Phillips, Susan Elizabeth

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Phillips, Susan Elizabeth

(Justine Cole)

PERSONAL:

Born in Cincinnati, OH; daughter of John Aller (a management recruiter) and Louesa (a teacher) Titus; married William C. Phillips (a telecommunications vice president), June 26, 1971; children: Ty, Zachary. Education: Received B.F.A. from Ohio University.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Naperville, IL. Agent—Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency, 66 Church St., Lenox, MA 01240. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Also taught high school drama, speech, and English.

MEMBER:

Authors Guild, Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Silver Medallion for Historical Romance, Romance Writers of America, 1984, and Critic's Choice Award for Best New Historical Romance Author, Romantic Times Online, 1985, both for Risen Glory; Lifetime Achievement Award, Romantic Times Online, 1988-89, and Members Golden Choice Award nominee, Romance Writers of America, 1990, both for Fancy Pants; Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Novel, Romantic Times Online, 1991, for Hot Shot; Members Golden Choice Award nominee, Romance Writers of America, for Honey Moon; Favorite Book of 1994, Romance Writers of America, Romance of the Year and Best Contemporary Romance, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times Online Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance, Best Single Title Contemporary, Readers' Voice, and named to Top 25 Romances of the Century, Amazon.com, all 1994, all for It Had to Be You; Favorite Book of the Year nominee, Romance Writers of America, RITA Award nominee for Single Title Contemporary Romance, Best Contemporary Romance, Bookstores That Care, Romantic Times Online Reviewer's Choice Award nominee, and Romantic Times Online Career Achievement Award nominee, all 1995, all for Heaven, Texas; Romantic Times Online Career Achievement Award, Romance of the Year nominee and named Top Ten Favorite Author, Affaire de Coeur, all 1996, all for Kiss an Angel; Favorite Book of the Year, Romance Writers of America, RITA Award for Single Title Contemporary Romance, Best Contemporary Romance, Bookstores That Care, and Romantic Times Online Reviewer's Choice Award nominee, all 1997, all for Nobody's Baby but Mine; RITA Award for Single Title Contemporary Romance, named Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year, Romance Writers of America, and Favorite Book of the Year nominee, Romantic Times Online, all 1998, all for Dream a Little Dream; named Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year, Romance Writers of America, Best Books of 1999, Library Journal, and Top Ten Favorite Writer, Affaire de Coeur, all 1999, all for Lady Be Good; Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year, Romance Writers of America, 2000, and RITA Award for Single Title Contemporary Romance, 2001, both for First Lady; inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, 2001; Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence, 2001, for This Heart of Mine; Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year, Romance Writers of America, for Breathing Room; Best Contemporary Novel nominee, Romantic Times Online, for Ain't She Sweet?; Best Contemporary Romance nominee, Romantic Times Online, for Match Me If You Can; Lifetime Achievement Award, Romance Writers of America, 2006; Quill Award nominee for best romance, 2007, for Natural Born Charmer.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

(Coauthor, under pseudonym Justine Cole) The Copeland Bride, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Risen Glory, Dell (New York, NY), 1984, revised edition published as Just Imagine, Avon (New York, NY), 2001.

Glitter Baby, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Fancy Pants, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989, reprinted, 2005.

Hot Shot, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Honey Moon, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

It Had to Be You ("Chicago Stars" series), Avon (New York, NY), 1994.

Heaven, Texas ("Chicago Stars" series), Avon (New York, NY), 1995.

Kiss an Angel, Avon (New York, NY), 1996.

Nobody's Baby but Mine ("Chicago Stars" series), Avon (New York, NY), 1997.

Dream a Little Dream, Avon (New York, NY), 1998.

Lady Be Good, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.

First Lady, Avon (New York, NY), 2000.

This Heart of Mine ("Chicago Stars" series), Morrow (New York, NY), 2001.

Breathing Room, Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.

Ain't She Sweet?, Morrow (New York, NY), 2004.

Match Me If You Can, Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.

Natural Born Charmer, Morrow (New York, NY), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Several of Phillips's novels have been adapted as audiobooks.

SIDELIGHTS:

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a popular and prolific American romance novelist. Her best-selling contemporary romance and historical romance novels include Honey Moon, Dream a Little Dream, and Match Me If You Can. Phillips has received numerous awards for her novels, including the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Phillips's novels, consistently popular with her fans, generally receive good reviews from critics. Kristin Ramsdell in a Library Journal review of Nobody's Baby but Mine, found that, though the premise of the book was a stretch, the work features "strong and appealing" characters who draw the reader into the "sensual, heartwarming story." A Publishers Weekly critic called Dream a Little Dream "touching, funny, sexy and humane." Ramsdell's review of First Lady lauded the author for "brilliant romantic romps."

