desire, please go to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and/or anywhere you can rate it and do so. And if you feel like it, say one sentence of something positive.  If you didn't like it, then why in the heck are you reading my blog? LOL!]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What A Start!

After several days of rain, this afternoon turned out to be beautiful. Hopefully it will continue as my writers group's Christmas party is Saturday. People are more likely to show up on pretty days. 

Monday as I drove into work, I noticed a police car had pulled over a driver. The driver hadn't completely pulled off the road. Half the car was blocking the right lane of a four lane highway. After I had passed the cars and was about to top the hill, I saw a man huddled in a light jacket with a knit cap pulled over his ears walking along the road down toward the cars. In one hand was a plastic jug with what looked like gas. Then I realized the officer hadn't pulled the guy over, but the fellow had ran out of gas half way up the hill. The officer was most likely tagging the car to be towed and protecting others from running into it. So that poor fellow had ran out of gas, walked in the rain a 1/2 mile to the gas station and was returning to find his car being ticketed. Geez! I felt so sorry for him. That was one hell of a way to start the week.

Friday, November 25, 2011

And The Beat Goes On!

I've got less than 50 pages to go and I'll be finish with my second book in The Circle series.  As soon as I finish, I'll hand it over to my beta readers. Usually I'll keep it and read outloud before handing to them. But I've been editing along the way - thus one of the reasons why it's taking so long to write - and I'm hoping anything they find wrong has more to do with needing more explanations or clearing up confusing sentences.

While my beta readers are doing their thang, I'll start on book three. I've got several ideas, including the ending.  That's nothing unusual, but I more often than not change the ending by the time I get to that point. Of course, all my books end happily ever after, but the HOW changes.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving or at least a good Thursday. I've been writing as much as possible, but to break up the writing, I've been working on a new website. Yes. The fourth one this year. I didn't like the latest because it became so messy and dark. It was to be simple and became complicated. Bad habit of mine.

Anyway, check it out when you have time and let me know if it is easier to pull up on your computer and easier to read.

www.carlaswafford.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

Here Are My Bookshelves

Avery Flynn had a good idea with her tour of her bookshelves. Being a lover of books, I find others' taste to be interesting. So here's mine. History and romance appear to be my passion. LOL! No surprise there, eh?

Of course, I'm a writer and not a camera-person.  So be careful watching it if you don't like rollercoasters.  If you decide to do this too, let me and Avery know.  We would love to see it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Shy?

For those who know me, know that I'm not shy. I try not to be loud and obnoxious and hopefully I'm not. But when it comes to talking to strangers, I usually have no problem. For example, today I needed some padded envelopes to mail out more books that commenters had won. So I visited the local Wal-Mart.

I try my best to not go there more than six times a year. Why? Because 1) the store is more often than not crowded, 2) there is so much to choose from, you spend more than you plan, and 3) it takes freaking forever to get out of there.

Well, there I go before the church crowd arrives. The store wasn't crowded. Score one for Carla. Then I go straight to the office supplies and pick up several inexpensive bubble padded envelopes. Score two for Carla. She's going to make it out of the store in record time with only what she needs!

Yeah, right.

Beings a book-aholic, I stopped to see what was on the shelves. Two ladies were talking about what they love to read. Suspense with romance in it. LOL!

Something I do often whenever I'm near books, I point out Deborah Webb's and Paula Graves's books and tell the ladies they both live in Alabama. They're excited. I then tell them of a few more authors (Lynn Raye Harris) who write other genres. Of course, before you know it, I pull out my bookmarks and hand one to each lady. And I also tell them about our luncheon (FREE BOOKS!).

You know, it's fun talking to people who love books, especially romance ones. :-)

Oh, you're wondering, did I score three? Nope. In fact, I was in such a good mood afterwards, I went back through the store and picked up several things "I needed" and finally got out of there two hours later. No. I won't tell you how much I spent, but it was more than I had planned.

Friday, November 18, 2011

HAYWIRE, The Movie

Is it me or is this channeling a little bit of Olivia in Circle of Desire? LOL! If not, it will be a lot like another heroine you will hopefully get to see after Circle of Danger. It's the new movie coming out January 20 in the U.S. Check out all the big names.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Something To Think About

One of the drawbacks (only a few) about being published is that anyone can review your book. A site that's popular with many readers is GoodReads. If I was only a reader, I would love this site. Great suggestions from friends and family and even some strangers. BUT, everyone can also post a review and several booksellers pull the reviews from there. Just as Amazon has everyone and his sister and brother reviewing.  And at both sites you always get one or two people who LOVE giving the lowest rating or say distasteful things about a book. They take such glee in it.  You can tell. Because why would you read another book of an author's if you hated their first one, no less two or three more?

Thankfully no one has been truly ugly about my book but I've seen some harsh language on some of my favorite books from authors like Anne Stuart and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I think both of them are wonderful writers. Sure, I've liked some of their books better than others, but that has more to do with personal taste than with them doing anything wrong.

Anyway, with the industry being small as it is, I won't ever enter into Goodreads a book that is less than five stars. Just doesn't serve any purpose. Others do and truthfully I don't have problem with them having an opinion different than mine, but it's the hateful words that bother me.

I will say I've learned a few things about reviewers. When they're on Goodreads, if they haven't set their profile to private, I'll look at their reading list. I'm amazed when I see they don't really read romantic suspense (maybe have five or six of them listed). So I'm not surprise they give mine a low rating. They don't really read RS.  Or if they have lots of RS and all of them are rated low. HELLO! You obviously need to find another genre to read.  So far, it's helped me get over a couple of low ratings. 

If you're on Goodreads, look around at the overall ratings on your favorite books. It's amazing how low their ratings are. I swear someone loves bringing down those who hit the New York Times best selling lists.

Side note: I wish Goodreads wouldn't let those who have a private profile do reviews and rate books be added into the rating system. Who knows what the person is really up to? I'm cynical enough to believe some people will use it to bring down ratings on books for possibly less than honest reasons.  Just my opinion.

Then on Amazon, if you see someone rate a book low while several others are high, or even the opposite, click on the reviewers' names. Amazon gives you their stats on what they've reviewed. It's amazing how many of the self-published books with five stars will often have people who've only reviewed that book or only that author's books.  How do we say family and friends?  That's a dead giveaway.

That's why I don't ask family and friends to write a review on my books. I do have one friend on Goodreads who did, but she reviews several other authors too. And she meant what she wrote about all of them including mine. And she doesn't say ugly things. I didn't ask her for a written review.

