Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Yes, today is my birthday and to celebrate, I am so thrilled to have one of my favorite authors, Joan Swan, with us PLUS a great Giveaway!! So hang around, I don't have cake but I've got a fun Q & A with the fabulous author of FEVER and INTIMATE ENEMIES - if you'd like to take a moment to read my reviews on both of these awesome suspense romances, please do by clicking on a title above but hurry back - the fun's about to begin! Joan Swan, debuted this past February with her fabulous novel FEVER and now has ventured into the realm of self-publishing with INTIMATE ENEMIES. Having her here today is the best birthday gift I could get - she's witty, she's smart, and she's a writer that inspires me to want to write my best.  She's quoted as saying, "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." I think this is why I love her work.

Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Joan Swan to UNWRAPPING ROMANCE!

Amy: Hi Joan, I'm so thrilled to have you here today! This truly is the best birthday gift a girl could get, welcome!

Joan: Thanks for having me, Amy!! You and I share close birthdays. Mine was in July, just a little over a week ago, I’m on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, though I’m definitely more Cancer. You’re definitely Leo, no?

Amy: Oh yes, I'm a Leo! Whenever we meet another Leo, my hubby just says, 'uh oh!' I wonder why?  *wink*
Joan, perhaps you could tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet?

Joan: Oh, nothing particularly unusual here. I write romantic suspense and sometimes throw in a paranormal twist or two for the hell of it. J I’m OCD, an overachiever, a firefighter’s wife and mom of two daughters. I work at UCSF Medical Center as a sonographer.

Amy: Oh no, there's certainly nothing unusual about you. LOL!!
You are obviously an extraordinarily busy woman and I'm curious to know your secret for finding time to write such exciting and complex stories. Will you please share it?

Joan: Absolutely! I don’t cook, clean, exercise or do laundry. I live on diet coke and deadlines and sleep very little.
I actually live an unhealthy lifestyle (a la above) that I keep promising myself to change. Those changes always seem to get pushed off until tomorrow. I’m trying to change that, too.
I believe I might get some of that story complexity from the Theta waves I cultivate on my 4 hr drive to work. At least, that’s what I tell myself to stay sane.
Amy: Four hour drive to work? Wow, that would certainly give you a lot of time alone with your thoughts. So with that in mind and knowing that INTIMATE ENEMIES is an exciting, gripping, and action-packed story, where do you get your inspirations?  

Joan: Generally from a combination of my life, news, movies, books, and my ever-questioning brain.
Inspiration for INTIMATE ENEMIES came from my love of the Hispanic culture, a Californian’s everyday reality of hearing about the weak border between countries, an affinity for the reality show Border Wars, and lingering unanswered questions floating in my mind.

Amy: Do you have any set idea of how many books you'll include in the series, Covert Affairs, of which INTIMATE ENEMIES is Book One?

Joan: I can immediately think of five. Tomas’ book is next. But I can envision books for Xavier, Javier, and definitely Raymie.
The great thing about the missions in this series is that multiple agencies are involved, maybe even a rogue agent (or five) venturing out on his own. As these agents interact, more characters grow and demand the lime light. Which, of course, means more books.
I can see myself continuing to write this series as long as my readers are enjoying it.

Amy: Well, I know I'll be reading them and wanting more as I'm sure others will so you'd best be prepared to be writing this series for a long while. I love that Tomas' story is next, I won't say why because y'all have to read the book to find out!
Joan, now that you've ventured into the realm of self-publishing, is this an experience that you will continue and do you advise it for the rest of us wannabe authors?

Joan: I will continue to self-publish. There are several aspects of self-publishing I really enjoy—freedom, control, speed, reaching a wider audience, and yes, the money.
But there are aspects of traditional publishing I miss when self-publishing—those eyes with decades of experience, drop-dead deadlines that keep me in line, someone to ask legal questions of.
Whether self-publishing is right for any individual author is something only that author can decide. There is a learning curve. There is an expenditure of money needed up front. There is marketing to consider. And, while there is support available in the way of boards and groups, the buck stops with the author. That’s a lot of responsibility.
Also, it’s easier for an established author with a following to sell self-published works than someone fresh, right out of the gate.
Lots of pros and cons to consider. But, I’m glad I did.

Amy: It's always great to get some insight into something new from someone who has attempted it themselves and hopefully succeeds. We all wish you the very best of luck with your endeavor and I'll certainly being doing my part to help.
Joan, thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy day to be here with us. It's truly been such a delight. You're fast becoming one of my most favorite authors and I'm so addicted to your writing now that you could write a post-it and I'd want to read it.

Joan:  JJJJ Cute! But believe me, my first drafts aren’t so pretty! I revise, rewrite, edit and polish dozens of times before I’m ready to let your beautiful eyes see the real thing!

Amy: Well, we're so very glad that you put sooo much work and polish into your stories because they always come out so fantastic, it's worth it. I understand you'd like to give away some copies of your newest and most exciting suspense romance, INTIMATE ENEMIES - so please, feel free to ask anything of us since you've just been put in the hot seat yourself.

