Rita Clay was born on 31 July 1941 in Michigan, USA. Her mother, Rita Gallagher, was a former Miss Michigan, a romance novelist and a noted writing instructor, while her father was a pilot with the U.S. Air Force. She spent much of her early years living in Europe. She married her high school sweetheart when she was very young and stayed at home to raise their four children. Today, she is divorced.

On 1977, she started to write and on 1981, she published her first novel to Silhouette, she used her maiden name, Rita Clay. In 1982, she moved to Dell to write for their Candlelight Ecstasy line. Harlequin owned her pen name, so she wrote as Tira Lacy, an anagram of Rita Clay. In 1985 she resigned with Harlequin and asked to use her full name, Rita Clay Estrada, on all future books. Her novels have been translated in 23 languages. She, her mother, and 35 other authors, decided that an association was needed to defend their published members. They founded the Romance Writers of America (R.W.A), that years later persuaded Harlequin books to register copyrights for authors' works and to allow writers to own their own pseudonyms. Previously, the authors were forced to leave their pseudonym behind if they switched publishing houses, making it more difficult fortheir fans to follow. R.W.A. signature award, the RITA, which is the highest award of excellence given in the genre of romantic fiction, is named after her. The R.W.A. also awarded Estrada their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Book List in Order:2 titles

  • Twelve years after a disastrous first marriage ended, Jessica Madison still wasn't ready to face love again. Shed established an exclusive dress shop, raised a beautiful teenage daughter, achieved -- at last -- a hard-won independence she wasn't abou...


  • She didn't want to see him again -- not ever. But evading him required an explanation, and Kathleen Bolton didn't want to reveal that part of her past -- not to anyone. Stephen West -- once heir apparent, now owner of the fabulous West Hotel chai...