Born April 27, 1962, in White Sands, New Mexico; died of cancer, November 1, 2020; married to R. Cat Conrad (a fantasy artist). Education: Texas Tech University, B.A.
Writer. Has worked in accounting, graphic design, insurance investigation, corporate communications, and web design. Was director of corporate communications and member of the senior management team for a corporation in Irving, Texas. Full-time writer, beginning 2010.
Paranormal Pearl Award; RT Booklovers Award; Best Urban Fantasy novel of 2010, RT Book Reviews; Career Achievement Award.
- Bridge of Shadows, Penguin Group (New York, NY), 1998.
- Copper Moon, Onyx (Memphis, TN), 2003.
- Exile, Texas, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2003.
- (Editor, with P.N. Elrod) Stepping through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG-1, BenBella Books (Dallas, TX), 2004.
- (As Julie Fortune) Stargate SG-1: Sacrifice Moon, Fandemonium Books (Surbiton, England), 2007.
- Athena Force: Line of Sight, Silhouette, 2008.
- (Editor, with Kerrie L. Hughes) Chicks Kick Butt, Tor (New York, NY), 2011.
- Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet, New American Library (New York, NY), 2014.
- (With Ann Aguirre) Honor among Thieves, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2018.
"WEATHER WARDEN" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Ill Wind, Roc (New York, NY), 2003.
- Heat Stroke, Roc (New York, NY), 2004.
- Chill Factor, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
- Windfall, Roc (New York, NY), 2005.
- Firestorm, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.
- Thin Air, Roc (New York, NY), 2007.
- Gale Force, Roc/New American Library (New York, NY), 2008.
- Cape Storm, Roc/New American Library (New York, NY), 2009.
- Total Eclipse, Roc/New American Library (New York, NY), 2010.
"RED LETTER DAYS" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Devil's Bargain, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2005.
- Devil's Due, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2006.
"MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Glass Houses, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.
- The Dead Girls' Dance, NAL Jam Books (New York, NY), 2007.
- Midnight Alley, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.
- Feast of Fools, NAL Jam Books (New York, NY), 2008.
- Lord of Misrule, NAL Jam Books (New York, NY), 2009.
- Fade Out, Signet (New York, NY), 2009.
- Carpe Corpus, NAL Jam Books (New York, NY), 2009.
- Kiss of Death, New American Library (New York, NY), 2010.
- Ghost Town, New American Library (New York, NY), 2010.
- Bite Club, New American Library (New York, NY), 2011.
- Last Breath, New American Library (New York, NY), 2011.
- Black Dawn, New American Library (New York, NY), 2012.
- Bitter Blood, New American Library (New York, NY), 2012.
- Fall of Night, New American Library (New York, NY), 2013.
- Daylighters, New American Library (New York, NY), 2013.
- Midnight Bites: Stories of the Morganville Vampires, New American Library (New York, NY), 2016.
"OUTCAST SEASON" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Undone, Roc (New York, NY), 2009.
- Unknown, Roc (New York, NY), 2010.
- Unseen, Roc (New York, NY), 2011.
- Unbroken, Ace (New York, NY), 2012.
"REVIVALIST" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Working Stiff, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2011.
- Two Weeks' Notice, New American Library (New York, NY), 2012.
- Terminated, Roc (New York, NY), 2013.
"GREAT LIBRARY" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Ink and Bone, New American Library (New York, NY), 2015.
- Paper and Fire, New American Library (New York, NY), 2016.
- Ash and Quill, Berkley (New York, NY), 2017.
- Smoke and Iron, Berkley (New York, NY), 2018.
"STILLHOUSE LAKE" SERIES; AS RACHEL CAINE
- Stillhouse Lake, Thomas & Mercer (Seattle, WA), 2017.
- Killman Creek, Thomas & Mercer (Seattle, WA), 2017.
- Wolfhunter River, Thomas & Mercer (Seattle, WA), 2018.
- Sword and Pen, Berkley (New York, NY), 2019.
- (With Ann Aguirre) Honor Bound, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2019.
- (With Ann Aguirre) Honor Lost, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2020.
