Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Karen Harper | Exclusive Interview: DARK STORM
Author Guest / May 31, 2019

The South Shores series, featuring Claire (Britten) Markwood, has been one you have been writing for a while.  Did you know from the beginning that it would have the surprises it has for Darcy and Claire at the end? The more rom/sus novels I have written, the more I have learned to let the characters and events take over the story.  Although I do send my editor an early “proposal” of what will take place in the novel, she knows the story will grow as it goes and possibly takes off in another direction.  Darcy and Claire’s strong sisterhood relationship is something I planned from the first, but the real story of their mother and what happens to Darcy in Dark Storm was a surprise to me too. It’s amazing how books can take on a life of their own. You wrote a note to your readers at the end that you were ending the series after 6 novels.  Is there a reason to end the series now? I have loved seeing Claire and Nick’s romance and family grow.  I could keep the series going with other crimes they solve together, but I think their marriage has reached some stability…

Karen Harper | Cash for Class: American Dollar Brides
Author Guest / April 17, 2019

One of the most unusual upper-class traditions during the American Gilded Age and the English Victorian and Edwardian Eras was that of American heiresses marrying into British nobility for money.  This fascinated me and led to years of research to write American Duchess. Some famous examples of dollar brides include Winston Churchill’s mother Jennie Jerome; Cora, Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey (yes, I know that one is fiction) and my very real heroine Consuelo Vanderbilt whose social-climbing mother forced her to wed the 9th Duke of Marlborough in 1895 when she was in love with someone else.  The Vanderbilts paid a fortune to help renovate the duke’s massive Blenheim Palace in exchange for Consuelo becoming his duchess.  At age 18, how would you like to have a starter home of nearly two hundred rooms and be wed to a man you hardly knew? Consuelo’s New York City marriage was dubbed ‘the wedding of the century.’  Perhaps the 60-piece orchestra, 54-voice choir singing O Perfect Love and 4000 guests did make it undisputedly that.  Yet Consuelo found ways to live her own life and help others, as well as producing ‘an heir and a spare.’  And, fortunately for this author, who likes to write and read great love stories, she later found…

Karen Harper | Meet THE IRISH PRINCESS
Author Guest / February 1, 2011

Karen Harper’s historical novel, THE IRISH PRINCESS, tells the true story of a woman who belonged to the Fitzgerald family of old Ireland, a family known as “The Uncrowned Kings of Ireland.”  Gera Fitzgerald’s story of loss, love, rebellion and reconciliation, set in Ireland and Tudor England, is out in time for St. Patrick’s Day—Erin Go Bragh! And, the author says, the real-life hero is in the tradition of the swashbuckling heroes like Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp. In Search of The Irish Princess It’s a special challenge to research and bring to life a woman who actually lived, especially if most of the clues to her character must be found in her relationship with better known figures.  In Gera’s case, my search for her started with a trip I took to Ireland when I didn’t even know about her.  But I fell in love with the Kildare County countryside, the charm of Dublin and the people.  And I wondered how long the Irish love/hate relationship with the English went back. Then, in researching Queen Elizabeth I for another novel, I found that for many years she had an Irish woman in her court, a beautiful redhead, who…

Fresh Pick | DARK ROAD HOME by Karen Harper
Fresh Pick / October 22, 2010

Maplecreek Amish #1 September 2010 On Sale: August 31, 2010 400 pages ISBN: 0778328058 EAN: 9780778328056 Trade Size $13.95 Add to Wish List Romance Suspense Buy at Amazon.com Dark Road Home by Karen Harper Murder shatters a quiet Amish community After a murder case threatens her safety, attorney Brooke Benton seeks sanctuary in the quiet Amish community of Maplecreek. Although the locals disagree with her cosmopolitan ways, she soon manages to find a place in their lives. But when a tragic hit-and-run accident turns fatal, Brooke cannot abide by the community’s belief in absolute forgiveness. She wants answers. Daniel Brand left his childhood home to explore the outside world years ago. Now he has returned to his Amish roots, and worldly Brooke Benton does not fit into his plans. But when his niece dies, he slowly agrees that they must bring to justice the driver who killed her—especially when a silent presence continues to threaten the community. Together Brooke and Daniel begin a journey along a dark road, hoping to bring peace to the small community…and maybe lead their hearts home. Excerpt May 9, 1993 Maplecreek, Ohio Some said you can’t go home again, but Daniel Brand was bound to…

Karen Harper | What I Did On My Summer Vacation-(And How It Inspired My Novel)
Uncategorized / January 25, 2010

Several years ago my husband and I took a two week trip to Alaska, one week by bus and train, one by cruise ship. I was surprised how much I loved “America’s Last Frontier,” and realized it would be a great place to set a romantic suspense novel. Not only was the scenery awesome, but it could easily become dangerous, especially if-hm, let’s say a south Florida heroine visiting there is somehow swept down a wild river. And then, what if Mitch Braxton, her former fiancé, who owns a lodge nearby, risks his life to rescue her in a kayak, but then they are stranded in the wilderness… Ah, yes, the eternal “what if” of a fiction writer. During our trip, I met and interviewed many unique Alaskans, some of whom thought nothing of holding down two or three part time jobs for the privilege of living in their beloved state. Besides meeting the human denizens, we were astounded to see so much of nature up close and personal: moose walking down the street; bears grabbing migrating salmon out of a wild river. To read more of What I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION-(AND HOW IT INSPIRED MY NOVEL). Visit…

Karen Harper | A Novel Idea Takes Root
Uncategorized / June 10, 2009

Every writer needs a ‘hook for the book.’ By this I don’t mean only a grabber beginning, but something unique about the theme or setting. So for my June novel, Deep Down, I decided to hang the intrigue of the story not only on the romance between the hero and heroine or the murder mystery they must solve together, but on the rare, endangered and precious herb ginseng. That’s right—an herb, a root. The tag line on the front of Deep Down, screams “Evil takes root!” The herb ginseng is one of the most valuable but increasingly rare herbs in the world and has been for centuries. The Chinese emperors used to guard their imperial ginseng under pain of death. George Washington knew and traded the herb as did Daniel Boone. Some the best ‘sang’ in the world, as the Appalachians call ginseng, grows in the forests of Kentucky. Today, this cure-all is in demand by Chinese cartels, power drink companies, herbal conglomerates and the US Government, which has put it on the Endangered Species list. Tests are starting to prove that it delays (perhaps can help to cure?) certain endocrine-driven cancers. What an herb! What a hook for a…

Karen Harper | RESEARCHING THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
Uncategorized / December 11, 2008

No, I don’t write vampire novels, but I do write both contemporary and historical fiction. For the last ten years of my twenty-five-year writing career, I have written one romantic suspense novel and then one historical novel—back and forth. I have a writer’s split personality since it takes different skills and research techniques to do both. I love reading and writing in two genres and in two times, but it does have its challenges as well as its rewards. For my contemporary romantic suspense novels, I can visit the settings for my story and interview people who live there or have the same careers as my hero and heroine. For THE HIDING PLACE (Nov. 2008), I spent a week in the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. I was able to interview men with dogs trained as trackers. I took two classes to learn about how my female P.I. would work, one class from a tracer who looks for lost people, and one from a female private investigator. When I write my Elizabethan novels (most recently, THE LAST BOLEYN and MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE), I can, at least, still visit my settings. Nothing like a research trip to England! The Tower of London, Hampton…