My book, NAKED HEAT, is one of the books being given away. Be sure to check it out.
My book, NAKED HEAT, is one of the books being given away. Be sure to check it out.
The last Bookbub I looked at was Tuesday’s. Today I caught up.
A few interested me, but not enough to buy. I’ve been wanting to cut back on my TBR pile. So the book has to interest me big time. Wednesday, nothing. Thursday, thought about one, but decided I’ve read too many like it and have been disappointed. Friday, interesting, but a no go.
Finally, Saturday’s has three I’m interested in. An erotic Romantic Suspense: Hero offers to pull heroine’s business out of debt if she obeys him in all ways for 30 days. Historical Romance: A Scottish warrior inherits an English earldom and an impoverished lady will teach him “proper” etiquette. Sci-Fi romance: Girl goes to war torn planet and meets two warriors.
I try to narrow my choices by looking at the full blurb on Amazon or iBooks. Sometimes it reveals the book isn’t what I really want. Maybe too heavy on history, or doesn’t really concentrate on the romance. And I’m not talking about sex. I like the one-on-one relationship building. I don’t mind a little arguing as long as it doesn’t get stupid. You know, arguing for argument sake.
Then if I’m still interested in the book, I read the sample. I can’t tell you how often I read the beginning and became SO bored. Then others are just not to my taste.
So far, I’ve bought the erotic Romantic Suspense. Passed on the Sci-Fi romance. The blurb did it. So not what I thought it would be. Maybe the author or editor messed up in telling the summary, but that’s the way it goes. Still thinking about the Historical Romance.
When it comes to To-Be-Read piles, mine is small. Around 10 e-books, and about the same in paperbacks.
I refuse to mistreat the authors who go out of their way to provide a deal that takes you years to read. When you finally read the book you bought 2-3 years ago, and it turns out to be great, and you go in search for the author, don’t be surprised if you can’t find another book from that author. Please understand. The author thought no one liked her books. You didn’t read it and review it, or tell your friends because you took so long to read it. For an author to make only $100 a year on her books isn’t enough to keep going.
And don’t get me started on selling a book that took months, if not a year to write for 99 cents. Someone told me recently that charging more than 99 cents for an e-book is horrible. She says the author doesn’t have to spend money on paper and printing. Like that’s the only reason a person reads a book. Maybe I’ll try to sell her a bunch of books with nothing printed inside. I bet she wouldn’t pay $7 dollars for each then. It’s the words inside that makes them valuable.
Think of it this way, I use a computer to write my books and often have to get a new one every two to four years. (Salesperson in the store said they aren’t made to last no more than two years. Bull crap!) When you write everyday in your spare time, they get overused and/or obsolete. My wage from a day job pays for it. Not my writing. Then I go to a writers conference to hear experts talk about how to make my manuscripts/books better, fresh, or more exciting. Again my day job helps pay for my airfare/gas, hotel, food, and the huge conference fee. Not my writing. Even if I go to a local college to take a class or two, I have to pay tuition. Not provided by my books. I giveaway book marks (readers still love them despite most read e-books), pens, t-shirts, and gift cards to readers. Day job, not writing. Let’s not even get into the costs of ads.
If I self-publish a book, there is the cover art that can range from $20 (if I do the design) to $400 (by a professional designer and you could pay even more if you want a unique design/cover). I can format the inside of the book through Draft2Digital free. Then there’s the editor. She receives $350 to $450 a book. Some editors charge a lot more. So I dare you to tell me again the book is worth less than a dollar.
You say, why do all of that? Just write a good book, they will come. Despite what the movie, Field of Dreams, make you believe, it doesn’t necessary work that way.
Even if you have a publishing house–I’ve had the biggest–behind your book advertising the hell out of it, you still need to help.
Book signings do little. They are more to stroke your ego. Actually, I say go for it. Authors need all the ego stroking they can get. It’s a rough, thankless job. Kind of like being a mom. At book signings, I’ve given away more books than I’ve sold just with the hope they will read the others.
Sure most publishers give the author books, but only one of the two large publishing houses I’ve been with gave me six. Yep. Six. And those I gave to relatives because they think you’re being cheap by not giving them a book. To cover everyone, I usually have to buy a few extra. The other publisher gave me zilch. My book was published in e-book only. I will say they provided the most advertising to readers and bloggers (that’s the one I mentioned above). Of course, the self-published copies were provided to my family at my cost. You know, I’m rich off all of those books. NOT!
As you can tell, authors deserve more for each book. No matter what, be sure to tell your family and friends about the latest book you enjoyed and write a review and share it everywhere! Thanks!
A few years ago, I posted on another blog about how wonderful it is to be a published author. Some of it was me teasing (aka sarcastic/ being funny) and a commenter thought I was for real and scolded me for not being appreciative of my good fortune. Anyway, I thought I would talk about what people expect when you become published. If you’ve been reading my posts for any time, you’ll know I love lists. So here we go.
By the way, editors at publishing houses you submit to do look at reviews (mainly the number of stars) in particularly, at that troll paradise place called Goodreads.
I know I struggle to improve my writing. Though many readers appreciate my writing (see picture above of an award). I’ve learned it doesn’t matter how well you promote yourself or the publisher does, it all boils down to the writing, the story you have to tell and how you write it. That’s what I figure where my problem lies.
The word I hear in several of my reviews is gritty. That means, per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism.” I guess it’s okay for romantic suspense about assassins to have the term used, but I want more. So my next book will be a pure romance. Of course with sex, I’m not going off the deep end here. By changing the type of story and writing it in first person (oh, yeah, I’m going there), maybe I will find my niche.
With all that said, I do love being published, traditionally and indie. I love writing the stories about two people falling in love and having fun doing it. Though I will say halfway through most of my books, I’m cursing as bad as my characters. I always wonder why in the hell I’m doing this, but when I hold that completed book in my hand. I feel proud that I finished something not everyone can or is willing to do. Maybe when my grandkids get older they will think Nana was one crazy woman, but they will remember me. They’ll know my name and know what I loved to do. Write.
This is a copy of the email I sent out today to my newsletter list.
Being a fan of my books, I thought you might like the opportunity to come and win a bag of author swag (some of mine but lots of other authors), including signed copies of NAKED HEAT and CIRCLE OF DECEPTION.
Two of the bags are from my local Romance Writers of America chapter’s Romance Readers Luncheon held each year in November. To learn more about it, you can check it out at SouthernMagic.org. The speaker for 2018 is NYT bestselling author Cathy Maxwell. The third bag is by way of author Hildie McQueen. She’s a sweetheart, and it’s so cute!
