Monday, September 24, 2012

Blaze Tour : Interview and Giveaway with Joan Swan

United By Books is pleased to have Joan Swan back on the blog today to answer a few questions about Blaze.

Welcome back Joan as always its awesome to have you here!

Thank you! Love being here!

1~ With "Fever" being such a big hit amongst readers, what will "Blaze " bring to the table in this next installment? 

In the Phoenix Rising series, a mysterious explosion at a military warehouse injuries a team of seven hazmat firefighters, killing one.  The contents of the building—extremely confidential and dangerous radioactive chemicals used by the Department of Defense in secret scientific experiments—have inflicted the team with various paranormal abilities.  Abilities the government wants to study covertly.  Abilities the team wants to understand and expose.  With military advancement and national power at risk on one side and personal health and freedom at stake on the other, each group is fighting for precious stakes.
In FEVER the Phoenix Rising team makes the first deep crack in the enemy’s façade. FEVER shows just how powerful their enemy is, how far and how deep they can reach and how desperate they are to keep their screw-up’s a secret. The love story in FEVER is between the two people in the book who should trust each other the least, but when its right…

BLAZE is all about discovering that just when you thought everything was as bad as it could get…it gets worse. In BLAZE both the team and the enemy up the stakes and expose and even greater breadth and more twisted depth the existing conspiracy, things the team never imagined possible. Complicating this scenario, the love story in BLAZE is a reunion between two tortured and damaged members of the former team who were torn apart in the aftermath of the incident, but who haven’t been able to move on.

In my opinion, BLAZE is an even better book with more intrigue, dynamic and deep characters, and twisted and meaningful plots and subplots. The two main characters, Luke and Keira, are fire on the page – in and out of bed, and incredibly entertaining to watch.

2~ How would you describe Keira and Luke's relationship?

Hot. Mentally, emotionally and definitely physically HOT.

Keira and Luke each have individual paranormal abilities from the fire. Keira is clairaudient, which means she can hear what people are thinking through touching that person, a photograph of that person or an item belong to that person. Luke is fireproof; his skin doesn’t burn. But when they are together, their individual abilities heighten and multiply. Keira’s clairaudience expands into empathic abilities. Luke becomes not only fireproof, but bulletproof. And after a bit of extra time, Luke even becomes able to communicate with Keira telepathically.

Keira and Luke are each other’s strength and each other’s weakness. They both have strong, rich personalities, not to mention tempers, which flare when they’re hurt. And each is still completely in love with the other, so their three year separation has left painful scars. When they meet again with all these unresolved feelings stirring between them, flash fire is the immediate result. And the more time they spend together, the hotter they burn.

3~ What's in store next for your readers?

Next up in the Phoenix Rising series is RUSH.

Events in BLAZE lead the team to evidence of the possible existence of their fallen teammate, Quaid Legend. Quaid’s wife, Jessica, has never gotten over his death and has gone through extremely rough patches over the last five years in her efforts to cope, including drug and alcohol abuse. She’s been clean for over a year and managed to save the career as a lobbyist she’s built for herself after she left firefighting, but she’s far from home free.

When her team comes to her with the news that Quaid may have been alive all this time, her rickety world starts shaking again. But when she discovers this man has been used as a test subject for experimental paranormal warfare and that he has no memory of his life outside his cell walls, both Jessica’s love for her husband and her commitment to sobriety will be tested.

4~ If you had a choice between Teague ( from Fever) or Luke (from Blaze) who would you play strip poker with ?

Me? Strip Poker? With them?

No…I’ll leave that to Alyssa and Keira…or a few of my illustrious readers who I swear would walk across broken glass for these guys!

5~ Can you please share an excerpt from "Blaze" ?

Oooooh, I’d love to!! How about a fun little taste of our feisty Mitch?

Keira climbed into the backseat with Alyssa. Mateo cozied up between them while Luke drove and Mitch took shotgun. Nelson rolled into the rear cargo space as if he were on a training maneuver.

Keira hadn’t even closed the door before Alyssa started in. “Why does it take a crisis for us to get to see you?”

Mitch shot a look over his shoulder from the front seat. “Yeah.”

