A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff member for twenty-five years (and the magazine’s first female bureau chief,) she covered the Rocky Mountain region, writing about everything from penny-stock scandals to hard-rock mining, western energy development to contemporary polygamy. Many of her experiences have been incorporated into her novels.
While a reporter, she began writing the first of her nonfiction books. They include The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Assn. Benjamin Franklin Award, and Sacred Paint, a biography of artist Ned Jacob.
Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published fifteen novels, including The Patchwork Bride, and four young adult books, the latest Hardscrabble. Sandra is a four-time recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, The Bride’s House, True Sisters, and A Quilt for Christmas. She is a two-time winner of the National Cowboy Museum’s Wrangler Award for Sacred Paint and The Quilt Walk and has won the Western Writers of American Spur Award three times, for The Chili Queen, Tallgrass, and The Last Midwife. The audio version of Tallgrass won two Audio Publishers Assn. Audie Awards. Prayers for Sale was given the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Historical Fiction. She is the recipient of the 2014 Eleanor Gheres Award from the Denver Public Library and the 2014 Frank Waters Award from the Pikes Peak Library District.
Sandra lives in Denver and Georgetown, Colorado, with her husband, Bob. She is the mother of two daughters, Dana, a lawyer in New Orleans, and Povy, a photographer in Golden, Colorado.