White was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and during her childhood lived in numerous states and also in Venezula and London, England, where she graduated from The American School in London. She attended college at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Management, and was a member of Chi Omega Fraternity. It was in London where she developed her love for reading and writing.
Her first book, In the Shadow of the Moon was a double finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. The Girl on Legare Street hit The New York Times Best Seller list in November of 2009, and On Folly Beach in May of 2010, which was also a NYT bestseller.. Most of White's novels are based in the low-country of the southeastern United States.
White is married with two children. Her website is www.karen-white.com and currently she writes for a division of Penquin Books.