Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Tour: Smokin' Hot Firemen Interview & Giveaway

Who can melt any woman’s heart with a single smile? The sexiest icon of all—a fireman!

They enter fiery structures with selfless courage–the very definition of the word “hero.” Women understand their allure… A soot-covered face, sweat dripping from hard, chiseled muscles, the sharp snap of suspenders—yes, only a fireman can make suspenders sexy! Delilah Devlin’s burning-hot book includes thrilling stories teeming with gorgeous firemen from some of today’s hottest romance writers. In “Saving Charlotte,” Sabrina York’s firefighting Dom rescues a woman tied to a red-hot bed; from Cathryn Fox comes “Temperature Rising” where a fire chief fulfills some very steamy fantasies; Elle James’s “Chasing Fire” sees a daring smoke-jumper parachuting into the hot zone of a forest fire then setting his girlfriend ablaze with erotic heat; and Magic Mike ain’t got nothin’ on Delilah’s own fireman-turned-exotic-dancer-for-a-night “Johnny Blaze.”

With a list of award-winning authors that includes Ily Goyanes, Shoshanna Evers, Adele Dubois, and Rachel Firasek, Delilah delivers tales of these courageous men sliding down their big poles to steal readers’ hearts! Smokin’ Hot Firemen imagines the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve…

  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?

The idea of the short story came from wanting to explore what happens after a rescue. There are plenty of works out there, both print, TV and Film that concentrate on the moment of impact. I wanted to see how my characters fared in the aftermath.

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

Stoke was the one word that immediately came to mind when I wrote the story. Stoke, in this context, links heavily to stoking a fire…but for me, it’s about stoking passion between the leads.

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

I love a man in uniform, and wanted to explore the guy (in this case) under it. What I like about it is, even though in a firehouse, all the guys (and gals) would look the same in their uniform, it’s what’s underneath that really counts.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

I love this question! The most exciting thing has been getting tweets or comments from people (that I don’t know!) saying they loved something I’d written. But the one thing that was pretty special was listening to my short story The Queen, a vampire love story, as an audio book (featured in Red Velvet and Absinthe, Cleis Press).  Eighteen minutes of me grinning like crazy when I heard it read aloud.  Now that was pretty special. 

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

I am currently reading Bared to You by Sylvia Day.

  1. What is your writing process?

At the moment it’s sporadic. I work in film and TV so my days are busy and exhausting as I deal with the production needs of the shoot. When I get home it’s dinner and bed, so it’s just the weekends that I have to write. And when I do, it’s with copious cups of hot drinks, music in my ears and kicking it until late with my PC.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I haven’t been lucky enough to do a signing, so this is a to be continued story!

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

That I am a yoga teacher and Reiki Master (Reiki is a powerful Japanese healing technique where you call the universal life energy to deliver healing)

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

Simply bless it with love and move on!

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I celebrated the sale of my first short story by buying a piece of jewelry, a kick ass ring that was more than the fee I was paid!


Stoke by Tahira Iqbal
I don’t remember how or why but suddenly smoke is billowing out of the hood of my car. I’d blown a gasket before but the color of the smoke… it’s different, it’s darker… more dangerous. Flames start to flicker from under the hood, pushing up and out through the front of the grill… oh dear God… it’s definitely not the gasket.

I move quickly, grabbing my handbag before popping the door open and stumbling out on the quiet country back lane; I should have been at work by now, my shift starting at midnight. Without the moon, the only light is from the headlights; I go and stand in their arc, lifting out my cell to call the emergency services, fingers barely able to dial. The calm, controlled voice on the other end urges me to get as far away from the vehicle as possible and assures me help is on the way.

I’m about ten meters away when the flames grow, blooming into a bulbous cloud followed quickly by an ear splitting boom. I’m propelled off my feet, going backwards as if I’m air as the car explodes.

Utterly dazed, I try to sit up having landed awkwardly on the grass by the side of the road. I look at the old Chevy as I back myself against a tree trunk, pressing my spine against it and hugging my knees; the only thought running through my mind is that I was in that car… no more than a couple of minutes ago. And everything inside goes still with shock.

Sirens. Lots of them. Doors opening… closing. Voices… loud, clear. Calm. I haven’t opened my eyes… I can’t… I can feel the heat from the car… stinging my skin even from this distance.
“Ma’am…” a reassuringly masculine voice reaches inside, creating an echo that offers a comfort that I’ve never known before. “ma’am… can you hear me?” the presence kneels beside me, placing a hand on my shoulder. “it’s okay… you can open your eyes.” his warm hand slides into mine; the touch makes me do what he asks. “welcome back.”

