Please welcome debut author, Joan Swan

The Crush

I live in California on the beautiful central coast in the heart of wine country. Everywhere I look, the hillsides and valleys extend to the horizon with rows upon neat rows of grape vines. It’s harvest season now, a time we call the crush for the hours workers spend picking grapes to be crushed and bottled for wine.


But I’m feeling a different crush now. With my debut, FEVER, just four months away, I’m feeling the promotional crush. It’s a fabulous, exhilarating time of introducing my work to readers for the first time, exposing my beloved characters to the public and reliving my love for the story all over again as I share excerpts and interviews.


On most days, I feel like the gal in the front seat of Riding with the Top Down’s logo, hands up, hair flying. On other days, when the guest appearances stack up, my daughter has a melt down because she lost her tennis match, there’s no food in the fridge and I have to head back to the day job, I fantasize about being the gal in the front seat of Riding with the Top Down’s logo, hands up, hair flying.

It seems fitting that RWTTD’s logo signifies both escape and enjoyment—the two main reasons I both write and read. Also fitting that FEVER’s premise initiates in escape and ends in enjoyment.

We all have our own quirky ways to deal with extreme stress. I tend to get quiet, put my head down and trudge through the situation. My hero in FEVER, Teague, needs action. He can’t sit still even when moving means exposing himself to the operatives stalking him. Teague takes risks and makes things happen. My heroine, Alyssa, on the other hand, uses research to ease her troubled mind. She believes information is power and will dig to Iceland if it means getting that morsel of Intel she needs to solve her problem. So when Teague and Alyssa are trapped together in the worst imaginable situation—running from powerful killers bent on silencing Teague and eliminating Alyssa, you can imagine the conflict that sparks between them.


Did I mention that the reason I escape into my writing when I’m stressed isn’t to forget about my problems in real life, but to take out my frustrations on my characters? Details, details.

How you do cope with the extreme stresses in life? What conflicts have your coping techniques caused with your loved ones?

Comment to enter to win a $10 gift card to Amazon and 1 of 3 custom handmade FEVER bookmarks. International.

FEVER blurb:

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 Bio:

Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist, and a double Kiss of Death Daphne Du Maurier finalist. She writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist, and her first novel, FEVER, debuts with Kensington Brava February 28, 2012. BLAZE releases October, 2012.

Currently, Joan works as a sonographer at a one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation, and lives in magnificent wine country on the central coast of California with her husband and two daughters. You can connect with Joan via: Twitter: @joanswan or @romancegiveaway, Facebook: Joan Swan Author or her blog at

Buy links:

Fever now available for preorder at Amazon (print & Kindle), Barnes & Noble (print & Nook), Booksamillion



I’ve got lots of ongoing contests and giveaways you can sign up for at my blog:

1-Escape & Enjoy Mega Giveaway ( A week’s vacation in Lake Tahoe to celebrate FEVER’s availability for preorder. Value $3000.

2-Book Buzz Giveaway ( Weekly giveaways for chatting up FEVER, runs eight weeks. Prizes include custom ereader skins, early copies of FEVER, Godiva chocolates. **Bonus** all comments here count as 3 entries to this week’s contest – just fill out the entry form.


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at
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63 Responses to Please welcome debut author, Joan Swan

  1. Sad to say, I usually cope with stress by eating. Not the best way … maybe I should start taking out my frustrations on my characters! That sounds like a much healthier outlet.

    • Hi Arlene, the eating is a natural response. It takes a lot of thought and will power to turn to a different avenue and sometimes we just don’t have that energy. But I do have to say that writing is both an escape from the world and an outlet for frustrations. Thanks for coming by!

  2. Jane says:

    Congrats on your upcoming debut release, Joan. I sometimes try to deal with stress by taking a break and moving on to other projects. Usually this clears my mind and gives me the needed energy to tackle whatever was stressing me out.

  3. Infinitieh says:

    Hi, Joan! What helps me when stressed is a long, brisk walk, especially on the beach (regardless of the weather). It’s almost as good as chocolate and much better for me, too.

    • Hey! do you live near the beach? I live about 30 minutes. Not far, but far enough to keep me from doing it as often as I should because you’re right, a walk on the beach can magically wash away a lot of problems! Thanks for coming by!

  4. Julie says:

    When I’m really stressed, I need an escape or an outlet. Sometimes it’s a bout of crazy tennis and sometimes it’s a good movie or a book. The time away usually allows me to take some time and perspective from the situation.