So by checking out that info, that's how I handle THOSE type of reviews.  Breaking it down helps a lot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Green Monsters

A few years ago, the marvelous Lyn Stone spoke at our RWA chapter meeting about becoming published and the unexpected situations that come up. One of those was how some friends react to you becoming published. I was really surprised that she had a friend act ugly about her becoming published as that friend didn’t write and Lyn is such a sweetheart. That is, that’s the way I remember it. I would’ve understood another writer ‘friend’ becoming jealous. It’s hard for us all to hold back that green monster when a writer friend becomes published with their first book or hit the NYT best selling list or quit work to write full time. A true friend will fight back that monster and wish their friend congratulations (and mean it).

Even after listening to her presentation, I was still surprised by a couple of my non-writing friends. Thankfully more than not were happy for me and just as excited as I was by my sale. The catty remarks about me having money and being able to quit work (neither has happened), I fended off with humor and then later with serious information. Then it got to the point anytime I would mention something about my book, they would change the subject. At first, I thought maybe I was talking too much about it and it was boring them. So I only talked about it when someone asked (not the friend but others around them). But that didn’t appear to help and our friendship became more strained each day.

Then I started thinking about it. If they were really my friend, they would ask me questions, especially around the release dates. Well, I decided it’s no big deal. I have several friends who are only readers that enjoy talking about my books and the journey I’m taking. I make a point of asking them questions about their lives, family and books they’re reading to keep the conversation even. Yes, I’ve had other writer friends who dominate conversations about their books and never ask about mine (before I was published in particular). So I know how frustrating that can be too.

There are a few writers I’m acquainted with who avoid talking to me now, but that’s no worry. The Lord has blessed me with lots of caring and loving friends of all types.

One thing I never expected, and should’ve considering past history, was having family members who throw little temper-tantrums because I’m getting so much attention from other family members. Thankfully, being family, I know them well and ignore their little attitudes and plan to continue to enjoy my first two books and hopefully many more afterwards. Just wait until they see how much weight I lost. They will pout or make remarks about me taking so long to lose so little. Can you tell I’ve already had one conversation with a family member? That’s only a sign of a person who’s never been overweight. Besides, it took me 37 years to get as heavy as I was, four months to lose half the weight I need to get rid of is great. The doctor said it should take until next year (July). Check out this link for info on healthy weight loss.

Just thought I would pass on this info for newly published and soon-to-be published authors along with my special friends who congratulate me and ask questions about my books. LOL!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Talented Margie Lawson

I'm over at Margie Lawson's Writing Blog today. She had some interesting things to say about my book.  And we talked about what I learned from her workshop in July.  Come over and comment.  I'll be giving away two books.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Book Signing

November 5, 2011 was my RWA chapter's Romance Readers Luncheon. We have it every year for the last seven years. This year's was the best. First because Lisa Dunick was the chairperson. She has a fantastic mind, very creative. Second because we have an energetic president, Heather Leonard, also with a creative mind. Put those two people together and you have magic.

Then, third, we had the marvelous Victoria Dahl! The woman is kind, generous and so funny.  Fourth, the darling of Southern Magic (my RWA chapter), Jennifer Echols. We all love her so much. If you love YA books, you've got to read hers. They're wonderfully funny and filled with YA smoldering sexuality.

And, fifth and the biggy for me, it was my first book signing!  I had the pleasure of sharing a book signing table with another debut author, Deborah Kaufman. So cool. We had a lot of fun.  If you're wondering, I'm on the left.


At my author table (where we listen to the speakers and ate lunch) I had my four sister-in-laws and my two beautiful daughters along with my buddy, JoAnn.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Come On Over

I'm back at home. Well, I feel like it's home as much as this one is. Come over to the Romance Magicians' blog.  I'm talking about "Walk This Way, Talk This Way."  You guess it. How heroes talk and walk.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday - Next To Last Day For Blog Tour

Today, you can find me at http://blameitonthemuse.com/.  Like I've mentioned before, each blog is a little different so you will learn something new either about me or my book.  So I hope to see you there.

By the way, my editor said there was a glitch and books are available. YAY!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Next - Just Romantic Supense Website

For those who love, love romantic suspense, this is the website for you!  It's got everything you can imagine to do with romantic suspense.  Lots of authors' interviews, news, book excerpts/blurbs, etc. 

This evening through tomorrow, that's where you can find me.  So come over and find out the clues of reading too much romantic suspense and how I found myself writing it.

http://www.justromanticsuspense.com/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yep, Another Blog Tour Continues

First, I want to mention that I'm trying to find out what's going on with the paperback copies of Circle of Desire.  Barnes and Noble is showing "Not Available" and isn't even letting people order them at all now.  Amazon is showing 5-8 weeks for delivery.  Yeah. That's the way to sell books.  Hopefully, I'll have an answer soon. It certainly has placed a damper on the tour this week. ::sigh::

BUT, you can still get the book in e-format.  Even if you don't have an e-reader, you can download it to your phone, iPod, or/and laptop.  That is cheaper.   PLUS, I'm giving away paperback copies at the blogs I'm visiting. I have a box full, so I don't have to wait 5-8 weeks.  :-)

Okay. Now for the Wednesday's blog, go to Avery Flynn's blog (http://averyflynn.com/). She asked me some odd questions.  Kept me on my toes.  LOL!  Let me know what you think.  You can probably tell I've been working in sales for many years. All sales people sound like politicans.  LOL!

November 8, 2011 - Happy Paperback Release Day!

Today is the day for the paperback version of Circle of Desire to be available for purchase. Remember you have to order it on-line at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Books-a-Million. You can still order the e-format at the same places and including at Sony and iBooks (iTunes).

And today, you can find me at Cynthia Eden's blog.  Be sure to come over and comment. I will be giving away a copy of Circle of Desire.   To give you an idea of what I will be talking about, here's the title: Why I Love Alphas, and No! My Heroine Isn’t A B*tch.

LOL!   See you there!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

100 Miles An Hour

Have you ever driven an 100 miles per hour or more?  I have. In fact, the fastest I've ever gone (driving) is 120 miles per hour and maybe even faster as at the time, that was as high as my 1966 Lemans' speedometer would go.  Long story. Just know I was young and dumb.
The car in the picture looks exactly like that car. It was in fact, my first car.  And no, it wasn't new even then.

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is that I'm feeling like that's what speed I'm going and getting very little accomplished. I've decided after next week, I will be avoiding Facebook and Twitter. Though I'll probably blog occasionally, I will be going to no mail on my loops.  So if you want to contact me, you'll need to send me an email directly.  Go to my website to contact me.

Speaking of website, I'm still not happy with mine. If I change it again (most likely), it will be the fourth one this year.  Considering I kept the one I had back in January for nearly five years, that's really something. Plus, I really need to be writing and not designing.  ::Sigh::

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another One Added

On November 7, I will be on Margie Lawson's blog.  Be sure to make plans to see me.  I will be giving away a copy of CIRCLE OF DESIRE!

