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Eye On Romance
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Shana Abé

Meet Eye On Romance Featured  Author Shana Abé
Sweetest Dark, The
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Jasmine Cresswell
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If Jasmine Cresswell seems to have a wide view of the world, it's only natural -- after all, she has lived in just about all four corners of the globe.

Born in Wales but raised and educated in England, Jasmine obtained a diploma in commercial French and German from the Lycee Francais in London after graduating from high school. Recruited by the British Foreign Service, her first overseas assignment was to the embassy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was while Jasmine was working in Brazil that she met her future husband, Malcolm, who was also British and was in Rio as a marketing executive for a pharmaceutical company. They dated for a year and then flew to England to be married.

The next day they were on a plane to New York because Malcolm felt if he was to get anywhere in this business, he had to be in New York, the world capital of dynamic marketing. In retrospect, Jasmine realizes the move was completely brash and reckless and everything else that goes with being young. It was also enormous fun.

For someone who had joined the Foreign Office with a mind to traveling, being married to a marketing executive proved a suitable substitute. Jasmine and her growing family moved from the United States to Australia, then back to the States (with a few interesting side trips to Hong Kong and Singapore), then to Canada before finally settling in America.

While in Australia, Jasmine attended two universities, graduating with a double major in history and philosophy. During one of the family's brief sojourns in Cleveland, Jasmine managed to squeeze in the requisite course work and dissertation to graduate with a Master's degree in history and archival administration. But it was in Canada, while she was busy raising four very young children and pondering whether she should continue with her efforts to get a doctoral degree, that her life took a turn she hadn't foreseen.

They were living in Toronto, and Malcolm was called in as a consultant by Harlequin Enterprises to do a marketing study. When he left at the end of the day, the president of Harlequin gave Malcolm a selection of romance novels to take home to his wife. Malcolm never ended up doing the study, but Jasmine read her very first Harlequin novels.

Captivated by the books, and realizing that she could take a writing career with her no matter where her husband was transferred next, Jasmine began to write her first romance novel. At the time, all romances seemed to be filled with British virgins being rescued by domineering Greek tycoons, and she wanted to write a different type of story, with a different type of happy ending: one where the hero and heroine were more equal and where the heroine was more mature.

Since she had no idea about guidelines and editorial requirements, she forged ahead entirely oblivious to the problems inherent in her approach. If her attitude seems naive and casual, that's exactly what it was! However, in retrospect, Jasmine is convinced that the compulsion to write a novel was much more deeply rooted than it seemed at the time. Nowadays, she can't imagine living her life without the stimulation and pleasure that comes from writing.

Her four young children have now grown up into four wonderful young adults with families of their own. In between visiting with her eleven grandchildren, Jasmine has found time to write more than fifty romances -- ranging from Historicals to contemporaries, Regencies to Intrigues.

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