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Mazo de la Roche (January 15, 1879 – July 12, 1961), born Mazo Louise Roche in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, was the author of the Jalna novels, one of the most popular series of books of her time.

At the age of seven, her parents adopted de la Roche's orphaned younger cousin Caroline Clement, who joined in her fantasy world game and would become her lifelong companion. The two lived a fairly reclusive life; their relationship was not discussed widely in the press. In 1931 they adopted two children whose parents were friends of Clement and de la Roche and who had died.

De la Roche had her first story published in 1902 in Munsey's Magazine but did not begin her writing career in earnest until after the death of her father. Her first two novels, Possession (1923) and Delight (1926), were romantic novels and earned her little in income or recognition. Her third novel, Jalna, was submitted to the American magazine Atlantic Monthly, winning a $10,000 award. Its victory and subsequent publication in 1927 brought de la Roche fame and fortune at the age of 48.

The Jalna series has sold more than eleven million copies in 193 English and 92 foreign editions. In 1935, the film Jalna, based on the novel, was released by RKO Radio Pictures and, in 1972, a CBC television series was produced based on the series. Mazo de la Roche is buried near the grave of Stephen Leacock at St. George's Anglican Church, at Sibbald Point, near Sutton, Ontario.

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MAYSIE COUCHER GREIG, romantic novelist, was born on 2 August 1901 at Double Bay, Sydney, daughter of Dr Robert Greig Smith, a bacteriologist from Edinburgh, and his English-born wife Mary, née Thomson. Educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College, Pymble, Maysie joined the staff of the Sun in 1919 before sailing for England in the following year. She was employed by Manchester evening newspapers and by October 1922 had a column, 'The Woman's View' (later 'Through the Eyes of a Woman'), in the salacious Empire News. Her first serial was accepted by the Daily Sketch.

At the parish church, Painswick, Gloucestershire, on 14 July 1923 Maysie Greig-Smith married Ernest Roscoe Baltzell, an American Rhodes scholar whom she accompanied to New York. She worked at Boston where, as Maysie Greig, she published her first novels, Peggy of Beacon Hill (1924) and The Luxury Husband (1927); both were filmed at Hollywood. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1929. While living at Greenwich Village, New York, she married a writer Delano Ames; they, too, were to be divorced (1937). After spending four years travelling, especially to such 'strange and little known countries' as Yugoslavia and Albania, they settled in England, with a home in London and another, Yew Tree House, in the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire. Wherever they stayed, Maysie managed to 'inveigle the best recipes from the cook' and often made Hungarian and Albanian dishes. Golden haired, blue eyed and ravishingly attractive, she rode and played tennis. By 1934 she was the most prolific woman novelist of the day. She published up to six books a year (mostly with Collins in England and Doubleday in New York), often set in the exotic places that she had visited; she also wrote thrillers as 'Jennifer Ames', and occasionally used 'Ann Barclay' and 'Mary Douglas Warren' as pseudonyms.

On 3 May 1937 at the Municipal Building, Manhattan, New York, Maysie married Maxwell Alexander Murray (1900-1956), an Australian-born journalist; they returned to England where the birth of their child in 1940 did not interrupt Maysie's flow of novels. In 1948 the family settled in Sydney and Maysie added a house at Vaucluse to her other residences. Working some six hours a day with a dictaphone, she continued to produce four books a year and looked on serial rights as a pleasant extra. Some of her later novels had Australian settings, including One Room for His Highness (1947), French Girl in Love (1963) and Doctor on Wings (1966). Max wrote detective stories which were serialized in the American Saturday Evening Post; The Right Honourable Corpse (New York, 1951) was set in Canberra.

Listing her recreations as tennis, bridge and literary associations, Greig was president (until 1966) of the Sydney centre of International P.E.N.; she revived the group, and attended conferences in Tokyo (1957) and at Bled, Yugoslavia (1965). She also belonged to the Society of Women Writers of New South Wales, the Fellowship of Australian Writers and the Romantic Novelists' Association (England). On 22 June 1959 at the registrar general's office, Sydney, Maysie married Jan Sopoushek, a printer from Budapest and a widower. She sold her Vaucluse home in 1966 and thereafter lived in London. Survived by her husband and by the son of her third marriage, she died of an embolism on 10 June 1971 in a nursing home at St Marylebone.

Maysie Greig flung 'her own vivid personality', humour and enthusiasm into telling a good story. Heeding Delamore McCay's advice to 'write every sentence as though I were to cable it to England at my own expense', she wrote over 220 novels with an unusual economy of words. She invariably gave her stories happy endings 'because I believe that happiness is the greatest virtue in the world and misery the greatest sin'. For forty years her books were best sellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Her novels were translated into French, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Icelandic.

