Karen Dionne!

Get Lost in This Story…


As Chaitén sleeps...

Two microbiologists monitor the effects of global warming in the shadow of the long-dormant volcano.

A celebrity scientist and his film crew arrive at the caldera to capture Chaitén’s spectacular scenery for a television audience.

And a Nobel Prize-winning scientist sits in his apartment in Paris, monitoring data on fifty-six volcanoes around the world—waiting for the one sign that his diabolical plan is about to be put into motion.

Soon, their destinies will converge. For the Earth has become a pawn in the biggest gamble ever played with humanity’s future...

And Chaitén is about to blow.

Karen Dionne’s new environmental thriller, Boiling Point, is about an erupting volcano, a missing researcher, and a radical scheme to end global warming, the theme of loss runs heavily through it. The book has two underlying love stories, and both turn tragic when the characters have to make a choice between what they believe in, and someone they care about deeply.

It’s not until his research partner, Sheila Kennedy, is caught near the caldera when Chaitén volcano erupts that Ross Roundtree realizes how much he cares for her.

Excerpt from “Boiling Point”

Ross stood in the Navimag waiting hall, hand clenched around his ferry ticket, watching the TV screen in stony silence. For the tenth time he took out his cell phone, checked for missed calls, saw none, and tried calling Sheila’s cell. And for the tenth time, the call went straight to voice mail. He listened to Sheila’s voice, relishing its bright sound, and then hung up. Wondered if it was now the voice of a dead woman, and clamped down on that thought.

The mood in the hall was tense, though far from quiet. Groups of humble-looking men and women, stranded travelers with beat-up luggage and rough dockworkers alike, talked animatedly and glanced frequently at the TV. On the screen was footage from the town of Chaitén. In the cut between two mountains a tower of billowing whitish gray climbed up the sky, so big the camera frame couldn’t capture its full height. At its base a mist of white steam hid everything from view. The footage zoomed to show the cloud’s roiling and churning. It looked like the mushroom cloud from a nuclear blast, only much bigger and never-ending, folding in on itself as if it were feeding from within, drawing strength. From offscreen the reporter was spouting something banal that couldn’t possibly match the image of that ashen, amorphous, ascending pillar of doom.

He stared at the image, burned it into his brain. Sheila had been right there, searching for the trucks at the caldera. In his mind’s eye he saw her fragile form swept away in the initial blast of debris and hot gases or smashed under an airborne tree or crushed by a careening volcanic bomb. He saw her body broken and burned, bones pulped, pierced by wood and stone shards propelled by the explosion, her hand reaching for someone, anyone, to comfort her. But no hand would come, because she was alone.

He clenched his fists. No. It couldn’t happen that way. He needed to be there. He’d let over twenty people die in Antarctica; surely this time, he could save one. He’d find a way to Chaitén, even if it meant stowing away on the ferry. He would find a way. He had to. He already had blood on his hands. These men would not stop him. Nobody would stop him.

Sheila, I’m coming for you. I’ll find a way.

Today, we welcome thriller writer Karen Dionne to the blog! I first met Karen when I joined the on-line writer community at Backspace.org, which Karen co-founded. I know her to be not only a fantastic author, but one of the most giving and supportive people out there to other writers. AND as you know, any story that uses science as character has my vote!

So let me introduce you to Karen:

Heather: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Karen: Jurassic Park. I know that probably makes me sound juvenile, but I love the way Michael Crichton took his science just beyond what’s possible to create a rip-roaring story. Everyone knows dinosaurs can’t be cloned from fossilized DNA, but if they could . . .

Heather: How often to you get lost in a story?
Karen: I read two or three books a week. I once went 3 months without reading a single book (or writing a single word) due to circumstances beyond my control. As soon as I was able to come up for air, I read 3 books in 36 hours. I was thirsty!

Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Karen: I love thrillers, especially the intimate kind that follow an individual or a family in a tight close-up as things just keep going wrong. And wrong. And wrong . . .

