http://www.evan.org/mckillip/WFC/McKillip8.jpg is a recent picture of Patricia McKillip and her apparently fiance, David Lunde.
She is a fantasy author with at least two award-winning novels to her credit, and one classic trilogy, the Riddle of Stars.
This trilogy, which I happen to be in the middle of reading aloud, begins with the Prince of the small island farming nation of Hed, who is arguing with his siblings when his younger sister asks about the crown under his bed. He has won it in a riddle-game with a ghost.
Her newer novels include The Book of Atrix Wolfe, The Cygnet and the Firebird, Winter Rose and
Song for the Basilisk, the last of which reminded me a bit of one of Guy Gavriel Kay's later works.
In addition to being excellent fantasy, McKillip's books have beautiful prose. Not difficult or overly ornate, just a lyrical turn of phrase.