Posted September 17, 2012 by davincikittie in Informational

Book Tour & Giveaway (Us/Can): Catch Blaze fever! Check out Joan’s vision for Luke, Kiera, & Mateo

Please welcome Joan Swan, author of Blaze and Fever!

I’m a very visual writer. I see a scene in my head when I write it, like a little movie clip. I do quite a bit of research and often refer to images while writing about a location, items or even fight moves in an action scene. I do this with facial expressions also.

Before BLAZE, I had never used real people to represent my characters. But with every book, my writing process changes, and because I was so connected to the characters in BLAZE, I set out to find the depiction of my characters in real people.

I was thrilled when I found the perfect match. I know everyone has their own idea of what a character looks like in their own imagination, and I’m all for you all having your own version of Luke and Keira. I just wanted to share mine.

When we first meet Luke, my hero, he is described from Keira’s POV.

Same intense blue eyes. Same long legs. Same wide shoulders. Same commanding presence. Same Luke.

He hadn’t had a haircut in months, hadn’t shaved in at least two days, hadn’t been using enough sunscreen. And he looked . . . amazing. Absolutely mind-numbingly amazing.

Luke has been described by early reviewers as:

  • “…all charisma and wit, a capable agent with a big bad side of get-with-the-program-or-get-the-hell-out-of-my-way. Underneath all that swagger, though, is a man who has never gotten over the love of his life and is willing to give up just about anything to see her safe and happy… even if it means living the rest of his life in misery.” –GraveTells
  • “Luke,” *sighs* “I want to have babies with Luke.” –The Jeep Diva
  • “Luke is an amazing character in the sense that he’s completely vulnerable to Keira and the emotions she stirs in him. After awhile he doesn’t even try to fight or deny it, giving him a lovelorn aura that reminded me of the heroes in a Jane Austen novel.” –Breath of Life Reviews

I see Luke as the indisputably hot Paul Walker.

Luke’s impression of Keira comes more slowly as the initial action dies down…

Keira retreated to one side of the cargo space and pulled off her helmet as the boy scrambled into her lap. She tugged the band out of her hair and shook it free. Her long, dark strands fell around her face, giving her that soft, tousled, sexy look she’d always had after they’d made love.

Luke met her at the gurney, absorbing the sight of her now in civilian clothes. Dark blue jeans hung low at the curve of her hips. A plain white short-sleeved T-shirt clung to breasts that looked fuller than he remembered in comparison to the narrowness of her waist peeking from beneath a trim-fitting lightweight jean jacket. She’d always been healthy and fit. Perfect, in his opinion. But this little body was a compact machine of muscle.

He skimmed the fall of her shiny hair, nearly black. The way her eyes glimmered a brighter blue in contrast. That creamy, smooth skin. And the crème de la crème, her freckles. The caramel-colored dots across the bridge of her little nose, fading as they arced out over her cheekbones. Eighty-three of them. He’d counted every one. Kissed every one.

Here are a few of Keira’s feistier moments:

“I’m not going to recite my resume for this . . .” Pissant. “If he doesn’t trust me, get someone else to take me in.”

“Keira,” Angus said, “is there a problem here?”
Hell, yes. “Nope.” Two could play this game. “I don’t give a flying fuck whether he goes or not. I can handle this on my own.”

She narrowed her eyes and leaned away, as if the distance gave her a better perspective. “Who the hell are you? You sure as shit never talked to me like that before, and you have even less right to talk to me like that now. So curb your attitude, Agent, unless you want a big fat harassment write-up in your personnel file.”

Keira has been described by early reviewers as:

  • “…a firecracker of a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it, before going after it like a guided missile. She’s a smart, take-no-shit, expert markswoman with a shattered heart and traumatic childhood enfortressed behind a wall of emotional steel, packed muscles, and intense S.W.A.T. training, and the only one who can get past that shell is ATF agent and fire cop Luke Ransom.” –GraveTells
  • “Keira is an amazing heroine to read. She is one tough chick. Her life has forced her to become this resilient woman.” –The Jeep Diva

And finally, a quippy conversation between Luke and Mitch about Keira:

“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 fairy tale.”

“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.”

This is an actress I found while looking for images of women who fit Keira in my mind, and thought she was a perfect match. But, it’s been a while since I pulled these images and I can’t remember her name. Does anyone recognize her? I think her name starts with a J – Jessica? Jenna?

And I can’t resist putting in a photo of Mateo. Mateo is the boy Keira is rescuing at the beginning of the book and is an intrinsic element in the plot.

This is my inspiration for Mateo, a real anonymous Greek boy from a photo I found on the internet.

I am in love with this kid!

What about you? Do you fully visualize characters when you’re reading (or writing)? Do you associate characters with someone you’ve seen before or do you create someone totally unique in your imagination?

More about the books

August 2012 Book of the Month! 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…

Blaze was chosen as the GraveTells Book of the Month for August 2012 AND as a Reviewer Top Pick! It is the first book to receive a perfect, 5-Heart, rating on GraveTells in over 8 months.

Read our review here! Want your own copy? check out the buy links below!

Amazon (Paperback, Kindle) / Amazon Canada / Barnes & Noble / B-A-M / Book Depository
Chapters / IndieBound / Powell’s

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

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.

Fever was chosen as the GraveTells Book of the Month for March 2012 AND as a Reviewer Top Pick.  It also received a review score of 4.5/5 Hearts and a “must read!” recommendation.

Read our review here! Want your own copy?  Check out the buy links below…

Kensington / Amazon (Paperback, Kindle) / Amazon Canada / Barnes & Noble / B-A-M
Book Depository / Chapters / IndieBound / Powell’s

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

About the author

Joan Swan is an award-winning author of sexy romantic suspense and occasionally throws in a paranormal twist or two for some extra spark. In her day job, Joan works as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center. She lives on the central coast of California in beautiful wine country with her husband and two daughters.

Giveaway (US/Can)

Joan is giving away one paperback copy of Blaze to a commenter on today’s post! To enter to win, leave a comment answering Joan’s question above, then fill out the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is only open to readers with US or Canadian mailing address.
Note: If you are viewing this from our main Feed page and cannot see the Comments section, click the title of the post then scroll down to the bottom. Be sure to leave your comment in the Comments area at the bottom of the post, not the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the tour!


Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.