Emilie Richards was born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1948 and grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. She received an undergraduate degree in American studies from Florida State University and a master's degree in family development from Virginia Tech. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a therapist in a mental health center, a parent services coordinator for families enrolled in Head Start, and for several pastoral counseling centers. Her first book, Brendan's Song, was published in 1985. Since then she has written over fifty books. She writes the Shenandoah Album series and the Ministry is Murder series. She has received numerous awards including the 1994 Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Dragonslayer and the Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times magazine. She currently lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.