Roberta Helmer (b. July 19 in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.), under her pseudonym Christina Skye, is the best-selling American author of more than twenty-two historical and contemporary romance novels, many of which have appeared on the USAToday bestseller list and the Publishers Weekly bestseller list. Her books have been translated into eight languages. Under her own name Helmer has written five non-fiction books about Chinese art and culture.
Roberta Helmer was born in Dayton, Ohio, a descendant of Revolutionary War hero Adam Helmer. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University, where she learned to speak fluent Chinese, French, and Japanese.
After receiving a doctorate in classical Chinese literature from Ohio State, Helmer became a translator, and was once nearly arrested when her European employer asker her to escort two ladies of dubious virtue into China's State Guest House. She later worked as a consultant to the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History.
Helmer's first writing attempts focuses on Chinese art and culture. After numerous interviewes with puppeteers, sculptors, painters, and other artists who explained some of their centuries-old skills, Helmer write four non-fiction books. Her first historical romance, a Regency, was rejected by the first editor who received it because it did not strictly adhere to the current Regency convention. The following week, two other editors asked to represent her, and that first novel sold in 1990 in only six days. She has since authored five additional historical romances, nine contemporary romantic suspense novels, and seven paranormal romances.
Helmer's novels, which are always laced with humor and passion, feature smart, stubborn women and tough men who embark on adventures. Many of her historical romances tell stories about outsiders who must struggle to fit in. Her novels are popular worldwide, and have been translated into eight languages.
Two of her novels in the Code Name series, Code Name: Baby and Code Name: Princess, were selected as Cosmopolitan Magazine Book Club Selections and Code Name: Baby was named the Borders Best Romance of 2005. She has been nominated multiple times for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, and is a two-time finalist for the National Reader's Choice Award. Romantic Times Magazine gave her a Career Achievement Award, and she has been nominated for numerous other Romantic Times Awards for various novels. In 2005 Helmer was inducted into the Affaire de Coeur Hall of Fame for her "pioneering efforts..and ability to remain a steadfast influence in women's fiction."
She lives in on the western slopes of McDowell Mountains in Arizona.