My eye line is the smoldering wreck, a group of his colleagues surrounding it, dousing it with powerful jets of foam making it look like it’s covered in liquid snow.

 “It’s totaled.” I whisper, looking up at the voice, the man clearly visible in the flashing lights. The reflective stripes on his off yellow uniform catching them too. I close my eyes against the light show.

 “Hey… you there?” his hand touches my shoulder.

 “I was in the car…” I mumble, looking up at him, his wonderfully dark eyes twitching with concern.

 “I know… but you made it out okay, just hold onto that.” A paramedic comes over. “alright now, Jim will take good care of you.” the firefighter’s clean shaven and wears a smile that would melt a nun’s heart.

I accept the foil blanket, smiling at Jim as we’ve worked together for years at the ER, his wise blue eyes look troubled.

 “Thank you.” I whisper to the stranger. He pulls his thick gloves back on and jogs to my car to assist. I’m led away to the ambulance by Jim, my legs trembling.

 “Jesus Christ!” my friend and colleague Drew comes rushing around from the reception desk.

 “Curtain four is open!” Jim walks me through the ER quickly, Drew’s hand to my elbow for additional support. I nod meekly at the desk staff who are all on their feet staring at me. Lucy, the receptionist, puts her hand to her mouth, her eyes pooling with tears. I swallow back a lump of emotion. “I’m fine.” I whisper.

Once I’m levered onto the bed, Drew works quickly, checking my pupils, blood pressure and everything in between. Anna, whom I like to call my work mom, hovers beside me locating and passing equipment to him along with the other nurses who work professionally beside me in an alert state of silence. The man is unflappable in the face of crisis, but even he’s ashen. “God…you could have been killed… I’ve been telling you that car was a death trap!”

 “I know.” I say quietly, thumbing away the tears. “God! I should be able to cope with this… I’m a nurse… I’m used to these situations!”

 “Honey,” Anna says softly, “it’s happened to you, so the rulebook goes out the window.”

I close my eyes. Inhale. Exhale. Seeing nothing but the firefighter standing against the shell of my smoking car watching as Jim helped me into the back of the ambulance.

Later, I protest against the CT scan but it’s lost against the chorus of concern even though I’m sure I didn’t bump my head when I landed on the grass. Soon I’m being wheeled out of the cubicle. My body is ringing, but I’m mercifully uninjured, but I’m sure bruises will form. The scan comes back clear of any hidden injury; the nurse in me knew that would be the case.

“There’s a guy in reception asking for you.” Lucy pops her head through the curtain later in the night, “he’s kinda hot.”

 “Kinda hot and asking for me?” I mumble, hugging the covers, “he’s clearly lost.” the drugs have fully kicked in, warming me within, “send the handsome stranger in then.”

Lucy leaves; the curtains rustling as she goes. I must have dozed off because the next thing I feel is his presence. It’s magnetic… familiar.

My eyes fly open.

“You look better.” he says, clearly off duty, wearing jeans that cover muscular legs, a black shirt open at the throat, with a matching jacket… but he’s carrying a handbag. My gaze darts to his.

“This is yours, not mine… promise!” he laughs.

I almost don’t recognize the tan leather tote… it’s muddied beyond recognition. He sets it on the chair.

“Your phone kept ringing, so I thought I’d bring it to you.”

“That’s…” I try to sit up, but the bed has been lowered halfway to prone to let me get some rest.

“Let me.” he moves easily, reaching back and adjusting the bed so that I can be upright. I get a whiff of his cologne as he steps away. It’s dauntingly male. “you were lucky.”

I nod shakily, my spine pricking with the memories.

“Well, I’ll leave you to get some rest.”

“Oh, okay… um, thank you, again.” I gesture the bag.

“No problem ma’am.”

“Aida, my name is Aida.”

He extends his hand, “Nick.”

We connect. Our eyes meet again. His smile grows. “Aida.” he whispers quietly, his eyes brightening.


AUTHOR Bio and Links: 
 Writing since she can remember, Tahira’s work went from thrillers and romances, until she realized she could merge to two… drama, danger, sex in good, measured doses is what she writes best.
Author link –

GIVEAWAY: One randomly drawn commenter during the tour will receive a $50 Amazon GC.

Additionally, one each of the following prizes will be awarded to randomly drawn commenters during the tour on each author’s stop. All items that require shipping are for US winners only:

Adele Dubois will award a download of REV ME UP, plus a surprise giveaway the day of her blog appearance.

