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Richards, Emilie 1948–

Richards, Emilie 1948–

PERSONAL: Born 1948; married Michael McGee (a minister), 1969; children: Shane, Jessie, Brendan, Galen. Education: Florida State University, B.A., 1970; Virginia Tech, M.S., 1970. Hobbies and other interests: Traveling, gardening, quilting.

ADDRESSES: Home—Arlington, VA. Agent—The Axelrod Agency, 49 Main St., Chatham, NY 12037. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Author. Has worked as a therapist, Head Start coordinator, and community organizer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Best New Series Romance Writer, Romantic Times Online, 1986; Career Achievement Award, Romantic Times Online, 1994; RITA, Romance Writers of America, 1994, for Dragonslayer; Janet Daily Award, 1997, for The Trouble with Joe.

WRITINGS:

Brendan's Song, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1985.

Sweet Georgia Gal, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1985.

Gilding the Lily, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1985.

The Unmasking, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1985.

Lady of the Night, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Something So Right, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1986.

Sweet Sea Spirit, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Angel and the Saint, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Sweet Mockingbird's, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Good Time Man, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Sweet Mountain Magic, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Season of Miracles, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1986.

Bayou Midnight, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1987.

Aloha Always, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Sweet Homecoming, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1987.

Outback Nights, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1987.

From Glowing Embers, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1987.

Smoke Screen, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

All the Right Reasons, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

A Classic Encounter, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Rainbow Fire, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

Out of the Ashes, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

Island Glory, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1989.

Runaway, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1990.

The Way Back Home, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1990.

Fugitive, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1990.

Labor Dispute, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

All Those Years Ago, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

Desert Shadows, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

Twilight Shadows, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

From a Distance, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

One Perfect Rose, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

Somewhere out There, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Dragonslayer: American Heroes, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

The Trouble with Joe, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1994.

Duncan's Lady, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1995.

Ian Ross's Woman, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1995.

Macdougall's Darling, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1995.

Woman without a Name, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1996.

Once More with Feeling, Avon (New York, NY), 1996.

Iron Lace, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1996.

Rising Tides, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1997.

Mail-Order Matty, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1997.

Twice upon a Time, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Kathleen Eagle and Joan Elliot Pickart) A Mother's Gift, (anthology) Silhouette (New York, NY), 1998.

Beautiful Lies, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

One Moment past Midnight, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Whiskey Island, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2000.

Fox River, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2001.

Prospect Street, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

The Parting Glass, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Blessed Is the Busybody, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor of short fiction to anthologies, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Delivery Room, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1997; Southern Gentleman, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1998; Maybe This Time, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2003; and To The One I Love, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2003.

"SHENANDOAH ALBUM" SERIES

Wedding Ring, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

Endless Chain, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Lover's Knot, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS: Emilie Richards began writing contemporary romance novels in 1983 after the birth of her fourth child and a move to New Orleans, LA. Her first book, Brendan's Song, was named after that fourth child. Richards has gone on to win awards in the romance field, such as the Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times Online in 1994 and the Janet Daily Award in 1997, and to write dozens of books.

In Once More with Feeling, socialite Elisabeth Whitefield is discontented with her life, even though, with her nice house and beautiful family, she seems to have a perfect one. At the same time, she is fascinated by tabloid television reporter Gypsy Dugan, who is sexy and powerful. After a car accident Elisabeth wakes up to find herself in Gypsy's body. She can now live the life she dreamed of, but in the process of doing so, she finds out important truths about herself.

Iron Lace, set in the 1960s, is the story of Philip Benedict, an African-American journalist who is asked by the wealthy, elderly, and white Aurore Gerritsen to help write her autobiography. Her story starts in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New Orleans, with an adulterous father and a mentally unstable mother. When they are through, Philip learns that his great-grandmother was Aurore's father's mistress, and his mother, Aurore's daughter, was given up by Aurore because she could not face the criticism she would receive for trying to raise a biracial child in strictly segregated New Orleans. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented: "This portrait of racism from 1919 to the mid-1960s is intricate, seductive, and a darn good read."

