TBR Should Be TFB

That is Tragically Forgotten Books.  I’ve wondered how many To Be Read MM900046560piles out there have my books waiting for the owner to pick up and read.

For myself, I have over thirty . . . I think. Truthfully, I haven’t counted them, and I would probably be horrified by the number. A few months ago, I went through my pile and pulled every book that didn’t set me on fire to read it. Then I dropped them off at my day job, and let everyone pick out the books they wanted to place in their TBR pile.

Otherwise, I would be staring at the books and feeling guilty. I know the authors are hoping by giving away their books that they would get a new fan or two. If I let the books sit and not read them or give them away, I’m preventing that author from becoming successful. I know. No guarantee, but it’s a given it won’t happen at all if I don’t do something.

This year, I’m determined to read a TBR book between each one I purchase. So I’ve gone through five or so. That’s not many for the year to be almost over, but whenever I’m at home with extra time, I write. Reading is what I do when I’m burned out from writing and need a change.

The moral to this story is, if you have a large TBR pile, and some are more than a year old, it’s time to pass them on. Those authors will appreciate it.

What’s That On Your Ears?

earringsToday, I’m wearing my special earrings.  So many people comment on them, but I really bought them because I write romantic suspense. Of course, other people think I must write something else entirely. Well, there was a little bondage in CIRCLE OF DESIRE.

But I am picking up Lexi Blake at the airport today for a special function my writers group is putting on tomorrow. I thought it would be a nice touch to make her feel at home.  LOL!

By the way, you can purchase your own pair at buycostume.com. That’s where you can pick up some fun unusual jewelry and shoes. No. I don’t get a kick back. Just thought you would like to know.

Let’s Talk About Sex

What? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Worried about what an erotic romantic suspense author is about to say?

If you said yes, then you need to click elsewhere. I’m rather blunt about it as I truthfully and freely admit, I love sex. To me, all aspects of sex is a way to celebrate life. It makes my hubby happy, and it makes me happy.

Some of the best things about the modern age are birth control pills, condoms, vasectomies and tubectomies (tied tubes). The last two (done correctly) frees up the adults 100% to have sex without fear of pregnancies. Of course, there is the problem of STDs, but that’s why romances are so wonderful. They’re usually two people who are committed to each other and they don’t mind getting a test done to prove they’re okay.

Ha!  Sure there are those erotic romances with multiple partners, but you will notice that once they have their certain someone (in most of the ones I’ve read, the female), they keep the circle small. Well, as small as the author wants the romance circle to be in the story.

I’m always surprised when someone gets uptight about my reading material or song choices. Yes. I love what people call naughty songs, such as Rude Boy, Sex on Fire, Animals (and several others from Nickelback) and many more.

Don’t get me wrong. I can talk all day long to customers, family, associates and never bring up the subject of sex or refer to a naughty thought. There’s a time/place.

In this case, this is my blog and I do write what I consider hot romance. Not erotica (love to read it, but don’t write it). So I felt I need to warn you these subjects will come up. This blog is usually PG-13, and doesn’t need the extra permission. I know how to phrase things. 😉

Then again, if you come back to visit me and the extra button (confirming your age) pops up, then you know I decided to be even more blunt. If that happens, Katie bar the door as you’ll be blushing for sure when you read my blog.

You’ve been warned.

Gmail Tidbit

Angry, Frustrated WomanIn my day job, we use Gmail for our email correspondence. So it stands to reason that I know a tiny more than casual users. One thing I’ve seen a lot of Gmail users ignore, and probably don’t even know they can fix, is their signatures*. They turn up at the bottom of each email they answer. Not below their answer, but below the original email, the one they didn’t even send.

If you prefer your signature to show up in the correct place in your emails, do this.

Click on the GEAR at the top right side of the screen in Gmail.

It should show your GENERAL settings, starting with the Language section. If not, click on GENERAL.

Scroll down to “Signatures.” Look beneath the big box with your signature. Click on the small box next to the sentence that reads “Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the “–” line that precedes it.”

[Updated: be sure to click on SAVE CHANGES at the bottom of the page when you’re through.]

That should do it. Open an email you’ve received from a friend, and you’ll see it shows up at the top. Now you can type directly above your signature. The correct way.

Hope that helps make your emails look more professional.

*For example, this is my email signature.
​Carla Swafford
The Circle Trilogy, HarperCollins, Avon Red
Look for me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Google+
Check out my books on Goodreads
Time Magazine, “. . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it.”

A Little Bit Retro

I thought I would let you see a couple more pictures from my wedding day. Plus one from when I was in high school. Just a photo booth one, but I like it because you can tell I was having so much fun. Considering I hate having my picture taken (unless you’re five years old, who really does?), this is one of the few pictures I have where I really look happy about it.  To think of it, the Avon party had a photo booth and I had fun there too. Must be a photo booth thing.  LOL!

I believe I was seventeen in this picture
My dad was 42 in this picture. Look at those long sideburns. They were the thing at the time. Ha!
The ladies are starting from the left, Margaret, Ninfa, Pat, me, Janet. Wow! We’re all young.