Caine's work has been featured in publications such as People magazine and Vanity Fair. Contributor to a number of Dallas publisher BenBella Books' SmartPop anthologies of nonfiction essays, and to other anthologies.
The "Morganville Vampires" series has been adapted for streaming videos, Morganville: The Series, 2018.
Roxanne Conrad, the author or editor of several books, is better known by her pseudonym, Rachel Caine. As Caine, she is a New York Times best-selling author who has written over fifty novels in several series targeted both at an adult and young adult audience. Writing as Caine, Conrad is perhaps best known for the popular young adult series "Morganville Vampires."
In an interview on the Paranormal Romance website, when asked how she became a writer, Conrad responded: "I started writing when I was fourteen, but honestly, I never knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn't have any concept of writing as a profession until college, and I never considered it to be a real possibility." In that same interview, when asked about her writing routine, Conrad said: "Generally I do my writing very early in the mornings (for about three hours) and then I go to work for about a nine to ten hour workday. Add in the need to spend time with family ... and it can get difficult." Regarding her characterization process, Conrad told Michael A. Ventrella in an interview on his personal blog, Michael A. Ventrella: "I don't know that it's a conscious process for me. ... The characters really seem to do that on their own. I have found that less is more in character development. ... The more tics and traits you give a character, the less natural they seem over time. I find that starting small gives characters plenty of room to grow."
Among Conrad's most popular series are the "Weather Warden" series, the "Red Letters" series, the "Morganville Vampires" series, and the "Outcast Season" series. The "Weather Warden" series centers on Joanne Baldwin, a weather warden for an organization that attempts to prevent natural disasters. Joanne and the other weather wardens possess supernatural powers that allow them to manipulate the weather.
Reviewing Ill Wind on the RT Book Reviews website, contributor Jen Talley Exum remarked: "Caine's clever writing keeps the reader guessing nearly until the last page." Of Heat Stroke, Exum commented: "This follow-up to ... the previous volume [exceeds it] in sheer excitement and edge-of-your-seat suspense." In a review of Chill Factor, Exum noted: "Joanne continues to be a fascinating heroine, especially as more of her history is revealed." In a review of Windfall, Exum praised: "On the whole this is the darkest, most enthralling and most powerful novel yet from the talented Caine."
The "Morganville Vampires" series concerns Claire Danvers and her roommates, Eve, Shane, and Michael, who live in Morganville, Texas, a town run by evil vampires. Though the mayor is human, most of the other town officials are vampires. Claire is only sixteen years old, but she is exceptionally smart for her age, which has the effect of making her unpopular. Despite this, Claire and her friends battle evil throughout the series, coming out on top more often than not. Many of the novels in this series have made the New York Times best-seller list.
Reviewing the work Carpe Corpus on the Nice Girls Read Books website, a contributor stated: "the conclusion to this book was great--I'm so excited to continue on even though you could leave the series off here if you wished. There's no pressing danger or cliffhanger in Carpe Corpus." Reviewing the novel Glass Houses on the Vampire Genre website, contributor Vicky London reported: "Glass Houses is a nice change of pace from the typical vampire novel. These vampires are evil and the humans who live in the town are just cattle who live at their mercy." In a review of The Dead Girls' Dance on the same website, London said: "Caine has a talent for making you feel her character's intense frustration and helplessness in their seemingly inescapable situations." Reviewing Ghost Town on the YA Reads website, a contributor lauded: "Ghost Town is rocking in every which way. Caine is totally on point with this one, giving readers the right amount of action, drama, romance and suspense to keep us turning the pages obsessively."
Further installments in this popular series include Black Dawn and Bitter Blood. In the former title, Claire and her friends are still battling the creatures that feed on vampires. "Any enthralled by vampire fiction, especially those with prior familiarity with the Morganville setting, will relish this saga," noted a California Bookwatch reviewer. A Kirkus Reviews critic was also impressed, commenting: "This series continues to provide terrific action and great entertainment. Plenty of fun." Trouble comes when a television crew arrives in Morganville in Bitter Blood, a "fine and vivid vampire novel," according to a California Bookwatch contributor. Voice of Youth Advocates reviewer Lauri J. Vaughan also had praise, noting: "Caine is nothing if not consistent. While predictable, the story line is fun, filled with the sexual tension typical in vampire tales, and the dialog is crisp."
