Toni Blake is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels published in numerous languages. Her heartfelt and sensual stories are known for taking readers on an emotional journey.
A RITA®-nominated author, Toni is the recipient of numerous awards for her books, including the National Readers Choice Award and the Booksellers Best Award. Her work has also appeared in Cosmo.
Toni's most recent and hugely popular Destiny series takes place in a small Ohio town where coming home means finding your true heart and maybe even your true love.
Toni Blake was born in 1965 in Covington, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio. She was two weeks late, so her parents were glad when she finally arrived - on her mother's birthday. (That's Toni's mom and dad, on the rabbits and that's them again, below the rabbits, going to their senior prom.)
Toni's early childhood was spent in the northern Kentucky area, where her mom worked as a secretary and her dad worked in construction. When Toni was around seven, her family moved south to a more rural area in Grant County, Kentucky, where Toni acquired many cats and dogs, and quickly learned to despise farm work. Being an only child in the country left lots of time for imagination to grow, and so it was at the age of ten when Toni decided she wanted to be a writer. She fondly recalls the morning she announced this to her mother over breakfast, then proceeded to pen her first novel - nineteen notebook pages long.
By the time Toni entered high school, she'd written countless short stories and would soon complete a novella. She joined the yearbook and newspaper staffs as a Freshman, and by her Sophomore year, she shared co-editorship of the yearbook and had been promoted to editor-in-chief of the newspaper.
Toni excelled in high school, but college was another matter. After a year at Northern Kentucky University revealed that Composition 101 was the only class that interested her, Toni moved to Cincinnati with her lifelong best friend, Robin. Times were lean for awhile, and the apartments she lived in were shabby, but Toni learned a lot about independence during this period. She worked as a secretary and a mutual funds accountant before returning to her first love, writing. In the years that followed, Toni tried her hand at literary fiction and penned numerous short stories, some of which saw publication and one of which garnered her a nomination for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in 1996. In that same year, she was the recipient of the Kentucky Women Writers’ Fellowship. Toni has had more than forty short stories and articles published in literary, youth, and writing publications, and The University of Cincinnati has added a number of her short stories to its Social Inequalities curriculum.
In early 1996, a good friend and fellow writer suggested that Toni consider writing romance novels, and she shoved a couple of Jennifer Crusie's first Harlequin Temptations into Toni's hand. Though Toni hadn't read a romance in many years, as soon as she tried these, she was hooked and suddenly understood what she was supposed to be writing. Joining her local chapter of the Romance Writers of America, Toni committed herself to learning as much about the romance industry as possible and began to write her first romance novels, targeting them toward Harlequin Temptation. In 1998, Toni sold her first three novels, all romantic comedies, to Kensington’s Precious Gems line. She was featured as an "up and coming author" in the 1999 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, and soon after served by special invitation as a writing instructor for Northern Kentucky University.
In early 2000, Toni made her first sale to Harlequin Temptation, and went on to expand into Harlequin's Duets line. Toni’s Harlequin novels have been distributed widely all over the world, in twenty-four languages. Since then, Toni has gone on to write for Warner Books, NAL/Signet Eclipse, and Avon Books.
Striving to give her readers heroines they can relate to and heroes they can fall in love with, Toni hopes her writing encourages women to embrace their sensuality. She essentially thinks of her books as being "super sexy with touches of sweetness and humor". There's nothing more gratifying for Toni than to find out someone enjoyed one of her books. For her, that's what writing is all about, making a connection with others.
Toni lives in northern Kentucky and loves being a full-time writer. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, scrapbooking, genealogy, cross stitch, quilting, snow skiing, and keeping in touch with friends. Toni is an active member of the Romance Writers of America.