October 21, 2011

Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford: Guest Post & Giveaway {Goddess Fish Promotions}

Today I have Carla Swafford on the blog for a special guest post and a chance to win a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card! Enjoy!

Thank you, Kate and Jessica, for inviting me to your blog. You’re living on the edge by allowing me free rein in deciding what to post. But I’ll behave and do what I love to do more often than I like to admit. Make up lists. Yes. My OCD is showing. To make it a little less dry, I’ve decided to let my two main characters in Circle of Desire, Olivia St. Vincent and Collin Ryker, help out.

Carla: Olivia, what are the top five traits you look for in a hero?
Olivia: Well, let’s see. I never imagined falling for a man who talked in a near whisper most of the time. Though I must admit, when he talks, a room full of arguing operatives shuts up in seconds. That’s a man who can lead.
Carla: So number one would be a commanding voice.
Olivia: More like number five. The voice helps get my engine running, but it’s not number one.
Carla: Olivia, don’t forget this needs to stay PG. So no physical traits to be included in the list.
Olivia: I’m hurt. You don’t trust me?
Carla: Let’s say I know you too well.
Olivia: Very well then, let’s get to it. Trait number four: a hero must be comfortable with handling weapons of all types. You know how I love guns, especially sniper rifles, the more powerful the better.
Carla: So an expert in weaponry. I guess, when it comes to a trait, it would fall in the category of being protective. That would be number four. Three more to go.
Olivia: A hero must be honorable. He would never take advantage of those weaker.
Carla: Now we’re getting somewhere. I agree totally. That would be number three. So you think Collin is honorable?
Olivia: Humph! Who said we’re talking about him? I thought you wanted to know about heroes.
Carla: Collin is certainly hero material. He could’ve killed you instead of bringing you into his organization, the OS.
Olivia: He could’ve tried.
Carla: Olivia?
Olivia: Oh, okay. Yes. He handled it rather well the time I held the sniper rifle on him and accused him of betraying me to The Circle, though he did eventually hand me over to them.
Carla: You know he didn’t have a choice. Your ex-boss would’ve killed the two OS operatives he held hostage.
Olivia: Yeah, yeah. Don’t beat me over the head with it. Collin’s all noble and a bag of chips.
Carla: You sound almost jealous.
Olivia: Everyone thinks he’s God’s Gift to the universe and I’m evil incarnate. Wouldn’t you get tired of being painted like that?
Carla: I’m sorry. You’re right. Let’s continue on with our list.
Olivia: Alright. Number two. Hmm, this is getting more difficult. I can’t include body parts?
Carla: No. Physical. Traits.
Olivia: Don’t get snippy. What is it that you call a hero who’s a push over when tears are involved?
Carla: Maybe you’re thinking compassionate.
Olivia: Sure. Compassionate. I like how it goes along with passionate.
Carla: Ooolivia.
Olivia: That’s not a body part. Geez. You’re no fun.
Carla: Let’s move to number one. What’s the most important trait?
Olivia: Easy. He must be intelligent.
Carla: Smart. I agree.
Olivia: Collin was smart enough to fall in love with me.
Carla: I thought we weren’t talking about Collin.
Olivia: Of course, the man’s got a big enough—
Carla: Oooliva!
Olivia: Now who’s being naughty? I was saying he had a big enough ego without me adding to it.
Carla: Okay. Go over there while I talk with Collin.
Olivia: Fine. But don’t believe a word he says.

Carla: Shh! Behave, Olivia. Collin, thank you for being so patient. It’s only fair to ask you a similar question. What are the top five traits you look for in a heroine? Starting with number five.
Collin: Definitely confidence. A woman must know her own mind and be sure of her abilities.
Carla: Much like Olivia, wouldn’t you say?
Collin: She’s certainly confident in her skill with guns.
Carla: Why do I get a feeling you’re saying she isn’t always sure of herself?
Collin: At times, her bravado can be an act.
Carla: I see. She acts tough but is a softy inside.
Collin: That’s true though she hates to admit it. Number four is adaptable.
Carla: Uh, I’m not sure what you mean by that.
Collin: She understands the world isn’t black and white. There’s a lot of gray. Sometimes what you believe is true, isn’t.
Carla: Oh, okay. Like her believing The Circle were the good guys. That is, they were at one time, but had gone to the dark side you could say.
Collin: Yes.
Carla: I like how you’re up front about Olivia being the heroine you’re describing.
Collin: She can be when she sets her mind to it.
Olivia: I heard that!
Carla: This is Collin’s turn! Go! Let us talk.
Collin: Number three is intelligence. A heroine needs not only brains but street smarts too.
Carla: I find that interesting. Would you like to speculate on why she placed it as number one for heroes?
Collin: No.
Carla: Would you at least explain the sexy grin you’re wearing?
Collin: No.
Carla: Alrighty then. Let’s move on to number two.
Collin: Number two is a heroine must be loyal.
Carla: Loyal? You have to explain that one.
Collin: A heroine will sacrifice herself for the greater good.
Carla: Oh, no, you didn’t. You didn’t pull the Buffy card.
Collin: I’m not sure of what you mean, but a heroine will stand by those she loves even when it might endanger herself.
Carla: Okay. You can have that one.
Collin: The top one is independence. There’s nothing sexier about a woman, than one who knows her own mind and doesn’t need to lean on others, including a man, to achieve her goals.
Carla: Wow! I love hearing a man say that. When a man isn’t threatened by a woman knowing her own mind … wow! That’s sexy.
Collin: I’m taken.
Olivia: You tell her!
Carla: Uh-huh. I wasn’t … I didn’t mean .... Oh, heck.
Olivia: Come here, sugar, so I can show you one of my goals.
Carla: Anyway, thanks to Olivia and Collin for helping me out. Quit that, you two! For goodness sakes, get a room.

