Sunday, September 02, 2007
Shadow Whispers by Linda Conrad
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bestseller Linda Conrad first published in 2002. Her novels have been translated into over sixteen languages and sold in twenty countries! The 2007 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award winner for SHADOW FORCE, Linda also has numerous other awards. Linda’s books include twelve Silhouette Desires and a six-book series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense; plus a connected short story appearing on eharlequin.com.
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Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I've been in love with books and story telling from my earliest memories. I wrote stories in high school and college but gave it up when I graduated so that I could 'earn a living' in the business world. When my mother had a stroke and I gave up working to care for her, she asked me why I hadn't gone back to my dreams. Now I have, but I wished she had lived to read my published novels.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I hate writing. I hate the process of putting my soul on a piece of paper. What I like is story-telling. I can tell a good yarn with the best of them. I also love being able to work in my pajamas. Oh, and like everyone else, I dislike rejections.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Not well enough, I'm afraid. I'm one of those writers who get lost in their stories and forget my friends and family and even forget to have a life! I'm working on it, though. But finding a balance is tough.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Usually the story hits me first. I have to know where the story is to take place first. But I've also woken up with a brand new plot in my head and then I have to figure out where it will take place. Only once in a while do I think of the characters first. The location and the suspense plot will usually lead me to find the characters.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I started out writing short contemporary books for Silhouette Desire. But my voice just naturally leads into romantic suspense. Currently I am writing romantic suspense with a paranormal twist for the Silhouette Romantic Suspense line. I like suspense and keep finding myself writing rather dark themes. But I also like big emotional romance stories too, so I guess I do both.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
The biggest misconception is that its somehow easy to write a novel and have it published. It isn't. Not at all. The next biggest misconception is that all authors are all rich and famous. Ha!
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters spring strictly from my imagination. But a person's experience is what goes into making their imagination. Occasionally I'll finish a book and be surprised by how one of the characters will have ended up with a trait that resembles one of mine, or of my husband, or another family member. (not physically but their personality) Believe me that is always a surprise.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Gosh, I can't pick only one. That's like asking me which is my favorite child. These characters are all part of my spirit-- part of me. I can't choose one over the other. I like each of them for different reasons. Manny Sanchez in Desperado Dad was a favorite as he was a truly honest man in a dishonest job. Abby Gentry was a favorite because she was just such a tomboy, tough and yet tender. Lance White Eagle Steel in Between Strangers was almost too good to be true, but he began my love affair with the Navajo and their traditions and I'll always be grateful. Michael Ayze in Shadow Warrior was just a little pompous and arrogant and I really enjoyed the process of bringing him down to earth. Each of my characters has their own story and their own place in my heart.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Johnny Depp and Rene Zellweger
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
On the surface what I want for my readers is to be carried away from their daily lives, if only for a little while. That's why I write. But underneath that, I usually put my characters through tough things that regular people experience and then I give them a way past that to the other side. I want my readers to finish one of my books believing there is sunshine after a storm.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Read! Only by reading will you know what kind of books you like and what you should be writing. The next thing is to be persistent! Keep writing! Keep trying! It's never easy.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many... Janet Evanovitch, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Liza Gardner, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and more...
What are you reading right now?
Just finished the last Harry Potter and now I'm starting Nora Roberts's High Noon
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A huntress determined to save her people:
A panther stalking her prey, Sunnie Began knew when to raise her rifle…and fire. But instead of shooting her enemy, she stared into the face of a stranger.
A hunter on a mission
Cisco Santiago had come to the desert seeking answers about his father’s death. Now he’d almost been killed by a woman on a deadly mission of her own.
A passion too powerful to resist
Navajo-born Sunnie wasn’t who she seemed. Neither was the bounty hunter who awoke dangerous desire. Together, could Cisco and Sunnie right the wrongs of the past?
Night Guardians: The Navajo brotherhood keeps watch in the night at any cost.
Cisco awoke with a start when he couldn’t move his arms or legs. Somehow his limbs were restricted. Had he been drugged and tied up?
Before he could pry open his eyes, the tangy scent of woman reached his nostrils and he relaxed. Sunnie’s fresh smell had already been burned into his memory. He would recognize it always.
A sure sense of her small, feminine body wrapped around his, brought him wide awake. But he didn’t move a muscle, just lay there listening to her even breathing.
Light was seeping into the room around the edges of ancient curtains that covered the lone window. Scouring a hand over his eyes to wipe away the cobwebs, he recognized the glow as sunlight and was amazed to find he’d been asleep so long.
His attention returned to the bed and his sleeping companion. Their legs were intertwined, and one of Sunnie’s arms was flung across his chest. She had snuggled up close to him during the night and ended up with her nose buried in the crease of his neck.
The intimate position heated his blood and stirred awake an animal component to his personality that he needed to conquer. The urge to touch her, taste her, was strong. But he didn’t do mornings. No soft rehashes of regrets and dreams for him. Especially not with a woman he had never even kissed.
Despite his many questions of trust, he’d come to the conclusion last night that he needed her. Sunnie knew her way around the reservation, understood the customs and was acquainted with many of the people. She was knowledgeable about whatever strange occurrences were going one and would be the perfect guide, a great person to use to his own ends.
Easing out from under her, Cisco decided to admire her and those useful assets from a distance. It would be safer.
Once he was standing upright, he realized his head didn’t ache anymore. Lightly touching the bandage covering his sutures and feeling no pain, he smiled to himself. He was back. Strong. Ready for anything the reservation and Sunnie Begay had to throw at him.
