Monday, August 23, 2010

Linda Conrad Shares Her Magic Memories!

by KJ Howe

Please welcome talented writer Linda Conrad to the lair today to share a special moment--the release of her 25th book for Silhouette!

Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be with the Banditas while I celebrate the release of my 25th book for Silhouette this month: COVERT AGENT’S VIRGIN AFFAIR.
It’s part of an inline continuity for Silhouette Romantic Suspense called The Coltons: Montana. How cool is that?

The only trouble with a milestone like that is all the work that went in to get there. I’ve been pretty much a hermit for the last few years and I regret that I missed a part of my life.

I’ve been thinking about the past a lot lately. My two releases this summer both deal with the double issues of regret and guilt from things done in the past. In HER SHEIK PROTECTOR, the first book in my new Desert Sons series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense (next books in the series will be out in 2011,) the heroine begins the story by regretting an argument with her father—and then everything goes much worse for her. Here’s a snippet of what happens as she races to find her father at the grand opening of her family’s shipping facility so she can apologize:

In her haste to pick up the pace and make up time, Rylie stumbled over a gravel rock and went down on her knees. Shoot!

She was up on her feet again in an instant, but then decided she should stop long enough to dust off her jeans. Bending over to brush at the worst of the gravel, she thought about how glad she was to be wearing her boots and denim today instead of a fancy pantsuit or even a dress. She’d considered changing, but…

At that moment, without any warning, the whole world came apart in a powerful cataclysm. Violent gusts of wind knocked Rylie down, putting her flat on her back and taking the breath from her lungs. A flash of heat rolled over her body, singeing uncovered skin. The back of her head banged hard against the pavement, while earsplitting explosions blew out her eardrums and turned everything eerily silent.

Mustering all her physical resources, Rylie lifted her head and looked around. Through a bleary haze she saw thick, black smoke and fire, rising over her like a towering volcano a hundred feet in the air. The smell of sulphur assaulted her nose.

Dazed and confused, it took a moment to understand what she was seeing. The new shipping facility was gone. All gone.

That must mean… But what had happened to her co-workers and the local reporters? What had happened to the Kadir company officials and their guests?

Light-headed and suddenly sick to her stomach, Rylie closed her eyes and slowly formed the most important question yet. What had happened to the CEO of Hunt Drilling? Where in God’s name was her father?

But before her wounded brain could even start processing those answers, reality began sinking away as everything in her immediate world turned from bruised purple to soggy gray—and in seconds went completely black.

As you can imagine, Rylie has plenty to regret after that!

In my August release, COVERT AGENT’S VIRGIN AFFAIR, the hero is the one with old regrets and guilt. When he finds himself falling in love for the second time in his life, and with someone totally inappropriate, the regrets and guilt from what happened with his first love nearly costs him everything.

Here’s the book blurb for COVERT AGENT’S VIRGIN AFFAIR:

“The mission always comes first.”

Undercover agent Jake Pierson figures one romantic dinner will get never-been-kissed librarian Mary Walsh to tell him everything she knows about her late father’s criminal activities. But the more Mary talks, the more Jake wants to shut her up with kisses. Because he’s falling for his own too-trusting target—and there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it. Well, maybe one thing…

With her shiny new lease on life, Mary has become wiser about a lot of things. For one, she can spot a liar a mile away. She knows her gorgeous new boyfriend is hiding something. And she has a sneaking suspicion those secrets will get them both killed unless he trusts her with the truth.

Enough with the regrets for today! I want magic memories instead! I want to remember the best things in my life; the fun times and the sweet moments when everything was super. I want to look forward to more of the good stuff!

Want to help me out? Let’s play a memory game. I’ll tell you my good stuff if you’ll tell me yours.

1. What was the most memorable piece of jewelry that anyone has ever given you?

Mine was a ring. Not an engagement ring like some folks; my husband and I got married on two weeks’ notice because he was being transferred out of town and all we had time for was a plain gold band. But twenty-five years later he produced the most beautiful diamond ring I have ever seen and wanted to rededicate our vows. I cried. Then I said yes! And now it’s the only ring I ever wear.

