Monday, December 31, 2012

Day One of New Blog Tour

Hey, come and comment at Cocktails and Books. I'm giving away books and a $10 gift card. Let's celebrate my newest release, CIRCLE OF DECEPTION.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Giveaways! RELEASE DAY!

Yes! I'm celebrating my release today of CIRCLE OF DECEPTION.

The e-format is available to purchase and later today (9 p.m. central US time), I will be announcing the winners of the Kindle Paperwhite and $100 Amazon Gift eCard. So you still have time to sign up. Sign up for those at www.carlaswafford.com.

In the meanwhile, I will be giving away three e-format copies. All you have to do is go to my post at the Romance Magician blog and tell me what was your favorite gift you received this year. Three commenters will win and can choose any copy of the series: CIRCLE OF DESIRE, CIRCLE OF DANGER, or CIRCLE OF DECEPTION.

Plus through January 22 (paperback release), you can sign up at Goodreads to win a copy there. HarperCollins is giving away a copy each to five lucky winners.

For more information, go to the Romance Magician blog.

[12/29/12 update on giveaways announced on Facebook 12/28/12: Congratulations to Tessa Bamberg of Finland! She won the $100 Amazon Gift Card. Congratulations to Cathy MacDonald of California! She won the Kindle Paperwhite! Congratulations to Billie (hkgunfamily), Leanna Feazel, and Michelle Bledsoe! They each won a free copy of an e-book and they all picked CIRCLE OF DESIRE! There is still time to go to Goodreads for the giveaway of 5 copies of CIRCLE OF DECEPTION. And be sure to stay on my mailing list to learn about the next giveaway. Thank you.]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Circle Series


As you probably know, the third book in The Circle series is due to be released in e-format on December 26. 

When I first wrote CIRCLE OF DESIRE with the passionate Olivia and reserved Collin as the main characters, I had already planned the next five-six books and their primary characters with a vague plot for each. Before DESIRE was published, I had already written a couple chapters of the second book (CIRCLE OF DANGER) and looked forward to seeing how Collin’s scarred brother, Ryker, would handle the newly liberated Marie and was certain the next couple would include the second in command to Ryker, Jack Drago. But my editor at the time loved Rex and Abby, and wanted their story next.
 
Actually, I planned for their story to be book number four but after DESIRE was published I read in several reviews how they were curious about six-five Rex and deadly Abby. So what the heck! CIRCLE OF DECEPTION became the next story and I was glad. All of it fell into place.

Though I rarely hear of authors doing this, when I’m between writing projects, I’ll pull out my books and re-read sections of them. Hey, I write books I would love to read. Makes sense to me.

Believe it or not, but I’m always surprised when I see where I've placed some foreshadowing in the previous book that I don’t remember. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with me already knowing the back story for each character. Maybe not the whole back story but enough that it helps flesh them out when I write their book.

Okay, now you’re asking, what happened to books four through six? The blurb for DECEPTION does say “Carla Swafford's erotic Circle series comes to an exhilarating finale as the team of sexy spies and assassins goes undercover-under the covers.”

The lovely thing about the new age of publishing is that authors have options for their books. I’ll let you know when more CIRCLE series are available. For now, I have a couple of other deadly series in mind, and like most authors, I can’t say much about them as I have no idea of when they’ll be written. Yes. I’m a tease.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Giveaway - 5 paperback books!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Circle of Deception by Carla Swafford

Circle of Deception

by Carla Swafford

Giveaway ends January 22, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Year Later

In 2011, I went on a diet with a Dr.'s help and lost a lot of weight. The Dr.'s plan was so expensive, I had to quit before I reached my goal. Yes. I've gained a little weight back but I know what I have to do to get back on track. Anyway, I wanted to show you a picture of me with Susan Elizabeth Phillips (one of my favorite authors) in 2010 BD (before diet) and then in 2012 AD (after diet).  See both pictures below.

2010 BD
2012 AD


And think. Maybe a handful of people I know even noticed I had lost weight.  LOL! (Oh, I had heels on in the second picture.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


Thanks to JB Lynn for asking me to be part of this blog hop. And thankfully this one has questions to answer. I will cheat a little by giving information on my soon to be released The Circle series book, CIRCLE OF DECEPTION, instead of my work-in-progress one. I hate to give out too much information on a book not sold. Too much can be changed about it, or it could not be sold, and I have no idea if or when I’ll have time to self-publish a book. So let’s dive in.

