Posted in Excerpt, My Books

A Scene From My Next Book

Coming Soon Arrow
I hope

Over five years ago, I started on the book I’m about to reveal a scene from, but I put it to the side to write two novellas (self published) and three full novels (two for Loveswept and one self published) along with three partials (a tale for another time). But I can’t get the characters out of my mind, and I need to finish it. At the rate I’m going, it will probably be my longest book.

So far, the book doesn’t have a title. Well, it did, but I don’t like it anymore. For now I call it my Southern Crime Family book. If you read my books, you might recognize the hero’s last name and the county.

It’s unedited and raw.  Here you go.

~~~

“I hope you rot in hell, old man.”

Jake Whitfield leaned over the grave and spit as his father’s casket slowly disappeared into the blackness. When a violent shudder brought the crank to an abrupt stop, he shot a sideways glare at the cemetery worker.

The man wiped a sweaty forehead on the upper sleeve of his faded gray uniform and kicked the contraption. “Stupid old thing,” he muttered as he avoided Jake’s gaze.

With a painful screech, the device started up again, rattling and jumping, and finally a solid thud came from the hole as it reached the bottom. If he believed in ghosts, he’d swear the hateful bastard wanted out to kill him. 

Jake’s attention fell on the mourners surrounding the gravesite.

Their jackets flapped in the hot wind like vultures settling around a carcass as most of the men stared at the ground beneath their feet. No one looked into his face. Though the minister shook his head at Jake’s disrespect, he, like the others, didn’t say a word. They understood his hatred. Everyone who attended would love to do the same, if they had the backbone. All were business associates and most came not so much to grieve for the man’s death, but to receive assurance that his dad had died.

Many of the people in Sand County owed Dick Whitfield their livelihood and endured his heavy-handed manipulations, but none suffered like the Whitfield brothers. The old man had reveled in tormenting his bastard sons more than he did his associates. Besides their last names, the old man refused to give the boys anything without a deal or concession involved. Then again, maybe an agreement had been made when they were born, a bargain with the devil for their souls.

Releasing a snarl, Jake turned and nodded at his brothers. Townsend, Sen as he was known, and Ethan fell in step beside him as they headed toward the old man’s white limo idling next to the curb. No one said a word.

Another gust of wind tugged at their jackets. A bouquet of dead flowers blew across their path to become stuck between an urn and headstone.

Behind dark sunglasses, Jake scanned the area. Tension from the funeral and a gut feeling warned that danger lurked. Nothing appeared strange or out of place. But life with the old man had taught him to be extremely cautious whenever emotions ran high. With new leadership at Whitfield Industries taking over, many of the smaller players wanted a part of the business and conspired to oust the brothers. He knew without a doubt, no one would take one brick or dollar without a fight. After years of being under the old man’s rule, they deserved every piece of his ill-gotten money and property. They each had worked hard and often for pennies compared to others who worked for the old man and did far less.

He glanced around again without being obvious. The old cemetery covered acres of well-tended plots that held numerous large memorials and oak trees. Several people headed toward their cars while others remained near the burial site, talking and gesturing toward the grave being filled. In the distance, he heard traffic swooshing by, but strangely the birds stopped chirping in the swaying limbs.

Steps away from the limo with the chauffeur waiting inside, Jake passed a life-size marble statue. The head exploded, spraying chunks of the white stuff. The confirming snap of gunfire sent everyone running for cover. Screams and shouts of concern punctuated by more shots echoed around him as he scrambled for the other side of the limo, its bulletproof body offering better protection than a tree or headstone. He motioned for his brothers to follow. In no time they hunkered down with guns in hands.

