Tuesday, September 3, 2013

High Octane Heroes anthology ~Interview Tahira Iqbal ~ Goddess Fish Blog Tour ~ Giveaways ~ Excerpt

High Octane Heroes anthology

One randomly drawn commenter will win the grand prize package (US only):
  • * $50 Amazon gift cert, signed copies of Cowboy Lust and Smokin’ Hot Firemen from Delilah
  • * Tiara from Sabrina York
  • * A print copy of Under His Skin and a So Inked mug from Sidney Bristol

Individual blog day prizes for randomly drawn commenters will include:
  • Adele Dubois: a download of REV ME UP
  • Brindle Chase: an eBook copy of his book Dark is the Night awarded every day of the tour
  • Delilah: a hand-painted art pendant, backlist downloads
  • Elle James: a prize package of books and swag on her blog day
  • Jenny Lyn: $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N and a copy of her new book
  • Megan Mitcham: a “hot high-octane guy” calendar
  • Sabrina York: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
  • Sidney Bristol: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
  • Tahira Iqbal: a digital copy of The Merger.
With all these great prizes up for grabs make sure you leave a comment below along with you email address so you may be contacted if you are one of the lucky winners. To increase your chances of winning be sure to visit the other stops on the tour. You may find the other locations here.... http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/07/virtual-book-tour-high-octane-heroes.html


Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview Tahira Iqbal. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Tahira: I’m a multi published Erotic Romance Thriller writer from the UK. I have been writing for a very long time, but was only published about 3 years ago. I’m so very proud to have joined the Romantic genre as the writers I have connected with through my work in anthologies are some of the best in the business.  And when I’m not writing, to pay the bills, I work in the film and TV industry.  

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Tahira: In The Star, my favorite scene is when Calder helps Estella on with her coat…then takes her hand to walk her home. He’s a soldier and his duty of care comes through even when he’s not on the battle field.  

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for The Star?

Tahira: The idea for The Star came from wishing to explore how two people from two different countries could be united in grief, but ultimately in love.  It was important for me to show the rawness of war, but to also show the power of love.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Tahira:  I am currently working on a full length romantic thriller novel, which has a supernatural slant to it!  I’m also working on a trilogy that I hope to release exclusively on Amazon for your e-readers, so keep an eye out for that!

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing? 

Tahira: I don’t have a special routine when I write, but I am currently trying the little and often rule…which involves trying to write everyday for an hour, rather than worrying about not writing and then spending hours on the weekend trying to get my ideas down! So far…I like it!

Crystal:  Did you have to do a lot of research for this short story or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Tahira: For this short story, The Star, I did do quite a bit of research to ensure that I got the names and designations right, especially as it’s to do with the US air force.  An interesting fact that I learned during my research is that the US and UK soldiers like to play football (soccer) together on bases!  And I actually used that in the story.

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Tahira: I am really into Sylvia Day at the moment, I really liked her Crossfire series.  

Crystal:  Is there any genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Tahira:I haven’t written in the children’s genre, and I would quite like to try that. I tried a few years ago, but the story turned quite dark and scary. That’s when I realized that I was more of an over 18’s writer!  But you never know, I might try again!


What is it about heroes like Superman, Iron Man or Thor that revs our engines like no other? Is it the suit? The manly physique? Or is it the courage they display, wading in where others fear to go, to save the damsel, the city, the Earth? Are there real-life heroes who inspire the same lustful fascination? Kickass iconic heroes who enter danger zones in the name of duty, honor, country—or maybe love—who conjure images of hard, chiseled bodies, deadly glares and camouflaged features?

High Octane Heroes will satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that “super alpha” man. Imagine the Navy SEAL sent on a suicide mission; the damaged Army Ranger home from war; the para rescue team member jumping into frigid waters; a SWAT team member entering a human trafficker’s den… military members and based in far-flung places around the world or the smoke-jumper living next door. Then imagine the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve…


EXCERPT from The Star by Tahira Iqbal 

I’d picked the wrong day to come to the cemetery. It is raining so hard that my hair is wet within moments as the wind catches my umbrella turning it inside out as I step from the car. 

I miss a puddle, but not the next one, the water sloshing over my heels and dampening my toes as I quickly make my way over the sodden turf while fixing my umbrella. I didn’t have time to change out of my office clothes after leaving work early. I’d been keen to get out of London so that I could beat the rush hour traffic. But being chilled by the cold, the rain… it doesn’t matter. Nothing does anymore. He’s here, and I want to see him. 

