Today, I have author Sadira Stone in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Delicious Heat, book three in the Bangers Tavern series, a steamy contemporary romance. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt.
1. First, what’s your favourite scene in the book? Not in regards to writing, but reading, and why?
Sadira: My favorite scenes are the ones in which Diego and Anna flirt over delicious food. Since he’s a chef, there are several! Anna’s not much of a cook, but she does prepare a Lebanese feast for Diego with the help of her Aunt Hala, the woman who raised Anna after her mother’s death.
2. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Sadira: Not really. I knew going in that writing about a pregnant heroine was a risk–but hey, no one’s book can please all readers. Other romance authors have tackled this difficult situation, and after Anna and Diego’s meet-cute appeared in Book 1 of this series, readers asked for their story.
3. What do you love most about your two main characters?
Sadira: I love Diego’s devotion. From the moment they meet, he goes into their difficult situation with his big ol’ heart wide open. Anna’s determination to build the best life possible for herself and her child after divorce is something I hope readers can relate to. I also love the way Anna and Diego make each other stronger over the course of the book.
4. What makes you want to shake your two main characters?
Sadira: In his eagerness to help and protect Anna, Diego ends up further provoking Brock, Anna’s weasely ex-husband. Things would have turned out better if Anna had only interacted with Brock via her lawyer rather than trying to reason with him–but that would’ve made a less interesting story!
5. If you could spend time with one character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Sadira: As a wannabe chef, I’d love to spend a day helping Diego in his food truck. As his sous chef, I’d probably take orders while he fried and baked his delicious pan-Latin empanadas.
6. If your two main characters dined together, what would they cook up? It can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack.
Sadira: Diego’s always cooking for Anna, whether he’s trying out a new empanada filling or preparing one of his grandmother’s traditional Mexican recipes. Is there anything sexier than a man who cooks well? I don’t think so.
7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Sadira: I knew it needed a fire element, since the first book in the series is Christmas Rekindled and the second is Opposites Ignite. I just kept brainstorming ideas until I found Delicious Heat!
8. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
Sadira: In Delicious Heat, Diego’s appearance is based on actor/musician Alfonso Herrera. He’s a hottie! Anna is half Lebanese-American on her father’s side. Lebanese actress/singer Maya Asmar would make a perfect movie Anna.
9. If your book was a candle, what scent would it be and why?
Sadira: Spicy Mango, for Diego’s Mexican-inspired cooking and the sweet heat between him and Anna.
10. If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Sadira: It’s an oldie, but “Danny’s Song” by Loggins and Messina captures the sweet hopefulness of Diego and Anna’s love story.
11. If your book was a colour, what would it be and why?
Sadira: Chile pepper red, for the simmering heat that pulls Anna and Diego together.
12. If a reader asked you why they should read your book, what would you tell them?
Sadira: This spicy romance puts the lovers through the emotional wringer but delivers a sweet and spicy payoff. Get your tissues ready!
13. What can we expect from you in the future?
Sadira: Book 4 in the Bangers Tavern is Jojo and Lana’s story. Bangers’ huge, baby-faced bouncer has been mooning over no-nonsense server Lana since Book 1, but she has no time for this lovey-dovey nonsense. She’s far too busy trying to keep her little family together after their parents’ tragic death. To win her, Jojo must prove himself by helping her screw-up teen brothers get their lives back on track.
Book Title: Delicious Heat
Series: Bangers Tavern, Book Three
Author: Sadira Stone
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 4 Flames
Length: 80,000 words, 290 pages
Publication Date: January 7, 2022
Cupid has lousy timing.
Blurb: After kicking her cheating husband to the curb, nurse Anna Khoury discovers she’s pregnant. When Bangers Tavern’s hunky chef makes heart eyes at her, she dismisses that delicious thrill as the last thing she needs. Single motherhood will take all her strength and focus. Anna’s battered heart can’t take another blow.
Chef Diego Vargas is aiming higher than burgers and tater tots. His dream—his own food truck, the Empanada Angel, but he’ll need his family’s support to pull it off. Meeting Anna leaves him thunderstruck, even though his attraction to her threatens all his plans. Call it fate, call him crazy, but he’s determined to prove he’s in it for keeps.
With a belligerent ex-husband and two overprotective families set on breaking them up, Anna and Diego will need more than red-hot passion to pull them through. His career and her baby’s future are on the line.
Come back to Bangers Tavern for a spicy tale of forbidden love that will warm your heart…and other parts…and make you hungry for empanadas!
“I’ll show you the way.” With a gentle touch on the small of her back, he guided her down the hallway.
Heading toward the bar with a brimming ice bucket, the skinny barback lifted his chin. “Look up, guys.” A sprig of mistletoe dangling above the restroom doors.
“For cripes’ sake, Eddie,” Diego grumbled, but he didn’t look at all displeased.
“It’s tradition, man.” Eddie waggled his eyebrows before continuing on his way.
Eyeing the greenery, Anna debated and dithered. What a perfect excuse to satisfy her curiosity and claim a no-strings kiss. But Charlie might see them, or someone might tell Charlie, or…
Diego gently gripped her elbows and pulled her closer. “Christmas is all about tradition, right?”
For a thrilling, breathless moment, he hovered there, his softly parted lips an inch from hers. Impossible to wrench her eyes from that luscious mouth, so tempting, so close. His breath fanned across her skin. Her heart hammered.
And then he pressed a tender kiss to her forehead. “Merry Christmas, Anna.”
Not enough. Throwing caution to the tater-tot scented wind, she tilted her head and brushed her lips against his.
Just the barest touch, soft and warm, just the tiniest moan rumbled from the broad, firm chest beneath her palm. And yet, that simple gesture lifted the lid from her tightly clamped control, letting in fresh air and sunshine and a rush of delicious possibility. Heady stuff.
She took a deep breath and stepped back. “Gotta go help Charlie. Merry Christmas, Diego.”
Grinning and flushed, he wobbled in place. “I’ll call you.”
He pointed. “Break room’s that way.”
Like teenagers reluctant to hang up the phone, they inched toward their respective destinations, holding eye contact as long as possible.
“Thanks for coming to see me.”
“Thanks for the tots.”
“I hope you have a great Christmas.”
Finally, Shelby’s arm shot through the swinging doors and yanked Diego into the kitchen. “Get your ass back to work, lover boy.”
Award-winning contemporary romance author Sadira Stone spins steamy, smoochy tales set in small businesses—a quirky bookstore, a neighborhood bar, a vintage boutique… Her stories highlight found family, friendship, and the sizzling chemistry that pulls unlikely partners together. When she emerges from her writing cave in Las Vegas, Nevada (which she seldom does), she can be found in belly dance class, or strumming her ukulele, perhaps exploring the West with her charming husband, or cooking up a storm, and always gobbling all the romance books. For a guaranteed HEA (and no cliffhangers!) visit Sadira at www.sadirastone.com.