Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Reasons to Celebrate! by Linda Conrad

April will be a special month for me. To start, the third book in my Desert Sons series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense is on shelves now! Lots of readers have been waiting for Tarik’s book, and SECRET AGENT SHEIK is his story. It’s a fun adventure that takes place mainly in Rio during Carnivale! I just love that sensous city as a setting for a story. I was born in Rio and it holds a special place in my heart. Of course, the book is sexy and suspenseful and brings two people together who’ve never realized they needed anyone.

Here’s an excerpt from when the two are literally undercover -- just to tease you:

What is Tarik saying?

Jass struggled to come out of her haze and listen, but the blood boiled in her ears. With her pulse screaming through her veins as though she were pulling down five Gs, her body throbbed with passion. And all because of the masculine body currently lying suggestively between her legs.

Geez. She bit the inside of her cheek hard enough to snap herself out of it. They were supposedly working a sting. She was Celile. But he was not the real Zohdi.

Work. Work. Work. Rember, this was an important assignment and not the most intimate experience she’d ever had. Worse even than the idea of taking a risk with her career, there’d been a camera trained on them this whole time.

She’d lost her mind. But, oh man, what a terrific way to go insane. The sexual chemistry between the two of them left her soaring. Tarik’s mere touch jolted her with an intense excitement, sparking a conflagration that had sent her down in flames. His naked and aroused body surprised her, but it shouldn’t have. He was so much more than she imagined. The most potent male she’d ever seen.

Like spontaneous combustion, she’d found herself wet and set to explode. But they were only acting at their mission. Right? Remember the mission. “Hold on.” Tarik left her long enough to drag the covers up and over their heads, covering them completely from view How could he remain unaffected? Well, not totally unaffected, she’d noticed. He was hot and pulsing…and huge. He’d been ready just like she was.

But his mind had stayed in the game. A trait she’d better learn how to mimic.

“Laugh,” he demanded in a raspy whisper. “Or giggle. Anything that makes it seem as though we’re doing what it looks like in this bed.”

His words actually made some sense through her clearing fog. At last. She wiggled out from underneath his body and rolled over to face him—while both of them remained hidden under the covers.

Watching him closely, she opened her mouth and let out one of the loudest moans imaginable. “Ah. Ah. Ah.” She forced the volume higher. “Oh, Zohdi. Oh. Oh.”

Finally, she wound herself up and screamed incoherently. A thing she had never done during the throes of passion in her entire lifetime.

Tarik actually smiled as he murmured low, “Nice work, agent. I’d like a repeat performance someday. But not for the cameras.”

That did it. He had to move away. Now.

“Get out of bed and turn off the lights, Zohdi.” She gritted her teeth. “And then bring me a robe.”

Why hadn’t the man thought to turn out the lights in the first place?

In a hushed tone, Tarik answered. “Okay, but I’m betting turning off the lights won’t help. The camera is probably NVC, night vision capable. Most surveillance equipment is set up that way. I’ll gladly get the robes.” He scowled and rolled out from under the blankets, leaving her covered and furious.

Seconds later he pulled down the covers and immediately threw one of the terry bath robes over her. “Get up, Celile,” he announced in a loud voice. “You need a shower and I have work to do on the laptop.”

“What did you say?” It was easy to fake a little indignation. She felt every bit of Celile’s part.

Tarik turned his back. “Get up.”

“Well, isn’t that romantic? You bastard.” She shoved her arms into the robe and stood. “I’m going. But if you think for one minute that you’re in for a repeat performance tonight, you are out of your mind. You and your damned laptop can sleep out on the terrace.”

Grasping the robe around her like a shield, Jass marched into the bathroom and slammed the door. Once alone and out of camera range, she leaned both hands heavily on the countertop. Hanging her head and breathing in and out through her mouth, she tried to calm her shaky nerves. Realization began to sink in. He had actually picked a fight in order to save them from having to sleep together tonight. The whole scene back there suddenly became clear. Everything he’d done in the bedroom—stripping himself and not her, carrying her to the bed and covering them from view—all of it was done for her benefit.

To save her from embarrassment.

From the book: SECRET AGENT SHEIK by Linda Conrad Harlequin Romantic Suspense April 2011 ISBN 978-0373-27722-3 Copyright 2011 ® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher

Great excerpt, right? It’s one of my favorites.

Now, on to the next most wonderful thing taking place in April. My fabulous Harlequin editor, Keyren Gerlack, is getting married! And she and her husband-to-be are tying the knot in Germany at the same little chapel where her parents and grandparents were also married. Sigh. Romantic.

Keyren is so stylish. (and I’m so NOT) She bought her dress at the bridal shop in New York where they shoot “Say Yes To The Dress” for the TLC cable channel. Isn’t that cool? For those of you who don’t get the TLC channel or who live in other countries, the show is a reality series where they televise women choosing and being fitted for their wedding dresses. The show features all the drama attached to such emotional chores. Keyren will not be on the show, by the way.

