Interview with Karen Docter

Please help me welcome Karen Docter to my blog today.  Karen will be giving away a paperback copy of her book Satin Pleasures to one lucky commenter (US only), so be sure and leave a comment.  International winner will be given a PDF copy of the book.


What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write two different kinds of romance novels. Books of Danger, Romantic Suspense: Women hunted by killers…men who’d die to protect them. Books of Heat, Contemporary Romance: The lighter side of romance – Not a killer in sight…unless it’s killer heat!

My contemporaries are cute and spicy – not erotic – novels of approximately 50-60,000 words. (Series contemporary length in traditional publishing markets.) I love writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so I can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile.  Satin Pleasures is one of my four Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Best Short Contemporary finalist novels and my debut release at Amazon on Valentine’s Day 2012.

My romantic suspense novels are longer (90,000+ words) and filled with heat, too, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are real and intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. These are psychological “woman in jeopardy” stories about real, every day people like you and me who are forced to deal with danger that is unexpectedly thrust into their lives.

I enjoy writing on both sides of the line between light and dark romance.

Tell us about your current series.

I’m currently working on the first romantic suspense novel in my Thorne’s Thorns series.  Police officer Ross Thorne, and his wife, Evelyn, only had one natural born son. But they also fostered five boys into adulthood.  All of the boys were enough trouble at one time or another, they quickly became known as Thorne’s Thorns.   The six brothers are now grown.  Each is strong, masculine, and making his own mark on the world.  I’m throwing a little, okay, a lot of danger their way and introducing each to the one woman they are destined to love.  Patrick Thorne, the Thorne’s natural born son, launches the series in Killing Secrets.

Killing Secrets – Back Cover Blurb

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — his key to the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I learn a little more about the human psyche with each book I write. My characters become real people for me quickly in the writing process and take over their own stories despite whatever plans I may have for them when I start.  It’s relatively easy to get them into trouble, but I’m often surprised by the solutions they come up with to solve their dilemmas. Sometimes I wonder where these people come from, especially when I’m delving into a serial killer’s mind.  I certainly don’t have any firsthand experience with killers but I often find them telling me what makes them tick. They often scare me!

I know I just ensured no one reading this will ever want to move in next door.  I find it funny that I often thought it would be difficult to live next to authors like Stephen King or Dean Koonz who understood too much about the depravity of the human psyche, and now I’m wondering if my friends think the same thing about me.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

This one’s easy…formatting the book for publication.  Throughout the formatting process for Satin Pleasures, I kept hearing the Enterprise (Star Trek) doctor, Bones, yelling in my ear that he was a simple country doctor, not a miracle worker.  I’m just a simple writer. I don’t know nothing about birthing no books! J

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’m planning a June 2012 release for Killing Secrets. I want to share the story first with my fabulous readers attending RomCon “Where Readers Rule” 2012 Conference in Denver on June 22-24th.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I draw ideas from my surroundings, articles I read, television programs, news…well, pretty much everything I see, hear, or do is fodder for stories.  I’m a “what if?” kind of writer.  My debut contemporary romance novel, Satin Pleasures, was “born” in a traffic jam in the middle of the San Mateo Bridge that spans San Francisco Bay.

The situation I used to introduce Dan and Tess actually happened to me.  I have to admit, I was a bit stressed at the time. Not only was I scared of heights and my family had just moved to the Bay area two months after the last major earthquake, I was supposed to be on the other side of the bay as one of the meeting organizers.  I won’t go as far as say I was as stressed as the “soon-to-be-born” Type-A heroine, Tess Emory, but I could relate to her angst in not getting to the other side of the bridge.  It seemed only natural that Dan McDonald would be the exact opposite of Tess although, in many ways, they were as alike as two peas in a pod.

Watching the various people around me spilling from their cars to chat and play was also a unique experience for me.  I thought things like that only happened in movies.  I was truly inspired when I finally drove off the bridge and went to my meeting.  I can’t tell you how tempted I was to turn right around and go home to write Dan’s and Tess’s story. And, no, that is not my Type-A personality showing! J

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like?

