Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#WhatIWroteWednesday ~ Karen Sue Burns!

Hi, All! I'm back with another edition of What I Wrote Wednesday. I am having so much fun with this project, especially because some author friends are stopping in to share what they've been working on. Today my friend, Karen Sue Burns, is stopping in with a sneak-peek at her work in progress and she's also giving us a peek inside her latest novel. Here we go!

Karen's work in progress: Death by Merlot – Book 1 - Coyote Cove Mystery Series

It’s a universally known fact that a woman who hesitates is avoiding the inevitable. The click of Ava Flowers high heels slowed on the brick walkway as she threaded her way through the side garden of her parents’ home. She checked her watch, right on time. Reaching the step, she stopped to gather her wits and her sense of propriety. She sucked air into her lungs, exhaled slowly and moved forward. I can do this.

“Hey, Jimmy, how are you?” The skirt of Ava’s charcoal halter dress swooshed around her legs as she entered through the back door.

“Mrs. Flowers, good to see you again. Party should be a doozy.”

She walked through the kitchen, her favorite room, as she’d early on developed a serious love for cooking and enjoyed many lessons from Miss Lois, the family cook. A hint of cinnamon clung to the air as she waved at her mother’s favorite caterer. Jimmy and his crew had probably worked than one hundred events over the past twenty years. Yes, her mother liked to party … for a charitable cause.

She made her way through the butler’s pantry and the dining room to circumvent her parents located near the front door. They had an old fashioned notion that the host and hostess had to greet each and every guest as he or she entered their home. Ava didn’t want to deal with them until she had a drink, a chance to relax, and viewed a friendly face. Habits, good or bad, formed after years of dysfunctional parent-child interaction were hard to break, even for an adult.

She scurried to the bar in the den as fast as her three-inch heels could navigate the marble floors. Her favorite bartender was there, pouring drinks and wine.

“Adam, how are you?”

“Jus’ fine, Mizz Flowers, you want the usual?”

“No, I think I’ll start with a glass of white wine.” She turned away from the long oak bar and surveyed the small crowd in the elegantly decorated yet comfortable room. Her mother was a professional at turning mismatched design elements into a cohesive, eye-catching whole. Ava recognized everyone in the room. She needed to increase her circle of friends, no, acquaintances.

She turned back to the bar as Adam placed a glass of wine in front of her.

“Check this out,” he said. “I think you’ll like it.”

Ava tasted the wine, not sweet but not too dry. “You have good taste, I like it.”

“I thought you might,” Adam said, stacking small napkins in a spiral configuration on the bar. “I’ll turn you into a white wine drinker yet.”

“What? I don’t believe that.”

Ava turned at the sound of Abby’s voice, grateful to see her big sister.

“Damn straight,” Ava said. “I’m now open to new and exciting things.”

And now for a peek into Karen's latest release, Crazy for Home – Book 2-Texas Ghost Stories:

It’s an accepted fact that a child’s toy left in the middle of a kitchen floor does indeed have the potential for disaster. Maggie Todd held a freshly made apple pie in her hands and turned toward her oven. She stopped short at the miniature soccer ball directly in her path. “One mess avoided,” she mumbled, kicking the potential for disaster out of her way. She placed the pie on the preheated oven’s center rack, closed the door with a satisfied sigh—one pie down, one to go.

Without fanfare, she turned from the oven, took a couple of steps, and tripped over the very same ball. She hit the floor hard, simultaneously releasing a string of mild curses.

“Are you hurt?”

She looked up from the humiliating position of flat on her butt. An extremely handsome man stood in the middle of the kitchen, one masculine hand stretched toward her.

“I saw you go down.” He leaned in to extend his hand even further. “Please, may I help you?”

She reached for the broad palm and muscular forearm. His fingers closed around hers and she felt the warmth and security of a Rocky Mountain fire in the middle of a long winter. He pulled her upright.

“Thanks.” Maggie rubbed her hands together to keep from massaging her slightly sore backside.

“No problem.” An amused look graced his face. “No one was up front so I came back here when I heard you fall. I’m Alex Brady, I have a room reservation.”

She blinked as the realization hit her. This man was the six-month guest reservation and three hours early? This man, with his gorgeous blue eyes and dark wavy hair, was her newest guest? She brushed hair back from her face, wishing she hadn’t left the front door unlocked. She hated that he’d caught her unprepared and appearing unprofessional. She wiped her hands on her jeans and immediately jumped into the role of innkeeper and hostess.

He circled a hand over his chest and pointed an index finger at her. What? She looked down then turned her back to him. The top button of her blouse had come undone, displaying the plunging pink lace on her bra. She sucked in a breath, corrected the situation, and turned around, determined to ignore the adorable grin on his face.

“Mr. Brady, welcome to The Blue Barn Inn.” She untied her “Kiss the Cook” apron and hung it on a hook inside the pantry. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your room then we can get your luggage.”

“Lead the way.”

Back Cover Blurb Crazy for Home 

When the worlds of a reluctant innkeeper and a former video game creator collide, stars explode over Texas, a ghost settles his past, and two lovers find their forever home.

The ghost of Robert Graham has haunted The Blue Barn Inn, a B&B in Brenham, Texas, since the 1920s. He becomes “friends” with Maggie Todd, the new innkeeper and oldest daughter of the Inn’s owners.  She is intent on renovating the property, without her parent’s approval, so that the Inn will sell quickly and she can then return to her life in California. Maggie didn’t consider the pull of small-town Texas or the charm of new boarder Alex Brady, a successful video game creator turned Ph.D. candidate. Alex quickly falls for Maggie but the arrival of her ex-boyfriend sends him into a tailspin. One problem after another threatens the Inn’s future and any hope of a relationship for Maggie and Alex. Will the stars over Texas align so that two hearts can discover their destiny?

Buy The Book:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBooks

All About Karen Sue Burns:

Karen Sue Burns has been a writer since 8th grade. Her former job as a CPA has provided interesting experiences: travel to Rio de Janeiro, London, and Oslo, auditing wine bottle glass molds in California, and taking a helicopter to a drillship off the Texas Gulf Coast. Now she spends her days living out her passion--writing mystery novels sprinkled with romance. She enjoys cooking and creating recipes so her heroines do the same. All of her indie anthologies and novels include one of her favorite recipes. Readers may contact Karen via the Bio/Contact tab on her website. Check out the Recipe tab while you're there!