Pozzessere, Heather Graham

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Pozzessere, Heather Graham

(Shannon Drake, Heather Graham)

PERSONAL: Married Dennis Pozzessere (a writer); children: Jason, Shayne, Derek, Bryee-Annon, Chynna. Education: Attended Southern Florida University.

ADDRESSES: Home—Coral Gables, FL. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Worked variously in dinner theatre, as a model, bartender, and actress.

AWARDS, HONORS: Best Silhouette “Ecstasy” novel nomination, 1987, for The Maverick and the Lady; best Silhouette “Intimate Moments” novel nominations, 1987, for A Matter of Circumstance, and 1988, for King of the Castle; award for best sensual romance set during the Civil War, 1988, for Dark Stranger; lifetime achievement award, Romance Writers of America, 2003. Numerous trade awards from Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur; bestseller awards from B. Dalton, Walden Books, and Book Rak; numerous Reviewer’ Choice and People’s Choice Awards.

WRITINGS:

ROMANCE AND HISTORICAL NOVELS

Night Moves, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1985.

Double Entendre, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

The DiMedici Bride, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

The Game of Love, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

A Matter of Circumstance, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

All in the Family, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Bride of the Tiger, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

King of the Castle, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Strangers in Paradise, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Angel of Mercy, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Lucia in Love, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

This Rough Magic, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Dark Stranger, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988, published under pseudonym Heather Graham, Severn House (London, England), 1993.

Apache Summer, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

Borrowed Angel, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 1989.

A Perilous Eden, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

Wedding Bell Blues, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

Forbidden Fire, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

Mistress of Magic, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

Borrowed Angel, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

Hatfield and McCoy, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

The Last Cavalier, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

The Trouble with Andrew, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Between Roc and a Hard Place, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Snowfire, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Down in New Orleans, Five Star (Unity, ME), 1998.

ROMANCE AND HISTORICAL NOVELS; AS HEATHER GRAHAM

A Season for Love, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Forbidden Fruit, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Quiet Walks the Tiger, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Tempestuous Eden, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Tender Taming, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

When Next We Love, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Night, Sea, and Stars, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Arabian Nights, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Hours to Cherish, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Red Midnight, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Serena’s Magic, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Tender Deception, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Hold Close the Memory, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Sensuous Angel, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

An Angel’s Share, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Queen of Hearts, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Golden Surrender, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Dante’ Daughter, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Eden’s Spell, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Devil’s Mistress, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Handful of Dreams, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

The Maverick and the Lady, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Every Time I Love You, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Liar’s Moon, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Siren from the Sea, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Love Not a Rebel, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Sweet Savage Eden, Dell (New York, NY), 1989.

Pirate’s Pleasure, Dell (New York, NY), 1989.

Rides a Hero, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1989.

Viking’s Woman, Dell (New York, NY), 1990.

Lord of the Wolves, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.

Spirit of the Season, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1993.

Three Complete Novels, Wings Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Runaway, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1994.

Three Complete Civil War Novels, Wings Books (New York, NY), 1995.

A Magical Christmas, Topaz (New York, NY), 1996.

Night, Sea, and Stars, Five Star (Unity, ME), 1997.

Rebel, Wheeler (Rockland, MA), 1997.

Drop Dead Gorgeous, Onyx (New York, NY), 1998

Surrender, Topaz (New York, NY), 1998.

Glory, Penguin (New York, NY), 1999.

Tall, Dark, and Deadly, Signet (New York, NY), 1999.

Long, Lean, and Lethal, New American Library (New York, NY), 2000.

Triumph, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

Night of the Blackbird, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2001.

DYING TO HAVE HER, Onyx (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Jennifer Blake and Diana Palmer) With a Southern Touch (anthology), Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Hurricane Bay, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

(With Carla Neggers and Sharon Salsa) On the Edge (anthology), Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

(With others) Snowy Nights (anthology), Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Julia Justiss) Forbidden Stranger (anthology), Harlequin (New York, NY), 2003.

Picture Me Dead, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Haunted, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Dead on the Dance Floor, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

In the Dark, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Presence, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

Suspicious, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Ghost Walk, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Killing Kelly, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

The Island, Mira (New York, NY), 2006.