“You have no room to talk.” Alyssa cut her attention back to Keira. “So? Why are you avoiding us?”

There was a myriad of reasons Keira kept her distance from Teague and Alyssa. She loved them. Dearly. Would fight to the death for them or either of their children. But their seemingly perfect life increasingly reminded Keira of all her own life lacked. And the less she saw Teague and Alyssa, the less she had to be reminded of what she’d lost, what she still didn’t have, and what she’d seriously begun to doubt she’d ever find.

“Don’t even think about using Sacramento as an excuse,” Alyssa said. “It’s only two hours away.”

“I’m working a lot.”

“She’s too busy doing that surgeon in Davis,” Mitch said.

A disgusted sound gurgled from Keira’s throat. “Mitchell Foster—”

“What the fuck?” Luke cut in.

“Luke,” Alyssa chastised, then turned to Keira. “Is that what’s keeping you so busy?”

“No.” Keira sent Mitch an I’ll-kill-you-later glare. “I told you he is the husband of another agent.”

“Being married never stopped anyone from screwing around.” The darkness in Mitch’s tone stemmed from something deep and painful. Keira recognized the signs. But it didn’t erase her anger over his bringing this up in front of Luke, which she knew he’d done on purpose. “I saw how he was looking at you that night at dinner. He’d have been feeling you up under the table if I hadn’t sat between you.”

“Dinner?” Luke said. “When did you two have dinner together? And who the hell is this surgeon?”

“We get together every month, Ransom,” Mitch said. “Just ’cause you’re too stupid to realize how hot she is doesn’t mean all men are.”

“There is no surgeon.” Keira rubbed at the pain in her forehead. There was nobody. There hadn’t been anybody since her pathetic attempts at dating shortly after breaking up with Luke. Even the thought of trying again made her queasy. Until she’d set eyes on Luke, of course. Why was the universe so damn cruel?

“Stop stirring the shit, Mitch,” Alyssa said.

“Holy crap.” Mitch’s gorgeous hazel eyes whipped around to land on his sister. “Did you just swear?” He turned to Luke. “Did you hear that?”

“I heard it.”

“I think that might wipe out our debt. What do you think?”

“I agree.”

“I hate to be a wet blanket,” Keira said, “but can you two stop screwing around before I choke you both?”

“Oh, baby.” Mitch slanted her a grin. “Promises, promises.”

Luke’s fist hit Mitch dead center in the chest. Mitch sputtered a pained laugh.

Mi malónete. Mateo’s voice brought everyone’s gaze around to the boy’s worried face. Lucas, mi malónete.”

“That’s what you need, Ransom.” Still grinning, Mitch rubbed his chest. “A five-year-old to keep you in line.”

They pulled into a parking lot alongside the rural community hospital and stopped at a wing of office-type buildings.

“Pull up to that second building on the right.” Alyssa pointed over Luke’s shoulder. “There’s a side door . . . yeah, right there. My friend owns the building and he turned the alarm off remotely from his home and said there’s a spare key attached to the corner of the building between the foundation and the framing.”

Nelson exited the vehicle first, his gaze sweeping the area, weapon held ready. The parking lot was deserted, dimly illuminated by sparse overhead lighting. He retrieved the key, unlocked the door, and disappeared inside.

“Are you sure no one will see us?” Keira asked.

“It’s a nine-to-five-type place,” Alyssa said. “No one will be here until tomorrow morning.”

Nelson emerged and waved them in. Outside the car, Keira handed Mateo over to Luke and drew one of the Glocks from the Jeep. Mitch held a weapon he’d dragged from somewhere beneath his leather jacket and followed Alyssa and Nelson inside. Luke waited for Keira, then scanned the area before closing and locking the door behind him.

Inside an exam room, Alyssa unpackaged medical supplies and set up a procedure tray.

Keira crossed her arms, scanning all the white and blue–wrapped bundles. “How bad is this going to hurt?”

Mitch wandered to the counter across the room and opened cabinets. “She’s not cutting on you, Pixie.”

Luke’s brow went up. “Pixie?”

“Yeah, she looks like a pixie.” He picked up an object from a shelf and fiddled with it. “You know, like one of those things with wings in Kat’s books.”