What is the working title of your book?

CIRCLE OF DECEPTION is the only one of the three that kept its original working title. CIRCLE OF DESIRE was originally titled by me as OUT OF THE SHADOWS and CIRCLE OF DANGER was IN THE SHADOWS. Though I will say that I had planned for the next book in this series, before it sold, would be BEYOND THE SHADOWS, but I had never attached it to DECEPTION. BEYOND was to be Jack’s story (he’s in DANGER as the lead male character’s second in command). Maybe in the future I’ll have time to write and self-publish his story along with a couple others.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

In the case of DECEPTION, it grew from the previous two books, DESIRE and DANGER. The Circle series itself came from my love of spy, mercenaries and assassin books and movies, such as James Bond (my favorite is anything Pierce Brosnan was in), the TV series from early 2000, La Femme Nikita, Linda Howard’s ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN, Shannon McKenna’s McCloud books and Anne Stuart’s ICE series.

What genre does your book fall under?

Avon lists it under erotic romantic suspense, though I see it in erotica categories on the book sites, it’s really not erotica. Yes. It’s hot but not to the extent of most erotica stories.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

The Rock with hair could play Rex and Jessica Alba as Abby. The reason I show The Rock with long and short hair is that it was past his broad shoulders in DESIRE and DANGER, but in DECEPTION he’d gone commando and cut it high and tight.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Two lovers must come to understand what happened in the past is unimportant when it comes being in love in the here and now.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

This book was represented by an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote it on and off for six months.  Usually it takes me four months for first draft and one to two months to edit.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I guess the books I mentioned above under “where did the idea come from.” But I believe my books have their own feel to them.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

In this case, I’ll talk about what inspired me to write the series. At the time, I had finished four paranormal romances and two small town romantic suspense books. None were getting the attention from editors or agents that I hoped. I’d heard that vampire books weren’t selling and my small town books kept getting rejected, so I decided I needed to write something else. As writers, we’re told to write what you love to read. Well, that would’ve been paranormal romances, but since that market was saturated, I decided to write my next love: Spy books, especially like La Femme Nikita. Then the idea for CIRCLE OF DESIRE was born.

What else about your book might interest the reader?

There’s a scene in the book I wrote from personal experience. LOL!  I’m such a tease.

Mini Excerpt:    (Abby and Rex meet others before a dinner given by arms dealer, Brody.)

The first person to enter was the tall blonde with manufactured boobs Brody had brought to the cocktail party.

“You remember Greta. She was kind enough to play hostess for me tonight.” Brody pulled her into his arms and kissed her. No light peck on the lips for them, instead tongues thrust and parried into each other’s mouths, visible in flashes while Brody’s hand covered and squeezed a full breast.

Feeling a little uncomfortable with the reenactment from the other night, Abby glanced up at Rex. With a smirk on his face, he watched with interest. She jabbed him in the side. His grunt brought his attention to her. She jerked her head at the display and lifted her shoulders.

“Such a sweet candy cane. Always in season.” Brody chuckled as he pulled away. He then slapped her butt as she walked by barely acknowledging them with a nod as she lifted a glass of white and slunk over to the sectional.

Next, a beautiful man and woman glided in. They looked so much alike, they could’ve been related. Their long blonde, almost white hair ended at the small of their backs. Abby had never seen a man with hair that long and silky and smooth. The desire to touch it had her clutching her glass a little tighter. Their eyes were the lightest gray and like the color of snow at night with a full moon. The only difference between the two was what they wore. His pale blue jeans were topped with a regular white button up shirt, while the woman dressed in an ankle length white cotton dress that was so thin, Abby could see her small dark nipples underneath.

Okay. Talk about getting creepier by the minute.

“I would like to introduce the supreme artists of photography, Leif and Spring Erickson. Their pictures have been shown in the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York City and so many galleries, they’re too numerous to count.” Brody leaned over and air-kissed their cheeks. “These are my dear friends, Rurik Volkov and his wife, Abby.”

“So nice to meet you.” The man had a slight lisp and the woman stared at Rex as if she wanted to eat him where he stood. What surprised Abby was how the man looked at Rex the same way. Oh, oh. The couple finally moved away with glasses of white wine—figured—over to the sofa to sit across from Greta.