[updated 11/9/11:  Margie and I had a little mix up.  So I will be there on 11/15/11.]

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Day In My Fantasy

Yes. I feel like I'm living in a fantasy world. In this world, I'm published and everything is rosy and just right.  Wait! I'm here in the real world and awake!  But I'm still published and by AVON!   :::insert girly squeal here:::

I receive my newest RT Book Reviews and inside was Avon Impulse newest ad.  See the picture I took below. Hopefully it will be okay that I posted it here.


Plus on Pages 11 and 12, they mentioned me and quoted my editor.  They said stuff like "Avon Impulse...has got an author for  you. Carla Swafford, a name the publisher hopes you will soon be familiar with..."  So exciting and so wonderful.

No. Don't worry. I hope to goodness I'm not getting a big head about all of this. It's just that I never expected any of it. Hard to explain. Nothing like this has ever happened to me.

I plan to keep appreciating all the positive and ignore any negative (what little there is) and enjoy it all. Plus I'll continue to work hard, so maybe all the good things will keep rolling down to me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

More To Celebrate

First, I can't believe I haven't mentioned this on my blog, but Avon did a great press release on the day Circle of Desire came out in e-format. IT WAS AWESOME!  Click here to check it out!

Next, another site reviewed Circle of Desire and said, "Overall, this was a great romantic suspense debut!!"  Among The Muses  Click on the link and you can read the whole thing.

When it comes to Circle of Danger's first chapter revealed at the end of the book, they said, "I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment!"
YAY!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Who's Next?

In less than two weeks, I will be at the following blogs celebrating the release of the paperback Circle of Desire.  Lots of fun and I will be giving away copies!  I received a box last night and expect to have more by then.  So be sure to comment.

[added 11/2] 11/7 - Magie Lawson's blog - http://www.margielawson.com/margies-writing-blog
11/8 -  Cynthia Eden's blog  - http://www.cynthiaeden.com/blog/
11/9 -  Avery Flynn's blog - http://averyflynn.com/
11/10 -Just Romantic Suspense blog - http://justromanticsuspense.blogspot.com/
11/11 -Blame It On The Muse blog - http://blameitonthemuse.com/

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Day For Circle Of Desire (e-format) Blog Tour

Today, I'll be over at Christy Reece's blog!  She's a sweetheart (sweetheart - Sweet Reward - LOL! So appropriate) and half and is one of my good friends. A few weeks ago, she rode with me to Atlanta and we toured the Aquarium and hung out with Sherrilyn Kenyon.  So much fun!

Be sure to come over and comment.  At 8 p.m. Central, I will announce the winners of the $25 Amazon Gift Certificate from Avon and the three $10 B&N Gift Cards.  So that's four chances to win.  I've had a great time.

But I have to say I'm ready to get back to work full time (besides the day job) on the second book and get to the end. My poor characters have been in a bad spot for quite a few days now.

See you over there!  We'll have a SWEET time! (I couldn't resist.)

By the way, this is me visiting with Christy and Jennifer Echols at their book signing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two More Chances To Comment

Be sure to visit me at Patricia Preston's blog today.   And then tomorrow at NYT best selling author Christy Reece's blog.
Lots of fun and I will be announcing the winners from the blog tour on Christy's blog.

Thanks to everyone who has come by and commented!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cross-Eyed From All The Fun Of Promotion

Wow! I have done ten blog posts this month. And that's not counting the ones here.  It takes up a lot of my precious time.  Working full time (with overtime) leaves only a few hours. Plus I try to participate in family functions.  Though I've blown off two for the weekend to get all my work caught up (posts and writing on Circle of Danger).

So be ready to check out the last two on this blog tour, and then be prepared for November 8. I believe I will be at talented and sweet Cynthia Eden's blog on my paperback release date. She and I will confirm this Monday. Then followed by Avery Flynn's blog on November 9 and Mary Freeman's Blame It On The Muse November 11.  That last one will be on 11/11/11.  Cool, huh?

November 5, I will be at Southern Magic's Romance Readers Luncheon at the Harbert Center.  You still have time to sign up.  Click here for more information.  You get lots of free books!

Then that should be all of my promotion for this year.  I need the break and time to write. Hopefully, I will complete Circle of Danger soon and then move on to the third book in The Circle Series.  It hasn't sold, but if I have half or all of it written when it's time to negotiate, that can only be good all the way around. 

Somewhere along the way, I would like to finish an historical I have that's doing very well in the contest circuit.  Now that I'm published, I can't enter it just anywhere. Most contest don't allow current published authors to enter no matter what. but there are a few that allow authors to enter into categories they're not published in.  So I can no longer enter unpublished books in the Romantic Suspense and Erotica categories.  Though I can enter my published books in several contests specifically set up for them.

Anyway, I just received the news THE CAGED HEART (my medieval) finalled in another contest (Hot Prospects).  So awesome!  Makes my heart happy.

Okay.  No more fooling around.  I have one more blog post to write and then I should have time to work on Circle of Danger. I know what happens next and really want to hurry to finish it.  I'm so close to the end, I could throw a rock at it.

Talk with you soon.  Make time to read!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day Six Of My Blog Tour

I believe you will especially enjoy today's post at I Wanna to Sit And Read blog. As I had said a few days ago, I've tried to keep every post different and this one certainly is.  My characters actually give 5 traits of a hero and heroine. It was fun to write and, goodness, it's so amazing to realize how the characters really show their personalities. Some days I wonder if I have a split personality (a la Three Faces Of Eve).

Anyway, go to the blog and comment.  Please.

No blogs on the 22nd and 23nd.  But the last two are Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Five of My Blog Tour

Yesterday was loads of fun with Laurie and bunches of commenters at Black Velvet Seduction Blog.  Click here to check out the post and comments.  They asked some really great questions that was a blast to answer.  It's never too late to comment.

Today, I will be at News and Reviews From The Heart of The Dragon's Den.  I love their picture of the two dragons and the misty dream castle.  So come over and comment.  I'm going to have a drawing on the 25th of all the commenters' names.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And Reviews Begin

Today, was my release date for Circle of Desire. So much fun and so many people wishing me well. There are a lot of kind people in this industry.  But I'm also aware starting this evening, I will find a mix of good and cruel people. What do I mean? Well, tomorrow people will start adding their reviews to different sites about my book. (Thank goodness for RT Book Reviews', I think I can handle almost anything.) Some will love it and some will hate it.