Almost whistling at the idea of his good health, he caught himself and slipped into the bathroom instead. After he’d splashed some water on his face, there would be time enough to wake the sleeping Navajo beauty.
Wake her and talk her into accepting him as her newest best friend.
Sunnie jerked awake with heart pounding and blood boiling. Ready to defend and attack, she raised her fists, only to find Cisco bending over and shaking her by the shoulder with a big grin on his face.
“Come on, sugar. Rise and shine. Time to blow this dump and get moving.”
“What?” She struggled to shake herself awake and leave the dream world behind. “Where are we going?”
He grinned again and had the nerve to sit down at the edge of the bed beside her. “Your apartment. I need to use your computer to go online. But I thought first we could find someplace closer to get a cup of coffee. You’re the guide here. What do you think?”
She sat up and frowned. “I guess you’re feeling better.” He was too vivid. Too bigger than life. Too close.
“Yeah. Not a thing wrong with me.”
“Hmm. You’re not quite perfect. But I guess you’re well enough.” She’d wanted for him to be a partner, to stand beside her on her quest. Now all she wanted was more space. “It’ll be a long trip around the outskirts of the rez to my place. Maybe I should drop you off at a nicer motel here in Farmington, or down in Gallup, where it’ll be safer for you to wait until Junior fixes your car. We’ll find one with Internet access along with all the comforts of home.”
His expression changed in an instant as he leaned in closer. “I told you once—you’re not getting rid of me that easily.”
She didn’t flinch, but it was all she could do not to back away. Her insides tensed and adrenaline pumped.
His eyes flared, and he seemed to recognize her discomfort for what it was.
Raising a hand to her cheek, he grazed his knuckles along her jawline. “You don’t want to get rid of me, do you? You want me as much as I want you. You’re lying to both of us.”
Blinking back her shock at his blatant touch and finding herself incapable of speech, Sunnie tried to swallow. She was bound by the spell of his gaze. Hypnotized, she froze while his fingers trailed down her throat. He narrowed the small gap between their lips. Still a millimeter away, she could feel his intensity simmering, stewing, ready to explode.
Their warm breaths mingled, became one. Two sets of electric impulses zapped across the narrow divide while neither faded nor faltered. They both just continued staring deeply into each other’s eyes, never glancing away for an instant. Time hovered just this side of fulfillment.
Finally, his hand cupped the back of her neck and he lasered the inevitable kiss across her lips. Sensations of heat, fast and furious, flamed and combusted, swamping her with needs she’d never known before.
Sunnie surprised herself and moaned. He took the sound as a sign and deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue inside to duel with hers. Pressing. Demanding. She felt his other hand closing over her breast. Growing tension curled inside her, exploding in her belly.
It was suddenly too much. She couldn’t breathe. The panic hit hard, right smack in the middle of her chest, as her racing heart jumped wildly.
She brought her elbow up and caught him hard in the windpipe. “No! Stop it,” she demanded in a hoarse voice.
He reared back, eyes full of questions and shock as he raised his hands to defend himself. She used the opportunity, pulled away enough to put some momentum behind it, and shoved at his shoulders. Overbalancing, he slipped right off the bed and hit the floor.
It took him a full two minutes of gasping for breath to get a word out. During that time, Sunnie came to her senses and started feeling guilty.
“What the hell did you do that for?” he finally croaked.
She shook her head. “I don’t know.” But she did.
She’d let him kiss her. Touch her. Stir her needs and rob her, however momentarily, of the will and determination to finish her mission.
The lust had been there all along of course. But she needed to be able to control it. With her own moves. Her own choices. Not his.
Cisco’s wary glance drilled through her. “Well, don’t do it again.”
Sunnie got up and strode toward the bathroom. “Not a chance.” She turned back but tried not to look directly at him. “Give me a few minutes to get myself together. Then we’ll go find that coffee and head to my apartment.”
"A well written tale with Navajo mythology, magic and romance, making SHADOW WHISPERS another book to not miss in this series. This may be the best one yet."
-- Marilyn Heyman, Romance Reviews Today
4 stars: "With SHADOW WHISPERS, Linda Conrad brings one the overarching stories of the beautifully conceived Night Guardians series to an end. Hopefully another trip to this magical world is not too far off!"
-- Sandra Garcia-Myers, Romantic Times Bookreviews
4 1/2 clovers: "Fans of the Night Guardians, be they ones who have been following from book 1, or those who picked it up mid-stream like I did, will thoroughly enjoy the conclusion to the saga in Shadow Whispers. All of our burning questions are answered as secrets are revealed and mysteries solved. We finally learn the secrets behind those scrolls, and many other things throughout the book. So sit back, relax and engross yourself in this explosive finale to the Night Guardians saga."
-- Kelley A. Hartsell, Ck2S Kwips and Kritiques
5 stars: "Rich with emotion and brimming with memorable characters, SHADOW WHISPERS is a romantic adventure of the spirit and the heart... Sadly this is the sixth and final book in the ground-breaking Night Guardians miniseries, where each storyline has been innovatively original. For the very last book, the always creative Linda Conrad delivers another winning story with a particularly satisfying conclusion."
-- Amelia Richards, Cataromance.com
Shadow Whispers by Linda Conrad
Genre: Silhouette Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 7, 2007
$4.99 from Amazon.com
Purchase Shadow Whispers by Linda Conrad HERE!!!