Karen Burns Gets Lost in a Story

Please help me welcome Karen Burns to our blog! Karen is a new author for Crimson Romance, which launches today!

When $25 million is stolen from her employer, a relationship-phobic accountant hunts for the thief alongside a handsome bachelor who falls for her.

Quinn Wells considers her life as it should be—calm, relaxed, and free of relationship entanglements. The theft of a twenty-five millions dollar gift to her employer, Houston Cullen University, throws her life into over drive as she’s appointed to work with the police. The search for the thief becomes complicated as she’s accompanied by Logan Rice, the donor of the gift.

Distrustful and wondering if Quinn is the thief, Logan accompanies her on a trip to Las Vegas and then to Rome, in pursuit of Quinn’s co-worker who she rationalizes is responsible. Logan has financial resources that enhance their search and he soon realizes Quinn is innocent. This only makes her more attractive to him, emotionally and physically.

As they race from city to city, Logan is determined to win over Quinn and convince her they have a chance as a couple. But Logan’s wealth and social position are the opposite of Quinn’s middle class life, and he devastates her by withholding information about his past. Yet she soon discovers what is most important to her, and that is Logan.

Karen Sue Burns has worked as a CPA for over 25 years. She’s traveled to Rio de Janeiro, London and Oslo, audited glass molds for wine bottles in California, and taken a helicopter to a drillship off the Gulf Coast—all in the name of accounting. For the last 16 years she’s been controller at a liberal arts university in Houston, Texas handling the financial statements, the annual audit, and preparing IRS Form 990. Accounting has been good to her, but writing romance novels is her passion. She writes romantic suspense and mystery novels featuring feisty heroines who find themselves embroiled in risky situations full of adventure and sexy heroes. IN HOT PURSUIT is her debut romantic suspense eBook with Crimson Romance.
ALEXA: What's your favorite cartoon character?
KAREN: When I was small, my favorite cartoon character was Little Lulu who had her own comic book, I think with Marvel. I realize mentioning her is dating myself. :) This is the first “book” I remember reading. I graduated to cartoon characters on television, especially Tom and Jerry, and then Pluto once the Walt Disney show debuted. Every time I’ve gone to Disneyland or Disney World, I’ve made a point to look for Pluto. Seriously, he is the cutest and funniest dog.

ALEXA:  Can you tell us about a real-life hero you've met?
KAREN: Last September, I met the brother of my son’s fiancé. He is a member of SEAL Team 5, stationed in California. He has bullets tattooed over both forearms and up the bicep. His job contributed to a divorce and he hadn’t seen his two children in almost two years, due to the divorce and assignments around the world. I was dying to ask him detailed questioned about the war zones and Seal activity but realized it was rude and he wouldn’t answer anyway. He did tell me about the groupie women who live at his apartment complex and are looking for a Naval officer…reminded me of the film, Officer and a Gentleman. He is a hunk and a gentleman and I’m certain his hands are lethal. 

ALEXA:    What sound or noise do you love? 
KAREN:  This is going to sound like such a cliché but I love the sound of ocean waves hitting the shore…I listen to them on my iPod at night, very relaxing and helps me get to sleep. Also at the top of the list is the sound of my grandchildren’s laughter…they are so darned cute and loads of fun.

ALEXA:    What's your favorite movie of all time?
KAREN: When I was a kid I would have said Gone With the Wind. Over the years, I’ve changed my mind so now I have two favorite movies: 1) Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and 2) The Saint with Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue. I love both of these movies because of the great stories and the character arcs — each set of heroine/hero change as to how they see themselves and their role related to the world around them. Plus, they are all so easy on the eyes.

ALEXA:  Whats your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

KAREN:  I love stories with gutsy heroines and larger than life heroes. I like lots of action and dialogue and less of those long, long narrative passages of setting, inner thoughts, and clothing description. Yes, I turn pages that are full narrative, even Nora Roberts on occasion, sorry Nora. I enjoy the plot moving forward with “lots of stuff” happening to the characters and forcing them, especially the heroine, out of their comfort zone and into new and uncontrolled situations. I love, love characters that use their smarts, skills, and natural talents to outwit and bring down the far better prepared bad guy. Girl power, y’all!

ALEXA:  What is your biggest vice?
KAREN: Gosh, should I really be admitting this in public? I have two vices 1) I swear, a lot, when driving in Houston traffic which is crazy and as frustrating as watching a one year old eat spaghetti and 2) I love peanut M&Ms and eat way more than I should.

ALEXA: I'm right there with you on both vices! Okay, now be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroines role?
KAREN: I have a graphic memory and this translates to reading. When I read, I see the scene in my mind with the setting and the characters like a movie. The heroine is separate from me yet I have empathy for her situation and root for her. Of course, I also give her directions and let her know when she really needs to cool it and let the hero give her a kiss or, kick him out the door.

ALEXA:  If you couldn't be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
KAREN:  I already have a profession…CPA and university controller and do the author gig in the off day-job hours. However, if I were to go back in time and redo college, I would stay with the major I started with—journalism. My goal was to be an investigative reporter for a big city newspaper uncovering scandal and corruption. I didn’t consider television at the time but most likely would have moved in that direction. After being wildly successful as a reporter, I saw myself moving on to fiction and becoming a world famous author. At eighteen, I had no doubt I would achieve these goals. However, women’s liberation came to the college campus and for some asinine reason I switched my college major to business and accounting. Granted, I’ve not become world famous as a CPA but I have been able to support myself and my children. I guess the moral is that sometimes decisions we make for no real good reason end up being a good one down the road of life.

