Patricia Maxwell

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Patricia Anne Ponder Maxwell
BornPatricia Anne Ponder
(1942-03-09) March 9, 1942 (age 78)
Goldonna, Louisiana,
United States
Pen namePatricia Maxwell,
Elizabeth Trehearne (with Carol Albritton),
Patricia Ponder,
Maxine Patrick,
Jennifer Blake
Period1969 - present
GenreGothic, mystery, suspense, romance

Patricia Maxwell, née Patricia Anne Ponder (born March 9, 1942 near Goldonna, Louisiana) is a best-selling American author of over fifty novels. A member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and the Affaire de Coeur Romance Hall of Fame, Maxwell has received numerous awards for her writing. Her first novel in the romance genre, Love's Wild Desire, became a New York Times Bestseller.[1]

Maxwell has published books under five different names. Using her real name, Patricia Maxwell, she writes Gothic mystery-suspense romances; she wrote one book in collaboration with Carol Albritton, that was published under Elizabeth Trehearne, under her maiden name, Patricia Ponder, she wrote a murder mystery and a romantic suspense story, as Maxine Patrick, she wrote contemporary romances and as Jennifer Blake she writes historical romances.[2] Many of her books are set in her native Louisiana.


Early years[edit]

Maxwell is a seventh generation Louisianan[3] of English, Irish, Welsh, Scots-German, French and American Indian descent.[4] She was born in a one-hundred-twenty-year-old house constructed by her grandparents near Goldonna.[5] She spent her childhood on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) farm in Northern Louisiana.[5] Through her mother, who belonged to a mail order book club, Maxwell was introduced at an early age to adult mysteries, westerns, historical novels, and romances.[6] As a young teenager, she volunteered at the school library, further cementing her love of the written word.[6]

At age 15, the former Patricia Ponder married, took her husband's surname of Maxwell, and became a housewife, and soon, a mother. She began writing one morning when she was 21,[3] attempting to describe a very vivid dream she'd had that was set in historical Scotland.[6] She took a six-week correspondence course on writing and began practicing as much as she could.[6]

Writing career[edit]

For the next seven years, Maxwell sold various poems, articles, and short stories before deciding to take the time to write a novel.[6] Her husband was very supportive of her efforts, even buying her a typewriter to make the work easier.[6] After objectively looking at her maiden work, though, Maxwell decided that it was not good enough to sell, and promptly started on a second manuscript. This one sold in 1970, to the first publisher who actually read it.[6] A stunned Maxwell used her first check to buy a greenhouse—something she had long wanted.[4]

Maxwell's early works, published under her own name, were mystery suspense novels.[2] In the mid-1970s, this type of novel became less popular, and Maxwell suddenly had trouble selling new works.[6] After two years of struggling to find another niche, Maxwell was asked to write a proposal for an emerging genre, historical romance.[6] Her first novel in this genre, Love's Wild Desire, became a New York Times Bestseller under the pseudonym Jennifer Blake (so that fans of her previous work would not be confused).

Maxwell has now been churning out novels as Jennifer Blake for over 30 years.[2] She writes both contemporary romance novels as well as historicals,[4] many of them set between 1830-1850.[6] The vast majority of her novels are set in Louisiana.

Personal life[edit]

Maxwell writes for six hours a day, five days a week in her home office, usually completing one book each year.[6] In her spare time, she enjoys collecting antiques, painting, and quilting. Because she is allergic to many chemicals, she and her husband maintain a small organic garden to cultivate their own produce. They also grow antique roses.[4]

Maxwell and her husband live in Northern Louisiana,[3] with a second home in Colorado.[4] They have four children and several grandchildren.[4]


As Patricia Maxwell[edit]

Single novels[edit]

  • The Secret of the Mirror House, 1970
  • Stranger at Plantation Inn, 1971
  • The Bewitching Grace, 1973
  • The Court of the Thorn Tree, 1973
  • Dark Masquerade, 1974
  • Bride of a Stranger, 1974
  • Love's Wild Desire, 1977
  • The Notorious Angel, 1977
  • Sweet Piracy, 1978
  • Night of the Candles, 1978

