Bevarly was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Her grandmothers were Ruth Bevarly and Hazel Robinson.
In 1983, she obtained a B.A. with honors in English from the University of Louisville. She worked many diverse jobs, including an editorial assistant for a medical journal. In 1989, she published her first novel. Now, she is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning author.
She married a member of the Coast Guard who was stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has also lived in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Southern New Jersey. In 1994, they had a son, and now they, their son and their two cats reside back in her native Kentucky.