GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sheep Movie Review: End of Watch

End of Watch, directed by David Ayer, stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, and Cody Horn. End of Watch was not at all what I thought it was going to be. Yes, it's action, but based more in a dramatic mode while it walks the fine line between bad taste and intense cop drama. 

From the writer of Training Day, End of Watch is a riveting action thriller that puts audiences at the center of the chase like never before. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as young LA police officers who discover a secret that makes them the target of the country's most dangerous drug cartel.

First off, I have to give major credit to both Jake and Michael for outstanding performances. I don't think Jake's taken on a role this diverse and engaging before in his career. Michael Pena has been one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood so hats off to him for showing he's got the chops and guts to drive home a realistic character performance. The banter and camaraderie between these two leading men was off the charts with very natural chemistry that brought home the realism this movie set out to achieve. 

Set to the pace of the mean streets of LA, End of Watch feels like a long episode of Cops but one where you follow the cops home and look into their personal lives. Director David Ayer takes a serious shot at fulfilling this action drama and while I didn't walk away wowed, I was at least impressed with the dedication. Some of the visuals left more to be desired with the all to common shaky camera syndrome and chopping editing. Audiences are supposed to believe that Jake's character is constantly filming his job for a "project" but that fell flat for me since it seems pretty unrealistic that any department would allow this sort of behavior. 

While just about every call they go on turns out to be exciting, it left me wondering about the small stuff like a dog barking or the can man digging around in trash bins. I mean come on, not all the calls are going to be this exciting and I wanted to see the small stuff too. As the movie rolls on I did find myself becoming emotionally attached to the pair, we busted jokes in the squad car, played pranks on other officers, and chased down the bad guys! So when they walk into extremely risky situations I found myself holding my breath. For the ride alone and the main character performances I'm giving this movie a solid rating. 

A little less on the circa 1995 cliche gangs would have gone a long way but lil snoopy still needed his day to shine. Training Day this was not, BUT if you like Cops and don't mind some gore and grit then give this one a go. I support the men and women who wear a badge but felt the light shined on them may come with mix feelings. 

Getting 3 and 1/2 'Turner & Hooch' Sheep 

Sheep ARC review: Cry Wolf (Alpha&Omega Graphic Volume #1)

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega Graphic #1)
by Patricia Briggs (Creator), David Lawrence (Adapter), Jordan Gunderson (Illustrator)

The long-awaited collection-the first four issues of the graphic novel adaptation of the #1 "New York Times" bestselling author's novel "Cry Wolf"

"Cry Wolf" is Patricia Briggs' "New York Times" bestselling novel about the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. Now, these characters come alive in full-color graphic novels.

Anne never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack...and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack she's learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males.

Then Charles Cornick-the son of the leader of the North American werewolves-came into her life. He insists that not only is Anne his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And Anna may be the key to stopping a rogue werewolf that threatens the entire pack.

This is a re-issue of Ace's compilation of the Dynamite Entertainment Cry Wolf graphic series. It contains new artwork and a never-before published version of issue #1. It is NOT identical to the Ace edition though it does have the same ISBN.

I have read some of the Mercy Thompson graphic novels and loved everything about them so I was excited to see the Alpha and Omega series was also being adapted as a graphic novel. The only Briggs novel I have read is Fair Game (Alpha and Omega series Book #3) and I was blown away by Briggs's writing (my review). Cry Wolf: Volume One is a collection of the first four issues based on the first book in the A&O series, which I haven’t read.

Cry Wolf: Volume One is about Anna, who was changed unwillingly into a werewolf and then abused by the pack that changed her. She was rescued by Charles who is Bran’s (ruler of all werewolves in North America) son and chief enforcer and it turns out Anna is Charles’s mate. Their inner wolves recognize each other but they have yet to complete the bond as man and woman and Charles doesn’t want to force her after her traumatic experience with the pack that turned her. Anna is also a rare Omega wolf with powers she doesn’t understand but will prove fateful in later chapters. Charles and Anna are sent to investigate attacks in his pack’s territory of Montana. Volume one introduces us to Charles’s family and sprinkles in Anna’s and Charles’s individual backstories to catch the reader up.

