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Ann Major

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Marriage at the Cowboy's Demand
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Jill Metcalf
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Jill Metcalf is the national best selling author of five historical romances and one novella. Her stories have received awards and award nominations from reviewers and readers alike. More than one reviewer inquired about the possibility of cloning the hero of Jill's first romance, Spring Blossom. Hunter Maquire was a Romantic Times Knight in Shining Silver (K.I.S.S.) award winner. Jill's fourth historical romance novel, Family Reunion, brought her a nomination in Affaire de Coeur's, Favorite Top Ten Authors Readers' Choice Poll. Jill hails from the historic town of Georgetown, Ontario, 50 miles west of Toronto where she lives on a pretty but quiet street. The office where she creates her stories is on the second floor at the front of the house. "I swear people must think I'm a captive up there," she laughs. "When I'm having difficulty with a section of a story and need to think, I get up from my desk and stare out the window. I don't gaze at anything in particular, just stare at the street with that glazed look that comes with deep thought. But I'm sure people wonder why I spend so much time there!" Jill's best buddy is McDuff, as seen with her in the picture above. The Duffer, as he is frequently known, is a white miniature schnauzer and was only 14 months old when the photograph was taken in January 1999. "He is such a wonderful, loving little guy," she says. "He has the heart of a champion and the courage of a mastiff. He is only 13 and 1/2 inches tall but he doesn't know that! Duffy has completely changed our lives for the better. And he is amazingly adaptable. I had to stop taking him for his twice-daily walks in the late summer of 1998 due to the failure of an artificial hip joint. When close friends gave me a scooter, Duffy took to the vehicle without hesitation. He skips and hops beside it or, more often, runs in front so that it looks as if he is pulling me along. I don't have to worry if the batteries fail!" she laughs. Jill travels frequently throughout the United States attending writers' and readers' conferences and conventions and, at least annually, goes off on a driving tour through the American south, the Heartland, or the west, to research locations for her stories. "I credit family vacations for my love of history," she explains. "As children my brother and I were fortunate enough to see a good deal of Canada and the United States and we both became history buffs. I suspect my brother has one of the most extensive American Civil War libraries and art collections in Canada while I just fell in love with everything historical. I was eight years old when I saw my first western shoot-out in Montana. The sheriff, of course, wore a white hat, the bad guys wore black, and good won out over evil in the end. It all seemed pretty impressive at the time. I bought a solid red cowboy suit that day with money it took me a year to save!" "Over the years we learned about the courage of pioneers, the physical and emotional struggles of early settlers, the trials and tribulations experienced by North American Natives and the genius behind early inventions. We learned about good people and bad, the triumphs of the stouthearted and the horrors of war. There is just so much in history to stir my imagination and I try to bring a little of it to life in my stories." In addition to writing romance, Jill is a Senior Program Officer with Canada's Mortgage-Backed Securities Program. Now there is an example of residing in two worlds at opposite ends of the spectrum: securities and romance! "My first love will always be writing romance!" she confesses. When Jill feels the need to get away she returns to Maine. "I just love the beauty of Maine, particularly along the coast. And, without exception, I spend at least a day whale watching whenever I am there. Whales and dolphins are such incredibly beautiful creatures." An avid collector of all things bear-like, Jill frequently finds herself adopting a Teddy Bear, to add to her large collection, while on her tours. Visitors to her home are greeted by the foyer-bears and anyone venturing to the second storey will pass a furry little guy or gal on every step.

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