As Elizabeth Trehearne[edit]

Single Novel[edit]

  • Storm at Midnight, 1973

As Patricia Ponder[edit]

Single novels[edit]

  • Haven of Fear, 1974
  • Murder for Charity, 1974

As Maxine Patrick[edit]

Single novels[edit]

  • The Abducted Heart, 1978
  • Bayou Bride, 1978
  • Snowbound Heart, 1979
  • Captive Kisses, 1980
  • Love at Sea, 1980
  • April of Enchantment, 1981

As Jennifer Blake[edit]

Single novels[edit]

  • Tender Betrayal, 1979
  • The Storm and the Splendor, 1979
  • Golden Fancy, 1980
  • Embrace and Conquer, 1981
  • Midnight Waltz, 1984
  • Surrender in Moonlight, 1984
  • Fierce Eden, 1985
  • Prisoner of Desire, 1986
  • Louisiana Dawn, 1987
  • Southern Rapture, 1987
  • Perfume of Paradise, 1988
  • Love and Smoke, 1989
  • Spanish Serenade, 1990
  • Joy and Anger, 1991
  • Wildest Dreams, 1992
  • Arrow to the Heart, 1993
  • Shameless, 1994
  • Silver-Tongued Devil, 1995
  • Tigress, 1996
  • Garden of Scandal, 1997

Royal Family of Ruthenia Series[edit]

  1. Royal Seduction, 1983
  2. Royal Passion, 1985

Louisiana's Gentlemen Benedict Series[edit]

  1. Kane, 1998
  2. Luke, 1999
  3. Roan, 2000
  4. Clay, 2001
  5. "Adam" in With a Southern Touch, 2002
  6. Wade, 2002

Masters at Arms Series[edit]

  1. Challenge to Honor, 2005
  2. Dawn Encounter, 2006
  3. Rogue's Salute, 2007
  4. Guarded Heart, 2008
  5. Gallant Match, 2009

Anthologies in collaboration[edit]



  • Inducted into Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame
  • 1997 Frank Waters Award for Writing Excellence
  • 1997 Holt Medallion, Southern Theme, Virginia Romance Writers: SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL
  • 1995 "Climbing Rose" Award, North Louisiana Romance Authors
  • 1995 Lifetime Honorary Membership, Coeur de Louisiane, Inc. Writers Club
  • 1994 Romance Hall of Fame, Affaire de Coeur Magazine
  • 1994 Reviewer’s Choice Winner, Affaire de Coeur: SHAMELESS
  • 1993-1994 Reviewer’s Choice Certificate of Excellence, Romantic Times: SHAMELESS
  • 1992-1993 Reviewer’s Choice Certificate of Excellence, Romantic Times: ARROW TO THE HEART
  • 1991-1992 Reviewer’s Choice Certificate of Excellence, Romantic Times: WILDEST DREAMS
  • 1988 Keynote Speaker, Romance Writers of America National Conference
  • 1988 Honorary Membership, Romance Writers of America
  • 1988 Silver Plume Award, Affaire de Coeur: SOUTHERN RAPTURE 1988 Best Colonial Romance, Romantic Times: LOUISIANA DAWN
  • 1987 Golden Treasure Award, Lifetime Achievement, Romance Writers of America
  • 1987 "Maggie" Award, Georgia Romance Writers: SOUTHERN RAPTURE
  • 1987 "Climbing Rose" Award, North Louisiana Romance Authors
  • 1985 "Maggie" Award, Georgia Romance Writers: MIDNIGHT WALTZ
  • 1985 Historical Romance Author of the Year, Romantic Times

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Awards". Jennifer Blake Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  2. ^ a b c "About Jennifer's Pseudonyms". Jennifer Blake Official website. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  3. ^ a b c "About Jennifer Blake". Jennifer Blake Official website. Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  4. ^ a b c d e f W., Isolde. "Interview with Jennifer Blake". Die Buecherecke Romantische. Archived from the original on April 25, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  5. ^ a b "Jennifer Blake Author Spotlight". Random House. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Jennifer Blake Frequently Asked Questions". Jennifer Blake Official website. Archived from the original on 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2007-02-06.

External links[edit]