Why do I think the latter? Because my book has intense emotions and subjects in it. Some readers will feel uncomfortable with them. They will not "grade" it by how well it's written (no, I don't think it's literary art), e.g, plot, characterization, etc., but instead of saying it's not their cup of tea, they'll attack it and be ugly.  I've seen too many authors done that way, and it was books I loved.  So I don't expect anything different. No one is above it.  Too many different tastes out there.

Thanks to the Good Lord for that.

Day 3 On the Blog Tour

Come over today to Reader Girls' Blog and comment to be included in the drawing on 10/25.  Several people have mention having a problem getting their comments through, but hopefully more will work it out. In this blog, I talk about the competition between authors. Are there? Or aren't there?  

http://readergirls.blogspot.com/2011/10/gfp-circle-of-desire-virtual-book-tour.html?showComment=1318970409798#c6267612948447149117

Monday, October 17, 2011

Come On Over!

I will be at Among The Muses blog today.  Be sure to come over and say hello and get your name in the drawing.  Click here. And be sure to check back tomorrow. I'm traveling (blog-wise) around.  (Note:  the Muses blog is for 18 and older.)

Carla

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Uninformed

Though I came across this with a few people who admitted they read VERY little, and they have an excuse (sorta), but I had it from people who claimed to read several books a year.  They asked the following questions.

Where can I buy your book? (This is asked over and over again.)
When can I order your book?
Why can't I buy it in a store? (Then the next question comes up.)
Is it a real book?
Is it from a real publisher?
You wrote a book?
Avon? Is the cosmetic company publishing books now?
What is the price of your book?
Are you going to quit your job now?
Are you rich?
Aren't you proud of yourself?
I think I'll write a book and get published now. Can you get me published?

To me, these questions are strange.  Even before I even considered writing books (a long time ago), I knew most of these answers including the Avon one.  As a reader, I knew Avon on the spine meant it was a good read.

Okay, here are the answers for those who just don't know but will never read my blog to find the answer, because bless their hearts (Yep. I said it.), they don't know how to find my blog. Plus when I tell people (even those I know and know me) to check out my website, they always ask me, "How can I find it?" It is an unusual name I've gone by every day of my life for the last thirty-seven years.

Where can I buy your book?
Anywhere (legally) you can buy books on-line.

When can I order your book?
Last summer. Last week. Today. Tomorrow and probably for many years afterwards. But I would really appreciate it you buy it today and no later than Tuesday. Why? Because the pre-orders and the day of release are the most important to an author. No. I won't make more money, but this will count for (1) the best selling lists (If I'm that lucky) and (2) even if I don't make the lists, it will impress my publishing house, and they'll offer me another contract. And that's very important. I do need more contracts, so I can share more stories, especially about this series.

Why can't I buy it in a store?
I knew this going in, and it's really no problem  E-format is very popular with the people who love to read. Those who will only buy (if they really do and not just saying it) the first copy won't care if the next book is e-format or paperback anyway. Why? Because the ones who don't read, won't read this either.  But thanks for your supportive words.

Is it a real book?
Yes. Virginia, it's real.

Is it from a real publisher?
Oh, yeah.  Last time I checked, HarperCollins is a real publisher. I even Google Earth their office building.  You need to try it. It's so cool.

You wrote a book?
Yep. I promise I did. Why would I lie about that?  (In my sarcasm, I want to say so badly, "No. I just wanted to see your face.  SURPRISE!") Besides, do I look that stupid? Please don't answer that.

Avon? Is the cosmetic company publishing books now?
Now on this, I bet all Avon authors get it from their family and friends not into reading and/or writing.  Oh, by the way, if you don't know.  NO.  No connection.

What is the price of your book?
::sigh:: This is actually a question I cannot answer. Why you ask? Because HarperCollins (Avon Impulse) sets the price, but the book sellers can sell it at any price they want. But the book seller has to pay HC the amount agreed upon. So if the book sellers sells it below cost, the book seller loses the money, not HC or me (or my agent).  It's a different story if HC lowers the price.  Presently, the "retail selling price" is $3.99 for the e-format and $6.99 for the paperback.

Are you going to quit your job now?
Don't I wish! But alas, most new authors don't make enough to even get off Welfare. And, no, I'm not on Welfare.  Remember, the job you asked about me quiting?

Are you rich?
Not everyone is as lucky as the author who wrote Twilight. And she wasn't rich (unless she was previously) until a couple years later. Yes. It takes a while to get your royalty checks and those books grew in popularity. And I was referring to the first one. The later ones flew off the shelves.

Aren't you proud of yourself?
Part of me believes the people who ask this were proud for me, but another part (cynical) believed they thought I was already a holier-than-thou person. Sometimes I guess I can come off like that because it's a defensive mechanism for me to stiffen up and be short with my answers. Especially if I feel they are trying to find something to use against me.

Anyway, I answered, "I'm very happy I'm finally published. It's something I've wanted and dreamed about for a long, long time."

I think I'll write a book and get published now. Can you get me published?
I always laugh at this one. I tell them it took me nine plus years. Usually, that shuts them up.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tomorrow Is The Beginning

Tomorrow (10/16), I start my blog tour.  So be sure to go by each blog and comment. More often you comment, the more chances you have to win.

Click on the label above to look at the schedule and the links.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tick-Tock

Only four more days and Circle of Desire will be downloaded by whoever preordered/ordered it. I liked how the reviewer from RT Book Review, Dawn Crowne, wrote, "This is a dark, gritty story that will grab you by the throat..." For sure, the faint of heart will have a hard time understanding some of the actions of the characters. They live in a world very different from most of us. Everything is an extreme: their feelings, their actions and their sexuality.

I wrote the book to entertain myself. La Femme Nikita was off the air. The new Nikita hadn't started yet, and Alias was adios. The TV series (LFN) came close to being a perfect series. It had action, romance (including the occasional kissing, long looks, and best of all bedroom scenes), and plot twists even I couldn't figure out.  Considering how I frustrate my daughters whenever I would watch a movie or TV show and start telling them what will happen next, that's saying something.  You see, my girls would ask, "Have you seen it before?" Because I was most often right about my guesses. And I would say, "No." They would wonder how I did it. As I told them, "After you read so many books, you recognize the set ups." 

So I wanted to be sure to write one that had a twist or two that was unexpected. Not sure if I accomplished that, but I do know I enjoyed it when Dawn added, "[Y]ou will be blown away by the story's stunning intensity."  Wow! She's good.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4-1/2 FREAKING STARS

I can't believe I missed this when I was looking at the website with the interview.  THEY REVIEWED CIRCLE OF DESIRE AND GAVE IT FOUR AND HALF STARS!!!!   Click here to read it!  The reviewer got my book. Hopefully, she'll review CIRCLE OF DANGER too.