The writing was a little vague and I was confused at first but things were eventually addressed later in the story. If you have already read the novels, though, this might not be an issue for you. By the end of the fourth chapter I was hooked on the storyline and there was plenty of suspense, and I was happy that a few pages from Volume Two were included as a teaser.

The whole point of a graphic novel is to have pictures do most of the story telling so it is a major part of the book. Unfortunately, the artwork didn’t deliver a great experience in this collection. The cover art for all four chapters is perfect and sketches provided as extra content were spot on, but something happened when it came to the coloring of the panels. The characters become too cartoonish looking and downright ugly in some panels. When compared to the Mercy Thompson graphic novels this was a disappointment, and I expected better.

Bran, Charles and Samuel

I would give the story adaptation 4 Sheep, but the art is of such importance in this media I can only give this 3 Sheep overall.

Sharon Stogner (edited by BAK)

No, Charles...just No

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sheep Interview: Cover Model James Dinonno +giveaway

Today the ladies of Sheep bring you an interview with the gorgeous man who's graced the covers of the Deacon Chalk series James Dinonno! Stick around until the very end for your chance to win a signed photograph and book! We hope you enjoy. 

Katie: Hello James and welcome to the flock! Grab some freshly mixed kool-aid and get ready for the crazy! I mean party, yeah party. 
*Sharon hands James her Thor hammer, just in case*
James: Hi Katie and Sharon. Ok I'm ready, lay it on me.
Sharon: *grabs Katie before she lays over James*

Katie: You're the hunky man candy that's plastered on the front of James Tuck's UF series, how did this come about? 
James: Well thank you :) And it's pretty simple, my fitness modeling agent called me one day and said he wanted to book me for a book cover photo shoot, and if I was interested. I said "Heck yea!"

Sharon: Which of the seven deadly sins have you committed most recently?
James: Hmm uh, well, er...lust...but no details lol. And I already repented ha.

Katie: You're pretty badass looking on the covers, would you say you could handle your own should the zombie apocalypse happen tomorrow? 
Sharon: And what would your weapon of choice be?
James: That's funny you ask that. I don't know what I would do in real life, perhaps get my hands on a shotgun, say a prayer then start blowing heads off. But I'm actually part of a project that's in the works where I do in fact take on the zombie apocalypse, so stay tuned :)
Katie: When will we get more details on this? 
James: It should be revealed by the end of the year. I'll keep ya posted.

Katie: Being a fitness trainer, what’s the simplest thing someone can do in their diet that would make a big difference? 
*Sharon - please be eat chocolate, please be eat chocolate*
James: Always looking for the easy way lol. And dark chocolate in small portions can actually be good for you. But to answer your question...hmm it's hard to give one, easy answer. Ok I'll go with, bottom line is you have to reduce calories, and most people eat way to many carbs, especially bad carbs, so if you reduce carbs such as breads, pastas and junk food you will lose weight.
Katie: *kicks basket of bread under Sharon's chair* Bad, bad carbs! 
Sharon: *kicks basket of bread into the dungeon* totally bad...but moonpies don't count...just saying.

Katie: Can you take your shirt off and let us inspect your body? In the name of science, of course. *winks* 
Sharon: *hands Katie a camera* You know, to record the science…
James: Well if it's for science, how can I say no ;)

Katie: What's been the funnest part of being a cover model? 
James: I'd say walking into Barnes and Noble, bringing the book to the cashier and asking them if I can get the book for free. When they ask why I show them I'm on the cover and watch their reaction. I actually did that for this last book, recorded and posted it on my facebook fan page, you can search me James DiNonno, like my page and watch it for yourself :)

[Katie's could happen]
Sharon: *pokes Katie* Hey! snap out of it!
Katie: I'm sorry what, had a daydream moment. 

Sharon: Got any dirt on Tuck? You know something we can use to blackmail convince him to put a Sheep in his next book?
James: Unfortunately I don't, plus I wouldn't want to jeopardize being considered if they turn it into a movie lol 

Katie: It's time for some rapid fire questions! Answer with the first thing that pops into your brain. Ready? Go! 

Katie: Blonde or Brunette? 
James: Brunette
Katie: Loosing points already James! 
Sharon: *gives James back some points, plus extra*

Sharon: Popcorn or cotton candy? 
James: popcorn

Katie: Short or Tall?
James: Tall(but not too tall)
Sharon: *a 5'9" Sharon stands up to give James more points*
Katie: Loosing more Katie points, James! 