I had a great view when my office was in the living room.  I could see ninety miles away to Pike’s Peak. But we all know how difficult it can be to get anything done if we share living space with the family. I’ve recently moved my office into our basement.  My office has a sliding wall that opens into the media room with a fireplace made up of hand-hewn limestone embedded with real ocean fossils. I love spending time on the sofa nest with my feet kicked up.  I’m currently painting the office walls a beautiful Emperor’s Gold. I have several paintings and screens with an Asian influence that will go on the walls when I finish.  I collect dragons, too, so they’re scattered throughout.  When the weather’s nice, I sit in the garden patio in the lower yard with my laptop, an easy thing to do now that I’ve got a docking station and am down to one computer. Of course, I have three monitors that are always turned on so I guess I didn’t trim down on my equipment. Which means I do my best writing outside…fewer distractions!

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I read across the genres. My favorite romances are suspense and contemporary, of course, since I write both. I also love paranormal/time travel/futuristic/fantasy and historical romance. Some of my favorite non-romance authors are Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, etc. I also have shelves filled with Star Trek and Star Wars. Yeah, I’m a nerd! I could easily read two books a day and not deplete my TBR pile in my lifetime.

With any luck, I hope to add a few more novels to other readers’ TBR pile. J


Bustiers, Birds and the Blues…

SATIN PLEASURES by Karen Docter – Available Now on Amazon!
ISBN-10: 1475082525  ISBN-13: 978-1475082524  ASIN: B0078VSY6G






Twitter: @KarenDocter





About the Author:

Nothing makes me happier than to help the very real men and women in my head to achieve their dreams and fall in love.  I write both romantic suspense and contemporary romance because my muse tends to dance across the line between light and dark on a whim. Imagine the challenge she presents when she’s dancing back and forth at the same time!

I’ve been fortunate to have won numerous awards including the Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Suspense unpublished division of the 2005 Daphne du Maurier Award. I’m a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist and a charter member of The Golden Network® & RWA® PRO®. Also a member of Colorado Romance Writers, Kiss of Death Romance Writers & From The Heart Romance Writers, I’ve fostered literacy as a speaker at local Jr./High schools, tutored composition and reading classes, and taught college level English composition.

My debut contemporary romance, Satin Pleasures, was a Golden Heart® finalist and released on Valentine’s Day 2012. The first of my Thorne’s Thorns romantic suspense series, Killing Secrets, is a June 2012 release.

British historian, Arnold Toynbee, once said, “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” It’s one of my favorite quotes. Why? I derive the greatest pleasure blurring that line every day. Whether you prefer the suspenseful side of romance or the lighter side of humor and heat, I can’t wait to share my stories with you!


Chapter One

“Colby, if I’d had that brunette in my bass boat instead of you Aunt Mary would never have talked me off the lake.”  Dan McDonald tore his gaze away from the view in the truck windshield to grin at his dog, affectionately named Colby, after the cheese the German shepherd loved so much.  “Bet she doesn’t kiss like you…the brunette, I mean, not Aunt Mary.”

The dog whined, then attempted to wriggle his massive bulk into his master’s lap.  Dan pushed his muzzle away.  “Phew!  Chances are she doesn’t smell like you, either.”

Colby bared his teeth in a grin.

Dan laughed.  “You won’t think it’s so funny when we reach San Francisco and you get a bath.”  He considered the stalled traffic.  “That’s assuming we get across the bay.”

A fully loaded semi had jackknifed across both lanes of the westbound bridge and wedged in tighter than a cork in a genie’s bottle.  The truck was to be dismantled for removal, the freight unloaded, and there appeared to be a debate as to which part of the process should be completed first.

He smiled at the speed with which the shock wave of information ran down the line of commuters.  Many spilled from their cars to chat.  A few lounged on their hoods, faces raised to the warm March afternoon sun.  A pair of students in Stanford jerseys zipped a fluorescent orange Frisbee between the cars with all the ferocity of Kamikaze pilots.