The last couple to walk in looked like the average redneck and his barely clothed wife. His Dale Earnhardt Junior ball cap had sweat-stains around the brim and his wife’s visible stomach sported a red eighty-eight dangling from a loop in her belly button.

 “So you two are Brody’s new friends.” He reached out his hand to Rex and started pumping. “I’m Bubba Hagley and this here is my wife, Kristy.”

Abby tilted her head as the men shook hands. The dark-headed man looked familiar to her for some reason. She’d never met a Bubba before and certainly not the one standing in front of her, but his dark eyes and the way he held himself reminded her of someone.

“So nice to meet you, sweet thang, and I hope to get to know you much better over the weekend.” Bubba’s grin warned he meant exactly what he was saying. Though he was handsome and a little thinner than she liked, his sable brown eyes pulled her in, encouraging her to trust him.

“Now, sugar, don’t let him frighten you. He’s a teddy bear and loves all women. He gets carried away at times.” His wife slapped his hand. That was when she realized he’d grabbed hers and held it tight.

“He doesn’t frighten me.” She tugged at her hand, and he continued to grin at her.

“Bubba, I’m Rurik. Her husband.” Rex pulled on her wrist.

Were they going to have a tug of war with her as the rope? Thankfully Bubba had the sense to let go.

With a crooked grin that Abby found interesting, Bubba chuckled as he released her and placed his arm over his wife’s bare shoulders and joined the others.

Thanks to JB Lynn for inviting me to be part of this Blog Hop. I was to tag five other authors, but there are so many Blog Hops (or the same one) going on, only two accepted. I’m betting you’ll enjoy their posts too.  They should show up next week, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Julie Johnstone at Lady Scribes www.ladyscribes.blogspot.com

Lexi George at Romance Magicians www.romancemagicians.blogspot.com

Now for the question:  What is your favorite go-to type of story?  Vampires, ghosts, spies, small town, cowboy (modern or 1800’s), military, etc.

One commenter will win an e-format copy of CIRCLE OF DECEPTION!  Be aware that it won’t be available until December 26.

And if you would like a chance to win a Kindle or $100 Amazon gift card, go to my website at www.carlaswafford.com and sign up for my newsletter. Details are there.

And again, if you’re on Goodreads, look under CIRCLE OF DECEPTION for the paperback giveaway.

Good reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shout Out To Sherrilyn!

I just wanted to give a shout out to Sherrilyn Kenyon today.  It's her birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Next Big Thing Date Changed

I had planned to post my blog hop today but this weekend I fell behind on some of my extra writing, such as blogs. So come back on Wednesday and it'll be here. Actually, I had all week to post, but first picked Monday thinking I would get a lot of work done over the weekend, but at the time, I hadn't expected to be still working on my proposal. That's the way it goes, heh?  So see you Wednesday, okay?

Oh, and on Tuesday, I'll be at Romance Magicians' blog talking about my first meeting with my buddy, Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Thanks.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Circle Series In The HOUSE!

I now have all three of my covers framed. Nothing fancy or expensive, but they're pretty and brighten up my study. What do you think?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Decisions, Decisions


Every day we make decisions on what we’re going to wear, the time we’ll leave for work, what we plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Making decisions are not always as easy, especially when it comes to a person’s financial or physical well-being.

In the next two years, I have some major decisions to make, and like probably everyone, I worry about making the right choice. Even today, because of bad decisions made in the past, for years I had to live with the results. Sounds all mysterious when I don’t explain, but who really likes to tell the world how they screwed up? I will say at the time I thought I was making the right decisions but quickly realized how stupid I can be at times.

One future decision is about retiring from my job. If I retire early, in two years, my monthly pay will be cut in half. Even if I wait for four years, it will be only about two-thirds of what I’m being paid now. BUT, I want to write full time and waiting until full retirement isn’t an option in my mind.

Between my full time job and family, I have little time to write and forget about extras like going to the movies (love the big screen) or goofing off. If I retire, I can treat my writing as another full time job. Write from nine to five with an hour lunch would sound lovely. To be off weekends . . . a beautiful dream.

Yes. I’m aware many authors have thought the same thing and their productivity wasn’t any better than when they worked full time. Maybe knowing they had all of that time misled them to believe there would always be time to do it later.

Anyway, say a little prayer for me that I will make the right decision about this and few other things.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Giveaways - YES! That Is Plural...