Now, I know some little girls dream of being married in a big white dress, but that was never me. Or my sister. Or my mother, for that matter. Both my mother and I were married on about two weeks notice. I remember it was all I could do to buy a new white suit that fit me before the wedding day. (which I never wore again, BTW) But it did look nice in the pictures and my husband says he thought it was spectacular.

All this thinking about weddings again sent me to the Internet to research the history of wedding dresses. Both and author Shirley Thomas say that white has not always been the color of choice for weddings. White apparently came into vogue with Queen Victoria’s wedding to Albert in 1840. Before that anything except black and red would do. Today the color choices seem to be limited to white, ecru, off-white or ivory. Every now and then a bride chooses pink or blue. I saw one woman on the TV show who insisted on red. And one Goth girl who wanted her dress trimmed in black. Everybody to their own dream.

What do you think? Did you dream of your wedding dress as a child? Did your mother save her wedding dress or your grandmother’s dress for you to wear?

Leave your comments here and tomorrow I’ll draw one winner for two prizes: an autographed copy of SECRET AGENT SHEIK and a box of Ferrero Dark Chocolate Truffles! That’s Two Reasons to Celebrate!

For more information about Linda's Desert Sons series or to enter her website contest, go to:


marybelle said...

My mother turned her bridal gown into clothes for the first baby & her veil into a net for the bassinet. How practical. I kind of like the transition from bride to mother.

desere_steenberg said...

Brilliant post Linda absolutely stunning I loved it !! Thank you for sharing it with us and thank you for the beyond amazing giveaway !

I had dreams of the perfect wedding dress but as I grew older I began to realize that no matter what your dress happens to look like it does not matter as it is all about commiting to the person and the romance it brings on that day (I hope that makes sense).

My mom's dress was rented and I have unfortunately no idea what happened to my grandmothers dress so I will definitely have to dream up my own.

I adore your work and I cant stop reading!

Take Care,

Linda Conrad said...

Hi Marybelle! I love it. Your mother sounds like me. Almost toooo practical. But I like the idea of going from wife to mother too.

Tks for the comment!

Linda Conrad said...

Oh, thank you, Desere! I can't tell you how very much hearing that you like reading my books means to me. It's the whole reason I write!

And yes, being the ultimate romantic, I understood what you meant perfectly. Ah, romance.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Conrad said...

Oh, I hope you get married soon too, Kirsten! And I tend to agree that the color really doesn't matter. White, of course, is beautiful and meaningful.

And romantic. Sigh.

runner10 said...

I wore a simple tea-length dress. I did not want anything to elaborate. It was the perfect day. I have saved my dress in case my daughter wants it.

Linda Conrad said...

I hope she does want your dress, but you really never know what's in some little girls' hearts. Sounds pretty to me.

desere_steenberg said...

Your welcome and thank you I am very glad that you understood what I meant !

Take Care and never stop writing !

Estella said...

I never dreamed of a wedding dress and my Mother was married in a suit that would have been way too big for me.

Linda Conrad said...

LOL! You and me both, Estella. However, today my mom's suit would've fit me much better.

Leni said...

I didn't dream about what my wedding dress would look like when I was a child and the wedding dresses weren't passed down either.

Michele L. said...

I always dreamed of having a southern belle wedding dress. My hubby and I got married at our favorite french restaurant. I had a gown with a hoop underneath, southern belle hat and veil, long gloves, along with a cascade of white roses and baby's breath. I love all those romantic stories of southern belles so that was my theme.

I had my dress hermetically sealed in a box, to preserve it, which was actually my husband's idea. He is so thoughtful! So, I didn't do anything extra with my dress.

My mother-in-law got married in a suit too! I can see how that is very practical since you can wear it again!

Your book sounds amazing Linda! I love the cover! Have a great week!

Linda Conrad said...

Your dress sounds amazing, Michele. Wish we could see a picture. Glad you married a thoughtful man. I did too.

Thanks about my cover. I think this might be the best one yet.

pageturner said...

I was given my grandmother's silk stockings that she wore on her wedding day when I was quite young. I was always determined to wear them for my wedding, and I did five years ago. She was shorter than me, so there was some extra engineering under the dress, but they looked fine and I was so pleased to be able to do it.

PS I LOVE ferrero Rocher Dark!

Nas Dean said...

My mother saved her wedding finery, but it was very old fashioned by my time.

Your book sounds interesting and the cover is gorgeous!

Linda Conrad said...

We have a winner! I let my dh draw a name and he came up with Kirsten! Congratulations! Please email me with your mailing address and I will get your prize right out!
Email me at:

Linda Conrad said...

And thanks everyone for a great day of blogging! It was fun!

Happy Reading!

desere_steenberg said...

Congratulations Kirsten and thank you Linda for a awesome fun post !

Pat Cochran said...

I weighed 90 pounds when we got married.
My eldest daughter, who is the only
daughter to get married, weighed that
in middle school and was 2 inches taller.
Though she liked my dress, I felt she
should have her own gown and the one she selected was gorgeous! She saved her gown
but I seriously do not think either of her
sons would be interested in it!