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Jodi Koumalats adopted the pen name Jodi Thomas when publishers suggested she change her difficult last name. A fifth-generation Texan, Thomas grew up in Amarillo and attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, earning a master's degree in family studies. While teaching family living at Amarillo High School, Thomas began writing stories to supplement her salary and save for her children's college tuition. Her first novel, Beneath the Texas Sky, won a Reviewer's Choice Award and was named a National Press Women Novel of the Year. In 1991, Thomas quit teaching and became a full-time writer. Since then, she has won three Romance Writers of America RITA Awards and been inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Several of her books have also become best sellers. Thomas lives in Amarillo.

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