“You mean a fairy,” Luke said. “Hence the term fairytale.”

“Should have known you’d be a fairy expert.” Mitch lifted his chin at Keira. “Look at her. That little nose, the angle of her eyes, those freckles. She looks like a pixie.”

Luke shot her a scowl. “Too bad she doesn’t have their sugar plum personality.”

“You two are so not funny.” Keira was ready to pop out of her skin. Something about being cooped up in that room with all those supplies and instruments, knowing there were people outside who wanted them all dead, just didn’t bring out the jokester in her.

Unlike Mitch. Who approached the exam table with a mischievous grin and an anatomical model in his hands. A detailed, three-dimensional, life-size model of a penis and testicles.

“What in the hell?” Keira sputtered.

“You don’t recognize Big Jim and the Twins?” Mitch pulled pieces out, put them back, pulled others out, looked inside. “I can fix that, sweetheart.”

“Mitch, put that down,” Alyssa scolded. “I swear, if you break something—”

“Why does this guy have a puzzle like this in his office? Is he gay? Not that I care. I mean I’m a San Franciscan transplant. Besides, gay guys have the hottest girl friends.”

“I swear he was switched at birth.” Alyssa glared at her twin brother. “Doctor Henle is a urologist. I’m sure if you ask nicely he’ll give you a free prostate exam, Mitch. Now put that very expensive anatomical model down.”

Mitch set the model back on the counter. “Killjoy.”

Phoenix Rising Series

Book 1

Dr. Alyssa Foster will admit to a bad boy fetish…
But when she finds herself face to face with a convicted murderer with a ripped body, a determination for freedom and an eye on her as his get out of jail free card, Alyssa knows she’s in deep trouble…. Not just because Teague Creek is a prisoner desperate for freedom, but because his every touch makes her desperate for more.

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose…
Teague Creek has one shot at freedom, but his plan to escape with a hostage develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives who know of his strange abilities, he needs to avoid trouble, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.

Purchase Links:

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Book 2

The hotter they come, the harder they fall…
With a man like him, every mission becomes personal…
Ever since FBI agent Keira O’Shay started tracking a young boy named Mateo, she’s felt a connection even her empathic abilities can’t explain.Sheneeds to save Mateo from the cult leader holding him hostage. Nothing can interfere with that—not even the reappearance of Luke Ransom, the hot-as-hell fire captain she’s regretted walking out on for three long years.

Losing Keira left Luke vulnerable—in every way. When they were together, the powers each possesses were mysteriously enhanced. But it’s the sexy, surprising woman beneath the tough exterior that Luke’s really missed. Even if she betrayed him utterly. And even if agreeing to help her uncover a government conspiracy means watching his life and his heart go up in flames again…

Purchase Links:

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

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.
Sexy romantic suspense is my genre of choice, and, occasionally, I like to dabble in the lighter side of paranormal as well.  I write the Phoenix Rising Series, FEVERBLAZE,and two more books coming in 2013, for Kensington and the Covert Affairs Series, INTIMATE ENEMIES, independently.
A triple RWA Golden Heart finalist, I am a lover of craft and closet-hoarder of writing craft how-to books. I’m a recovering OCD perfectionist…bet you can just imagine how well that’s going.
In my day job, I work as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center, rated one of the top ten best medical centers in the nation – a location with an intensity that makes me slightlyokay majorlyinsane. This seems to work well with my inner writer. Access to abundant character material—and I’m not only talking about my patients—is a fringe benefit
.I’m married 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 my latest news & releases please visit me online: 

Joan Swan's BLAZE Blog Tour Schedule
Tour runs from September 17 - October 6

September 17 - Grave Tells -
September 18 - Book Reader Addicts -
September 19 - Pearl's World of Romance -
September 20 - Under The Covers -
September 21 - Reading Between The Wines -
September 22 - Riverina Romantics -
September 23 - Reading on The Wild Side -
September 24 - United By Books -
September 25 - My Keeper Shelf -
September 25 - The Reading Café -
September 26 - Ramblings From This Chick -
September 27 - I Smell Sheep -
September 28 - Paranormal Haven -
September 29 - Just Romantic Suspense -
September 30 - Just Romantic Suspense -
October 1 - Close Encounters With The Night Kind -
October 2 - Book Monster Reviews / Literal Addiction -
Book Monster -
Literal Addiction -
October 3 - Books-n-Kisses -
October 4 - Readers Confession -
October 5 - Book Lovin' Mamas -
October 6 - Cocktails & Books -

 ********* GIVEAWAY *********

Joan has graciously offered up a paperback copy of Blaze (US/Canada Only)
 Just fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Miriam Whitewolf said...

wow, i cant wait o read this books!
thanks or the chance to win!

