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Lisa Jackson

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Mary Brendan
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Mary was born in North London, the third daughter in a family of six children; four girls and two boys. Her father, now retired, had his own plumbing business. Her mother, who she must primarily thank for encouraging her to enjoy reading and studying, worked as a school secretary until her own retirement.

Educated at the local grammar school, Mary was married at 19, and forgoing university, started work for an international oil company, firstly as a clerk and later as a personnel secretary. It was there that she qualified as a competent shorthand typist, a skill that has proved invaluable in her writing career.

Always a keen reader of historical romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing a Regency novel during her youngest son's afternoon naps. What started as a lazy lunchtime indulgence, sandwich in one hand, notepad in the other, soon developed into a highly enjoyable part-time occupation. She was delighted when her first work was accepted for publication in the United States in 1986.

Following a good response from readers, a subsequent Regency novel was commissioned and appeared in print the following year. Throughout her sons' school years, whilst busy with family commitments, she took a break from writing to assist her husband in his property development and building firms, having a special interest in renovation and interior design. When her sons were into their late teens, Mary resumed writing historical romances, and in 1999 Mr. Trelawneys Proposal was published by Mills & Boon, the first novel in the Bad Boys quartet.

Mary finds an attraction of writing historical fiction is the necessary research into the chosen era. The criminal underworld and poverty of the early 19th century are discovered to have thrived alongside the culture and extravagance for which this elegant period is more readily remembered. Where possible, she likes to weave a bit of both worlds into the fabric of her books.

Now living in a village in Hertfordshire with her husband and two sons, Mary is working part-time for a local library, helping her husband run his businesses, and is also setting aside time for her primary interest: writing.

When time permits, she relaxes by browsing junk shops for curios and antiques, or by visiting the local Tandoori for a prawn dansak and a glass or two of red wine.

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