Jackie has been making up stories since she was in grade school, but she followed her father's sage advice to get a day job and attended college after leaving high school. She graduated with honors from Central Michigan University in 1987 with a degree in journalism.
After briefly flirting with a career in magazine publishing—she interned at Good Housekeeping in New York during college—she settled on working in newspapers. She began as a copyeditor at the Grand Rapids Press in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1991 she became the first female editorial writer at the Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan.
She began her own "happily ever after" in 1993 when she married her husband, Mark. They are the proud parents of two boys, Daniel and Will. She makes her home in mid-Michigan with family.
Published since 2000, Jackie decided to leave the Flint Journal in January 2004 to concentrate on fiction. She is the author of more than two dozen romance novels and novellas. She is a three-time RITA Award finalist, a four-time National Readers' Choice Awards finalist, the winner of a Rising Star Award in traditional romantic fiction and was nominated for Series Storyteller of the Year by RT Book Reviews in 2008.