Excerpt: Shatter by Joan Swan


(Phoenix Rising, #4)
By: Joan Swan
Publisher: Brava
Release Date: Dec. 31, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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For seven years, Halina Beloi has been in hiding. But she’s never forgotten Mitch Foster, the long, lean man she had to leave behind. Until, that is, Mitch shows up with a list of questions and a 9mm in his hand.

All Mitch knows is that Halina broke his heart and disappeared. But new information has surfaced implicating her as a player in the deadliest game of Mitch’s life. This time, he’s not letting go without answers. Now terror, danger and heat will fuse them together or shatter the future. . .


ExcerptThe attacker’s mouth tipped in a knowing smile. “Sweetheart, I’m the new player in this game. Schaeffer is old news. All I need is the genetic research you took when you left DARPA. Then you can come with me, join a winning team for a change, live the life you deserve after all your hard work. Or I can go away and leave you with this pathetic loser to hash out all those nasty secrets from your past. It’s up to you.”

“If you expect us to believe you’re just going to let us go,” Mitch said, “you’ve been watching too much Hawaii Five-O.”

“I don’t give a fuck what you believe, Foster.” To Halina he said, “Nothing you or Foster can do will damage my plans. Everything is already in motion—way far away. You, on the other hand, can work miracles to enhance it. Either way, I’m solid, just behind schedule without your research. Foster is all drama.”

“Halina…” Mitch said from between clenched teeth, his voice filled with warning.

She didn’t look at Mitch. “If I give you the research, you’ll leave us alone?”

“Halina, don’t.” Mitch stepped forward.

“Stop, Foster,” the gunman said without removing his gaze from

Halina’s face. “Yes, Beloi. You give me the research and I’ll leave you and Foster alone. This doesn’t have to be difficult.”

Halina shifted closer to the gunman. She could take the weapon pointed at her forehead. Ten seconds and she’d have control over the military-style Beretta. Fifteen and the attacker would have a broken finger. Twenty, a broken nose.

But his other arm was extended well out of her reach, the weapon pointed steadily at Mitch’s chest. And she didn’t know how to get one weapon without triggering the other.

“It’s in the house,” she said. “In a safe.”

“Hands, Foster. Hands.” The gunman’s warning made her dart a look toward Mitch. He lifted a hand from behind his body, where he’d been reaching for something. “If I have to warn you again, it will be with a bullet.” Then to Halina, “Your boyfriend and your dog are the most annoying creatures I’ve ever run across.”

“Let Mitch take the dog and go. I’ll get you the research from the house.” Where she knew every inch of every room. Where she had built in traps. Where she could take this man down, knock him out and restrain him.

“Hell no,” Mitch said, “I’m not getting near Kujo.”

The gunman laughed and turned his head toward Mitch.

Get close. Take control. Tommy’s commands whispered in her head.

Halina stepped in, grabbed the gunman’s wrist in one hand, the muzzle of the weapon in the other. He immediately resisted, his muscles tensing. She used his rigid arm to pivot his body away from Mitch. Leaned on his wrist, shoved his arm. Underhand grab, twist, flip.


The gunman screamed. Dex went insane inside the car. Halina’s stomach tweaked at the crack of bone. But she didn’t have time to dwell. She gripped the hand trapped in the weapon by a broken finger and yanked his arm down, pulling his face into her thrusting knee.


Mitch came into her peripheral vision, crouched, ready to jump in.

“Stay out of it,” she warned. He’d mess up her moves, her rhythm, her

The gunman jerked backward, but found his hand still locked in the gun. “You bitch!”

Halina shot a kick to his balls, but he evaded. Swung his free arm and slammed her temple with the other weapon.

Fire split her skull. She stumbled sideways, but kept hold of his injured hand. Something pulled at the man from the other direction, jerking his hand in the weapon and giving Halina the break she needed to gain her feet. He screamed. Almost went down on his knees. But didn’t. His boot rammed her hip. “You fucking bitch.”

She hit the ground and used her weight and momentum to pull him down with her. Caught sight of Mitch behind the gunman. Terror etched on his face.

She ignored him. She had this.

She twisted the gunman’s injured hand, bent it back and flipped him. Her energy dipped. Instead of giving Halina that shocked second to regroup and start a ground attack, the gunman immediately sat forward, his good hand swinging toward her head. Halina grabbed it. She had to end this fast, while she still could.