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Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland (9 July 1901 – 21 May 2000) was one of the most successful writers of romance novels of all time, specialising in historical love themes. She also became one of the United Kingdom's most popular media personalities, appearing often at public events and on television, dressed in her trademark pink and discoursing on love, health and social issues.

Her last project was to be filmed and interviewed for her life story (Directed by Steven Glen for Blue Melon Films). The documentary, titled 'Virgins and Heroes', includes unique early home cine footage and Dame Barbara launching her website with pink computers in early 2000. At that time, her publishers estimated that since her writing career began in 1923, Dame Barbara Cartland had produced a total of 723 titles. After years of wearing her trademark anti-wrinkle cream and heavy makeup, she had herself photographed repeatedly without any cosmetics before she died. She was 98 years of age at her death.

Due to her concern for the environment, she requested to be buried in a cardboard coffin. This request was honoured and she was buried at her estate in Hatfield under a tree that had been planted by Queen Elizabeth I.

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Mary Lutyens, a prolific novelist, biographer, magazine writer and editor whose career spanned more than six decades, passed away April 9, 1999. She was 90. Lutyens, whose father was the well-known architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and whose maternal grandfather, the Earl of Lytton, was viceroy of India from 1876-1880, died in London.

Although she wrote 13 novels and excelled as an editor, she was most acclaimed for her biographies, including writings on her father's work, her parents' unhappy marriage and her grandfather. She also wrote a biographical series on the Indian religious teacher Krishnamurti, who was a spiritual adviser to her mother, and about art critic and social theorist John Ruskin and his wife Effie. One of her best known biographies, "Millais and the Ruskins," explored John and Effie's relationship with Sir John Everett Millais, the father of Pre-Raphaelite painting. It described the impact of Millais' love for Effie on the Ruskin marriage and its eventual collapse.

"You so often have to write the book you want to read," The Daily Telegraph quoted her as having once said.

Her autobiography, "To be Young," was published in 1959. Lutyens was born July 31, 1908 and was educated at Queen's College in London and in Sydney, Australia. She began her career as a fiction writer with the 1933 "Forthcoming Marriages," and wrote several novels before World War II. After the war, she wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Esther Wyndham.

Lutyens was married twice, first to stockbroker Anthony Sewell from 1930-1945, then to royal furrier and art expert J. G. Links in 1945. Links died in 1997.

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Faith Baldwin was born on October 1, 1893 in New Rochelle, NY. She died March 19, 1978 in Norwalk, Connecticut. Ms. Baldwin is the author of some 100 novels, often concentrating on women juggling career and family. She apparently began her career writing for "women's magazines" that produced romance novels as six-part serials. Her first published book was Mavis of the Green Hill published in 1921. She also wrote three books with Achmed Abdullah which were published in 1929, 1930 and 1932. In 1935 she was described as the newest of the "highly paid" women romance writers by Time magazine. Several of her books were made into films. In the early days of television, she hosted a weekly Saturday afternoon anthology series on ABC network, entitled "Faith Baldwin Romance Theater." From 1958 to 1965, she wrote a column that was published in Woman’s Day magazine called "The Open Door."

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As an author for Harlequin Romance, Elizabeth Gilzean published thirteen novels. Her work was primarily focused on the very popular Doctor/Nurse romances. She wrote primarily in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Born in 1913, she also wrote under the pseudonyms Elizabeth Houghton and Mary Hunton. Her real name was Elizabeth Houghton Blanchet, though some sources cite Gilzean as her real name. As an author for Harlequin Romance, Elizabeth Houghton published ten novels. As an author for Harlequin Romance, Mary Hunton published three novels.

She was the daughter of Muriel Liffiton. While to many Muriel Liffiton is known only as M. Wylie Blanchet or as Muriel Blanchet, on May 2, 1891, in Montreal, Canada, she was born Muriel Wylie Liffiton. However, she wrote under her married name, having married Geoffrey Orme Blanchet in 1909. So it has been as M. Wylie Blanchet that she has earned a place in Canadian literature as the author of The Curve of Time, an unusual book of travel and adventure. After being widowed at an early age in 1926, Muriel Blanchet raised her five children on Vancouver Island in Canada ’s British Columbia. For several summers Muriel, her children, and the family dog set off in a twenty-five foot motor boat, the Caprice, to explore the waters between Vancouver Island and the rugged Canadian mainland.

Elizabeth Houghton Blanchet (1913-1995), who was known as Betty, studied nursing prior to becoming a successful romance novelist under a pseudonym in England. She was married twice, first to J. Gilzean and later to J. Parry.