I’ve started up a Facebook group that I hope you will like to join. That’s where once every three months I plan to do giveaways, paste deleted scenes, ask your opinions on titles, covers, and general writing ideas. Of course, I’ll gladly answer any questions you have about my books or to do with writing.
So if you’re interested in participating, here’s the link. FACEBOOK GROUP. Must join the group for a chance to win one of the bags and future giveaways.
Present giveaways for US addresses. Most future ones will be available for International addresses.
I want to mention something I feel strongly about. When my writers group’s luncheon was over, I went to the large trash can to throw away an empty box. I looked in and to my horror were LOTs of bookmarks, booklets, post cards, in other words, paper promo out of at least two giveaway bags. I wonder if those readers noticed a card had a code for a free ebook? To those readers, they thought of it as trash, but to the authors who provided the material that represented money.
But let’s not think of the authors who sent the paper promo to help you decide on what to buy, let’s think of the other readers out in the local area or your area who would have LOVED to have a bookmark or information about a local reader? If you were the reader(s) who did that, please be nice and not throw them away at the luncheon, instead go to your local library and ask them if they are interested in them for their readers? I bet they would be thrilled. Plus they would love to talk with you about the luncheon and who all you met. A good way to make a friend.
Do you have any other suggestions?
I have two paperback books (six copies of each) in the Goodreads giveaways. In fact, one of them is actually two novellas. Anyway, check it out. Giveaway ends May 15, 2017. USA only. Sorry, but I have to pay the postage.
Click here for the NAKED HEAT: A Brothers of Mayhem novel. The last book about the Brothers of Mayhem. This is Wolf’s story. His brother was in the first book, HIDDEN HEAT.
Click here for THE CIRCLE NOVELLAS: Circle of Dishonor and Circle of Defiance. They are the last two books (short ones) from my Circle series about a secret organization of mercenaries. For those who may have noticed, the paperback has a new designed cover.
By the way, I’m planning on autographing them.
Today, I’m celebrating five years and seven books in publishing. On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, is when it all began, and I want to thank those who have and will read my books.
I’m giving away swag (cups, pens, jar openers -the red circle, book marks, etc.), and books, and gift cards.
How do you obtain such wonderful stuff? By telling me ONE of the following. Yep, you only have to answer one, but feel free to answer more.
1) What do you like about outlaw MC books?
2) What do you like about mercenary/spy/assassin books (similar to my Circle series)?
3) What other kind of book do you enjoy reading?
Be sure to leave me your email address. It will be used for the giveaway only.
Be aware that FULL HEAT, the second standalone book in the Brothers of Mayhem series, is on sale for 0.99 cents for a limited time.
And CIRCLE OF DESIRE is on sale for $1.99.
If you want to know about future books, giveaways, and sales, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. Click here and fill out the form.
NAKED HEAT is due to come out the end of February 2017.
Below are the books that make up The Circle series.
Winners will be announce after 9 p.m. tonight!
Tomorrow, 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?”
And 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.
If you want to know about future books, giveaways, and sales, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. Click here and fill out the form.
I couldn’t resist using that title.
Anyway, on July 11, I will be with a group of writers on Facebook giving away all kinds of goodies. My giveaway/post slot is 9 to 9:30 p.m. central time USA. (10-10:30 eastern; 8-8:30 mountain; 7-7:30 p.m. west coast).
I will be giving away Brothers of Mayhem cups (US only) and gift cards (US or International). So be sure to type it on your calendar and show up. Of course, I’m sure you’re wondering who are the other authors?
Considering what we all write, I have a feeling there will be lots of pictures of good looking men.
Go to the link below and click on Going or Interested.
Hope to see you there!
I had so much happen lately, and there is a lot going to happen in the next few months. Like the following.
June 4, Saturday, I will be signing books at the Athens-Limestone Public Library.
Since I have so many announcements, I thought you might want to be the first to hear about it. So be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I plan to include an excerpt from FULL HEAT, and as a thank you, I will be giving away two $10 gift cards (Amazon) to some lucky newsletter recipients (in U.S. or international).
Click here to sign up. Then be sure to add me to your contact list.
Click on this link to go to blogs that will be telling you about my book and giving away $25 gift card.
Forget shining armor. Motorcycle shop owner Mary Jane Parker could use a knight in black leather right about now. A local gang has been extorting her for protection money, and standing her ground would be a lot easier with the Brothers of Mayhem at her back. She just needs to convince the club’s new president to take the job. The powerful, brooding biker claims he’s not interested-but if his version of tough love is supposed to be punishment, Mary Jane would gladly misbehave for the rest of her life.
Storm Ryder has no interest in rescuing anyone but himself. He spent three agonizing years in prison, and there’s no way in hell he’s going back, not over a spoiled rich girl who’s flirting with trouble. So why does he find himself craving Mary Jane’s lips-and holding her close when he should be pushing her away? Deep down in his tortured soul, Storm knows she’ll be there for him. And when Mary Jane needs him most, he’ll find the courage to give her everything he’s got.
He kinda makes you think of this photo.
Author Meda White and myself are having an Angel and Demon Party with lots of giveaways. Come by and say you’ll be there on February 16, 2016. That’s the day HIDDEN HEAT will be released. YAY!
We will be giving away gift cards, books, and swag. A few of these for example.
The red oval is a jar opener/coaster. I’m sure you can guess what the other two items are. HA!
Staring Feb. 8 on Goodreads is Romance Week. Be sure to stop by my profile and ask me questions. By the way, here’s my choice for most romantic quote.
I will be signing at several places this year.
April 7, 2016: The Novel Experience, Atlanta GA
June 11, 2016: Heart of Dixie Romance Readers Luncheon, Huntsville, AL
October 1, 2016: Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, Peachtree Corners, GA
November 5, 2016: Southern Magic Romance Readers Luncheon, Birmingham, AL
If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know that I love hockey. If you’re in Nashville on February 20, I’ll be at the Predators’ game against LA Kings. Let me know if you’ll be there, and I’ll meet up with you and give you some swag. Hope to see you there.
Whew! That’s it for now. Time for me to get back to working on NAKED HEAT (after the game tonight). That’s Wolf’s story. He’s kidnapped the love of his life, and he’s in deep do-do. LOL!
For the last couple weeks, my newsletter subscribers had received instructions on how to win gift cards. I first offered one $20 gift card. With so many people participating, I added 3 $10 gift cards. But when I was picking the winners, I decided to add one more $10 gift card. I sure wish I could’ve given everyone a gift card.
