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Q&A with Sharon Kendrick, The Sheikh’s Christmas Conquest

Can you bring us up to speed on The Sheikh’s Christmas Conquest?

It’s a shamelessly emotional story about a powerful Sheikh whose heart is empty because of something awful which happened in his past, and Olivia – a woman with demons of her own.  Saladin needs something from Olivia - something she doesn’t want to give.  Marooned in the snowy English countryside, the Sheikh’s most persuasive weapon is his sexual mastery and he sweeps Olivia off to his scorching desert kingdom. The trouble starts when a straightforward seduction becomes so much more... 

What was the first romance novel that you ever read?

That would be PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen (I still love it)

What is one thing that you absolutely need when writing?

My imagination!  And coffee...

What’s the best interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?

Once I wrote a trilogy centered on a single wedding dress and a woman in her eighties sent me a lovely long letter telling me about a similar wedding dress in her own family, and all the different people who had worn it.

Who would you fan cast for Sheikh Saladin and Olivia?

The delicious Aiden Turner (who plays Poldark in popular UK TV drama) and Isla Fisher - for her red hair (just like Olivia’s) and her wonderful humor.

Why do readers love Sheikh romances so much?

Ah.  For me, that’s simple.  Because a Sheikh symbolizes many of our secret fantasies about men.  He’s dark.  Powerful.  Masterful.  And he’s irresistibly sexy.  What woman wouldn’t want to be taken by horseback across the burning sands to be ravished by a gorgeous desert king?  My Sheikhs often appear sophisticated and can be found in Paris, or New York – but beneath their urbane exterior beats the indomitable heart of the true alpha male.

Where have you traveled to and how has this informed your novels?

When I was a student nurse I travelled to the Middle East, which has been invaluable for my Sheikh books.  Subsequently, I’ve taken in Australia, parts of the US and lots of Europe (especially Italy).  I love to be immersed in countries and culture which are different from my own.  When you’re on the outside looking in, that’s when your imagination is most on fire.

Without giving away too much, what’s your favorite scene from The Sheikh’s Christmas Conquest?

Well, a reader has described the epilogue as “heartwarming” and I tend to agree with her, but I love the part where Saladin reveals to Olivia what happened in his past.  Yet after he opens up, he immediately kills off any hope that there’s some kind of future for them.

Do you have any conferences/book signings/events coming up?

I’m going to several UK-based author gatherings and I’m very excited to be attending the buzzy RWA conference in San Diego in 2016 where I’ll be signing books for Harlequin.  Hope to see you there!

What are you working on next?

I’m currently writing a story about a Prince who visits his ex-lover one last time, mainly to prove to himself that he’s finally gotten her out of his system.  Only, guess what?  He hasn’t!  Fireworks erupt and all kinds of consequences follow.  Oh, and I’ve got an unbelievably sexy Irish hero coming up in THE BILLIONAIRE’S DEFIANT ACQUISITION, which is out in April, 2016.


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