ALEXA:  What color would you make the sky if it wasn't going to be blue anymore and why?
KAREN: What a great question. I would say the sky would be a light, translucent green reflecting the abundance of the earth below—an abundance that reflects mankind’s new appreciation of the natural resources and richness of the planet earth. An appreciation that would result in the elimination of landfills, the need for fossil fuels, and the use of non-degradable packaging materials. Man-oh-man, what a beautiful world.

ALEXA:  How difficult was it for you to develop your plot idea for IN HOT PURSUIT? 
KAREN:  IN HOT PURSUIT is my first adult novel and I decided to write about something I’m familiar with to cut down on research. I knew if would be a romantic suspense/mystery of some sort as that’s what I enjoy reading. One day at work, while day dreaming about being a world famous author; I contemplated what would be a truly awful thing to happen to my university employer. We were in the middle of a fund raising capital campaign and I knew without a doubt that losing the premier gift for the campaign would be a disaster. Naturally, the heroine would catch the thief and hook up with a sexy man. I decided to have the chase go to Las Vegas as I love sin city and then to Rome as it’s my favorite city in Europe with a cityscape that is a writer’s dream. I’m happy with my decision to “write what you know.”

KAREN: Who is your favorite romantic suspense or mystery author and what do you enjoy the mostthe characters or the story?

My heroine, Quinn Wells, loves coffee so I’m giving away a $20 Starbucks gift card to one of the blog readers who makes a comment. (Comments will be accepted through Wednesday, with the winner announced Thursday.)

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author   may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.


  1. Happy Release Day, Karen. I'm a huge romantic suspense fan and a couple of my favorite authors are Pamela Clare and Lisa Marie Rice. Both authors create characters that you root for and you can feel the emotions between them as they are racing to save the world or catch a killer.

  2. Jane, I've heard great things about Pamela Clare and I've thought about reading something of hers, but I haven't yet! My current favorite romantic suspense author is Laura Griffin.

  3. Happy, happy release day, Karen! I don't read a lot of romantic suspense, but I just got a book by Laura Griffin, and it's really gripping. Of course, I love our friend Colleen Thompson's writing. She was one of the first RS authors I read.

  4. Congratulations, Karen! Good luck with your book, Marian


    "He is a hunk and a gentleman and I’m certain his hands are lethal." I can see that on a book cover:

    his hands were lethal...

    >>>eyebrow waggle!!<<<

    Sounds like an anwesome book...oh and this one does too, Karen. Good Luck with the release.

  6. Karen, Happy Release Day!!!! I'm so happy for you!

  7. Great post and so excited for you, Karen! Happy release day!

  8. Hi Karen, your new novel sounds great. I love romantic suspense.

    My favorite author is Nora Roberts. In my head, the dialogue is wonderful—-snarky and full of dry wit. (Unlike it is portrayed by the actresses in her Lifetime movies--sappy and realistic--yuck.) But I admit, I do love her narrative descriptions too.

  9. Happy Release Day to you, Quinn, and Logan, Karen! I know you've had adventures in Rome, so I can't wait to see what complications you've set there.

  10. Karen--CONGRATULATIONS on your release day! Looks like a great book. Oddly, I was just thinking of Liuttle Lulu the other day, one of my favorites, too. My favorite suspense writers are Alexa Bourne and Colleen Thompson.

    1. Aw, thanks, Jane! That just MADE MY DAY!

  11. Congrats on your release and many sales!!
    I'm with you on GWTW and M&Ms :)

  12. Congratulations on the book! I like Elizabeth Lowell's books. If I had to choose, I like the characters more than the stories.


  13. One of my favorites is Linda Howard and I think her characters are great, some really unique ones.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com


    I'm all over your ocean waves and peanut M&Ms favs.

    My favorite RS author is Brenda Novak. (Thrilled to have won some more of her books on her diabetes auction last month!)I love her characters, specifically her character motivations which are crystal clear and rock solid.

    Hope you have terrific sales!

  15. Congratulations on your first release, Karen! I'm super delighted for you.

  16. Happy release day Karen! As soon as I post this I'm off to see if the book has downloaded on my Kindle.
    We share the vice of cussing, alot, in traffic, but I prefer the new coconut m&m's over peanut.
    I love Catherine Coulter's FBI series she'd written. Also enjoy Brenda Novak, and now you, of course! I don't like alot of description either. I enjoy snappy dialogue and well developed characters...I want to know what their favorite dessert is and how they like their coffee.

    Great blog, and I hope your sales are fantastic!

    Lori Leger

  17. Congratulations on your release Karen! I am so excited for you. We must do lunch soon. We share the vice on cussing over the Houston traffic. Some people should not be allowed to leave the house, much less drive a car! Congrats again. I'm going to get the book today! M.Lonergan

  18. Yikes! Sorry for the delay, everyone! The winner of Karen's gift card is Lori Leger (Cajunflair). Lori, please contact Karen (by clicking the contact link up above) or me (alexa AT alexabourne DOT com) to claim your prize!