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PROFILE

My life and my books are a celebration of new beginnings.

Although I am a livelong writer--I'm the oddball who liked writing essays in school--it wasn't until the early 1990s that my writing interest turned to novels.  It was a new beginning for me...a totally different career path from the journalism I had been practicing.  More than twenty novels later, I am still in love with writing...and with new beginnings.

No wonder all of my books deals with new beginnings in some way or another.  In fact, my first novel, The Reluctant Viking, first published in 1994, was about a woman on the brink of divorce looking for a chance to start all over.  A new beginning for poor Ruby Jordan.  Fast forward more than ten years and you will find there is a theme of new beginnings in all my books.  Doesn't matter if it's divorce, death, despair, time travel, loneliness, boredom or plain old dissatisfaction, readers want to know that there is a chance for...yep, new beginnings.

One of the greatest gifts we have in this world is to find work we love, which is appreciated by others.  I have been especially blessed in that regard.

My Books

You readers have told me that you love the Viking world I have created, not to mention those gorgeous Norsemen. There have been twelve Viking novels thus far, The Reluctant Viking, The Outlaw Viking, The Tarnished Lady, The Bewitched Viking, The Blue Viking, My Fair Viking, and A Tale of Two Vikings. Then, there was The Last Viking,  Truly, Madly Viking, The Very Virile Viking, Wet & Wild, and Hot and Heavy with Rough and Ready and Down and Dirty, coming up next in 12/06 and 10/07.

You have also grown attached to my version of the Old South in Frankly, My Dear and Sweeter Savage Love. Maybe, someday, there will be a follow-up to those books as well.   

Perhaps most popular in recent years have been my Cajun books...chronicles of the bad boys of the Louisiana LeDeux family.  It all started with Luc LeDeux's story in The Love Potion, followed by Tall, Dark and Cajun, Remy LeDeux,The Cajun Cowboy, Charmaine LeDeux, and The Red-Hot Cajun, Rene LeDeux.

On the heels of these books comes the Jinx series.  The first book, Pink Jinx, 10/06, features Veronica Jinkowsky, an uptight Boston lawyer conned by her grandfather into taking over his treasure hunting company, Jinx Inc.  Along for the ride is Ronnie's four times ex-husband, Jake Jensen, a professional poker player.  Secondary characters in these books are my Cajun favorites, Tante Lulu and Tee-John LeDeux, leading up eventually to Tee-John's own story.

When anyone asks me about my novels, I always say that, if nothing else, they will make you laugh out loud...and maybe sizzle a bit. Which is really funny...to my family, at least. They think I have no sense of humor at all. And as for a sensual nature...forget it!

My Background

And they're right, to some extent. As a young girl growing up in Central Pennsylvania, I was very serious and very shy. I don't recall ever cracking a joke. Anything off-color would have made me blush and run for cover. Perhaps that was due to my strong Catholic upbringing. My sister Flora and I attended St. Agnes School in Lock Haven where the good nuns would have soaped our mouths if we'd dared think something racy, let alone speak it aloud.

But more likely it was due to the shyness that prompted me to bury my face in books.  Lock Haven--a beautiful town with the Susquehanna River running through it--had a wonderful library located in an old three-story Victorian house, complete with window nooks and dusty alcoves.

My Family

This is my father and mother, both of whom are gone now, and sorely missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my mother when she was younger.  Wasn't she a beauty?

When I graduated from Lock Haven and Penn State Universities, I entered the field of journalism and worked for more than ten years as a feature writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In retrospect, I believe I was forcing myself into an occupation where I would have to overcome my shyness.

It was while I was a reporter for the Trenton Evening Times in Trenton, N.J. that I met my husband, Robert. He was a political aide for a gubernatorial candidate at the time...sort of a George Stephanopolis type character. If I was shy, Robert was...well, the opposite. Robert left politics and went on to become a stock broker and vice-president of an internationally known financial firm. A far cry from his first job out of college... playing professional softball with Eddie Feigner's "The King and His Court."   This is a picture taken recently of me and Robert on a road trip.

We went on to have four sons: Beau, Rob, Matt and Daniel.

 
This is the Hill gang at Grandma Hill's birthday party.


