Friday, August 3, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Joan Swan

United By Books is pleased to have Joan Swan on the blog today to answer a few questions on her newest story Intimate Enemies!

Thanks so much for having me!

1~ How did Intimate Enemies come to be written?

I live in California where Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, are plentiful. I did my ultrasound training at a rural hospital surrounded by farming fields and most of my patients were Hispanic. I quickly developed a fondness for their culture, their warm and gracious natures, their love and dedication to family. My Hispanic patients taught me the Spanish I needed to get through the exams, often came in with mud on their jeans and boots from working in the fields and even if they couldn’t manage a smile because of pain, they were always polite and grateful.

In California, illegal immigration over the weakly secured border between countries is a hot-button topic. Even reality television shows have been created to explore the problem. Fascinating revelations have come to light—men who charge to smuggle Mexican nationals into the United States. Men who smuggle drugs over the border with the immigrants. Men who promise immigrants the American dream, then sell them into slavery. Tunnels carved out underground, armed guards, the rising gang violence over territory.

And I kept thinking…if the border is so weak, so permeable, why aren’t the terrorists coming in that way? Which was when I realized, of course, they already were.

It simply turned into a story too perfect not to tell.

2~ Can you please tell us a bit about Intimate Enemies?

Intimate Enemies was a two-time RWA Golden Heart romantic suspense finalist. Because this genre has been a difficult sell in New York for several years, I set the manuscript aside as I developed my Phoenix Rising series, a romantic suspense series with a paranormal twist, for Kensington. The wonderful world of self-publishing has opened fantastic new doors for authors such as myself, who have fabulous books to share with readers, but without a traditional avenue to support their distribution.

Intimate Enemies is the story about Cassie Christo, who is on a quest for answers. After a mysterious yacht explosion kills her family, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the incident. She never expected to find an adversary in the man who had touched her heart in her darkest moment.

As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rio Santana is working the biggest terrorist smuggling sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for this wild attraction to Cassie.

And as she nears the truth, Rio is forced to choose between love and duty. If Rio tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may cause him to lose her forever. If he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed.

3~ How would you describe Rio and Cassie's relationship?

A complex push-pull of heat, affection and adversarial competition spike between Rio and Cassie throughout the book.While they both want the same result, their methods in attaining their goals are vastly different, causing nothing but problems for each other. With all the secrets that must remain between them for safety, their bond and their trust is constantly tested.

4~ Would you like to share an excerpt from it?


“Rio.” Cassie dipped her chin. “We both know Saul doesn’t have a business. If you even try to go there, you’re going to look really stupid.”

“Thanks for the heads-up. Wouldn’t want to look any more stupid than I actually am.”

“Don’t even. If you don’t think I can recognize a smart man when I see one, regardless of who he works for or in what capacity, you’re not a very good judge of character.”

Pleasure burned across his chest, and, crap, it felt so damn good. He was starting to think being with her all day wasn’t such a great idea after all.

“Quite the backhanded compliment,” he said.

“Aren’t you cynical this morning?” She pulled at the donut, revealing the raspberry filling, and hummed. “I knew I’d need this extra sweetness in my day as soon as I saw you. This is my favorite.”

“You said the other one was your favorite.”

“No. I said that was one of my favorites. This is myabsolute favorite.”

She closed her eyes and licked the jelly off the donut. The sight of her pink tongue against the red sweetness, the slow sweep, the pleasure on her face, drove a violent spear of lust straight through Rio’s body, where it lodged dead center between his legs. He gripped the bar hard. Then she closed her lips around the sugary dough, and, God help him, she sucked at what remained.

By the time she slid the rest of the bite into her mouth, Rio had stopped breathing. His other hand curled into a fist, his nails clawing his palm. And his cock throbbed against the zipper of his jeans.

“Since I don’t indulge often,” she said, licking her fingertips, “I can’t keep myself from devouring the first. Once the edge is off my craving, I’m able to take my time and savor. So I save the best for last.”

At some point, he’d refilled his lungs, though they weren’t functioning right. His mind envisioned scenarios of taking her hard and fast up against a wall, mouths fused, hands stroking,hips thrusting. Then laying her down on a bed to undress her, kiss every inch of her body, and love her slowly, thoroughly, making sure he lived up to every one of her back-arching, toe-curling, sheet-fisting fantasies.

“Want some?” Her sweet voice drifted through the sound of blood pounding in his ears.

He focused from his sexual haze in time to watch her swoop a finger full of raspberry filling from the donut in more of a show than an offer.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Shit, he hadn’t meant to say that aloud. Nor had he meant to grab her wrist, but it was wrapped in his fingers.

Everything beyond that was deliberate. The way he pulled her hand to his lips. The way he took her finger into his mouth.The way he sucked the sweet-tart filling off her finger.

The way he grabbed her neck and pulled her mouth to his, sharing the electric tang of raspberry with her, tongue to tongue.

She moaned into his mouth. The flirtatious torture ended, and something entirely different began. Her lips softened, and her body relaxed. Rio knew he should resist, should pull back, but a deep part of him also needed it. Needed her. Saul was right about Rio not getting out of town enough for sex. But worse, Rio hadn’t had any real affection for years, and feeling it now with Cassie made him realize he’d grown as dry and thirsty as the surrounding desert.

