LONDON — British writer Penny Vincenzi, whose stories of romance, rivalry and family secrets topped best-seller lists, has died. She was 78.

Publisher Headline says Vincenzi died peacefully Sunday. The cause of death wasn't given.

Vincenzi worked as a journalist before publishing her first novel "Old Sins," in 1989. Her 17 novels and two story collections sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Her last book, "A Question of Trust," was published in 2017.

Her four daughters said in a statement Tuesday that she was "a true trailblazer" who broke down barriers. Fellow novelist Sophie Kinsella said Vincenzi was "like one of her own novels: once you were in her company you didn't want to say goodbye."

She is survived by daughters Polly Harding, Sophie Cornish, Emily Gunnis and Claudia Vincenzi.