Carefully finding my way through the graves, I stoop down to pat the headstone, feeling how smooth it is, so very brand new, not aged like some of the markers deeper in the cemetery. The gold scroll of the words my parents and I had chosen is eloquent and heartfelt; the letters gleam against the sparkling black granite, the rain water caught in the etching.

 “Hello Dean.”

I remove my cold hand to jam it into a pocket, the tears rising freely as I step back looking at the patch of earth that now keeps my brother. I live over a hundred miles away; my parents had of course wanted Dean to be buried close to their village, so I was only able to visit him when I came to see them.

Six months. Six long, aching months since we’d received notification that their brave son, my brave brother in the Royal Air Force had been killed in action. We’d tried to shelter my mother from the extent of his fatal injuries, but she had wanted to know everything, especially questioning why we couldn’t have an open casket. 

Nightmares had given me twisted visuals of what had become of him. There had been awful hours where horrors occurred and showed me a sibling that I didn’t recognize. I’d pleaded on my knees on hot desert sand to the heavens for him to be… restored. 

Days would go by and all I could think of was him, tall, broad, funny and serious at the same time. The coolest older brother, the utterly skilled pilot who delivered effective force where it was needed but never without great thought and planning for the innocents on the ground. I’d lost my brother, my best friend, but I was proud of him, his decision to defend, but that didn’t curb the ache inside, something that I knew would stay with me forever.

I shiver as the wind blows, creeping under the battered umbrella and the collar of my coat. Sunset is breaking the horizon apart. “I better go Dean, I’ll see you soon.” I lay the small bunch of flowers against the fresh bundle that my mother had left earlier in the week before heading to the car. 

That’s when I see him. The stranger standing beside my car. My heart picks up speed as he begins to walk towards me. He’s dressed in dark clothes, perhaps denims and a jumper with an unzipped parka that’s now wet from the rain, like his hair. 

The tall, handsome blue eyed man stops a few yards from me. 

He looks past me, to the spot I’d just stood on, then back at me, those intense eyes, lit like the brightest sky send a rare shot of warmth to cradle the hope that’s almost dead inside of me.

 “I’m Calder.”

I nod with understanding. The man, who had only appeared as short sharp descriptions in even shorter emails, had become like family to Dean. He had said that Calder was the best comrade from another country’s army anyone could have.

 “I’m sorry for your loss.” his American accent is a rich vibration of power.

I nod again, my voice hidden in the depths of my surprise.

“I got home from my tour last week. Bought a ticket and here I am.”

I try for a smile. “I’m Estella.”

 “I know who you are Ma’am.”

My eyes fill with tears; I brush them away quickly. “Um, I’m sure my parents would like to meet you; do you have time to visit them?”

 “Your mom and dad are on my list,” Calder says, “so are you.”

And that’s when I lose it. “I really wish I wasn’t...” I whisper, “then Dean would still be here.”

Calder looks at the grave again, his shoulders squaring. “Even if he was... I know that I’d want to meet you, the way your brother talked about you, the way he cared for you even though he was thousands of miles away.”

The offer to drive him to my parents home is declined for the moment. Instead, I take him to his hotel in the centre of the village. 

 “I’ll be in touch.” Calder says before leaving the car with my phone number.

I don’t sleep well that night. I’d been given my old room, even though it had been cleared of all my childhood paraphernalia there were moments when I’d expect Dean to pop his head around the door frame, tease me about my latest experimental hair style or ask me a question (or to do the sums) for his math homework.

I rise, the house dim, quiet and warm. I stop at Dean’s room. He had his own place, a small apartment in a nearby town, but he’d left lots of his personal items here before leaving.

I reach for a photo frame. Dean in his pristinely pressed uniform, smiling, giving me a comforting hug as we’d said goodbye for his first deployment. That had been nearly eight years ago.

He’d come home a different man after his first tour of duty. Quieter, but with an intensity that had created a force field around him that I couldn’t quite break through. We might not be kids anymore, but still we joked around, reverting to our silly teenage selves when we were around each. But he was gone in certain respects; in his place was a razor sharp soldier. 