“Damn! Who do you think it is? Some asshole out to get Jake for sleeping with his girlfriend?” Ethan sat on the ground with his back near to the car’s engine, watching for anyone coming from behind.

In his usual calm manner, Sen checked his Beretta and then edged closer to the taillights. “Probably the girlfriend.”

His brothers loved to rag him about how his last girlfriend had another guy on the side. When he kicked her out of his home, she must have told the other boyfriend a tall tale as the dumbass came at him with a gun. It almost became messy. When the boyfriend realized whose door he had knocked on, the poor dude wanted out of town so fast, he left rubber on the road for a half mile.

Jake shook his head and white dust fell around him. His forehead stung. A light touch came back with blood, just a nick. “Most likely someone who’s wanting to take over the old man’s businesses,” he said as he ignored his brothers’ comments. “Or possibly the person who set the fire.” Leaning over, he ruffled his hair, showering the ground with powder and bits of stone.

He sneered. They’d already received warnings that someone outside the county planned to make a move soon. He hadn’t expected it to be at the cemetery. The old man was barely cold in the ground.

Several more shots zipped by and dug into the asphalt a few yards away.

Damn! They needed to concentrate on stopping the sniper. Normal people ran and kept moving when fired upon, but no, not the Whitfield boys. Maybe he and his brothers were as insane as the bastard they buried.

Sen nodded to where the road looped into the cemetery near the interstate fence. “I think the shots are coming from that direction. See the old rusted-out black van?”

“Yeah.” Ethan peeked over the limo’s hood.

“The sliding door is cracked opened. You think he’s still in there? The smart thing for a shooter to do is leave with the crowd.” Jake referred to the mourners cranking automobiles and screeching tires on their way out.

“I’ll go around and come up on the opposite side.” Without wasting time, Sen stooped low and ran alongside a couple cars parked by the curb.

Jake shook his head. He always wondered if his middle brother had a death wish. “Tick!”

The rotund driver inside the limo rolled down the window, showing only the top of his pale bald head and large blood-shot eyes. “Yeah, boss?”

“Scoot over. I’m coming in.”

“Sure, boss.”

“You get in the back.” Jake nodded at Ethan. With a jab, he returned his gun in its holster beneath his jacket.

“Sure, boss,” his brother said, mimicking Tick.

In seconds, they eased the limo down the lane toward the van. Jake caught a glimpse of Sen dashing behind a tree a few feet away. Then the side door on the van slammed shut, and a figure dressed in black jumped into the driver’s seat. No way would he let the asshole escape. He flatfooted the gas pedal and the old limo t-boned the van.

The crunch of metal and broken glass rang in Jake’s ears as he pushed hard on the door and sprinted to the other side. Two fellows ran for the trees. He tackled the nearest one as Sen sprinted after the faster, smaller one.

“You son of a bitch!” Jake flipped him over. Fist pulled back to slug the sniper, he stopped. “Sally? Sally Tally?”

Light green eyes in the middle of dark liner and eye shadow glared up at him. Chin length ebony hair tipped blood-red stuck to a sweaty pale face. A grimace stretched her crimson lips lined in black as she waited for the downward swing.

He lowered his arm and examined her clothes. No wonder he’d mistaken her for a guy from the back. She wore an ankle length leather coat, thick sole biker boots buckled at her knees with tight black pants tucked in. The only feminine clothing was the stiff red corset holding up plump, creamy white breasts, heaving with each intake of breath.

“No one calls me Sally anymore. Call me Angel.”

The last time he’d heard that husky voice, they had been teenagers, and she’d stolen his wallet. He’d retaliated by turning her over his knee and giving her nearly bare bottom a good sound spanking. During the chastisement, an unexpected dilemma had emerged. He’d enjoyed it way too much.

