|Noted pioneer of the erotic historical romance, Kathleen Erin Woodiwiss was born in 1939 in Alexandria, Louisiana. At the age of 17, the young southern belle married U.S. Air Force major Ross Woodiwiss and had three children with him. Not surprisingly, the marriage didn't last; ever the passionate risk-taker, Woodiwiss had other plans in mind. After working as a fashion show model in Tokyo, she decided to take up writing romance novels simply because nothing currently published held her interest. After a failed attempt at writing a romance set during the Revolutionary War, Woodiwiss wrote her pinnacle book, THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, in the early 1970s. The book was later published in 1972 after Avon Books editor Nancy Coffey discovered it in a pile of unsolicited manuscripts known in the publishing industry as the "slush pile." THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, with its adventurous plot, passionate characters, and steamy love scenes, not only launched Woodiwiss's career as a talented romance writer, but also began a new trend in historical romance fiction in which erotic love replaced the more innocent, spiritual love of past historical romances. Though Woodiwiss rejects the use of the word "erotic" in relation to her writing, preferring that her books be referred to as "love stories" with a little "spice," her novels, which also include THE WOLF AND THE DOVE (1974), SHANNA (1977), ASHES IN THE WIND (1979), A ROSE IN WINTER (1982), COME LOVE A STRANGER (1984), SO WORTHY MY LOVE (1989), FOREVER IN YOUR EMBRACE (1992), PETALS ON THE RIVER (1997), and THE ELUSIVE FLAME (1998), have captivated millions of readers worldwide.