Jody is having a hard time writing her biography. Just between you and me, I don’t think she’ll ever finish it. I’m going to have to take over.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Anna Karenina, and Jody says I’m the most beautiful Australian Shepherd in the world. You can call me Annie. My sidekick, Jane Austen, was a Katrina orphan, and we think she’s some kind of a Terrier because she’s loaded with personality. We call her Janie.

I’m in charge of security on John and Jody’s ranch, and I’m teaching Janie the ropes. Our duties include riding in the truck to the feed store and acting as the welcome committee to anyone who turns onto our little private road. A dog’s work on a ranch is never done, but we love our humans and help them all we can.

But you didn’t come here to hear about me. Let me tell you about Jody. She’s living her dream. She says the first childhood you pretty much have to take what your parents give you. The second one is your responsibility, and it would be your own fault if you didn’t enjoy it. She swears her birthplace was a mistake. God meant her to raise Warmblood horses on a ranch in Texas.

Romance Writers of America (RWA) is just around the corner from us, and Jody belongs to two great chapters, West Houston and Northwest Houston. This way she can attend every conference, every meeting and has a supportive, but extremely firm, critique group.

Jody’s manuscripts have won awards even though she doesn’t have a Ph.D. in creative writing. We wish she did, because she’s destroyed one dictionary, two thesauruses, and three synonym finders in the past three years. We think she might be a tiny bit over-the-top looking for just the right word.

All of Jody’s heroes resemble her husband, John. It’s not surprising; he’s the love of her life. Trying to keep up with him, she’s traveled the world, met interesting and exciting people, and raised two great kids in hotels and hovels. Retired now from the Air Force, John teaches American history to college students, and we admit he’s our greatest asset when we judge historical contest entries for RWA chapters.

Jody writes book reviews, nonfiction articles, and even had a newspaper column for a while, but she’s always been a storyteller. She believes everyone has a book inside, and she encourages us to just let go and share it.

Some people call Jody’s books women’s fiction, because she writes about relationships. She just shrugs and claims she can’t answer for men. After forty-four years of marriage, she can safely say she still hasn’t a clue what goes on in a man’s brain, but she does soenjoy trying to find out.

See what I mean about Jody being a Texan? If she just had bigger hair, everyone would believe she had been born here.