I hope you learned a little about what it takes to be a hero or heroine, and maybe a little about the people whose story the Circle of Desire is about. I will warn you the story is very hot, and the world they live in violent. A world filled with assassins and betrayal. But even Olivia and Collin find a sanctuary from all the craziness by loving each other. 

Thanks for stopping by Carla, Olivia, and Collin!! :)

Publisher: Harper Collins/Avon Impulse (October 18, 2011)
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.

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.

Carla Swafford's Website | Blog | FacebookTwitterGoodreads

Giveaway: Here is your chance to win a $25 Amazon.com GC! Stop by each blog on the tour and comment, the more comment the better chance of winning. Check out the rest of the tour HERE and comment below!


  1. Hi Carla,

    Can't believe I'm first poster today. Loved reading the H/H in their Q&A session with you! Those interviews are always fun. Now, if your book were to be made into a movie, who would you like to see cast in the parts of Olivia and Collin?

  2. Hi, Carla!
    That was awesome! I loved the interview! LOL! Since I already bought the book (IT IS WONDERFUL!!) reading the interview is like being with Olivia and Collin again. That is so their voices and I love them individually and as a couple! I soooo love them as a couple! LOL! Anyway before I go on and on, great post and *sigh* GREAT book!

  3. Oh,Karen, You need to check out the pictures at my blog starting with http://carlaswafford.blogspot.com/2011/10/looking-good.html (10/8/11).

    I picked out Hugh Jackman for Collin, and Diane Lane for Olivia. Then look at the 10/9/11 and 10/10/11 posts for pictures of the other characters.


  4. Naima, you're a sweetheart and half. And, folks, if you want a hot read, Naima writes for Ellora's Cave and does a wonderful job.

    Thank you. Hugs.

  5. hahaha The Buffy card - classic! Loved.

    Thanks for the contest! :)
    Ammy Belle
    Apereiraorama @ gmail . com

  6. Loooove this interview Carla- You've made such great characters. Can't wait to see what you do w/ Ryker!

  7. Thanks bunches, Lisa. You're a sweetheart to say so. And Ryker? Talk about edgy and dangerous...oh, yes.

  8. Very interesting guest post - really enjoyed it :)

  9. Funny interview!! Sounds like a great plot!

    Thankyou for the chance at your giveaway!


  10. Hey, Marybelle, if you come back to this blog, I want you to know I saw your post before it disappeared. :-) Thank you!

  11. I haven't read your book yet, so I get to picture Hugh Jackman in every scene? Oh yummy!

  12. Such a fun interview! I love reading about characters! :-)


  13. sounds like a great book :D i'd love a copy! :)
    email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

  14. Oh, yes, Cynthia. Just imagine a young Hugh with shorter hair. I agree. Yum!

  15. Thanks, Chelsea! I was fun putting together.

  16. Thanks bunches, Arianne. I wish I had hard copies to give away, but the paperbacks will not be available until November 8. :-)

  17. I'm loving the characters. So realistic!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  18. Great interviews! I'll admit I was a bit worried you didn't know Olivia that well when it looked like 'voice' would be number one. ;-)

  19. I actually really love female assassin stories ;D

    sophiathewriter at gmail

  20. Thank you Carla I enjoyed getting to know your H/H in a less conventional way :-D There just aren't enough female assassin novels, so glad that you gave us one :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Thank you, Stella. I'm happy you enjoyed it. And you are so right.

  22. i love to win and then i like to blog on the contest and love to read

  23. This book reminds me of a favorite TV show of mines that got canceled abruptly so I cant wait to get my hands on this one!


  24. This book sounds fascinating!!!


  25. If I could, I would read and write all the time, Desi. No day job then. :-)

  26. Ashley, was that La Femme Nikita or Alias? Then you'll love it. (I think). Thanks!

  27. What a great interview thank you for sharing! This sounds like a great book would love to read it! Thank you for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  28. Have been following this blog hop. I love the cover of this book and the excerpts are great and would love to win and read this book. Loved the interview and hope to win and read this book.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    GFC & blog follower: Chris Bails


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