Cathryn Fox will award a download of Cowboy Way.

Cynthia D’Alba will award a copy of every RS book that finaled in the RITA this year:  
·          Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
·         Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry
·         Don’t Cry for Me by Sharon Sala
·         Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan
·         Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard
·         Scorched by Laura Griffin
·         Twisted by Laura Griffin
·         Vortex by Cherry Adair
Delilah Devlin will award a handmade pendant the day of her appearance

Elle James will award a book bag, books and swag

M. Marie will award a Firemen calendar

Maggie Wells will award a pocket rocket firemen lip gloss, and downloads of her St. Blaise series books

Rachel Firasek will award a 2013 Houston Firemen Calendar

Sabrina York will award a download of her book (reader’s choice) on her blog appearance and tiara for grand prize

Tahira Iqbal will award a digital copy of The Collector

Shoshanna Evers will award an ebook of Enslaved, Book One in the Enslaved Trilogy from Simon & Schuster Pocket Star

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. I love hearing more and more about this book! Especially because you tackle what happens AFTER the rescue! Sounds good to me!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. You will love Tahira's hero. He's there, real, wonderfully supportive, from the start. He romances her out of the hospital and away for a very romantic weekend...

    2. Hi Andra!

      Thanks for stopping by! Nick is pretty special, if I do say so myself, I wanted to show him off duty, so I hope you love him as much as I do!

  2. What an excellent giveaway! Thanks for sharing! Your book sounds wonderful!

    hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

    1. Thank you, Kate! Good luck in the drawing!

    2. Thanks Kate! The book is awesome, and I'm in really good company with other superb authors, all pulled together by our editor Delilah Devlin so brilliantly.

  3. I enjoyed the interview and excerpt, thank you.


    1. You're welcome :) Good luck in the contest!

  4. Thanks for having us, and have fun with Tahira today!

    1. And again, big thanks to Alisia...What a day, I couldn't get the tech side of things to play ball! But I'm here at last!

  5. Great interview and excerpt, Tahira! Thanks for the peek--definitely looking forward to the whole collection!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    1. You're welcome :) Good luck in the contest flchen1!

  6. I love the excerpt! What I found really interesting was the interview. I'm intrigued & amazed that Tahira is a Reiki Master & yoga teacher, has a full speed ahead career and still finds time to write on the weekends!
    No rest for the wicked? Just kidding ;-) I think I need at least 1/2 of your determination. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Gail, you are so sweet! Good luck in the contest! Once I reply to the comments...the evening is mine to write! I'm all about devoting time to what I love doing, which is both writing and holistic endeavours - it's how I get my balance...most of the time!

  7. So fun meeting all the writers on this tour!


  8. I love your response to a bad review. There are many instances in life where that would be the best reaction. I'm going to try and remember it!
    I loved the excerpt and am looking forward to reading the rest of it.

    1. Hi Susan, it took a while to do that, i.e. bless it with love and move on, but if you don't, it eats away at you, and that's just BS. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Good luck in the contest!

  9. Due to technical boo boo's, I am just getting around to visiting and saying hi! Thanks for hosting me today Alisia, and good luck all for the giveaway, my short story The Collector is up for grabs, and you can check out the blurb here

    Stand by for reply comments :)

    1. *just cut and paste the link into your browser*

  10. Sounds good, thanks for the giveaway.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  11. WELL...How could I NOT rush out and buy a book with a fireman and a kitten on the cover?! Be still my heart. It looks yummy.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. It's even yummier on the inside ;0 good luck in the contest!

  12. I'm frantically trying to figure out how I can afford Smokin' Hot Firemen! Every excerpt I've read is wonderful, including this one from Stoke. Enjoyed the interview, too.

    1. Thanks Karen for stopping by! Good luck in the contest! :)

  13. Very nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the contest :)

  14. I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book and following the tour has been a blast. I especially enjoyed this interview. I liked your answer to the book signing question. I have never had the honor of attending a book signing so maybe you will be at my first.

    Charlene dot Michael at Comcast dot net

    1. See you there! I'll be the one with a big grin on my face ;0 good luck in the contest!

  15. STOKE is a great title & conjures up all sorts of images.


    1. Thanks Mary! Good luck in the contest :)

  16. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi! And good luck in the contest :)

  17. The winner of this blog tour stop's prize is Charlene Michael! Charlene, congratulations, Tahira will be in contact with you shortly!