Do you have any idea of how many years I've read RT and dreamed of seeing my book in it?  The review is on their website. That's close enough to make me happy. And then to give me that rating. I'm ecstatic!  I had hoped but never imagined them giving me such a wonderful rating.

Check Out My RT Bookreviews

I need to work on my "and uh" but I love it.  Morgan is a great interviewer.

Who's Your Hero?

Come over to Romance Magicians and tell me who would play your hero?

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Men of The Circle Series

LOL! Believe it are not but Hugh Jackman doesn't show up as another character in the series. Here are two of several who will have their books. Another set of brothers, Rex and Jack. Both are alpha and think they have life by its brass balls until they meet up with the women who makes their world tilt.

Let me introduce Vin Diesel as Jack (has a shaved head, tats and piercings) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Rex (actually, has long hair, a scar across his nose and comes to a vee on his cheek).

Instead of pictures (that can get you in trouble), I've included links.

Click here for Vin.

Click here for The Rock.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

And Keep Getting Better Looking!

In the first book, you're introduced to several characters who will hopefully have their own books. I do know for sure Collin's brother will have his as it's the second book coming out in 2012, Circle of Danger.  Ryker looks a lot like Collin but he has burn scars on the right side of his body, and he wears a patch over his blind eye. So you're not mistaken I've picked Hugh Jackman again for Ryker. But the pictures I choose are of him a little older. Then for Marie, Ryker's love interest, I think Hayden Panettiere is the best pick. She's only five one in real life. Marie is small for her age, that's why in the first book everyone believes she's a teenager. She isn't. That's explained in the second book. Just didn't want you to freak out thinking I have a grown man and a teenager having a fling.

Click here to see pictures of Hugh.

Click here for Hayden Panettiere.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Looking Good!

I've been working (finally) on my second book, hoping to finish this month if nothing happens. So as I was working on some of the earlier chapters to tighten it up and figure out where I left off, I started thinking about what everyone looked like. Back when I was writing Circle of Desire, I had a picture of a male model for Collin. But I've decided Hugh Jackman would make a great Collin and Diane Lane as Olivia. Of course, Colllin and Olivia are actually younger than them, but the following pictures from some time ago will work. Collin would have shorter hair though I have to say, I like Hugh's hair like this. Check it out.

Click here for Hugh Jackman.

Click here for Diane Lane.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Special Trip Worries

Last week, I worried about getting sick or having an accident or even monster pimples. Yes. I have to worry about those still. Why was I more worried than usual? Christy Reece and I planned to go to the Georgia Aquarium and then to the Moolight and Magnolias conference's book signing.

Well, everything went fine until Friday afternoon. I received a call from my youngest. She was feeling unwell and at the doctor's. Turned out to be acute appendicitis. I left work and met her and her boyfriend (he picked her up as we were on opposite sides of town) at the hospital.

By 9 that evening, she was in surgery. Everything worked out okay. She had to spend the night but she'd decided to recover at her boyfriend's house. She's 23 and adult. So what could I say? Plus, I really wanted to go though I felt bad leaving her. Yet, I knew if I cancelled, I wouldn't even see her. 

Anyway, the trip was wonderful. My daughter is fine. And I hope Christy and I get to do something together again soon.  Here are a few pictures at the book signing. 
Dianna Love - the woman is a ball of energy. Fun to be around.
Kim, Sherrilyn's sweet assistant
One of the kindest people I know, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Monday, October 3, 2011

Do Ostriches Have It Right?

I like to think of myself as an up-to-date type of girl. Between several YAHOO loops, Publishers Lunch emails, and the Romance Writers Report form the RWA, I feel I'm rather informed on what's going on in the publishing world. But just like the local newspaper with all its crime stories, it can depress the heck of me too.

Maybe helicopter pilots and ostriches have it right. Keep your head down and ignore the crap flying around.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Am What I Am

If you know me, I can talk about anything with anyone without a blush or stutter. Sometimes though, if something happens out of the blue and I'm not intentionally talking about something rather risqué, I can actually blush.

Well, it happened the other day.  A fellow in my office was asking questions about my Nook.  So I showed him all you can flip through the different books and rearrange them by author, title and such. Again, if you know me, I read a little bit of everything to do with romance. I have an extensive list of erotica and several are S & M. Yes. I do have a wicked side.

Normally, it wouldn't embarrass me. I believe if you're ashamed of something, don't do it. Only thing is this fellow is a very nice guy who teaches Sunday school for goodness sakes. And like I said, he'd asked about my Nook out of the blue and I was showing him how it works and there are all the covers to my erotica zooming by. Think, bare butts arranged for spanking, bare chested men with handcuffs, lots of skin. My face a little warm, I told him, "You know me. Overlook the covers." And I continued to show him the different great features of the Nook.  LOL!

He just smiled.

Like, Popeye says, "I am what I am."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Be Careful

Crazy, I know, considering some of the nutsy things I've written here. But people really need to be careful of what they write, especially on loops, bulletin boards, and blogs. If you never mention names or organizations or give too much details, a person will probably be okay. Otherwise, be careful. You never know who is reading it.  People have looong memories. 

That's my public safety announcement for the week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Size Matters

LOL! I know what you're thinking, but that's not what I plan to write about. It's to do with a couple books I've read lately. Well at the least, two books I'm reading now. Yes. I'm too impatient to read one at a time.

Anyway, for some reason authors are describing their heroines as short and they're 5' 5" to 5' 7"!  Hello! The average height for a woman in the U.S. is 5' 4". So that's not short. Sure the males in some books are extremely tall but the heroes in the books are not more than 6' 3". Compared to his height, she is shorter, but she's not "short." Yes. There is a different.

Think about it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Funny Guys

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I listen to different comedy stations on XM most of the time. What is one thing every male comic have in common? They love fart and poop jokes.  ::shaking head::

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Busy Days Ahead

Tonight, I plan to write another post for the blog tour next month. So far, I've written two. The promotion company said to be sure to make each one unique, verbose, and entertaining. Well, I giving it my best shot. Considering I like to write short, this will be a most interesting experience for me. Then again, I do love talking about my books and the writing process overall. So I should feel in my element.

Keep your fingers crossed I do this right.

And, oh, yeah, be sure to follow the blogs on the dates from the post below (Sept. 16) or click on the blog tour banner above.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mish-Mash

Like most Saturdays, I went shopping for the odds and ends I need at home. It was a beautiful day. Blue skies. In the low 90s. Since I've lost so much weight, walking isn't a hardship and I don't wear out so quickly.  It's amazing how your out look can change when get in better health. I can't wait until next year. More pounds should be off and hopefully I'll be at my goal a few months before I leave for Anaheim (RWA conference) in July.  I even bought a blouse today a size smaller than normal. Wonderful.

