On her personal website, Lang calls Barton a great mentor who encouraged her to write her first book and was also there to lend support when Lang received her first rejection. Barton was equally supportive when Lang's book eventually sold.
Her editor remembers Barton as both a colleague and a good friend. "From the very first time that we talked on the phone...we just clicked," said Kensington Editor-In-Chief John Scognamiglio, "She always made me laugh and smile and there was nothing I loved more than brainstorming ideas with her. We're all going to miss her."
Barton, a native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, began writing at the age of seven. She attended college at the University of North Alabama, but left to marry her military husband. Together they raised a son and daughter, who are both married. She is also the proud grandmother of three.
When she hit her forties, Barton returned to writing as a career. She sold her first book to Harlequin's Silhouette Desire imprint called "Yankee Lover" in 1989. She has written over 80 books to date.
Barton's most recent romantic suspense novel, "Dead by Morning," will be released on Tuesday, April 26 under the Zebra imprint for Kensington. It is the second in her "Dead By" trilogy, following "Dead By Midnight," released in February of last year. The final book, "Dead by Nightfall," is scheduled for release in December.