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Nancy Bush

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You Can't Escape
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Cheryl Holt
Pseudonym/s: Vanessa Marlow
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Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mom with two young kids, and writing is something I do in my free (??) time. My first few manuscripts were completed in bits and pieces during naps. In my life B.C. (Before Children), I had a varied and interesting life, mostly because I couldn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up — although I'm hoping I've finally found my niche at writing novels.

I was raised in the Dakotas, attended South Dakota State University with a double major in Music Performance and French. As you might imagine, my job prospects after graduation were fairly nil. I goofed around for a few years, and finally went back to SDSU and obtained a degree in Education.

I completed my student teaching, did a short stint as a public school teacher, and decided I hated it!

I goofed around for a few more years.

At age 29, I decided to go to law school — the last resort for people with a Bachelor of Arts degree who don't know what else to do with their lives. I attended the University of Wyoming where I ended up clerking for a year with the Wyoming Attorney General in the environmental prosecution section, chasing after corporate polluters.

I then moved to Denver and clerked for the Colorado Attorney General in the Superfund office, where I worked on the state's seven toxic waste clean-up lawsuits.

I tried my hand at a few other legal jobs. As an administrative law judge. As a labor attorney. For almost three years, I served as a Deputy District Attorney in one of the metro-Denver D.A. offices. High stress! Hard work! Glad when it ended!

I worked in the legal field long enough to decide I was thoroughly disgusted by it. About the time I was wishing I could find something else to do, my husband, who is an electrician, was offered a chance to work in the Hawaiian Islands on some of the huge resort hotels that were built in the 1980s. We debated about thirty seconds before deciding to go for it. We spent three years in Hawaii, living longest on Maui, where I worked as a lobbyist doing mental health advocacy work at a United Way Agency.

After our first child was born, we returned to the mainland, moving through many states while my husband worked on big construction jobs. Washington. Wyoming. Idaho. Nevada. Back to Wyoming again. We eventually settled in Oregon and live on the coast, where U.S. Highway 101 is our mainstreet, and I can walk on the beach everyday.

When I first got pregnant, I believed that I'd go back into the work force after it ended. So much for life plans! I had two babies fairly close together, and they were both high-maintenance little devils, so I never made it out of my house again. Needing to find a second income, I decided to start writing books. It seemed like such a simple idea.

Four years later, after having every foul, weird, strange, funny thing in the world happen to me at the hands of the publishing industry, I finally made my first sale. Ann LaFarge, at Zebra Books, picked my unsolicited historical romance, THE WAY OF THE HEART, out of the slush pile and the rest, as they say, is history. She went on to purchase three more books from me, for a grand total of four novels in one year — an unheard of feat for a new writer.

I wrote my first manuscript when I was forty years old. I sold my first one at age forty-four. Everyday, I feel like I won the lottery.

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Fantasy series
My Love
Paxton series
Sensual Destiny series
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