The little town I live in, you would think I would come across people I know all the time. Nope. But everyone I passed smiled back. I believe everyone was ready for the slightly cooler weather and gorgeous day.

Yesterday, my youngest daughter (Y) brought over her boyfriend. He's such a cutie and so polite. Plus I found out he reads! You know what I mean. Of course, all of her boyfriends in the past could read words. I'm talking about he picks up books and reads them and enjoys doing it. He named off a few authors he likes. Of course, most of them I've never heard of as they're not romance authors, but I know my smile got bigger and bigger. Then Y said, "I think Mom is in love with you."  She's so funny. How could she tell?  LOL!

The next two weekends should be rather busy. Saturday my writers group is having a full day workshop, LAW AND ORDER FOR THE WRITER.   To see the line up, go to http://www.southernmagic.org/programs.html. You will be impressed. It's going to be fantastic.  Heather Leonard is awesome! http://magiccitywriting.blogspot.com/ She set up the whole thing.

Then the first weekend of October, I plan to drive to Atlanta to see several people at a book signing.  1) Sherrilyn Kenyon. I owe that lady so much.  Love her. 2) Her assistant, Kim. She's such a sweetheart. 3) Nicki Salcedo. The woman is marveleous! And my lovely chapter mates: Heather, Christine and Mary.

Hoping you're having a wonderful day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Be Sure To Follow My Blog Tour

We're going to have fun!
I'll update this post with links and dates. 

OCT. 17 --Among The Muses

This information can also be found on my website.  http://www.carlaswafford.com/presskit.html

Special requested dates:
OCT. 16 -- Christine Glover's Blog - http://verandaview.blogspot.com/
OCT. 24 -- Patricia Prestion's Blog - http://patricia-preston.blogspot.com
OCT. 25 -- Christy Reece's blog http://christyreece.blogspot.com/
NOV. 11 -- Mary Freeman's Blog - http://blameitonthemuse.com/

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh, Yes!

I enjoy sexy men from many areas of the world. Here are a few.





And I like my men deadly and funny too.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's Up With Bangs For Men?

Now I'm not talking about Justin Bieber's old haircut (bangs brushed to the side). It's the bangs on men over 30. The short bangs about an inch long. I've seen several men with that haircut and I want to shake them. You're not a kid anymore, and it looked awful then. I tried to find a picture on line, but I guess I need to go to Walmart and take a picture to give you an idea. I figure it's a redneck southern thang.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pacing Yourself

Instead of the planned contest article, I posted an updated old article on pacing.  Click here and check it out. The video is worth it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Authors4TheCure Donating Book Proceeds To Breast Cancer Research

Eleven authors have banded together to support breast cancer research with their writing. Authors4theCure, which includes award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors, is donating proceeds from the sale of their paranormal anthology, Entangled, to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
BCRF-funded research has helped save lives and improved the quality of care and rate of survival for tens of thousands of breast cancer patients in the past decade. Their research has revealed that the "cure" is a mosaic made up of as many approaches to diagnosing, treating, preventing and surviving as there are different types of breast cancer. The anthology is also a mosaic made up of many stories donated for this worthwhile cause.

Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal stories from authors Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, Michelle Miles, and Edie Ramer, plus a novella by Allison Brennan. Stacia Kane contributed the foreword and the book’s formatting and cover art were also donated to the project.

Entangled will release September 12, 2011, and will be available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other online retailers.

***

Ghosts, vampires, demons, and more! Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal short stories from authors Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Michelle Miles, plus a Seven Deadly Sins novella by Allison Brennan.

Stacia Kane contributed the foreword. Formatting and cover art were also donated to the project by Lori Devoti and Laura Morrigan.

All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Stories include:

HALLOWEEN FROST by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep (author of the Mythos Academy, Elemental Assassin, and Bigtime series) — It's Halloween at Mythos Academy, but Gwen Frost and her friends are in for more tricks than treats when they run into a mythological monster intent on killing them.

THE FAT CAT by Edie Ramer (author of Cattitude, Galaxy Girls) — In a battle for the souls of seven women, a wizard has the god of war on his side; all the witch has is a fat, black cat.

MEDIUM RARE by Nancy Haddock (author of the Oldest City Vampire trilogy) —What’s spooking the spirits of St. Augustine? As the witching hour of Halloween approaches, ghost seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to locate the one ghost who can save the city’s specters. If she fails, her own great grandfather’s spirit may be lost forever.

SWEET DEMON by Misty Evans (author of the Witches Anonymous series) —When Chicago’s vampire king insists Kali Sweet join his empire, the vengeance demon must rely on her ex – the half-human, half-chaos demon who left her at the altar three hundred years ago – in order to escape the vamp’s clutches.

SIAN’S SOLUTION by Dale Meyer (author of the Psychic Visions series) — When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.

A BIT OF BITE by Cynthia Eden (author of NEVER CRY WOLF and ANGEL OF DARKNESS) — A killer is stalking the streets of Crossroads, Mississippi, and it's up to Sheriff Ava Dushaine to stop him. But when suspicion falls on werewolf alpha Julian Kasey—Ava’s ex-lover and the man who still haunts her dreams—Ava knows that she'll either have to prove his innocence...or watch the whole town go up in flames.

SINFULLY SWEET by Michelle Miles (author of the Coffee House series) — When Chloe bakes a little magic into her pastries, she attracts the attention of Edward, the sexy half-demon, half-witch, who’s come to warn her those who murdered her sister are now after her.

A NIGHT OF FOREVER by Lori Brighton (author of A Night of Secrets and To Seduce an Earl) — Who is Aidan Callaghan? Mary Ellen James is intent on uncovering the truth about the mysterious man, but as she soon finds out, some things are best left buried in the past.

FEEL THE MAGIC by Liz Kreger (author of the Part of Tomorrow series) — Jenna Carmichael’s magical attempt to rectify Jessica Manfield’s birth identity takes an unexpected turn when the past comes back to haunt her.

BREAKING OUT by Michelle Diener (author of the Tudor-set historical suspense novel In A Treacherous Court) — Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other 'special' inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

GHOSTLY JUSTICE, an all-new Seven Deadly Sins novella by New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan (author of the Seven Deadly Sins series) — Demon hunters Moira O’Donnell and Rafe Cooper are dragged into the dangerous world of nocturnal predators to find “Ghostly Justice” for a virgin sacrificed to an ancient blood demon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Kind of Accent Do You Have?

Over the years, people in other parts of U.S. have told me, "I like your accent." HA! I'm not the one with an accent. At least, in Alabama. LOL!  And Californians claim they don't have one. Yes. They do. Bless their hearts.  Ya'll need to check this out.  Click here.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Are You Really Interested? Or Making Small Talk?