Dan shook his head when he realized he’d pushed his old life behind him far enough to find amusement in the scene.  He’d come a long way in the past year.  Was it far enough?  He’d been happy—well, content enough—with his solitary lifestyle…until his aunt tracked him down in Florida a couple of weeks ago.

She’d convinced him she and his mother needed him in California through June.  However, he’d had three thousand miles to wonder if his temporary return to the rat race might prove to be the biggest mistake of his life.  His impulse to turn the truck around had grown with each passing mile and he wondered if this traffic snarl was his last chance to save himself.

He certainly couldn’t complain about his first glimpse of San Francisco Bay.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  The sun stirred bright color into the murky waves and streaked light across mirrored office buildings on the opposite shoreline.  A light, salty breeze gave wing to a variety of raucous sea birds over his head and teased long tendrils of toffee-rich hair out of his brunette’s French twist.

His brunette.

Desire coiled deep in his belly as he watched her wiggle her bottom onto the hood of her car.  With one hand resting on the driver’s side mirror on the open door, she talked briskly into her phone, her expression hidden behind sunglasses.  The straight lemon skirt and fitted jacket she wore accentuated her rich, dark hair, full breasts, and slender waist.  Spiked heels showcased legs long enough to fuel a man’s fantasies for months.  Her hand waving in emphasis to whatever point she was making spoke to Dan of urgent caresses and wild passion.

The blend of cool professionalism and hot sensuality fostered the illusion a man only had to peel away one layer to expose the passionate woman beneath.  He’d never seen a woman who made him feel so needy, so primitive, with barely one look…which is why he hadn’t bothered to pursue a woman since Charlotte Betham opted for her career over him last year.  He might have made an effort to change her mind if she’d turned his crank this way!

Only a caveman would dream of ripping the phone from his lady’s hand.  Only a cretin would throw it into the bay before he dragged her away to his cave for a year or two.  Only a sex-starved man would allow such idiotic impulses to get out of hand.

“Maybe Aunt Mary dragged us back to civilization in time.”  Dan scratched behind his dog’s ears.  “Maybe I should go out on a date or two while we’re here.  Take the edge off.”

Colby barked, and then rested his muzzle on the dashboard, pointing the way.

“No, it won’t be with my sexy brunette.”

The last thing Dan needed in his life was another career woman to tempt him back to the competitive edge like the one he’d ridden in Chicago.  He’d leaped off that fast track without a backward glance—nearly dying did have a way of changing a man’s perspective, after all—but he could still spot a workaholic when he saw one.  He’d lived with one all his life.  First, his father.  More recently, Charlotte and himself.  And since he didn’t know yet if he’d beaten that particular inclination, once and for all, he wasn’t taking any chances.

The odd thing about chance, though, was the way it tended to come up and slap him when he wasn’t looking.  Dan stared with consternation at the bright orange saucer veering out of control across his vision, aimed directly for his brunette.  “Watch out!”

He jumped from the truck in time to see the rigid plastic disc slam into her right cheek with a sharp thwack, angle over her head and disappear over the bridge railing into the bay.  Her cell sailed right behind it.

Dan sprinted in her direction but she’d fallen off the hood of her car and slumped to the pavement, her back against the front fender, before he could reach her. Kneeling beside her, he placed a hand on her shoulder.  “Are you all right?”

She didn’t respond.

“I didn’t mean to hit her!”  The Frisbee thrower squatted next to Dan and watched him remove her cracked sunglasses.  “Oh, man, she’s out cold.”

Dan clamped a lid on his own spike of concern and thrust both hands into the woman’s silky twist of hair.  In the time it took him to run from his truck he’d seen her fall against the side mirror on her downward slide, and then ram her head against the open car door.  So, it came as no surprise when he located a sizable lump over her left ear.

He examined the welt rising on her cheekbone, his curse short, succinct.  Her head cradled in his hands, he brushed his thumbs against her temples.  “Can you hear me?”

