Carolyn Haines (sometimes credited as Caroline Burnes and Lizzie Hart) (born May 12, 1953 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is a prolific American romance and mystery author and former journalist specializing in mysteries set in the Mississippi Delta and Harlequin romance novels.
Haines is the daughter of Roy and Hilda Haines who met when they were both reporters for a local newspaper in Lucedale, Mississippi. Haines grew up in Lucedale and graduated from high school there in 1971. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi in 1974 and a master's degree in creative writing from the University of South Alabama in 1985. For over ten years she was a reporter and journalist for newspapers such as the George County Times, the Mobile Register and the Hattiesburg American.
She teaches the graduate and undergraduate fiction writing classes at the University of South Alabama, where she is an assistant professor and Fiction Coordinator. An animal activist, she works to help educate the public about the need to spay and neuter pets.