Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sarah Smith Interview - Simmer Down

Photo Credit: © Daniel Muller

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie's stash of romance novels. She's been hooked ever since. When she's not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem.


Tell us your latest news.
I have a new book out! It’s titled SIMMER DOWN and is a rivals-to-lovers romance about food truck competitors vying for the same coveted parking spot in Maui. It’s got a lot of heat and tons of heart. Hopefully readers love it!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Other romance/romcom writers have influenced my writing so much (Samanthan Young, Gemma Burgess, Stefanie Simpson, Skye McDonald). Romcom movies and music also influence me. Sometimes I’ll watch a scene in a movie or hear a song and I’ll feel so inspired that I’ll start writing a whole new project, or it will power me through a scene I’m having trouble with.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
A number of readers have told me how happy they are to read a book with a main character with a similar background as them. All the female main characters I write are Filipino and Caucasian, just like me. It means the world to know how meaningful that is to readers. I grew up reading a lot, but often didn’t see characters with the same background as me, which made me feel a bit left out as a reader. So it’s been really rewarding to be able to add my voice to the book world and see people respond positively to that.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I just hope that reading my book makes people happy. Life can be stressful and unpleasant at times, and I’d like for my novel to be a fun escape.

In your new book; SIMMER DOWN, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
I’d love to! It’s a rivals-to-lovers romance about food truck competitors vying for the same coveted parking spot in Maui. The main character is Nikki, who runs a Filipino food truck with her mom. Her nemesis (and eventual love interest!) is Callum, who runs a British pub food truck with his brother. Their mutual disdain for each other soon turns to heat, and they end up engaging in a secret affair while competing against each other.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Probably my cat. He likes to climb all over me when I write sometimes haha.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oohh excellent question! I’d introduce Tate from FAKER to Finn, Callum’s brother from SIMMER DOWN. Tate’s all broody and quiet and Finn is funloving and outgoing. I think they’d be really good friends and have a lot of fun hanging out together.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Nikki and Callum?
Probably how much I could relate to both of them. They both experience grief and loss (prior to the events of the book taking place). Nikki’s grief is especially raw because she loses her dad right before the book starts. I lost my mother while writing the first draft of SIMMER DOWN, so I could relate to so much of what she struggled with. It was really cathartic for me to write her experience of navigating grief and missing the person you lost so much. It made me feel a lot less alone in my grief, which was a pleasant surprise.

  • 1. It’s steamy.
  • 2. It’s funny.
  • 3. There’s food porn (keep snacks nearby when you read it!).
  • 4. There’s full-frontal male nudity.
  • 5. There’s an adorable cat.
  • 6. It has family elements in it that give it so much heart.
  • 7. It’s like taking a virtual vacation to Maui and London (who doesn’t want that right now?).
  • 8. Callum, the love interest, has a sexy English accent.
  • 9. There’s a very cute discussion regarding The Office US vs. The Office UK
  • 10. The happily ever after will make you smile, promise.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu. No idea why I know that.

What is your most treasured memory?
Visiting Maui with my mom and sister several years ago.

Best date you've ever had?
My third date with my husband. That was when we kissed for the first time. It was really sweet and always makes me smile when I think about it.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Any fun memory with my mom. It would be nice to go back and relive those moments with her.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Deep, murky water. I always think there’s going to be a shark or an alligator in it...Even if it’s a small pond or thousands of miles from the ocean and there’s no way any creature could be in there, I always, always get freaked out about it.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Maui, I think? I was a toddler so I don’t remember, but that’s what my parents told me!

Where can readers find you?
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram! I’m @authorsarahs on both. And you can also find me on my author website,

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire? 

Praise for SIMMER DOWN

"Fantastic writing, great characters, and sizzling chemistry make this contemporary romance a MUST READ." —Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author of Fight or Flight

“This food truck romance serves up an enemies-to-lovers story that is spicy, salty and sweet. Delicious!” —Mia Hopkins, author of Thirsty

"Sarah Smith delivers a story and characters to root for! Simmer Down is full of love and food (which is love), and you're sure to crave more with each page." —Tif Marcelo, author of Once Upon A Sunset

"While the enemies-to-lovers romance is irresistible, it’s the sincere, well-developed characters and heart-tugging family dynamics that make this fulfilling love story stand out. This is a winner." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A powerhouse romance with a perfect melange of spicy banter, lush scenery, and passion!” —Charish Reid, author of The Write Escape

"This book had everything: a heart-melting hero, laugh-out-loud moments, family drama, and delicious food all wrapped up in a lush, tropical setting. Fresh, fun and utterly addictive." —Sara Desai, author of The Marriage Game

You can purchase Simmer Down at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SARAH SMITH for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Simmer Down by Sarah Smith.