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Freethy, Barbara (Kristina Logan)

Freethy, Barbara (Kristina Logan)

PERSONAL:

Married; children: two. Hobbies and other interests: Volunteers at a local fire department.

ADDRESSES:

Home—CA.

CAREER:

Author.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America (president of online chapter).

AWARDS, HONORS:

RITA Award for best contemporary romance for Daniel's Gift; has also won awards for Ask Mariah, Ryan's Return, and Just the Way You Are.

WRITINGS:

Daniel's Gift, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Ryan's Return, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Ask Mariah, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.

One True Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.

The Sweetest Thing, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Just the Way You Are, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Almost Home, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Some Kind of Wonderful, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Love Will Find a Way, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Summer Secrets, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003.

All She Ever Wanted, Signet (New York, NY), 2004.

Golden Lies, Signet (New York, NY), 2004.

The Cuzzian Horse, PublishAmerica, 2004.

Don't Say a Word, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.

Taken, Signet (New York, NY), 2006.

Players, Signet (New York, NY), 2006.

Patrick Michael O'Reilly's 13th Summer, PublishAmerica, 2007.

Silent Run, Onyx, 2008.

Silent Fall, Onyx, 2008.

Also author, under pseudonym Kristina Logan, of Promise of Love, Silhouette Romance.

SIDELIGHTS:

An award-winning author of romance novels, Barbara Freethy has written contemporary stories, stories tinged with magical elements, such as ghosts or psychic connections, and stories with suspense and mystery elements. A number of these works also "explore what happens when deeply buried secrets are suddenly brought to light," according to Mary Benn in a Romance Reader review of Taken.

In a 1998 interview on the All about Romance Web site, Freethy commented on her early romances and her penchant for adding paranormal elements: "Although many writers delve into ‘magical elements’ in full force, I like mine on the side. The magic always influences the story, but it's never the whole story. And the hero and heroine are usually far too pragmatic to believe in magic until it hits them over the head. In fact, in several of my books, the magic is experienced by the children, leaving the reader the option of believing or not." In her first book, Daniel's Gift, a twelve-year-old boy sees an angel, but the reader never knows for certain whether the angel is real or if it is a figment of the boy's imagination as he struggles to emerge from a coma. Ryan's Return has a ghost in it, and Ask Mariah includes a wizard in a crystal ball. In One True Love, the author seems to draw magical parallels between two robins and the novel's two main characters who are in love; the image of the birds strikes a personal note for Freethy, who recalled in her interview how her father-in-law said he would come back as a bird after his death, and she later saw a bird sit on the family pew during the funeral. In The Sweetest Thing, the character Faith feels some kind of psychic connection through a relic found at a Native American burial plot.

With Just the Way You Are and Almost Home, Freethy dropped the paranormal elements common in her earlier books to write more straightforward stories of personal relationships. In the former, a woman's love for her granddaughters causes her to try to mend the younger women's broken relationship by assigning them the task of finding the last pearl in the necklace she and her husband had spent years trying to make. Almost Home is set in the world of Kentucky thoroughbred racing horses. This was followed by Some Kind of Wonderful, the tale of a hard-bitten bachelor journalist who suddenly finds himself the guardian of his sister's baby. He enlists the help of a female neighbor and, after a while, a new family seems to be in the making. By the time Freethy published this novel, she had built a reputation as an "expert at creating appealing characters," as Kristin Ramsdell put it in her Library Journal review of Some Kind of Wonderful.

Beginning with Love Will Find a Way, Freethy began to write romances with mystery or thriller elements. In the case of this book, a widow begins to suspect that her late husband had a second, hidden life. Although Library Journal contributor Shelley Mosley called the plot "a classic retread," she still felt that the skillful writing makes for an "exceptional piece of fiction." The pain of a family's hidden past is brought to the fore in Freethy's Summer Secrets, a tale "graced with sympathetic, well-defined characters and an intriguing, multi-threaded plot," according to Ramsdell in another Library Journal assessment. Golden Lies similarly dredges up the past, this time through an ancient Chinese artifact. Ramsdell once more praised the "multidimensional characters," as well as the "realistic and sometimes funny dialog, and a well-constructed plot."

In All She Ever Wanted, a mysterious novel by an unknown author spurs a mystery. The author of the strange book seems to have known what went on a decade earlier between four friends, one of whom was killed. The story was described by Harriet Klausner in Best Reviews as "a fabulous investigative romance tale that grips the audience." Murder and amateur sleuthing continue to form the core of Freethy's romances Don't Say a Word and Taken. The former "is a fabulous romantic suspense thriller with the emphasis on the amateur investigation as [the protagonist] Julia slowly peels away the lies done out of love to protect her to obtain the truth," related Klausner in another Best Reviews article. Taken, according to Klausner, "is an exhilarating romantic suspense with the emphasis on the amateur sleuth investigation."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2001, Mary K. Chelton, review of Just the Way You Are, p. 211; May 1, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Summer Secrets, p. 1584; February 1, 2004, Ted Hipple, review of Summer Secrets, p. 989; February 15, 2004, Shelley Mosley, review of Golden Lies, p. 1044.

Library Journal, May 15, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Ask Mariah, p. 68; August 1, 1998, Kristin Ramsdell, review of One True Love, p. 71; February 15, 2000, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Almost Home, p. 148; November 15, 2000, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Just the Way You Are, p. 56; August 1, 2001, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Some Kind of Wonderful, p. 88; February 15, 2002, Shelley Mosley, review of Love Will Find a Way, p. 130; May 15, 2003, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Summer Secrets, p. 72; February 15, 2004, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Golden Lies, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, September 2, 1996, review of Ryan's Return, p. 122; June 15, 1998, review of One True Love, p. 57; March 22, 1999, review of The Sweetest Thing, p. 89; December 20, 1999, review of Almost Home, p. 62; October 9, 2000, review of Just the Way You Are, p. 78; April 7, 2003, review of Summer Secrets, p. 51; January 19, 2004, review of Golden Lies, p. 59; November 15, 2004, review of All She Ever Wanted, p. 46; April 24, 2006, review of Taken, p. 44.

ONLINE

All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (April 22, 1998), "Write Byte: Romances with a Twist," interview with Barbara Freethy.

Barbara Freethy Home Page,http://www.barbarafreethy.com (July 9, 2007).

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (August 23, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of Some Kind of Wonderful; (February 24, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of Love Will Find a Way; (April 9, 2003), Suan Wilson, review of Summer Secrets; (November 29, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of All She Ever Wanted; (September 15, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Don't Say a Word; (June 29, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Taken.

Mrs. Giggles,http://www.mrsgiggles.com/ (July 9, 2007), reviews of All She Ever Wanted, Golden Lies, Just the Way You Are, Love Will Find a Way, Some Kind of Wonderful, Summer Secrets, and Almost Home.

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancerreader.com/ (July 9, 2007), Mary Benn, review of Taken.

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