Sharon: Apple pie or pecan pie? 
James: Apple

Katie: Nerdy girl or Glam girl? 
James: Glam

Sharon: wait or pee behind the tree? 
James: The tree is getting watered. Actually I just did that 2 days ago lol
Sharon: O_o you know what TMI means James?

Katie: Marvel or DC? 
James: Marvel
Katie: Ok, now we're getting back on track! 
Sharon: got a favorite?
James: Wolverine is probably my favorite Marvel. But growing up DC's Superman got me the most pumped. No one beats Superman!

Sharon: free weights or machines? 
James: Free weights

Katie: Coke or Pepsi? 
James: Neither but if I had to choose, Coke
Katie: I love you again, all is forgiven! 
Sharon: *takes back some points* Sorry, but that is a deal breaker for me

Sharon: moo or quack? 
James: moo

Katie: Dark Choc or Milk? 
James: Dark Choc

Sharon: Deck shoes or flip-flops?
James: Can you really picture me in deck shoes? lol Flip flops
Sharon: just deck shoes? um...not going there

Katie: The Notebook or Pride and Prejudice? 
James: Actually I am a romantic so The Notebook, although when I saw it, which my best female friend made me see, I wasn't in a good state of mind so it got me depressed lol
Katie: *opens arms* Come to mama, I'll make it all better. 
Sharon: psst...James...hammer...

Katie: Anything you'd like to add before we wrap? 
James: Thanks so much Katie and Sharon, it's been fun. Wait till you see the next book, even more bada$$! 
[Cover shown in daydream moment. Minus Katie.]

Make sure to check James out at his website:

One lucky winner will receive a signed picture from James AND a paperback copy of Blood and Silver. This is a US Contest Only. 

To Enter:
1. Your Email Address 
2. If you had the opportunity to grace any book cover, what would your character look like? (Be as creative as you like!)
*Contest ends October 6th at midnight. Good luck! 

A BIG thanks to Jeni Darling for making the fantastic daydream cover! To check out Jeni's website click HERE.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Review: Looper

Looper (15)
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt
Running time: 118mins

In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.

Set in the not too distant future at the end of the 21st century, Looper starts out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Joe voiceover telling us that time travel doesn’t exist, but that 30 years from now, it will. As he sets up a sheet in a field someone out in the countryside, he continues to tell us that, immediately time travel will be outlawed, but that the richest criminals will still manage to use it, to send back people that they want eliminated to people like him – Loopers, to kill and dispose of their bodies.

Saving up half of his silver bars he’s paid with so that one day he can retire and live a life of luxury elsewhere, everything seems to be going fine for Joe until his Boss Abe (Jeff Daniels), a man who has come back from the future to manage the loopers, calls him in as one of his ‘loops’ – his target – is his friend’s future self. After his friend is dealt with, Joe goes back to his normal life, but when his next loop arrives, it’s his older self (Bruce Willis), who has come back for a reason and escapes, preventing his younger self from killing him.

This movie has been described in some reviews as being the new Matrix, I would suggest rather that, being that it deals with time-travel, it’s more of a new Inception than a new Matrix. Trust me when I say, if you are not prepared to pay attention and the multi-layered workings of Inception gave you a headache, Looper may just give you an embolism.

A great way to describe how this movie works is by referencing one of the most well known time-travel movie series – Back to the Future. If like me, you wondered why we didn’t see the events in BTTF2 (ie, a second Marty in 1965 in the background) in BTTF1, then you should understand this movie fairly well – in that trilogy we saw things chronologically, in order, cause and effect – in Looper, it’s a whole different story, we see effect in many instances before cause. In my screening of this, a few audience members left about 20 minutes into the movie, and that is where it’s most complicated, as we see a flash-forward version of events so that we understand older Joe’s motives.

The way that the effect is done is also impressive and at the same time horrifying. Early on, we see his friend as time catches up with him and see how changes to a person in the present catch up with their future selves, as the man suddenly begins to lose fingers, and have scars appear on his body that have been happening to his younger self, showing suddenly how time is catching up with him.