I loved the enthusiasm. What a blast! Thank you!
Here are the winners. Check your email box.
$20 Gift Card
$10 Gift Card
If you wish to receive future newsletters and giveaways, go to my website and sign up. Click here.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Today, I’m over at the Romance Magicians’ blog talking about my newest love. Hint: He has a big stick. HA! Come over and visit.
Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Click here. And these are the reasons why.
Enter to win The Deacons of Bourbon Street series, including MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane, FIRE ME UP by Rachael Johns, HOLD ME DOWN by Jackie Ashenden, and STRIP YOU BARE by Maisey Yates. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.
Enter to win FLAT OUT SEXY by Erin McCarthy and ACCELERATE by Tracy Wolff. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.
Enter to win EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID by M. O’Keefe. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.
Enter to win PERSUASION by Violetta Rand and HIDDEN HEAT by Carla Swafford. Prize will be delivered via the ebook retailer of your choice.
Enter to win a $20 gift card to the ebook retailer of your choice.
Sherry Haut! You are the lucky winner of a $20 gift card of your choice to Amazon or B&N. Be sure to contact me by email – Carla @ CarlaSwafford.com
Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter and READING it!! LOL!
Everyone else: If you want to find out about my newest releases and exciting news, and my giveaways, specifically for my newsletter followers, go here to sign up.
Hey, I posted over at Romance Magicians and if you comment, you’ll be in a drawing for a $10 gift certificate. That could buy you one to 10 books. LOL! See you there!
Oh, be on the lookout through the 31st. More giveaways are coming!
If 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]
Please welcome Katherine Bone! I love this woman. She’s sweet and talented. Not only talented in her writing, but in making jewelry. I have a beautiful pair of cameo earrings she gave me for just being her roommate at a conference a couple years ago.
Lucky me! I’ll be your roommate anytime, Kathy!
In the hope that she will look favorably on me again, I will be giving away her book, My Lady Rogue (ebook). The winner will be picked from a commenter and announced on Wednesday night (May 27).
Everything Simon and Gillian have done has led to this moment… Will it be too late?
Baroness Gillian Chauncey thought she’d seen everything during her years of devotion to England. But as war escalates and political bonds are severed, a devastating betrayal forces Gillian to make a life or death decision to save the man she loves.
Lord Simon Danbury’s loyalty to the crown has never been questioned — until now. As death’s darkening veil cascades over London, a hostile mole inside Nelson’s Tea tries to assassinate him. Surrounded by the greatest spies in England, only one thing stands to defeat him — losing the one woman who has made life worth living.
“DO YOU REALLY think this will be the last time we are all gathered together?” Gillian moved into Simon’s welcoming embrace, swallowing back a heart wrenching sob.
Ten minutes had passed since Garrick had left the townhouse. Ten long minutes of watching Simon’s brows furrow ever tighter, deepening until the aristocratic lines of his handsome face were grossly disfigured. Gillian couldn’t bear the ugly transformation, for his expression only hinted at the war building inside him. His steadfast code of morality and honor had consistently succeeded in suppressing his own needs and desires. What of sorrow? Would the news of Nelson’s death prove a more impenetrable shield? Could she shore up this wounded man’s agony? And more importantly, how could she if she tried?
In the past, their separations had been purely physical, an exhausting distance no preoccupation could eliminate. Today, her new enemy held greater influence on Simon’s emotions than marriage vows and honor. And she knew well enough the folly of ignoring this new foe. She’d seen what despair had done to Garrick.
She ran her fingers over Simon’s shoulders, luxuriating in the feel of the exquisite lines of his tailored morning coat. They were as close as they could possibly be, and yet the distance had never been further. Too much stood between them, Lady Danbury’s and Nelson’s deaths, the fate of Nelson’s Tea, their unspoken feelings. Did he feel it too? She’d long dreamed of sharing a deeper intimacy with this man who haunted her days and nights, absorbing his scent of sandalwood and spice, taking all of him, holding nothing back. Now she suppressed a shiver in the resounding quiet. Her long wait for Simon had come to an end at last, hadn’t it? But at what cost?
Her heart cried out with longing. He was no longer married. He could be hers, if not for the sorrowful voices haunting their lives or the ones they heard pulsating throughout the city.
Nelson is dead! Nelson is dead!
Simon inhaled deeply, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “We cannot fail. Our business is not only risky, it relies solely on His Majesty’s grace. With Nelson’s assistance, leadership, and guidance, we were assured good measure. No longer.”
She hesitated to ask why. “And now?”
Surely King George respected Simon enough to allow him to continue Nelson’s Tea after he and Lucien had saved the king’s life at Drury Lane?
His winded sigh heightened her doubts. “I’m not as certain as I once was. Without Nelson at the helm, Nelson’s Tea’s motivation is gone. Once morale is gone—”
“Not all gone,” she said, clinging to him as if her life depended on it. And it did. Simon was everything to her. He was her night and day, her moral compass. He was the most intelligent man she’d ever met. His skill at disguise, his mastery of language, culture, and stratagem far outweighed any nobles servicing England in the House of Lords or the Admiralty Board.
He stepped back, only slightly, and lifted her chin, tilting her face up to his. Her gaze traveled from the lapels of his coat to his starched cravat, upper neck, and chin, finally settling on his generous sensual mouth. She held her breath as hundreds of butterflies fluttered to break free from her chest and waited for him to speak as if her very life depended on his next words.
“You and I are not of this world, are we?”
She closed her eyes absorbing his warmth like she’d been deprived of the noonday sun. “I am part of any world you reside in, Simon. I would follow you anywhere.”
When he said nothing, she opened her eyes, suppressing the chill that swept over her. Why wouldn’t he let go and just be? She leaned toward him, absorbing the power emanating from his body.
Dark hair draped over his forehead as he glanced down at her. Heaven help her, she was a selfish woman. She trembled with desire, wanting his mouth on hers, longing to know how he tasted. She wanted assurances, his promise that their dreams of being together hadn’t been crushed. It was wrong to desire these things, so very wrong. It was too soon.
Katherine Bone has been passionate about all things historical since she was an Army brat traveling all over the world. Initially, she dreamed of being an artist, but when she met and fell in love with Prince Charming, her own dashing Lieutenant vowing duty, honor, and country, she found herself saying, “I do.” Whisked away to Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals, where tales of swashbuckling adventure filled the lonely gaps when the Army called Charming away, Katherine’s imagination took flight. No longer nomadic, she calls the south home and spends most of her time daydreaming about Charming and heroes of yesteryear.
She will be giving away a $25 gift card to a commenter. Be sure to say hi.
