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20 Questions Sharon and Jean-Marc & Giveaway

Today I am interviewing the characters from Bahdria. They are a great pair! :) Before that, here is the blurb to give you a little background info:

It is December 24th in war-torn and drought-stricken Muhajeria, Sudan when Sharon convinces her husband to try to fix the broken village well. Extenuating factors make Jean-Marc reluctant to get involved. But when a devastating event occurs and he must initiate a dramatic rescue, his life soon becomes threatened and Sharon is filled with regrets. It just might be too late to reveal the Christmas secret she'd planned to share with her husband.

20 Questions Sharon and Jean-Marc:

Crystal: I've traveled to Mahujeria, Sudan, to interview
Sharon and Jean-Marc Lalonde, the two main characters in Bahdria: A Love Story. 

Crystal: First of all, where/when did you two meet?

Jean-Marc: On a rainy Wednesday morning on the University of Toronto campus.

Crystal: What were you studying?

Sharon: Business and Political Science.

Jean-Marc: Medicine.

Crystal: Was it love at first sight?

Sharon: No!

Jean-Marc: Absolutely! She looked so sweet running through the rain in her pink raincoat!

Crystal: Sharon, what attracted you to this man?

Jean-Marc: Yes Bahdria, what was it exactly?

Sharon: *kisses Jean-Marc* That rainy day he offered to by me a coffee and I accepted, even though I don't drink coffee. Then those chocolate brown eyes of his wouldn’t stop staring at me from across the table… rowr… *laughs*

Crystal: Bahdria?

Sharon: A nickname the Muhajerians gave me when I first got here. Apparently, my pale face reminds them of the full moon. I like it!

Crystal: So why did you decide to come here?

Sharon: We wanted to make a difference.

Jean-Marc: And Sharon wanted to get away from her father. Africa was literally the farthest spot she could find. *Sharon playfully hits Jean-Marc on the arm*

Crystal: What did you expect to find when you got here?

Jean-Marc: Organized anarchy would have been nice. Also, a clean clinic without sand storms would've been good.

Sharon: Nothing. I had no expectations. I was open to the new experience.

Crystal: Any regrets about leaving Canada, and running water, and all the other amenities we take for granted?

Sharon: No.

Jean-Mar: No. The Sudanese and the displaced refugees are very warm and welcoming.

Crystal: How do you like working with the Muhajerians?

Jean-Marc: It's a great opportunity to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.

Sharon: I agree. They are so grateful for anything you can do. They need so much and ask for so little. And yet, they are so giving! Look at the bracelet a friend of mine helped me make for Jean-Marc for Christmas.

Crystal: That's so beautiful! What else have you enjoyed about your experiences here?

Sharon: The food! Luckily I sweat it off every day. *laughs as she gently pats her stomach*

Jean-Marc: I agree. We've become completely vegetarian while here and it's been great for our health. I've lost forty-five pounds, although I do miss my BBQ grill back home.

Crystal: So, I met your godfather, Stephen, as I crossed the compound on the way here. He seems to be quite a character. Why exactly is he here with you?

Sharon: It's complicated. He was in love with my mother, and he even introduced her to my father when they were in University. He stepped aside when he saw she only had eyes for William, my dad. When I was five, Mom died in a car crash as she was leaving my father for the last time to go live with Stephen. The poor man's always blamed himself for her death. Then he basically adopted me, Dad was too busy running the company to pay attention to me. So we have a very special connection.

Crystal: Do you plan on starting a family of your own some day?

Sharon: My own family paradigm hasn't been the best experience.

Jean-Marc: Yes! I have three brothers and a sister and I want to have a bunch of kids.

Crystal: How many children would you want?

Jean-Marc: Four, five, six?

Sharon: One, maybe two!

Crystal: *laughing* Moving on… If you do have kids, would you raise them in Muhajeria?

Sharon: It would certainly be tempting. It would make them citizens of the world. We're too insulated in North America. We believe everyone in the world lives like we do and that's just not the case. People should try living someplace where a whole village depends on one well. And the dry season lasts, well, ten years and counting now.

Crystal: Oh my gosh!

Sharon: Yeah, they've had a drought that's lasted forever, it seems.

Crystal: Jean-Marc, what's different about offering medical treatment to someone in the Sudan compared to treating patients back in Toronto?

Jean-Marc: Everything. Malnutrition is rampant, and then there are diseases that we just don't see that often in a first-world population. The lack of proper medicines is also a major issue.

Crystal: Speaking of medicines, Sharon, how are things between you and your father?

Sharon: Uh… frosty.

Crystal: So, he's still spending all his time running the Big Pharma corp he founded?

Sharon: Co-founded, with Stephen. Unfortunately, yes. Stephen cashed out years ago, but I'm afraid William will be in his CEO chair at SharGro-Pharm until he dies.

Crystal: Jean-Marc, how do you feel about using SharGro-Pharm's free but experimental medicines on your patients?

Jean-Marc: I don’t like it one bit. Not only does it add a ton of paperwork to my sixteen-hour days, the patients just don't return for follow-up appointments, a necessity if I'm to properly track the side effects. But I admit not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for the meds. Some doctors out here are reduced to treating AIDS with Aspirin.

Crystal: Wow. Sharon, what's your day like working for the NGO?

Sharon: Busy and hot! Besides processing new refugees at the center, I'm working with other NGOs to try to get a one-room schoolhouse built. Just like Oprah and Madonna have done. Those kids need to be in school. Education breaks the poverty cycle.

Crystal: Are you ever worried about being in danger?

Jean-Marc: Always. It's a very tense situation here. The rebel attacks seem almost random, and if they can kidnap a foreigner, all the better. Just like in neighboring Somalia, hostages are a good source of income for these guys. And sometimes there's even friendly fire from the government troops. Let's just say we tend to stay close to the U.N base.

Crystal: Ever been under attack?

Sharon: Unfortunately, yes. The medical supplies are popular targets for the rebels. They steal the shipments en route from the airport and re-sell them on the black market for weapons.

Crystal: Any plans for the future?

Jean-Marc: One day we'll probably settle down back home, or maybe even move to Quebec, if I can convince Sharon.

Sharon: *Laughs* Toronto offers such a variety of cultures, it would be difficult to settle down anywhere else.

Crystal: Well, I see that my ride is here. Thank you Jean-Marc and Sharon for sharing your time with me today.

Sharon: Our pleasure, Crystal. Be careful getting back home and say hi to your readers for us!

After reading the review, leave a comment below about the interview, blurb, review, etc. to win a copy of Bahdria for yourself! Contest goes through the weekend!


The story starts off with Sharon and Jean-Marc getting ready for their normal day in Muhajeria, Sudan. From this exchange, I could completely feel the love flowing between the couple. Jean-Marc was concerned with his wife's health because she was looking a little pale. I thought it was so sweet how he was taking care of her. He picked up on little things that we all wish our own husbands do that makes us let out a big sigh when we read it. 

What should have been a simple problem to fix, turns into a heart racing problem fast. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. This was such a sweet story with a wonderful ending it helped brighten my day. If anyone knows the types of books I read, it's usually pretty...uh, we'll go with racy, but I love some sweet romance thrown into the mix. It helps keep you grounded and refreshes you. :)


Really great story that I wish was longer. :)

There really shouldn't even be one heart there because there was no sex. I will say this has a wonderful "love" factor. What I mean by that is the genuine  love between Sharon and Jean-Marc are lovely. :)


  1. Crystal,thank you for such a wonderful review. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the story!

  2. No problem hun! It really was a great story. :)