Monday, September 24, 2012

Hot Mama!

I love reading hot books. And if you read my books, you know that I love writing them too. If you do read mine, have you noticed that each of my fellows have a . . . ahem . . . sexual quirk? Yep. They need a certain something to happen to reach their pinnacle of pleasure. (No. I don’t normally write so flowery, but this blog is rated PG-13.) So now you have something else to look forward to in my third book of The Circle series.

Of course, in CIRCLE OF DECEPTION there’s more to it than just sex. I swear. My readers will finally learn all of the details of what happened when Rex and Abby (A.J.) thought each other were dead for several years. Here’s the new blurb for DECEPTION.

No one ever said returning from the dead was easy.

And for Circle operative Abby Rodriguez, it’s downright tough. After disappearing days before her wedding to fellow Circle agent Rex Drago, Abby’s discovered that trying to reclaim a life—and a love—lost is a whole lot harder than she thought. When her family’s safety is threatened by an arms dealer, Abby must go undercover with the one man who sees right through her and play the scariest role yet: husband and wife.

Mission or no mission, Rex Drago wants answers from his ex-fianc√©. Forced to play along as a rival arms dealer and the husband he once wanted to be, Rex is finding it tough to stay professional—especially when Abby is just as hot as ever. And when they find themselves in a very intimate position, Abby and Rex must act the part—or risk blowing their cover entirely. 

And here’s a little excerpt.  (Chapter One)

The naked man swayed back and forth, his ankles bound by duct tape and rope to a massive hook suspended from the ceiling. A bare light bulb at the end of a long wire swung in the opposite direction, casting drunken shadows across every inch of his sweat-coated skin.
Abby Rodriguez’s gaze followed the movement of Rex Drago’s body as if watching a tennis match in slow motion.
             “Enjoying the view?”  His bored and resigned tone barely hid his sarcasm. Even upside down, his eyes taunted her. 
“Yeah. Actually, I am.” She sat cross-legged a few feet away on the warehouse floor, her favorite Sig in one hand resting on her knee. “You’ve been working on your abs. Got them looking good. Almost an eight pack. Maybe you could get a job modeling for romance novels.” With his big arms tied behind his back, she admired how the muscles expanded each time he struggled with the tape. A sparse swirl of hair rested between his pecs and trailed to a thin line across his abs toward his groin.
“Funny. Real funny.” He cleared his throat. “Get me down.”
“Having a problem with your sinuses? I guess hanging like that,” she waved in his direction, “bottom up, could cause a problem. Kind of chilly in here too.”
“Where’s Jack and Nic?” His coal black hair cut high and tight, almost brushed the floor with each pass. She missed his long hair but the military style gave him a more deadly look. Heaven and Hell knew he already intimidated enough people with his six foot five height.
            “Nic is monitoring the silent alarm, making sure it’s off and no back up wired in. Jack’s somewhere nearby, probably taking out the guard we spotted in the back that Savalas left behind.”
Tilting her head, she looked a little harder at the tattoos running across his biceps on each arm.  She never remembered seeing them on him before. Motivated less from curiosity than her attempt to avoid staring at what dangled from his groin. Oh, yeah, that appendage had always been worth admiring, but the man already had an ego the size of . . . well, of his c*ck, and he needed no one stroking—for goodness sakes, her mind refused to stay on the problem at hand. Hand? Her gaze darted to his gorgeous penis and then away.
            She sighed. Every time she worked with Rex, her libido revved up at the most inappropriate times. The man oozed sex appeal. With cheekbones to die for and eyes of a clear gray ringed by darker gray, his looks were saved from being too perfect by the scar that ran across his nose and near the corner of his lip to a point on his left cheek. Then again, the scar only added to his aura of danger.
            He growled. “Are you planning on cutting me down anytime soon?”
            She grinned big, knowing how much he hated depending on anyone’s help. “Well—“
            “Abby, d*mmit! Quit playing around.” His body began swinging harder as he fought the ties.
            “Is that any way to talk to a friend?”
            “Some freaking friend,” he muttered.
            “What did you say?” She looked a little harder at one of the tattoos. Tiny writing around a delicate Valentine heart appeared to move as he flexed his bicep. Was it for a current girlfriend? Weird, he’d never been into visual displays of love. Even when he asked her to marry him years ago, it had been during a private moment and more of a statement than a proposal. Things changed. People changed.
Gunfire echoed through the large warehouse. What trouble had Jack stumbled across? Time for her to quit teasing the big baby swinging frantically in front of her and let him go.
            “I said if I ever get down from here, I’ll spank that sweet ass of yours red.”
            “Ha! That’s no way to talk to the person who‘s saving you.” She almost flinched when his glare turned to ice. Those beautiful eyes use to be filled with love when he looked at her, but no longer. Years ago, she’d made sure of that.
            The jingle of a gun-strap caught her attention. In a smooth move, she twisted, aiming her gun at the person behind her.
“What the f*ck!” Jack Drago, Rex’s brother, jumped out of her Sig’s sight, clutching a M4 rifle across his torso. “Quit being a pain in the ass and cut him down. Savalas has more men coming and we don’t have time for you two to reminisce.” He glanced over his shoulder, checking the perimeter.
            “I didn’t need help, especially hers.” Rex continued to glower at Abby.
            She wanted to laugh, but at the same time, the thought of Rex being killed scared her more than she wanted to admit. No way would she ever let him know that. She’d broken his heart once and he’d done the same to hers. She planned to never let it happen again.
            “Fine then! I’ll put you out of your misery.” She raised her gun and pointed it at Rex.
            “Wait! Hold on! Abby, d*mmit!” He twisted and struggled with the binding around his wrists, causing his body to flop around like a hooked trophy fish.
            The shot reverberated in the large warehouse and cut off Rex’s shouting as he fell to the floor. She’d always been an excellent shot and the little bit of duct tape and rope never had a chance.
            “For Pete’s sake, what the hell’s going on here? Rex?” Nic ran to the big guy moaning on the floor. Her ball cap flying off, releasing a short ebony braid. “Oh, mygosh, oh, my gosh! Did she shoot you? Tell me where you’re bleeding.”
             “Abby, d*mmit! You could make a preacher cuss. What if he’d cracked open his skull? We don’t need to be slowed down dragging his big ass out of here.” Jack nudged Abby to the side and stood over his brother while Nic cut the rest of the rope and tape off his wrists and ankles.
            “My last name is Rodriguez,” Abby said, arms folded over her chest. The Sig secured in her shoulder holster. Frustration stiffened her back and lifted her chin. She refused to let the men browbeat her.
            “What?” Jack squinted at her in confusion.
            “You and Rex obviously think my last name is ‘d*mmit.’” She concentrated on staring back at Jack while Nic rattled on about Rex’s cuts and bruises. She hated seeing the other woman fussing over him. For some inane reason she wanted to be the one to do it.
Rex stood, drawing her reluctant attention as he rubbed the marks left behind. He towered over Nic. Abby wanted to push her out of the way and run her hands over his hard body, checking for broken bones, making sure he was okay.
“You’re crazy,” he said, glaring at her. That snapped her out of the mushy feelings.
            One eyebrow lifted, she said, “Yes, I am. And don’t you forget it.”  With a flip of her hair, she sauntered off.
As you can tell, I enjoy a good reunion story. So tell me the type of reunion stories you enjoy reading. And if you have a favorite book with a reunion story, let me know.