Claire is off to MIT in Fall of Night. A California Bookwatch reviewer noted of this installment: "A funny, absorbing plot and a spunky heroine make this a winner, even for newcomers." Claire and her friends return to a different Morganville in the series, Daylighters.
The "Outcast Season" series is a spin-off of the "Weather Warden" series. Titles in the "Outcast Season" books concern Cassiel, a former djinn stuck in a human world. She is forced to cooperate with the wardens, whom she detests, in order to survive.
Reviewing the work Undone on the BoomTron website, contributor Amber Drake recommended: "I wouldn't advise readers new to Rachel Caine to begin with this one. Start with the Weather Wardens, then read the Morganville Vampire series and read this one as a bit of enjoyment while waiting for more of those." Reviewing the novel Unknown on the RT Book Reviews website, contributor Natalie A. Luhrs assessed: "This offering doesn't advance the main story much, and readers may be left wanting more." The series continues with Unseen and Unbroken.
Again writing as Caine and for young adults, Conrad launched her "Great Library" series with the 2015 novel, Ink and Bone. This fantasy series is set in an alternate reality in which the Great Library of Alexandria was not destroyed in ancient times, but instead has developed into a worldwide and monolithic server of information. Knowledge comes only from the Great Library and its automaton army makes sure that the possession of books by the public is strictly prohibited. In the first installment, teenage Jess and his family deal in illegal books and Jess becomes something of a stealth candidate to work in the Great Library. But Jess soon sees how the control of information is more important to those who run the Great Library than is human life. Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Katie Ward Beim-Esche commented: "Ink and Bone will resonate for all YA readers, but for Harry Potter fans above all. Fellow bibliophiles, expect to be some variation on struck--awestruck, dumbstruck, starstruck, maybe even thunderstruck. Here's to you, Scholar Caine, for introducing a new series to thrill every bookworm's heart!" A Publishers Weekly reviewer also had praise, noting that the author's "elegantly detailed descriptions bring Jess's world to vivid life in a fast-paced, action-oriented plot that will leave readers breathlessly anticipating not just the next page but the next book in the 'Great Library' series." Similarly, Booklist critic Ilene Cooper concluded: "The cliff-hanger ending leaves readers wanting more, and right now, please."
The second installment, Paper and Fire, continues Jess's story in training to be a High Garda soldier. He is alone now that his friend Thomas has disappeared and his girlfriend Morgan has been dispatched to the Iron Tower. Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Rummanah Aasi felt that the "series' most appealing factor of blending several popular genres such as alternative history, fantasy, and dystopian with a little dash of steampunkish elements, along with the construction of a totalitarian library, will attract a wide range of readers." A Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website writer also had a high assessment, commenting: "I love this series not for the romance, but for the friendship and sense of camaraderie, for the gorgeous imagery and sense of place, for the world building, and for the concept."
Ash and Quill continues the adventures of Jess and his friends, transported magically to the American colonies. BookPage reviewer Deborah Hopkinson called this a "page-turning adventure, full of danger and intrigue." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews critic dubbed this a "strong ensemble adventure, grim, gritty, and genuinely enjoyable." Likewise, School Library Journal writer Cary Frostick observed: "This volume maintains the series's signature high-level intensity with characters who continue to grow and evolve along with the narrative."
The author writes for adults in her "Stillhouse Lake" series, which begins with a novel of the same title. Gina Royal attempts to build a new life for herself and her traumatized boys following the revelation that her husband is a serial murderer of young women. She had no idea of her husband's activities, but is still persecuted by the public. Now she is starting a new life in Stillhouse Lake, Tennessee, as Gwen Proctor, but this attempt is given a jolt with the discovery of a body in the lake and threatening letters. She turns to an unlikely crew of friends for help in this novel that "cries out for at least one redeeming sequel," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
Killman Creek continues the action. Now Gwen's ex-husband, serial murderer Mel Royal, has escaped from prison, and she is going on a hunting expedition for him, accompanied by the brother of one of his victims. Online Criminal Element reviewer Kristin Centorcelli commended this installment, noting: "Writing from multiple viewpoints is tricky, and Caine pulls it off masterfully. There are a lot of strands to this story, and she expertly weaves them together in time for a shocking finale. For readers that enjoy terrifying, fast-paced thrillers with meaty characters, this is a must-read."
