Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

LINDA CONRAD |First Lines and New Beginnings

July 1, 2010


I just love having a new book on the shelves. Especially when it’s also the beginning of a brand new series.

This series is a bit different for me. When I was young, I had a thing for 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?

I gave in to my old love of sheiks this year. My new series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense is called Desert Sons. 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 family feud and forced to depend upon a dark stranger she isn’t sure she can trust. I love it.

For authors, writing the beginning of a new novel is a scary time. The first few lines are so important. Those lines need to convey the emotion of the entire story to come. In the process of writing every new book, I agonize over the opening line. This one was no different. Out of desperation, I opened up a few of the books on my keeper shelf and reread some of the lines that impressed me from other authors.

Here are just a few:

Death, with all its cruel beauty, lived in the bayou.
Nora Roberts Midnight Bayou

Seven hundred fifty feet under the Alaskan earth the air was dank, the shaft black as pitch.
Loreth Anne White Cold Case Affair

A gecko, low slung, forked feet flying, skittered across the sill of an open window, hauling ass as if it actually had somewhere to go.
Cindy Gerard Take No Prisoners

The wild child of Parrish, Mississippi, had come back to the town she’d left behind forever.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips Ain’t She Sweet?

Here are the opening lines of HER SHEIK PROTECTOR:

Running late.
Rylie Hunt knew it was her own danged fault she wouldn’t be on time for the presentation. She’d foolishly told her father she wasn’t coming at all and then stormed off in a huff. Oh, Lordy, how would she ever make it up to him?
Linda Conrad © 2010 Her Sheik Protector
Permission to reproduce text by Harlequin Books ,SA

So, do you have any favorite first lines? Hint: open up one of the books on your keeper shelf and check out the first line. I did. It was fun. I’d love to read yours.

Linda Conrad

Don’t forget to drop by Linda’s website to read an excerpt from HER SHEIK PROTECTOR, find out more Behind the Book about the Desert Sons and to sign up for Linda’s newsletter and contest!

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