Kiss of Darkness, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

The Vision, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Blood Red, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

The Dead Room, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

The Last Noel, Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

“CIVIL WAR” TRILOGY; AS HEATHER GRAHAM

One Wore Blue, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.

One Wore Gray, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

And One Rode West, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

ROMANCE NOVELS; AS SHANNON DRAKE

Tomorrow the Glory, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1985.

Blue Heaven, Black Night, Berkley (New York, NY), 1986.

Lie down in Roses, Charter (New York, NY), 1988.

Ondine, Charter (New York, NY), 1988.

Princess of Fire, Berkley (New York, NY), 1988.

Emerald Embrace, Berkley (New York, NY), 1991.

A Damsel in Distress, Avon (New York, NY), 1992.

The King’s Pleasure, Kensington (New York, NY), 1998.

Come the Morning, Kensington (New York, NY), 1999.

Beneath a Blood Red Moon, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

When Darkness Falls, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Conquer the Night, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Deep Midnight, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Seize the Dawn, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Knight Triumphant, Kensington (New York, NY), 2002.

Realm of Shadows, Kensington (New York, NY), 2002.

The Awakening, Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.

The Lion in Glory, Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.

When We Touch, Kensington (New York, NY), 2004.

Reckless, HQN Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Dead by Dusk, Kensington (New York, NY), 2005.

Beguiled, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

The Queen’s Lady, HQN (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Also author, under pseudonym Shannon Drake, of Branded Hearts, 1995, No Other Man, 1995, No Other Woman, 1996, No Other Love, 1997, and Wicked, 2005.

OTHER

Christmas Stories (short stories), Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

The Spirit of the Game, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1993.

Slow Burn (mystery-romance novel), Mira (New York, NY), 1994.

For All of Her Life (mystery-romance novel), Zebra(New York, NY), 1995.

Eyes of Fire (mystery-romance novel), Mira (NewYork, NY), 1995.

An Angel’s Touch (fantasy novel), Kensington (NewYork, NY), 1995.

Down in New Orleans, Kensington (New York, NY), 1996.

Forever My Love, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1996.

,.If Looks Could Kill (mystery novel), Mira (New York, NY), 1997.

Never Sleep with a Stranger (mystery-romance novel), Mira (New York, NY), 1998.

(As Heather Graham) A Season of Miracles, Mira (New York, NY), 2002.

Author of foreword, as Heather Graham, to Beauvallet, by Georgette Heyer, Harlequin Books (New York, NY), 2004. Author of introduction, as Heather Graham, to Happy Birthday to Me, by David and Tessie DeVore, Charisma Kids (Lake Mary, FL), 2004. Contributor, as Shannon Drake, to Haunting Romance, Avon, 1991. Work represented in anthologies, including—as Heather Graham—The Ultimate Dracula, 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: Heather Graham Pozzessere is a prolific writer of both contemporary and historical romance novels. Pozzessere’s fiction encompasses a wide range of temporal and geographic settings, ranging from the Vikings to English history to the American Civil War, and from a Scottish castle to New York City to the Florida Everglades. Pozzessere seems equally at home in any milieu and has also proven adept at incorporating elements of mystery and fantasy into a number of her works. According to Barbara E. Kemp in Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, regardless of their setting or whatever elements are introduced from other genres, Pozzessere’s novels deal mainly with a “spirited, spicy romance between the hero and heroine.” Kemp describes Pozzessere’s characters as “engaging and vividly drawn,” her dialogue as “witty, sharp,” and her books as “solid, well-written love stories with lots of sizzle.”

Pozzessere’s “Civil War” trilogy, written as Heather Graham, spans the lives of characters of that era. Talking about the books in Romantic Times, Pozzessere said that she became interested in the Civil War after her first trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She contends that “no other period in our history was so achingly sad” as the Civil War. It was while visiting Gettysburg that she read the story of two brothers who went to war, fighting on opposing sides. This tale was the basis of the first two books of the trilogy, One Wore Blue and One Wore Gray. Each of the books is devoted to the story of one brother. One Wore Blue concerns Jesse, a doctor who joins with the Union forces. One Wore Gray relates the adventures of Jesse’s younger brother Daniel, who fights for the Confederacy. Writing about the brothers in Romantic Times, Pozzessere declared: “I’ve come to know them well. I have told their stories with a great deal of love and respect.”

