Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist and writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. Her debut novel with Kensington Brava, FEVER, releases February 28, 2012. Her second novel, BLAZE, follows in October, 2012.
In her day job, she works as a sonographer for one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation and lives on the California central coast in beautiful wine country with her husband and two daughters.
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I sat down with my hero and heroine of FEVER, Teague and Alyssa, for an interview and dragged the heroine’s brother, Mitch, along because he has been such a favorite for readers. Though, true to form, Mitch, who was actually named and given many of his maddening characteristics by my critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton, behaved like the rogue he is and I had to act as wicked author to keep him from snapping the leash.
When will this boy learn?
Joan: “Mitch, can you come over here and sit down?”
Mitch: Peering out the window. “Where is that lousy firebug of yours, Lys?”
Alyssa: Crosses arms. Rolls eyes.
Mitch: “Shouldn’t surprise me the pyro can’t even tell time.” Looks over his shoulder at me. “Do we have to do this today? I’ve got a hot date.”
Joan: “What else is new? And I could change that with a few taps on the keyboard, boy wonder. Lose the attitude.”
Mitch: Turns from the window, hands on hips. “Resorting to threats now?”
Joan: “How the hell else can I keep you in line? Besides, this isn’t my idea. God only knows how or why, but you’ve become somewhat of a favorite to the readers.”
Snort from Alyssa. Mitch shoots her a glare.
Joan: “Hence, the necessary interview.”
Mitch: “Great, fine.” Pulls up a chair, sits next to Alyssa. Plants elbows on knees and clasps his hands, green eyes direct. “Let’s do this.”
Joan: I grin. Tap my pencil on the legal pad. “See, thing is, handsome…you’re not all that interesting without the team.”
Shock transforms Mitch’s face. Alyssa burst out laughing as Mitch slaps a hand to his heart and falls back in his chair. Alyssa and I high-five.
Door opens. Teague walks in.
Mitch: “What did I do to deserve this?”
Teague: “You were born, Foster.” Walks over to Alyssa and gives her a long kiss.
Mitch: Turns his head and dramatically covers his eyes. “Ah, the burn! The burn!”
Teague: To Alyssa as if Mitch doesn’t exist. “Hey, gorgeous.”
Alyssa: “Hey, yourself, handsome.”
Mitch: Gaze still averted, arms crossed. “Gag me.”
Teague: Without looking away from Alyssa. “That can be accomplished. Joan, can you write a toilet plunger into my hand? I promise not to complain next time you want me to do something out of character.”
Joan: “I’m annoyed.” Clenching my teeth even though my characters are being their cute-as-hell selves. “Fair warning.”
All eyes turn toward me. Teague slides into a chair.
Mitch: “Just what is your problem Miss Be-Positive-Its-Good-For-The-Karma?”
Joan: “Don’t push it Mister. I’m less than ten days away from release, trying to juggle eighty-four things at once and look one tenth as good as Alyssa does on her worst day doing it! And remember, I didn’t actually develop you, so killing you wouldn’t really be like killing my own child.”
Mitch: A brave lift of his chin. “Elisabeth would never speak to you again.”
Joan: “She’d get over it.” Shrug. “She’s a very understanding critique partner that way.”
Mitch: Shakes his head. “She’d save me like you saved that psycho warrior guy.”
Alyssa: “Gryphon. And he’s not a warrior, he’s a guardian. And he’s not psycho, he’s…well…sort of possessed.”
Teague: Pulls on Alyssa’s hand, frowning. “How do you know so much about this Gryphon guy?”
Alyssa: Laughs. “Hel-lo. I live in her head.”
Teague: “So do I.”
Alyssa: Looks at me. Shakes her head. Pats Teague’s hand. “Never mind, babe.”
Mitch: “Doesn’t matter. I believe in Elisabeth.”
Alyssa: Cringes. “Have you seen what she does to her characters?”
Teague: “Shhh, babe.” Nods at Mitch. “I’m with you, dude. Elisabeth sounds like a much safer bet for you.”
Alyssa: Grins at her brother. “I feel a turning point coming on, and since Teague and I already have our HEA and you’re the only other one in the room…”
Joan: “Since you brought it up, Lys…” I look at Alyssa. “Never too soon to plan. Who should be his heroine?”
Mitch: Sits forward in his chair, alarm in his eyes. “Why the hell are you asking her?”
Joan: “Because we all know you’ll lie.”
Mitch: Glares at Alyssa. “Don’t you dare.”
Alyssa: Threads her fingers through Teague’s. The teasing humor turns soft. “You really never should have left her in the first place. I told you that then.”
Joan: Raises brows in interest. “And who’s that?”
Mitch: “No one.” Growls through his teeth, “And I didn’t leave her.”
Alyssa: Tosses a thoughtful look at Teague. “He sounds just like—“
Teague: “Luke. Don’t even try that bullshit, Foster. Ransom sucks at denial, too.”
Joan: “I see.” I throw a wave at Teague and Alyssa. “You two can go.”
Mitch: Starts to push from the chair. “Finall—“
Joan: “Not you.”
Mitch: Scowls. “You said I wasn’t interesting without them.”
Joan: “Changed my mind.”
Teague: Winces, tugging Alyssa toward the door. “I hate it when she does that.”
Alyssa: “Teague, I think he’s giving me the death stare.”
Teague: “Don’t look, babe. Just don’t look.”
Mitch: “You are so going to pay for this.”
Alyssa: “I already do. That’s why I told her.” Blows him a kiss on the way out the door. “You’ll thank me. She writes great HEAs.”
Teague: Winks as he closes the door behind him, whispering, “But she writes even better sex.”
A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn't, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever...
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