Saturday, July 24, 2010

WildCard Weekend - Fantasy and Suspense and Sheiks, Oh My!

Linda Conrad joins us this weekend with a taster of her new book! Fantasy, Suspense and Sheiks...oh my is right! Read on...

Some of you may know my books. I write for Silhouette Romantic Suspense. Our line used to be called: Silhouette Intimate Moments, but some brilliant marketing guys decided a few years ago that the name of the line should be more self-explanatory. Guess Romantic Suspense just about says it all, huh?

So now you know what kind of books I write: short suspense with lots of romance. But because our line is packed with emotion (remember, we used to be called Intimate Moments,) our editors let us go a little wild with the fantasy ideas.

When I was young, I had a thing for stories that might have come straight out of the Arabian Nights. I watched all the Sinbad and Ali Baba movies and loved the adventure stories where a warrior hero rode in on a white horse to rescue the independent heroine from an evil sultan. But then, I also watched I Dream of Jeannie on television and loved their blending of modern with the old fantasy. Wasn’t that series fun?

This year I am beginning a new series called Desert Sons. My latest release, HER SHEIK PROTECTOR (July 2010) is the first book in the series. It’s a little unconventional as far as sheik stories go. I think it’s more of an international romantic thriller. The series revolves around a modern family of Bedouins who find themselves embroiled in a bitter war of revenge with an ancient enemy. With an old-timey Hollywood noir feeling, HER SHEIK PROTECTOR is the story of an independent woman who ends up in the middle of a dangerous family feud and forced to depend upon a dark stranger she isn’t sure she can trust. I love it.

Maybe my story would be easier to explain if you read a little bit of an excerpt:

Rylie stared at the back of the closed door, still waiting for Darin’s return and to hear him say he needed her help. Ten seconds. Forty. One minute. Two.

Okay, she got that he was worried about her. Really she did. But she’d also hoped he was coming to know the person she was inside. The person who could never in a million years wait around in safety, sitting on her hands while someone she cared about worked to save her life.

Two hours later Rylie’s ears were popping again as she crept through the quiet corridors, looking for any sign of Darin or the Taj Zabbar kidnapper. The train must be heading lower, going in the direction of the lake below the mountains. Rylie could almost feel gravity pulling her downward.

The train rounded a steep u-curve right then, and Rylie got a good view through the windows into another corridor as the snaking cars doubled back on themselves. There, maybe only two or three train-car lengths ahead, she saw two men locked in mortal combat in the well-lit corridor of a sleeping car.

She pushed through pressurized door locks and tramped across the little bridges called vestibules that connected two cars. Through one car. Then into the next.

Then she heard a noise coming from the end of the car. It sounded as though someone had momentarily gone through the pressurized door onto the next vestibule. Shoving hard to open the door, she blinked at sudden air movement and turned her head in that direction.

To her amazement, she saw shoes…well, feet with shoes on them…as they disappeared up a ladder that she’d never noticed before. A ladder to the roof of the train? Why?

After she heard a distant shout, sounding for all the world like Darin’s voice, the why didn’t seem too important. If he could chase someone to the roof of a train, she could follow.

See what I mean about it being a modern fantasy?

So, what kind of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Can you remember the first book you ever read all by yourself? I think mine was Winnie the Poo. What was yours?

Leave a comment and win a copy of HER SHEIK PROTECTOR.

And don’t forget to drop by Linda’s website, to find out more Behind the Book about the Desert Sons and to sign up for Linda’s newsletter!

Her Sheik Protector Copyright © 2010 by Linda Conrad

Permission to reproduce text by Harlequin Books ,SA


  1. Hi Linda! Her Sheik Protector sounds great...I love Sheik books! I also love childrens books, though I can't remember the first one I ever read by myself. But I still have books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, E.B. White, Berenstein Bears, Dr. Seuss, Beverly Cleary, Louis Sacher, and Roald Dahl. And I used to love the Baby Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley High books. It makes me so happy that kids today are still enjoying many of the books that I loved as a child more than a decade ago (yikes!)!

  2. I lived in the world of Enid Blyton as a child and the first book I read myself was The Enchanted Wood. Even thinking about it now sends shivers of delight down my spine! I then moved on to the Famous Five and Malory Towers.

  3. Hi, Linda! Congratualtions on your
    "Desert Sons" series. "Her Sheik Protector" sounds terrific--great excerpt!

    "I Dream of Jeannie" is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. My family and I watched it together when I was a kid, and I still love it. Barbara Eden was (and still is) so beautiful and so mischievous! Barbara is also a talented singer and dancer. I look forward to reading her newly released autobiography. Classy lady!

    Does anybody remember "Little Golden Books"? I loved them, and I still have my collection, which was started by my mother. "The Little Red Hen" was a favorite.

  4. Hi Linda - Desert Sons sounds fab! As a small child I think the first stories I actually read were fairy tales. I can still remember reading "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs" for the first time and being scared witless! Small stories with powerful messages for one so young! Caroline x

  5. I loved Anne of Green Gables, and Jean Webster's books - my mother's copies, and old even then, I hasten to add. (By the way, totally anal comment - help, didn't mean a pun! - it's Winnie the Pooh. One of my early favorites too, which is why I'm so certain!)

  6. Hi all, Sorry I missed posting yesterday. Having trouble with my Internet connection. Embarassing. Sorry!

  7. Hi Denise,
    Laura Engles Wilder was a big fav of mine too! And we're not talking about age here--are we? :)))

  8. Hi Denise,
    Laura Engles Wilder was a big fav of mine too! And we're not talking about age here--are we? :)))

  9. Susanwilson44, Enid Blyton is not one I used to read, but I understand she's fabulous for kids.
    Alice Through the Looking Glass was another favorite of mine. Brings back memories

  10. Hey Virginia C, Fancy seeing you here. :))
    I remember the Little Golden Books too! I remember being so proud of being able to read them by myself.

  11. Caroline, I remember my mom reading me both the 3 little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Can't quite remember reading them myself but I probably did. Isn't fun remembering.
    Tks about my Desert Sons series. Hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing the stories!

  12. Hi Alison,

    You weren't supposed to mention age either. Shusss. LOL
    But I loved Anne of Green Gables too. I lived in a town called Coral Gables (a long way from where Anne lived) but I always felt close to her and that story.

  13. I don't remember which book I read all by myself first, but it was probably a Dr Zeuss book.

  14. Hi Chey!
    Dr. Zeuss wasn't as popular when I was a kid. But my kids certainly read their share of those books. Loads of fun! And great for the hearing the language used in different ways.

  15. Hey all,
    Don't know what time it is where you are, but it's Sunday PM here and I have to go pack for the RWA conference this week. So hubby drew names and .....

    The winner of a copy of HER SHEIK PROTECTOR is Denise! Congratulations! Email me at and give me your snail mail address and I'll send it right out.

    Thanks, everyone, for a fun blog full of memories!

  16. Thanks so much, Linda!! I'll send you an email right now!

  17. Linda,
    Her Sheikh Protector sounds great.