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:
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, http://www.LindaConrad.com 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 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Conrad/331439655105 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LindaConrad
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 http://www.LindaConrad.com
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.