Mega star Jensen Ford returns to his home state of Tennessee, to film a blockbuster film. Although the pretty local bakery owner catches his eye, she could never survive his Hollywood lifestyle. His mind knows its best to keep her at arms length, but how to convince his heart?
Cassie Tucker doesn’t like arrogant Jensen Ford, definitely doesn’t want to get to know him either. With a cupcake shop to run, an ex harassing her and her younger brother moving in, she doesn’t have time for the movie star’s antics.
Is it fate or happenstance that they end up alone together time after time?
Amazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical, paranormal and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.
Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.
Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.
She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly boy Chihuahuas and a spoiled rotten girl Chi named Lola.
Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com
Be sure to go and buy CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE, read the whole novella (short book) and
for a chance to win an iPad Mini by answering the questions correctly. You really and truly have to read the book to answer them. There has been such a low number of people answering the questions (and getting them right), I’ve decided to extend the contest to June 30. So that should give you plenty of time to read it.
“I’ll take you up on your offer, but the money isn’t enough,” he said in a near growl.
“What? Are you kidding me? That kind of money could get me ten guys like you.” As soon as it came out of her mouth, she wished each word would evaporate into the night air.
The pierced eyebrow lifted. “If that was true, you wouldn’t be begging me to help you. You know I’m the only one who can protect and help you at the same time.” That smirk she hated was back.
Beg? He only wished. The handsome devil. He was evil.
She crossed her arms. “So you don’t want money. What will it take to get your help?” She avoided thinking about it too hard. The heated look he gave hinted at what it entailed. Would she have the strength or will power to say no?
“I want the money. That’s part of the deal. From what you’ve told me, there’s no guarantee the gold will be found. So I could do all that work and end up with nothing.”
“And?” She hated sounding like a smartass, but she really wanted him to get to the point.
He grinned and leaned forward, one hand resting on the wall behind her. She should feel trapped, but her body started melting against his. Yeah. She wanted him. Badly.
“Give me free access to your body for the next week and then if the deal goes tits up,” his grin deepened, “we’re even.”
His eyebrows rose.
Did she just say that without hesitation? Oh, Lord of Mercy, she’d lost her mind.
A new series is coming February 2016. Brothers of Mayhem. Yep, an outlaw motorcycle club and wait until you get to meet the heroes. Ohoooo, baby! Hot! The first book is HIDDEN HEAT!
Please welcome one of the sweetest and funniest authors, and a member of a family that’s awwwesome! So Naima, in her kindness, has joined in the giveaways this month. Say hello to her, and she’ll draw a winner of a $5 Amazon gift card. That’s anywhere between a deep discount on an paperback to five 99 cent books! YAY!
SECRETS AND SINS: CHAYOT, book 4
Some sins refuse to let go…
Six months after concert pianist Aslyn Jericho survives an attack at the hands of an obsessed fan, she is still trying to resume a normal life, despite the paralyzing fears that have stolen her ability to play and perform. Enter her gorgeous and mysterious neighbor with news that threatens to send her spiraling back into her nightmares. Her stalker has returned. And he wants Aslyn.
Months after security specialist Chayot Gray’s darkest secret was exposed to the world, he’s struggling to cope with the fallout. Shame and guilt threaten to consume him, and he longs for the anonymous, numb existence he’s known for two decades. Then he discovers a masked figure lurking outside his neighbor’s home. The pain-filled shadows darkening Aslyn’s eyes call to him, and her loveliness stirs a desire he didn’t know existed. Now Chay must conquer his inner-demons in order to save her from a madman determined to finish the job he started…
~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~
“You need to go,” Chayot growled. He didn’t backpedal, didn’t cower, but damn if he didn’t want to. One touch of Aslyn’s slender musician fingers, and that fractured armor that encased his emotions would shatter into splinters. In this second, she threatened him more than a counselor’s couch or demons he couldn’t beat back.
Ignoring his warning, she pressed on. “What’s wrong?”
“Aslyn.” He narrowed his eyes, hardened his voice to stone. “Go. Now.”
“No.” She moved forward again, eliminating the space between them. Compassion and concern radiated from her gaze, but underneath glinted something more worrisome. Determination.
The therapist had poked the beast within him, but Aslyn stirred it. Excited it. It reached out to her with eager, greedy claws, wanting to drag her closer, gorge on her sweetness. Satisfy the voracious need…quiet the relentless craving.
If he let the darkness loose, he didn’t know if he’d be able to cage it again. If she wouldn’t be collateral damage left in its wake.
“Aslyn, damn it. Get out.” The words rumbled from his chest on a tide of desperation.
“No,” she repeated. And then more softly, “No.”
She moved too fast or maybe he’d moved too slow. But before he could dodge her, she infiltrated his personal space, pressed her chest to his. Cupped his face. She murmured his name and he tasted the sweet scent of strawberries on her breath. He wanted it in his mouth. Wanted to taste it directly off her tongue. Lust, blistering and heavy, poured through him in a thick, molten molasses. It pounded in his chest. Pooled and throbbed in his c*ck so the hard length pressed insistently into her belly. No way she didn’t notice. No way she didn’t feel it damn near nudging her, begging for her attention.
But if he expected her to be appalled, he should’ve known better. Most women would’ve spun away or played coy. She cuddled closer, applying a teeth-gritting pressure to his d*ck that had him two seconds from pinning her against the wall, dragging down her jeans and panties, and pounding into a p***y he knew would be hot and tight like a vise grip.
“I don’t want—” he gritted out, squeezing his fists until his fingers pulsed in protest. The moment he removed them from his pockets, all bets would be off. He’d touch her, and there would be no going back from that.
“What?” She whisked her thumb over his cheekbone, under his bottom lip. “You don’t want to use me?” she breathed. “That’s what you said, right?” She drove her fingers through his hair, her nails scraping his scalp and arrowing tremors of pure need down every nerve ending and synapse in his body. He groaned, snatching his hands from his pockets and grabbing her hips, prepared to thrust her away from him before the tenuous leash on his control snapped beyond repair. “Use me, Chay. I’m right here. I’ll take you into the dark and promise not to leave you alone. We’ll go together.”
Then she kissed him.
~~~~ Bio ~~~~
I was born the daughter of a sharecropper… Okay, maybe not. But I am the daughter of a pastor from whom I inherited my love of romance. The man can preach a mean Song of Solomon! (There’s that plug, Daddy! You can pay me later!)
