|Born||1951 (age 67–68)|
Detroit, United States
|Genre||Historical romance, Contemporary romance|
Beverly Jenkins (born 1951, Detroit) is an American author of historical and contemporary romance novels with a particular focus on 19th century African-American life. Jenkins was a 2013 NAACP Image Award nominee and, in 1999, was voted one of the Top 50 Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by the African American Literature Book Club. Jenkins's historical romances are set during a period of African-American history that she believes is often overlooked. This made it difficult to break into publishing because publishers weren't sure what to do with stories that involved African-Americans but not slavery.
Jenkins was born Brenda Hunter in Detroit in 1951 to her parents, a high school teacher and an administrative aide. Jenkins grew up surrounded by words. Her mother read to Jenkins while she was in the womb and bought her cloth books when she was a baby. Jenkins would chew on the cloth books while her mother encouraged her to "Eat those words, baby. Eat those words." Jenkins read widely at her local library, everything from Alice in Wonderland to Dune to Zane Gray to early romance writers like Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart & Phyllis Whitney. Her early writing began when she became the editor of her elementary school newspaper. Jenkins attended Michigan State University in the Spring of 1969.
Jenkins worked full-time in the Michigan State University library's circulation department. Each lunch hour, she would read articles from The Journal of Negro History (now called The Journal of African American History). Eventually, Jenkins and her husband moved to Ypsilanti, where she worked at the Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals' reference desk and began writing romance novels for fun. At the suggestion of a colleague, Jenkins looked for an agent and publisher. Avon published her first novel, Night Song, in 1994.
Though Jenkins has published books in many romance sub-genres, the majority of her books are historical romances. Jenkins calls herself a "kitchen table historian." She likens American history to a quilt with some pieces ripped out—the pieces belonging to minority history. Jenkins uses her books to weave the quilt back together by revealing patches of black history that are rarely taught in school. Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement are important pieces of African American history, but they aren't the only pieces. For example, her first three novels, Night Song, Vivid and Indigo, feature characters such as a schoolteacher, a cavalry officer, a female doctor and Underground Railroad heroes. They were all inspired by true history.
Jenkins found inspiration for Forbidden from two interesting bits of history. First, she read a news article about a high-end African American-run hotel that was uncovered during an archaeological dig in Virginia City. She also heard a story about a man seeing a black woman walking through the desert with a cook stove balanced on her head. Jenkins includes bibliographies with her historical romances so readers can read further, if they choose.
|Vivid||Grayson Family #1||1995||9780595162024|
|Through the Storm||LeVeq Family #1||1998||9780380798643|
|Taming of Jessi Rose, The||1999||9780380798650|
|Always and Forever||2000||9780380813742|
|Before the Dawn||2001||9780380813759|
|Chance at Love, A||2002||9780060502294|
|Belle and the Beau||2002||9780064473422|
short story in Gettin' Merry anthology
|The Edge of Midnight||2004||9780060540661|
|Winds of the Storm||LeVeq Family #2||2004||9780060575311|
|The Edge of Dawn||2004||9780060540678|
|Something Like Love||2005||9780060575328|
|Prisoner of Love||2007||9781625172761|
short story in Cuffed by Candlelight anthology
|Wild Sweet Love||2007||9780061161308|
|Jewel||Grayson Family #2||2008||9780061161353|
|Josephine and the Soldier||2009||9780060012205|
|Bring on the Blessings||Blessings #1||2009||9780061688409|
|Captured||LeVeq Family #3||2009||9780061547799|
|Second Helping, A||Blessings #2||2009||9780061547812|
|"You Sang To Me"
short story in Rhythms of Love anthology
short story in Once Upon a Holiday anthology
|"I'll Be Home for Christmas"
short story in Baby, Let It Snow anthology
|Something Old, Something New||Blessings #3||2011||9780061990793|
short story in Island for Two anthology
short story in Merry Sexy Christmas anthology
|Wish and a Prayer, A||Blessings #4||2012||9780061990809|
|Destiny's Embrace||Destiny #1||2013||9780062032652|
|Destiny's Surrender||Destiny #2||2013||9780062231116|
|Heart of Gold||Blessings #5||2014||9780062207975|
|Destiny's Captive||Destiny #3||2014||9780062231130|
|For Your Love||Blessings #6||2015||9780062207999|
|Forbidden||Old West #1||2016||9780062389008|
|Stepping to a New Day||Blessings #7||2016||9780062412638|
|Breathless||Old West #2||2017||9780062389039|
|Chasing Down a Dream||Blessings #8||2017||9780062412652|
|Tempest||Old West #3||2018||9780062389053|
|Second Time Sweeter||Blessings #9||2018||9780062846174|
- 1996 - Romantic Times Historical Love and Laughter Nominee
- 1999 - Romantic Times Western Historical Romance Winner
- 2000 - Romantic Times Multicultural Romance Winner
- 2007 - Romantic Times Historical Storyteller of the Year Nominee
- 2010 - A Second Helping - Romantic Times Multicultural Fiction Novel Winner
- 2011 - Something Old, Something New - Romantic Times Multicultural Romance Winner
- 2013 - Destiny's Embrace - Romantic Times American-Set Historical Romance Winner
- 2013 - A Wish and a Prayer - NAACP Image Award for Literature Nominee
- 2016 - Forbidden - Romantic Times Historical Romance Winner
- 2017 - RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 
- "Author Beverly Jenkins' Romance With the Past". Huffington Post. May 8, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- "Beverly Jenkins, Author". aalbc.com.
- "Beverly Jenkins Wraps Bitter History in Sweet Romance". npr.org.
- "Author Beverly Jenkins biography and book list". freshfiction.com.
- Drew, Bernard A. 100 Most Popular African American Authors, p. 176. Unlimited, Westport, 2007.
- "Talking Black History and Love Stories with Romance Writing Pioneer Beverly Jenkins". Jezebel. January 26, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "Beverly Jenkins: A Romance With Writing". Lansing State Journal. October 20, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "An Interview with Beverly Jenkins". Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. April 24, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- RT Book Reviews
- "NAACP Image Awards: Winners Announced". Hollywood Reporter. February 1, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Romance Writers of America
- Official website
- "RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech".
- Grimaldi, Christine (August 18, 2015). ""Happily Ever After" for African-American Romance Novelists". The Rumpus. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- Jordan, Emily (June 25, 2017). "Uncommon Ground: Beverly Jenkins, Diverse Romance and American History the Way It Really Happened". Salon. Retrieved July 3, 2017.