This is all of us, along with our extended family.  Baby Max was not yet born.


And these are our three precious grandchildren, taken in 2005.

I tell people now that I was forced to develop a sense of humor as a survival instinct in this all-male bastion I call home.

My sons Beau and Daniel own seven Central Pennsylvania Domino's franchises!  Both are unmarried--hint, hint!  A gifted athlete, Beau has a sense of humor that keeps us all smiling...really, he could have been a stand-up comedian--and a heart of gold, especially where family is concerned.  And yes, Beau gives me ideas for humor in my books.

Daniel plays in poker tournaments as a hobby and was a great help to me with the poker thread in Pink Jinx.

I keep telling Beau and Daniel that they should write a humor book together.  The Pizza Guy's Guide to Poker.  For some reason, they are not amused.

Rob is the rebel in the family; whether it be long hair or attitude, he tries his best not to conform.  Rob is a chef.  He and Kim Kohler, who teaches special education, have an adorable son, Max.


Max looks angelic here, but that's not always the case.


Max is a Thomas the Train fanatic.  Here he is riding his favorite birthday gift from Uncle Dan.

My son Matt and Bethany Stough have two children, Jaden and Jefferson.  They are extreme athletes, whether it be snow boarding, mountain climbing or marathon biking. 


This is Bethany participating in a 150-mile bike marathon.


And this is the four of them on a recent camping trip to British Columbia.

Matt has developed a real talent for home renovations.  Most recently he put a deck on our fishing cottage, in addition to all the renovations he'd done previously.

 

 

Matt and his family are avid environmentalists and into organic gardening.  Their vegetable and flower gardens are to die for.

 

 

My Pets

We still have our horse...I mean, German Shepherd, named Eli.  This is Eli hanging with his two cousins, Daniel's Tyler (named after Steve Tyler) and Bethany's dingo, Kyra.

Goldfish also abound at our house in the pond we have in our backyard. Flowers, too, when we get around to weeding them.

The seventy-year-old home we live in has wonderful extra attractions that modern builders consider unnecessary, such as the pond. There's also a curved staircase, hidden closet tunnels, laundry chutes, built-in curio cabinets, cedar closets and a to-die-for library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, attached desk and an alcove bed.

My Hobbies

Before I began writing novels, I enjoyed attending antique auctions (and still do). Robert and I collect nineteenth century American paintings and Roseville pottery. I grab any antique or collectible jewelry I can find, if it's a bargain.

We spend much of the spring through autumn at our cottage on a world class fishing stream.  This is a wintertime view from the front porch.

For years, Robert ran a celebrity golf tournament for The Second Mile, a non-profit organization which helps troubled teenagers.  Now he works with Make a Wish and the Youth Service Bureau.

My Awards

I've been fortunate in winning numerous awards for my writing, both as an aspiring writer and as a published author. Several of my books have been on the USA Today, Waldenbooks and New York Times bestseller lists. Three of my books were recommended reads on Amazon.com, and one of them, Sweeter Savage Love, was listed as one of their Top Ten Romance Novels for 1997.  More recently, Wet and Wild was a RITA Finalist, and Hot and Heavy won a 2006 PRISM for best time travel.  I have also won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times magazine.

My Readers

One of the best things about writing books is the reader mail, and boy, do I get a lot of it! Furthermore, my critique partners tell me I get the most interesting fan mail of any writer they know. There are people going through some life crisis, whether physical or emotional, who feel my books have helped them. There are the Houston female firefighter...the male Methodist minister...all the female sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt...a psychiatrist in a mental hospital...a woman farmer...a college professor...a sex therapist...stay-at-home Moms...retired folks...you name it, I got it. All of them are profoundly appreciated by me. They all say, in one way or another, that my books have touched them in some way, and that's what writing is all about.

As I said at the beginning, if nothing else, I guarantee laughs with my books. I love to hear from my readers.   You can contact me at shill733@aol.com. Or if you'll send an SASE to Sandra Hill, PO Box 604, State College, PA 16804, I'll be glad to send you some color promo items related to my past and future works.

In Conclusion

So, beloved readers, I am wishing you many smiles (and perhaps a bit of sizzle) when you read my books.  Good reading!

Sandra Hill

 

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