Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Reader Girls is today's host for the Circle of Desire Virtual Book Tour. Welcome! We asked author Carla Swafford a question for her guest post and her lovely response is below. Also, there's a giveaway and the information is below. 

The blurb: As the top assassin at The Circle, a shadowy group of mercenaries, Olivia St. Vincent can hunt down anyone. She’s been trained since she was a teenager to kill without feeling, to interact with men without love. But when she’s kidnapped by the enigmatic leader of a rival organization, she learns she’s been lied to for years. She never worked for the good guys.

Collin Ryker believes the sultry woman he’s abducted knows more than she’s telling about The Circle and its plans for complete domination. Over time, as they work together, Olivia’s tenacity and vulnerability captivate him. But if he isn’t careful, Collin will fall into the biggest trap of all: caring for a woman who can betray him to his greatest enemy.

Guest Post by Carla Swafford:
Thank you for asking me to visit your blog. I love seeing families reading together. My reading gene came from my dad and his dad. Then I passed it on to one of my daughters. We keep hoping to bring the college student into the fold once she graduates. Then again, she’s a professional student. So we have no idea when that will happen. She has promised to read my book. Isn’t that sweet? But we do plan to have a defibrillator nearby when she does. She’s destined to have a heart attack when she reads certain scenes in “Mom’s” book.

Your question to me was how does it feel to compete with established writers?

Wow! That’s really a good question. I guess I’ve never really thought of my becoming published as a competition with other authors. Maybe because I’m aware of the vast opportunities to take one story and turn it into a hundred directions. Over the years, I’ve heard we basically have a certain number of plots to write. Seven to ten are the most common quantities given. A good link to go to that explains this is at http://www.ipl.org/div/farq/plotFARQ.html.

With those basic plots, we have an indefinite number of stories to tell. Since everyone has their own way of speaking, in this case, writing a story, we can have thousands, even millions of authors and never hear the same story, especially word for word. Plus each reader has their own special need inside that drives them to purchase certain type of stories. I personally love forced marriage plots, contemporary or historical, along with anything involving spies and assassins. The last two are why I wrote CIRCLE OF DESIRE. Most authors do write what they want to read. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Then readers want their need fulfilled more than once a year. Some have a monthly, weekly, and for those fast readers, a daily addiction. My addiction can be seen in the stack of twenty novels waiting in my shelves to be read and the same number downloaded on my NookTM.

What I’m getting at is there’s room for many authors. Some who will be an instantaneous best-selling author (al la Stephenie Myer) and others who’ll take years to reach that same point of success (the fabulously talented Sherrilyn Kenyon). Of course, the publishing world has room for all of us in between authors.

I’m sure some authors feel they must compete by way of having a higher advance, more books sold, and larger perks from their publishers. The only place I will probably consider it as competition, and I might even have a chance, is by entering the RITA® Awards, the Romance Writers of America’s contest for published authors. That’s like trying for an Oscar® if you’re in the movie industry.

Oh, if you’re wondering how the established authors feel? I have to say most of those I speak with are happy for me and have been helpful in providing quotes for my books, advice on promotion, and encouragement in going forward. Authors have broad minds — thus why they write such great stories — and often see the big picture. What is good for one is good for all. You know those two authors I mentioned earlier? If not for Sherrilyn paving the way in making vampires cool, would Stephenie’s book have been as successful? I’m sure many people have different opinions about that, but since I’m the one writing this …

My advice for those writers who are working toward publication, keep writing, send your manuscripts to editors and agents, listen to those who’ve been in the trenches, and continue to learn your craft. But always follow your heart. Besides, there is plenty of room for you too. I’ll be waiting to read your book. If it is one with spies and assassins forced to marry, I’ll be in reader heaven. Wait! That’s a great idea. Got to go and jot some notes.

Always remember, be sure to make time for reading. 

About the author: Carla Swafford inherited her love of books from her dad and his father. Growing up, she read every book with a horse on the cover until the age of twelve when she read her first romance. Tired of waiting for her favorite authors to publish more books, she decided to write one. She joined Romance Writers of America and was the finalist in several writing contests.

