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I was born in California, grew up in Pennsylvania, and now live near Chicago with my husband, three kids, two cats, and a lovable Westie named Chewie. I'm a history professor by day and a novelist by night, so my life is filled with stories both real and imaginary. And what could be better? When I'm not teaching or writing, I'm probably drinking coffee, talking too loudly, or geeking out on British period dramas.  Before turning to novels, I wrote a syndicated newspaper column called "History in the Movies." My work appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Providence Journal, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. If you like history and film, my collected columns can be found here.

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