She pushed his arms wide. Tucked her chin. Used her legs to thrust her body upward. The crown of her head rammed his face. The sounds of impact—bone and flesh, the man’s grunt—registered a split second before pain exploded in her brain. Ricocheted beneath her skull. And her world blinked out.


NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Joan Swan writes sexy romantic suspense for Kensington (Phoenix Rising Series) and independently (Covert Affairs Series). She also works as a sonographer at a top medical facility in San Francisco and lives in magnificent wine country on the central coast of California with her husband and two daughters.

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33 Thoughts on “Excerpt: Shatter by Joan Swan

  1. trish wall on 27 December, 2013 at 8:40 am said:

    Can’t wait to read Shatter! Love your books!

  2. Maureen on 27 December, 2013 at 9:02 am said:

    Great excerpt. It looks like an exciting story.

  3. Whew, thank God Dex is still alive and barking! I was beginning to get worried.

  4. thanks for the giveaway!

  5. That cover! OMG! WOW! The excerpt was amazing! I cannot wait to get this book! Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention and for the giveaway!


  7. congrats to Joan on the newest release! Sounds fantastic 🙂

  8. Erin Higgins on 27 December, 2013 at 12:23 pm said:

    I hope the book is a great success for you with many others to come! 🙂

  9. I love this series. It’s so plausible. Can’t wait for my copy of SHATTER to arrive.

  10. Karen Roma on 27 December, 2013 at 1:09 pm said:

    Shatter is set to be another amazing story in the Phoenix Rising series! Thank you for sharing this excerpt with the readers!

  11. Raonaid Luckwell on 27 December, 2013 at 1:58 pm said:

    In the scheme of this series I wonder who could be next…. Too bad I’ll have a longer wait until I can get my hands on Mitch’s book.

  12. Carolyn J on 27 December, 2013 at 5:03 pm said:

    Thanks for the giveaway

  13. GR Hovorka on 27 December, 2013 at 7:07 pm said:

    A hero with a dog, I love it! Thanks for the excerpt. Also, I really like the name Dex!

  14. Glittergirl on 27 December, 2013 at 7:34 pm said:

    Wow! Awesome action sequence. Sounds like an incredible book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. Wes Hovorka on 27 December, 2013 at 7:37 pm said:

    I hope I win the Kindle Fire!!!

  16. Great excerpt! I do appreciate the fact that Halina knocks herself for a loop when she headbutts her attacker. It is a nice dose of reality. 🙂

  17. I can’t wait to read this. I like the mix of suspense and romance.

  18. Thanks for the giveaway, hope to get this book soon.

  19. Great excerpt. I hope to get the chance to find out if Halina makes it through everything, she sounds really tough.

  20. alexa garcia on 27 December, 2013 at 10:16 pm said:

    I love the cover, it adds to the mystery and suspense of the book.

  21. Alejandra on 27 December, 2013 at 10:21 pm said:

    Great giveaway, hopefully i get the lucky pick. Awesome excerpt, and cover.

  22. I love this series, can’t wait to read this newest book. Keep up with the awesome books, good luck.

  23. Great giveaway. I’m interested to start looking into this series, hopefully they all have strong female characters like this one, i love that.

  24. Susan W. on 28 December, 2013 at 9:12 am said:

    I’m a new Joan Swan fan and I can’t wait to get caught up with this series!

  25. TIFFANY M on 28 December, 2013 at 10:14 am said:


  26. elaing8 on 29 December, 2013 at 9:23 am said:

    Thanks for sharing that great excerpt. Looking forward to starting this series.

  27. Do you have any say in the choosing of covers for your books?

  28. Diana Merritt on 29 December, 2013 at 3:48 pm said:

    Can’t wait to read this!

  29. Michelle Harlan on 3 January, 2014 at 3:26 pm said:

    Mitch’s story…finally! I love how bada$$ Halina’s character seems to be. 🙂

  30. Congrats to Joan on the new release.

  31. Interesting excerpt

  32. Damaris on 6 January, 2014 at 3:15 pm said:

    Hi Joan, what was one of your favorite reads for 2013? 🙂

  33. Stephanie F. on 10 January, 2014 at 9:58 am said:

    This is such a great series. I have always liked Mitch and was excited for his book. Helina is the perfect heroine for him. I can’t wait to see whose book is next.

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