2. Who was your first best friend?

Mine was named Janet. We met in Kindergarten and she lived across from our school, which also housed grades one through eight. The next year, on the first day of first grade, my mother was driving on her way to pick me up but was in a terrible car accident. She went to the hospital and everyone was in a big panic about me. But I was fine. When my father came looking for me, he found me…happily playing at Janet’s! I’ll never forget my dear first friend or her lovely, generous mother.

3. What was the name of your first (or most memorable) pet?

My first pet was a tiny turtle. Don’t remember his name, but he got lost in the house and we couldn’t find him for six months! When he showed back up, he was fine. Always wondered where he’d been all that time.

My most memorable pet, however, is my current Bichon frieze named KiKi. She adores everyone and everything. Believe me, if you ever met her, you would never forget her either.

4. What was the first book you read that made a big impression?

I’ve thought about this a lot. The first book I ever read by myself was Winnie the Poo. But the book that made the biggest impression on me was the first book in the wonderful Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum. It had danger, magic, good friends and evil witches. And though it ended happily, it left me wanting more. I didn’t want to close the book on the enthralling land of Oz. (thank goodness there are more books in the series) I have decided it was that series more than anything that hooked me on being a writer. And more than just wanting to be a writer, the Wizard of Oz series made me want to read (and write) books in series. I always want to know what happens next. Where do they go from here?

You know, I suspect there are young people out there right now being hooked the same way by the Harry Potter and the Twilight series

So now, how about your memories? Let’s have some fun!

To celebrate my twenty-fifth book release, I’ll be giving away to two lucky commenters, their choice of either HER SHIEK PROTECTOR or COVERT AGENT’S VIRGIN AFFAIR along with a $10 gift card for Walmart. Post those memories to win!

Linda, thanks so much for joining us today and for sharing your magic memories. Congratulations on your incredible milestone. We're honored you're celebrating here with us in the lair! KJ

Drop by Linda’s newly designed website, to find out more Behind the Book about her new Desert Sons series, and to sign up for Linda’s newsletter and contest! Join Linda on FB at and on Twitter at

Linda Conrad’s SAFE WITH A STRANGER is a June Silhouette release, currently available online and on the stands by May 27, 2008. Check out what’s new with Linda, enter her website contest, and read her Behind the Book page for The Safekeepers at

This is Linda in Orlando receiving her 25th Anniversary pin from Harlequin! Go Linda! You might see a few other familiar faces in that prolific group.


Kim in Hawaii said...


Kim in Hawaii said...

It's stiil August 23 in Hawaii and we are about to have my birthday cake ... so the GR can help me blow out 21 candles. Perhaps Lars and Sven can make some Margaritas!

Congrats, Linda, on your 25th book - the newest has a gorgeous cover!

barb said...

Hi Kim congrats on GR and happy birthday ... don't feed him too much cake

Congratutlations on your 25th book, it certainly is a mile stone.

1 I am not really into Jewelry so I suppose my most memorable is the engagement and wedding ring.I must say they were at different times LOL

2 It is a long time ago but the first friend was Christine through to high school but then we went to different ones and made new friends

3 A dog called Bruce that my brother named after a boxer, he was always escaping but always arrived home for food.

4 Can't really remember a book that made a big impression .... It seems as though I have always read and every one has made an impression of some sort or other.

Helen said...

Well done Kim have fun with him today and have a fantastic birthday.

Hi Linda
Both these books sounds fantastic and congrats on reaching such a great milestone well done.

Now for the answers I hope I can remember LOL

1.Mine has to be the first friendship ring that my hubby gave to me when I was 15 and he had it engraved love always and we are still together 38 years later

2.My first best friend was my neighbour Tessi we grew up together and were very close but unfortunatley I haven't seen her for to long to remember

3.I have had lots of pets but one I remember was a sheep named Blackie that I had when I was 5

4.I have read lots of books over the years one that made an impression on me was when I was in high school it is called I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall about a young Australian boy growing up with Polio

Great questions Linda thanks Kim for inviting Linda today

Have Fun

Kim Howe said...

