Posts tagged ‘Reviews’

RT BookReviews

RT BookReviews closed it operations on May 16, 2018. It was a sad moment for many including myself. I read the magazine from the time it was actually a newspaper (1980s). At least, my dream of having a review of my book(s) done by the magazine came true. Plus my name was mentioned a few times in the magazine.

Before the website goes dark next year, here are copies of the reviews and such. Side note: The highest star rating you could get at RT was 4-1/2 stars.

By the way, my first book came out 7 years and 17 days ago.

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(Out of the Shadows was the pre-published title.  Now it’s Circle of Desire)

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You can find the video at the bottom right of this website.

Love it? Review It.

Heroine wants to save the man she loves, but not everyone is cut out to be a killer.

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!

Well Said

***Beware Spoiler**

When I received a notice of another five star review for Hidden Heat, I was excited to click on it and see what it said. (We authors can be such needy people.) The reviewer at I Heart YA Books blew me away with her insight into my heroine.

Several reviewers had mentioned their dissatisfaction in the heroine’s easy acceptance of the hero’s return at the end of the book. Of course, everyone feels differently about many situations, but no matter how I feel about it, this was Cassidy’s story and her reactions are her own. So I had planned to write a post on why my spunky heroine became such a pushover at the end.

But when I read the review, I felt the reviewer had said it all, and I asked permission to reprint. Debbie was a sweetheart and said okay.

Here’s the review.

——

Hidden Heat is a fantastic read. This might be one of the few times that I’ve loved the heroine more than the hero. Cassidy Ryder is a girl who definitely has her stuff together. I loved that Cassidy wasn’t a whiney girl—that she’s a mature-thinking woman even though she’s only twenty-one. And this came from Cassidy’s hard life of being raised around a Motorcycle Club. Daughter of an ex MC President and her mother who was murdered when she was a young girl, has made Cassidy tough. She had to grow up fast, especially when she had a young brother to take care of. With that thought in mind about Cassidy, that’s why I loved Cassidy and Thorn’s ending to their story. It’s just the way I would imagine Cassidy to be when Thorn returns.

Cassidy handled her relationship with Thorn—who’s an undercover cop—with the right frame of mind. Cassidy knew that when she was falling in love with Thorn, there was no guarantee that she and Thorn would have a future together. Cassidy also knew Thorn would go on to the next undercover job, so she accepted what she was getting into when she fell in love with Thorn. I know I’m talking about the ending first in my review, but I just thought it was an awesome, happily ever after ending with Cassidy and Thorn, because of Cassidy’s maturity in the way she handled things. Great communication between the Cassidy and Thorn.

Thorn Savalas is a cop working undercover to bring down the top leaders in the Brothers of Mayhem MC. But just when he’s close to getting the information he needs to finish the job, Cassidy Ryder walks into the Brother of Mayhem’s bar with a baseball bat looking for her younger brother, Storm, who’s been hanging with the MC. And the only way for Thorn to protect the headstrong, sassy mouthed Cassidy from getting killed is to claim her as his old lady. Cassidy and Thorn’s hot, steamy hook-up will become their most dangerous adventure to their forever love story.

Hidden Heat is a keep you on the edge suspense with a sizzling hot romance. It also has a tiny little twist at the end that will melt your heart. I recommend Cassidy and Thorn’s story as a must read.

                                    5 Hearts of Love for Cassidy & Thorn

——

Well said, Debbie.  Thank you. Hugs.

Be sure to check out her reviews. Click here.

What People Are Saying . . .

This is what readers on Goodreads are saying about HIDDEN HEAT coming out February 16.

“This is a great ride that has a lot of surprises . . . I am looking forward to see what’s next from this author because I have become a fan.”

“I promise you will love it!!”

“I completely enjoyed this story, it’s many plot twists & turns had me riveted. I loved Thorn’s crazy relatives!”

“Overall Hidden Heat is a fantastic introduction to the Brothers Of Mayhem with more characters to be explored such as Wolf, Angel and of course Storm…his story is not yet over.”

