"I look forward to more great stories from this author."

"Ms. Hardy delights us with strong characters, smooth plot, and snappy dialogue to light up those long summer nights!"
                                                                     —Romantic Times
"Yes, absolutely, that's all true — but it's still your turn to cook dinner."
                                                                 —My husband

I've been book crazy my entire life. When my mom would tell me to go to bed, I'd hide in the bathroom just so I could read a few more pages. In the afternoons, I'd play with my dog, Misty, in the backyard and tell her elaborate stories of princesses and Indians, dressing the dog up to play the part.

I grew up in Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland. When I was 12, I started my first novel, about a boy growing up with a race horse. I only managed to get about ten pages into it, but the seed of ambition was planted. I wrote short stories throughout junior high and high school, and entered college as a creative writing major. Unfortunately, the pressure of writing literary short stories weekly for a college course was far different than writing one story a semester in high school and that was the end of that.

Shortly after, now as a geology major, I read about category romance in a Sunday supplement and decided to give it a try. My first effort brought together an aviatrix and a cowboy and had a great scene in which the heroine airlifted a sick ranch owner in the midst of a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, it didn't have much else. A few years later, now as an engineering major, I decided to try again with a book about a lady architectural engineer and the gorgeous owner of a shipping company. This time, I had a cute meet and a great kiss scene, but still no real plot or conflict. I tossed it after three chapters.

The next year, this time as a physics major, I came up with a plot about a firefighter and an engineer. Things were looking good when I thought about plot points and conflict and actually developed a solid story line. A couple of chapters later, though, I moved away to attend grad school in Orlando, Florida, home of Disney World (are we seeing a pattern here?). The manuscript moldered in my closet.

After graduation, I worked in Connecticut on the mirrors for a NASA x-ray telescope now orbiting the Earth. Writing kept calling to me, though. I quit engineering and moved to New Hampshire to join the editorial staff of an engineering trade magazine. There, I met and fell in love with my husband, Stephen. Suddenly all those romance novels made a heck of a lot more sense.

Thus, plot possibilities followed me when I left the editing spot to join a business-to-business dot com (where we were paper millionaires for a heady 30 seconds). Around that time, a publisher tried to recruit me to launch a print magazine for an engineering society. Driven by the conviction that it was time to finally finish one of those danged books, I took the job and negotiated a four-day work week that would allow time to write.

This ambition coincided with the announcement of the Blaze line. Inspired by a presentation at a writers' conference, I plotted out a Blaze novel on the plane home and wrote the draft of Chapter One that night. Ten months later, I typed the words THE END and did victory laps around the living room. My Sexiest Mistake sold to Harlequin's Blaze line in September 2001 for publication in June 2002. My upcoming three book series will be released by Blaze in 2003.

I currently live in New Hampshire with Stephen (he's also a magazine editor), who is my critique partner, copy editor, web master, and master of my heart.

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