Kim in Hawaii, how I wish I were you!!! Love that place. How lucky the GR is to be with you there. :)

Kim Howe said...

Happy Birthday, Kim! Enjoy your special day.

Kim Howe said...

Barb, thanks for sharing your memories with us! Hilarious about your rings. :)

Kim Howe said...

Helen, love the fact that you had a sheep for a pet. I'd love to hear more about that if you don't mind sharing...I have a friend that recently acquired two goats as pets!

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Howe said...

Kirsten, that story about your grandmother was incredibly touching. It sounds like she was a very special lady. Thanks for sharing!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on #25! That is a wonderful accomplishment. My favorite pet has to be the dog we got as a puppy when our kids were little. She was a big part of our family the eleven years she was with us.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi All! Sorry I'm a bit late. Stuck drain in the kitchen sink this morning. Sigh.

Thanks so much to Kim Howe for inviting me to blog with the Banditos today. She's a doll.

And Wow! Happy Birthday Kim in Hawaii! I know you'll enjoy your day!

Linda Conrad said...

Hurrying to catch up. Thanks to all of you for your congratulations. It did make me feel a little special to receive an award. :)

Hey Barb! Tks for sharing your memories with us!

Linda Conrad said...

I never heard of that book, Helen, but it does sound interesting. I can tell it really made an impression! Tks for sharing your memories with us. I love the story about your friendship ring. Brings tears to my eyes.

Linda Conrad said...

Kirsten, I love the Alex story! How funny! Tks so much for sharing it. I too was a big fan of Pride and Prejudice. It made an impression.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Maureen (me waving!!!)
Dogs sure share special places in our hearts, don't they?

Kim Howe said...

Hi Maureen,

Great to have you here today. I have to admit that dogs are my favorite pets!

Kim Howe said...

Linda, I love your red jacket. Perfect pic!

Linda Conrad said...

Tks, Kim! But you should talk. Look at how fabulous you look in your picture! Yikes! Puts the rest of us to shame.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your 25th book. What an amazing milestone.
1. My engagement ring is my most memorable and precious piece of jewelry.
2. My first best friend was Kim and we were close through high school.
3. My first pet was a Pekinese poodle named Tiny.
4. Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss began my love of romance novels.

Jane said...

Linda, the Wizard of Oz series is remarkable not just for the imaginative setting, but for the strong female characters -- truly amazing, considering it was written 100 years ago by a male writer! These were also amongst my favorite childhood books.

Jennifer said...


Congrats on your 25th book!! The an impressive accomplishment.

1. What was the most memorable piece of jewelry that anyone has ever given you? My parents gave me a beautiful necklace that they had made from stones that my mom & dad had received throughout their lives. For instance, the veil on the necklace contains the baguettes from my mom's original engagement ring setting (she had it reset when the band broke)
2. Who was your first best friend? Well, I'm still very good friends with my childhood pal, who lived around the corner from me. We met at the age of 5 and have been friends ever since.
3. What was the name of your first (or most memorable) pet? My family didn't have any pets, but my aunt had an amazing black cat named Eeepers, who I adored. Whenever, we would visit her I spent hours playing with her.
4. What was the first book you read that made a big impression? I would say the Nancy Drew Mysteries (The Hidden Staircase) - I loved to solve the crimes.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi CrystalGB! Good to 'see' you again!
Wasn't Kathleen Woodiwess a fabulous romance author. Love some of her books.

Linda Conrad said...

Jane, exactly right about the Wizard of Oz series. Amazing books, really. And to think there's something like 15 books in that series.
Glad to know someone else appreciates them like I do.

Linda Conrad said...

Hey Jennifer,
I just love the idea of a necklace from your family! I inherited my mother's charm braclet--same kind of idea. But a necklace would be so much easier to wear. I'm sure you treasure it.

And what a cute name for a cat: Eeepers! I may have to steal it to use in a book someday.

chey said...