Yes! That is plural as in more than one. Starting today, at Goddess Fish Promotions' blog, I'm giving away your choice of CIRCLE OF DESIRE or CIRCLE OF DANGER in e-format to a lucky commenter on December 3. So go over there and check out what I had to say about Holiday Sweets and let me know what is your favorite.

Then December 31 through January 4, I will be on a blog tour plus a few extra stops and will be giving away more books and gift cards. Here are the dates and locations to visit.

December 10 THE NEXT BIG THING - Blog Hop - here - tagged by JB Lynn
December 11 Romance Magicians - Blog Hop - tagged by M.V. Freeman
December 24 Avon Romance - Avon Holiday Recipes
December 26 RELEASE DAY for CIRCLE OF DECEPTION!
December 31 Cocktails and Books - Start of blog tour organized by Goddess Fish
January 1       The Bunny's Review
January 1       Welcome to My World of Dreams
January 2       Delighted Reader Book Reviews
January 3       Mimmi's Musings
January 4       Reviews by Molly (REVIEW ONLY-comment to be included in a drawing)
January 4       It's Raining Books

Plus don't forget that I plan to giveaway a Kindle AND $100 to lucky winners from my mailing list. The details are on my website.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Come and Get Them!

Less than 4 weeks and CIRCLE OF DECEPTION will be released on December 26!

For the next few weeks you can purchase CIRCLE OF DESIRE and CIRCLE OF DANGER for $1.99 each in e-format. They are full novels of erotic romantic suspense.

Where can you find the books? Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore (purchase through your app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod).

I noticed Amazon still has DANGER at the higher price. Give it a couple days, and it should be fixed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Aloha Everyone!

No, I'm not in Hawaii. But, boy, oh, boy, I wish I was.  The next best thing is that I'm visiting with the SOS Aloha blog. Come over and comment.  You might win a book.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blog Tour!

Look at what I will be doing after Christmas. Be sure to come and visit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway Update

For those wondering why I haven't placed my book on Goodreads as a giveaway yet, I tried to set it up but it doesn't recognize the ISBN number. So I'm not sure exactly why it wouldn't take it, but I wonder if it has something to do with it not being on any of the book websites.

AVON said they would have B&N and other book sites updated with my newest book's info in 3 to 6 weeks before the release date. (I took care of Amazon's myself for the e-book.) Strange how they wait so late. It makes it hard on me to do promo. I'm sure they have good reasons, but if someone wants a paper copy instead of an e-book (iBook store has neither of CIRCLE OF DECEPTION) after seeing some of the promo, they'll have to wait and most likely forget by the time it shows up. *sigh*

Then again, what do I know? Maybe having it up earlier wouldn't have made a difference.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Men Being Men

Thank you, God, for men being men. Life would be strange and boring if something happened to all of them. I like they don't think like women and don't understand us. Now, I'm not saying I understand everything about them, but even men admit they are simple creatures and that's so true.

Of course, not all men rate sex as number one in what they need to be happy, but let's say it would be second place. While women usually rate security and love as the top two.

And speaking of men, I came across an interesting article about how men talk with women. So far, I don't remember a man talking to me like this (in regards to my writing/being published), but give it time. I'm sure it'll happen. Problem is, I'll probably laugh in his face and not wait until later. That's just me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Money

When I was around ten or so, my grandfather gave me $20. I'm not sure why. I don't remember it being my birthday, and I normally didn't receive anything like a birthday card, no less present from my grandparents. They had nine of thirteen kids who grew up and had kids of their own. So you can imagine the number of grandkids and great grandkids they had by the time I came along as my mom was the baby girl (living) of the family.

But when he gave me the twenty (really wish I could remember the details leading up to that), my mom had a fit. She said I was too young for that much money. Nowadays that would be like giving a kid a fifty. Anyway, I remember the dilemma of trying to figure out what to buy no matter how many times mom would tell me to save it. But save it for what?

Though I don't remember what I spent it on, that feeling has never gone away.

Whenever I get a sum of money that I don't expect, I hoard it for a little while and then it slowly dwindles away. Sure, I can think back and remember what I purchased and half are things I need or had wanted for a long time, but the rest disappears. Usually, I buy clothes for myself and my children and go to the restaurants I prefer.

Yep. Disappears.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Last Weekend

Last weekend was my chapter's annual Romance Readers Luncheon and it was so much fun! Friday night, we gathered at a local Greek restaurant (food was so good) and had dinner with Sherrilyn Kenyon and 30 other authors and friends. Amazing.

