Kristina McMorris is a bestselling author and recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, as well as a nomination for the prestigious RITA® Award.

At age nine, she began creatively expressing herself when she embarked on a five-year stint as the host of an Emmy® and Ollie award-winning kids' television program. Being half Japanese, Kristina jokes that she discovered a genetic kinship with the camera early in life and continued to nurture that relationship by acting in many independent and major films while living in Los Angeles. Later, as the owner of a wedding/event planning company, she served as the six-year host of the WB's weekly program Weddings Portland Style.

Kristina's extensive experience in media and events led her to becoming a professional emcee and contributing writer for Portland Bride & Groom magazine. Her previous writing background also includes ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate.

Just a handful of years ago, deciding sleep was highly overrated, she compiled hundreds of her grandmother's favorite recipes for a holiday gift that quickly evolved into a self-published cookbook. With proceeds benefiting the Food Bank, Grandma Jean's Rainy Day Recipes sold at such stores as Borders and was featured in a variety of regional media. It was while gathering information for the book's biographical section when Kristina happened across the letters her grandfather mailed to his "sweetheart" during his wartime naval service - a collection that later inspired McMorris to pen her first novel, a WWII love story titled Letters from Home.

Praised by Woman's Day and hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a sweeping debut," Letters from Home was published in 2011 by Kensington Books and Avon/HarperCollins UK, followed in 2012 by her novel Bridge of Scarlet Leaves and novella "The Christmas Collector, which appeared in the anthology A Winter Wonderland. Kristina's latest novel, The Pieces We Keep, was released in December 2013 to wide and critical acclaim. Rights to her books have been sold to numerous foreign publishers, Readers Digest, Doubleday, the Literary Guild, and more. Her forthcoming novella, "The Reunion," will be featured in the anthology Grand Central (Berkley/Penguin, July 2014).

A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, McMorris holds a B.S. in International Marketing from Pepperdine University. For her diverse achievements, she has been named one of Portland's "Forty Under 40" by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Click on image to enlarge