I was born in Pasadena, California, the culmination of generations of Americans who moved west for 300 years from farm to farm–from Massachusetts to New Jersey to Illinois to Missouri and Colorado. Here are some of those ancestors, the Ketchum family.


My parents met during World War II and married a few weeks later–there was a war on! My father was a Dutch flier and headed back to war for the next two years. We lived in war-torn Holland when I was very young, but returned to the States by the time I was 5.


Soon we were back in California. Flying jobs for new immigrants (my father wasn’t a citizen yet) were few and far between and it wasn’t until I was ten years old that he got a contract with TransOcean Airlines and became a navigator in the Trust Territory Islands. We moved to Guam where we lived near the town of Yona in a place called Camp Witek until I was 16.


This is what Guam looked like in those days–gorgeous water inside the reefs, trade winds always blowing, huge insects and gigantic snails, heat, humidity and mangoes–it’s the tropics and life is just a shade slower there.


This was the view across the street from our house (a quonset hut!). No glass in the windows–we pulled down the shutters and tied them tight when we saw a rain storm coming at us from across the water. We didn’t even own jackets or sweaters. I loved it there.


Back in the States, I attended school in Pasadena, eventually obtaining my degree in English Lit from Cal State LA. I married Rae Conrad who was in the Army and we headed for Washington, D.C. where Rae was assigned to the White House Communications Agency. He did some fascinating things he can’t talk about to this day!


I did enough teaching to understand this was not my calling, and got a job with the National Geographic. We got transferred to the Western White House in San Clemente, and a year later we were back at college, Rae in Geology/Isotope Geochemistry and I in library school.


And then the boys began to come. Four of them.
The next 20 years were full of school and swim team and water polo–and writing romances of course!

family portrait

The boys are all grown and the grandchildren are amazing (see the banner at the top of the page)–and we’ve moved to the California Central Coast. We’ve been blessed in so many ways!

About my writing~

Developing as a writer usually starts with a lot of reading–then comes the time that one says to oneself, “I could do that!”  And it turns out to be a lot harder than you think.  I started out writing children’s books that didn’t sell, and then Romantic Suspense in the style of Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden, and many others.  That came closer, but didn’t sell either.  It wasn’t until I plunged all the way into real romance that I finally felt I’d found my home.

Over the years, I’ve written for Harlequin, Silhouette, Bantam Loveswept, Dell Candlelight Ecstasy, Harper, Zebra, Mills and Boon—you name it, I’ve probably written for them.  In other words, I’ve lived in a fantasy world most of my life—and I love it!

During all this time, one trend has stayed constant—most of my stories are set along the Central Coast of California—my favorite place in the world.  Two years ago, after a long time living in La Crescenta in the Los Angeles area, we decided to take the leap and move where we loved it.  So here we are in San Luis Obispo County, and we’re thankful every day that we made the change.  We love it here and we’re slowly getting to know all about it.

That will be the theme of this blog—getting to know the beautiful, fun aspects of Central Coast living—or as some term it, the SLO life.

But hey—I need to tell you about the books I’ve just put on the Amazon Kindle website.  I’m taking a few of my very best older books, reworking them, revising the stories, and turning them into a series that features a family called the Carringtons who live right here on the Central Coast.  As is usually the case with rich, powerful families like the Carringtons, there are some good guys and some bad actors—some strong women and some not-so-much.  There are Carringtons with deep, emotional regrets, some who feel wounded, some who feel angry– and others determined to make up for past wrongs.  One thing you can count on—the women are all beautiful and the men are stunningly handsome.  Would you want it any other way?



3 responses to “Bio

  1. Annette

    Can you please tell me if their is a book with Tag & Mickey.

    • Hi Annette,
      There is a story for Tag and Mickey but I’ve gotten bogged down on other projects and haven’t been able to finish it yet. But I will soon!
      Helen Conrad

  2. Emily

    came accross looking for a husband on the best selling bookshelf…….one word woooooow!!!!!!

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