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ROGER LONGRIGG was the author of 55 books. There is nothing unique about this statistic. Many writers have achieved a similar output. What was unique was that the authorship of each was concealed behind one of eight different noms de plume. Even more remarkable was that the books in each different category were financially profitable.

Readers of the busty Scottish historical novels supposedly written by Laura Black would have been surprised to know that Rosalind Erskine, creator of the saucy The Passion-Flower Hotel (1962), came from the same stable. Or that Ivor Drummond, the Ian Fleming lookalike, was the author of The History of Horse Racing (1972).

He enjoyed the mystery and mischief of his various pseudonymous selves, and never failed to reply in character to their fan-mail. Rosalind Erskine, in particular, received some interesting entreaties from lesbian readers, fascinated by his novel about a group of public schoolgirls who turned their school gym into a brothel. The intrigue surrounding the authorship of The Passion-Flower Hotel was spoiled when Longrigg was exposed by the gossip columnist Richard Berens, in the William Hickey column of the Daily Express, putting an end to one of the more amusing episodes of Longrigg's secret life.

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BEST ANTHOLOGY: Dead After Dark by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Squires, J.R. Ward, Dianna Love

Blood Lite by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris

Honorable Mention: The Magical Christmas Cat by Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh, Erin McCarthy, Linda Winstead Jones

BEST FANTASY/MAGICAL: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Honorable Mention: The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

BEST FUTURISTIC: Dark Light by Jayne Castle

Honorable Mention: Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens

BEST NOVELLA / SHORT STORY: "Story of Son" Dead After Dark by J.R. Ward

Honorable Mention: "Kung Fu Shoes" in These Boots Were Made For Stomping by Jade Lee

BEST SCIENCE - FICTION & FANTASY: Shades Of Dark by Linnea Sinclair

Honorable Mention: Dragonborn by Jade Lee

BEST SHAPE SHIFTER: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Honorable Mention: Rogue by Rachel Vincent

Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden

BEST TIME TRAVEL: Viking Unchained by Sandra Hill

Honorable Mention: Twist by Colby Hodge

BEST VAMPIRE: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

Honorable Mention: Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home by Michele Bardsley

BEST OVERALL PARANORMAL: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Honorable Mention: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

NEW AUTHOR: Ann Aguirre

Honorable Mention: Jocelynn Drake

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As an author for Silhouette Romance, Lydia Lee published three novels. She is also known as Rose Marie Lima and Lydia Lee Weeks Green (Green was her married name). Weeks was born in 1945 and passed away February 12, 2002.

Mrs. Green, under the name "Lydia Lee," was an author of eight romance novels, both historical and contemporary. She had been active in the Romance Writers Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Romance Writers Chapter. Mrs. Green relocated to the Richmond area, where she has long-standing family ties, in 1990. A native of Washington, D.C., she graduated from the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School and attended Georgetown University before enrolling in the Dallas Theater Center in Dallas, Texas. Her work at the Dallas Theater Center as an actress, designer and director earned her the coveted "Greer Garson Theater Arts Award." She also worked in regional theater in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Romance author Sandra Canfield (aka Karen Keast and Sandi Shane; b. 1944) passed away on January 23, 2003 in Shreveport, Louisiana following a lengthy illness.

A charter member of RWA, Ms. Canfield was the recipient of numerous writing awards and honors, including a Romantic Times Award in 1988-89 Continuing Series Romance (Mariah) and a RITA in 1991 for Romantic Suspense (Night Spice).

She wrote a weekly opinion column for The Shreveport Times.

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Tom Elmer Huff (January 8, 1938 - January 16, 1990) was a best-selling American author of romance novels under the pen names Jennifer Wilde, Edwina Marlow, Beatrice Parker, and Katherine St. Clair.
Huff spent several years as a high-school English teacher before becoming a novelist. He wrote gothic novels for nine years under the pseudonyms Edwina Marlow, Beatrice Parker, and Katherine St. Clair.
In 1976, Huff adopted the pseudonym Jennifer Wilde when he began writing historical romance novels. His first release, Love's Tender Fury, had 41 printings in its first five years, and his second historical romance, Dare to Love, spent 11 weeks on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. His historical romances were noted for being written in first-person, from the heroine's perspective. Many of his books also featured multiple male protagonists, and "the man who first captures the heroine's heart isn't always the one who ends up with it."
Huff earned a Career Achievement Award in 1987-1988 from Romantic Times.