Pozzessere’s Slow Burn is an example of a contemporary romance novel that is also a mystery. After the murder of Miami police officer Danny Huntington, his wife, Spencer, and his former partner, David Delgado, must track down the killer. A romance between Spencer and Delgado, former high school sweethearts, inevitably follows. Finding the book to be “fast paced” and “an enjoyable read,” a Publishers Weekly reviewer credited Pozzessere with “some nice local detail” and for showing “what it was like [for Delgado] to grow up as a Cuban refugee in Miami.” However, the same reviewer finds the romance elements of the novel “more satisfying than the mystery, as the murderer turns out to be incidental.”

In An Angel’s Touch Pozzessere for the most part abandons romance in favor of fantasy. An automobile accident on Christmas Eve turns New York yuppies David and Cathy Angel into actual angels who must return to Earth and perform six miracles to earn their wings. The Angels’ deeds include helping a bag lady and a terminally ill nun, as well as bringing an estranged couple back together. “Cramming a plethora of miseries into her slender tale,” stated a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, “Pozzessere … veers unevenly between the sad circumstances of characters at various nadirs and the forced comic mayhem of the yuppie couple trying to get an afterlife.” The reviewer goes on to dismiss An Angel’s Touch as “an ill-conceived exploitation of the angel craze that pulls sentimental strings as shamelessly as it does spiritual ones.”

Once again combining elements of mystery and romance, For All of Her Life could be described as Pozzessere’s 1960s novel. It concerns the attempt to reunite a once-popular rock band, Blue Heron, for a charity concert. The group had dissolved ten years earlier after the violent and mysterious death of its drummer. The plot also involves the reuniting of the group’s leader, Jordon Treveryan, with his former wife, Kathryn, who was a member of the band. Anonymous and threatening phone calls warn Jordon not to reform the band or hold the concert. Yet as he proceeds, both Jordon and Kathryn begin to learn more about the past, the drummer’s death, and the changes they have undergone since their days as hippies. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarks: “This finely crafted, extremely credible love story is for those who survived the 60s and for anyone else who wants to understand them.”

Among Pozzessere’s many other novels are Angel of Mercy, in which a government agent finds love while enforcing justice in the reptile-strewn Florida everglades, and Sweet Savage Eden, which is set in Colonial Virginia. She publishes many of her works under the pseudonyms Shannon Drake and Heather Graham.

Written as Heather Graham, Picture Me Dead is a suspenseful romance novel that follows rookie police officer and forensic artist Ashley Montague as she gets involved in a bizarre case centering on a serial killer in Miami and a cult in the Everglades. When an old friend of Ashley’s is killed in a traffic accident, the local police insist there was nothing out of the ordinary about the circumstances, writing off the victim as a drug addict who jumped into traffic. Ashley, however, suspects that something else happened. Thanks to her photographic memory, she is able to recreate the accident scene in a drawing, thereby discovering several odd details that the police are missing. At the same time, Detective Jake Dilesso is following up on a case involving the body of a woman that was found in the Everglades, and when the two cases appear to merge, Jake and Ashley must put their heads together and work as a unit. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly commented that “Graham’s tight plotting, her keen sense of when to reveal and when to tease, and her eye for the Florida landscape will keep fans turning the pages.”

Dead on the Dance Floor, another romantic mystery, opens with the death of Lara, the Moonlight Sonata dance studio’s star ballroom dancer, after she collapses during a major competition. Quinn O’Casey is a former cop who gets talked into assisting with the investigation by his brother, Doug, who is still on the force. At first Quinn is puzzled regarding his brother’s request for aid, but then he learns that Lara and Doug once were lovers, and only his concern for his brother convinces him to go undercover as a dance student in order to investigate the studio and the other students. Mary Frances Wilkens, in a review for Booklist, commented that “although her plotting is entirely too predictable, Graham knows how to keep her narrative moving.”