Before the movie, I wasn’t too sure about the casting of Gordon-Levitt and Willis playing the younger/older parts of the same characters, but can confirm that the two work well together in the movie – a little bit more work could have been done with the two trying to work out a similar body of mannerisms to sell it, but as they are the two are believable in the movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the younger Joe, a drug addict who has no problem with killing his older self to close his loop – in a scene with the two of them sitting across from one another, he outlines his philosophy that the older Joe has had his life, now die and let me get on with mine.

Willis likewise is great as the older Joe, who shows guilt and shame over the mysterious events of his past, which are staring right back at him, whilst hiding a secret motive that is so dark that it’s truly disturbing. He also has to deal with moments of his past and his memory changing, when his being there alters his younger self’s path, resulting in his memories changing, and painfully so.

Additional cast members such as Emily Blunt giving an odd yet interesting performance as Sara, a woman who lives with her son on a farm that Joe finds himself arriving at, as well as Jeff Daniels as Joe’s boss from the future, though Daniels is largely wasted in the small role. A villain played by Noah Segan gets more screen time, but is largely forgettable and one dimensional, had he been a bit of a more menacing character it would have at least made him more interesting.

Overall a solid action direction from writer/director Rian Johnson, though it does struggle a little thematically and some may find some of the topics it deals with difficult to stomach, though the ending is a little rough, it stands up there amongst the best time-travel thrillers around.

4 out of 5 Sheep
Guest Reviewer: Andrew from Following the Nerd 

Sheep Comic Review: Grim Leaper #4

"Grim Leaper #4" by: Kurtis Wiebe & Aluisio C. Santos

Okay, if you've been following this mini-series like I have, you've probably been waiting for a pretty big payoff to what has in the previous three issues been shrouded behind a love story. Hey, the love story is great. Lou and Ella are a cool couple adapting to an extremely weird situation. I mean, if you died and wound up getting resurrected over and over again, each time suffering a horrifically violent death only to wind up sucked into the body of another random person, wouldn't you flip out just a little bit? I thought so.

What has been gnawing at me for the entirety of this series is not the relationship between Lou and Ella, but the nature of their circumstances. Each time Lou died, he wakes up in an ethereal corridor with portraits on the wall of each person he's been resurrected into. From there, the portrait of the next poor soul he's due to inhabit swallows him up, and he wakes up inside that person's body--and projectile vomits like it's an Olympic event and their measuring for distance. Why is this happening?

As best I can tell, it's so Lou and Ella can fall in love. That's it.

If that's the case, that was a letdown of an ending for me. Oh, the overall love story and redemptive aspect of Lou's character are great, but by the end of this final issue the whole thing felt like that season of Dallas where Victoria Principle wakes up and finds Patrick Duffy in the shower. It was all a dream, none of it mattered, now f--k off and live happily ever after. And the whole jump into Ella's point of view came out of nowhere, as the backstory reveals the two actually met on the night Lou died.

I'd say this four-part series really needs to be read in one big go, like when there's a trade version or if you have all four issues in hand and at the ready. Because, waiting weeks at a time between each issue could lead to disappointment from anticipating things you've set up in your own mind. Wiebe and Santos have a really interesting story here with two very likable characters, but the supernatural aspects of their relationship needed a more drawing out for my liking.

3.5 out of 5 stars
Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox 

Sheep Book Review: King of Darkness

King of Darkness, by author Elisabeth Stabb, is her debut PNR novel. There is a lot of potential in this saga, but I'm not sure if sticking around to see where the series goes is worth my time.

ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA...Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human--although, drifting among the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons' blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the king of vampires this party girl's life turns dark and dangerous.
BUT TIME'S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF VAMPIRES...Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate has gotten it seriously wrong...

I can say that to date I have yet to read about a raver vampire gal, well until King of Darkness. Stabb takes her female lead and presents Isabel to readers as a drug addicted party girl who's selfish, shallow, and only interested in having a good time. At no point during the story did I ever get behind her as a character at all. Isabel needs an intervention and quick! You're lead to believe that this vamp was abandoned at a young age and thus has had to fend for herself and somehow turned to the party life. Maybe Lindsay Lohan is a point of inspiration here, I'm not really sure, but frankly I was not impressed.

