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THE EARLY YEARS
 
I grew up in Oklahoma City. Reading was a passion for me from the time I was five years old. By the time I got to the first grade, I was already writing and illustrating stories of my own. I spent long afternoons at the library reading everything I could get my hands on, but my favorite books were novels with horses in them. The Black Stallion. King of the Wind. My Friend Flicka. I read them all, which evidently caused so much eyestrain that I needed these stunning glasses.
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IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE HORSES
 
From the time I was twelve years old to the time I went to college, I spent a majority of my time on horseback, traveling to horse shows all over Oklahoma and Texas. I was taking college prep courses to become a veterinarian, only to be told by my high school counselor that veterinary medicine was “a difficult field for a woman” (can you imagine?) and I should choose something else. She said I had shown some talent for writing, so I ended up in the Professional Writing program at the University of Oklahoma.
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HERE COMES THE BRIDE
 
I graduated from college, but I didn’t write again for fifteen years. I did, however, meet the love of my life and got married. Brian’s personality is so different from mine that the priest who married us had reservations about doing it. My husband is a quiet, reserved engineer who never met a detail he didn’t like, and I’m a life-of-the-party type who can barely remember to get out of bed in the morning. But we stubbornly ignored the priest’s reservations and got married, anyway.
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AND BABY MAKES THREE
 
In this photo, our daughter is about four years old. I have no idea how old Big Bird is. I also have no idea why I thought that hairstyle was attractive and why my husband had that caterpillar sitting on his upper lip.
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THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
 
When our daughter was in junior high, we took a trip to Disney World. She was growing into a truly beautiful young woman. Brian had lost the hairy lip. I, however, still had the horrible hair.
 
It was about this time that we got our first computer–-a used PC-XT we bought from a guy out of his garage. I could actually store words, so I was getting the burn to write again.
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SOLD!
 
In 1999, my book Stray Hearts was a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award for the best unpublished manuscripts in a given year. I didn't win, but an editor at Harlequin who judged the final round bought the book. It was published in a two-for-one romantic comedy line called "Harlequin Duets."

In the next two months, I sold four more books to both Harlequin and Random House. It was looking as if my high school counselor had actually set me on the right path, even if it was for the wrong reason.
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TWENTY-FIVE YEARS
 
My romantic comedy, Tall Tales and Wedding Veils, is about two people who fall in love in spite of the fact that they’re total opposites. Speaking of total opposites, remember the guy I married who the priest thought maybe I shouldn’t?
 
This photo was taken on the Caribbean cruise we took for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. We thought we’d go ahead and stick it out for another twenty-five years before we addressed the possibility that we made a really big mistake.
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WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND
 
Our daughter graduated with Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Health Systems Management. Then she met the love of her life and was married. The minister who performed the ceremony actually thought they were pretty well suited for each other, so we think they should already be making plans for that twenty-fifth anniversary trip.
 
And where did they go on their honeymoon? Where else but the Happiest Place on Earth?
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A NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
 
After a few years of marriage, our daughter and son-in-law blessed Brian and me with a beautiful grandson, who is the sweetest, most precious little boy ever born. Do I sound like a proud Nana?

We sold the house we'd lived in for twenty-three years and bought one closer to where they live so we can see him more often. He's growing up so fast, and we don't want to miss a thing!
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A RITA AWARD!
 
To date, I've written 23 romance novels. Ten of them have been finalists for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award. As the years went by, my fellow writers dubbed me the Susan Lucci of the RITA award because I was a finalist so many times but never won.
 
It appears tenth time is a charm. At the 2015 Romance Writers of America conference in New York, BABY, IT'S YOU brought home the RITA Award for Best Long Contemporary Romance.
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