Although my first book starred a cucumber named Fred, my first romance came several years later in the seventh grade, when I wrote myself as a heroine opposite Ralph Tresvant from New Edition. Through the power of my pen and imagination, Ralph took one look across a crowded stadium, met my dark, mysterious gaze, fell passionately in love, and serenaded me in front of millions of fans. Out of all the girls in the world, he chose me! And of course, we lived happily ever after–once we had the inevitable fight, aka black moment, and made up with a passionate declaration of love and fidelity. This same story reincarnated itself many times over the years: with Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, and as recently as last night, Vin Diesel.
Though the characters have changed, my love of love has endured. Shaping the lives of unique men and women who experience the first hungry bites of lust, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love–nothing compares to it. Except maybe discovering new material for love scenes with my husband, the head of Research & Development!
Jack Drago is a renaissance man. A man’s man when needed but a pushover for women. He’s been used by his lovers, but still loves and respect women. Tattoos all over, head shaved, piercings in all kinds of places, Jack was everything Katerina needed. She knew he was a bad boy who grew up to be the type of bad man to get the job done, in and out of bed.
Be sure to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE before answering questions for a chance to win an iPad Mini. You can purchase it anywhere books are sold. Then click here to answer the questions.
Please welcome Susannah Sandlin! I’m lucky to see her once a year at Southern Magic’s Romance Readers luncheon every November. It pretty much consists of her waving to me and me waving back. Talk about a busy lady! Wow! That’s what happens when you have two personalities (both nice) as Susannah is also award winning author Suzanne Johnson.
She’s giving away a copy of LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP to a lucky commenter. The winner can choose from print, digital, or audio of the book!!
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.
When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.
He wasn’t sure what woke him, but the first thing Shane Burke saw when he cracked open his eyelids was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s, tipped over and resting on its side. He could’ve sworn he finished it off last night but there was at least an inch of rich amber liquid still resting inside.
Good. Now he didn’t have to wonder what he’d have for breakfast.
The second thing he saw was a great pair of legs. Well, technically, a great pair of ankles above a pair of leather sandals, and then the legs.
Obviously, he was starting his Saturday morning with hallucinations.
Only one good solution for that. He dangled an arm off the side of his bed and almost had his fingers wrapped around the neck of the bottle when one of the leather sandals kicked his buddy Jack Daniels under the bed, clipping his hand in the process.
“Ow.” Hallucinations didn’t take his booze and kick him in the knuckles.
Ignoring the throbbing in his hand and the stabs of hangover agony behind his eyeballs, Shane rolled onto his back and squinted at the rest of his nonhallucination.
Shoulder-length hair that fell in a sheen of dark chestnut brown, fair skin, fierce brown eyes, red lips compressed in a tight line, black skirt and white blouse, big briefcase-style purse. Had he picked her up at Harley’s last night? If so, he had to cut back on the sauce.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot your name.” Pity, ’cause she was a hot little number, way classier than the regulars at Harley’s. It’s not like he got laid so often that he could afford to forget it when he did.
“We haven’t met.” She propped her hands on her hips and muttered something that sounded like, “And you’re supposed to help me?”
Help her with what? Wait, maybe she was a charter. Had he chartered The Evangeline out to a tour group or fishing party today? Surely he’d remember if there was money coming in.
Color him officially confused. He struggled to a seated position and gave her another look. “What am I supposed to help you with?”
She crossed her arms and raked a ball-shriveling gaze the length of his body. “I came here to offer you a job, but I don’t think you’re up to it.”
He tugged the sheet up in self-defense. “I’m not at my best. Ever consider making an appointment? Not dropping in at the crack of dawn?” He had no idea what time it was but it couldn’t be that late.
“It’s past noon. And I didn’t figure, given your financial situation, that you’d be so picky about what time of day someone offered you money.” She shook her head. “Never mind. This was a mistake.”
She banged her head on the low doorway out of the master cabin, which served her right, the sanctimonious shrew.
Shane eased himself to a standing position and waited to see if last night’s bourbon was going to make a reappearance or if he might topple over. Neither happened. Today would be a good day.
By the time he’d shuffled into the postage-stamp-sized bathroom, taken a leak, and brushed his teeth, he remembered the reason for last night’s bender. Not that he needed a reason, but last night he’d had one. First Bank and Savings, said a guy named Ralph (who bore an uncanny resemblance to a bullfrog), had grown tired of waiting for Mr. Burke to get current on his payments on The Evangeline. First Bank and Savings, so sorry, would need back payments in full within thirty days or the boat would be foreclosed on and put up for sale.
First Bank and Savings, so sorry, could go screw themselves.
Shane splashed water on his face, studied the dark-blond stubble on his chin, and decided not to shave. The bristle looked good with his bloodshot green eyes. Plus, he needed to get used to looking like a beach bum. If the bank took The Evangeline—which wasn’t just his boat but was also his home and his meager livelihood—he’d be doing any future shaving on a park bench or in the community bathroom of a shelter.
Shit. How was he going to put his hands on almost a hundred grand in a month?
He jerked open the bathroom door and almost fell over the brunette. “I thought you left.” He edged around her. “You’re taller than I thought.”
“I reconsidered.” The edge of her mouth quirked. “You’re wearing more chocolate than I thought.”
They both looked down at his boxers, black and covered with images of red foil-wrapped Hershey Kisses. “They were a gift,” he said. A total lie; he’d found them on eBay. “Think you could wait for me on deck?”
“Good idea.” The woman’s cough sounded suspiciously like a laugh. He doubted whatever job she had to offer would pay enough to satisfy the bullfrog at First Bank and Savings, but on the off chance that she was an heiress in need of a washed-up trawler captain, he’d dust off his manners and put on pants.
He watched her climb the steps and disappear through the hatch. Nice ass, but kinda wobbly on those sandals, which had silly narrow heels. Either she wasn’t used to wearing them or the almost-sighting of his man-candy had upset her sense of balance. Stranger things had happened. Probably.
Susannah Sandlin is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series. She’ll start a new romantic suspense series for Montlake Romance in 2016, beginning with WILD MAN’S BLUFF. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from TOR Books. Susannah was a finalist for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards in both 2014 and 2015, and is the 2013 winner of the Holt Medallion for paranormal romance. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, but is plotting an eventual return to the Gulf Coast.
Author website: www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSuzanneJohnson
The Kindle versions of both Collectors books are on sale May 8-24, $1.99 each.
Please welcome my friend and lunch buddy, Meda White. If you want a book that makes you feel good, be sure to read this one. Or any of her books for that matter. Romance and sweetness. Perfect for a pick-me-up.
Meda is giving away a copy of her book, RIDE WITH MY HEART.