The newly crowned King of the Vamps, Thad, is very emotional and a tad too soft around the edges for my liking. Set out to find his Queen and gain some new powers, Thad and his trusty sidekick Lee hit all the vamp clubs in town. Cause really, when a King out looking for a wife why not check the raver/bar scene?! (No offense to raver/bar scene women) Look, I like glow-sticks as much as the next gal, but come on! Twisted pasts and unthinkable loss is one thing, but Isabel has no job skills at anything. Except partying. And you want to marry her? You're the Vampire King, dude, you can do better than this! 

The greatest problem with this story was that the side characters held more depth than our leads. Lee and the human female he's lusting after were far more exciting than what our mismatched pair had going on. Also, enter the wizards! Supposedly these wizards are pretty tuff but all I can think of is Harry Potter with bad breath. Stepping into this story felt like a lot was missing, nothing was thoroughly explained and overall I was not impressed.

If you want to play a fun drinking game than pour a shot for every time the phrase "Ya know?" comes up. You'll be drunk before you reach the midway point. Overuse is an understatement. 

I will strongly suggest checking what other reviewers think before purchasing.

Getting 2 Sheep


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sheep Interview: Joan Swan + BLAZE giveaway

*update: Intimate Enemies if free for the kindle right now-use link at bottom of post
Today we have the goddess of multi-tasking and man-titty covers! (seriously...have you seen her covers?) Joan talks with us about Blaze, book 2 in her Phoenix Rising series, ropes, fear and firemen. Did I mention the sexy man titty covers?

Sharon: For our readers who haven’t read your Phoenix Rising series would you tell us about it?
Joan: Love to! Adore this series! Bunch of hot guys, couple of sexy, kick ass girls, one nasty, powerful enemy… 

Oh, you meant seriously. Yeah, I can do that too.

A mysterious explosion at a military warehouse injuries a team of seven hazmat firefighters, killing one. The contents of the building, chemicals used by the Department of Defense, have inflicted the team with various paranormal abilities. Abilities the government wants to study covertly. Abilities the team wants to understand and expose.

Each book in the series focuses on different members of the team and their struggle with the aftermath of the explosion. And as the group delves deeper into the incident and uncovers pieces of the puzzle, their personal issues are complicated by a powerful enemy trying to keep its secrets. 

Sharon: *looks at Katie* she had me at bunch of hot guys… 
Katie: Agreed. 
Joan: Yeah, I tried stopping there with my editor…didn’t fly. They’re soooooo picky. 

Katie: I’m a cover lover and lady your covers are hot! Do you think covers matter to readers? 

have you guys seen these covers?!
Joan: Yep. Sure do. The majority of readers say they prefer the cover to reflect the story within the book. Many will tell you they get ticked off when it doesn’t. And they get really ticked off when it’s misleading.

Many readers will tell you they love sexy covers. Many will tell you they loathe them. Many readers will also tell you one thing and buy another. People are so interesting!

Also, it seems to surprise readers that in traditional publishing, authors have almost no input on covers. Cover design is generally farmed out to freelance artists who know very little about the book they’re designing for. And while authors often fill out an “art sheet” regarding their book’s cover, the input I’ve received from dozens of authors, including NYT bestsellers, is that the house does what the house wants.

I guess I lucked out. <G> 

Katie: Plus people just have different tastes. But I like my man to taste hot like your covers!
Joan: I knew I liked you!

Sharon: Fever, your debut came out earlier this year. How long was your journey from “hey, I’m gonna write a book!” to “Hey, I wrote a book!”? 
Joan: Ten (10) looooooooooooooong years. Oh, wait…that was from “Hey, I’m gonna write a book!” to “Hey, I published a book!” I think the first book took me about a year. They all took me about a year until I sold. Then—whap! Deadlines. It’s amazing how fast you can write when you have deadlines! 
Sharon: how many do you have written already?
Joan: *choke* As in publishable? None. They’d all have to be rewritten. But there were nine before FEVER.
Oh, but I did rewrite INTIMATE ENEMIES, which was a 2x Golden Heart finalist, and self-published it. Very pleased with the result. It’s gotten fantastic reviews. <G> 

Katie: I look through your bedroom closet right now, what deep dark secret would I find? Bodies?
Joan: Me…trembling in a corner… Oh, no wait, that would be the secret to the next question.
Um…fear. Lots and lots and lots of fear…all stuffed waaaaaaay back in the corner so I can actually DO things with my life. 

