Friday, March 30, 2012

Where's Waldo ... uh ... Carla?

As a new published author in today’s world, we're expected to do a lot of advertising of our own book. The publisher will provide some … well, a minimum for a newbie. The ones that are already selling like popsicles in 100 degree weather, they get the larger and more frequent ads.

Okay. I understand that. Publishing is a business and I’ve been in construction sales for over 30 years. If anyone understands that, I do and don’t have a problem with it. Technically. But I'm human with all the flaws included and have to remind myself about this.

Anyway, think of it like this, if you own a shoe business and you have a choice between Jennifer Anniston wearing your shoes on the red carpet during the Oscars and me wearing them to a local book signing, who would you chose? Be truthful. Right! Me! NO, no no!! I’m kidding. Jennifer. She’ll get you more sales.

So what do I do to get the word out there about my books?  I get on my website, (, Twitter (@carlaswafford), Facebook (Carla Swafford, Author), Goodreads (Carla Swafford – do you see a theme yet on how ot find me?) and blog (here and http: and anybody else’s blog. I post, ‘book, and tweet funny comments, provocative ditties, hot excerpts along with chatting on-line with anyone who’s willing to show me the least bit of attention. I can tell you I’m thrilled, even if it is someone I don't know.

My day job funds have been cut nearly by a third but I spent a couple thousand dollars last year on trying to get the word out there by giveaways, entering contests and advertising. Thank goodness, they’re tax deductible as my last child is out of college and we can no longer deduct her. This year, I’ll include two conferences and more of the same. That amount will double.  Obviously, the money wasn’t well spent as my first book sales were just okay as I have learned.

Now I’m not telling you all this so you will feel sorry for me. I’m not the only one in this same speeding car heading for a cliff with money fluttering out of the sunroof. Several newbie and experience authors are suffering the same fate right along with me.

But you know, I’ve wondered if I disappeared for a few weeks and asked my friends to send out messages like “Where’s Carla?” would that create enough of a stir that thousands of dollars didn’t? Truthfully, I’m afraid to find out. What if I heard “Who’s Carla?” or "What's a Carla?" 

Or worse, “Who cares!”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ghosts of The Past

The other day for the heck of it, I decided to look up on MapQuest the place on Smith Lake my mom and dad use to own when I was a kid. I spent a many summer at the lake.  We would stay during the summer there and Dad would go into Birmingham to work, returning on the weekends to hang out with us.

Well, the area has changed a lot in the 45 years I've been gone. Wow, 45 years.  I guess it makes sense. Anyway, it made me a little sad because the people who now own the land (our two bedroom trailer was long gone) and built their house on it, wouldn't know about all the good times we had: the bonfires, the watermelon fights, and the running around screaming and jumping in the water fun. There was a house for sale next to the property. Sure wish I could buy it though I prefer the old property instead.

MapQuest is neat. Gave me a chance to see the place without leaving my chair.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kicking Butt

Still writing on Book #3. It's more emotional than the other two books, but just as hot. No worries there. I love writing steamy, squeeze-your-thighs-together stories.
It appears that everyone enjoyed the excerpt from CIRCLE OF DESIRE the other day. so I thought I would share a little of CIRCLE OF DANGER coming out 6/5/12.
           Marie knocked on the apartment door marked C13 and waited for an answer. Ryker hated it when she spent time with Charlie. Who did he think he was? Charlie wouldn’t get her in any more trouble than anyone else in the organization.
            A woman with soft brown curls around her face peeked through the crack in the door as she opened it as far as the chain allowed. There was no crime in The Circle facility — who in their right mind would dare — but Charlie had grown up in the slums of Atlanta and refused to leave her safety up to chance.
           “F*ck, Marie. You have some crazy timing.” Charlie, known as a wild woman, went through men as fast as gas through a four-fifty-four engine in a muscle car. Marie knew for sure that she had a heart of gold and was the bestest of friends.
            “I can come back later.”
            “Sh*t, no. I forgot the time. Give me a second.” She slammed the door.
            Marie grinned. Not offended by her friend’s behavior or language, she patiently waited. The deserted hallway was unusual. On most days the underground barracks for single Circle operatives were jam-packed with people coming from or going to their shifts. The same barracks she’d lived in until Ryker decided she needed to sleep near him. With that thought her skin prickled. She leaned against the wall and pressed a hot cheek to the cool sheetrock.
            Then she heard voices inside Charlie’s rooms. One voice was much deeper than the other.
            The door opened and a half clothed male stumbled into the hallway.
            “Ah, damn, Charlie. I hoped to have another round of fun.” The man dropped his shoes and jabbed his arms into the sleeves of his shirt. With his tousled chestnut hair in his eyes and well-defined abs, Marie remembered seeing him working out in the gym. He was one of the pilots for The Circle’s helicopters.
               “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Later, Tom. I’ll make it up to ya.” Charlie slid her hand down the man’s bare chest and grabbed the waistband of his jeans and jerked. “You better be ready to keep up.”
            The man hissed. “Be careful. I’ll keep up all night, baby. You tell me when.”
            She kissed him hard and then shoved him in the chest toward the stairwell.
            Charlie turned toward Marie. “You look like crap. Come in and I’ll fix you a margarita.”  
           Marie watched Tom stagger away. Then she followed Charlie into her rooms.