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Nothing about Iris Bancroft was typical, especially her birth. It was exotic—and tragic. She was born of missionaries in King Chow, Hupeh Provence, China, on May 26, 1922, a time of great unrest. Her parents were sent there by the Swedish Covenant Church to work with the Chinese converts. Her life comes full circle in one of her historical romances. Love's Burning Flame, when the heroine spends some time in Imperial China, where savagery, especially to women, was very common. Iris was one and a half when she left that turbulent continent, and her father died shortly thereafter. Her mother brought her to Chicago.

After her second marriage in 1961, Iris taught school and also sold insurance with her new husband, Keith Bancroft. Then a big change came over her life: in 1963, the West Coast beckoned. "We moved to California to work for nudist publications as photographers and writers, and later, as editors," recalled Iris. They continued to work for publishers of such magazines until, in 1977, they both quit their steady jobs to work as writers. Since then, she had made their living from her books. Iris boasted of seven published novels, using the pen-names of Iris Brent and Andrea Layton, along with her own.

Iris was a marvelous hostess and liked the life of the party. She also dabbled in painting and clay statues—she made erotic statues in the sixties. Then, there was the viola; she played in the Burbank Symphony Orchestra and in the La Mirada Symphony Orchestra, two community orchestras that accepted nonprofessional players. Her husband, she said, played in them both, too, but he was a pro, and was the leader of the trombone section in both groups. Neither Iris nor her husband were part of the Hollywood scene, though they were members of MENSA, and the Mystery Writers of America. She also sang regularly at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Mission Hills, but was not a member of any church.

Iris considered her literary success only moderate. "We live on the money I make, but only because we are frugal people. Keith is still just starting out as an author (of nonfiction books on photography), and so his contribution is not large yet. However, we recognize that we want very little that we don't already have. We still travel around the U.S., we visit with our friends, and we enjoy our beautiful home and our pets. We also enjoy each other. Ever since my marriage to Keith, we've worked together a great deal, and I am still delighted in his company." On the net I found a note about an Iris Bancroft from Los Angeles who passed away on December 2003, no info about her husband Keith.

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Anne Weale authored nearly 90 novels, starting with her debut novel Winter Is Past, a story that notably captures the passion felt by the characters while never slipping into overtly sexual writing. Her writing career began in 1955. She also wrote single title romance. Anne Weale passed away on October 24, 2007.

Weale, whose real name was Jay Blakeney, built on the legacy of authors such as Rosalind Brett (Lilian Warren), who emphasized intense sexual tension in her work. Blakeney/Weale, though she believed her writing was tame compared to younger authors, maintained her position as an author who pushed the boundaries of sexuality in her work throughout her Mills & Boon career. In fact, the author treated readers to what is believed to be the first oral sex scene in her M&B title Antigua Kiss, published in 1982. Weale also wrote a masturbation scene in novel Ecstasy, published in 1983.

Weale continued to innovate even in the age of the Internet. She wrote a regular website review column for The Bookseller from 1998 to 2004, a UK publication, before starting her own blog Bookworm on the Net. Her final post is an apology for the lack of posts due to technology problems.

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Jean S. MacLeod began writing for Mills and Boon in 1939, aged 31, shortly after she gave birth to her only child, David Walton. Ms MacLeod, who also wrote as Catherine Airlie, continued writing until the age of 87, by which time she had clocked 130 novels.

Jean says: “Money was not a motivation for writing – we were only paid on a royalty basis,” she insists. "Even now I still pick up around £68 a year in royalties. But the joy of knowing people were, and still are, enjoying my books is payment enough. Michael Boon, the original proprietor’s son, gave me advice that shapes my style to this day. He told me never to write anything a mother wouldn’t want her daughter to read.”

She continued to write for Mills and Boon after the publisher was taken over by American company Harlequin, but was uncomfortable with its request to "sex up" her books. And 70 years after her work first hit the shelves, she is proud to say: “I never use the word ‘sex’ in my novels – that is not what romance is about. It’s about love and emotion.”

Jean was a co-founder of the Romantic Novelists’ Association with that doyenne of the bodice-ripper, Barbara Cartland, and she recalls: “Mills & Boon always had a champagne tent on Ladies’ Day at Ascot for their authors. One year Barbara sauntered over and dismissively asked, ‘Wearing the same outfit twice, Jean? Are things really that hard?’. I didn’t dignify it with a response – she was known for her sharp remarks.”

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Daphne, Lady Browning DBE (13 May 1907–19 April 1989), commonly known as Dame Daphne du Maurier, was a famous British novelist, playwright and short story writer. Many of her works were adapted into films, such as one of her most famous books, Rebecca, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1940 for director Alfred Hitchcock, who would later bring her short story, The Birds, onto the big screen.

