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Shana Abé

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Carolyn Zane
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I was born in Encino, California and lived there for the first five years of my life, until my dad decided to trade in the city smog for some country fresh air.

My Pa said, "Ma, we gotta move away from here". Said, "The great Northwest is the place we oughta be," so he loaded up the truck and we moved to Oh-ree-gun. State that is. Puddles the size of swimmin' pools. Movie stars. At the local picture show.

After several years of moving around the state, looking for the perfect piece of farmland, my dad eventually found paradise in the beautiful, Silverton hills, just outside the state's capitol (Salem, Oregon) and settled down. There, he enthusiastically began his hobby of becoming a gentleman farmer by purchasing three head of cattle. These fine animals would feed the family some day, he reasoned.

Unfortunately, the cattle became more like giant pet dogs and he never mustered the heart to butcher them. The story was the same with the two sheep. Our country menagerie was completed by an assortment of cats and dogs, not to mention the horses and chickens that would wander over to visit from the neighbors place.

Thus began my own love of country living.

After graduating from Silverton Union high school, I attended college at Oregon State University, where I majored in Theater Arts with a minor in beer, until I realized that my chance of ever earning a living in the theater was slim to none. So, I changed my major to Broadcast/Speech communications, and headed for a career in the highly competitive field of television.

Luckily, I did not know this at the time.

While in college, I met my future husband, Matt, in the unlikely romantic atmosphere of the student cafeteria's dish room. I admired the way he slaved over the mountains of dirty dishes, earning his way through college. For me, it was love at first sight of his bulging biceps. The rest would follow.

Matt and I were married in our sophomore year and after we graduated from OSU, we moved to Portland, Oregon, where Matt began his career in the hotel industry and I began life as a waitress. And though the jobs in television were practically non-existent in Portland back when I graduated, I was not daunted. After several years doing odd jobs and hounding the local television companies, I eventually landed a job producing local television commercials. Matt is now the Director of Sales and Marketing for a large convention facility.

As we were working our way up the corporate ladder, Matt and I bought a house in Portland, completely remodeled it, and there, discovered our mutual love for knocking down walls, hanging wallpaper and going into debt.

Back when we were first married, we agreed to put off starting a family until we had graduated from college, traveled a little, bought and sold several houses, built our careers and any other reason we could dredge up for not jumping into parenthood. But, finally we ran out of excuses for not having that baby, and on July 22nd, the day of our wedding anniversary, we welcomed our first daughter into our family. Four years later, we welcomed her younger sister. And then, just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water, four years later, a gift dropped out of heaven and into our laps as our first son, and our first experience with adoption.

Just before our eldest daughter was born, I knew I needed to find a career that I could do from our home, when time allowed, so that I could be with my children. In my years creating copy for scads of TV commercials, I'd gained some experience writing for hire. And, as an avid reader of everything from cereal boxes to novels, I'd always harbored a secret desire to write a story that lasted longer than thirty seconds. So, I decided to try my hand at writing novels, and the rest, as they say is history.

In January of 1992, as part of my New Years Resolution, I began writing my novel. Longhand. On a legal pad. Didn't have a computer yet. After completing "The Wife Next Door", in March of 1993, I was fortunate to sell this book to Silhouette Books, a division of Harlequin Enterprises, Worldwide. In the years that followed, I began writing under the pseudonyms Carolyn Zane and Suzy Pizzuti. To date, I have written and sold over thirty books to a number of publishers, and have several million books in print around the world.

Over the years, my husband and I have found yet another wonderful relic of a farmhouse that needed our love and attention. This house was out in the country on an acre of land in the beautiful rolling countryside along Portland's Willamette River. Perfect for raising three energetic children. Luckily for me, there is no room on this acre for cattle or sheep, and the closest thing to a horse on the property is my lovable golden retriever -and writing partner- Bob Barker.

My life thus far, has had its ups and downs. Many more ups, than downs, I'm happy to report, and for that, I am truly grateful to God. It is to Him I owe all praise and thanks for anything I've managed to accomplish; for, down a very sad road I'd have traveled if it hadn't been for His guiding hand. Thank you, Lord Jesus, my dearest friend in good times and bad. I love You.

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