This Heart of Mine focuses on Molly Somerville, a children's book author and heiress whose father founded the Chicago Stars, a professional football team. For more than a decade, Molly has nursed a crush on Kevin Tucker, the team's handsome playboy quarterback. When the pair spends a night together at an isolated cabin, romance ensues. "Snippets of Molly's writings serve as playful foreshadowing of the storybook plot," noted a critic in Publishers Weekly, and BookPage reviewer Sandy Huseby called This Heart of Mine "a romance with more action than a Super Bowl showdown."

In the romantic comedy Lady Be Good, Lady Emma Wells-Finch, the headmistress of St. Gertrude's School for Girls, desperately wants to fend off the romantic overtures of an unwanted suitor, the stuffy Duke of Beddington. In her quest to create a scandal, Lady Emma leaves England for Texas, where she meets Kenny Traveler, a bad-boy professional golfer. Though Lady Emma is determined to lose her virginity to the athlete, Kenny is just as determined to resist her advances as he attempts to rebuild his public image. According to Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell, the author "combines an unexpected premise with warm, appealing characters and overlays it all with her zingy trademark humor," and a Publishers Weekly reviewer described the novel as "well written, funny, sexy and altogether satisfying."

Breathing Room concerns Isabel Favor, a celebrity self-help guru whose life hits rock bottom after an unflattering article hits the newsstands, her accountant flees the country with her money, and her fiancé leaves her for another woman. Isabel heads to Tuscany to gather her wits, where she rents a villa from dashing movie star Lorenzo Gage, with whom she shared a disastrous one-night stand. "The relationship develops in a somewhat familiar fashion," wrote a critic in Publishers Weekly, "but the development of Isabel and Ren as characters makes their story shine." "Flavored with Phillips' clever humor and quick wit, this is a pure joy to read," observed Booklist reviewer John Charles.

In Ain't She Sweet?, a former wild child returns to her Mississippi hometown seeking redemption. Although Sugar Beth Carey left Parrish fifteen years earlier, the memories of her misdeeds still haunt Winnie Davis, Sugar Beth's painfully shy half-sister, and Colin Byrne, a teacher whose career was ruined by Sugar Beth's false charges. Now widowed and broke, Sugar Beth comes home to claim a valuable painting that belonged to her late aunt. "Down on her luck, Sugar Beth keeps her spine straight and her tongue sharp as she tries to make amends," noted Bette-Lee Fox in the Library Journal. Charles commented that "this splendid tale will charm readers."

Fledgling Chicago matchmaker Annabelle Granger lands a premier client—wealthy sports agent Heath Champion—in Match Me If You Can. The brash Heath proves to be a difficult client, though he finds himself drawn to the quirky Annabelle. "Phillips fashions a deliciously fun romance," noted Charles. Phillips returns to the world of professional football in Natural Born Charmer, which follows the romantic entanglements of star quarterback Dean Robillard and his heartbroken traveling companion, Blue Bailey. The author "delivers a love story wrought with delicious sexual tension and charged banter," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2001, Mary K. Chelton, review of This Heart of Mine, p. 211; May 15, 2002, John Charles, review of Breathing Room, p. 1556; December 15, 2003, John Charles, review of Ain't She Sweet?, p. 707; May 15, 2005, John Charles, review of Match Me If You Can, p. 1642; December 15, 2006, John Charles, review of Natural Born Charmer, p. 5.

Books, January 14, 2007, John Charles, review of Natural Born Charmer, p. 10.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2000, review of This Heart of Mine, p. 1712.

Library Journal, May 15, 1995, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Heaven, Texas, p. 60; February 15, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Nobody's Baby but Mine, p. 126; February 15, 1999, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Lady Be Good, p. 139; January, 2000, review of Lady Be Good, p. 51; February 15, 2000, Kristin Ramsdell, review of First Lady, p. 149; August, 2001, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Just Imagine, p. 88; December, 2003, Bette-Lee Fox, review of Ain't She Sweet?, p. 168; June 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Match Me If You Can, p. 121.

People Weekly, March 5, 2001, Jennifer Wulff, review of This Heart of Mine, p. 51.

Publishers Weekly, December 26, 1986, John Mutter, review of Glitter Baby, p. 53; September 1, 1989, Penny Kaganoff, review of Fancy Pants, p. 79; May 3, 1991, Penny Kaganoff, review of Hot Shot, p. 69; May 3, 1993, review of Honey Moon, p. 298; December 4, 1995, review of Kiss an Angel, p. 58; January 5, 1998, review of Dream a Little Dream, p. 64; January 18, 1999, review of Lady Be Good, p. 336; January 1, 2001, review of This Heart of Mine, p. 69; June 3, 2002, review of Breathing Room, p. 64; January 12, 2004, review of Ain't She Sweet?, p. 38; May 30, 2005, review of Match Me If You Can, p. 35; November 6, 2006, review of Natural Born Charmer, p. 34.

ONLINE

BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (February, 2001) Sandy Huseby, "A Touchdown from the Queen of Romantic Comedy."

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Home Page,http://www.susanephillips.com (September 1, 2007).

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