Robert Swartwood

USA Today Bestselling Author

Quick Question About Content On Your Website

Occasionally I’ll get what is essentially spam from people asking to post content on my website. I imagine most people with blogs get the same kind of thing. And I imagine most people usually just mark those emails as spam.

I usually do.

Until I decided, hey, why not respond to one and see what happens?

from: Ryan Atkin <>
reply-to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 6:52 AM
subject: Quick question about content on your website


I hope you don’t mind me contacting you today but I just have a few quick questions,

Would you be interested in sparking up a mutually beneficial relationship with me over some content submissions for your site?

We are basically looking to place a short and sweet 500 word article on your website, with a link pointing to a page on my clients website, followed by a payment for your effort.

Let me know if you are interested and we can get things moving.


Ryan Atkin

Digital Outreach Agent

My response:

from: Robert Swartwood <>
to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM
subject: Re: Quick question about content on your website

Hi Ryan,

I’m very interested. Do you pay in Bitcoins? I require Bitcoins.



After no response (and after I remembered I had even sent the email), I decided to try again:

from: Robert Swartwood <>
to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 3:45 PM
subject: Re: Quick question about content on your website

Hi Ryan,

I haven’t heard from you since your first correspondence. I’m still very interested in having a short and sweet 500 word article on my website. Of course, I prefer payment in Bitcoins. Bitcoins or Pogs. Please let me know.



And, surprisingly, still new response.

But don’t worry, people — I will get that content.

And I will get those Bitcoins.

Or Pogs.

Or Bitpogs.

Hmm. Think I just came up with a new business idea.

Let me email Ryan about putting it on other people’s websites.

Books I Enjoyed In 2014

I consumed over 50 books in 2014 (I say consumed because some I read, others I listened to, but honestly, it’s all the same). While I enjoyed much of what I consumed, the following is what I really enjoyed and would recommend. In no particular order other than in which it was consumed (plus how it was consumed):


  • OUT OF THE BLACK by John Rector (ebook)
  • THE BREACH by Patrick Lee (ebook)
  • GHOST COUNTRY by Patrick Lee (ebook)
  • THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE by George V. Higgins (paperback)
  • DEEP SKY by Patrick Lee (ebook)
  • GALVESTON by Nic Pizzolatto (ebook)
  • RUNNER by Patrick Lee (ebook)
  • MISSING YOU by Harlan Coben (ARC paperback)
  • AN UNTAMED STATE by Roxane Gay (ebook)
  • SAN MIGUEL by T. C. Boyle (ebook)
  • THIRD RAIL by Rory Flynn (ebook)
  • THE MARSHAL OF THE BORGO by Joseph D’Agnese (ebook)
  • THE LAST TOWN by Blake Crouch (ebook)
  • LEXICON by Max Barry (ebook)
  • BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY by Jay McInerney (ebook)
  • NEVERLAND by Douglas Clegg (ebook)

Short Stories:

  • INTERPRETER OF MALADIES by Jhumpa Lahiri (ebook)
  • THE KHMER KILL: A DOX SHORT STORY by Barry Eisler (ebook)



  • THE BLACK ECHO by Michael Connelly, read by Dick Hill
  • LESS THAN ZERO by Bret Easton Ellis, read by Christian Rummel
  • MR. MERCEDES by Stephen King, read by Will Patton
  • RED DRAGON by Thomas Harris, read by Alan Sklar
  • ECHO BURNING by Lee Child, read by Dick Hill


  • FLASH BOYS by Michael Lewis, read by Dylan Baker
  • SPY THE LIE: THREE FORMER CIA OFFICERS REVEAL THEIR SECRETS TO UNCLOAKING DECEPTION by Philip Houston, Susan Carnicero, Don Tennant and Michael Floyd, read by Fred Berman
  • STEVE JOBS by Walter Isaacson, read by Dylan Baker
  • PAY ANY PRICE by James Risen, read by Christopher Lane

Graphic Novels:

  • LOCKE & KEY, VOLUME 2: HEAD GAMES by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez

It should be noted that I didn’t read nearly as many graphic novels this year as I would have liked. In fact, I just read the one Locke & Key. I hope to fix that mistake in the coming year. Standouts include Patrick Lee, whose books I devoured as quickly as possible and whose books I will now read as soon as they come out, as well as PAY ANY PRICE by James Risen, which should be required reading for everybody.