“Fans of the genre will love this book. I have added the author to my must read authors’ list.”

“Wow! I really liked it. This author will definitely be on my watch list.”

“There is a LOT of drama and angst and twists, so there will be no further story line hints given… READ IT…. and start begging Carla for the sequel!”

“A thrilling story, full of surprises, intrigue, steamy passion and some really nasty sounding dudes (makes a change from everyone looking hot and sexy). I loved it.”

“For me it was fast paced and an exciting read. Will definitely be looking for more of the Brothers of Mayhem in the future.”

“I really liked Thorn. A LOT.”

“Cassidy is a tough chic that looks out for her brother.”

“The bat swinging bundle of hotness who busted into the Skull and Bones is none other than the daughter of the founding Skull…

“Swafford wrote a compelling story of how far will the love for a brother take you.”

“I liked the fact that Cass was a kick ass take no prisoner chick, and Thorn (Holy hell) he sounds totally HOT!”

“I couldn’t put this book down.”

“This is my first book by this author and I loved it.”

“I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.”

“My Favorite Moment: I really loved when Cassidy found out the real story about who Thorn is.”

“Super easy read, great flow, great character development and I really enjoyed it.”

“Cassidy was a strong female lead and even though she knew something would get her into trouble, she did it anyway because she knew without a doubt it was the right thing to do.”

“The plot is fairly well developed with about as much mistrust as you might expect within the motorcycle club . . .”

“Every few pages, just when you think you have a handle on the plot line another twist comes along.”

“I was instantly pulled into this story. It was an easy read. It had a great flow to it. I am looking forward to the next in the series. ”

“I could not put this book down. I loved Cassidy and her determination to protect her brother from the harsh life within the MC.”

“Such an amazing and exciting story!! Started reading and could not stop until I was completely finished! 100% recommend!!”

“I hated to say goodbye to Cassidy and Thorn. 5 stars!!”

“Carla S[w]afford has a new fan due to her depth of characters and twisting plot lines”

“Two very different people, with lots of plot twist to make you keep reading to find out more.”

“Carla is great at weaving suspense into her romances so this was hit for me.”

Hey, I believe in celebrating the positive! Thank you, everyone!  I can’t wait until you read Storm’s book (FULL HEAT). It’s going to blow your socks off!  An angst filled hero and a laid-back heroine. What a switch, heh?

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Here Let Me Help You

mad womanI can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a review (not mine) and become frustrated when an angry reviewer gives a novella one star because “It was too short.” You’re reading and that’s important. Obviously, you want to learn. So be sure to watch for certain words before you click on that FREE, $0.99 or $1.99 specials.

Short Story: That means exactly what it says. It’s a story that’s short. Probably around 50 pages or less.

Novella:  Dictionary.com tells us, “A fictional prose narrative that is longer and more complex than a short story; a short novel.” I would say anything 51 pages to around 200 pages.

Part 1 (or 2 or 3, etc.):  That book will be short. Can’t guess at the size as it varies and is up to the author (or publisher) of how many pages they want to make each part. But it’s like watching a 30 minute TV series that continues next week. You will only get PART of the story.

Okay, this is what you need to look at closely if you’re not sure.

For example, on Amazon they now tell you how many pages under Product Details. No guessing.

At Barnes and Noble, they don’t give you the number but if you see a File Size of around 126 KB under Product Details, chances are it’s short. If you’re still unsure, look at the reviews. Yes. People will complain about the length. Thus why I’m writing this post.

happy woman

I checked Kobo and they don’t show pages or file size, but let’s use some common sense. Chances are if it is $0.99 and has the word(s) Novella, Short Story or Part 1, it will not be a full novel.

Now I’m not saying all $1.99 or lower price books are short stories.  My books have been $1.99 and $0.99 before and they are full pledged novels, and I’ve grabbed up some great books for those prices myself. You just need to stop and read a little bit if this sort of thing pisses you off.

Authors love happy readers.

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