Cheryl S. said...

I have not read this series yet but after I'm finished here I'm headed to to find Fever. Thank you for what is sure to be an amazing read :)

Victoria said...

I really can't wait to read BLAZE! I know I keep saying that at every stop along the tour but it's SO true. Thank you!

kmarlein said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!! Can't wait to read Bkaze!!!

Jane said...

Congrats to Joan on the new release. I say strip poker with both Teague and Luke.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Carol L. said...

I cannot wait to read this series . Thanks for the opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Brandi Franklin said...

These books look amazing can't wait to read!!!

Cris said...

I absolutely loved FEVER (and paranormal elements are generally something that don't appeal to me at all!), so I cannot wait for BLAZE! Congrats on the new release-- I'm sure it'll be an epic hit!

CrystalGB said...

Your books sound awesome. Love the covers. :)

Sebrina said...

I'm so excited for Blaze, I just can't stand it. LOL
Thank you for the chance!

Elizabeth H. said...

Congrats Joan!! Your covers are super sexy!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Mina said...

All I can tell you after reading this awesome interview is that my mouth is watering big time for the next one in line (RUSH). I fell head over heels for Teague and Alyssa in FEVER, I left a piece of my heart with Luke and Keira in BLAZE, and I am already dying to read Quaid and Jessica's story. This series just gets better and better!

Chrisbails said...

Great interview. I have not read either book, Joan is a new author for me. I love to read and always looking for new books and authors to check out. Great post. The characters seem great. What great covers, both books. Very sexy. Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

Poison Rose said...

Hmmm... you're going to make us pick between the two? *pouts* I'd agree with many... why have one when you can have both!

Loved Fever! Teague was an excellent rough cahracter. I'd love to read about Luke and see what he's like!

Thanks for sharing the snippet Joan and hosting a giveaway!

Di said...

Joan - it doesn't seem that long ago that I was starting to see things about 'Fever' - such success is well deserved for all your hard work - don't know how you get it all done!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Joan Swan said...

Hi Miriam,

Thanks! I love the new reader enthusiasm! It makes me want to hop on my computer and get to work finishing RUSH!! (Which I need! So double thank you!) :)

Joan Swan said...

Hi Cheryl,

YIPPPEEEE!! Hope you love FEVER. I loved writing it...and rewriting it :). It's an awesome story and I think you'll enjoy starting at the beginning of the series. Though you don't need to...the characters are so fun to get to know that way :).

Joan Swan said...

Hi Victoria!

I can't wait for you to read BLAZE! :) xoxo And you can't say it too much!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Victoria!

I can't wait for you to read BLAZE! :) xoxo And you can't say it too much!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Kmarlein,

Thanks for coming by! Good luck in the giveaway.

Joan Swan said...

Oh, Janie, Janie, Janie!!!!

Joan Swan said...

LOL,, Carol, I first read that as I cannot read this series... and I was all...awww, why not? It's pre-release brain rot! :) Good luck in the drawing!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks so much Brandi! xo

Joan Swan said...

Hi Cris,

There are two kinds of compliments that just seem to send me over the roof -- and on is that someone who has never enjoyed paranormal or never enjoyed suspense has read my work and has turned into a lover of that genre. That just thrills me!!

Welcome to our crazy world, Cris. We love having you!! xo

Joan Swan said...

Hi Crystal,

Kensington did a nice job on the covers, didn't they? Yummy!

Joan Swan said...

Hey Sebrina!

How are you? I'm excited that you're excited :):):)


Joan Swan said...

Hi Elizabeth,

You've been an awesome tour groupie!! Thanks for hanging with me!


