Martin, Kat 1947–
Martin, Kat 1947–
(Kathy Lawrence, a joint pseudonym, Kasey Mars, Kathleen Kelly Martin)
Born June 14, 1947, in Tulare, CA; daughter of Vern (in transportation) and Helen (a homemaker) Kelly; married Larry Jay Martin (a writer), April 20, 1985. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A.
Writer. Real estate broker in California, 1980-85; writer, 1985—.
Romance Writers of America, Western Writers of America.
Magnificent Passage, Crown (New York, NY), 1988.
Dueling Hearts, Crown (New York, NY), 1989.
(With husband, Larry Martin, under the joint pseudonym Kathy Lawrence) Tin Angel, Avon (New York, NY), 1989.
Captain's Bride, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.
Lover's Gold, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1991.
Bold Angel, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1994.
Midnight Rider, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1996.
Innocence Undone, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1997.
Nothing but Velvet, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1997.
(With others) 'Tis the Season, Kensington (San Diego, CA), 1997.
The Duchess of Carbon County, Five Star (Unity, ME), 1997.
Dangerous Passions, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1998.
Wicked Promise, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1998.
Night Secrets, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1999.
The Silent Rose, Kensington (San Diego, CA), 1999.
Silk and Steel (sequel to Nothing but Velvet), St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2000.
Perfect Sin (sequel to Wicked Promise), St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2000.
Hot Rain, Zebra (New York, NY), 2002.
Secret Ways, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Scent of Roses (first book in paranormal series), MIRA Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
Heart of Honor (first book in a proposed trilogy), MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.
The Summit (second book in a proposed trilogy), MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.
Creole Fires, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.
Savannah Heat, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.
Natchez Flame, Dell (New York, NY), 1994.
Gypsy Lord, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1992.
Sweet Vengeance, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1993.
Devil's Prize, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1995.
(Under pseudonym Kasey Mars) The Silent Rose, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1995.
(Under pseudonym Kasey Mars) The Dream, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1995, reprinted under author's own name (New York, NY), 2000.
The Secret, Kensington (San Diego, CA), 2001.
Heartless, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2001.
The Fire Inside, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Fanning the Flame, Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 2002.
"THE SINCLAIR SISTERS" TRILOGY
Midnight Sun, Kensington Pub. Corp. (New York, NY), 2003.
Desert Heat, Kensington Pub. Corp. (New York, NY), 2004.
Deep Blue, Kensington Pub. Corp. (New York, NY), 2005.
"THE NECKLACE" TRILOGY
The Bride's Necklace, MIRA Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
The Devil's Necklace, MIRA (Ontario, Canada), 2005.
The Handmaiden's Necklace, MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
Books published in seventeen foreign countries, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Greece.
Kat Martin is an immensely popular writer of Regency romances who has also penned romance novels set in the American West, the antebellum South, and modern-day locales. Martin's novels abound with scenes of passionate love, but they also present readers with characters who are trying to forge long-lasting relationships despite their own flaws. In a review of The Secret in Publishers Weekly, a contributor commended Martin for novels that are "solidly written, deftly balancing intense emotion with satisfying intrigue." Martin has traveled widely to compile research for her books, but the plot ideas often come to her while she is reading the newspaper or watching television. Many of her historical romances feature strong-willed female characters who rebel against traditional views of womanhood, and who find themselves attracted to men who have unconventional motives of their own. A Publishers Weekly contributor praised Martin for her exploration of "glittering Georgian England," noting that the author offers "a boisterous carriage ride in which Martin … shows herself to have a firm grasp on the reins."
Kat Martin once told CA: "Unlike most authors, my desire to write was never a lifelong dream. The idea occurred in my late thirties, when I worked for a while with my husband, who was writing his first western novel. It seemed like writing might be fun, and I had a head full of story ideas which, fortunately, have continued to come over the years.
"Though writing is much more difficult than I had first imagined, it is incredibly rewarding. There is always a challenge, something new to learn. I don't ever plan on retiring. I believe writing helps keep me young."
Martin has continued to write numerous romance novels, from historical novels to modern-day romances and paranormal-based stories. In her novel Captain's Bride, Martin features Glory Summerfield helping her half-brother, Nathan, escape from slavery. Julian is the son of Glory's recently deceased father and a slave. When the merchant ship that Glory is traveling on becomes shipwrecked, she and the ship's captain, Nicholas Blackwell, find themselves alone on an island. Nicholas eventually seduces Glory, who becomes pregnant, and then abandons her after they are rescued.
