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!"

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 -
11/8 -  Cynthia Eden's blog  -
11/9 -  Avery Flynn's blog -
11/10 -Just Romantic Suspense blog -
11/11 -Blame It On The Muse blog -

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?

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.)


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.


Friday, October 14, 2011


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


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.