    • Hi Julie. Those are all great escapes. I used to go to movies often. By myself, a matinee. It was an awesome 2 hr escape. Then we moved and our town doesn’t have a theatre that shows matinees. With the kids getting out of school at 3, it shot my whole movie-going to heck…darn it! But getting away and getting perspective is a great plan!

  5. Stonehawk says:

    I have various uses for getting rid of stress which sometimes involve writing in my journal about being stressed out and doing what it takes to get rid of the feeling even if I have to do some yoga. I even try to keep myself busy with TV or the internet to help me get rid of the stress so I won’t concentrate on the feeling and get more further stressed out.

    • Smart! Keeping yourself distracted is the best plan, however you do it! Journaling has all kinds of benefits and I’ve used it sporadically, though haven’t been able to stick with it for any length of time as I wish I could. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Minna says:

    Being a Finn, I deal with stress by going to sauna.

  7. readergirl10 says:

    Congrats Ms.Swan on your new book. I will pick one up as soon as it comes out.As for how I deal with stress, I hide from kids and hubby in a locked bathroom with a book a soda and some chocolate:) Gail

  8. CrystalGB says:

    Hi Joan. Congratulations on your debut book. I love the cover. I deal with stress by watching a funny movie, losing myself in a good book or visiting my best friend.

  9. Cindy Gerard says:

    so happy to have you here today, Joan. Congrats on the new release!!!

  10. kris says:

    looking forward to your book! congrats on the release!

  11. Ebony Morton says:

    wow !!! it sounds like a good book . I hope to get it and read it . 🙂

  12. Leanne Banks says:

    Welcome to the convertible and congratulations Joan! Two different lines! YAY for YOU!:) When I was a little kid, I relieved stress by riding my bike or playing loud music. These days, my favorite way to relieve stress is to take a walk on the beach… but I have to GET to the beach to make that happen!:)

    • Thanks Leanne! Oh, the music! I almost forgot that one. I STILL play my music loud when I want to banish stress. A good “rocking out” as my daughter calls it, does wonders for the stress levels! And I’m with you on that GETTING to the beach thing!

  13. loisgreiman says:

    Thanks for joining us Join. Congrats on your beautiful new book.

  14. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    This book is one I want on my tbr shelve for sure…
    When I am stressed there is nothing like a good book to take me away from it all.. thank god for all the great writers who help me releive my stres…A lot of them reside at RWTTD!!!!!!

    So thank you one and all…

  15. Hi Joan. Congrats on the new release!! I listen to loud rock when im stressed out.

  16. Patti says:

    Welcome, and congratulations on your new release. I love to anticipate the purchase of a new book. To relieve stress . . . just read!! LOL

  17. Hey Joan! Congrats on the book release and awesome contests! I love your analysis of the RWTTD header!

    Stress…I wish I could say I did something productive when I get stressed, like exercise or clean house but I don’t. I bake chocolate chip cookies. Sugar & fat for that endorphin release. That’s me.

    • OMG, Cynthia, you are my daughter! When she is stressed, she bakes. And when one of her friends is upset, she bakes for them! It’s great…but not so great because as I mentioned earlier, I have to fight not to eat when I’m stressed. And of course what do I want to eat when I’m stressed?? SWEETS!! Gah!

      I love the RWTTD header and it totally fit for me in the moment! Thanks for coming by!

  18. Quilt Lady says:

    My stess relieve is eating and usually junk foods. Not a good thing I am afraid. That would explain why I am over weight and always have been. I need to start dealing with stess by walking of something like that. It would do wonders for me.

  19. Kristi frey says:

    Joan- WHEW girl- that cover! i know u not supposed 2 judge a book by its cover but id have 2 read this book even if it wasnt recomended by one of my fav.authors

  20. Kristi, I know, right? Rather drool-worthy, no? They did actually choose a nice model because one of the elements of my hero’s character is that he is extremely physicially fit — not only because of course it’s sexy as hell, but because when the story begins he is a prisoner. Has been in prison 3 years. And he has quickly learned that being strong in prison keeps him safe from the predators. So it goes to his character as well, which I especially love. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  21. The more I read about your book every day, the more I want to read it – you’re teasing the readers so skillfully!
    When I am stressed and hot tea with chocolate do not help any longer, my husband takes me somewhere on a short trip or hiking for a day. Seeing new places, taking pictures destructs me from my stress.