 She is on a quest for answers; answers that could just get her killed.
Six months after the mysterious yacht explosion that killed Cassie Christo’s mother and stepbrother, authorities still have no answers to the cause. Searching for closure, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the accident.  She never expected to find an adversary in the man who had once touched her heart with kindness in her darkest moment.
Rio’s been fantasizing about reconnecting with Cassie for months. But not here and sure as hell not now. As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he’s working the biggest sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for the wild attraction he feels for Cassie.
Not only is his cover on the line, so is his heart. Because as the end of a yearlong operation draws closer, Rio knows if he tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may result in him losing her forever. And if he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed.
Intimate Enemies
Purchase Links:

Joan Swan Bio

I was never a star English student or a Literature buff, but I’ve always had a creative soul and an active imagination. Writing was a natural culmination of those two talents.
I write what I like to read: romantic suspense. I write for entertainment and escape–the same reasons I love to read. I prefer real-life language, so you’ll find profanity in my work when it fits the character. I prefer open-door sex, so my love scenes are typically hot and steamy. And because my stories involve suspense, you’ll often find violence, mystery and an inside look at the intricate world of forensics. Occasionally, I like to dabble in the lighter side of paranormal as well.
I am agented by the fabulous Paige Wheeler, founding partner of Folio Literary Management in New York. My debut novel, FEVER, releases from Kensington Brava in April 2012. Book 2 in the series, BLAZE, releases fall 2012. My editor at Kensington is the wonderful Alicia Condon, Editorial Director for Brava.
A triple RWA Golden Heart finalist as well as a double Daphne Du Maurier finalist, I am a lover of craft and closet-hoarder of writing craft how-to books.
In my day job, I work as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center, a location with an intensity that makes me slightly insane…which works well with the writer in me. Not to mention all the character material I have access to–and I’m not talking about the patients (well…mostly).
I have been married twenty years to my own personal hero, a veteran firefighter, we have two beautiful daughters and are blessed to live in the heart of wine country on the gorgeous Central Coast of California.
To keep up with Joan's latest news & releases please visit her online:

                             ******** GIVEAWAY ********

Joan has generously offered up two eBooks of Intimate Enemies.......All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered

a Rafflecopter giveaway


domoniquehicks said...

This is such a Opportunity and Awesome giveaway....Thx a million...

Cheryl S. said...

OMG! Thank you Lindsey for this interview! You have allowed me to discover a new author and her new book. Thank you Joan Swan for writing what is sure to be an amazing book. I can't wait to read it :)

Megan@Riverina Romantics said...

A complex push-pull of heat, affection and adversarial competition...

LOVE this! Thanks for the nice excerpt too!

Vanessa theJeepDiva said...

I just read Fever & Blaze this week, LOVED them. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt.

Mina said...

Lovely, lovely book this Intimate Enemies! The action and the heat level will keep the adrenaline rushing through your body for the entire length of the novel! Awesome interview :-)

June M. said...

This sounds like a great book. I love the mystery of her family members death and her looking into it, while he is working undercover. I am looking forward to seeing how these two solve the mystery, catch the bad, and keep it from tearing them apart.

Joan Swan said...

Domonique - Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the giveaway!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Cheryl - I LOVE discovering new authors too! Hope you LOVE Intimate Enemies!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks Megan! I'll see you at Riverina Romantics next week :). Looking forward to it!

Joan Swan said...

Vanessa - Thrilled you enjoyed FEVER and BLAZE!!! :)

Joan Swan said...

Thanks so much Mina!! XOXO

Joan Swan said...

Hi June - It was a fun and challenging book to write -- but even moreso to rewrite up to my current abilities and the current state of affairs in Mexico! Hope you LOVE it!

Phyllis M said...

Just dropping by to say hi to two of my fave's-Joan and Lindsey!!
Joan's books are fantastic, sexy-hot reads with great storylines. You all are going to love them! Good luck.
Love ya Linsey girl!! <3

toni said...

This book fascinates me. can't wait to read it.

Joan Swan said...

Phyllis - So sweet to come by!! TY!!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks Toni - Good luck in the giveaway!

julie beasley said...

liked the interview and the book sounds very exciting working in a hospital seeing so many different people gives you so much to work with both nice and horrible. thanks for the giveaway. wish joan well with it

donnas said...

Congrats on the new release! it sounds excellent and I am looking forward to reading it.

Katrina W said...

Great excerpt.. Who designed the cover I have seen the couple around and I really like the look of them ;) congrads on the new release ;)


bn100 said...

Nice interview and excerpt. The book sounds good.

C.S. Maxwell said...

Rio is a dream ALPHA hero that is salivating HAWT and Cassie is a strong and worthy heroine.
LOVED Intimate Enemies and can't wait for more from this series :)

Joan Swan said...

Hi Julie - my work is a constant source of fodder, that is for sure! Good luck in the giveaway!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks Donna! Hope you love it!!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Katrina - Kim Killion designed the cover and I LOVE it! It's a perfect match for my description of the couple and the story!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks BN100!

Joan Swan said...

Awww, thanks Trish!! So thrilled you LOVED the book and Cassie and Rio!! :)

erin said...

thanks for a fun post and congrats on the newest release!

Gossupgurl29 said...

Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the post.