Every time a close friend or family member ask: "Have you gotten your book cover?" "Do you have a release date yet?" "What's your book about?" - I laugh and shake my head. It's not like they have to remember a pseudonym. Sure, I'm happy to tell people about my book, but I expect certain people to be interested enough to take a peek at my webpage or whatever every once in a while. I check up on my friends once a week by phone or email or their blog (if they have one) and I have the same 24 hrs and full time job (with overtime), plus a part time one as a writer. (YAY!)

Do I expect them to know everything? No. But when I mentioned the info is on my webpage and then I answer them, I don't expect them to get offended. If I'm not offended that they didn't take time to check out my webpage (blog or Facebook), why should they?

Do I worry the same people will see this post and get offended again? No. They won't read it, and most likely it's not the first time they asked a question that was answered here. LOL! If by chance they learned their lesson, they can always comment and fuss at me.

I just saying...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Little Teaser

My next to post at Romance Magicians is September 13, and I plan for it to be an article I've been thinking about writing for a few years now. Not sure how indepth it will be, but it will be about contests in general with a lot of references to the Linda Howard of Excellence. Considering, with some input from a committee (especially from a certain Kelley Zeringue), it was pretty much my baby for the last six years, I know everything about it leading up to last month. And starting last month (2012 contest), it is in good hands (Thanks, Heather!) that aren't mine.

For those who don't know me and you're wondering if I know my stuff, let me give you this information. Over seventeen years (various years, totaling eight, I didn't enter anything), I've entered 111 contests (averages 12 a year - I'm sure there are plenty who've entered more, but I'm a little picky), and seven of those were in the Golden Heart. That was with 15 different entries. Only 16 entries went to the finals (little over 14%) with 2 as honorable mentions in NJRW's Put Your Heart In A Book contest.  Of course, two of those finals were in the Maggies, one was in the Emily and three GOTCHAs.  I had only one win and that was in the GOTCHA. Thankfully at that time they allowed the editor to decide as I would've come in 3rd otherwise. This last time I finalled, they let the score decide. I would've never entered if I had known that.

Anyway, there's a little teaser. I have a lot more to say, but in the RM post no contests except the LH AoE will be named. No need to ruffle feathers.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I Learn From Funny People

If you've been reading my posts for a while or following me on Facebook, you know that I believe people who are laugh-out-loud funny are smart. Well, they are. Susan Elizabeth Phillip, Victoria Dahl, Will Farrell, and so many others.

When I got my car last year, I signed up for XM radio and have been enjoying the comedy stations. Some more than others as I like clean comedy. Strange considering I can cuss like a sailor and not think much about it. Plus I don't think nothing of using foul language in my books. All part of making the characters true to themselves. But when it comes to the comedians, I've found the cleaner ones are funnier.  Plus listening to the stations brought me out of a funk I had been in at the time.

Have you as a reader/writer really listened to a good comedian and broken down his/her story to see what makes it so funny? I've been doing that and found they are great storytellers. They use words to exaggerate the moment. They paint pictures of those moments in time and do such a good job that we laugh so hard we cry. Yep. You can learn a lot from funny people.

Here's a video of one of my favorite comedians, Jeanne Robertson. Enjoy. Be sure to have a tissue to wipe up the tears of laughter.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Avon Romance and iBooks

Avon Romance

I'm so excited about Avon books can now be found on iPad's iBooks. Too cool! Check on the link above to find out more.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maybe The Day Job Has Its Uses

Of course, having a day job ensures money is coming into the house. Got to pay the bills. But I talk with numerous people every day. Mostly men. It is an industry that men thrive in. Construction, in particular, waste water treament plants and water lines. Anyway, being in my current job for nearly fifteen years, I have several customers I've known for the same amount of time. A good number know that I write romance and all who've asked know my book is coming out October 18. I don't beat them over the head with updates. I do know how to act professional.

But by having a job where I talk with people in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Arizona, and with my prior territories in Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, and Utah and splatters in Massachuetts and Wisconsin, my name is known. So let's say a customer of mine who I never really said anything about my writing sees my name on a book. It would make him (or her, there are few women I work with) curious for sure. Will he buy it? Maybe not. It is a romance. But maybe he'll mention it to his wife, girlfriend, sister or mom. They will become curious and maybe buy. Or let's say someone who I use to work with at my other job (twenty years there, I was five when I started working) see my book. The name sounds familiar. Have they read a book by me before?

And I'm one of the notaries in my office. So someone in almost every state in the Union has seen my name.

Heavens, I use to work in the export department in the other company. So again my name is floating around the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Canada. Then I use to work with a company in England and Ireland importing valves. I did get around.

I guess being married to the same man is paying off too. Same last name all these years.

Yep. That all powerful name recognition. It will come in handy. Well, I hope it does.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

And It Continues

Wow! I think this is the longest I've gone and not blog something. Sorry about that. Time slipped away.  Anyway, a sweet lady emailed me a couple days ago and said I should join Avon Impulse Author's loop. They have a loop? I was surprised and happy.  So yesterday I did and what a nice group. Lots of info being passed back and forth.

In the group info on the side, it shows how many members are in that YAHOO loop. Guess what number I was?  If you've been reading my blog for long you'll know the answer.  Yep!  Number 13.  LOL!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Book Cover!

Here's my cover! It's better than I ever imagined.  She even has the right color of hair.  I told someone at work that's me with a wig. For some reason he wouldn't believe me. Doubters!

Don't forget that you can buy this online at places like Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  The release date will be 10/18/11.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time For A Slight Change

It's time for me to make a change. Again. I started this blog August 2008, posting nearly every day. Then at the beginning of this year, I slacked off somewhat as I wanted to save my writing for, well, writing. No. I don't plan to give up my blog. But I will use it for more news worthy posts.  And in the meanwhile, most of my odds and ends info will be found on FaceBook. So click here and go to FaceBook and "like" me so you can chat with me and get more information about my writing process and current news about my books.

Thanks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fan Fic Gone Wild!

Cynthia Eden had a problem with someone (I believe was a young girl) who took one of her books and changed the names and made it first person instead of third, and published it as their own on a fanfic website.  There are some dumb people out there.  If they don't call it their own, they make copies and send to all their friends free. Both are stealing.
Click here to read her blog about it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Come On Over

Yep. It's that time again. I'm over at Romance Magicians. The post is a rehash of one I did here, but I thought it important to share with others.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened...

You know, I'm not sure if I should be relieved or worried that nothing funny has happened to me in a long while. Hmmm, maybe happy. For when it does, I'm usually the one with the red face. 