Martin is also author of a trilogy that begins with Gypsy Lord. Dominic Edgemont is part of Georgian British society but is looked down upon for his womanizing and rumored gypsy heritage. When she is kidnapped by gypsies, Catherine Barrington, Countess of Arondale, learns that all the rumors about Dominic are true. In Sweet Vengeance Jocelyn Asbury pretends to be a Cockney as she joins a street gang to seek revenge on her father's death from a fire at their house that to her appears to have been purposely set. Jocelyn believes that Rayne Garrick is the cause of her father's death and tries to kill him, only to have Rayne convince her to become his mistress. After another attempt on Rayne's life, Jocelyn agrees to be shipped to Jamaica on a prison ship, but Rayne follows her. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the "historical background is generally well researched." Devil's Prize, the third book in the trilogy, finds Alexa Carrick seeking revenge for her brother's death, which she believes was caused by Damien, the Earl of Falon. After losing a huge sum of money to Damien at a whist table, Jocelyn finds herself compromised by another proposal. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author's "story is delightful and her character insights astute."
Bold Angel is a medieval romance, which, according to a Publishers Weekly contributor, is "sizzling with sexual tension and ripe with rich emotion." The story revolves around the Norman knight Ral the Relentless and Caryn of Ivesham, whom he failed to protect from an evil Saxon lord. When he comes to Caryn's aid once again three years later, a sham engagement that is designed to protect Caryn from unwanted advances turns out to be much more. Wicked Promise tells the story of Nicholas Warring, the Earl of Ravensworth, and Elizabeth Woolcot. Despite Nicholas formerly being exiled for murder and his nickname as "The Wicked Earl," Elizabeth asks Nicholas, who is her guardian, to protect her from an unwanted marriage to Lord Bascomb. Although Nicholas is married, he is drawn to Elizabeth, who likewise is falling in love. Then Nicholas is once again arrested for murder after protecting Elizabeth several times from Lord Bascomb's evil schemes. Kathe Robin, writing on the Romantic Times Online Web site, noted that the author "delivers … an exciting, sensual, engrossing romance whose characters use the power of their love to give them strength."
In the paranormal romance The Dream, readers meet Genny Austin, who suffers from nightmares ever since her husband was murdered. Genny can make little of her nightmares, which feature a beautiful island and an evil woman who kills and tortures. Then she is rescued from an attack by Jack Brennan, a captain of a salvage ship, and the nightmares start to make sense. RomanticTimes Online contributor Jill M. Smith commented that the author provides romances "that blend the eerie and unexplainable with her own uniquely sensual and exciting style."
Midnight Sun is the first book in the series "The Sinclair Sisters," in which each of three sisters promises to have a grand adventure before getting married. In Midnight Sun, Charity Sinclair, a career woman in New York, takes off to the Yukon in search of her adventure and meets rugged Call Hawkins. Desert Heat finds Patience Sinclair on the western rodeo circuit doing research for her doctoral dissertation and trying to stay away from her ex-lover, Tyler Stanfield, who is stalking her. Patience soon finds herself having a summer fling with rodeo champion Dallas Kingman. "A parallel suspense subplot involving historic rodeo murders lends the story some complexity," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. Deep Blue is the third book in "The Sinclair Sisters" trilogy and features newspaper reporter Hope Sinclair coming home to find her apartment has been rifled through. Unable to figure out what the intruder wanted, Hope goes on her assignment to cover a treasure-hunting expedition in the Caribbean. However, Operations Chief Connor Reese is not happy to see a reporter or a woman onboard his ship. Danger mounts as they search for the treasure and fall in love while it becomes apparent that the ransacking of Hope's apartment is connected with a story she was previously covering concerning Buddy Newton and Hartley House. "Surprisingly, the New York subplot enhances the prime Caribbean story line; a tribute to Kat Martin's writing skills," noted an MBR Bookwatch contributor.
The Bride's Necklace is the first book in "The Necklace" trilogy, which is set in set in Regency England. The story revolves around Victoria and Claire, who flee from their molesting stepfather with the pearl-and-diamond "Bride's Necklace." Eventually, the two find work in the home of Cord, the Earl of Brant, who soon falls in love with Victoria. A subplot involves the search for a journal that Victoria believes will prove that her stepfather caused her father's death. Writing in Booklist, Diana Tixier Herald commented that the novel is "full of adventure, misunderstandings, and honorable but misunderstood characters." The Devil's Necklace features Captain Ethan Sharp kidnapping Grace Chastain after she helped engineer a prison break for Harmon Jeffries, the Viscount Forsythe, who was serving a prison term as a traitor for his betrayal of Sharp's ship to the French. "Mystery, humor, and adventure combine in this fast-paced tale," wrote Kristin Ramsdell in the Library Journal. The Handmaiden's Necklace finds Danielle Duval and Rafael, Duke of Sheffield, meeting once again after their engagement ended in scandal. The two soon discover that they were victims of a nefarious plot, but Danielle is on her way to America to marry another man. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted the author's "well-honed ability to deliver spicy romance."
