As an avid reader, Mary Shotwell always fantasized about writing a book. Throughout her childhood in northeast Ohio, she wrote poems and short stories as a hobby but ignored the call of writing to pursue a career in science.

After studying dolphin behavior and great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there, during the arduous dissertation process, where she had the idea to write a book. Creative writing served as a natural escape from technical writing, wedding planning, pregnancy, and job hunting.

Mary is the author of small-town romances for every season. The third book in her new small-town contemporary romance series Waverly Lake, Christmas Island, is a 2023 Rone Award Finalist. Her first romance novel, Christmas Catch (Carina Press, 2018), received a starred review from Library Journal and was a 2019 Golden Leaf Award finalist for Best First Book. Her speculative short stories are featured in several anthologies, and her latest nonfiction story can be seen in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Christmas (Simon and Schuster, 2022). She lives in Tennessee with her husband and three children and loves holidays, baking anything sweet and hosting movie nights with her kids.  For more about Mary, see her blog.