2. Sherrlyn Kenyon I cut my muse's teeth writing Dark-Hunter fan-fiction. I owe MamaLo (Lodeen Smith) so many thank yous for all of her time and encouragement.
3. Ann Peach (Besides her association with Romantic Times Book Review she was a ghost writer for NY times bestsellers.) She inspired me by saying, "Talent is a natural gift. Craft is learned technique. Melissa you can tell a great story. Now learn how to write one."
4. Dean Koontz - a fantastic author. He holds a special place for me because once-upon-a-time in Germany my gf Dana used to read me all of his stories. Shiver.
5. Lori Foster - not only is she a wonderful story teller but she's a generous lady with her time and knowledge.
6. Judy Blume - a childhood/preteen favorite.
7. Catherine Anderson - showed the world that people who live with challenges can be whole, happy, and productive individuals. :)
8. Maggie Shayne's vampire Twilight series in Silhouette Shadow stories turned me onto paranormal worlds.
9. LaVyrle Spencer - I loved every story she wrote. I mourned when she retired from writing.
10. Robin Schone - through reading her romances I learned a single word can be sensual.
11. Dante Alighieri - Dante's Inferno...assigned college reading that left a lasting impression.
12. Julie Garwood's Honor's Splendor taught me a alpha hero doesn't have to be a jerk.
13.Rebecca Paisley - her stories made me cry from laughter. I miss her writing but she'll remain the queen of comedy for me.
14. Mechele Armstrong - since day one of our friendship she has encouraged me and always finds time to critique what I send her.
15. Same goes for Maureen (Mari Alwin) Gianino - since day one of our friendship she too has encouraged me and always finds time to critique what I send her. :)