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When life threw me a curveball years ago, I did what many newly single mothers do; I pulled myself and my four kids together, became determined to come out on top, and decided to start following my dreams. What better role model could I provide my children than to show them that anything is possible? So I returned to school, and graduated from UC Irvine about the same time my oldest kids hit the teen years.
With my dream of getting my degree having come true, another dream presented itself by way of a new, perfect mate. Life was good again. But one dream still nagged at me... I always knew there was a book inside me, but since English was my least favourite subject in school, I'd never considered myself a writer.
Since childhood I’d been spinning stories – telling tales to my friends and to my kids as they grew up, plotting stories and creating characters to fill the time during carpool days and all those commutes to college. And I never stopped dreaming of putting those stories on paper. Determined to follow my yearnings, I joined Romance Writers of America and met my critique partners, Crystal Green and Sheri Whitefeather, both of whom are multi-published and award-winning authors.
While I wasn’t a natural born writer, I was a storyteller. The characters and plots came easily, but I had to learn how to make the scenes in my head come alive for the reader. And that meant I had to learn how to write fiction.
My determination to become published grew and I began to focus on creating poignant stories designed to touch a reader's heart. As I fine-tuned my writing style and learned my craft, I found myself writing the stories I liked to read – stories about families, second chances, and true love. In creating my own happily-ever-afters I took ordinary characters, put them in emotionally compelling situations, and forced them to grow. They learned, as I had, that when a door is closed, they must look for that open window. Since I love books and movies in which people must overcome insurmountable odds to win and earn their happy-ever-after, those are the kinds of tales I create.
My unpublished stories won not only the coveted Emily (West Houston RWA Chapter) and Orange Rose (Orange County RWA Chapter) awards, but also earned me the status of a double RWA Golden Heart finalist in 2001.
Then my dream became a reality in March 2002 when Silhouette Special Edition released my first book Cowboy Courage. Since then, I have published more than forty books, including four women’s fiction novels and two novellas. My tales of redemption and renewed trust have generated many fan letters from readers who tell me of the positive impact my stories have had in their lives.
A woman who’d been shattered by her husband’s recent betrayal and desertion had not been able to read or watch anything that had a romance involved wrote: "I saw your book in the store, and the title caught my eye. (I have a thing for cowboys.) When I read the back cover, I bought it and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in one day. I still have my doubts about meeting a decent man and trusting again. But maybe in time I will be able to love again. I will be watching for your next book."
Over the years, my books have earned two Rita finals, as well as two Maggie wins and a National Reader’s Choice Award.
When I’m not cooped up in my writing cave, I spend time with my family in Southern California. I also love to travel with my husband.
If you'd like to find out more about me or my books, or to get in touch – please check out my website or Facebook page.