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Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Joan Swan as part of the Kiss of Death blog tour. Along with her guest blog, she’s offering a print copy giveaway of FEVER, which comes out Feb. 28. Stay tuned to find out how you can win! (U.S. only, please.)

**Giveaway Closed** Congratulations to Christine Warner, who was chosen by random.org as the winner!

To learn more about Kiss of Death, click image.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND ROMANTIC SUSPENSE | Joan Swan

A true romantic suspense is a blend of two strong, yet interdependent story threads, that when separated can’t stand alone.  Without the romance, the suspense would fizzle.  Without the suspense, the romance would fall flat.  The two storylines give the writer endless opportunities for conflict and tension, and offer the reader a rollercoaster of excitement, allowing for maximum escape.

Romantic suspense uniquely offers a higher promise of a happily ever after between hero and heroine after the shortest amount of time together on the page.  How?  The presence of physical and emotional threat changes brain chemistry, much the same way a new romance does, altering serotonin and other hormone levels.  And while we may not know this intellectually, our bodies sense it instinctively, giving the idea credibility with us emotionally.  Scientifically, humans bond deeper and more quickly under stressful and dangerous situations, which works well for a reader who needs to be able to believe these characters will stick after their crazy couple of days rummaging through hell together.

And the flexibility of this sub-genre almost makes it a microcosm all its own.  While romantic suspense generally balances somewhere around the 50/50 percentage scale between the two fiction elements, it can vary in scope from twenty percent romance/eighty percent suspense to eighty percent romance/twenty percent suspense.  This makes romantic suspense highly flexible for authors who like to stretch their literary boundaries and enjoyably fresh for readers who like to be surprised.

The strength, excitement and variety romantic suspense offers both authors and readers is what brings me so much joy as an author.  FEVER, my debut novel, also adds a paranormal twist to the genre, adding another spark.  I hope you enjoy reading Teague and Alyssa’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Tell me your favorite element of the romantic suspense genre and you’ll be entered to win a drawing for a copy of FEVER, available February 28, 2012! (Print copy giveaway is open to US addresses only, please.)

KISS OF DEATH | about

Joan is one of the many talented authors who belong to the Romance Writers of America’s Kiss of Death chapter. At Kiss of Death we believe that every great romance should include suspense. Whether a spy thriller in Regency times, a paranormal romance with a revenge-seeking zombie, or a traditional serial killer after the heroine, romance relies on suspense, leading the reader through the trials of the heroine and hero to see if they will get their happily ever after ending. If you can call your writing suspenseful, then the Kiss of Death has something for you! Find out more and join at http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org and follow us on Twitter at @RWAKissofDeath.

JOAN SWAN | about

Joan 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 with Kensington Brava, FEVER, debuts February 28, 2012.  Her second novel, BLAZE, follows in October, 2012. Currently, she 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 find Joan online at her website, Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

FEVER | Joan Swan

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.

(Coming February 28, 2012)

**Giveaway**

Sarah here: Okay guys, let’s have it! Comment with your favorite element of the romantic suspense genre and you’ll be entered to win a *print* copy of Joan Swan’s upcoming release, FEVER. Remember, this is open to U.S. addresses only. Thank you all so much for being here today, and good luck!