Sawyer, Meryl (Meryl Nickels)

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Sawyer, Meryl (Meryl Nickels)

PERSONAL:

Born in Santa Fe, NM; married (husband deceased). Education: Attended the University of California, Los Angeles Writers Program.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Newport Beach, CA.

CAREER:

Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Career Achievement Award for Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Best New Contemporary Author, and Reader's Choice Award for The Hideaway, all from Romantic Times.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

(As Meryl Nickels) Love's Lying Eyes, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Blind Chance, Dell (New York, NY), 1990.

Midnight in Marrakesh, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

Never Kiss a Stranger, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.

Promise Me Anything, Dell (New York, NY), 1994.

A Kiss in the Dark, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.

Last Night, Dell (New York, NY), 1996.

Tempting Fate, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.

The Hideaway (reissue edition), Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.

Half Moon Bay, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.

Thunder Island, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Trust No One, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Closer Than She Thinks, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Every Waking Moment, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Unforgettable (reissue edition), Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Lady Killer, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Better Off Dead, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.

Half Past Dead, HQN (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Kiss of Death, HQN (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Work represented in anthologies, including Valentine Delights, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1997.

SIDELIGHTS:

Meryl Sawyer is a best-selling romance-suspense novelist. Her novel A Kiss in the Dark features journalist Royce Winston who is engaged to a wealthy man only to have her old lover Mitch Durant return. The relationship, however, fell apart, when Mitch, a district attorney, ruined her father. When their love flares up again, the two not only have to deal with what to do but also a string of bad luck for Royce, during which time she is accused of diamond theft, drug trafficking, and finally murder. "All in all, a finely crafted, engaging read," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor of A Kiss in the Dark.

An animal lover, Sawyer often incorporates them into her novels. The author notes on her Web site: "I've always been involved in animal causes and often write about them in my books. I see pets, not as window dressing for the plot, but as secondary characters because I believe pets are very important in many people's lives." For example, in Unforgettable, Greg Braxton is training his rescue dog Dodger when the two discover a woman seriously injured in a car accident. She appears to be a prostitute, but the woman has no memory. Although Greg wants to just get the woman to the hospital and forget about her, he soon finds himself involved in her life. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author "cleverly weaves mystery with romance." The author also features animals in Thunder Island, with K-9 Search and Rescue specialist Jennifer Whitmore teaming up with one-time boyfriend Kyle Parker to conduct a rescue during a hurricane. Although Jennifer is engaged to one of Kyle's colleagues, the two soon find themselves falling in love again following the murder of Jennifer's finacé. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "adds whimsy to her satisfying romantic suspense with quirky hotel guests."

Sawyer turns to the jungles of Colombia for the setting of her novel Tempting Fate. Logan McCord, whose childhood left him unable to love, finds himself accompanying journalist Kelly Taylor to adopt the son of her husband. When they run afoul of local villains, they are soon trying to survive in the jungles of Venezuela. A Publishers Weekly contributor called Tempting Fate a "riveting work of romantic suspense." Half Moon Bay tells the story of Amy Conroy, who takes the identity of another woman killed in a car accident as she hides from a former employer whom she turned in to the FBI. She is helped in her deception by journalist Matt Jenson. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted the role that the "rich history and tropical setting of Key West" plays in the story.

In her 2001 novel, Closer Than She Thinks, costume jewelry designer Alyssa Rossi returns to New Orleans on business only to find herself becoming romantically involved with Jake Williams, the son of the owner of a small jewelry business. The plot also involves a kidnapping and murder during Mardi Gras. Maria Hatton, writing in Booklist, noted that the author "has created a wonderful cast" of characters involved in "a plot … rich in Byzantine twists and turns." In her next novel, Every Waking Moment, the author features Taylor Maxwell, her dying mother, and a stripper named Renata Rollins, who claims to be Taylor's long-lost half sister. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the novel will please to "fans of twisted family dramas."

Lady Killer takes place in Kauai and San Francisco and focuses on the hunt for a serial killer of successful women. When onetime lovers Jessica Crawford and Cole Rawlings, both reporters, join forces to hunt for the killer, they find their passion for each other rekindled. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "readers will appreciate the sharply drawn characters."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2001, Maria Hatton, review of Closer Than She Thinks, p. 304.

Library Journal, February 15, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Valentine Delights, p. 126.

Publishers Weekly, June 16, 1989, review of Blind Chance, p. 65; May 11, 1992, review of Never Kiss a Stranger, p. 65; December 19, 1994, review of A Kiss in the Dark, p. 50; November 20, 1995, review of Last Night, p. 73; December 16, 1996, review of Unforgettable, p. 55; March 9, 1998, review of Tempting Fate, p. 65; February 8, 1999, review of Half Moon Bay, p. 210; November 8, 1999, review of Thunder Island, p. 65; October 14, 2002, review of Every Waking Moment, p. 70; February 23, 2004, review of Lady Killer, p. 57.

ONLINE

All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (September 26, 2004), Jennifer Keirans, review of Unforgettable, Jane Jorgenson, review of Closer Than She Thinks, and Nicole Miale, review of Every Waking Moment.

Meryl Sawyer Home Page,http://www.merylsawyer.com (April 1, 2007).

Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (April 2, 2007), Linda Mowery, review of The Hideaway, and Judith Flavell, review of Tempting Fate.

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (April 8, 1998), Judith Flavell, review of Tempting Fate; (March 2, 1999), Jean Mason, review of Half Moon Bay; (September 30, 2000), Irene Williams, review of Trust No One; (February 19, 2002), Jean Mason, review of Closer Than She Thinks.

Romantic Times Book Club,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (September 26, 2004), Jill M. Smith, reviews of Unforgettable, Trust No One, Thunder Island, The Hideaway, Tempting Fate, Last Night, Half Moon Bay, Every Waking Moment, and Closer Than She Thinks.

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Sawyer, Meryl (Meryl Nickels)

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