In Killing Kelly, Doug O’Casey makes another appearance, this time working as a bodyguard and dance instructor who is paired up with soap star Kelly Trent while she prepares for a dance video. Unfortunately, Kelly is only free to work on the video because her television character, therapist Marla Valentine, is in a coma, a plot device created by one of the show’ spon-sors who was less than pleased when Kelly turned down his sexual advances. Meanwhile, Doug is concerned for Kelly’s safety because a serial killer has been targeting advice therapists, and the killer appears not to know the difference between television and the real world. Diana Tixier Herald, reviewing the novel in Booklist, remarked that “Graham’s writing appears effortless, creating a comforting and undemanding read.”

The Island is the suspenseful tale of Beth Anderson, who finds a human skull in the woods at Calliope Key. She hides it, planning to return later, but a number of other campers appear on the island and Beth is unable to go back until much later, at which point the skull has vanished. Knowing that a couple had gone missing in the area several months earlier, Beth believes that her find means one of the individuals has been killed, and that one of the campers might have been responsible. In particular, handsome scuba diver Keith Hanson, who was visiting the area on his yacht, seems to be everywhere Beth goes. Hanson claims he is trying to protect her, but Beth is not sure if she can believe him. Reviewing The Island, Herald noted: “Graham always writes a satisfyingly entertaining read.”

The Dead Room offers readers yet another thriller, but this one has a paranormal twist. Heroine Leslie MacIn-tyre, an anthropologist, receives an invitation to participate in a dig at Hastings House in New York City. Even though Leslie was injured in an explosion at the house the year before, an incident that killed her fiance Matt, she is still enthusiastic about the idea of working on the site, and with good reason. Since the accident, Leslie has discovered an ability to communicate with the dead, and while living temporarily at Hastings House, she is able to see the ghost of Matt in her erotic dreams each night. Meanwhile, Matt’s cousin Joe, a private detective, is attempting to track a social worker who has disappeared. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly remarked that “the intense, unexpected conclusion will leave readers well satisfied.”

Realm of Shadows, which Pozzessere wrote under the name Shannon Drake, is one in a series of vampire romance novels that she has published. In this book, an evil vampire is unearthed by archaeologists, and she begins to terrorize the city of Paris. An odd trio sets out to stop her, consisting of Lucian, a vampire; Brent, a human who seems to possess extraordinary abilities of his own; and Tara, an American whose grandfather is part of a group dedicated to fighting evil. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly found the book less smoothly written than Pozzessere’s other work, remarking that “unfortunately, there are too many pieces that don’t fall into place until the book’s lengthy epilogue.”

Pozzessere once told CA: “I grew up in Dade County, Florida, and attended the University of South Florida at Tampa, majoring in theatre arts. I toured Europe and parts of Asia as part of my studies. After college, I went on to perform in dinner theatre. I also modeled, waitressed, and bartended. After the birth of my third child, I determined to put my full effort into my desire to write. After some trial and error, I sold my first book, When Next We Love, to Dell Publishing Company. I have been under contract with Dell since that time, and my last book with them, And One Rode West, which I wrote under the pseudonym Heather Graham, hit the New York Times list as well as several other best-seller lists.

“I am pleased to have received numerous awards for my novels, Including over twenty trade awards from Romantic Times, as well as best-seller awards from B. Dalton, Walden Books, and Book Rak book stores. I have also won several Reviewer’s Choice and People’s Choice awards. My books have been selections for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. I have been published across the world in more than fifteen languages, and, including anthologies and short stories, I have more than ten million titles in print. My novel Tempestuous Eden was the first in Dell’s Candlelight Supreme series, while The Last Cavalier… [was] published as the first title in Silhouette’s Shadows line. In addition to romance, I have written time travel and horror fiction, as well as contributed a story to a collection of vampire short stories that includes a contribution from Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, The Tale of the Body Thief).”

