A giant and unrepentant nerd, Mary Altman spends her free time playing video games, watching Critical Role, and reading about fantastical worlds. She started her post-college life studying law before coming to her senses and settling happily in a decades-long editorial career. She has a passion for travel and lives outside of Chicago with her partner and an overflowing TBR pile.
Carly Bloom began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children grew old enough to literally die from embarrassment. To save their delicate lives, Carly turned to penning steamy, contemporary romance. The kind with bare chests on the covers. Carly and her husband raise their mortified brood of offspring on a cattle ranch in South Texas.
Alicia Condon has been editing romance for the last thirty plus years and is currently an Editorial Director at Kensington, where she acquires romance of every kind. She has had the pleasure of working with New York Times bestselling authors Kat Martin, Jayne Ann Krentz, Diana Palmer, Sandra Brown, Sylvia Day and Mary Jo Putney.
As projects director for Publishers Lunch/Publishers Marketplace, Robin produces biannual Buzz Books, organizes the Buzz Editors Panels, coordinates social media and marketing, oversees publishing forum, Discuss!, and more. Previously, Robin co-founded book packaging company Lark Productions and worked for Seth Godin’s publishing outfit. Robin has written or edited bestselling books on subjects such as parenting, communications, education, lifestyle, spirituality, the arts, and marketing.
Estelle Hallick is the Associate Director of Publicity and Marketing at Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, where she works with amazing authors like Abby Jimenez and Farrah Rochon. Before she worked in publishing, she co-founded a book blog with her BFF and credits a great publicist for getting her back into reading romance.
A USA Today bestselling author, native New Yorker, Kwana Jackson aka K.M. Jackson spent her formative years on the ‘A’ train where she had two dreams: 1) to be a fashion designer and 2) to be a writer. After spending over ten years designing women’s sportswear for various fashion houses Kwana took the leap of faith and decided to pursue her other dream of being a writer. A longtime advocate for equality and diversity in romance and #WeNeedDiverseRomance, Kwana is a mother of twins and currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband. How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days releases in November.
Kosoko Jackson is a digital media specialist, focusing on digital storytelling, email, social and SMS marketing, and a freelance political journalist. Occasionally, his personal essays and short stories have been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog, The Advocate, and some literary magazines. His debut rom-com, I’M SO (NOT) OVER YOU, will come out in 2022, published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House. His Young Adult debut, YESTERDAY IS HISTORY, came out in 2021 by SourcebooksFire.
Timothy Janovsky is a queer, multidisciplinary storyteller from New Jersey. He holds a degree in theatre and dance from Muhlenberg College. His work as a humor writer has been featured on Points in Case, The Broadway Beat, and Well Mannered Grump, and his fiction short story debut was published by Voyage YA Journal. When he’s not daydreaming about a young Hugh Grant, he’s writing the queer rom-coms he wished he had as a teenager. Never Been Kissed is his first novel.
LaQuette writes savvy, sexy contemporary romance. She is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2016 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner, and a 2018 Passionate Plume Finalist. She is an advocate for diverse romance in the publishing industry. LaQuette, a native of Brooklyn, lives in the mountains with her book-boyfriend husband and their two rambunctious kids.
Currently living in Missoula, Montana, New York Times bestselling author, Kat Martin, was raised in Bakersfield, California, then attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in anthropology and also studied history. After graduation, Kat pursued a career in real estate, where she met her husband, Western author L. J. Martin, who convinced her to try writing a novel. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author of historical and contemporary romantic suspense novels, 17 million copies of Kat’s books are in print and she’s been published in Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, France, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Greece. When she’s not writing, Kat enjoys traveling, particularly in Europe, fine food and wine, and an occasional adventure. Currently, she’s busy writing her next novel.
Jean Meltzer studied dramatic writing at NYU Tisch and has earned numerous awards for her work in television, including a daytime Emmy. Like her protagonist, Jean is also a chronically-ill and disabled Jewish woman. She is an outspoken advocate for ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), has attended visibility actions in Washington DC, meeting with members of Senate and Congress to raise funds for ME/CFS. She inspires 9,000 followers on WW Connect to live their best life, come out of the chronic illness closet, and embrace the hashtag #chronicallyfabulous. Also, while she was raised in what would be considered a secular home, she grew up kosher and attended Hebrew School. She spent five years in rabbinical school before her chronic illness forced her to withdraw, and her father told her she should write a book―just not a Jewish one because no one reads those. The Matzah Ball is her first novel.
Kamrun Nesa is a senior book publicist at Grand Central Publishing and freelance writer based in New York. Her work has been featured in NPR, Glamour, The Washington Post, PopSugar, and more. She also co-hosts a romance book podcast called LITerally Us.
Emily Ohanjanians has been an editor with MIRA for over a decade, and has worked with authors ranging from debuts to veteran New York Times and USA TODAY bestsellers. There is nothing more fulfilling for Emily than seeing readers connect with a story she’s had the pleasure of working on with an author. She is always looking for breakout mainstream commercial fiction, and is a fan of unique voices, fresh perspectives, high concepts, strong pacing and complex characters.
Jessica Pryde is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Southern Arizona. As a contributing editor for Book Riot, she writes regular content about romance and the greater book world, and is the co-host of Book Riot’s romance podcast, When In Romance. You can also occasionally find her writing on Harlequin Ever After and the Read Bliss blog. Her first book, Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happy Ever Afters, is set to release with Berkley in February 2022.
Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of Regency and Historical Romances featuring dazzling multi-culture communities and powerful persons of color. To fuel her interest in the Regency and early-Victorian eras, she made time for attending renaissance fairs and consuming period novels and films while obtaining her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Historical Novel Society, as well as a Christian Book Lovers board member. A frequent speaker at women’s events, she lives in Georgia with her military husband and teenage kid.
USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows. The Boyfriend Project, praised by NPR, and Entertainment Weekly, is available now. The Dating Playbook will be available in August. For more on Farrah and her books, visit FarrahRochon.com.
Bianca M. Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teenage son. She has been telling stories all her life and holds a degree in English literature. Her first novel is The Innkeeper’s Daughter. The Gentleman’s Daughter is the second and most sweepingly romantic book in The Gentleman Spy Mysteries.
Karelia Stetz-Waters is passionate about providing happy endings and a vision of redemptive love for readers of all orientations. Her novels include For Good, Something True, The Admirer, The Purveyor, and Lambda Literary Award and Golden Crown Literary Society finalist Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before. She and her wife live in Oregon and have been together for twenty years. Karelia has a BA in comparative literature from Smith College and an MA in English literature from the University of Oregon, and she currently teaches English at Linn-Benton Community College. Karelia loves to hear from readers, and you can find her at KareliaStetzWaters.com.
Kristine Swartz is a graduate of New York University. She joined Berkley in 2012, where she is currently a senior editor and mainly acquires romance, women’s fiction, and mystery.
Rebekah Weatherspoon is a multi award-winning romance author and the creator of WOCinRomance.com, an online resource for discovering romances written by women and non-binary people of color. Her series, Cowboys of California, is currently being developed for TV. Raised on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy in Southern New Hampshire, Rebekah has BA in English with a concentration in Shakespearean works. She now lives in Southern California and can be found online at RebekahWeatherspoon.com and on Twitter at @rdotspoon.