The lovely Joan Swan is on the blog today as part of her tour for Fever, and she was kind enough to write a guest post that ties right into the book, plus, she’s offering a copy of Fever to one lucky winner AND a chance to win a Nook or a Kindle Fire, so be sure to check out the details below!
Please welcome Joan to the blog!
Kristin suggested I write about my favorite character in FEVER, which sounded like a great plan…until I tried to pick one. Not quite like choosing a favorite child, but I have to admit that I do love my characters in different ways for different reasons, so choosing…well…
Of course, my hero, Teague, and my heroine, Alyssa, are going to be givens, right? After all, I’ve had to spend years with these two. YEARS!
Teague is hot, hot, hot. He’s a good man who’s been through hell. By simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, his perfect world was destroyed. Now, he’s in an impossible situation, fighting to get back the most important thing in the world against the strongest enemy who is bent on keeping him from succeeding.
My heroine, Alyssa, is strong enough to stand up to Teague, compassionate enough to see through his tough exterior and intelligent enough to help him in his quest. On top of all that, she’s got a sassy mouth and a few of her own issues to deal with.
Conflict, conflict, conflict. What’s not to love?
But if I had to pick one character that really intrigues me to distraction, it would be Mitch.
Mitch Foster is my heroine’s brother and a secondary character throughout the series. He’s an attorney who fights for the unjustly accused and frees innocents from the grips of the powerful and manipulative. Mitch is a shadowy guy—in a good way. He’s powerful because of contacts he’s made through his career. The people he’s helped—people of the military and political variety—are eager to repay the favor whenever he needs something or finds himself in a scrape.
Mitch is loyal to the death where Alyssa is concerned, after all, she is his twin. And what’s important to Alyssa becomes important to Mitch. He is the epitome of the perfect big brother—even if Alyssa never lets him forget she was born three minutes earlier.
Mitch’s drive to slay dragons—the bigger, the uglier, the better—stems from some incident in his past that he guards as his darkest secret. I have an idea of what it is, but I can’t tell, or it would just ruin his book. Let’s just say it has turned him into a very jaded man who trusts very few.
He has a cutting, sarcastic wit, a deep love of all things baseball, and an unequalled cunning for outmaneuvering the enemy. He’s a chameleon who can be the slickest, high class attorney or the rebel in camouflage, wielding an M14 like a pro.
Have I mentioned he’s handsome? Or built? Or sexy?
Did I need to?
Oh, and another fun little tidbit about Mitch is that my critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton, basically sculpted him. She named him after a baseball star she adores and of course gave him the baseball fetish. So, Mitch is really her brainchild, my sculpted hunk.
I’ve pulled an excerpt from FEVER where Mitch is showing his ornery self.
Lead in: Mitch, who’s been on the trail of Teague and Alyssa since her kidnapping, has located where they are staying in a mountain cabin. Alyssa faxed Mitch some documents and Mitch calls that line and gets Teague on the phone. This occurs after the first time Teague and Alyssa have slept together.
Teauge’s hand was already shaking when the phone rang. And now he knew why it was ringing. By faxing this information, she’d also given out the phone number. Which meant their location was now traceable.
He closed his eyes, clenched his teeth, picked up the receiver. And waited.
The hope in the man’s voice made Teague cringe. “No.”
“Creek.” The voice transitioned from hope to barely restrained fury.
Teague didn’t respond.
“How do I know you?” the man asked. “And what do you want?”
Teague’s mind skidded to a halt, reversed directions. Stalled.
“I recognize your name,” the man said. “You tried to get me to take your case at some point, didn’t you?”
Mitch. It had to be Alyssa’s brother. Teague dropped his head back, both furious she’d involved him after Teague had clearly told her not to and touched she believed in him so deeply she would enlist her family in his fight. Clearly, Mitch didn’t find it touching at all.
Teague pulled in a breath to steady his temper. “No.”
“You did,” Mitch said. “I’m sure of it. You’re a desperate man to go to such lengths to get my attention.”
“And you’re fucking full of yourself. I don’t want or need your help. I never have.”
“Then why target my sister?”
“You’ve got it wrong.”
“I’m not going to argue with you. I don’t care how the hell your twisted mind conjured up this idiotic scheme. I only care about Alyssa.”
That made two of them, but he doubted Mitch would find his concern valid.
“You’ll be happy to know that I’ve gone over the papers Alyssa sent me,” Mitch continued, his tone now flat and businesslike. “And I’ve been looking into some of my own resources. It does appear as if your attorney fucked you over. In fact, you might enjoy knowing, Hal Brueger died shortly after you were convicted. Cause of death is listed as undetermined. When I talked to the M.E. who performed the autopsy, he said he couldn’t conclusively determine whether it had been suicide or murder.”
“Why would I enjoy knowing that?”
“Because it supports the conspiracy theory you tossed around early on in your defense.”
Okay, this guy had to be as good as Alyssa claimed if he’d dug up that sliver of information. “Yeah, well, look how well that worked out for me.”
“In fact, it will help you now. New evidence is grounds for a new trial.”
An acrid chemical scent brought Teague’s attention to the plastic receiver melting beneath the heat of his fingers. He switched hands and worked to tamp his temper. “I don’t want a new fucking trial.”
“How about an appeal, then? Brueger was also being investigated for disbarment when he was found dead. Misrepresentation or lack of quality representation is all you need.”
Teague closed his eyes and rubbed his head. “That’s not what it said on my denial notice.”
“I looked into that, too. It was signed by a judge who retired immediately after and left for parts unknown.”
“None of this means anything to me now.”
“It should,” Mitch said. “Because I’m calling to offer you a deal.”
Teague’s eyes came open, his vision blurred over the desk top. “Didn’t you hear me? I’m not looking for any fucking deal. I don’t need any fucking deal. I don’t want any fucking deal. In fact, you don’t have a goddamned thing I do want.” Except the most beautiful sister on earth. “So you’ve wasted your time.”
“There’s something big going on here, Creek. Big and deep and ugly. I happen to prefer these types of cases. The bigger, the deeper, the uglier, the better. And because this particularly nasty case involves my sister, I’m offering you representation. I will take on your case at no expense. All you have to do is let Alyssa go, safe and sound.”
Let Alyssa go. The words twisted inside him like a knife. He knew he had to let Alyssa go, but not in the same way Mitch meant. He also knew, after tonight, he’d never be ready to let her go.
“I’ll take it under advisement.”
“Creek,” Mitch said as Teague started to remove the phone from his ear. “Couple more things. One, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re guilty of Desire’s murder. And I’ll prove it. But, if you’re involved in any way, shape or form with this mess, I’ll prove that, too.”
“Reassuring.” Teague switched the phone to the opposite hand again, grimacing at the metal and wires now showing through holes in the plastic casing.
“And two,” Mitch said. “There is an ex-San Francisco homicide detective and two ex-members of the San Francisco S.W.A.T. team sitting outside the cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake. You have until eight A.M. to release Alyssa. If you don’t, they will arrest you, using deadly force as necessary.”
An icy trickle slid down Teague’s back. He automatically scanned the living room windows, still covered by the shutters.
“Just so we’re clear,” Mitch said. “If that happens, all offers are rescinded. Of course, that is if you’re not already dead.”
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.
When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…
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…
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments