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Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway: Joan Swan on Firemen as Heroes

Photo of romantic suspense author Joan SwanA big welcome today to author Joan Swan!  Her debut release, Fever, is one of the most anticipated romance releases of the spring, and is already garnering her praise.  Fever is steamy and edgy and really fantastic (my review will be published closer to its release date).

Today, Joan is going to give us her opinion on that age-old question — What makes firemen such great heroes?  Joan has a pretty good perspective, since she's married to one. (Lucky Joan!)

Joan Swan: My Phoenix Rising series is based on a hazmat firefighting team that was in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered severe injuries when a military warehouse exploded, exposing the team to secret chemicals that should never have existed. These chemicals instill paranormal abilities within the team members, and while they heal and move on in their own way—some staying with the fire service, some not—firefighting is one of those jobs that never really leaves them. Once a firefighter, always a firefighter.

Even in real life, firefighters are heralded as heroes. Fiction only raises them up another notch. So what is it about firefighters that make them such desirable heroes? I think it’s the 4 Ss: strong, smart, sensitive and sexy.

Strong: From climbing flight after flight of stairs with a hundred pounds of gear to hiking miles of forested terrain in triple digit heat, a firefighter’s job is extremely physically demanding. They need to be able to not only lift twenty foot ladders, but throw them—vertically. Common duties include carrying unconscious victims as dead weight, dragging miles of hose, controlling a hose spray jetting out at 150psi, repelling from multi-story buildings…

Book cover of Fever by Joan SwanI could go on, but I think they’re sounding pretty darn strong already.

Smart: From the way these guys act when they don’t have a hard-on for fire, you’d swear they ranked below the IQ of their TV remote. I mean, they’re such GUYS! They say stupid guy things, make stupid guy noises, play stupid guy practical jokes.

But with firefighting, Darwin’s law prevails: survival of the fittest—in this case, fittest of mind, not just body. Firefighters need to understand the physics of fire. They need a deep working knowledge of weather, machinery, building construction, tools, vehicles, emergency medicine, psychology…

You get the point.

SensitiveI think this is one of the main differences between firefighters and cops. Firefighters need to be sensitive. Cops need to be tough. 

Firefighters come in and care for the injured or sick and often deal with the family as well, which takes patience and compassion and serious people skills. They need to be persuasive but understanding, commanding yet considerate. Charm is a huge benefit to firefighters dealing with the public and they pick up on that quick (see Smart above.)

Most firefighters are great with kids—because, honestly, they’re just big kids themselves. All fire departments are a huge part of the community and are invited to every function where you will find them handing out candy, stickers, balloons and rides on the fire engine to the kids. Firefighters can often be found inside classrooms giving demonstrations or guiding a tour of 30 kids through the firehouse.

SexyIf Strong, Smart and Sensitive aren’t enough to = Sexy… consider: These guys:
  • Cook
  • Clean
  • Do Laundry
  • Are polite
  • Workout everyday
  • Know how to fix almost anything
  • Appreciate strong women
  • And…look awesome in uniform

What do you think, are firefighters good heroes? What do you love most in a hero? Who is one of your most recent favorite heroes and why? 

Author Bio:  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.

FeverWhen 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... (Release Date: 2/28)


UPDATE:  A winner has already been chosen - thank you for stopping by!

Buy links:  AmazonBarnes & Noble | Booksamillion

Joan's links:  Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Romance novel book reviews by Sarah The Brazen Bookworm


  1. I agree with your points on why firemen are so desireable.

    One of the things I like about a hero is his willingness to put the safety and well-being of those he love before his own. Jamie Fraser from Outlander is a perfect example!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    1. Ooh - Jamie Fraser! We canna forget him, can we? :)

    2. Hi Tracey!

      Yes, heroes are those who are willing to help others at the risk to their own safety. I haven't read Outlander -- the sheer size of it intimidates me. I looked at it on audible last week -- 32 hrs...ay,ay,ay!!

  2. Thanks for a great guest post Sarah - I'd have to agree on all of Joan's assessments. Our local firemen come to our block party every year. They are great with the kids and I'm always astounded at how many of them are just gorgeous. And of course we ladies all go weak at the knees (and try and force feed them our food!).

    1. LOL, Karen - when my husband is on a fire, people bring them meals, drinks, treats, gifts (that they can't accept). It's really great for the guys--they love the appreciation.

  3. Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I've had book lust for this title for a while.... great cover and I love the premise!

    I think that firefighters make such wonderful heroes b/c they embody the ideal of a hero; someone strong, willing to help others, willing to sacrifice to save others and usually very *hawt* :) And any hot guy in a uniform.... *fans self*

    1. Agree, agree, agree! I love whenever they show those firemen calendars. Who can keep track of the dates when you've got man candy like that to look at? :)

    2. Ah, yes, Erin...that uniform. YUMMY!! :)

  4. Joan - I love the idea of firemen heroes with a paranormal twist. This sounds like a very exciting book and series. Thank you for the great post!

    1. Oops, I forgot to leave my email: kristinecayne (@) gmail (dot) com

    2. Thanks Kristine, I think it's a unique element and I hope readers find it fun and fascinating. :) Thanks for coming by!

  5. What is more heroic than putting yourself on the line to save others? Firemen certainly do that on a regular basis. And the firemen in my area are all volunteers too. This concept with the paranormal elements is certainly unique.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Di,

      Yes, the volunteer firefighters are great guys and your mention of them reminds me of a cute saying...

      Volunteer firefighters do it for free! :)

  6. I totally agree that firefighters are heroes. Unless my kids were in a burning building, I can't imagine running into one and these guys and ladies have no problem doing just that! What I love most about a hero is that they can perform an extraordinary feat and act as if it was nothing spectacular...all in a day's work. My all-time favorite hero was and will always be my dad. He was a policeman and had this presence about him that he could walk into a room and everyone knew he was in charge. Have you noticed that having a hero around makes you feel really safe and secure?

    Thank you for a fantastic giveaway! Congratulations on your upcoming book release.

    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

    1. Oh, absolutely! I know a few cops too and, yes, all emergency workers have an air about them.

      I work in medicine and I've become so desensitized that I rarely startle at anything -- screams, pleas, cries, code blues. Don't get me wrong, I'm compassionate and patient, but little actually unnerves me (although the guards with the machine guns the other day did it).

      About a month ago I had a patient faint and slide to the floor. I was late shift with only one other person who was also with a patient. She was too big for me to hold up, so I just let her slide gently to the floor and held her head up until she came back around.

  7. * Chuckles * Got a girl interested in Fever when I said "It had a whiff of paranormal". She had me explain what that meant. So I explained without giving spoilers.

    That bit of paranormal element really intergrates great with the story line. It's not paranormal in the essence of witches, weres, and the like.

    Totally great book! I cannot stop but to gush about this book (so no need to enter me for Fever. Just supporting Joan)

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

    1. You ROCK!! (I think I've told you that a couple--thousand--times, right?)


    2. Yup! Never get tired of hearing it!

  8. Firefighters always think about our safety first. Sometimes they have to go into some pretty serious situations. Love the cover and the book.

    I agree with Raonaid. I really enjoyed the book. I also don't need to be entered for the book but would love a kindle. Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much Lynn!! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed the book! And I so appreciate you coming by to say hi!! XO

  9. I think the reasons you listed above are why firefighters make good heroes. One of my favorite heroes is Sebastian from Devil in Winter because he's caring, funny, and handsome.


    1. I don't know Sebastian. I'll have to look for him!

    2. Oh, Joan, you're so in for a treat with Sebastian! Best (sort-of) reformed rake ever. He's one of my favorites too! :)

    3. Oh Joan you h ave to read about Sebastian from Devil in Winter!!!

  10. I love your post. Your list is right on too. I've found when I need something done around the house like the plaster ceiling replaced I call a fireman. Most all have a side business and know someone who can help me out.


    1. So very true -- many do have side businesses and they're very professional with attention to detail. Good choice!!

  11. I think firefighters make great heroes. I like a hero that is strong, smart, caring, compassionate and not afraid to show his sensitive side. I can't wait to read Fever. The cover is HOT and I love the tatoo.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  12. Cook, clean, and do laundry??? Yes, please!

    theangrypollo{ AT }yahoo{DOT }com

  13. Oh firefighters... yes, they make quite nice heroes. Still can't get that cover out of my head. I might have to print it and keep it in my wallet. J/k, I'm not that nuts. hehe

  14. Firefighters are hott, especially when they have a sense of humor, and I am very excited to read this story!

    becky jean

    rjs4444us at yahoo dot com

  15. Congrats to the winner!

    I think Firefighters are great heroes in books. Partly because they are RL heroes as well.


Thank you for your comments!

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