Then Saturday afternoon, Sherrilyn, as always, gave a wonderful and inspiring speech. Dianna Love's was so encouraging as she gave examples of bad reviews for classic books. Who knew?

I've posted most of the following pictures on Facebook but I know not everyone has signed up for that. Though truthfully, even fewer people read my bog. But that's okay.

Two "baskets" for give aways and one door prize

My table and the goodies for those who sit with me

My sweet sister-in-laws

The winner of my author "basket" door prize
Oldest daughter bottom left.

The fabulous Jennifer Echols and me

My youngest on the right.
Be sure to come and attend next year's with Jeaniene Frost and Christy Reece!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Goodreads Folks

Hey, did you know that I'm on Goodreads?  So be sure to come by and friend me there too. So many places for so many things. But I do like the concept of Goodreads more than any other social network. I love talking about books that I read and write. Though being an author, I believe it's best that I not review or rank a book. You ask why?

Who will trust my review or ranking? Sure close friends and family would. They know I'm honest about such stuff. But I'm sure there are people who would wonder, when I give a five star ranking, if I'm buttering up a friend. Or when I give someone a one star, could it be from jealously? Of course, I wouldn't do either of those, but strangers wouldn't know for sure. So no reviews or rankings from me, and in turn, less stress for me.

Oh, yeah. Be on the look out for a giveaway of my next book there. I'll probably set it up this weekend. It's been so crazy for months now that I haven't made time to do it. For that matter, I think crazy has become the norm around here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zoooooom!

The other day, I was looking at an old post of mine dated February 5, 2011. It's hard to believe that time last year, I had no idea I would receive an email three months later from an editor at Avon/HarperCollins wanting to publish a book of mine. And now here I am with two released and another coming out December 26. Plus a proposal for three more ready to send in.

A month after that post, I got bronchitis and was so sick. You know how it is when you're not feeling good, everything appears hopeless.

Thank you Wendy Lee for making my life so much better.  Hugs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Give Away Reminder

Be sure to remember that I'm giving away a Kindle Paperwhite and $100 Amazon gift card to two lucky winners!  What do you have to do? Just go to my website and subscribe to my newsletter. 

I send one out every three or four months. So it isn't like you will be bombarded with emails from me. Each newsletter includes special tidbits about my books, when future books are coming out and information about new giveaways.

FYI: The Kindle Paperwhite is for US subscribers and the US$100 Amazon gift card is for international subscribers.

The deadline is December 26.  That's the day CIRCLE OF DECEPTION (Abby and Rex's story) is released in e-format!

By the way, did you know you can pre-order e-format? Oh, yes, you can. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Did It Again

For those who know, I have a habit of buying the rights to a picture I like AND THEN finding a use for it.  Last summer it was this picture. (Click here when you finish reading this).

Well, I came across another one and bought it. This is how I used it.
Those arms. Oh, my. What do you think?

Anyway, go and buy my books. The more books you buy of mine, the more I can write, especially of the same series. And don't forget to rank the book wherever books are sold. Authors really appreciate that. Well, you know what I mean.

Let me know if you want some mailed to you. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On The Road Again

If you've been following my blog for any time, you know I love to take pictures while in the car. And noooo, I would never drive and take pictures at the same time. And yes, I believe in Santa Claus.

Anyway, this is the view leading up to my house. During the fall the trees are so beautiful and in a couple places it even looks like a multicolored tunnel.

My drive isn't quite as steep as it looks.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Same Song, Different Verse

Okay, I just finished reading a book where a secondary character has the same name of a character from a 1960's western I use to watch with my dad. So you know the whole time I'm reading the book, I'm imagining the actor in the part. Only problem is the character will most likely have his own book before long and there I will be imagining the same actor. He was skinny and not handsome at all.

Today, he's a world famous and he's still not someone I would want to wake up next to in bed. Really. Why did the author think it was okay to use such a cowboy name in a book set in the southeast? She's my age, so I'm guessing she watched the same program and maybe she has a crush on the character and actor. Whatever. Each to their own.

Want to know the actor and character's name?  Click here and you can find out.

There are several actors who are not truly good-looking but women go crazy over. One is George Clooney. His face is too long. To me, he looks like Jay Leno's brother. But I do have to say, there are roles in which he looks good, but he still does nothing for me.

What actor has so many women going crazy over him and you don't understand the big deal?


Friday, October 26, 2012

What Does Your Hero Drive?

A few years ago, I was reading one of my favorite author's older books and she had the hero in a Volkswagen Beetle. UGH! I kept reading but I couldn't get it out of my mind and never finished the book. In real life, a guy can own that type of car and still be a man, but in romance novels that I read, they can't. It just grosses me out.
Most expensive car in the world Bugatti

So today, an Internet buddy of mine was tweeting that she needed help in choosing a car for her thirty-plus doctor in her current book. She didn't want a cliché  type car. I asked her, is he thinking of settling down? And she needed to think of his background, if he was poor as a child, what car had he admired and believed proclaim a person successful?
Second most expensive car - Aston Martin

I suggested a extended cab truck or jeep type SUV. She came back and said, her doctor wasn't a cowboy but urban. Huh? Funny how people view the same thing. Men nowadays are using extended cab trucks as the new family van. The extra room says they have room for a wife and kids and still have leg room. Most of the heroes are tall. You've got to make room for those legs. Plus those trucks are plenty expensive.
Older GTO

A buddy of mine at work is six-five and I can tell you, he won't fit into any sports cars without his knees being beneath his chin. The basketball stars who buy sports cars can afford to have them designed around their height. But I did see an interview where one sports star said they had to take the back seat out (the itty-bitty bench) so he would have enough leg room. Why do you think they drive trucks, SUVs and Hummers?

I also suggested a really nice old muscle car. Think SUPERNATURAL and their black 1967 Impala but in better condition, shinier. That's a sexy car.

Anyway, my buddy picked a cherry-red Corvette. Red? A RED sports car for a man? Sorry (personal opinion that don't really mean anything to anyone but to me), but a red sports car scream's chick car or a man wanting to be noticed along with getting lots of speeding tickets.

Oh, well, not all women love cars like I do and it is her story to tell.

By the way, my next series will have a fellow who loves to drive motorcycles. I think they are so sexy but I never want any of my family driving one. They're so dangerous. I've known too many people who were injured or died on them.

But they're great props in a romance and look great on the big screen.

So what was your favorite hero's machine?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mmmm, Chocolate

GIVEAWAY ALERT!


There's something wonderful about a chocolate bar that has the words "Moments of Timeless Pleasure" (R) written on the wrapper. And, oh yeah, it's so good. *sigh*

And you know what they say about chocolate... LOL!

Hey, the first person who can tell me the brand name of the chocolate can win a copy of one of my books - your choice.    I'll also draw from those who tell me their favorite brand/flavor of chocolate and give away another choice of my books to the winner.    You have until Monday, 10/29. That's when I'll announce the winners.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can You Keep A Secret?

I'm amazed by how someone will tell me a secret and then a few days later I'll hear that person told several others the same thing. Not that I was telling or asking, but the other people came to me saying, "Have you heard about...?"

Personally, I don't have many secrets but I understand a need to not tell everything. I haven't always been that way. In my ignorance, I thought everyone would appreciate my candor. That they understood it was only my opinion. That I respected other opinions that was different from mine.

So I try (key word here) to keep my opinions to myself. Well, and on this blog.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Woman's Prerogative

Well, you can tell I've changed the design of my blog. If you've looked more than once today, you could've seen it change around ten times. I couldn't make up my mind and may change it again.

In the meanwhile, what do you think of the background? Here he is in my ad. What do you think? Interested?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Heeeere's Carla!

Hopefully now that the blog blitz is over at Romance Magicians, I should be back posting here regularly again. Well, as regular as I had gotten and we know that wasn't all that often but more so than the last four weeks.  And during that time that was nada! 

Oh, the other day I had someone to say they had a feeling I was a writer. That I gave them that vibe.  Thankfully, they didn't say I gave them the creeps. Wait! Maybe that's what they mean.  LOL!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaways!

Check out Romance Magicians' blog today and the next four weeks. Lots of giveaways. Plus a KINDLE FIRE is the big giveaway on October 16!

