Meet the Characters with Loren Mathis

Loren Mathis coverHello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Loren Mathis, and her characters from Swift Strike. It’s a fantastic romantic suspense with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Jessie and Lena.

  1. Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Lena Westlake: No, never in my wildest dreams. Before the whole Somalia incident, my life was about as ho-hum as you could get. Life has a way of surprising you though.

  1. What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?

Lena Westlake: My favorite parts in Swift Strike are undoubtedly the romance scenes. Jesse is the love of my life, and I love the parts in the novel that illustrate how much I care about him.

  1. Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Lena Westlake: Yes. While Jesse and my relationship has included lots of action and intrigue, at its core our story is a romance.

  1. What do you do for a living?

Jesse Denison: I’m a US Navy SEAL.

Lena Westlake: I’m a petroleum engineer.

  1. What do you wear when you go to sleep?

Lena Westlake: Well, my bedtime attire used to consist of my old ratty Mickey Mouse sleep shirt. I’ve since graduated to a wide variety of selections from Victoria’s Secret.

Jesse Denison: Boxers and a smile.

  1. Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?

Lena Westlake: Absolutely. I don’t think that our story is quite finished yet.



Ensign Jesse Denison and his comrades on SEAL Team 14 have a new assignment:  rescue a group of civilian hostages who have been kidnapped by a rogue terrorist cell in central Somalia. Little does he know, this seemingly innocuous rescue mission will change his life forever…


After she is rescued by Navy SEAL Jesse Denison, petroleum engineer, Lena Westlake, can’t get the handsome, brooding soldier out of her mind. Despite their intense attraction to one another, Lena doesn’t have a reason to believe that the two of them will meet again after her rescue.


When Lena is attacked again by the same terrorist cell mere days after her first rescue, Jesse comes to realize that this terror group has a broader, deadlier agenda than just oil production disruption in Sub-Saharan Africa. An agenda that includes the acquisition of a cutting edge weapons technology developed by Lena’s father…

Will Jesse be able to save the woman he has grown to love before it’s too late? Or will Lena share a similar death as his former girlfriend, another woman he could not save…


Zaida ya kivuli,” the man barked out in a low, gritty voice. Jesse didn’t have a freaking clue what language the guy was speaking in. Jesse was fluent in Arabic, but the words falling out of the militant’s mouth were definitely not Arabic.

“Don’t move an inch,” Jesse commanded, raising his Sig Sauer P228 a notch higher. He repeated his directive in Arabic. It was going to be a tough shot. Lena’s head blocked all but a quarter of the shorter man’s face. “Slowly, put the knife down and step away from the woman.”

Zaida ya kivuli,” the man recited the words again before saying the more familiar, “Allah Akbar.”

A soft anguish-filled sob escaped Lena’s lips. Her eyes widened with fear, sweat rolling down the sides of her face. Then the militant moved his wrist. The movement was so slight as to be almost imperceptible, but he was ready for it.

Jesse did not hesitate to pull the trigger. He took the head shot. The whole tragic ordeal was over in a matter of seconds.

Slumping to the ground, the knife slipped from the man’s lifeless fingers. Jesse sprinted toward Lena who’d also collapsed to the floor in the aftermath of the shot.

Dropping to his knees, he reached for her. His hands swiftly skimmed her face and neck to see if she’d somehow been injured in the shooting, checking for a heartbeat. His eyes closed in relief when he felt the persistent thudding of her pulse against his fingertips.

Slipping a hand underneath her head, he touched her shortened locks. Those assholes had apparently chopped off her hair. Luckily, she hadn’t been harmed by his shot. She was drenched in the blood and brain matter of her captor, but she didn’t have any visible bullet wounds or lacerations. She still lay unresponsive, but she had probably fainted from the stress of the situation.

“Jesse, we have got to hustle, man,” Luke intoned quietly from somewhere behind him. “We’ve got about seven minutes to make it back to surface and to the boat.”

Glancing at the tall, shadowy figures behind him, Jesse saw that his teammates were now posted like sentries just outside of the door. They were attentively monitoring the area, ensuring that no AnSawar members could get the jump on them.

Carefully reaching his hands under her legs and waist, Jesse began to lift Lena’s body up into his arms. And then, her eyes flickered open. Her mouth dropped open in a silent, startled gasp. Those freshly opened eyes expanded in alarm as she took in his ninja-like garb.

“It’s okay,” he reassured her, holding out the palms of his hands in an appeasing motion. “It’s okay. We’re U.S. Navy SEALs, ma’am. We’re here to bring you home.”

Jesse watched as her eyes watered, brimming with unshed tears. And then something he wasn’t expecting happened. She hugged him. As weak as she had to have been, she buried her face in the side of his neck and held on to him like she would never let him go.

“Thank you. Thank you,” she softly sobbed against his skin, the hot tears now leaking out between her closed eyelids.

“Shh. It’s okay now, sweetheart. I’ve got you,” he murmured, gently hugging her back before lifting her up into his arms. Her arms stayed firmly wrapped around him as he carried her from that dark lair and out into the light.

Buy the Book:


Meet Loren:

Loren Mathis was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. She is a law school graduate. She has always enjoyed reading mysteries and writing, and she is now following her dreams as an author. Loren became interested in writing novels involving military heroes because she has friends and family who have served in the Army and Special Forces. Loren writes steamy romantic suspense novels involving U.S. Navy SEALs, contemporary romance stories, and new adult romance novels.

Comment for your chance to win a free copy of my book! For more information about my books, you can find me at:

Official Author Site:




Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!




12 thoughts on “Meet the Characters with Loren Mathis

    1. Hi, Julie,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I love to write about SEALs, their lives are definitely adrenaline packed!


    1. Hi, D’Ann,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my guest post! Despite the myriad of different personality types that SEALs encompass, the one thing that remains constant is that they are easy on the eyes, so I definitely wanted to make that the focal point of the cover.


    1. Hi, JoAnn,

      Thank you for commenting! When writing Jesse’s character, I wanted to make him strong yet also a bit vulnerable as well.


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