    • Tatiana, that is great news, because honestly, I really have no grand plan and I don’t know what will or won’t work. I just figure it would be good for readers to see a little bit of my writing style and get a taste of the characters and their personalities. Hopefully they’ll love them as much as I do. So thrilled to hear it’s been that way for you! Really makes my day!

      You got a real keeper of a hubby there! Congrats!

  22. Jeff Beesler says:

    Games and writing are my two destressing tools. It can be quite the cruel world out there, especially at the day job. So I won’t hesitate to take my frustrations out on my characters too, when given the chance. Thanks for sharing!

    • So, so true! My day job can be…well mostly is…rather brutal. What do you do in your day job that creates your stress? What kind of games are destressing for you? Computer games? Crossword puzzles? I like anything that either takes my mind away or is non-taxing on my brain because I have to concentrate so hard at work, both emotionally and intellectually, that it drains me. Most days I’m so wiped even the escape of writing isn’t enough to pull me that direction. It’s good to have the “release” button for such situations. I fear I need more. 🙂

  23. Eva P. says:

    I cope with stress by putting on my iPod and listening to classical music, it really does calm me down 🙂

  24. Tasha Clanton says:

    Reading is my go to stress reliever. I think it has to do with the escapism into someone else’s life and problems so that I can forget mine. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a very tall glass of wine to go with it!

  25. Chelsea B. says:

    I read or listen to music 🙂 Doesn’t really make much conflict unless I stick my earbuds in when someone is trying to talk, all “Lalalacan’thearyoulalala.” Which, of course, I don’t do. At all. 😉
    Congratulations on your first book!

    • Uh-huh, I’ll bet. I can see you pretending to rock out to something when in reality you’re listening to some ballad eavesdropping on every word someone else is saying. I just get this “sense” about you Chelsea. 😉 I’m good like that.

      Thanks for coming out and saying hi!

  26. Maureen says:

    My favorite way to destress is to have a cup of tea and spend some time reading but I will also force myself to exercise and, in extreme cases, clean the house.

  27. Barbara Elness says:

    The way I cope with stress is to lose myself in a great book, talk a nice long walk, or go shopping. Any of those things calm me down and allow me to face the source of the stress.

    • Shoooooping. Now there’s an idea! I think I’d forgotten all about that little stress reducer because I live in such a small town, the best shopping we get is Target. But when I used to live in the burbs, I used to love to window shop! Good one Barbara.

  28. catslady says:

    I’ve always coped with stress with reading since I learned to read. It is the only thing that can totally take me away. And I love debut books and authors. There’s justs something about firsts!

    • You’re like I am with movies. Nothing can take me away like a good movie. Books are second for me, only because I’m an impatient wimp who prefers instant gratification :/, but I do love, love, love my book escapes. And I love finding new-to-me authors. I just listened to my first Robert Crais book (I do lots of audiobook b/c I drive a long distance to work) The Watchman… and LOVED it. He’s a new author on my list of have-to-reads and when I find a new author like that it gets me excited about reading all over again!

  29. Stephenia says:

    I clean when I get really stressed, I eat when I get a bit stressed and I also make lists!

    • Another cleaner! You should really come visit me. We’ll talk about very distressing things and then I’ll let you loose on my house. 🙂 And a list maker — that’s a new one! When I make lists, I add things that are already done just so I have something to cross off. 🙂

  30. Raonaid Luckwell says:

    Cleaning, and I mean massive cleaning, is usually how I can deal with stress. By keeping my hands and body busy I won’t obsess or focus on it. I tend to over worry about things.

    That or music.

  31. Na S. says:

    I cope by keeping my mind occupied, whether in a good book or making a list of things to do. It makes me feel great when I check things off the list no matter how small 🙂 It’s also nice to simply rest even if there are a million things to do -a quick or long nap will make me feel refreshed and ready to tackle things. Without this, I feel sluggish and probably not as focused.

  32. Margaret says:

    Hi Joan…
    CONGRATULATIONS….I love new books and authors and I am happy to say that ‘FEVER’ will definately make it onto my bookshelf as soon as I can get my hands onto it 🙂
    The way I destress is to loose myself in a good book…..I curl up on the lounge with a book and a cup of tea and everyone knows to leave me be for at least an hour….
    Margaret (Sydney, Australia)

  33. Ellie says:

    Hi Joan.Congratulations and best wishes. I enjoyed learning about your book and your background. I go for long walks in the mountains when I feel stressed and or take a long bath.

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