Sorry. Between taking care of the Romance Magicians' blog blitz and line edits, I've been too busy to post over here. I should be back sometime in October. That will be the longest I've gone without posting here. Oh, well, things happen.  :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tidbit To Know

If you're making a speech to a group of people who possibly could be a client at some point in the future, be sure to not ask a trick question to the audience. I hate trick questions - they're included only to make you look smart. You know the type. The obvious answer isn't the correct one, so whoever answers it is embarrassed by sounding dumb or like a smartass or dumb-ass or all three. Afterwards, if you ask anymore questions, people are less likely to answer because they'll remember the person being embarrassed earlier.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Out With The Old & In With The New

Surprise! I have a new-to-me car. When I traded in my baby for a new one, the fellow said, "Your husband must be a car guy. He took real good care of your Caddy."

I started laughing. "No. He never touches it. I take care of it."

A car is the second most expensive thing you can buy, why not take care of it and make sure it looks nice. Besides, everyone who knows me, knows I'm a car girl. I love cars. Love NASCAR. Love the loud engines. The faster, the better.

Here she is. Her color is Thunder Gray and she's fully loaded.





Sunday, September 2, 2012

Channing Tatum as Johnny in Dirty Dancing

The studio that owns Dirty Dancing had planned to do a remake but delayed it. So here's the next best thing (the best is of course the Patrick Swayze one).

 By the way, this was obviously made for laughs. I do love a man who can laugh at himself. But I have to say I wasn't laughing all the time. Channing without a shirt and moving that body is something to behold.

And yes, I'm still working on edits but was doing some research. When you read CIRCLE OF DECEPTION you'll understand what I mean.  LOL!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Borrrrring

Everytime I read a person's blog and they write about their careers before becoming published or what their hobbies or special talents are, I realize once again how freaky boring I am.  Just saying.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Art of Arguing

My father-in-law and I use to talk politics. We were on the opposite sides of the spectrum and that made some interesting discussions. Of course, the family would get upset with us as the debates would get a little excited. We never cursed and even if the family didn’t see it, I saw the sparkle in his eyes. He loved it.

Some people don’t understand how arguing about something can be a positive thing. But think about it, you exercise your brain by paying attention to what the other person is saying.

There’s actually an art to it. You can’t allow yourself to get mad. Think logically and be prepared to back up what you say with information. That means you have to watch TV, read newspapers (now the internet) and listen to others talk about the subject.

If you’re going on emotion or gut feeling only, you might as well not argue. That’s when people get ugly. Yep. Some people can’t handle it and shouldn’t try it.

I miss my hubby’s dad for that reason more than others. He was an artiste.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yes, I'm Talking About You!

Love your smartphone/iPhone?  Check this out.  And yes, you're guilty of it! Who isn't?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In The Midst Of Things

I thought I would stop for a little while and list the things that have happened that have interfered (good and bad) with my completed book and edit deadline.

1) Three family birthdays (not all mine)
2) Three holidays (3rd one coming up - family functions)
3) One release day for new book
4) One week of blog tour
5) Eight posts to write
6) One laptop died
7) One repaired laptop not working correctly
8) One pregnant daughter moving into a new house
9) One grandchild born three weeks early
10) One writers' conference
11) One day wasted in the Houston Airport (stoopid United)
12) One new laptop bought and software to learn.
13) One younger daughter moving back into our home (stoopid boyfriend)
14) One day-job with the usual summer pick-up of hours/overtime
15) One writers' group meeting

If I think of more, I'll add them. Though I have to say, I hope and pray that nothing else happens. My car is acting up, but that shouldn't interfere in my writing. I'm hoping it lasts until payday at the end of the month. *sigh*

Is someone trying to tell me I shouldn't be writing? Or is it a test to see how much I want this? I believe it's the second one, and this time I'll win.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

That Time Again

Well, it's that time again. I have edits to work on and this time they're a doozy. If you don't remember, my old laptop went crazy on me, and I fought with it for a month and lost. So I missed out on four weeks of my own editing (with my beta readers' help).

To keep myself from going over my deadline, I sent it in rough. I mean horribly rough. Sure, I edit along the way, but often as I get further in the book, I have to go back and correct or update different things, especially when the bad guy changes from who I thought it would be in the beginning of the book.

Anyway, I guess I have to disappear for a while. Believe it or not, I miss being able to post nearly every day. But between the day job and this job, it leaves little time...let's say I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack and I need to work harder.

See you soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Best Parts of Being An Author

I love being an author and decided to list a few things I love about it.  You know me, I love lists.

