About Linda Conrad
Best selling author Linda Conrad writes for Harlequin-Silhouette Books. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and are sold in over twenty-two countries!
Linda’s sensual characters and passionate stories have brought her numerous awards and raves! Over the years her workshops for RWA chapters and conferences have helped many writers learn new skills and techniques.
Growing up in south Florida, Linda made up stories and read everything she could get her hands on. After college, she taught first grade in Miami and tried to give the children as much love for the written word as she’d always felt. When her own true-life hero came along and whisked her away to five cities in seven years, Linda became a sales assistant, a quality control supervisor, a ninety-unit apartment manager and finally a stockbroker and Certified Financial Planner in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
When her mother suffered a disabling stroke, Linda moved to southern California to be close. “Mom couldn’t focus well enough to read anymore. So I began reading to her,” Linda recalls. “Eventually, my sister and I started making up stories to keep her entertained. Mom remembered my high school writing attempts. Before her death, she asked me to stick with story telling.”
Today Linda is back in south Florida, living with her husband by the sea and telling the stories in her heart.
Linda’s January release – The Sheikh’s Lost Princess
Sheik Shakir Kadir, scarred by warfare and lost love, is ready for the ultimate confrontation. But his deadly mission to bring down his family's archenemy is compromised by the discovery that the princess who destroyed his heart is now a prisoner.
Held captive in a war-ravaged country, Nikki Olivier has her own life-or-death task to complete: bring her kidnapped son home alive. Her only hope is Shakir, the man she's never stopped wanting. Royal obligation had forced her to hurt Shakir and keep the volatile secret that her missing child is also his. Once the truth is revealed, will they create their own family legacy—or will it be their destruction?
Linda, welcome to Romance Author Buzz. I so enjoyed Her Sheik Protector and I’m looking forward to reading your January release. Is there a “behind the book” story for this series?
Linda: When I was a little girl, I spent my afternoons daydreaming in the library. I loved getting lost in the fantasies and dramas between the pages of a book. Then when I became a teenager, I spent Saturday afternoons watching ancient movies about strong heroes, once again getting caught up in the fantasy.
My favorite stories as a girl were The Tales of the Arabian Nights. And as a teenager, one of my favorite movie themes centered on a dark sheik coming to the rescue of the fair maiden and the two of them riding across the desert into the sunset.
Somewhere along the line I grew up, took up reality and put aside my favorite fantasy themes. But with the Desert Sons trilogy, I’ve decided to revisit those old themes and once again get lost in stories about sheiks. This time the sheiks are modern businessmen and warriors. Not quite reality, but not total fantasy either.
A modern world threat has appeared out of the stark deserts and oasis of an ancient land. An old enemy with new wealth has gained power and begins a covert war of retribution. As one of the Kadir brothers says about their old enemies, “It’s like they have one foot in the twenty-first century and one foot in the middle ages.”
That’s how I feel about the whole Desert Sons series. I had a great time juxtaposing modern men and women against the backdrop of venerable legends and centuries’ old feuds.
The Kadir family is ancient. The tribe began in the middle eastern deserts as Bedouin travelers and traders—nomads. A few centuries ago the Kadirs had a run-in with another warrior tribe, called the Taj Zabbar, that lasted for decades. When the Kadirs finally left their territory, the Taj were decimated. Then their harsh neighbors, the Kasht, took the Taj Zabbar’s land and enslaved the remaining Taj. Five centuries later, during modern times, the Taj have at last obtained their freedom from Kasht.
But it is the Kadir clan whom they despise. The Taj have vowed to ruin and decimate the whole Kadir clan.
In HER SHEIK PROTECTOR, the oldest Kadir brother, Darin, must set aside his disbelief and accept the reality of a cold war with an enemy that the world does not yet recognize. Worse, he comes face to face with his own desperate obsession for love in the middle of fighting for his family. He finds his first true love—just as she becomes the target for revenge.
In BOOK TWO, the Kadirs are involved ever more deeply in their covert war with their ancient enemies, the Taj Zabbar. In the process of obtaining proof of terrorism to give to the world authorities, the Kadirs have learned that the long lost love of the middle brother, Shakir, is being held in the desert kingdom controlled by the Taj Zabbar. Shakir has no decision to make, he will come to her rescue. But his past love has other ideas. She’s there for a reason. And the reason turns out to change everyone’s lives and nearly costs them everything.
In BOOK THREE, Kadir youngest brother, Tarik, is undercover trying to obtain the information for U.S. authorities that will convince them of the Taj Zabbar’s pending threat.