Maddie Baker is back at Southland, trying to put her life back together after her divorce. When she reconnects with her former rodeo partner, she struggles to keep the feelings she’s always had for him hidden. After all, it’s too soon, and she’d had a good reason for keeping her distance all those years ago.
Georgia State Trooper Heath Cook has been avoiding Maddie since she moved home, knowing the crush he’s always harbored won’t stay hidden for long. If his wasn’t the only heart he cared about protecting, it might be different. But his daughter doesn’t need to get attached to someone on the rebound.
Maddie and Heath’s renewed friendship leads to a deeper attraction than either of them imagined possible. But with Maddie’s jealous ex making a play to win her back, Heath has to decide if he’s willing to put his future on the line. And when Maddie’s past comes back to haunt her, it might be beyond Heath’s power to help. Together, they’ll have to see if they can hold on for the roughest ride of their lives.
This contemporary romance contains Southern Gothic elements.
Heath pulled back to look at her. “Reunion?”
“I know you dated her in college.” Maddie watched his reaction in the glow of the moon.
“How?” He squeezed her upper arms.
“Because I called you and she answered the phone. She was happy to inform me I’d been replaced.” A knot formed in Maddie’s throat, and she looked down.
“When? When did you call me?” His grip tightened.
“When I needed a friend—” Her voice broke, and she turned her head away, hoping he wouldn’t catch the tear rolling down her cheek.
He caught it in the pale light and wiped it away. “She lied. You’re irreplaceable, Maddie Baker. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. If I’d known—”
“It was for the best really.” She forced herself to meet his gaze. “I needed to learn to survive without you.”
“But it was hard just surviving each day.” He swallowed audibly. “Wasn’t it?” Heath’s hands moved to her back, and he pulled her closer to his warm chest.
Maddie nodded because she couldn’t speak. She wanted to put the past behind her, but if she didn’t talk to Heath about it, it would come between them more than it already had.
Meda White writes sweet, sultry, and southern contemporary and new adult romance. Born with Georgia clay running through her veins, she continues to enjoy the Southern lifestyle with her husband, a very spoiled Collie, and a stray cat who adopted the family.
When not writing, you might find her making music, shooting zombie targets, teaching yoga, or explaining the meaning of her unusual first name.
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Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/N0-fXe411XY
My first guest is Susan Carlisle! She’s talented and such a sweetheart. So please say hello to her in the comments. That’s where she will pick her winner for a copy of DOCTOR’S REDEMPTION.
A love worth staying for…
Dr. Mark Clayborn never wanted to return to Alabama, but his father’s recent ill health has him back and facing his demons. Yet from the darkness shines a beacon of light: Laura Jo Akins—and he’s hoping she tastes as sweet as he imagines her to be!
For so long Laura Jo’s only focus has been her daughter, but despite her reluctance, gorgeous Mark incites feelings she’d thought herself immune to… Could Laura Jo be the one to give Mark the courage to stay—and discover the love he deserves?
The parades were what Laura Jo Akins enjoyed most about the Mardi Gras season in Mobile, Alabama. This year was no different. She placed a hand on the thin shoulder of her eight year old daughter, Allie.
Her daughter smiled up at her. “When does the parade start?”
“It should already be moving our way. Listen. You can hear the band.”
The faint sound of a ragtime tune floated from the distance.
Allie looked up at Laura Jo. “Can we stay for the next one too?”
The sure thing about Mardi Gras was that the parades kept coming. The closer the calendar got to Fat Tuesday the heavier the days were filled with parades. Sometimes as many as four a day on the weekends.
“No, honey. They’re expecting me at the hospital. We’ll watch this one and then we have to go.”
“Okay, but we get to see one another day, don’t we?”
“Maybe one on Wednesday. Next Monday and Tuesday you’ll be out of school for a long weekend. We’ll be sure to watch more then.”
“Why can’t I be in one?” Allie asked turning to look at Laura Jo.
It had been a constant question during last year’s Mardi Gras season and had become a more demanding during this one. “Maybe when you get older. For now we’ll just have to watch.”
As the banner holders at the head of the parade came into sight the crowd pushed forward forcing her and Allie against the metal barriers. A bicycling medical first responder or mobile EMT circled in front of them then rode up the street. He looked familiar for some reason but then most of the medical help during the Carnival season were employed at the hospital where she worked. Dressed in red biking shorts and wearing a pack on his back, he turned again and paddled back their direction. Laura Jo squinted trying to make out his features but his helmet obscured her view.
Members of the medical community volunteered to work during Mardi Gras to help out with the crowds. Most of the nurses and doctors gave up their days off during the season to work the parades. It wasn’t required but many enjoyed being a part of the celebration. Laura Jo knew most of the employees at Mobile General, at least by face. Although she couldn’t place the rider, he looked just fine in his form fitting pants. He must bike regularly.
“Look Mommy,” Allie pointed to a group of people who had come through the barriers and were entertaining the crowd standing on both sides of the street. They were dressed in clown type outfits riding three-wheel bikes with bright colored fish attached to the side.
Laura Jo smiled down at her daughter. “That’s the Mystic Fish.”
They made a circle or two in the open parade area and then disappeared into the crowd across the street from her and Allie. Laura Jo knew from years of watching parades they would appear somewhere else along the parade route.
“What’s a mystic fish?” Allie asked.
“You know what a fish is. In this case it’s a club or group of people. It’s also called a krewe. Because they meet in secret they are mystic or mysterious. It’s all just fun.”
“Are you in a queue?’
“It’s krewe. Like a crew member. And no I’m not.” She placed a hand on her daughter’s head. “I have you to take care of, work at the shelter and at the hospital. No time.”
Laura Jo understood being a member of a krewe. Her family had been participants all her life. In fact they had been a part of the largest and most prestigious krewe in Mobile. She’d been one of the Mobile society that celebrated her coming of age at Carnival time. But no more.
The noise level increase as the first high school band approached. She positioned Allie between her and the barrier so Allie could see. As the first ostentatiously decorated float rolled by the spectators pressed closer to them. The float was designed in a dragon motif and painted green, purple and gold with piles of beads hanging off pegs. Members of the krewe were dressed in costumes and wore masks.
She and Allie joined those around them in yelling, “Throw me something, mister.”
Raising their hands along with everyone else, she and Allie tried to catch the beads, plastic cups with the krewe name printed on them or stuffed animals that were being thrown from the float. Bands playing and music blaring from large speakers mounted on the floats made it difficult to hear.
