Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...Jessica Hart

Wow, we're almost to the end, and I've saved someone pretty special for last. One of her holiday themed books, Christmas Eve Marriage, was one that helped convince me the Romance line was where I belonged. That book went on to win a RITA award!

So here's a bit about Jessica Hart (courtesy of, who also happens to be celebrating her 50th book this year!

[Jessica]Hart was born in Scotland, where her mother continues to live. Jessica's earliest dreams were about sitting on a sand dune in the Sahara, working in the Outback, hacking her way through a jungle or bouncing along a dusty track in a battered old Land Rover rather than writing a book. Her itchy feet took her from Afghanistan to Australia, from Algeria to Belize, and Cameroon to Indonesia, with various stops en route, and she loved it all.

Because she was always thinking about where she wanted to go next, she never quite managed a proper career. Instead she had a haphazard series of jobs around the world. Her last 'proper' job was on the foreign newsdesk of a national newspaper. Before that, she was on expedition in West Africa, cooked on an outback cattle station, taught English as a foreign language, was production assistant for a theatre company and research assistant for a publisher of restaurant guides and filled in the gaps between by working as a secretary, waitress, chambermaid and dishwasher. Regular readers will probably recognize how often she has drawn on her wide but lowly working experience for inspiration when it comes to setting and plot!

Now Jessica leads a rather more staid existence, dividing her time between city life in York and a country cottage in Wiltshire where her partner, John, lives. This involves a lot of driving up and down the motorway, which takes up a lot of time. After nine years of research, Jessica finally completed a Ph.D. on York's later medieval and early modern streets in 2004, but still never seems to have enough time to get everything done. When she's not writing romance, she is usually busy doing something connected with food (cooking, meeting friends for a drink, eating, gossiping over coffee etc) or walking her Westie, Mungo, but she also loves history and gardening and reading and travelling, and there are still times, too, when she yearns for wider horizons.

Jessica has written over 45 books for Harlequin Romance, and won the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award for the best traditional romance in 2005. In 2006, she was awarded the Romance Prize for the best category romance by the UK's Romantic Novelists' Association, and is short-listed for the same award in 2007.

For a more humorous glimpse into Jessica's life, go to her website. I laughed out loud!

I got a lovely package in the mail from Jessica. The prize winner will get a signed copy of Barefoot Bride, and a special treat - all of the books will be inside one of Jessica's cute "50th book" celebration tote bags! I saw one in Calgary as a reader had won one and I immediately put in my order!

Today's clue is Santa

As always, one entry per e-mail address a day. Send the clue to me at with the subject line of 12 Days of Christmas. Only one more day to enter!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! Jessica has led an adventurous life!! I have read many of her books!! I would love to win the tote with her book!!

    I live outside of Baton Rouge, La. and it is snowing! I mean snowing!! I hope we don't loose our lights, because they will never let the trucks out to fix them.