Suspense and Sheiks? Oh my!

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 contemporary suspense with lots of romance.  But because our line is packed with emotion (remember, we used to be called Intimate Moments,)  sometimes we get carried away with the fantasy of love.  When I was young, I was absorbed with the 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 Jennie 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 feud and forced to depend upon a dark stranger she isn’t sure she can trust.

Maybe it 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. 


Her Sheik Protector by Linda Conrad 

See what I mean about a modern fantasy?    So, I loved to read about sheiks, 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?  Or if you can’t remember, what is the best fantasy book you ever read? Leave a comment and win a copy of HER SHEIK PROTECTOR.   And don’t forget to drop by Linda’s newly designed website, to find out more Behind the Book about the Desert Sons and to sign up for Linda’s newsletter!   

27 Responses to Suspense and Sheiks? Oh my!

  1. Jasmine

    Ooooo, definately sound intriguing. I love your concept of blending the old stories with mordern themes.

    The first book I read solo? Where the Sidewalk Ends, and I read it to my kiddos now.

    My favorite fantasy books are by Peirs Anthony, his Incarnations of Immortality series. The had a hand in shaping the way I look at the world.

  2. Virna DePaul

    I only remember my first romance at age 12–Lover From The Sea by Bonnie Drake. Great post and can’t wait to read your book, Linda!

  3. Romance Junkies

    And the winner is…… Linda Henderson! email at with your snail mail so your prize can me sent

  4. Maithe

    Hi Linda,

    Hmm, this is a hard one. I think it was Disney’s The Jungle Book. *L* I know I was really into 1001 Arabian Nights, but I was a bit older when I got to that book. So yes, Disney started it all for me. *L*

  5. peg360

    The story sounds great and i love the cover

  6. Chris Mead

    Hi Linda,

    Your book sounds wonderful! I remember reading Dick and Jane when I was in first grade, and I really loved The Box Car children series, as well as Judy Bloom books. I also fell in love with Nancy Drew and I think I read all of that series. Later I fell in love with romance after reading my first Harlequin romance at around the age of 15 or 16, and I have been hooked on romance novels every since then!

    Best wishes!

    Chris Mead

  7. Guestauthor

    Wow! Tks, everyone! I’m coming back here– love the compliments and love finding new friends!

  8. Joyce

    Romantic suspense is my favorite, and I really enjoyed your Shadow series.

  9. Gigi

    Linda I love all the stories that involve sheiks and desert royalty.

    Looking way back to my first read would have to be some of the Brothers Grimm fairy-tales. I also had a big set of all the Disney stories sort of like am encyclopedia set of story books and nursery rhymes.

    I look forward to the sheik series.
    I also love the Sheiks in the Presents line.

  10. MarthaE

    Hi Linda. A train chase too – sounds like good suspense! I’m not positive I can remember my first solo read but I know Black Beauty was an early favorite. And my mind tells me I loved a horse story something along the lines of “Smokey” or “Stormy” but I have never been able to find it…so maybe it was an early fantasy for me! LOL. I do love the LOTR series which I read in my teen/early college years. I also loved all the King Arthur stories.

    Best wishes on your sheik series.

  11. How does Zelda and Sheik tie into the story of the video game series "Legend of Zelda"?

    […] Romance Junkies Blog | Suspense and Sheiks? Oh my! […]

  12. Carol L.

    Well, I’m with Linda H. My first solo read was Heidi. Loved it.
    I enjoy your books Linda and think your new site is great. Especially those recipes :)After the books of course lol
    Carol L.

  13. Brandy B

    Oh yes there were Charlie Brown Encyclopedias…. I remember freaking my mom out when she went to explain the “Facts of Life” I already knew what I needed plus some. All the technical terms, etc…. I had to find the book and show it to her cause she was freaking out that her 9yr old already knew everything, well everything with in reason, lol


  14. Linda Henderson

    The first big book I remember reading was Heidi. I loved Heidi and of course, I wanted to be her. But alas, I’m afraid of heights, so living in the mountains would not be fun. I always enjoy your books and I have been reading the Suspense line since it was SIM. I do enjoy romantic suspense and I’ve always enjoyed any book with sheik in the title. I can’t wait to start your new series.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  15. Guestauthor

    Brandy, I guess I didn’t even know Charlie Brown had Encyclopedias. :))
    It doesn’t matter what we read first really. I just wanted to remind you of the joy of reading! I’ve had many fantasy favs. LOTR was probably the first. More recently, I just love Virginia Kantra’s Mermen series – Sea Witch the best — and most of Kathryn Asaro’s books, and the Rose books by Gail Dayton and well, lots more.

  16. Guestauthor

    Tks sooo much, Pam! Good to “see” you here too!

  17. Brandy B

    Hi. This sounds like a good book. The first books I remember reading were the ‘Charlie Brown Encyclopedias’, I know weird right? It is hard to pick the best fantasy book I’ve ever read. I have read so many. What was you fav fantasy book???

  18. Pam S

    Please don’t enter me as I was lucky enought to have won Linda’s newsletter drawing. I just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed reading it!

    Love all I I have read by you and this one didn’t disappoint! Really enjoyed the characters and storyline.

  19. Guestauthor

    catslady, please don’t talk about the number of years! That doesn’t matter. The books we love are timeless. Right? Right?

  20. Guestauthor

    Hello my friend, CrystalGB! Berenstein Bear stories are also wonderful. Just right for the little ones.

  21. Guestauthor

    Hi Joanne, Yes, in my teens I too was a biggggg LOTR fan. Read all three maybe ten times. But you’re right about the love stories. I heart romance.

  22. catslady

    It’s truly been too many years to remember and I am also a big fan of LOTR. I’ve always enjoyed romantic suspense no matter what they want to call it 🙂

  23. CrystalGB

    Hi Linda. Your book sounds great. I think the first book I read by myself was a Berenstein Bear story.

  24. Joanne

    The story and the cover are great! I always love the Lord of the Rings books and all of the drama involved in the series, but there is nothing like a love story.

  25. Guestauthor

    I don’t think I ever ready The Gauntlet, Valerie. But how clever of you to track it down! It sounds interesting.

  26. Guestauthor

    Hi Lindy! Me too! I think this cover in particular turned out really well.

  27. Valerie

    Nice post! I enjoyed it.

    Ok, showing my age here, but when I was ten years old, I really enjoyed The Narnian Chronicles.

    In my school library I found a book called The Gauntlet about a couple of boys who found an old glove. They thought it was a cricket glove. When one of the boys put it on he was transported through time to the time of the glove and had a lot of adventures. It was action packed.

    Later, when I started my own collection of books, I hunted that book down and found it secondhand. It was published in the year of my birth!!! Wow!!!

    in Germany

  28. Lindy

    Sounds like a great book! I really like what Silhouette has done with the cover designs for the line.


Back to Top