Conrad also writes stand-alone novels, Aimed at a young adult audience, Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet, offers a new interpretation of the famed star-crossed lovers. Benvolio Montague is older cousin to the romantic Romeo, and hopes to keep him out of trouble with the women of the Capulet family. But Benvolio also has a secretive life as the Prince of Shadows, stealing from the rich. This activity ultimately leads to a deadly feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. A Kirkus Reviews critic was impressed with this novel, commenting: "Never too obscure for modern readers, it retains the flavor of Shakespearean dialogue throughout, lending an atmosphere of verisimilitude that's reinforced by the detailed city setting. Simply superb." Similarly, School Library Journal writer Geri Diorio noted: "This novel truly has it all: sword fighting, Benvolio's nighttime adventures as the 'Prince of Shadows,' intrigue, romance, curses, derring-do, murder, and magic. It should make Shakespeare that much more accessible to teens."
Conrad worked with Anne Aguirre to write the 2018 novel Honor among Thieves, which is set in the near future at a time when Earth gas been saved by the technology supplied by sentient spaceships. These are called the Leviathan, and humans on Earth have struck a bargain: they will supply their knowledge and culture. Now Leviathan has created the tradition of Honors, in which a hundred skilled humans are chosen to serve for a year. Zara Cole is an unlikely candidate, homeless and skilled only at stealing. But she is selected for a star tour, a voyage that at first transforms her life, but ultimately makes her suspect an ulterior motive for Leviathan. A Publishers Weekly reviewer termed this "both a thrilling SF novel and a deeply philosophical examination of the nature of love." The reviewer added: "Keenly wrought characters, imaginative world building, and an inventive plot engage and gratify while urging readers to stay curious, question authority, and fight injustice." On the other hand, a Kirkus Reviews critic found in the novel "an ambitious premise that is amiable but not believable."
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Booklist, November 1, 2003, Regina Schroeder, review of Ill Wind, pp. 485-486; December 1, 2004, Regina Schroeder, review of Chill Factor, pp. 624-625; November 1, 2010, Jessica Moyer, review of Ghost Town, p. 34; September 1, 2015, Ilene Cooper, review of Ink and Bone, p. 104; November 1, 2017, Cindy Welch, review of Honor among Thieves, p. 46.
BookPage, July, 2017, Deborah Hopkinson, review of Ash and Quill, p. 28.
Bookwatch, December, 2004, "Roc Books/New American Library."
California Bookwatch, July, 2012, review of Black Dawn; January, 2013, review of Bitter Blood; July, 2013, review of Fall of Night.
Christian Science Monitor, August 5, 2015, Katie Ward Beim-Esche, review of Ink and Bone.
Chronicle, October, 2004, Don D'Ammassa, review of Stepping through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG-1, p. 28; February, 2005, Don D'Ammassa, review of Chill Factor, p. 35.
Internet Bookwatch, January, 2011, "The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf."
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2011, review of Chicks Kick Butt; April 15, 2012, review of Black Dawn; January 1, 2014, review of Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet; May 15, 2017, review of Ash and Quill; November 1, 2017, review of Honor among Thieves.
Library Journal, July, 2010, Jackie Cassada, review of Total Eclipse, p. 74; May 1, 2011, "Xpress Reviews," p. 72.
MBR Bookwatch, January, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Chill Factor.
Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, review of Chill Factor, p. 51; December 1, 2008, review of Undone, p. 34; June 28, 2010, review of Total Eclipse, p. 116; January 3, 2011, review of Unseen, pp. 37-38; December 2, 2015, review of Ink and Bone, p. 103; May 29, 2017, review of Stillhouse Lake, p. 48; December 4, 2017, review of Honor among Thieves, p. 62.