1. A charm to put on my chain.
2. Shayne
3. A dog called Pixie. She was part of the family.
4. Anne of Green Gables.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Linda!

And BIG THANX to KJ for inviting you to join us.

WOW! 25 books is quite an accomplishment! I am in awe. (bows in an I'm-not-worthy fashion)

I think my most memorable piece of jewelry was a cross my mother gave me when I was around 12.

My first BFF was named Susie Nash. She was my BFF in kindergarten and first grade, then she moved away. :-( Hmmm, I'm thinking she became my BFF because we were always seated in alphabetical order...McGary, Nash.

Your little doggie is sooo cute! I've loved all my dogs throughout the years. The first one I ever bought with my own money cost $5. His name was Baby and he was some kind of hairless mongrel, so homely he was cute.

First book that made an impression on me was Black Beauty. I literally wore the covers off that book.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

HAPPY BDAY, Kim! And congrats on getting the GR for the day. Are you going to take him surfing? He does have a surfer-dude cousin, you know.

And we are celebrating another birthday here in the Lair today... None other that our beloved Fo -- Anna Campbell!

Many happy returns, ladies!


Linda Conrad said...

Chey, good to see you here! Shayne? Must be a good story there. And Anne of Green Gables is an old favorite. I lived in Coral Gables as a kid and thought the book was written for me. :))

Linda Conrad said...

Hi AC, thanks for the congrats! It's sort of staggering when you think of it. (except my fellow SRS writer, Marie Ferrarella, is at book number 200! What can you do in the face of that?)

BTW, I love the name Baby for a pet. I had a parakeet once named Baby.

Joan said...

Hi Linda! Welcome to The Lair!

Can't a girl's TBR pile get a break? Your books sound fantastic!

I'm rarely given jewelry but one Christmas, after our mother died, my brother gave me the most beautiful little pearl earrings with a "real" diamond chip. I LOVED those earrings and was devastated when I lost one :-(

My first best friend was Patricia Kennedy. She lived across the street and I was devastated when she moved 5 miles away! I got to go visit her once and we explored a house being constructed...where she promptly stepped onto a wasp nest and was ravaged! The next was Debbie Boone. She was so special I had to fight Lisa in line for the lunchroom to get to be next to her!

My first pet was a cat named Pebbles. I loved Pebbles! No one could take her place, not hamsters, guinea pigs or goldfish. But now I have Cricket! She is a grey tabby, 6 mo. old today and I am contemplating a baby sister for her. And NO I am not becoming a cat hoarder!!

First book was Red Shoes for Nancy. It was an autobiographical account of a Mother raising a little girl with cerebral palsy. In the ..ahem...sixties...this was unique.

Now, I have a synopsis to finish and a kitty to pry off my ankle and a diet to stick to....

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Linda! Lovely to see you here. New book sounds fab and congrats on the 25!!!! OK, OK, now I'm heading back into the deadline cave. Got a week to go to get this book in! (Loud screams and some very blue language as Foanna is dragged kicking and shrieking back to the bowels of the lair!)

Minna said...

1. Kalevala necklace called Kuutar from my godmother.
2. My first best friend was my neighbour Sanna.
3. Catd called Tahvo and Jenny.
4. I ´read so many books, that there is no way to name just one...

misskallie2000 said...

Happy Birthday Kim..
Hi Linda and congrats on 25...

By best friend was my cousin who was a yr younger than me. We are still close.

My first pet was a yellow tom cat named Kitty Tom, so original. lol

I fell in love with Cinderella when I was 6 and received my first Cinderella Book and also record with mice singing on one side and Fairy God Mother singing on flip side (Bippity Bobity Boo).

My Grandmama gave me her gold initial ring that had her initial "E" for Estelle before she passed away. I have had since 1967 and will pass on to my daughter.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Welcome to the Lair, Linda, and mega congrats on reaching the 25th book milestone!

game answers:
1. What was the most memorable piece of jewelry that anyone has ever given you? My story is very similar to yours. We'd been very poor while my husband was in school finishing his degree and us with 3 schoolaged kids. We hocked my wedding band and diamond earrings one month to put food on the table. When he finished school and had a good job, he bought me a new set of wedding bands, and at Christmas got down on one knee and again asked me to marry him in front of the kids. I cried!!!