Joan Swan said...

Hi Mina!

Quaid and Jessica are just tearing me apart! They are a true and complex love story. Probably the hardest book I've ever written. *sniffle*

Thanks for all your support!

Love you!


Joan Swan said...

Hi Chris!

I too love finding new and great authors to read! But I'm a picky reader, so I totally understand how hard it is to take a risk on a new author -- and it's no secret that my trade books are not in a low end price range.

I recently self published a romantic suspense, a 2x Golden Heart finalist, INTIMATE ENEMIES. And super secret for you ladies here, it's going to be FREE on Amazon 9/27, 9/28, 9/29. If you haven't read my work and aren't sure if you want to risk buying a full priced book...try IE first.

:) Hope you LOVE!

And appreciate you telling your friends it's free on those days!


Joan Swan said...


I was cruel of her to ask us to pick! :)

Luke is a tortured soul. God, I love tortured souls.

Teague was fun to write. He was a man who'd been good all his life, thrown into an environment where his life depended on being bad, then escaped into an environment when he had to be both and his instincts were warring.

I'm writing another tough character now for RUSH. But he has no memory of his life when he was good. All he knows is how to be closed and rough and distrustful. So being thrown into an environment where his life depends on trusting others is a real stretch.

Thanks for coming by!

Joan Swan said...

OMG Di, isn't time the strangest phenomenon? FEVER seems like forever ago and yesterday. BLAZE's release seems like it was going to take forever and a day to get here and now it's tomorrow and I'm not ready! How does that happen?

Now I'm fighting with the knots in RUSH, trying to smooth it all out in my mind, wondering how it will possibly be one step better than BLAZE by the due date...

And then I look back and wonder the same thing as do we get done what we got done?


Thanks Di!! xo

Alison said...

I can't wait to read Blaze! I loved Fever!

kandj7299 said...

This series sounds awesome and will be added to my TBR pile. Thanks for having this giveaway.

kandj7299 at verizon dot net

Julianne Keller said...

Wow, I really liked the interview. I learned a lot about the books in this series. I was going to as about the next book in the series, but I saw that answered in the comments. Are you planning another series in the future?
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo com

JoAnna said...

Loved Fever and can't wait to read Blaze!!! Congrats on the release!

savannah said...

I loved Fever!! Congrats on Blaze and thank you for being here today :)!

donnas said...

Congrats on the new release! Im really looking forward to it.

June M. said...

Congrats on the new release! I can't wait to read BLAZE. Do you get to help with the covers? If you need help getting the cover models all ready for shoots, I volunteer to help ;)

Joanne said...

Congrats on the new release. Blaze sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Loved Fever. Thanks for the great interview and excerpt.

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

I've got Fever on my tbr list :) I've heard such good things from friends about it. Must read faster...

Congrats on the new book!

Gossupgurl29 said...

Cant' wait to read Blaze!!!!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Alison and kandj! Thanks so much!!

Joan Swan said...

Hi Julianne!

Actually, I have started a new series that I'm self publishing - the Covert Affairs series and book one, INTIMATE ENEMIES, is FREE at Amazon for three days 9/27-29, so GO GRAB IT NOW!! :)

And yes, I'll do another series. I'm not sure whether all the guys in the Phoenix Rising series will get books within that series or if I'll do a spin off series with some. Time will tell on that.

And I've also started writing another paranormal series, far deeper into the genre - witches, demons, etc. Still suspense, but heavier paranormal aspects. My agent has that right now.

Joan Swan said...

Hi JoAnna, Savannah and Donna! Thanks so much! Hope you LOVE BLAZE!!

Joan Swan said...

Oh, June, you'd have to push me out of the way on that one!!

I can't take any credit for the covers - that was ALL Kensington! :)

Joan Swan said...

Hi Gossup and Joanne!

Thank you, hope you LOVE book 2!!

Joan Swan said...

Herding Cats -

Never enough hours in the day!!!


Tina B said...

Loved the excerpt!! Mitch is one of my favorites. :)
Have you decided if he is going to get his own HEA in a story yet? ;)
Congrats on the new release, Joan!

Cassie Hoffman said...

Do you have a muse?