What Is Your Book About?

Recently, I read a book’s blurb that all it told was she’d returned to her hometown, she’d changed (I suspected she was outgoing when she was young and now wasn’t – that was an assumption from the vague blurb), and the handsome guy had noticed her. That’s it.

What did the guy do for a living that might be important to the story? Were they high school friends, lovers, or enemies? Besides being good looking, is there something more about him to draw the reader’s interest? Habits, hobbies? The author didn’t have to add all of that, but some little something more that tells us about the male lead besides how he looked.

Nothing was said that would draw me in to read it, unless returning to a hometown is one of my favorite tropes. It’s not really. So it didn’t. Have you noticed more and more books lately have blurbs like this. A bunch of nothing about the plot. Just emotions that aren’t really deep.

When you write your blurb, ask another author who you trust to read it. Remember each main character (MC) needs a trope. In other words, you need at least a hook per main character that will interest the reader. Your blurb (each MC) should have a GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict). That doesn’t mean to give the ending away. Each MC will have a Goal in the beginning that will most likely change before the ending. That’s often how the characters show growth.

Of course, the MCs need emotional goals too. So let me break it down for you. Just remember, you’re not telling the whole story, but having the GMC spelled out helps you write the blurb with a mixture of the plot and emotion.

Goal: MC wants?

Motivation: Because?

Conflict: But?

Here’s my book Jake’s GMC.

  • Angel’s Goal: She wants out of the criminal world and to discover the person/people who murdered her grandfather.
  • Jake’s Goal: He wants to leave the life his father forced on him, yet determined to do away with the person/people who killed his father and stop the organization trying to overtake his county.
  • Angel’s Motivation: Because she knows it’s the only way to protect her younger brother.
  • Jake’s Motivation: Because if he and his brothers continue in their father’s footsteps, they would be dead too.
  • Angel’s Conflict: But her grandfather wrote a codicil requiring her to marry a despised Whitfield, though she doesn’t really hate Jake. She’s been in love with him since a sexy incidence in high school.
  • Jake’s Conflict: But his father wrote a codicil requiring him to marry a crazy Tally, though he cannot forget how attracted to her he’d been since that one scene in high school.

Funny, how these two people have so much in common and family history has kept them apart. They are destined to be together, right?

Here’s the blurb.

Forget the Hatfields and McCoys, in a small Southern town, the Whitfields and Tallys are the real family feud. So for some unholy reason, Jake Whitfield’s old man and Angel Tally’s grandfather wrote codicils to their wills the night before they died in a suspicious fire. The codicils require Jake and Angel to marry or lose their inheritances.

Jake feels like a man with two faces. One he presents to his brothers and the public: the criminal willing to step on anyone for a buck while mercilessly protecting the business. The other: the lonely man wanting a better life for himself and his family and working with an FBI agent to make it happen.

To Jake, marrying Angel makes sense. With her family’s help, he can fight the new criminal organization that’s moving into his town. Immersed in the criminal world, there is no hope for Angel, but her brother is still young. She will do anything to protect him from that way of life and whoever killed their grandfather, even marry a despised Whitfield. And Angel never forgot about the sexy incident with Jake in high school ten years earlier. And if she has to go along with a Whitfield-Tally marriage, she wants a replay.

As you see, you basically take the WANT-BECAUSE-BUT and then you smooth out the information into two or three paragraphs.

The Tropes above are Forced Marriage that turned into Marriage of Convenience, Criminal Hero (in this book Heroine is too), Enemies to Lovers/Forbidden Love, First Love (her), Partners in Crime, and Revenge. Whoa! This was packed with tropes.

Remember, vague will not sell books.

A Question About What is a Bestseller (TikTok)


When can an author call themselves bestseller? Does it matter to you? A copy of the list is on my website. See my profile #bestseller #booktok #applebooks

♬ original sound – AuthorCarlaSwafford

What A Day! Short Stories


What A Day! Ebook or paperback. What I was going to say at the end is that they could steal your credit card info. Anyway more info to come about my story. #booktok #anthology #11authors #LindaHoward #LindaWinsteadJones #ratedPG

♬ original sound – AuthorCarlaSwafford

Brothers of Mayhem (TikTok)


Brothers of Mayhem: Hidden Heat, Full Heat, and Naked Heat. #onepercenters #motorcycleclub #spicy #booktok and yes, I did more than watch #sonsofanarchy for my research. Ask and I will tell you how.

♬ original sound – AuthorCarlaSwafford

A Little Taste of Jake: Southern Crime Family

A Tease of Fake Play

Yep. If you didn’t see it in an earlier post, I’m on TikTok. Be careful. It’s addictive.

Released yesterday!

Geez, I forgot to post this. April 5 was the release date for my short story “Kidnapped For A Day.” It’s in the book What A Day! by the Heart of Dixie Fiction Writers.

Here’s the blurb.

Nothing like waking up in a prison cell chained to the past and a captivating woman. With only twenty-four hours to ensure their freedom, a mercenary discovers feelings he never knew existed until locked up with his sister’s best friend.

There are 11 authors total, but the biggies are NYT bestselling authors Linda Howard and Linda Winstead Jones. Be sure to pick up a copy (ebook or paperback) at all major on-line booksellers. Enjoy!

Big Giveaway!

Giveaway time! Here are the goodies that will be given to one winner: Betsy Johnson purse, books, band candy, Bath & Body products, and author swag. The giveaway starts today and will end October 31, 2022.

Every few weeks, I will post new methods of how to add your name (again) to the drawing. One entry per person per method.

So how do you enter your name this time? Go below and tag someone who loves spicy romance books. Must be done on my Facebook page only and you’re there now. 🙂

Only your name will be added to the drawing. The person tagged will have a chance to enter by tagging someone here that they know who loves romance books.

Drawing to be held October 31, 2022 and winner announced here and on my website (carlaswafford.com).

USA only. Giveaway provided by me, the author Carla Swafford. Goodies will be mailed or shipped via UPS to winner.

And I plan to add more goodies to the wonderful hoard.

Facebook does not endorse, sponsor, or administer this giveaway.

Click here to enter drawing: https://www.facebook.com/CarlaSwaffordAuthor

What do you hear?

Lately, I hear a lot of characters in TV shows, movies, and books say a statement and then end it with “Yeah” as a question. For example, “I’ll see you inside, yeah?” And a present day popular adjective is “epic.” “That idea is epic.” “The trip will be epic.”

When I was a teenager, the statement with question was “You know?” So it would go like this, “I’m so thirsty, you know?” And the popular adjective(s) was “far out .” “The party will be far out.”

What did you say when you were a teenager? What current “colloquialism” do you hear?