~~~

A famous author told me one time to never give the first chapter as an example. People will read the first chapter of a new book and think they already have it. So please, if you want to read this make a note to yourself somewhere, “I need to buy this book.” LOL!  If all goes well, I should be finished with it this summer. When it will be published is still up for debate.

Of course, the above is copyrighted.

If you liked it, click like below or go to my Author Page on Facebook and click like there. FB is a good way to keep up with what I’ve released. Or you can come back here to check on it.

Posted in Excerpt, Full Heat, Giveaways

Celebration Starts Tomorrow

CircleofDesire mm cTomorrow, I will be celebrating five years published. My first book, CIRCLE OF DESIRE, came out Tuesday, October 18, 2011. Pretty neat, huh? Same date and day. If you want to check it out, it’s on sale for $1.99 (e-book).  Think James Bond and Le Femme Nikita.

Per one reader, Nikki, “I can’t even tell others how much I loved this book! I don’t read spy stuff, but this storyline works and is probably the HOTTEST set up I’ve ever read.”

Here’s an excerpt.

As soon as [Collin] walked into the suite, he knew something was wrong. The whirl of an electronic device starting up filled the room and a small green light bounced off the wall and then disappeared. He guessed it was now dancing on his back.

      “Olivia, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” He raised his hands and slowly turned around.

      Feet spread apart, dressed in black with a sporty red trim jacket, she held the sniper rifle they’d recently returned to her and forwarded to the hotel in several containers. He’d been impressed by its microcomputer, perfect for shooting in any kind of weather. Presently she had one eye to the night sight. Damn, the woman was stronger than he gave her credit for as she was holding, elbows out, an eighteen pound rifle and it barely moved.

     “You do know from this close of a range my torso would disintegrate into a hundred thousand tiny pieces, spreading blood and me everywhere in the room.”

      “Like I care,” she spit with menace. Her hand trembled and the barrel wobbled.

     “Can we talk about whatever has set you off?” He hadn’t expected her to become so angry about his turning her down.

     She shifted the rifle against her cheek, probably easing up a tight muscle. “I thought this job was too easy. What was the real reason I’m here? Have you worked out some type of trade with Jason?”

     Damn! He didn’t need this now. The sun was peeking around Camelback Mountain. They needed to get out of there.

     “No. You’ll have to trust me.” He was a crazy f**ker as all he could think about was how damn good she looked holding that rifle.

     “Oh, that makes a world of difference. Not!” She made another adjustment of the pad next to her cheek. “You get me all hot and bothered and then ignore me. You never finish what you start and I can’t–” As she crumbled to the ground, Rex caught the rifle.

     “Motherf**ker! What were you thinking? You’re going to f**k around until she kills you? Bloody hell! There wouldn’t be anything left for me to pick up.” Rex started breaking down the rifle, slapping each part into the shaking hands of one of his men.

     Collin knelt next to Olivia, pressing two fingers to the artery in her neck. His heartbeat matched hers as it continued to speed up.

     “What did you shoot her with?” Collin asked as he smoothed her hair out of her face.

     “The same as you did before. Twilight.” Rex sneered.

     “Damn, she’s going to be pissed again. We can’t keep knocking her out.” Collin scooped her into his arms. “Let’s go. Thank goodness we’ve got a private plane back.”

     “I’m all for dumping her out over Texas.” Rex followed leaving the clean up for his crew.

     “Now what has Texas ever done to you?”

~~~

Full Heat_SwaffordAnd just so happens, tomorrow, FULL HEAT will be on sale for a limited time for 0.99 cents (e-book).  Here’s what reader Pinky had to say about it. “Carla Swafford does an amazing job at bringing to life the workings of a Motorcycle Club. The love scenes sizzle and do not disappoint.”

Be aware, that my outlaw MC books are close to true life. Not saying all are this wild and dangerous, but most are. At the same time, this is fiction and I take much license with it, in order to make it a romance.  YES!

Here’s an excerpt of FULL HEAT.

    Storm had watched her luscious lips move, not hearing one word. He’d never seen lips that needed to be kissed, bit, and sucked as much as hers. Hot damn! Every inch of her begged him to taste her. Usually, he lusted after big tits like the ones so many of the old ladies in the club flaunted. He had a feeling he was about to switch to a handful. Yeah.

     Small ones with hard little nipples perfect for tweaking.

     His gaze drifted back up to her face.

     One trimmed dark brow lifted as he looked into her eyes. Instead of embarrassment or anger, humor twinkled in their mossy depths. Sh*t! He f*cking loved that, a woman who didn’t play hard to get but didn’t throw her body at any available male.

     Too bad he had to scratch the idea of her being a porn star or a stripper. If she had been, convincing her to remove her clothes would’ve been so much easier.

One thing was for sure: he needed to teach her the danger of walking into a biker’s bar without a bodyguard.

~~~

Here are the links to purchase the books tomorrow.  Oh, before I forget, be sure to come back here tomorrow.  I will be giving goodies away. More people who show up, the more goodies that will be given away.

AMAZON            BARNES AND NOBLE          KOBO          BOOKS A MILLION

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Thanks!

Posted in Circle of Desire, Excerpt, My Books

What’s Cool About Assassins?

