Jacqueline Orgell was born on 18 December 1927 in London, England, the daughter of Marjorie (Mendelsohn) and Spencer Orgell. In 1938, her family moved to United States, and she naturalized in 1944. She attended Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California and graduated in 1945.
On 9 May 1948, she married Bertram Norman "Bert" Briskin, borned on 17 February 1922. Her husband was an oil executive, who years later became his agent. They had three children: Ralph Louis Briskin, Elizabeth Ann Briskin, and Richard Paul Briskin (alias Richard Sands). Her husband died of Alzheimer on 16 July 2004.
She sold her first novel in 1970, after which she published other 11 historical novels. Her novels were translated into 26 languages, and has sold 23,000,000 copies worldwide. Her books regularly appear on the New York Times bestseller's list, and she was a main Selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club seven times.