Renaissance Magazine, June-July, 2014, Dionne Obeso, review of Prince of Shadows, p. 74.
School Library Journal, January, 2010, Sarah Flood, review of Glass Houses, pp. 58-59; March, 2014, Geri Diorio, review of Prince of Shadows, p. 152; October, 2015, Cary Frostick, review of Ink and Bone, p. 108; July, 2017, Cary Frostick, review of Ash and Quill, p. 87; December, 2017, Kimberly Castle-Alberts, review of Honor Among Thieves, p. 105.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2004, Suzanne Reid, "Stormy Weather," p. 116; December, 2010, Lori Guenthner, review of Ghost Town, p. 466; February, 2013, Lauri J. Vaughan, review of Bitter Blood, p. 574; June, 2014, Kaitlin Connors, review of Prince of Shadows, p. 70; August, 2015, Lynne Farrell Stover, review of Ink and Bone, p. 74; October, 2016, Rummanah Aasi, review of Paper and Fire, p. 74.
Xpress Reviews, March 25, 2011, Stacey Rottiers Comfort, review of Bite Club.
Artists in Residence, http://www.artistsinresidence.com/ (June 18, 2011), author profile.
BiblioSanctum, https://bibliosanctum.com/ (January 4, 2018), review of Killman Creek.
Boom Tron, http://www.boomtron.com/ (April 5, 2009), Amber Drake, review of Undone.
Chattacon, http://www.chattacon.org/ (June 18, 2011), author profile.
Criminal Element, https://www.criminalelement.com/ (June 30, 2017), Jenny Maloney, review of Stillhouse Lake; (December 12, 2017), Kristin Centorcelli, review of Killman Creek;
Dark Faerie Tales, http://darkfaerietales.com/ (October 27, 2015), review of Fall of Night.
Fantastic Fiction, http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (June 18, 2011), author profile.
Fantasy Literature.com, http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ (June 18, 2011), Charles Tan, review of Ill Wind.
Fiction Vixen, http://www.fictionvixen.com/ (April 27, 2011), review of Bite Club.
FM Writers, http://www.fmwriters.com/ (June 18, 2011), Russell Gifford, author interview.
Internet Speculative Fiction Database, http://www.isfdb.org/ (June 18, 2011), author profile.
Karin's Book Nook, http://www.karinsbooknook.com/ (April 1, 2010), review of Fade Out.
Love Vampires.com, http://www.lovevampires.com/ (June 18, 2011), review of Glass Houses.
Michael A. Ventrella, http://michaelaventrella.wordpress.com/ (April 4, 2010), Michael A. Ventrella, author interview.
My Vamp Fiction, http://myvampfiction.com/ (May 11, 2011), review of Feast of Fools.
Nice Girls Read Books, http://nicegirlsreadbooks.com/ (May 11, 2011), review of Carpe Corpus.
Paranormal Romance, http://paranormalromance.org/ (June 18, 2011), author interview.
Rachel Caine Website, http://rachelcaine.com (January 28, 2018), author profile.
Rachel Caine Live Journal, http://rachelcaine.livejournal.com/ (June 18, 2011).
RT Book Reviews, http://www.rtbookreviews.com/ (June 18, 2011), Jill M. Smith, review of Copper Moon, review of Gale Force, review of Cape Storm, review of Fade Out, review of Kiss of Death, review of Total Eclipse, review of Ghost Town, review of Bite Club, review of Bridge of Shadows; (June 18, 2011), Jen Talley Exum, review of Ill Wind, review of Heat Stroke, review of Chill Factor, review of Windfall; (June 18, 2011), Alexandra Kay, review of Devil's Bargain, review of Devil's Due, review of Line of Sight; (June 18, 2011), Natalie A. Luhrs, review of Undone, review of Unknown, review of Unseen.
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/ (July 14, 2016), review of Paper and Fire.
Vampire Genre, http://www.vampiregenre.com/ (September 12, 2006), Vicky London, review of Glass Houses; (April 4, 2007), Vicky London, review of The Dead Girls' Dance.
YA Reads, http://www.yareads.com/ (December 26, 2010), review of Ghost Town.*