1) I love the first word I type as I start a new book. It might change ten thousand times before I write The End, but seeing that blank screen and letters emerging one at a time makes me happy.
2) I love arriving at the middle and realizing I have so much more to show the reader. That's plain relief.
3) I love closing up the story with a funny sentence (can't help it), knowing my two people are deeply in love and can handle anything together after I hit that little black dot.

But one of the many other things I love about being an author is when I get my new cover.  And today I got the cover for CIRCLE OF DECEPTION and it's beautiful.  Let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interesting Trip

I thought for the two or three people who read my blog, they might find interesting some stuff that happened to me as a newbie published author at the RWA conference. An aspect of the conference I never experienced before.

1)      It's amazing the different people who come up to you to offer their services. Such as audio services (change your book to an audio version) and promotions (e.g., blogging tours). Really wish I could afford to do stuff like that, but no.

2)      The agents and editors that have rejected you are so much friendlier.  I like this aspect and I know it’s part of their networking for future business, but it is so much more relaxing.

3)      Every RWA conference (chapter or national) I’ve been to have friendly and welcoming people, but I experienced a shift. It’s hard to explain. You still have friendly people, but the published authors are not all inclusive and the unpublished are a little leery. Then again, it might have been me. Not many of my buddies were there and I had so much drama going on with my laptop and my deadline.

4)      That leads me to the next thing. Before I was published, I could talk and people would ignore me and talk over me. Now, the unpublished authors listen intently. That’s a double edge sword. I would hate to lead someone down the wrong path or give them bad or old advice. Presently, I’m not as up-to-date on what each publishing house is doing as I’ve been concentrating on writing and that truthfully is what I prefer.

5)      Something that is obvious and we think we know as we’re going into this is, though we moved from a humungous ocean of unpublished (includes the self-published who’ve never been published elsewhere) authors to published with a known (in my case a Big 6) publisher, we are still a small fish in a large lake. Personally, I’m happy to be that minnow.

6)      When it comes to sales, an author can do very little to improve them by promotions. This is a whole post in itself. So let’s say the best advice I’ve gotten on this is so true, write another book and make sure it is the best you can write. Improve on every book you can get a contract on. Your newest book will help you sale your older ones.

     Oddly, DESIRE is now out selling DANGER. The reason I think it's odd is that, well, I thought people who've bought DESIRE would share with friends and then everyone would want to buy DANGER as soon as it came out...anyway, I'm obviously wrong.  LOL!

I probably will think of more and may write up a new post then or place them in the comments section. We’ll see.

Bottom line of this whole post is, I’m determined to enjoy every minute. I’ve never had a dream of mine to come true like this. I’ve had desires, like a job at my current workplace, a certain car, a husband and family, but never what I felt deep down inside for years and years that might not be obtainable – not smart or talented enough to achieve. So no matter how different it is from my dream it is, I’m enjoying everything good about it and ignoring the . . . unexpectedly grim aspects of it and moving on. Life is too short and becoming shorter with each birthday.

I love that my books are out there for people to read. Thankfully more love them than don’t and that makes me happy. I write for entertainment and not to change the world. Each book to me shows a small piece of humanity, and how no matter what, everyone can find someone to love, even if it is for the few hours it takes to read my book.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

California Dreaming

Here are some pictures from RWA's National Conference plus some of the sightseeing I did with the help and guidance from one of the sales engineers at my day job.  It's wonderful to have friends around the U.S.


Million(s) dollar homes

I can't remember the name of the beach, but isn't it beautiful?


Expensive homes looking over the Pacific

The homes were beautiful and expensive.


People playing on a pile of sand.


The flat white surface is a roof of a home hanging on a cliff.

I took this as we ferried across to Bilboa Island near Newport Beach.


Virgin Records/Google catamaran





U.S.Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach

Stadium at the Surfing Open.

Enlarge the picture if you can. The waves are awesome.
It was so cool to finally get a pink ribbon & PAN (Published Author Network)

Laura Hayden and nice lady I can't remember her name. :(

At my 1st Literary Signing

See bottom right in blue. That's my book!

Kristin Miller taking a picture as I take hers.  LOL!

Me and THE Susan Elizabeth Phillips

My nice roomate, Candis Terry


Lizbeth Selvig - she's a sweetheart.


Before they opened the doors, I took pictures.

They opened the doors and people flooded in.

Look to the left. That's CA traffic for sure! I was on the bus to the cocktail party.

Ignore the red glow (camera flash) - picture from cocktail party.

Picture of room before everyone came in for the awards program.