The woman’s eyelids fluttered, lifted.  “W-What happened?  H-Harry?  Where’s Harry?”

Who the devil was Harry?  Dan gazed into cinnamon brown eyes fogged with confusion and experienced a surprising surge of possessiveness.  He couldn’t drag his hands away from her fast enough.  “If Harry’s the one on the phone, I believe he’s now conferencing with the sharks.”

“Oh. Oh! He’ll kill me!”  She shifted, wrinkled her nose in obvious bewilderment at the sight of her legs stretched in front of her.  “Why am I sitting on the ground?”

The student piped in.  “My Frisbee hit you.  You fell.”

“Frisbee?  Fell?”

Dan frowned.  A concussion wasn’t out of the question.  Although her pupils didn’t appear unequal or dilated, there was a large goose egg behind her ear and a welt across her cheek that grew more red and ugly by the minute.  He searched his brain for the standard questions used on concussion victims.  “What’s your name, and who’s the President?”

“Tess Emory, and Stuart Webster.”

“One out of two isn’t bad,” he murmured.  For all he knew, Tess Emory wasn’t her name either.

“Oh, man, she doesn’t even know—”

Dan glared the student into silence, motioning the kid to her other side so they could both help her to her feet.  “Which is which?” he asked, aware he needed to keep her talking.

“I’m Tess.”  She wobbled on her spiked heels.  “The president’s Webster.”

Dan quickly calculated the distance to the camper in the back of his truck.  “I think we have a problem.  Webster is not President of the United States.”

Her eyes widened.  “Oh. Wait. I thought you meant the president of my company!”  She assured him she did indeed know her country’s president.  “Now I know two presidents’ names and my own, but I don’t know your names.”

The student introduced himself and apologized for her injuries.  He wanted to share his doctor’s phone number but, when she refused his assistance, he shrugged and walked off to rejoin his buddy sitting on the hood of their car.

Which left Dan where he shouldn’t be now that the danger had passed…overwhelmed by the appeal of toffee hair, cinnamon eyes, and spicy scent.  Gasping for air like a wide-mouth bass in the bottom of his boat.  Alone…with his brunette.

10 thoughts on “Interview with Karen Docter

  1. Great interview. The excerpt looks like something I would enjoy reading. Will have to put it on my to be read list. When I was in Colorado Springs for six months working, I was in a tenth floor condo and loved looking out and seeing the storms coming across Pikes Peak…great inspirational views.
    Congrats on releasing “Satin Pleasures”!
    MaryLynn Bast

    • Thanks, MaryLynn! I hope you enjoy the book.

      I love Colorado Springs, too. Nestled into the foothills of the Rockies, it’s truly inspiring. I love nature, and those mountains are some of the best!


      P.S. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I was out of town without internet. 🙂

    • Thanks, CK! I can’t wait to finish up Killing Secrets so you can have it. I love this one. Of course, I love all of my stories! LOL Couldn’t write them otherwise. 🙂

      Have a great week!


    • LOl, Roxy. My kids do it all the time with me. Although I usually know all the lines, too. I love having kids with the same interests. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting. Hope you have a great week!


    • Thanks, Lorrie. It’s nice to have the more light-hearted romances tucked between the darker suspense. I’m afraid my critique partners might kill me if I throw them into the dark basement all the time, too. LOL

      Happy Monday!


  2. Karen Docter, you know how to captivate a reader. A delightful breezy interview and a killer first chapter. You paint a fine picture. I was right up there on the bridge. Thanks so much. Wishing success from one author to another.

  3. Thanks, Charmaine. I’m glad you enjoyed my excerpt. It was a truly fun book to write. Not many people know that the start of this book is my “created” version of what happened to me. The whole scene includes people I don’t know but I sat on that bridge for two hours in similar circumstances. Isn’t “what if” wonderful?! I had a delightful time caught in that trafflic shut down creating Dan and Tess. 🙂

    Thanks for your best wishes. Backatcha!


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