CircleofDesire mm cToday, I was thinking about assassins. Don’t know what my train of thought was that got me there. One of my problems with ADD. I start looking up one word like Muscular and before you know it, I’m looking at pictures of butterflies. You thought I was going to say naked men, didn’t you? Well, I’m sure I did that somewhere along the way to butterflies.

Going on, I Googled assassins — oh, I remember now — I was looking for the assassin movie that I watched a couple years ago and wanted to use as a reference in my current book. Anyway, I found this great article about the Top 10 Movie Assassins. I don’t necessarily agree with all his choices (Tom’s Collateral should be number 1) but I enjoyed his insight. The article is from 2010, so he doesn’t include Looper.

I love Bruce Willis in anything including that movie. And of course, as you know I have a thing for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. No. Not a sexual thing. I like my men older, like Bruce. But then again I’m happily married. Whatever. Back to the subject.

Then I found this other list of assassin movies under Box Office Mojo called simply “Hitman/Assassin.” It lists all the movies for the last thirty years. Wonderful! I do love them.

That’s partly why I wrote my first published book, CIRCLE OF DESIRE. It’s about a female assassin. The opening scene is her waiting for a target.  In fact, I’ll place an excerpt for you.

Olivia St. Vincent typed the ammunition data into the keypad on the sniper rifle and then nestled her cheek against the stock’s custom-fit pad. She waited for the information to be processed and her target to come into view.

Keeping her attention on the boardwalk outside the open window, she caressed the silencer attachment and sighed. Powerful and lightweight compared to others, the rifle was her favorite and the only one of its kind. She wasn’t sure how The Circle got their hands on the prototype, and she knew better than to ask. She’d used it twice in the last eleven months and had no complaints.

She inhaled the fresh salt air coming in and watched the few early joggers trotting along the boardwalk next to Elliot Bay. Almost the whole length was visible from the empty fourth story apartment. A strong wind picked up and splattered water off the windowsill onto her hands and the rifle even though she sat a good three feet from the opening. She grabbed a soft cotton cloth and stroked off the liquid. It had rained for ten days straight since she’d arrived in Seattle, and only twenty minutes ago had it stopped. To the north, a break in the clouds showed deep blue sky. A miracle. Good grief, she couldn’t wait to get back home to Atlanta.

One moment, she was running her fingers across black metal, enjoying the bumpy finish. In the next, she was aiming at her target, taking a deep breath and then releasing it, relaxing, holding her trigger finger steady. He’d crossed the street and started down the boardwalk. Five foot eleven with a well-proportioned torso, he always wore the same dingy sneakers with orange Day-Glo stripes.

She squeezed her eyes shut for a few seconds and inhaled. Time to concentrate on the job. The Circle had given her orders to eliminate him, and she was programmed to follow. Later she’d hear he was a child molester or a killer like herself. Why she should care one way or the other, she wasn’t sure. Maybe knowing helped her sleep at night. Not that it would matter otherwise; she was a killer and good at what she did. She never really had a choice.

She waited as he’d jogged a little past the half-mile mark. His feet pounded in a steady rhythm as the early morning light glistened on shifting muscles. Like clockwork every day, he hit the pavement at sunrise, jogging down the same area. Only thing about predictability, it could be deadly.

The area around him was clear, no one nearby. He turned down a short pier. Only a few feet more and he would be at the mark. She cleared her mind and inhaled, holding her breath for the fraction of a second. She squeezed the trigger. The jogger’s body continued straight ahead, propelled by the bullet’s trajectory, and then he toppled off the edge of the pier and splashed into the water as his god-awful shoes tumbled across the boardwalk. Perfect shot. That was why they sent her.

Once she pressed a couple buttons on the gun’s microcomputer, she scooted away from the tripod and stretched with arms up, bending her back, getting the kinks out. Her back popped. After an hour in one position, it was no wonder her body protested, no matter how much she worked out. She shook her head when the image of the body landing in the water tried to resurface. Think of the good she carried out. Her job eliminated those who preyed on the weak. She performed as a tool for the greater good.

Yes. That was it. She was a tool.

Thinking of tools, she smirked at the gun. The usual brutal recoil dampened by the hydraulic system always surprised her. The rifle worked like it should with little firing signature, a thump of air and only a small amount of flash at the end of the barrel. The suppressor did its job. Unless someone stared directly at her open window and caught the small flare, nothing gave away her location.