Oh, this didn't happen recently (see sentence above) but a few years ago, my boss at the time sent me an email telling me what a good job I had done on a project. So in response, I sent back an email trying to sound modest and all, and said, "Shucks. Thanks."

Later, I went back to save it and decided to read it again. As plain as day, I had mistyped and wrote, "Sucks. Thanks." She didn't say a word. Thank goodness most people can read between the lines. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patience Is A Pain In The Butt

:::tapping foot::::

I know that in traditional publishing that it takes much longer to go through the process of getting a book released. My friend, Christy, had to wait two years before her first book came out. And me, it will be only five months.

::::tapping foot:::::

But I want my book cover now.

::::bottom lip stuck out:::::

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Say What?

Today, I noticed my website email address wasn't set up in my MicroSoft Outlook. That's twice it disappeared off there. What the heck is going on?  If you sent me an email through my website, I'm sorry I haven't answer.  Last time it happened, I had an agent ask for material because she liked my website.  Yes. It does happen. 

If you're wondering, no, she didn't offer representation. That's okay as I wasn't really interested in having her as an agent though I wouldn't have turned down the opportunity at the time. But she was only eighteen. Yep. That's right. I prefer an experienced one with contacts. I do wish her well. I'm sure she'll be great one day with the ambition she's already shown.

[added: OH MY GOODNESS! I had 131 emails. I had forgotten that one of the loops I'm on, I had set up that account to receive the emails.]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm A Tease...

Here's a little teaser for Book 2.

After four local women are found dead from a new designer drug, Arthur Ryker orders his mercenary organization, The Circle, to find the source, a mysterious figure called the Wizard.

When Marie Beltane was a child, she had been sold for drugs by her parents to a mad man. Now he’s dead and she’s determined to prove she’s worthy of more and goes on a fact finding mission to stop the killings. Things go wrong. She’s injected with the same drug.

Ryker struggles with his failure to protect Marie from the world as well as himself. He becomes reckless during his search for the antidote and is captured by a new evil. Now he must become the monster he always feared to save the woman he always loved.

Monday, August 1, 2011

That All Important Beginning

I received good news today. My editor loves the action in the first chapter of my second book. I'm thrilled. Was I worried?  Oh, yeah. You betcha!

Hooking a reader in the first few paragraphs is so important. Sure I could start off with action in the first paragraph. Probably will do that in the third book. I already have a scene in mind. 

I enjoy showing a character's...well...character. Showing a little of what they're about. Like Olivia in CIRCLE OF DESIRE, my first book coming out 10/18. She's cold, calculating but you see small glimpses of her vulnerability, her realization of what she'd become. She ignores the warning signs and moves forward and comes to regret her reckless behavior. While Collin appears cold and calculating as she is, he has a hard time maintaining that persona with her, and he sees the abused little girl inside.

In my second book, Ryker is shown to be a man with a painful past. The visible scars are matched by the ones inside. He struggles to protect the woman he loves from the world as well from himself. Oh, yeah. Tortured heroes make the best stories.

Keep on the look out for more tidbits to come.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Miss Me?

I've been busy as you can imagine. Finished my revisions and sent it in. Then revised the ending again on my editor's recommendation. Everything she pointed out and I changed made it so much better. Sent in the first chapter of the second book, so it can be placed in the back of the first book. Sent in my dedication and acknowledgements.

Now I'm waiting to see what my cover looks like and I know it's going to be awesome.

I do have a new title. CIRCLE OF DESIRE!

And a release date.  October 18!

Keep your fingers crossed for me that the editor will like my second book's storyline.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RT BOOK REVIEWS

I just came across an article on RT Book Reviews with my name and talking about my book.  They say, "With our column, Forewords, we let readers know the latest book news about some of the web team's most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres - just as the projects are announced!"

They mention me and the book under PIQUING OUR CURIOSITY, Romantic Suspense.  So awesome!

To read the whole thing, go here...http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/forewords-books-buzz-16.

And I found out here http://dearauthor.com/features/interviews/interview-with-carrie-feron-executive-editor-at-avon/ that my release date is 10/25/11.  I'll get that confirmed soon.

Yes. I've been Googling myself.  My Goggle Alert isn't working for some reason.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

You'll Be Surprised

I can't tell you how many times I've sat next to someone at a table during a conference or workshop and a person on one side or both will turn their backs to me. They want to talk to their friend and no one else. They'll glance at you and quickly decide you're no one important.

Well, all I can say is be careful if you do that. A few years ago, a woman sat next to me at a conference who looked like any regular overweight, middle age writer a person can find (like me). Nothing special looking (like me). At first, she was a little quiet, but a new friend (made at that conference) and I started talking to her. Turned out she was the late Kate Duffy. Yes. The famous Kensington editor who helped romance novels to become what they are today. Click on her name to find out about her if you don't already know. 

She was wonderful, friendly and oh, so kind. I had so wanted to work with her. (Though I have to say I love working with my Avon Impulse editor. She's wonderful, kind and smart. Yes. I'm a little bias. She did pick me out of the slush pile.)

So next time you sit next to someone at a writers' function, be nice, friendly. It may pay off. They may even be someone important or someone you will later be happy to say you know personally.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Popping In For a Minute

Still in the middle of revisions, but wanted to say, I have found if you want something bad enough it will happen. But you have to be open for it to happen. You have to understand you will get what you want but maybe not how you thought it would happen. Like I said you just have to want it bad enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stay Tuned

Between working 10-11 hours at my day job and revisions on my first book, I don't have much time for anything else. So stay tuned. I should be back soon. Something has to give soon and I vote for the day job as in going back to the regular 8 hrs.

Hopefully I'll have all kinds of interesting news. Plus I hope to have time on the weekends to leave little notes here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Are You Too Old?

Most of my life I've heard "older" people say, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." I beg to differ.

At the age of 42 and after 20 years of service, I was laid off from where I worked. When I started my new job, I struggled to learn so many things as quickly as possible. Hey, I had to even learn where the restroom was and how to answer the phone. Every company has it's own way and system. What I found was that I could learn new stuff but had a problem forgetting the old. It would creep up at the strangest times. Like answering the phone. Once I answered with the old company's name and many times the old one would almost leave my lips.

So to me, learning new things is easy. It's all to do with the willingness to do so.

When it comes to my writing I believe the same to be true. No matter if you're a NYT best selling author, you can always learn something new, something to improve your writing one step higher than before, to keep you current.

A couple years ago, I read a book from an old favorite author. I was shocked to realize she wrote the same way she did twenty years ago. Maybe the book was one she had hid underneath her bed. Well, it should've stayed there.

We don't write like people did in the 1800's (Pride And Prejudice) and I'm glad. I like the action packed, highly emotional writing of the 2000's.