Today, we have two giveaways. For those who live in Birmingham (USA) or nearby and are wanting to come to our luncheon, we have two tickets to give away. So you and a buddy can attend on November 3, Saturday, our Romance Readers Luncheon with Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love. How exciting is that?  That’s a $60 value. Everyone who attends receives a bag full of books and swag.  Click to find out more about it.

The second giveaway is opened to everyone (including international): a $10 Amazon gift card.  

Don't forget for every comment Romance Magicians will be giving away a KINDLE FIRE to one lucky person (U.S. only - sorry) at the end of the Blog Blitz.

By the way, I have another giveaway that ends December 26. If you sign up for my newsletter at you could possibly win, for U.S. residences, a KINDLE PAPERWHITE and for International residences a $100 Amazon Gift Card. 


Michel Reinhard said...

Carla.... I love your looking forward to December 26.... yeah....merry christmas to me! I would love to attend a luncheon and meet your fellow magicians. I have attended several of the Birmingham Maniacs (girls I met years ago on Karen Marie Monings forum). They have a wonderful group and have members such as Hailey Edwards and have had the Donna from writing team Moira Rogers. You should hook up with these gals. They also come up to our luncheon in December in Chattanooga. We get girls from Georgia, North Carollina, Kentucky, and of course the Bama girls. Would love to get in contact with you!

JoAnn said...

Haven't read many reunion stories, but I can't wait for yours!

Alison said...

Can't wait for Circle of Deception! I love reunion stories :)

Cari Hislop said...

"What if he’d cracked open his skull? We don’t need to be slowed down dragging his big ass out of here."

That's a brilliant line! You instantly get this mental image of them dragging this giant naked (beautiful) man out of a warehouse to the sound of gunfire...and then wisely running after he comes to his senses.

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Michel!!! LOL! And yes, Merry Christmas!

Email me anytime at carla

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, sweet JoAnn.

Carla Swafford said...

Thank you, Alison. One of the things I like about reunion stories is that people change. So when one person believes the other will act a certain way and doesn't, it can make an interesting situation.

Carla Swafford said...

