Jessica Rowley Pell Bird Blakemore (born April 1969 in Massachusetts, United States) is a #1 New York Times bestselling American novelist. Under her maiden name, Jessica Bird, she writes contemporary romance novels, and as J.R. Ward, she writes paranormal romance. She is a two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, once as Bird for Best Short Contemporary Romance for From the First, and once as Ward for Best Paranormal Romance for Lover Revealed.
|Jessica Rowley Pell Bird Blakemore|
|Born||Jessica Rowley Pell Bird
December 31, 1969
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Pen name||J. R. Ward|
|Alma mater||Smith College, Albany Law School|
|Genre||Romance, paranormal romance|
|Notable works||Black Dagger Brotherhood series|
|Notable awards||RITA award – Best Short Contemporary Romance
2007 From the First
RITA award – Best Paranormal Romance
2008 Lover Revealed
|Spouse||John Neville Blakemore III (2001–present)|
Born Jessica Rowley Pell Bird in 1969 in Massachusetts, United States, she is the daughter of W. Gillette Bird, Jr. and Maxine F. Bird. She began writing as a child, penning her thoughts in diaries as well as inventing short stories. The summer before she went to college she wrote her first book, a romance novel. After that, she wrote regularly, but for herself. Bird attended Smith College where she double majored in history and art history, concentrating on the medieval period. She then received a law degree from Albany Law School and worked in healthcare administration for several years, including as the Chief of Staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
In 2001, Bird married John Neville Blakemore III. Her new husband encouraged her to try to get an agent and market her manuscripts. She found an agent, and in 2002 her first novel, a contemporary romance called Leaping Hearts, was published. Several years later, Bird invented a world populated by vampires and began writing single-title paranormal romance novels under the pen name J.R. Ward. These novels are a series, known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Bird likes to write series novels which incorporate characters from her previous books. She likens the process of creating a series to "meeting friends through other friends". Her heroes are most often alpha males, "the tougher, the cockier, the more arrogant, the better", while the heroines are smart and strong.
The Romance Writers of America awarded her the RITA Award for Best Short Contemporary Romance in 2007 for her novel From the First. She has also been nominated six times for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, winning once for Lover Awakened. She was also number 2 on the New York Times Bestsellers List of 2014.
As Jessica BirdEdit
- Leaping Hearts. Ivy Books. July 2002 . ISBN 9780804119887.
- Heart of Gold. Ivy Books. June 2003 . ISBN 9780804119894.
- An Unforgettable Lady. Ivy Books. March 2004 . ISBN 9780345458957.
- An Irresistible Bachelor. Ivy Books. March 2004 . ISBN 9780345458964.
The Moorehouse Legacy SeriesEdit
- Beauty and the Black Sheep. Silhouette. July 2005 . ISBN 9780373246984.
- His Comfort and Joy. Silhouette. January 2006 . ISBN 9780373247325.
- From The First. Silhouette. April 2006 . ISBN 9780373247509.
- A Man in a Million. Silhouette. January 2007 . ISBN 9780373248032.
The O'Banyon Brothers SeriesEdit
- From the First / What are Friends for?. 2002.
Collections in collaborationEdit
As J. R. WardEdit
Black Dagger Brotherhood UniverseEdit
- Dark Lover. Penguin. September 2005 . ISBN 9780451216953.
- Lover Eternal. Signet. March 2006 . ISBN 9780451218049.
- Lover Awakened. Signet. September 2006 . ISBN 9780451219367.
- Lover Revealed. Onyx. March 2007 . ISBN 9780451412355.
- Lover Unbound. Signet. September 2007 . ISBN 9780451222350.
- Lover Enshrined. Signet. June 2008 . ISBN 9780451222725.
- Lover Avenged. NAL. April 2009 . ISBN 9780451225856.
- Lover Mine. NAL. May 2010 . ISBN 9780451229854.
- Lover Unleashed. NAL. March 2011 . ISBN 9780451233165.
- Lover Reborn. NAL. March 2012 . ISBN 9780451235848.
- Lover at Last. NAL. March 2013 . ISBN 9780451239358.
- The King. NAL. April 2014 . ISBN 9780451417053.
- The Shadows. NAL. March 2015 . ISBN 9780451417077.
- The Beast. NAL. April 2016 . ISBN 9780451475169.
- The Chosen. Ballantine Books. April 2017 . ISBN 9780451475190.
- The Thief. Ballantine Books. April 10, 2018 . ISBN 9780451475213.
- "Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story" (October 2008) – ebook
- "The Story of Son" (in Dead After Dark anthology) (December 2008)
- "Dearest Ivie" (March 2018) - ebook
- Black Dagger Brotherhood, box set: Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Lover Unbound, Lover Revealed, Lover Enshrined (2009)
Fallen Angels SeriesEdit
Same universe but takes place in an earlier timeline.
- Covet. Signet. September 2009 . ISBN 0-451-22821-9.
- Crave. Signet. October 2010 . ISBN 0-451-22944-4.1
- Envy. Signet. September 2011 . ISBN 0-349-40020-2.
- Rapture. NAL. September 2012 . ISBN 978-074-995-700-1.
- Possession. NAL. October 2013 . ISBN 978-045-124-019-4.
- Immortal. NAL. October 2014 . ISBN 978-045-124-116-0.
Black Dagger LegacyEdit
Spin-off series that details the trainees
- Blood Kiss. Signet. December 2015 . ISBN 978-0-451-47532-9.
- Blood Vow. Ballantine Books. December 2016 . ISBN 978-0-451-47533-6.
- Blood Fury. Ballantine Books. January 2018 . ISBN 978-0-451-47534-3.
The Bourbon KingsEdit
- The Bourbon Kings. Berkley. July 2015 . ISBN 978-0-451-47526-8.
- The Angel's Share. Berkley. July 2016 . ISBN 978-0-451-47528-2.
- Devil's Cut. Ballantine Books. August 2017 . ISBN 978-0-451-47530-5.
Collections in collaborationEdit
- "The Story of Son" in Dead After Dark (2008) (with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Squires, Dianna Love)
- "Dark Lover" in Blood Lust 6 (2010) (with MaryJanice Davidson, Christine Feehan)
- "Lover Awakened" in Blood Sample 7 (2010) (with MaryJanice Davidson, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister)
Awards and receptionEdit
- 2006 - RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance for Lover Awakened
- 2006 - RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance for Lover Unbound
- 2007 - Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best Short Contemporary Romance for From the First
- 2008 - P.E.A.R.L. (Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature) for Best Vampire Romance for Lover Enshrined
- 2008 - Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance for Lover Revealed
- 2009 - P.E.A.R.L. (Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature) for Best Overall Paranormal Romance AND Best Vampire Romance for Lover Avenged
- 2010 - Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Romance for Lover Mine
- 2011 - Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Romance for Lover Unleashed
- 2011 - RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance for Lover Unleashed
- 2013 - Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Romance for Lover at Last
- "Weddings; Jessica Bird, Neville Blakemore", New York Times, October 7, 2001, retrieved 2007-11-14
- "Jessica Bird's Bio at eHarlequin". Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Alice, Kris (September 2004), Jessica Bird, A Romance Review, retrieved 2007-11-14
- Gentle, Dee (January 2006), An Interview with J.R. Ward, PNR Paraphrenalia, archived from the original on 2007-11-10, retrieved 2007-11-14
- RITA Awards: Past Winners, Romance Writers of America, 2007, archived from the original on 2007-09-27, retrieved 2007-11-14
- "Author Profile: Jessica Bird". Romantic Times. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2007-11-14.