Heart of Honor is the first book in a proposed paranormal trilogy and features Krist Hart, who publishes a newspaper for women in Victorian London. When she comes across Leif, who is kept prisoner in a sideshow as the Last Barbarian, she discovers he is from Drauger, a mystical Old Norse island. She gets Leif released but soon finds that his Old Norse ways don't quite fit into her modern London. Noting the novel's "fresh, clever plot," Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell went on to call Heart of Honor "a charming, lightly suspenseful story." In The Summit, the second book in the proposed paranormal trilogy, Autumn Sommers regrets not acting on a reoccurring dream in which a car crash kills her friends, a dream that came true. So when she start dreaming about a man in a car using a puppy to abduct a little girl, she sets out to see if she can prevent the kidnapping only to have her investigation lead her to Ben McKenzie, whose daughter, Holly, disappeared six years earlier. Although Ben has long given his daughter up for dead, Autumn believes she is alive. Although not thinking that she can be happy with Ben, Autumn does not dissuade his amorous advances because she believes it's the only way she can keep looking for Holly. "The versatile and popular Martin tells a compelling tale about the mysterious powers of dreams," wrote Maria Hatton in Booklist.
Martin later told CA: "Though I have always been a voracious reader, I first got interested in writing through my husband. He had written a western historical novel and I was helping him work on the grammar and spelling. I began to think that maybe I could also write a book and so I wrote my first novel, Magnificent Passage, a western historical romance.
"Reading other writers of various genres has been a tremendous influence and also an asset, I believe, to my writing. The books stir your own thoughts and also show you how to improve on what you do.
"I don't believe a writer is ever truly off work. In the middle of the night I wake up in bed and work on plot ideas, try to develop characterization, try to understand what motivates the characters. I work a great deal, and even if I am not at the machine, I am thinking about the story I am currently writing.
"The most surprising thing I learned as a writer was that I was actually capable of writing a novel! Particularly one that would be published, then read and enjoyed by a great many readers. It's a very rewarding feeling.
"One of my favorite books is The Secret. I love the cowboy hero, Chance McLain; the setting, Montana; and the bit of paranormal that comes from the heroine's near-death experience. Plus I think it's a good murder mystery.
"Mostly I want to entertain the people who read my books. I like the idea that the characters in the stories are people of high morality. I hope readers come to believe that honesty, bravery, and honor—traits often belonging to my characters—are important qualities that make the world a better place to live in."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 1999, Ann Bouricius, review of Night Secrets, p. 1582; September 15, 2000, Nina Davis, review of Midnight Rider, p. 225; October 1, 2000, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Perfect Sin, p. 327; May 1, 2001, Maria Hatton, review of Heartless, p. 1671; April 1, 2002, Maria Hatton, review of Hot Rain, p. 1311; January 1, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of The Bride's Necklace, p. 831; March 15, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Deep Blue, p. 1274; July 1, 2006, Maria Hatton, review of Scent of Roses, p. 40; June 1, 2007, Maria Hatton, review of The Summit, p. 49.
Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Bride's Necklace, p. 92; August 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Devil's Necklace, p. 62; December 1, 2006, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Heart of Honor, p. 104.
MBR Bookwatch, January, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of The Bride's Necklace; April, 2005, review of Deep Blue.
Publishers Weekly, August 10, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of Captain's Bride, p. 438; August 10, 1992, review of Gypsy Lord, p. 67; August 9, 1993, review of Sweet Vengeance, p. 470; August 8, 1994, review of Bold Angel, p. 422; May 22, 1995, review of Devil's Prize, p. 54; January 8, 1996, review of Midnight Rider, p. 65; November 25, 1996, review of Innocence Undone, p. 70; May 26, 1997, review of Nothing but Velvet, p. 83; January 12, 1998, review of Dangerous Passions, p. 57; April 26, 1999, review of Night Secrets, p. 79; December 13, 1999, review of Silk and Steel, p. 69; September 11, 2000, review of Perfect Sin, p. 74; February 5, 2001, review of The Secret, p. 73; March 19, 2001, review of Heartless, p. 82; March 19, 2001, review of Heartless, p. 82; January 14, 2002, review of The Fire Inside, p. 46; April 1, 2002, review of Hot Rain, p. 59; July 1, 2002, review of Fanning the Flame, p. 61; March 17, 2003, review of Secret Ways, p. 60; April 7, 2003, review of Midnight Sun, p. 51; April 12, 2004, review of Desert Heat, p. 44; January 3, 2005, review of The Bride's Necklace, p. 42; February 14, 2005, review of Deep Blue, p. 58; July 18, 2005, review of The Devil's Necklace, p. 190; November 28, 2005, review of The Handmaiden's Necklace, p. 29; November 20, 2006, review of Heart of Honor, p. 45.
BookCrossing,http://www.bookcrossing.com/ (January 27, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of The Fire Inside.
Dear Author,http://dearauthor.com/ (July 23, 2007), review of The Summit.
Historical Romance Writers,http://www.historicalromancewriters.com/ (January 7, 2003), "Interview with Kat Martin."
Kat Martin's Home Page,http://www.katbooks.com/ (May 6, 2002).
Romantic Times Online,http://romantictimes.com/ (November 14, 2007), Jill M. Smith, review of The Dream; Kathe Robin, review of Wicked Promise.