Carla lives in Alabama and works in a male-dominated occupation at the same company with her husband.
Find Carla Swafford's here:
Website  Blog  Twitter: @carlaswafford Goodreads Facebook

GIVEAWAY: Carla Swafford will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com GC. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Tour dates:
October 16: Christine Glover's Blog
October 17: Among the Muses
October 18: Reader Girls
October 19: Black Velvet Seductions
October 20: News and Reviews from the Heart of the Dragon's Den
October 21: I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!
October 24: Patricia Prestion's Blog
October 25: Christy Reece's Blog

We thank Carla Swafford and Goddess Fish Promotions.


  1. The question about writers being in competition with each other was very interesting. I always felt that if I wrote it would be all about me & my work & not what others are doing. A great post.


  2. That's the way to think, Marybelle. Every writer should write the story that moves her/him. Not to the market or the new up and coming thing. Though if you just happen to like what's popular now, be sure to make it your own little twist.

    Circle of Desire has my own special little twist to it. And it was released TODAY!!

  3. Testing. People tweeting me saying they're having problems commenting.

  4. I would like to mention for every comment on my blog tour, you're entered into a drawing for 1 $25 Amazon gift certificate or 1 of 3 $10 B&N gift cards.

  5. Great post, Carla--there's so much room in the marketplace for every kind of author that competition is a non-factor, I think. Congratulations on your first (of many) release, and if you ever want to read about a forced marriage between a wizard and an elf, I'm your girl!

  6. Thanks for the awesome thoughts and very true words.

  7. Oh, cool, Suzanne. Yes, I do. Is that the one coming out next year?

    AND thank you!

  8. Your new book sounds great, love a strong female character. I like the comment about making sure you always make time for reading. Unfortunately, I need to make time for doing things other than reading:) I'm addicted to my e reader. I guess there's worse things to be addicted to.


  9. Thank you, mnjcarter! You've got that right. I rather be addicted to reading than most anything else.

  10. I share the addiction!
    Another great post. Facebook is a great way to see how authors support each other!
    CIRCLE downloaded to my beloved Kindle around midnight. Sleep? Who needs sleep? If these kids (and husband) would settle down, I'll be getting back to it shortly.

  11. LOL! Thanks, Kara. That's the same that I say about sleeping. Too many books to read to sleep. :-)

  12. Interesting blog. You mentioned that your family has promised to read your book. Some authors don't like family or friends reading their sexy romance novels. Do you have a problem with that?

  13. I love your attitude, Carla. There's plenty of room for all the authors at the top of the pyramid. You've been instrumental in helping so many unpubs get published that I have no doubt you'll be one of the published authors who supports other published authors and continues helping unpublished peeps to achieve their goals.

    I'll be curious about your Professional College Student's reaction to some of your scenes ;-)

  14. Hey, Karen! My oldest daughter is one of my beta readers.

    Actually, the only ones who will not read it in my family are my mom (she likes the bedroom door closed), my dad and brother (they don't read romance) and my mother-in-law (she's not a reader). But my sister, sister-in-laws (4 of them) and several nieces and cousins are excited about it.

    My husband isn't a reader either and I have a feeling he doesn't know what he's in for when it comes from being teased about the love scenes. LOL!

  15. Welcome, Christine! I'll let you know. I can't wait too. LOL!

  16. Congrats on your book, Carla. It is so exciting. I think for me the competition is with myself. Once I reach a goal, I set another and another. Life's too short to be bored and unchallenged ;)

    -Ingrid Seymour

  17. Thanks, Ingrid! Amen to life being too short.

  18. congrats on the new release. Have been loving the excerpts, makes me want to read even more. You are a new author for me and always looking for new books to check out.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    GFC & blog follower: Chris Bails

  19. Hey there, Chris! Hope you will give my book a try. THANKS!

  20. My husband isn't a reader. But he completely supports my obsession! What more could I ask for? The novel sounds really intriguing.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  21. Men who do, are usually rather smart. Thanks, Vivien.

  22. Thank you for the nice post Carla! Everyone in my family has been a reader: usually I'm the one recommending to my mom what to read, when I was a teenager my dad influenced my reading a lot, and my grandpa still spends his weekend afternoons in his armchair reading a book. Sadly my friends don't read the same books I do, so I can only talk about what I read online.

    Congratulations on your release! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  23. If only your friends knew what they were missing, Stella. Thanks for stopping by.