Damn! If she’d been a man, she would have a hard-on now. She loved her gun. Objects she could control. People were a different factor.

Yeah, yeah, violence and sex. Sex and violence. That’s what you’re thinking, and congratulations, you’re right. It is an erotic romantic suspense and not about her going around killing people. She will and does, but it’s more about the relationship she develops with her kidnapper/opposing competition.

Okay. Now I’m going back to that list and figure out what movie I haven’t seen. Surely, there are a couple.

[This was originally posted May 10, 2014. I just wanted to share again.]

AMAZON           BARNES AND NOBLE         KOBO          BOOKS A MILLION

 

 

Posted in Brothers of Mayhem series, Excerpt, Naked Heat

Excerpt from Naked Heat

Naked Heat should be coming out in February. It’s Wolf’s story. Now you get to meet his heroine, Sofia Cruz, beloved cousin of Toro. Toro is the leader of the Thirty-Second gang and mortal enemy of the Mayhem Brothers. Think Westside Story with a happy ending. All my books have happy endings.

Sofia and Wolf are at the Brothers of Mayhem clubhouse.

~~~

They weeded their way through the crowd. A couple brothers slapped Wolf on the back and a few more nodded his way, but none paid her any attention. Were they used to him being handcuffed to a woman? They finally stopped at a bar that sat in one corner.

“What do you want to drink?” he asked.

“I’m not drinking a beer this early in the morning.”

“No alcohol is served an hour before church. So how about a soda or water?”

By the grin on his face, she felt silly for what she’d said. “Water would be nice.”

“Water for the lady, prospect.”

The man tossed a bottle his way. Wolf easily caught it one handed. His grin widened. His arms circled her as he twisted the cap and then handed the bottle to her.

“Thank you.” She took a large swallow.

“That’s one of the things I liked about you. Always so polite.” He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

Sofia wanted to melt into his touch, and his sweet talking always caused her to blush. The way he looked at her with such tenderness had her heart pounding. She wanted to run her tongue up the side of his cheek. The man was dangerous to her self respect. He had been the one to dump her. Then again, any chance of them being a couple — what with the Mayhem versus Thirty-Second situation — was doomed.

“Who do you have here?”

The man with the deep voice had a crooked nose and deep scar across one high cheekbone, warning anyone who saw him that he knew all about pain. He leaned over the bar and grabbed a soda, his long braid swinging over a shoulder. With his black hair, tanned skin, and dark brown almost black eyes, he looked to be a Native American.

“Sofia, this is Cutter. Our VP.”

Without thinking, she reached out to shake his hand and came up short. The handcuffs stopping her. Heat seeped into her cheeks.

“What the f**k, man? Do you have to shackle your women now?” Cutter’s eyebrows lifted as he laughed.

Even if she could think of something to say, she doubted he or any Mayhem Brother would consider helping her if she asked.

“Long story. I’ll tell you after church.” Wolf nodded to where an older blond man walked down the stairs, stopping every couple feet to make a comment or point and laugh. “The asshole does love being president,” Wolf muttered.

“Yeah.” Cutter glanced her way before shaking his head at Wolf. “Later.”

The crowd started moving toward a door at the other side of the huge room.

Finally, he would have to un-cuff her. She lifted her arm.

“I’ll see you inside. The boss will be happy to see you made it.” Cutter slapped Wolf on the back and walked away.

“In a sec.” Wolf turned to her. The apologetic look alerted her that she wouldn’t like what he planned next. “Come over here.” She wasn’t sure why he thought it necessary to tell her that. It wasn’t like she had a choice.

He led her to the end of the bar where a thin pipe came out of the wall about eye level to Wolf and disappeared into the floor.

“No! Don’t you leave me chained up like a dog. You let me go.” With a simple click of a key, he attached his end of the handcuff around the pipe.

“I can’t risk you leaving. You’ll be safer here.”

“Are you crazy?” She leaned forward. “It’s like leaving out a bag of blow on a coffee table and not expecting a junkie to touch it,” she whispered.

His smile returned. That beautiful flash of white that always made her heart skip a beat. Damn him for being so sexy. With her emotions going from terrified to anger to desire, no wonder she felt dizzy every time he touched her.

“You’re no old bag, and I’ll break anyone’s hand if they touch you.” He caressed her cheek with the back of one knuckle. The sweet look he gave her brought warmth to her face.

She was in hell, and she had the hots for the devil himself.