I hope you enjoyed the little scene.  My plans were to have a novella for Charlie and her sweetie (not Tom). We'll see.

In the next couple weeks, I plan to send out a newsletter (I promise) and it will have the first scene from Book #3. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter.  Click here.
And yes, they told me recently they are planning to publish the third book in the series.  No word yet about any other books after that. 

If you're enjoying the series, I suggest you tell others to buy my books (e-format or paperback). The more people who buy, the better chance they will want more. If you just share and let others illegally download the e-format, my publisher won't know and they will decide the series isn't doing well and not buy the others.  And unlike other authors, I prefer they be edited and distributed through a publisher.   

Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Grief!

Today has been the day from hell. Actually, it started to trickle in on Friday and worked it's way into a hell raising storm today. No, I'm not talking about weather, just a lot has gone wrong. But I'll keep my quivering chin up and watery eyes looking forward. I have plans and alternate plans. I'll fight all the way down if needed. Maybe in a week or two I'll talk about it, but for now I'm drowning my sorrows in my writing. Maybe I'll go ahead and write the heartbreaking scene now. I'm only on page 41, but heck I can write out of sequence if I want to. I can do anything I damn well please.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I thought I would share an excerpt of CIRCLE OF DESIRE.

He turned on his back and placed his hands behind his head. Light bathed his whole body and he was obviously pleased by her attention. Long and firm, his c*ck stretched toward his belly button. Ripples of muscles led to a broad chest sparsely sprinkled with dark hair. With his arms up, biceps bulged and showcased his masculinity even more. She could sit there all day and stare at him, but he had some explaining to do.

“What was the real reason you had me kill Jason?”

Available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, and anywhere e-format books are sold.  Only $1.99.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Only $1.99!!

Have you been putting off buying CIRCLE OF DESIRE?  Now's the time!  It's marked down to $1.99 in e-format. Check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Kobo, iBookstore, etc.

Once you read it and decide that you want more about The Circle, then pre-order CIRCLE OF DANGER!  You won't regret it. Only $3.99.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Circle of Danger's cover!

Sorry, fans. I had planned to send out a newsletter, but they released the cover on CIRCLE OF DANGER before I expected.  So here it is!  Isn't it beautiful? Note that it's being released through Avon Red. 
And by the way, CIRCLE OF DESIRE is now only $1.99!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tramp Stamp Anyone?

Personally, I don't have a tattoo. Not that I have anything against them, but I rather spend my money on other things.  Besides I might love butterflies today and tomorrow have a thing for roses.  Then what will I do with my butterflies?  Tattoo over?  Or do something even more painful and get it lasered off?  NAH!

Now when it comes to men, I love to see a reasonable amount of tattoos on them. (Never on the face or neck!) My son-in-law has one around each bicep (his children's names) and they're well done, plus shows off his muscles nicely. And he's a good dad.

With that all said, I came across this article and got tickled.  Click here and check it out. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Are You Honest?

Yes. I love to read the odd type of articles that pop up on the Feed Headlines on my desktop. This one surprised me.  Maybe because I'm a little naïve about people in large cities. I had really hoped more people were honest.  Click here and read the article.  And then be sure to place a password on your fancy smartphone. 

Boy, would they be disappointed in my phone.  It's not a smartphone (had one and wasn't impressed) and it doesn't have anything more private than pictures (none naughty - though the ones with sniper rifles would make them nervous) and contact lists (includes editors and a few big name authors).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kisses Can Be Deadly

When I was a kid, we always had pets: birds, dogs and cats. I remember people saying that a dog's mouth was cleaner than a human's. Those people always let their dogs lick them all over the face. Sorry. I love dogs, in particular, but I refused to let them lick me. Gross!  You know where dogs love to lick themselves. Double gross.

Now I know I was right to feel that way.  Click here to check out this article.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Remember When

I watched tonight DOWN WITH LOVE with Ewan McGregor. Cute movie. It reminded me of when I was a kid and watched all the old movies with Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and Tony Randal (who was in it). It had all the clichés from that era. Love it!  Oh, by the way, it was naughtier with its innuendos. LOL!