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1994, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Runaway, p. 2022; November 1, 1996, Melanie Duncan, review of A Magical Christmas, p. 481; February 1, 1999, Melanie Duncan, review of Glory, p. 966; April 1, 1999, Melanie Duncan, review of Come the Morning, p. 1390; July, 1999, Alexandra Baker Shrake, review of Tall, Dark, and Deadly, p. 1929; November 15, 2001, Maria Hatton, review of A Season of Miracles, p. 559; March 15, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Picture Me Dead, p. 1283; September 1, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Haunted, p. 71; January 1, 2004, Mary K. Chelton, review of When We Touch, p. 836; March 15, 2004, Mary Frances Wilkens, review of Dead on the Dance Floor, p. 1270; September 1, 2004, Diana Tixier Herald, review of the presence, p. 72; March 1, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Killing Kelly, p. 1144; October 15, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Ghost Walk, p. 34; February 15, 2006, Diana Tixier Herald, review of The Island, p. 52; June 1, 2006, Mary K. Chelton, review of The Vision, p. 47; March 1, 2007, Diana Tixier Herald, review of The Dead Room, p. 62; October 15, 2007, Mary K. Chelton, review of The Queen’s Lady, p. 38.

Library Journal, November 15, 2001, Kristin Ramsdell, review of A Season of Miracles, p. 56; November 15, 2002, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Realm of Shadows, p. 57.

MBR Bookwatch, April, 2005, review of Wicked.

New Orleans City Business, August 14, 2006, “Top Author Heather Graham Wants to Repay New Orleans’ Debt.”

Publishers Weekly, January 27, 1992, review of A Damsel in Distress, p. 94; February 24, 1992, review of One Wore Gray, p. 49; October 5, 1992, review of And One Rode West, p. 66; November 1, 1993, review of Spirit of the Season, p. 68; February 14, 1994, review of Tomorrow the Glory, p. 84; August 1, 1994, review of Runaway, p. 72; August 29, 1994, review of Slow Burn, p. 70; January 9, 1995, review of Branded Hearts, p. 60; April 17, 1995, review of For All of Her Life, p. 53; August 28, 1995, review of Eyes of Fire, p. 110; September 25, 1995, review of An Angel’s Touch, p. 43; October 9, 1995, review of No Other Man, p. 82; May 20, 1996, review of No Other Woman, p. 255; February 3, 1997, review of Rebel, p. 100; June 23, 1997, review of If Looks Could Kill, p. 87, and review of No Other Love, p. 88; January 5, 1998, review of Surrender, p. 64; June 1, 1998, review of Never Sleep with a Stranger, p. 59; July 27, 1998, review of Drop Dead Gorgeous, p. 74; January 4, 1999, review of Glory, p. 87; January 25, 1999, review of Come the Morning, p. 74; June 14, 1999, review of Tall, Dark, and Deadly, p. 67; May 22, 2000, review of Long, Lean, and Lethal, p. 79; September 11, 2000, review of When Darkness Falls, p. 74; August 6, 2001, review of Deep Midnight, p. 67; September 3, 2001, review of Night of the Blackbird, p. 69; October 29, 2001, review of A Season of Miracles, p. 36; February 4, 2002, review of Knight Triumphant, p. 59; March 25, 2002, review of Hurricane Bay, p. 43; May 13, 2002, review of With a Southern Touch, p. 57; August 19, 2002, review of Realm of Shadows, p. 72; January 6, 2003, review of The Lion in Glory, p. 45; February 24, 2003, review of Picture Me Dead, p. 53; August 25, 2003, review of Haunted, p. 45; December 22, 2003, review of When We Touch, p. 43; February 16, 2004, review of Dead on the Dance Floor, p. 153; August 2, 2004, review of The Presence, p. 57; February 21, 2005, review of Killing Kelly, p. 158; January 30, 2006, review of The Island, p. 41; May 8, 2006, review of The Vision, p. 51; October 23, 2006, review of Beguiled, p. 37; February 5, 2007, review of The Dead Room, p. 39; May 28, 2007, review o Blood Red, p. 43; September 17, 2007, review of The Queen’s Lady, p. 43.

Reviewer’s Bookwatch, August, 2004, S.A. Gorden, review of Picture Me Dead.

Romantic Times, July, 1991, interview with Heather Graham Pozzessere, pp. 10-11.

PERIODICALS

Heather Graham Home Page,http://www.heathergraham.com (January 10, 2007).*