In Rising Tides, a sequel to Iron Lace, Aurore Gerritsen has died, and her family is called together for the reading of her will. Aurore has instructed her lawyer to keep the family members together for four days at her summer cottage on a remote island. Over those four days, Aurore's secrets are slowly uncovered, as her lawyer releases one memento to them at a time. As in Iron Lace, flashbacks and racism play important roles. Reviewing the book for Romance Reader, Susan Scribner noted: "This novel is a serious and searing read, but an important one too."

In Whiskey Island, ex-priest Niccolo Andreani's life becomes entwined with those of the members of the Donoghue family when he saves the lives of two adult daughters of the family. He finds himself attracted to older daughter Megan, who runs the family's Whiskey Island Saloon and has been the head of the family since the death of their mother and their father's desertion. A stranger also helped with the rescue that night, and it is rumored that it was the sisters' father. The sisters are also holding secrets of their own. "Like any novel written by the esteemed Emilie Richards," Scribner wrote in Romance Reader, Whiskey Island is "a book to savor."

For the three generations of female characters in Wedding Ring, handmade quilts represent all the episodes and fragments of their lives tied together. Matriarch Helen Henry is an expert quilter whose skills have pieced together artifacts from years of Henry family history in hundreds of quilts. When Helen is stricken with a pattern of strange behavior that causes her to accumulate and hoard all types of materials, her daughter, Nancy and granddaughter, Tessa, decide to spend their summer helping Helen by cleaning out her house. The season proves fateful for all three, as Tessa confronts bitter emotional issues surrounding her young daughter's death and the effect it has had on her marriage, and Nancy reflects on her Shenandoah Valley upbringing and her own difficulties with marriage and motherhood. Booklist reviewer Carol Haggas commented that Richards assembles the women's stories "as artfully as a quilter creates a quilt," and that the author's "characterizations are transcendent, endowed with warmth and compassion."

Endless Chain is a "densely plotted romance" exploring issues of race, immigration, and redemption in the Shenandoah Valley town of Toms Brook, VA, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Hispanic immigration has increased in the town of Toms Brook, and the town's residents and members of the Shenandoah Community Church are at odds over the newcomers. Into this atmosphere comes Elisa Martinez, fleeing false murder charges in her native Guatemala. The quiet little town, welcoming to outsiders but keen on privacy, seems like a perfect place to rest and regroup. When preacher Sam Kinkade tries to start an outreach center for the local Hispanic families, he runs into resistance and vandals, but hiring Elisa as church sexton might help stem the troubles. Unexpected romance between Sam and Elisa jeopardize her safety, his career, engagement to a high-society woman in Atlanta, and their position in the community. Haggas, in another Booklist review, called the book an "emotionally charged and transcendent tale" about how "love and faith can triumph in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2001, review of Whiskey Island, p. 212; June 1, 2004, Carol Haggas, review of Wedding Ring, p. 1671; May 15, 2005, Carol Haggas, review of Endless Chain, p. 1614.

Library Journal, August, 1996, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Once More with Feeling, p. 58; May 15, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Rising Tides, p. 68; May 15, 2000, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Whiskey Island, p. 78.

Publishers Weekly, April 22, 1996, review of Iron Lace, p. 69; June 24, 1996, review of Once More with Feeling, p. 57; April 6, 1998, review of Southern Gentlemen, p. 75; March 1, 1999, review of Beautiful Lies, p. 66; May 22, 2000, review of Whiskey Island, p. 79; April 23, 2001, review of Fox River, p. 55; June 13, 2005, review of Endless Chain, p. 33; May 8, 2006, review of Lover's Knot, p. 48.

ONLINE

All about Romance, http://www.likesbooks.com/ (November 12, 2006), Ellen Micheletti, review of Beautiful Lies.

BookBrowser, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bookbrowser/ (November 12, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Beautiful Lies.

Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (http://www.mcgeefamily.net/), Jean Mason, review of A Mother's Gift; Susan Scribner, review of Fox River; Susan Scribner, review of Whiskey Island; Susan Scribner, review of Beautiful Lies; Andrea Pool, review of Once More with Feeling; Susan Scribner, review of Iron Lace; Susan Scribner, review of Rising Tides; Jean Mason, review of One Moment Past Midnight; Susan Scribner, review of Twice upon a Time.

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