Carolyn Fulgenzi was born on 28 July 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, daughter of Janet (McLaughlin) and Andrew Fulgenzi. She graduated from Dominican High School in Detroit and completed her undergraduate education at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She continued her studies attending Syracuse University receiving her Master’s in English Education. After retiring as a teacher with the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, she joined the faculty at Syracuse University as an adjunct professor in the writing department. Concurrently, she was also teaching at Onondaga Community College.
Carolyn blamed her tenth grade English teacher for nudging her into the writer's life. Sister Rose Terrence insisted that she enter a short story contest sponsored by the Detroit News, and Cara won! Of course, she was thrilled with the award -- a dictionary that still sits on her desk -- but at that time, her goal in life was to become an actress, and eventually, she attained that goal. She married Mr Hanlon, and had three sons: Kevin D., Brian A, and Brendan J. Hanlon. Only after her three sons were born that she turned her full attention to writing again. She sold her first Temptation to Harlequin in 1994, and that book, C.J.'s Defense as Carolyn Andrews, also sits on her desk -- right next to the dictionary. Since 2000, she wrote under the pseudonym of Cara Summers. She believed that her background in theater had influenced her writing, allowing her to create new characters and bring them to life for the reader. She passed away on 10 September 2013.