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Vanak, Bonnie (Blair Valentine)

Vanak, Bonnie (Blair Valentine)

PERSONAL:

Married; husband's name Frank. Education: Graduated from the University of Florida.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Deerfield Beach, FL. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Worked variously as a journalist and as a writer for an international charity.

WRITINGS:

The Falcon & the Dove, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Tiger & the Tomb, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2003.

The Cobra & the Concubine, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2005.

The Panther & the Pyramid, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2006.

(Under the pseudonym Blair Valentine) Cinderella's Rebellion, EllorasCave.com (Akron, OH), 2006.

The Sword & the Sheath, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Maintains a blog at http://bonnievanak.blogspot.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

Bonnie Vanak is the author of numerous romance novels, her work falling into the subgenres of historical fiction—often set in Egypt—and paranormal romance. She began writing stories and poetry as a child, and went on to receive a degree in journalism at the University of Florida. Vanak worked for a number of years after graduation as a newspaper reporter before moving on to work for a major international charity as a writer. However, the travel to poverty-stricken countries and the suffering she witnessed on these trips eventually convinced Vanak that it was time to look for a more upbeat career. It was at that time that she began to write romance novels. In an interview on her home page, Vanak explains the appeal of romance: "I've always enjoyed reading romance novels as an escape.… My travels have taken me to Haiti, Nicaragua, and other poor countries. Writing romance novels provides a healthy balance to some of the horrible suffering I've witnessed." Vanak's Egyptian historical novels including The Tiger & the Tomb, in which Lady Katherine Kalila Smithfield sets out to prove that her father has been framed for the robbery of a local museum, and finds herself following the route on a stolen map to uncover a hidden tomb. John Charles, writing for Booklist, declared that the book "is perfect for readers who enjoy sizzlingly sensual historicals." Other volumes in the series include The Sword & the Sheath, The Panther & the Pyramid, and The Cobra & the Concubine. Reviewing the last of these for Booklist, Charles referred to Vanak's books as "vivid, lushly sensual historical romances."

Vanak told CA: "The most surprising thing I've learned as a writer is discovering my dark side. I've grown increasingly darker in my books and the characters I create. It makes them richer, more complex and three-dimensional. Forcing them to look deep inside themselves to overcome past or present traumas gives my characters depth and adds layers of emotion to the book. I can see my growth as a writer with each successive book, and how I've progressed from writing mainly plot-oriented fiction to character-driven books. It's been a fascinating journey, and I look forward to continuing to explore this new facet of my writing."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2003, John Charles, review of The Tiger & the Tomb, p. 485; May 1, 2005, John Charles, review of The Cobra & the Concubine, p. 1575; September 15, 2006, John Charles, review of The Panther & the Pyramid, p. 51; February 15, 2007, John Charles, review of The Sword & the Sheath, p. 43.

ONLINE

Best Reviews.com,http://sr.thebestreviews.com/ (October 1, 2002), Cynthia Meidinger, "Ancient Lovers Born Again"; (August 22, 2006), Marilyn Rondeau, "Exciting Egyptian Adventure"; (July 16, 2007), author biography.

Bonnie Vanak Home Page,http://www.bonnievanak.com (July 16, 2007).

Bonnie Vanak MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/bonnievanak (July 16, 2007).

Fresh Fiction.com,http://freshfiction.com/ (July 16, 2007), author biography.

Historical Romance Writers Web site,http://www.historicalromancewriters.com/ (July 16, 2007), author biography.

Romance Reader Web site,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (July 16, 2007), Cathy Sova, interview with Bonnie Vanak.

Roundtable Reviews,http://www.roundtablereviews.com/ (July 16, 2007), Sylvia Cochran, review of The Panther & the Pyramid.

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