Happy Anniversary!

Happy (day before) anniversary to me and my hubby! Since I don’t plan to post on the weekend, I decided instead to celebrate here today. As you can tell, it has been a long time. I will say there has been more good years than bad ones, and I’ve decided to keep him. Be sure to wish me many more. And yes, we were kids, 18 and 19. Young and stupid but smart enough to know the real thing. Yes, I write romances. HA!


Want to Win one!

Are you interested in winning one? My logo and such are embroidered on the front of the sports bag. Cool, heh. I have three to giveaway Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I will be pulling a winner from there on September 30.


A Taste of A Book

MM900395769I’ve been thinking about about placing some excerpts of my books on Goodreads, but a few things came to mind. A few years ago, Sherrilyn Kenyon told me not to use the first chapter as an excerpt because people will open the book and think they’ve read it.

That is so true. If I want to make sure I haven’t already read a book, I always read the first few paragraphs. I wonder how many books I placed back on the shelf for that reason?

But, of course, the first scene is what I posted when I gave readers a taste of my fourth book in The Circle series. Hopefully you won’t forget and think you’ve already bought the book when I self-publish it next year. And the same is true about the first three books that are already available (published through Avon Red, HarperCollins) wherever books are sold on line.

*Excerpts*   *Amazon*   *B&N*   *ARe*   *BAM*

Anyway, my questions today are, do you prefer the first scene or chapter?  Or do you like to see a scene or chapter from further into the book? Maybe in the middle of a turning point (e.g., an emotional scene)?

And do you like a page or two, or more like ten to fifteen to read?

Feeling The Love


Though I’m still wary about Amazon.com (they are taking over the world), they provide a neat service to authors (no matter who publishes your books). They have an area called Author Central where authors can sign in and look at info from BookScan. That service shows your sales of paperbacks throughout mainland U.S.A. I have a feeling it’s not totally accurate, but that’s okay. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know anything until I receive my royalties payments. So I’m happy to see something in the meanwhile.

The info doesn’t tell you what store or who buys the book. It can tell you what city it was sold in. I’m happy and tickled to no end that the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne love my books. They’ve sold the most. I have a feeling that either a book store bought them or a large book club. THANK YOU!!

It’s no surprise that the second largest sale was in Alabama. I do a lot of book signings there. THANK YOU!!

And the third is all due to my friends at FreshFiction.com.  Yep, the Dallas-Ft. Worth area!

Surprise! I Love Men

MH900442424One of the advantages of working at my day job is that I work with a lot of men. Those in my office and customers over the phone. I enjoy listening to the way they talk. I usually sit back, watch and listen to them. They’re so easy to get along with. When I was in high school, I always had as many boys who were friends as girls.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t understand them completely, but men are 90 percent of the reason I love to read and write romances. They claim they are simple creatures, give them sex and food and they’re happy. If only that was so simple, right? That would be like saying give women emotional support and shoes and they’re happy. NOT! 

And it’s amazing how guys think if a woman is nice to them, the woman must be coming on to them. Silly boy, all of my lovers, save one (hubby), are in books (and those have my hubby’s face).

Anyway, to me, writing romances allow me to celebrate those differences that make them so interesting. Thank you, God, for making them different from women in all ways but one. Love. They can love just as hard and deep as any woman.

Woman’s Prerogative

Ha! That subject line is great for excusing all kinds of behavior, isn’t it?

Last year, I decided that this year I would only do two big events and two small. The big ones were RT Book Lovers Convention in KC and the Romance Writers of America Conference in Atlanta. The small were Heart of Dixie’s and Southern Magic’s Romance Readers Luncheon.

Well, now I’m considering doing one more in Dallas, TX. I know I need to decide this weekend before it’s too late, if it isn’t already. My buddies, Sherrilyn and Dianna will be there along with a couple more. Money-wise I believe I can swing it, but vacation is at a premium at the day job.

Is there anyone in Dallas that would like to see me and get a signed copy of my book(s)?

Hello Audio!


I love listening to books in my car. One of many benefits is that I slow down so I can listen to more of the story. Less chance of getting a speeding ticket that way. Less irritation with the traffic too.

Oh, you’re wondering what book I’m listening to? BEAUTIFUL STRANGER by Christina Lauren. I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Nicely sexy.

Unique Author Swag

I’m curious. If I were to give away a poster of my latest cover, would you be interested in winning it?  I have four of them and ready need only one. Would it be a fun prize to win? This is the cover.

Final Hi-Res Cover

In November, my writers’ group holds a readers luncheon, and we have drawings for all kinds of baskets, e-readers and some great stuff. I thought about auctioning them off.

Thought I might get everyone’s feelings on it.

By the way, the keynote speaker at the luncheon is Jeaniene Frost.  Click here to find out more.


Hate it when I’m sick. I do stupid stuff like spend money on line because I can’t get out. I need a sign that reads, “Don’t be sick and use a credit card at the same time. Get well and hide the other.”