One krewe member made eye contact with Laura Jo and pointed at Allie. He threw a small stuffed gorilla to Laura Jo which she handed to Allie who hugged it to her and smiled up at the grinning man. The float moved on.
When a strand of brightly colored beads flew through the air in Allie’s direction from the next float, Laura Jo reached to catch them. She couldn’t so they were snatched by the man standing behind her. He handed them to Allie. She smiled brightly at him. That was one of the special things about Mardi Gras in Mobile. It was a family affair. Any age was welcome and everyone saw that the children had a good time. Twenty minutes later a fire truck that signaled the end of the parade rolled by.
The man standing next to them shifted the barrier creating an opening. A few people rushed through in an effort to snatch up any of the goodies that had fallen on the pavement.
“Mama, can I get those?” Allie pointed out into the now virtually empty street except for a few children.
Laura Jo searched for what Allie was asking about. On the road lay a couple of plastic doubloons. “Sure, honey. There won’t be another parade for an hour.”
Allie skirted through the opening and ran in the direction of the strand of gold and silver disks. In her exuberance to reach her target she stumbled and fell, stopping herself with her hands. Laura Jo gasped and rushed to her. Allie had already pushed herself up to a sitting position. Tears welled in her eyes but she’d not burst into sobs yet. There was an L-shaped hole in the thin material of her pants and a trickle of blood ran off the side of her knee.
“Oh honey,” Laura Jo said.
“My hands hurt.” Allie showed Laura Jo her palms. The meaty part looked much like her knee.
“Burns.” Laura Jo took one of Allie’s wrist and raised her hand blowing across it. Here she was a registered nurse with not a bandage to her name. Allie’s injuries were going to require far more than what Laura Jo was doing.
“Can I help here?” a deep male voice said from above them.
Laura Jo glanced up to see the bike medic she’d admired earlier. She’d been so adsorbed with Allie she’d not noticed him ride up.
“Do you have any 4x4s? Some antibiotic cream?” Laura Jo asked.
The man gave her a curious look then stepped off the bike. He sung the red pack off his back and crouched down on his haunches. “Let me see what I can do.”
Laura Jo looked at him through moisture in her eyes. She knew him. Or more accurately knew who he was. Mark Clayborn. She had no idea he was back in town. But then why would she. “If you’ll just share your supplies I can handle it. I’m her mother and a nurse.”
“I appreciate that but I need to treat your daughter since it happened at the parade. I’ll have to make a report anyway.”
She gave him room. Years ago she’d been so enamored with Mark Clayborn. Just young enough to hero worship him, she dreamed of ‘what if’ when he glanced her way. Which he never did unless it was to smile at the gaggle of young maids in his queen’s court. He had it all. Good looks, social status, education and a bright future. And to top it off he was Mardi Gras King that year. Very girl dreamed of being on his arm and she was no different. She had watched him so closely back then no wonder he seemed familiar.
Allie winced when he touched the angry skin of her knee.
Laura Jo’s hands shook. As an emergency room nurse she’d seen much worse but when it came to her own child it was difficult to remain emotionally detached. Still she should be the one caring for Allie. She’d been her sole caretaker and provider since her father had left Laura Jo when she was three months pregnant. Having been pushed aside before, she didn’t like it any better now than she had then. No matter how irrational the reaction.
“So what’s your name young lady?” the medic asked Allie.
She told him.
“So Allie, what have you liked best about Mardi Gras this year?”
Allie didn’t hesitate to answer. “King Cake.”
He nodded like a sage monk giving thought to the answer. “I like King Cake too. What’s your favorite? Cinnamon or cream cheese?”
“I’m a fan of cream cheese. So have you ever found the baby?”
“Yeah, once. I had to take a cake to school the next week.”
“So you baked one?”
“No, my mother did.” She pointed at Laura Jo.
Mark glanced at her with a look of respect but there was no sign of recognition as to who she was. Even though their families had known each other for years he didn’t remember her. The last she’d really heard was he’d been in a bad car accident and later left for medical school.
“You mom didn’t get it from a bakery?”
“No. She likes to make them.” Allie smiled up at Laura Jo. “She lets me put the baby inside.”
Allie continued, telling him how she liked to stand beside Laura Jo as she rolled the pastry out. She would wait patiently until it was time to put the miniature plastic baby into one of the rolls before Laura Jo braded them into a cake. When it came out of the oven Allie begged to be the one to shake the green, purple and gold sugar on top.
“Well, that sounds like fun. Are you ready to stand?”
Laura Jo couldn’t help but be impressed. Mark had cleaned up Allie with little more than a wince from her.
He placed a hand below Allie’s elbow and helped her to stand then said to Laura Jo, “Keep the area clean. If you see any infection call a doctor right away or take her to the ER.”
Laura Jo rolled her eyes. “I’m a nurse, remember?”
“I remember but sometimes when it’s someone we love our emotions get in the way.”
That was something close to what her father had said when she announced that she was marrying Phil. Her father had made it clear that Phil wasn’t good enough for her and not welcome in his house. “He’s only interested in your last name and money.” Her father went on to say that Phil certainly wasn’t worth giving up her education for. When she asked how her father knew so much about Phil he admitted to having someone check into his background. That Phil had already been married once and couldn’t seem to hold down a job. “He’s not good enough for you. Not welcome in our home,” had been her father’s parting words.
She’d chosen Phil. Even though she’d soon learned that her father had been right the situation it put a rift between her parents and her that was just as wide today as it had been nine years earlier. She had sworn then never to ask her parents for help. She had her pride.
Taking Allie’s hand, Laura Jo said, “Let’s go, honey. I’m sure we have taken enough of the medic’s time.”
“Bye,” Allie said.
Mark bent and picked up the doubloons off the pavement and placed them carefully in Allie’s hand. “I hope you find a baby in your next cake. Maybe it’ll bring you luck.”
Allie grinned back at him with obvious hero worship.
“Thank you.” She led Allie through the barrier. “Bye.”
That would be it for the reappearing Mark Clayborn. He had been a part of her life that was now long gone. She wouldn’t be seeing him again.
Susan Carlisle’s love affair with books began when she made a bad grade in math in the sixth grade. Not allowed to watch TV until she brought the grade up, Susan filled her time with books. She turned her love of reading into a passion for writing. With over ten books published through Harlequin Mills and Boon’s medical line, she writes hot romances with sexy docs and the strong women that captivate them.
She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband of over thirty years. Susan loves castles, traveling, sewing, afternoon tea, hats, James Bond and reads voraciously.
Want to win an iPad Mini on May 31? Starting today, click on the link below and answer all of the questions correctly. At the end, it will ask for your email address. One entry per household. Must be in the U.S. (Sorry international fans.) One winner will be announced on May 31.