2. Who was your first best friend? My friend Marion. We first met in 2nd grade and were in Brownies and Girl Scouts together. Then in the 7th grade we just bonded and have been close friends ever since.

3. What was the name of your first (or most memorable) pet? My most memorable pet is our family dog, known in the Lair as Rocky-the-wonder-dog. He's my swim partner, nap partner, writing partner and assistant grandbabysitter. 85# of pure love!

4. What was the first book you read that made a big impression? I’ve thought about this a lot. While I'd been reading for years, the middle of my sophomore year of high school, I ran across my mother's copy of The Flame And The Flower.............and the rest is history!! :)

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Joan, Tks for the lovely welcome! And thank you for sharing your memories with us.
Good luck on your synopsis-- I'm hammering one out now too. :(

Linda Conrad said...

If you stop back by today, Anna, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
And all my best wishes on your looming deadline!

Linda Conrad said...

Well hello, Minna! Nice memories. I just love presents from godmothers. Sounds so much like Cinderella.

Linda Conrad said...

Speaking of Cinderella, misskallie2000, don't we all love that book? Half the Harlequins being written today are based on the Cinderella story. Thanks for reminding us.

Kim Howe said...

Linda, thanks for your kind words regarding my pic...ummm, photoshop! LOL

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Suzanne, thanks! Your Rocky sounds wonderful.
Yes, I know The Flame and The Flower turned lots of people into romance book lovers. I didn't read it until much later. As a rowdy teen, I was much more interested in reading a friend's copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover. Now that's a book that started a new trend too. :)

Kim Howe said...

CrystalGB...Kathleen Woodiwiss had a profound effect on me as well. I was absolutely entranced by her words.

Kim Howe said...

Jennifer, I loved reading that you're still close to your first best friend. I grew up moving all over the place (before the days of the internet!), so I don't have a lot of contacts from the early days. I often wonder how many buddies I'd still have if the net had been invented sooner. It's really changed the world! Now I can reach out to Banditas in the US, Australia, and England.

Kim Howe said...

Linda, does Ms. 200 Marie ever get to leave her house? LOL Wow, is that ever incredible. I respect people who are so you.

Kim Howe said...

AC, any pics of Baby you can share? What a cute story!!!!

Kim Howe said...

Joan, I love your saucy wit. The women with the best recipes in the world and she talks about dieting...nooooooooo! :)

Kim Howe said...

Anna C, good luck with your deadline. Postcards coming soon to distract you! I wish I could have sent a Turkish or Greek man along, but the postage was too "weighty"!

Kim Howe said...

Chey, love your name as well...can you share the background of it? I always wanted a different name, but, alas, I grew up Kim Jones, then went completely wild and became Kim Howe!

Kim Howe said...

Minna, a Kalevala necklace? That sounds fascinating. Any chance you can give us a visual?

Kim Howe said...

MissCallie2000, thanks for stopping by. Linda's questions are excellent and I love the answers we're getting today, snapshots into everyone's pasts.

Kim Howe said...

Suz, your sacrifice of such special personal items to feed your kids touched my heart big time. You're still the same phenomenally kind person who would give the shirt off your back (or the ring off your finger) to help others. I'm thrilled good Karma went your way with your recent sale!!!

Joan said...

Kim said: The women with the best recipes in the world and she talks about dieting...nooooooooo! :)

Guess you didn't see my State Fair report on FB. Corndog, chocolate cupcake, funnel cake and pork chop sandwich....I waddled out to the car!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Linda & KJ,

I've read Her Sheik Protector and it's now on my keeper shelves. My
congratulations on your super anni-
versary - Happy 25!

