Van der Zee, Karen 1947-

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van der ZEE, Karen 1947-

(Wendela Kilmer, Mona van Wieren)

PERSONAL: Born in Sneek, Friesland, Netherlands, May 26, 1947; married a development economist, 1969; children: three.

ADDRESSES: Home—Armenia. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harlequin Books, 233 Broadway, New York, NY 10279. E-mail[email protected]; karen[email protected]

CAREER: Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS: RITA award, c. 1989, for Rhapsody in Bloom.

WRITINGS:

ROMANCE NOVELS

Sweet Not Always, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1979.

Love beyond Reason, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1980.

A Secret Sorrow, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1981.

Waiting, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1982.

One More Time, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1983, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1984.

Soul Ties, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1984.

Staying Close, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1984, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1985.

Going Underground, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1985.

Pelangi Haven, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1985.

Fancy Free, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1986, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1987.

Time for Another Dream, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1987.

Shadows on Bali, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1988.

Hot Pursuit, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1988.

Brazilian Fire, Mills & Boon (Richmond, Surry, England), 1989.

(Under pseudonym Mona van Wieren) Rhapsody in Bloom, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1989.

Java Nights, Mills & Boon (Richmond, Surrey, England), 1990, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1991.

Kept Woman, Mills & Boon (Richmond, Surrey, England), 1991.

The Imperfect Bride, Mills & Boon (Richmond, Surrey, England), 1991, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.

(Under pseudonym Mona van Wieren) A Prince among Men, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.

Passionate Adventure, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.

Something in Return, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1992, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1993.

Making Magic, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1993, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1995.

A Love Untamed, Mills & Boon (London, England), 1994, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1997.

The Other Man, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1996.

Marriage Shy, Harlequin Books (New York, NY), 1996.

An Inconvenient Husband, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1997.

Captive in Eden, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1997.

Fire and Spice, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.

Hired Wife, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.

A Wife to Remember, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.

Rand's Redemption, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.

Midnight Rhythms, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2003.

The Italian's Seduction, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.

OTHER

Author of short story "Prison, Anyone?" in I Should Have Just Stayed Home, RDR Books. Also publishes under pseudonym Wendela Kilmer.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Romance Writer on the Loose: Living the Writer's Life in Africa and Other Fun Places.

SIDELIGHTS: Karen van der Zee began writing as a child growing up in the Netherlands and knew from an early age that she wanted to travel. She married a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, East Africa, and the couple later lived in the United States, Ghana, Indonesia, Palestine, and Armenia. Van der Zee has used her world travels as background for her numerous romance novels, which are set in colorful locations. The title of her first book, Sweet Not Always, is taken from the slogan on a truck that transported people, goods, and livestock around Ghana.

Van der Zee's romances often find her heroines discovering some tragic, secret piece of information about herself or someone close to her. The woman's difficulty in resolving the conflict she has uncovered frequently stands between her and true love. Discussing van der Zee's books, an essayist for Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers noted that the author's "heroes are not always inscrutable, mysterious and hard; rather, they are virile and competent, yet tolerant and sensitive." Deviating from the standard romance formula, van der Zee has her heroes declare their love early on in the story, then devotes the rest of the story to the female protagonist's attempts to work out her problems. The author's heroines are usually strong, educated, and self-sufficient.

In A Secret Sorrow, Faye Sherwood is devastated to learn that a car accident has left her unable to bear children, and the matter is made worse when she falls in love with a man who wants to raise a large family. In the end, they marry and create their own family by adopting disadvantaged children from around the world. In Staying Close, van der Zee tells the story of Kristen, an unmarried mother in the late stages of her pregnancy who becomes involved with a caring man named Paul. The difficulties of pregnancy are interwoven with a tale of blossoming romance in this story. Brazilian Fire revolves around the feelings of alienation experienced by those with mixed cultural backgrounds, as portrayed in the story of Chantal, a French-American woman, and her romance with a Brazilian-American man. In other books, van der Zee takes on the conflict between love and career, estrangement within families, and many other themes. The essayist for Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers pointed out, "The author seems to be able to pick out and make use of some of the most common fears women have today as the basis for the heroine's quandry in her romances."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

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

ONLINE

Harlequin Books Web site, http://www.eharlequin.com/ (March 14, 2005), interview with van der Zee.

Karen van der Zee Home Page, http://www.karenvanderzee.com (March 14, 2005).

RomanticTimes.com, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 14, 2005), Shannon Short, review of An Inconvenient Husband; Linda Silverstein, review of Making Magic.

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