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Brandt, Beverly

BRANDT, Beverly

PERSONAL:

Married; three stepchildren. Education: Earned bachelor's degree (finance). Hobbies and other interests: Reading, writing.

ADDRESSES:

Home—204 37th Avenue N., Box 340, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Novelist. Formerly worked as a financial analyst for a travel agency.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence nomination, Reviewers International, 2002, for True North.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

True North, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Record Time, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Room Service, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Dream On, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), in press.

SIDELIGHTS:

Beverly Brandt is a romance writer who has been praised for creating flawed heroines unlike the "perfume heiresses" Brandt recalled from the romance novels she read in her teens. Although she worked as a financial analyst for several years, Brandt began to question her career path in her late twenties and decided to rediscover her dream of becoming an author. She finished her first complete novel, True North, in 2000. "After all, there's only room for so many unfinished manuscripts in my closet," she quipped to an interviewer for Romance Reader online. She submitted True North to several agents, but they all rejected it. Brandt then sent a query letter directly to an editor at St. Martin's Press, and a few days later was asked to send the complete manuscript.

In True North, workaholic heroine Claire Brown books a dream vacation in the hopes of strengthening her weak relationship with her fiancee, Bryan. Nothing goes as planned, however. Bryan goes to the resort, but with someone else. Determined to enjoy herself anyway, Claire also goes the resort, but winds up sleeping in a cramped extra room located in the employee-only section. Ultimately, Claire falls in love with the resort owner, John McBride. Reviewer Heidi L. Haglin noted in All about Romance online that, "if you can get past certain instances of questionable behavior, especially on the heroine's part, you will find yourself drawn into a touching love story of two people who have no idea what they need in life, or in love, until they find each other." While the book was praised for its characterization, it was criticized for exploring only the motivations of female workaholics. Commented Haglin, "whether that speaks to the idea that men would feel less anxiety or regret over putting work above family or simply plot convenience, I don't know.… I was left with the nagging feeling that this is the book feminists warned us about." True North was nominated for Reviewers International's 2002 Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence in the Debut Author category.

Resilient heroines have continued to be Brandt's stock-in-trade. In her second novel, Record Time, unglamorous Kylie Rogers falls for David Gamble, a control freak who is the head of a record company. Said a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, the author creates a "delightful balance between control and confusion and pads her story with a cast of well-drawn ancillary characters" in a "fun, feel-good" novel. In Room Service, jet-setter Katya Morgan loses it all when her father dies and disinherits her. She then falls for Alex Sheridan, a handsome hotel manager who hires her as a housekeeper. "As Alex helps her out, Katya discovers how the rest of the world lives, and the reader enjoys a fine, funny tale," reviewer Maria Hatton explained in Booklist.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2003, Maria Hatton, review of Room Service, p. 1056.

Publishers Weekly, August 19, 2002, review of Record Time, p. 72.

ONLINE

All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (June 4, 2003), Heidi L. Haglin, review of True North.

Beverly Brandt Web site, http://www.beverlybrandt.com (November 13, 2003).

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (January 29, 2002), Cathy Sova, interview with Brandt; Karen Lynch, review of True North. *

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