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Karen: I do listen to music while I write, always just one song per book. I know that probably sounds weird, and I’m sure it drives my family crazy hearing the same music coming from my office for months on end, but there’s something about the repetition that’s both comforting and energizing. The music fills up the silence without distracting me. Since I write action stories on a big canvas, for me, dramatic movie soundtracks work best.

Heather: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Karen: Back when I was just starting to write, my family and I took a trip to New York City. As we were wandering around Midtown Manhattan doing the typical tourist thing, I happened to notice a particularly impressive building. I looked to see who owned it, and it was one of the major publishers. A started looking closer, and realized that all of the buildings were publishing houses. I didn’t say anything to my family at the time, but I vowed to myself that one day, I’d walk into one of those buildings because I belonged.

Seven years later, when I flew to New York for a marketing meeting at the Penguin offices for my first novel, I did!


My first novel (Freezing Point) is set in Antarctica, and Boiling Point takes place in Northern Patagonia, Chile. What exotic location should I use for my next novel?

I'd love to offer a signed copy of Boiling Point along with a small piece of obsidian from Chaiten Volcano as a giveaway for your blog readers.


**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. Welcome, Karen!

    I'm so glad you came by. I loved Jurassic Park, too. In fact, I bought advance tickets and lined up for hours the day it came out. People can say what they will about Michael Crichton, but he sure knows (knew) how to keep pages turning.

  2. Hi Karen! Thanks so much for being here with us today.

    I'd love to know what song you listened to while writing "Boiling Point".

  3. Hi, Karen. Thanks for the interview. I love the excerpt. My husband and I will both enjoy this book.

  4. Welcome, Karen. Volcanoes and exotic locations... this sounds very cool.

    "Sheila, I'm coming for you. I'll find a way."

    I'm in!

  5. Karen, I love thrillers, I love the sound of this one. Can't wait to read it! Excerpt hooked me right away. Welcome!

  6. Thanks for all the great comments! As the author, am I allowed to say I really love this story? :) I've been listening to it all this week in audio, and that's a whole other experience - my narrator's fabulous, and the emotion he conveys in his reading really brings the story to life.

    I also like how the book combines action with romance - just be forewarned, it's not necessarily your happily ever after kind of romance story!

    Thanks again for making me feel so welcome!

  7. Welcome to GLIAS, Karen.
    What an interesting concept.

    I have to admit that I'm the HEA kinda gal...but I'm going to buy these for the hubby's Kindle.

    Exotic locales?
    I think it depends on the actual story...I love being transported everywhere. And your locales sound fabulous.

    You'll have to come back and let us know where you decide the next location will be.


  8. Karen, very excited that your book is available in audio form...how cool! I've been wondering where your next book will be set.So many exciting possibilities!

  9. Karen,

    The excerpt draws you right in...I have to know the rest. Belize would be my choice for location. Lot's of underwater danger and possibilities.

    Good luck! I'm sure it will be awesome.

  10. Hi Karen,

    At the moment I can't think of anything more exciting than a volcano about to blow, but how what a deep trench under the sea? ;)

  11. Ooh, I LIKE the idea of the third book taking place underwater! Lots of potential for excitement and danger there!

  12. I vote for Turkey :)

    Your book sounds amazing.

  13. Turkey! Maybe I will! My husband keeps saying he wants to go to Istanbul. :)

    Thanks for the nice words about my book!

  14. Ladydi6497, you are our winner! Please e-mail me at heather@heathersnowbooks.com with your address so I can forward the information to Karen! Congratulations!

  15. I'm late chiming in, Karen, but how about setting your next book in Guatemala? I mean, how could you go wrong with the Maya (ancient and modern) and a society struggling with the aftermath of more than 30 years of civil war? Gorgeous country, wonderful people, and lots and lots of problems.
    But you would love Turkey, too. Istanbul is a fabulous city--crossroads of the world. So how about Book 3 in Turkey and Book 4 in Guatemala?