Daphne du Maurier was born in London (although she spent most of her life in her beloved Cornwall), the second of three daughters of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont (maternal niece of William Comyns Beaumont). Her grandfather was the author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier, who created the character of Svengali in the novel Trilby. These connections gave her a head start in her literary career; Du Maurier published some of her very early work in his Bystander magazine, and her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. Du Maurier was also the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who served as J.M. Barrie's inspiration for the characters in the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.

After her death in 1989, numerous references were made to her alleged lesbianism; an affair with Gertrude Lawrence as well as her infatuation for the wife of her American publisher, Ellen Doubleday, were cited. Yet strangely for a man in his profession, her father was vociferously homophobic. For a daughter who virtually worshipped her father, this was bound to have major repercussions in later life; guilt, shame and an instilled belief that homosexuality was utterly abhorrent could not have helped her form rational conclusions to her own doubts and anxieties. In letters released to her official biographer after her death, du Maurier explained to a trusted few her own unique slant on her sexuality; her personality, she informs, comprises two distinct people: the loving wife and mother (the side she shows to the world) and the lover, a decidedly male energy, hidden to virtually everyone and the power behind her artistic creativity. Du Maurier evidently believed this was the demon which fueled her creative life as a writer. 

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"Anyone who has read Ronda Thompson's books knows that she was a master at characterization. But on a personal level, what impressed me most about her was her tenacity and grit. Through her example, she taught me to never give up on my dream of being published.

Ronda had dyslexia, a disability that has been described by some doctors as “word blindness.” Dyslexia can cause a person to see text appearing to jump around on a page, or to not be able to differentiate between letters that have similar shape. Sometimes, the words appear completely backwards (bird can look like drib) or the affected reader might be able to read the words but not make sense or remember what they read, so that they have to read the same passage over and again.

How frustrating to a reader to wrestle with such problems. But for a writer? This would be beyond mere annoyance. Ronda had to work twice as hard as other authors out there, writing and rewriting just to get a sentence on the paper, not to mention proof-reading. To think that she overcame such a debilitating handicap, all to follow a dream. And she kept her charming humor intact throughout." (Tina Gray

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Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland (9 July 1901 – 21 May 2000) was one of the most successful writers of romance novels of all time, specialising in historical love themes. She also became one of the United Kingdom's most popular media personalities, appearing often at public events and on television, dressed in her trademark pink and discoursing on love, health and social issues.

Barbara Cartland lived up to her title, the Queen of Health, in England. Not only did she write and promote her books - on health, nutrition, menopausal replacement therapy, but she practiced what she preached. Every day she swallowed more than seventy vitamins, special calcium tablets, and her own formula for "brain pills" - vitamin E, vitamin B6, and ginseng.

Her virgins were big business, so said Miss Cartland, who had other reasons for choosing her hisiorical settings. "It's difficult to portray virgins in modern dress," she admitted. "Furthermore, I prefer a period when men were not wearing wigs. It's unattractive to have a young man taking off his wig in bed!"

Her publishers estimated that since her writing career began in 1923, Dame Barbara Cartland had produced a total of 723 titles. After years of wearing her trademark anti-wrinkle cream and heavy makeup, she had herself photographed repeatedly without any cosmetics before she died. She was 98 years of age at her death.  

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Anne Carroll George was a former Alabama State Poet and cofounder of Druid Press, who has published four volumes of poetry, and she was been nominated for several awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.

Anne wrote numerous short stories for literary magazines, before turning to the craft of mystery writing, for which she won a coveted Agatha Award. Her hilariously funny novels reflect much of her own experience.

Anne passed away March 14, 2001 due to complications from heart surgery.

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Janet Anne Haradon Dailey (born May 21, 1944 in Storm Lake, Iowa) is a popular American author of numerous romance novels as Janet Dailey (her married name). In 1979, Dailey became the first romance author to transition from writing category romances to writing single-title romance novels. Her first mass market romance novel, Touch the Wind, reached the New York Times Best Seller List. Her subsequent books have also been New York Times Bestsellers. There are currently over 325 million copies of her books in print, with translations in 19 languages for 98 countries.

Dailey was sued in 1997 by fellow novelist Nora Roberts, who accused Dailey of copying her work for over seven years. Calling the plagiarism "mind rape," Roberts sued Dailey. Dailey acknowledged the theft and blamed it on a psychological disorder. She admitted that both Aspen Gold and Notorious lifted heavily from Roberts's work. Both of those novels were subsequently pulled from print. In a settlement, Dailey paid Roberts an undisclosed sum, which Roberts donated to the Literacy Volunteers of America.

In 2001, Dailey returned to publishing with a four-book deal with Kensington Books.

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