Mary Montague Sikes is a native Virginian who grew up in the historic city of Fredericksburg in the shadow of Civil War battlefields near the boyhood home of George Washington. Motivated by her surroundings, she started writing and painting at an early age. In high school she developed a fascination for the works of Edgar Allen Poe and was inspired to create short stories. Always intrigued by far-away places, as an adult she began traveling and writing about her journeys to exotic locations.
Her first novel, Hearts Across Forever, is set in Jamaica and relates to the legend of the white witch of Rose Hall. Using both her writing and her artistic skills, Sikes next wrote and illustrated a coffee table book, Hotels to Remember, a snapshot in time that features unusual hotels she has visited and loved.
As the Passenger to Paradise, Sikes uses many of her travel destinations as settings for her books. Recently released, Jungle Jeopardy, the fifth novel in the series, is an adventure that begins in Costa Rica and leads to the Maya ruins of Central America. This story is a sequel to Secrets by the Sea, continuing the escapades of Dana and Clifton. Located in Trinidad, Night Watch, another book in the series,is a story of peril and rediscovery. Set in beautiful and mysterious Sedona, Arizona, Eagle Rising begins with a tragic loss that leads to life changing events and a reawakening.
Dangerous Hearts, an e-book linked to the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, is a mystery story and romance with the gothic element of a foreboding old house. Her next book,A Rainbow at Christmas,which takes place in 1869 on a wagon train traveling from Missouri to Denver, is scheduled for release in October.
Sikes’s paintings, a poem, and an essay were selected for inclusion in the National League of American Pen Women’s anthology, Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln. The book was the honored recipient of the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, PA
A professional artist with a MFA in painting, Sikes teaches art to almost 400 students at West Point Elementary School. Besides her interest in painting, she plays tennis, follows baseball, takes yoga and step aerobics classes, and enjoys her family of three adult daughters. She and her husband reside West Point.