Unfortunately, he’s been saddled with a female cover agent partner that he finds sexy but a nuisance. Yet within days the two of them discover the world doesn’t have much time. The Taj have obtained a nuclear weapon and are preparing to use it!
The Desert Sons will be a fun way to ride into the mists of an ancient tale for a modern era. Come along with me. Let’s get lost in the story together.
How long have you been writing and what was your call story?
Linda: I’ve been seriously pursuing fiction writing for about thirteen years. After three years of rejections I saw an article about how Silhouette Desire was looking for new authors. (this was in 2000) I was on my way to the RWA national conference and quickly wrote the first half of a story that I thought would work. I pitched it to a Silhouette editor at the conference who handed it off to a Desire editor and the rest is history.
What are you currently working on?
Linda: I’m working on a new series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (new title for the line this year- no more Silhouette) I love this new series, it’s a throwback to some of my Desires. The orphaned brothers from a huge Texas ranching family have all found their way in life, except for one thing: love. Each book in the series will give one brother a chance at finding the right woman, but each of them will have to prove his love by fighting not only for her love but also for her life.
Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?
Linda: That’s like asking a mother which child she loves best. My characters are like my kids; I produced them but they are not me. The only thing I can say is I always feel closest to the one I’m working on at the moment.
What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?
Linda: The best thing about being an author is being able to tell stories. The worst thing about being an author are the long, lonely hours of sitting at the computer telling the stories.
Describe a day in the life of Linda Conrad.
Linda: No two days are alike, unfortunately. I wish I could be disciplined enough to have regular hours. But I’m not. Some days I play or do promotion for the books on the internet until late, then I get antsy in late afternoon and have to write a few pages. Other days, I refuse to let myself even check email until I write ten pages. Some days I take long walks with my dog in the park. Other days I let someone else take her and I sit down to the computer at 7 am. It all just depends on how the writing is going.
What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?
Linda: I am a romantic. I love to both read and write big sweeping stories with terrible pitfalls and wonderfully teary happy endings.
Scene you like most and would never cut.
Linda: I’m working on my thirtieth book. And I’ve written proposals for several more. After all this time, I no longer have the luxury of falling in love with a particular scene. They are all expendable if cutting them will make the story work better!
Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying?
Linda: Almost all of my heroines are strong, capable women. I don’t much care for wussy females. So none of my heroines would ever cry just to get her way with a man.
Scene in the book that moved you the most as you wrote it, or made you the most happy?
Linda: In THE SHEIK’S LOST PRINCESS, there’s a couple of scenes that moved me. The first is a flashback/daydream that the heroine has of the first time she and the heroine made love. Both of them were young and very different people at the time. The other scene that moved me was the moment near the end when the two of them come back together and the heroine makes the hero finally see the truth of who he really is.
Have you learned or found any bizarre facts while doing research?
Linda: Oh lots! Doing that whole Navajo Shadow series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense was an amazing eye-opener. And I’ve learned a ton of info about the Bedouin and desert culture doing this Desert Sons series. But every book I write has some little bit of interesting research connected to it. I love learning something new every day.
What is one thing in your history that has influenced your writing, whether it’s a character, your work habits, or your favorite plot conflict?
Linda: Whoa, that’s a great question! I guess I could say that I have always been determined to finish what I start. Even as a child I was more persistent than most people under trying circumstances. Whether it was college, getting my broker’s license or finishing a novel, I had to finish. And today I find that my characters generally have that same persistent streak. (sometimes to the point of stubbornness – like me)
Linda: There are two more books in the Desert Sons series, coming this spring. Brother Tarik’s story is SECRET AGENT SHEIK, out in April. And cousin Karim gets his own story in BODYGUARD SHEIK, part of a two-story sheik anthology called Desert Knights, written with Loreth Anne White which will be out in June. After that the new Texas series for Harlequin, of course, and I’m also working on an idea for a single title mini-series. We’ll have to see how that turns out.
Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?
Linda: I love hearing from readers. Writing is such a lonely and isolating occupation and I love finding new friends on the internet – especially readers! People can email me anytime and I generally answer back fairly quickly. And I also have a Facebook page and am on Twitter. Give me a shout out and let me know what’s going on in your life and what you’re reading!
Again, Linda thanks so much for stopping by Romance Author Buzz.
INTERNATIONAL CONTEST: For a chance to win a copy of The Sheikh’s Lost Princess, stop by Linda’s Facebook page, friend her and leave a message about the best part of her interview. Don’t forget to leave your email address. Winner will be announced February 30th
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