LOL! Thanks, Cari. So true. LOL!

Naima Simone said...

I have been WAITING for this book!! I love the hero and heroine! Circle of Deception will be my first Christmas gift to myself!

My favorite renuion story would have to be the very first I read. I can't remember the name of the book, but it was a Harlequin that I found on my grandmother's porch. It told the story of teenagers that fell in love and were separated by her wealthy grandparents because he was from the wrong side of the tracks. Years later they moved back to their hometown at the same time, discovered the lies that had kept them apart and fought to have their happily-ever-after. Sigh. I'm going to find that book...

Ingrid Seymour said...

Reunion stories have a pontential to strike a chord with many readers. I can think of a few people in my past whom I'd like to see again. I'm a stranger in a strange land, and if I think too much about all the folks I haven't seen in a while, I get homesick :|

I look forward to checking out your next book!

Ingeborg said...

Loved the excerpt, thank you.

Carla Swafford said...

Naima, my grandmother had a collection of TRUE ROMANCE magazines on her end table, and as a teenager I would read them like crazy. Of course, I thought they were true. Well, that's what the magazine was named, why wouldn't it be true? LOL!

Did I tell you there's an orgy in the middle of the book? :-)

Thanks!! Hugs.

Carla Swafford said...

Ingrid, I've always admired people who are brave enough to leave their homeland and come to the States.


Carla Swafford said...

Ingeborg, THANKS!

Naima Simone said...

Heck no you didn't tell me!!

And we can pre-order when?? ROFL!!

RedPeril said...

I love a good lost love reunion story...they're right up there with marriage-of-convenience as far as preferred plotlines go. ^_^

There was a great one that hooked me years and years ago: I can't quite remember the title, but there was a pregnancy, meddling parental lies on both sides, a marriage to the wrong person, ten years of separation, and a child custody lawsuit all rolled in there. Ah, drama. ^_^

~Angela Blount

Carla Swafford said...

Angela, Judith McNaught had one very much like that. PARADISE is the title if I remember correctly.


Carla Swafford said...

Naima, you can pre-order now. LOL!

Bama said...

one of my favorite reunion books is Gypsy by Carole Mortimer... :)

Amanda K. said...

Rex caught my attention very early on in the series and I have been waiting for his story. Thanks for the teaser!

Carla Swafford said...

Bama/Beth, I'll have to check that book out. Thanks!

Carla Swafford said...

Amanda K., thanks. He's a sweetheart - a big cuddly teddybear of a man, though he would resent being called that.

Na said...

I also enjoy reunion stories. I like all kinds and like to see how the characters have grown.

Shadow said...

Sounds like an awesome book! :) Reunion stories are always fun!

Carla Swafford said...

Me too, Na. Thank you.

Carla Swafford said...

Shadow, thank you!

Bama said...

yw Carla :)

Jane said...

I really enjoyed your debut "Circle of Desire," Carla. I do enjoy reunion stories and one of my favorites is Lisa Kleypas' "Again the Magic."

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Jane. I love Lisa Kleypas's writing and can't remember if that is one I read or not. When I get home, I'll check out my bookshelf.

Alison Rush said...

Sounds great... Can't wait to start reading

Carla Swafford said...

Thank you so much, Alison!

Louisa Cornell said...

OMG! That was one FABULOUS excerpt! Can't WAIT to read this one!

One of my favorite reunion stories is by our very own Gayle Wilson - His Secret Duchess. This is one of her early books, but it is SO wonderful!

Carla, I am enjoying this series immensely. And I have been pimping them to my buddies at work!

Carla Swafford said...

Awww, Louisa, you're a sweetheart to say that. Thanks!

Carla Swafford said...

The winners are:

For the $10 Amazon Gift Card - "Na" - be sure to send me your email address.

For the luncheon tickets (if you can attend), Michel Reinhard!

Contact me at carla


Martha Lawson said...

Sounds great!! I've got the first two in the series in my tbr pile, better pull them out and get to reading! Thanks for the giveaway.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Alicia Coleman said...

nCarla, I can't wait to complete my circle with your new book. Will be pre-ordering tonight!

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt.

Jill Watkins said...

Hi Carla-

Nice to meet you! I am excited to find a new (to me) author- I am liking your writing style and can't wait to start reading your books. And the eye candy is nice, too! LOL

Thanks for the giveaway!

Jill.watkins (at)

Arleigh said...

This book sounds amazing! Plus hot Abs on the Cover!

bsmith said...

Byerc Smith(pronounced Barcy)9-30-2012 10:00am

Hi Carla I just read a preview of circle of deception and all I can to say WOW.
I'd like to follow on facebook.

Thanks for the preview of your book I can't wait to get the series.

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Martha!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks to Alicia, bn100, Jill, Arleigh,and bsmith!