Not a Cinderella Story
I don’t have a stepmother, have never been blonde and wouldn’t know how to clean a fireplace if ashes were stacked to the flue. But my road to publication didn’t come overnight or without a lot of disappointment. Yes, I have my Prince Charming (and a little Princess to boot), but other than that, Cinderella and I have nothing in common. Of course, my becoming published did have a lot to do with finding the perfect fit, so who knows? Maybe I do have a fairy godmother somewhere out there.
Born and raised in Florida to a close-knit family of Italian and Cuban descent, I learned never to give up or give in—especially when in pursuit of a lifelong dream. I worked over eight years before Harlequin Temptation bought my first book. But what an adventure it was!A romance reader from age 16, I knew what kind of stories I wanted to write. I started my first romance in 1988 while in graduate school. Soon after, I joined the workforce as an English teacher in Catholic school, which people always get a kick out of. I wrote at night and on weekends. During breaks. I grabbed every free moment I could.
In 1996, I retired from teaching, joined my family’s manufacturing business and gave myself more time to write. “The call” from Harlequin came in March of 1997 with an offer to publish SEDUCING SULLIVAN, my fourth completed novel.
I discovered my niche with Temptation’s sensuous, sexy tone and character-driven stories. My desire to “push the envelope” worked even better when Harlequin launched the new Blaze series, longer books that gave me the freedom to explore sensual stories with a more intricate plot. In 2003, I sold my first single title series to Pocket’s Downtown Press, which is female action-adventure with a hot romance storyline. I’ve written novellas for Pocket, Signet and Harlequin. In 2008, I launched a three-book series of paranormal romances and also wrote one of the first-ever “real life” romances for HCI/True Vows in 2010. In 2011, Harlequin published my first ever three-book, back-to-back series, Legendary Lovers. I’m also in the middle of digitally re-releasing several of my backlist books myself. No rest for the weary!
Clearly, all the rejection letters and years of working to improve and hone my style paid off. Since that first “call,” I’ve sold over 40 books to four major publishers. All hot, all sexy and all fun!
So to be honest, sometimes I do feel like a certain fairytale princess.