Joan: I’m happy to give away *3* copies J. Any e-format, international. Just leave your answer to this:
Do you like foreign or domestic settings better for romantic suspense? Why?

Amy:  So how 'bout it folks? Have you got an answer for Joan?

Giveaway 1:  Joan is giving away an ecopy of INTIMATE ENEMIES to 3 lucky commenters. Please leave a comment answering her question or just to say hello for a chance to win one of 3 ecopies of INTIMATE ENEMIES open to EVERYONE (International included)

Giveaway 2:  In addition to Joan's generous gifts, I am personally giving away a print copy of FEVER to one lucky commenter (US residents only).

All winners will be chosen at random and since there are actually two separate giveaways please in addition to leaving an email address in your comment, please state if you are US or INTL.

Also, if you don't own an ereader & only wish to be entered in the FEVER Giveaway, please let me know in your comment.  *wink*

SO - let's recap the rules: 

All valid entries will be entered in Joan's Giveaway of 3 ecopies of INTIMATE ENEMIES and all US Resident valid entries will be entered in my FEVER Giveaway as well as Joan's.  Got it!?  Remember, if I can't contact you to tell you that you won, you can't win - so follow the rules! Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

Both of these Giveaways will run until 11:30PM EDT on Friday, August 3, 2012 and all winners will be notified by email and announced on a special post on Saturday!

Thank you to everyone who visited & entered.  Good luck.  : )       
Thank you all for helping me to celebrate my birthday. I love my readers.
Happy Reading Everyone!!

INTIMATE ENEMIES by Joan Swan, available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and All Romance.

You're welcome to learn more about Joan Swan and her books at her website, follow her blog, as well as follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @joanswan and @romancegiveaway.



Amy Valentini said...

Just so we get this right for a change here's a sample entry:




It's that easy! Thanks for visiting and GOOD LUCK! <3

redjuliet said...

I love an international setting for romantic suspense because I like to find out new things about countries & their customs.

Thanks for the contest!



Anonymous said...

I think I like a combination of both. I like when they begin in a domestic setting, but then have to go to a foreign locale for the remainder of the story. :)

Anonymous said...

oops forgot to put my email.
blueyedgal623 at gmail dot com

erin said...

Happy Birthday! Here's wishing you many more, and all the books you want along w/ hot guys in kilts to fan you and feed you grapes while you read ;)

Thanks for the fabulous giveaways! I don't care if it's an international or domestic setting, as long as I can get lost in the story, is all that matters to me!

erin f

Toni said...

Happy birthday! what a fun birthday gift.

I have to say I like the domestic settings. I like imaging the places I've been through the character's eyes.



Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday Amy! And a big hello to Joan! I've heard awesome things about her books!


Thanks for the giveaway!

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes and for celebrating with me and Joan today!

Erin, I love your kilts guy feeding me grapes idea - where can I get one, huh? LOL!!

Emma said...

First of all, happy birthday! ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos! It must've been awesome to get to interview Joan Swan on your birthday (she and I share a love of Criminal Minds).

I really don't care where the setting takes place, as long as the romance and suspense is there.

I would like to be entered just for the FEVER giveaway. I'm in the US.


Again, thanks for this awesome giveaway!

Joan Swan said...

Thanks for coming by, ladies! I love both international and domestic settings for all the reasons everyone has already listed here! Glad we're on the same page.

I'm thrilled to have my work be considered a cool birthday gift. It just doesn't get any better!!



Amy Valentini said...

I couldn't have wished for a better birthday than sharing my day with you all and Joan.
Yes, Joan, having you here and sharing your fab work with everyone is a definitely cool gift. xoxo

jlzaharia said...

I like the combination of both foreign & domestic as well. There are so many places here in the US that are screaming for a story to be written at...but I also love when a story starts or ends in a foreign country!



June M. said...

I love both foreign & domestic settings. Domestic settings are more easily pictured and what I am more used to. But I love learning about foreign countries and their customs, etc. I guess if I had to pick one or the other, it would be Foreign just because I have always loved learning about new things.

US resident (but please only enter me for the ebooks because I already have a print copy of FEVER)

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

sin said...

Happy Birthday. Thanks for the contest.

I prefer foreign settings. Reason: It is the only way I get to travel :)


Amy Valentini said...

Thanks for the birthday greeting, sin and I like your take on foreign settings. It is a great way to travel to new places without needing a ticket or a passport. : )

bn100 said...

Happy birthday! Fun interview.



Jeannie S. said...

Happy belated birthday! Thanks for sharing it with us. I like both settings, but I guess I like domestic settings because I find it easier to picture in my mind.



Tatiana L. said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have an awesome one!
I've been itching to get my hands on FEVER for a while now =)

tatiana_lwg (at)

Joan Swan said...

Interesting to see what everyone prefers and why! Love getting that inside perspective!!

Good luck in the giveaway everyone!