~~~

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Here are the links to my other books including the Brothers of Mayhem novels if you want to check them out.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Books

Books a Million

Posted in Brothers of Mayhem series, Excerpt, Naked Heat

Excerpt from NAKED HEAT

I thought you might be interested in a little excerpt from NAKED HEAT.

A scene when the heroine remembers meeting Wolf Savalas for the first time.

~~

Calling him adorable was like calling a grizzly cuddly.

He’d noticed her standing a couple feet away with her hand over her mouth, trying to hide her laughter.

“What the hell’s the difference between a glaze, rub, and brine? I told them not to send me. What the hell? Thanksgiving isn’t for another two weeks.” He shook his head, tossing black hair into his eyes while the rest fell over his ears and straight around the nape of his neck.

His pale blue eyes peeked between the dark strands. God, they were almost otherworldly as he watched her. She guessed him to be taller than her cousin. That would make him easily six-three. The plain beaten-up brown leather jacket looked perfect for his olive skin and that gorgeous hair, giving him a bad boy look. She did have a problem being attracted to bad boys. She really needed to stay away from men like her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Turning on her heel, she made two steps before a hand reached out and lightly touched her arm. “Sorry, beautiful, but I have a feeling you know the difference. Could you help?”

Unable to say no when asked so nicely, she faced him and smiled. No one had called her beautiful before, and she didn’t care he was lying to assure her help. She blushed. He smiled back, and she knew she was screwed.

If she hadn’t been in the final stage of an ugly divorce, he would’ve had her panties off that afternoon when they met for coffee.

That had been the beginning of the most exhilarating time of her life. They’d seen each other almost everyday for the first three weeks though most times it had been only an hour or so. They talked about their childhood and their plans for the future, but never about their current life. Except on their second week together, she did mention she was going through a divorce, and her voice had cracked. His eyes had filled with compassion. Later, when he walked her to her car, he’d kissed her. It had been heaven.

Posted in Brothers of Mayhem series, Excerpt, Hidden Heat, Special Price

A Real Deal

My book, HIDDEN HEAT, is on sale for 99 cents. Presently, it’s on sale at Amazon and Kobo. Probably by Wednesday, it will be on sale at B&N and elsewhere. Remember that it only comes in e-format.

Hidden Heat_Swafford

Here’s a small excerpt.

Her gaze moved over the hood of the car and skidded to a stop on the man leaning against the bar’s outside wall facing the car. He inhaled on a cigarette and continued to watch her. Thorn. That was what Stonewall called him.

His eyes squinted against the bright sun. No sign of embarrassment in being caught staring, he remained there, one foot flat against the brick and a thumb hooked on a belt loop, taking another long draw. Silver rings on long fingers glistened in the sun. How long had he been there?

With a flick of his finger, the cigarette stub sailed over the hood to the asphalt parking lot.

Please go away.

Posted in Circle of Defiance, Circle of Dishonor, Contests, Excerpt, Giveaways, My Books, Special Price

The Contest Continues for the iPad Mini

New Jack Drago adIf you haven’t caught the news here or on Facebook, I’ve decided to give more people time to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE (novella – in other words, short story) and answer the questions for a chance to win the iPad Mini. The contest has been extended to June 30. If you’ve already read it, click here and answer the questions. They give you three possible answers. They’re not easy, and a couple are trick questions. BUT, if you read the book, you won’t have a problem.

CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE is only $2.99.  And during the contest, I’ve made CIRCLE OF DISHONOR free during this time. So double bonus!

Here’s a little tidbit from CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE. (No answers given away.)

He lightly squeezed the woman in his arms. Who was he kidding? He was up shit creek without a paddle when Kat learned the truth. So, he’d keep her safe and when it was over, leave. Same old, same old. Chances were she wouldn’t want anything to do with him when she found out he still worked for The Circle, and they had set her up.

[June 30, 2015: Congratulations to Jenn Williams. She was one of the few to answer all the questions correctly. The iPad Mini will be mailed this week!  Please keep reading!  Thanks! Carla]