Message From The Author

Author's Message

Jo Goodman started her writing career in the seventh grade, with a "wonderfully awful melodrama featuring a young unwed mother-to-be and her spunky little sister. (Think Barbie-in-trouble and Skipper.)" Now, more than 20 books and several short stories later, two things are still in evidence: her delightful sense of humor and her intense interest in families, their complex dynamics and connections.

This isn't so surprising when you learn of Jo's other career as a therapist who works with children and families. "I think a lot about families," she says. "What keeps them together, what kinds of events tear them apart? Who is still talking? How do siblings raised in the same family grow
up with sometimes vastly different perceptions of their family life?"

All of Jo's books have been published by Zebra, and all but five belong to some sort of family or sibling series—the McClellen family, the Dennehy sisters, the Hamilton family, the Marshall brothers, the Thorne brothers, and now, the Compass Club. For both Jo and her readers, the family context means that they can visit beloved characters from previous stories while learning about new ones. For a long time, Jo reveals, the family stories "developed by accident…when I wrote about Mary Michael Dennehy having four more sisters—at a point halfway through the book—that was the first I knew of it!" The Dennehy sisters (all with "Mary" as a first name and different middle names) are still strong fan favorites. "Sibling position was particularly important with the Dennehy sisters," Jo comments, "and when readers tell me which book was their favorite, there is often a correlation between their position in their own family (oldest, youngest, middle) and the position of one of the Marys." In her later books, she "developed family diagrams" and thought about how those ties "would influence the outside romantic relationships."

Jo's September release, LET ME BE THE ONE, has a different kind
of "familial" structure. Set in Regency England, it's the first in a quartet
of books about the Compass Club, four boyhood friends who were educated at the same public school and remain fast friends as adults. "The adventures of Northam, Southerton, Eastlyn, and Westphal do not happen consecutively," Jo explains, "but more or less at the same time. There are some common threads in each book that are seen from different perspectives." In LET ME BE THE ONE, Brendan David Hampton, Earl of Northam, and witty, beautiful Libby Penrose attempt to unravel a mystery. But Libby harbors a dark secret, and soon
fate will force her to make a harrowing choice: trust her love…
or lose North forever.

SINGLE TITLES FROM ZEBRA

McClellan Family

1985 (reprinted 1999) CRYSTAL PASSION

1986 (reprinted 2000) SEASWEPT ABANDON

1989 (reprinted 2001) TEMPTING TORMENT

Dennehy Sisters

1992 WILD SWEET ECSTASY

1993 ROGUE'S MISTRESS

1994 FOREVER IN MY HEART

1995 ALWAYS IN MY DREAMS

1996 ONLY IN MY ARMS

Hamilton Family

2000 MORE THAN YOU KNOW

2001 MORE THAN YOU WISHED

Marshall Brothers

1989 MIDNIGHT PRINCESS

1990 PASSION'S SWEET REVENGE

Thorne Brothers

1997 MY STEADFAST HEART

1998 MY RECKLESS HEART

1999 WITH ALL MY HEART

The Compass Club

2002 LET ME BE THE ONE

Non-series Titles

1984 PASSION'S BRIDE

1987 VELVET NIGHT

1988 VIOLET FIRE

1988 SCARLET LIES

1991 SWEET FIRE

1998 THE CAPTAIN'S LADY (originally PASSION'S BRIDE)

ANTHOLOGIES

1991 "TIDEWATER PROMISE" in CHRISTMAS RENDEZVOUS (McClellan Family #4, reprinted with TEMPTING TORMENT)

1993 "Liberty Christmas" in A CHRISTMAS CARESS

1995 "My True Love" in A GIFT OF JOY

1996 "The Baby Dream" in BABY DREAMS


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