I hear my cell trill in my room, so I head back. It’s Calder. Checking if tomorrow morning would be okay to visit my parents. I reply quickly, confirming the visit (as I’d already spoken to them earlier in the evening) and then curl up in bed thinking of the American.

Lieutenant Peter Calder, United States Air Force, Dean had written once, the man can cut paper just by looking at it.

It’s after eleven AM when I finally wake and I can hear Calder’s striking voice drifting upstairs. “Damn it.” I’m edgy and clammy as I’d been taken in by a nightmare that had held on so tight that I’d been unable to fight it. I’d walked through a battlefield filled with bodies to where normally Dean would have stood. 

But now it was Calder who was there, his hand open and waiting. Behind him in the distance, his F-16 was billowing smoke from where its tail should be. I had extended my hand but everything had disappeared into a booming cloud of pure white light and heat as something long and pointed had arrived with a screech to crash and explode between our feet, throwing us apart. In pieces. 

I quickly wash, change and head downstairs. Calder rises out of his seat with a welcoming smile. “Good morning Estella.” The good manners make me blush a little as I enter the room. 

My terrible night’s sleep is forgotten.


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 – www.tahiraiqbal.com


  1. I really enjoyed this excerpt. Thanks for sharing. I'm excited to read High Octane Heroes as soon as I can.Thanks for the interview as well.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck! Tahira.

    2. I agree Carol this was a great excerpt. I really enjoyed it as well. Thank you very much for stopping by :)

  2. Thank you for the author interview. Love them! fischert484@gmail.com

    1. I really enjoyed the interview as well Theresa. thank you so much for stopping by

  3. Great excerpt and interview. Can't wait to read the book.


    1. Me too! Everyone's got a different take on what makes a high octane hero! Tahira.

    2. I agree, I'm really anxious to read this one :) Thanks for stopping by.

  4. This sounds like it will be another great read in the book. I'm getting more and more excited each day of this tour. :D

    1. Thanks Jamie, and good luck in the contest! Tahira.

    2. It does sound like an great read! I'm anxious to read it as well :) Thanks for stopping by Jamie

  5. Loved the excerpt, thank you.


    1. You're welcome Rita, thanks for stopping by! Tahira.

    2. That excerpt really made me want to read the book :) Thanks for stopping by Rita :)

  6. Thanks for the great interview. I can see how children's work would be a far leap from your usual novels!

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    1. I know, right! I'll have to think hard about how to make that leap... :) Thanks for stopping by! Tahira.

    2. LOL it might be a very interesting story :)

  7. So fun meeting new-to-me authors on this tour!


    1. Nice to meet you too ;0 Good luck in the contest! Tahira.

  8. And a big thank you from me :) Tahira.

  9. Great interview and excerpt. Enjoyed reading them.

  10. Thanks for sharing the great interview and giveaway. This book has a lot of great authors in it and I am looking forward to reading it. evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. I agree, this is a talented bunch :) Thanks for stopping by Eva

    2. Thanks Eva (and Crystal) :) Hope you enjoy it when you get your copy! And good luck in the contest! Tahira

  11. Thanks for sharing. I had to chuckle when in the interview Tahira mentioned that she'd tried writing children's books but then realized it was too scary. LOL!

    1. Lol! I know...I think I'm better in this genre ;0 Tahira.

  12. It has truly been my pleasure. I really enjoyed the interview. Thank you Tahira

  13. Sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the contest! Tahira.

  14. Ohhh! Thank you for sharing an excerpt! :-)


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

  15. I just love the excerpt and the interview was great also bibbiesparks@yahoo.com.

  16. What a great excerpt. Going on my TBR right now. :)
    I love all these box sets featuring different authors that are being released. It's a great way to learn about new authors and they are such great bargains.


  17. Such a touching story...thanks for sharing with us.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  18. Enjoyed reading your interview and this excerpt. Thanks.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  19. Terrific interview, Tahira--looking forward to reading all the stories in the collection!

    1. And you won the contest! Well done! The Merger should be in your inbox!

  20. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway! Looks good! kamclauc AT gmail DOT com

  21. You're a new author to me Tahira, nice to meet you!


  22. I am excited and anxious to read this book after the interview.

  23. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and well done to flchen1 who won a copy of The Merger - which if you'd like to read, can be found on Amazon, simply search " The Merger Tahira Iqbal " xx