The questions will be based on events in CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE.
And a thank you for coming by, CIRCLE OF DISHONOR is free wherever books are sold (except Amazon – I couldn’t get them to drop to zero).
Be sure to check back on May 1 for a month long contest with a big giveaway of a mini iPad. Plus I plan to have several more giveaways throughout the month from my author friends.
This is my fourth anniversary of receiving an offer for publication from HarperCollins. On May 4, 2011, I received an email from an editor at Avon offering me a two book deal that later turned into another contract for one more book. That’s how Circle of Desire, Circle of Danger, and Circle of Deception came about.
In the last year, I’ve released two novellas, Circle of Dishonor and Circle of Defiance. Be sure to check them all out.
During the month of May, Circle of Dishonor will be free at Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Kobo, and several other book sellers. Hopefully, I can get Amazon to play along too.
(The mini iPad will be for U.S. participates only due to postage and restricted laws on electronic equipment being shipped overseas.)
In remembrance of my dad (today he would’ve been 84), I will be giving away 11 copies of CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE (e-format only). How can you win a copy? Just comment with what is your favorite genre in romance and that special aspect. For me, it’s Romantic Suspense – Spies/Assassins. By the way, I will give away 6 copies on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CarlaSwaffordAuthor) and 5 copies here Looking forward to the answers. The winners will be notified this evening (presently, 8:40 a.m. central time USA).
[3.11.15 9:15 PM Contest ended. Sorry, had to end it though the number wasn’t met. Denise and bn100 won copies.]
Be sure to come back then to find out how you can win.
The other day, my oldest daughter was saying how she loved seeing what people imagine certain book heroes look like. So I thought I would share what I think Jack in CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE looks like. A combination of the two fellows in the top two pictures. Jack keeps his head shaved (his story will reveal why he does it), has piercings, tattoos, and isn’t classically handsome though women would call him good-looking in that manly way. He’s a lady’s man. So he loves women. Not for just sex. He actually has a female best friend. Though his younger brother, Rex, hates him, he will do anything to keep him happy. Jack even tricked Rex into marrying the woman his brother had loved for years. Because of the decisions Jack has made, he’s a lonely, lonely man. Thankfully, Katerina comes along and cheers him up. LOL! If you could call fearing for his life as cheering up. Don’t forget CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE is on sale now at Amazon! Plus Amazon has CIRCLE OF DESIRE and CIRCLE OF DANGER on sale for $1.99. Not sure how long that will last. For those who have been following my blog, I’ve mentioned a couple times I’m working on a new series. This hero let’s his hair grow, unlike Jack, and wears it in a hairstyle that has become popular again. It was the thing to wear in the 1930s to 1940s. I wasn’t alive then, but I’ve seen the movies (reruns 100 times over) from back in the day. I so hope fedoras come back in style too. Here are a couple pictures of the hairstyle I’m talking about. So sexy if done right. Plus the new hero leaves some scruff on his face. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS to Melissa Ruiz! She won the 2nd set of books, bag, Hello Kitty, $10 Amazon Gift Card and tee shirt! Melissa, be sure to answer my email. Thank you!
[Update: Melissa is excited to have won. Her package is being mailed out Saturday. Congrats again!]
Here’s your chance to win one of the two following cute bags (US Only. See further into the post for International). There are 10 books each in them, includes my three full-length novels, a $10 Amazon gift card, cool T-shirt and a Hello Kitty doll.
How do you enter for a chance? Each of the following is an entry.
For International readers, you can enter too, but your prize will be a $20 Amazon Gift Card via email (one winner).
[update: First U.S. winner will be announced February 14, International winner on February 19, and last U.S. winner February 24.]
Usually, I do cover reveals here, but Romance Magicians are having a special September blogfest with giveaways. So go over there. You might win something like a book, gift card, or even a Kindle Fire. Cool, heh?
(Love that picture/gif.)
See you there!
I know that Google does this for everyone (they did it last year), but I still get tickled. By the way, today, I’m celebrating my birthday and I’ve giving away 21 free copies of CIRCLE OF DISHONOR. (The age I wish I was again. HA!)
How do you get a copy? Wish me happy birthday here and then email me at carlaswafford @ charter.net with your e-book preference (Kindle or Nook). The first twenty-one people who do wins a copy. (This promotion is going on at Facebook too. So that number is part of the count.)
And for those who are late in wishing me happy birthday don’t worry, the cost of the novella is still 99 cents for a few more days.
Remember that the best way to say thank you to an author for writing a book you enjoyed is to leave a review.
[All of the copies have been given away! Thanks! Updated 7/19/14]
The commenter winner of the $25 Gift Card (Amazon/B&N) is DeeJay Sakata!
And the $25 Gift Card (Amazon/B&N) for the website host is Snarky Mom!
[Updated 6/29/14 with winners at each location and specials shown above. Those without winners didn’t have anyone commenting besides me and Goddess Fish Promotions and sometimes the web-host. So people missed out! Those who won, be sure to go back to the blog and post a thanks to the website. My info on how to collect is there. Congratulations to those who took the time out and commented.]
I’ll be traveling around today at the websites below, saying hi and giving away free copies of CIRCLE OF DISHONOR to commenters. At the end of the tour, I’ll give away a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card too. Hope to see you there!
I’m having a release party on Facebook. If you’re not part of Facebook or having a problem getting on there, then comment here. On June 23, I’ll give away some books and even a gift card. But if you can come to the Facebook party, then be sure to comment there. Five other authors will be giving away goodies on Facebook!
Hey, want a free copy of my latest book scheduled to be released June 23? Then be on the lookout for the list of blogs hosting a review or just a good old fashioned promo stop. Come by and say hello, you’ll be eligible to win a free copy or even a $25 gift card to Amazon/B&N.
Now for something I keep forgetting to mention. Along with CIRCLE OF DISHONOR being a novella, it is different than the other three books. You’re wondering how, right? Without giving away too much of the little book, let me say that the plot is more about the relationship than the usual bad guy/girl versus good guy/girl. It’s hotter too. Much more sensual than the other books, plus it has a little bondage. HA! Surprised you?
It’s definitely a book you would want to read late at night with your sweetie within touching distance. *eyebrows wiggle*
Come to the party on Facebook! Lots and I mean lots of Avon authors! The party doesn’t end until midnight (EST). Lots of goodies being given away. Winners will be announced tomorrow there. I’m giving away my 3 books and swag. My post will be there at 7 p.m. (CST). Check it out. Click here.