1. I lost all my "daily" wear rings
including my wedding band & diamond
solitaire after our 40th anny and Honey replaced them w/ a multi diamond anniversary ring and
I wear this always.
2. I guess this would be my four sisters, we were always together
and even allowed our rascally 4
brothers to hang out with us, too.
We lost a brother and a sister in
the early 70s. The rest of us are all still together except for one
brother in Kansas. We are all in Houston within 30 minutes of each
other. If one calls, we are there!
3. Brownie, my grandfather's dog,
they lived next door to us. He was
memorable because he bit our little
sister, almost getting her jugular
4. Secret Garden

Taking a moment here to wish a
"Happy Birthday" to Bandita Anna
Campbell from this birthday girl!

Pat Cochran

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Pat!! Oh my, be still my heart. An author's most favorite sentence: "It's now on my keeper shelf." Thank you so much, you made my day. :)
I also loved the story of your ring. You have a sweet honey like I do. Lucky woman.

Nancy said...

Linda, welcome! Congratulations on your 25th book. How cool! Both the excerpt and the blurb are great.

Most memorable jewelry--either my engagement ring or, from my grandfather, my grandmother's locket.

First book to make an impression--Silver Chief, a picture book of the novel about a Mountie who bonds with a wolf. My grandfather read it to me.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Aw, Kim, you're making me blush! And thank you. I'm glad Karma helped get that book sold, too. Your time and the other Bandits' times are due...I'll talk to Karma!

Kim Howe said...

Hi Pat! Sounds like you have quite the family. I love hearing stories of close-knit brothers and sisters. Thanks for stopping by today!

Kim Howe said...

Nancy, Silver Chief sounds intriguing. Is it available now?

Kim Howe said...

Suz, just telling it how it is. :) As for Karma...if you have its ear, we could keep you busy for a while!

Virginia said...

Congrats on you 25th book Linda

For me in jewelry would be a mother's ring my husband went out and bought for my birthday, and he doesn't buy gifts so it was very special.
Best friend would be a girl I met when I was five, we grew up together, you didn't see one of us without the other, and still keep in touch to this day.
Pets would have to be a bird I had named Tweety
Books would have to be Gone With the Wind because it is the book that got me started reading.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Nancy,
Tks! I agree with Kim Silver Chief sounds interesting. A Canadian chiuldren's book?

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Virgina, Tks for the congrats!
Hmm. I loved Gone With the Wind, of course. But I don't think I know anyone who actually started reading with that book.
Tks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new release!

1. A diamond and gold ring that my mother gave me (she used to work in the jewelry business). It was pretty much the only piece of jewelry I had that wasn't stolen from me when I had a break-in.

2. I don't remember my first best friend very much. I vaguely remember a cute little girl with dark hair. I had siblings and cousins at home so I didn't hang out at any friends' homes after school.

3. My first dog followed me home when I was about 5 or 6. Not only did he babysat us kids in the afternoons, he saved my and my sister's lives once, too, when we got lost.

4. "Romeo and Juliet" because I thought they were the stupidest teens in literature and no way was I going be like them when I was a teen (never going to kill myself over some boy).


Minna said...


Laurie said...

1) I have a old fashioned chained vest watch that was my paternal grandfathers. I treasure it. I never met him as he died in 1927.

2) Friend-Paula we did everything together. We met the summer before 2nd grade. Still friends today!

3) Pet-Shetland Sheepdog Sandy MacGregor I had him from second grade- my first day of college. We played together everyday!

4) Book that made an impression- Shogun by James Clavell.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi cories! What a great story about your dog! I love cool dog stories. Tks!

Linda Conrad said...

Thanks for posting the pictures, Minna. I have seen that kind of jewelry and admired it in the past but didn't know what it was called.

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Laurie! Nice memories. Tks for sharing.
Shogun made an impression on a lot of people. Interesting choice.

Linda Conrad said...

I have a little good news, all. I'm in a Christmas anthology (3 authors) coming out in October for Silhouette Romantic Suspense called: COVERT CHRISTMAS. I just learned that we got a 4 1/2 star TOP PICK review from Romantic Times! Pretty cool for all three of us.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Linda!