So those were some books I enjoyed. How about you?

New Free Ebook, Plus Holiday Sale

Long time, no blog. Sorry about that. Have just been really busy, you know? Also … I’ve become bored with blogging, I hate to say. It’s become too much like work, and I’d rather spend that time writing. Sooooooo …

To Save Her - Different Version

To Save Her is a brand new ebook that’s only available to newsletter subscribers. If you’re already a subscriber, you no doubt received the ebook Seeds when you signed up. Well, now that ebook is gone. Kaput. Disappeared, never to be seen again. Just like To Save Her will eventually no longer be available, once I decide to finally release a new ebook (the plan is a new ebook every year but, well, you know how things go).

Finally, for a limited time, all of my novels (except New Avalon) are currently $2.99 on Kindle and Nook. And the ebook bundles? They’re 99 cents, because I’ve gone and lost my mind. Also 99 cents is my collection Real Illusions. Again, lost my mind! Go grab them while they’re hot, and have a great holiday.

R.I.P. Jesus Gonzalez

My good friend Jesus Gonzalez passed away this morning. He had been in the hospital for the past several weeks. I even had a chance to see him last week, and he … did not look good. But then I heard over the weekend he was showing signs of improvement. I thought, Great! Then this morning I received a voicemail from Brian Keene. Even before listening to the voicemail I had an awful feeling I knew what the call was about.

It was great knowing you, Jesus. You were the best.

Not familiar with Jesus? Read this.

Road To New Avalon

I just uploaded the final version of New Avalon to Amazon last night, so I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that, hey, I have a new book coming out! November 15th is the big day. I’m very excited about this book, and early buzz from readers who saw early copies is quite positive.

You can pre-order the ebook on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play. Sorry, Nook users, Barnes & Noble is behind the times when it comes to allowing authors such as myself to do pre-orders, but don’t worry — the book will be available on November 15th.

You can mark the book as to-read on Goodreads. Speaking of which, you can enter to win a paperback copy of New Avalon on Goodreads, too!

Speaking of the paperback, I’m also taking pre-orders for signed copies. If you’re interested in one, shoot me an email for more details at robert (at) robertswartwood (dot) com.

Walk the Sky Sale

Walk the Sky, the weird western written by me and David B. Silva, is currently 99 cents on Kindle for the next few days. Also 99 cents for a limited time are At the Meade Bed & Breakfast and Pillar of Salt. That’s three ebooks for just three dollars!


Muse - High Resolution

My most recent ebook, Muse, is now available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, or directly via Ganxy. I originally wrote this story for a tribute anthology for David B. Silva that was supposed to be published over a year ago. Actually, make it more like a year and a half ago. Maybe some day the anthology will be released, but I finally decided screw it and am releasing it on my own. Why? Because I like this story a lot. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m excited for people to read it.

Also, as I haven’t done a contest in a while, I thought it was a good time to have one.

Here are the details:

Purchase Muse and leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. That’s it. Let me know in the comments section and your name will be entered to win.

Win what, you ask.

A rare copy of the limited edition trade hardcover of Walk the Sky by David B. Silva and myself which Thunderstorm Books published two years ago. This edition is long sold out and only available on secondary markets like eBay. But you — yes, you! — could have your very own copy.

Want more chances to win?

Leave reviews for Walk the Sky or At the Meade Bed & Breakfast or both. Or, hell, leave a review for any of my books between now and the end of the month, and your name will be added again and again. The more books you review, the better chance you have at winning. And if the response is especially promising, I’ll add another limited edition copy of Walk the Sky to the mix, so your chances will increase even more.

Good luck!

Me At Elizabethtown College


I’ll be speaking at Elizabethtown College later this month, at the Bowers Writers House to be exact, on October 28. I’m doing a workshop in the afternoon, which I believe is just for students, but I’ll also be speaking later that night at 7:30, and that is open to the public. What will I be speaking about? That’s a good question. I should probably find that out. If you’re in the Central Pennsylvania area, I hope to see you there!

Me In StoryBundle

All Covers Large

Every since Jason Chen started his website StoryBundle, I’ve wanted to participate. And, thankfully, it’s finally happened. Check out the post before by Jason Letts, who runs BookSends and who curated this bundle. Want to win a FREE bundle? Simply link to this post on Twitter, Facebook, wherever, and let me know in the comments. Two winners will be randomly selected on 10/1.

We see a lot of great authors and titles come through on the BookSends Mystery/Thrillers list, which features the best deals in the genre each day, but there are some that prove themselves to be a cut above the rest. We’ve gathered eight of the top authors in this Best-Of-The-Best Bundle and are presenting them here in this special collection, available from September 24th to October 16th.

Certainly the accomplishments of these authors speak for themselves. Many have reached the New York Times or USA Today Bestseller lists or are mainstays of Amazon’s bestseller lists. Many have made a name for themselves as stars in the genre. It’s no stretch to say that between them they’ve sold far more than a million copies. That’s all incredible, but there’s another reason we’ve put them together. At BookSends, we’re standing right there when readers decide to buy books and the data that we see shines a bright light on these titles. From the volume of clicks, the conversion percentages, the number of views and social media shares, these are the books that have that magic something that makes readers say they’ve got to have ‘em and take action.

In the BookSends Mystery/Thriller Bundle, you’ll find an impressive variety of protagonists and situations, but all continue to deliver beyond the initial punch with stories that get readers invested and continually turning the pages. From rogue detectives to tough-as-nails cops, a mother whose son has been kidnapped to rookies meant for something more, struggling FBI agents to savvy criminal investigators, special ops to private eyes, there’s only one conclusion to draw: the criminals out there don’t know what they’re up against.

What I love about these books is that they all bring something new and fresh to the table in the way that they form and develop their heroes and heroines. These are stories about the dark criminal elements that exist in the world, but they’re also close examinations of the very human individuals who take it upon themselves to stand up and confront them. That’s what drew me in and made these stories more than something on a page. That’s why I’m bringing them to you now with all of the urgency of an EMT rushing in at full speed after shots fired during an armed robbery. There’s only one way to stanch the bleeding. Read. – Jason Letts

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $3 to purchase) are:

• Becoming Quinn by Brett Battles
• The Devil’s Hour by J. Carson Black
• Departed by Nick Stephenson
• Blood Land by R.S. Guthrie

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $12, you’ll get another four books:

• JET by Russell Blake
• The Serial Killer’s Wife by Robert Swartwood
• Justified by Carolyn Arnold
• Deadly Accounts by C.R. Wiley

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books, but after the three weeks are over, the bundle is gone forever!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

• Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
• Pay what you want (minimum $3): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of thrilling titles.
• Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
• Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. We’re currently featuring Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now.
• Receive extra books: If you beat our bonus price, you’re not just getting seven books, you’re getting thirteen!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for and

For more information, visit our website at, Tweet us at @storybundle, Like us on Facebook, and Plus us on Google Plus. For press inquiries, please email

Giotto’s Circle

My latest ebook has just been released. It’s called Giotto’s Circle. It’s a short story, about 6,000 words long, and it’s quite good if I may say so myself.

Anyway, here are the buy links, including Ganxy, which is basically as direct as I can get to selling you my ebooks besides knocking on your front door and pulling some electrons out of my pocket. iTunes should be available in the next day or so. Add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | Ganxy

Included in the ebook is an excerpt from my forthcoming novel New Avalon, which is up for pre-order on Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play. It’s coming out November 15th. Soon!

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