I’ve always loved to read. While my classmates struggled to find anything they wanted to check out from the school library, I struggled to carry all the books I wanted, worried I’d run out of reading material over the weekend.
In high school journalism class, I fell in love with photography and feature writing. After winning a few awards in both, I decided to be a photojournalist. One of my first jobs was reporter/photographer for my small town's newspaper. Life intervened, however, and instead of being a globe-trotting stringer for AP, I’ve worked as an apartment manager, office manager, and freelance administrative assistant.
In my early twenties my Aunt Hermoine gave me a sack full of Regency romance novels, and I was hooked. Eventually I had to write one. The Regency era speaks to me so strongly because of my childhood, when my dad’s Air Force career sent us to England for four years. Not only did we visit historic houses, castles, and museums galore, we lived in centuries-old housing.
In the summer of 1999, a friend asked if I wanted to go sailing on the Lady Washington, a two-masted brig that's a replica of the vessel by the same name that had a storied career in the 1780s. Until then I hadn't known such ships existed. Four of us, all writers, had the afternoon of our lives on a three-hour cruise out of Astoria. (Insert your own Gilligan's Island joke here.) My love of Tall Ships was born that day, and I've sailed on her several more times since. This cruise, pictured right, was my reward to myself for finishing the manuscript for Kiss From A Rogue on time. Nick's ship, Wind Dancer, is based on the Lady.
In 2004 I sold my second ever completed manuscript to HarperCollins. What An Earl Wants won RWA’s Golden Heart award and the Holt Medallion. I sold two more books that were also published under the Avon imprint, Kiss From a Rogue and Confessions of a Viscount. Then family health challenges took priority and writing had to take a back seat. After 14 years, everyone is now well and stable (or passed on). At the start of the pandemic I was essentially laid off from my day job. While others were baking bread or doing puzzles during the lockdown, I started writing again. Now writing is a joy once more. With practice I'm getting faster -- I started Nick's book in 2006 and didn’t publish it until 2022, but I released my newest book, My Reluctant Earl, a mere 17 months after I started it. The second book in the Brazen Bluestockings series will be out late 2023 or early 2024.
Pets have always been an important part of my life and often appear in my stories. We currently have a sweetheart black lab/border collie mutt (the Five-Second Rule is irrelevant if you have a three-second dog); a silver and grey mackerel tabby kitten; and a tuxedo kitty with a kinked tail who’s been our four-legged alpha since he was four months old.
I am blessed to live with my husband (we met on a blind date and married five months later), son and four-legged family in the Pacific Northwest, where we’re close to shopping but within three hours can be in the mountains, evergreen forest, high desert, or at the coast. When not reading, writing or researching, I overcome the ick factor of creepy-crawlies in the dirt for the payoff of growing backyard produce; make jewelry with gemstones and pearls; and love to go tent camping.