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Jessica Rowley Pell Bird, born in 1969 in Massachusetts, writes contemporary romance novels under the name Jessica Bird and pens paranormal romances as J.R. Ward. Ward began writing as a child and wrote her first novel in the summer before attending college. Continuing to write for herself, Ward earned a degree from Smith College in history and art history and received a law degree from Albany Law School. She worked in healthcare administration, including the position of Chief of Staff at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston. Ward's first book, Leaping Hearts, was published in 2002. Winner of a RITA Award for Best Short Contemporary Romance, Ward has also been nominated six times for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards. She lives in Kentucky.

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