Friday, December 2, 2016


Congratulations to "Joan V" and "Shelley P.", the winners in Karen's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Unlike most authors who start to form a novel with ideas of character or plot, I always start with a setting which intrigues me.  I’ve used Amish country, Appalachia, Denver and Seattle—all places I know and love. (And of course Tudor and Edwardian England for my historical novels.)  But for my new rom/sus series which first hits the shelves in the wintry month of December (the second book is in February) I picked a place that says sun and sand for the launch of THE SOUTH SHORES SERIES. 

I’m certainly not the only author to put place first.  I was thrilled to meet famous British mystery writer P.D. James years ago at a conference in Florida, and she told me she always begins with a place.  “If the place is real, the characters and story will be too,” she said. 

My husband and I spent thirty winters as snowbirds in Southwest Florida—Naples, to be exact.  We were a 15 minutes drive from fabulous beaches and 15 minutes from the amazingly wild Everglades.  We love and know the area well. 

I had written two stand alone rom/sus novels set in SW FL in the past, but I always wanted to do more in the paradise setting so conducive to romance and scary events.  This new series (each book, however, can stand alone) takes the reader to other places in the Sunshine State as well as to various Caribbean islands and a few unusual isles north such as Mackinac Island in book #3, FALLING DARKNESS (a May 2017 release.)

Despite the glitz and glamour of SW Florida, there is also an “old Florida” that totally intrigues me and which I take advantage of in the series, especially in the launch book, CHASING SHADOWS and book #2 DROWNING TIDES.  Our son and daughter-in-law own two shops in Olde Town St. Augustine, and I also love that area.  Besides that setting, in book #1, my hero and heroine go to a Civil-War era plantation called Shadowlawn along a cypress treed, Spanish moss festooned river.  And it has ghosts.

The thrust of each novel is the hero and heroine working together to solve crimes which could be murder, suicide or accidental death.  Claire Britten is a forensic psychologist, fighting her own problems of a new divorce and the disease of narcolepsy.  Nick Markwood is a criminal lawyer with a powerful enemy.  He hires Claire to help with the plantation case when he sees how sharp she was testifying in the trial he just lost.  She is good at “listening to the dead” as they speak through evidence and people they have left behind.  Nick and Claire work together under threats and attacks, but can they really trust each other? 

A lush tropical setting can lure people to let down their guard, and Claire and Nick cannot afford to do that.  I love choosing an ambience for a book which seems benign but has hidden dangers lurking.  In a romantic suspense, such a deceptive setting can draw the hero and heroine closer together as they fight to protect their client—and fight for their lives.

To warm someone’s winter nights with a setting and a story perfect for winter weather, I’m giving away two copies of CHASING SHADOWS.  See the JRS rules for entering.  Happy, scary and sunny reading!

Karen Harper
NYTimes Bestselling Author


The dead still talk if you know how to listen… 
Every case that Claire Britten cracks is a win, not only professionally but personally. The forensic psychologist has spent a lifetime fighting a neurological disorder, and her ability to conquer it is a testament to her razor-sharp intuition. 
Nick Markwood is used to winning in the courtroom, so when his latest case is overthrown by Claire's expert testimony, he can't help being impressed by her skill. He needs her on the team of his passion project—investigating unusual cases involving mysterious deaths. Her condition doesn't deter him, and neither does the attraction that sparks between them…even if it should. 
As they join forces to investigate a murder in St. Augustine, Florida, Claire is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than she'd anticipated, pushing her disorder to a breaking point. Just when she fears she can't trust her own mind, she discovers Nick's personal connection to the case—and wonders whether she can trust anyone at all.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Dec. 3rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


  1. Wow, narcolepsy! That's definitely something new and original. Looking forward to reading Claire and Nick's story.


  2. I love Karen Harper's books. So excited for a new series. Thanks for the chance to win. Trishleroy49 at gmail dot com

  3. What a new concept using narcolepsy as the heroine's disorder! This sounds like an enthralling read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Ooh sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Different settings make the armchair travel loads of fun.


  6. looks different

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  7. I have really enjoyed your books in the past and look forward to reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway!
    shelleybp(at)live(dot) com

  8. I think I've missed the giveaway deadline (I'm a little fuzzy on that, but know they close fast) but I'm glad I stopped by and saw this post. I love the sound of your series! The heroine's skills and talents intrigue me, and I've been in love with St. Augustine ever since I and my family stumbled across it years ago. Always planned to go back, still haven't managed it. Sounds like your books will be the perfect vicarious trip!

  9. I would love to read Chasing Shadows,love to read romantic suspense books :)
    Thanks for the amazing opportunity :)

  10. This sounds like a really great book Thanks for sharing it on your blog iamabho at gmail dot com


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