Sharon: NOBODY PUTS FEAR IN A CORNER! Sorry, don’t know why that popped into my head <G>
Joan: LOL, sounds like your fear needed a voice. Just keep your fear out of my closet. If my fear pipes up, I’ll know where it came from.

photo: acyee_x
Sharon: You have a family, a daytime job, you write books and you have a very active blog…what’s your secret…clones? Cyborg? Eating Wheaties of the gods? 
Joan: OCD. Severe. Bordering on insanity. 
Katie: You have found a home Joan, insanity and the flock walk hand in hand! Weeeee!!! 
Joan: Hallelujah! I won’t be the only one talking to gremlins now!
Sharon: talking? we breed the suckers!

Time for a little fun... Take a deep breath (so you can smell the sheep) and go with your gut! 

Sharon: zip lines or rope course?
Joan: ZIP LINES!! Ropes?? are you KIDDING??? 

Sharon: ropes are very popular in romance ;)
Joan: Wait…were we talking romance? Can’t I change my answer? 

Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Joan: Oh, man, that’s a dangerous question. I’m only answering because I’m behind the protection of a screen…Pepsi. (Diet) 

Sharon: *dropping to knees and pumping fists in the air* YEESSSSSSS!
Katie: Joan, I thought we had something special going?! *Sobbing*
Joan: *covering face with hands* Good Lord. I knew I should have taken the fifth. 

Sharon: skipping or shuffling?
Joan: Skipping, shuffling makes me feel like an old lady.

Katie: Fist bump or High five?
Joan: High five…guess I am showing my age there <G>

Katie: Pfft. Let’s high five!
Joan: *smack* 

Sharon: manicure or pedicure?
Joan: Pedicure. I use my hands at work (the day job) and there’s no point in a manicure.

Katie: Under the covers or on top?
Joan: HAHAHAHAHA!! That question implies a bed. 

Sharon: O_o you don’t have a bed?
Joan: Didn’t say I didn’t have one…just don’t…you know…always use it…;D

Check out Fever and Blaze. Book #3, Rush, comes out Oct 2013 and Book #4 comes out April 2014

About the author:
I was never a star English student or a Literature buff, but I’ve always had a creative soul and an active imagination. Writing was a natural culmination of those two talents.

Sexy romantic suspense is my genre of choice, and, occasionally, I like to dabble in the lighter side of paranormal as well. I write the Phoenix Rising Series, FEVER, BLAZE, and two more books coming in 2013, for Kensington and the Covert Affairs Series, INTIMATE ENEMIES, independently.

A triple RWA Golden Heart finalist, I am a lover of craft and closet-hoarder of writing craft how-to books. I’m a recovering OCD perfectionist…bet you can just imagine how well that’s going.

In my day job, I work as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center, rated one of the top ten best medical centers in the nation – a location with an intensity that makes me slightly—okay majorly—insane. This seems to work well with my inner writer. Access to abundant character material—and I’m not only talking about my patients—is a fringe benefit.

I’m married to my own personal hero, a veteran firefighter, we have two beautiful daughters and are blessed to live in the heart of wine country on the gorgeous Central Coast of California. 

To keep up with my latest news & releases please visit me online: 

Phoenix Rising Series


Book 1 
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.

Purchase Links: 

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Book 2 
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…

Purchase Links: 

Joan Swan's BLAZE Blog Tour Schedule
chance to win a book at every stop!
Tour runs from September 17 - October 6
September 17 - Grave Tells -
September 18 - Book Reader Addicts -
September 19 - Pearl's World of Romance -
September 20 - Under The Covers -
September 21 - Reading Between The Wines -
September 22 - Riverina Romantics -
September 23 - Reading on The Wild Side -
September 24 - United By Books -
September 25 - My Keeper Shelf -
September 25 - The Reading Café -
September 26 - Ramblings From This Chick -
September 27 - I Smell Sheep -
September 28 - Paranormal Haven -
September 29 - Just Romantic Suspense -
September 30 - Just Romantic Suspense -
October 1 - Close Encounters With The Night Kind -
October 2 - Book Monster Reviews / Literal Addiction -
Book Monster -
Literal Addiction -
October 3 - Books-n-Kisses -
October 4 - Readers Confession -
October 5 - Book Lovin' Mamas -
October 6 - Cocktails & Books -

Joan is giving away a print copy of Blaze
To enter:
1. talk to raffle dude
contest ends Oct. 3