Launch Party and Giveaway…

Here in the Lair, launch parties are usually for book releases, but today we’re celebrating the launch of my fabulous new website design! And to add to the party atmosphere, I’m giving away an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE.

Whoop! Whoop!

An author’s website is a Very Big Deal. is my home on the web. It must accurately represent me and my books. Every word, every image, every color sends a message to readers, whether they realize it or not. And so my goal is to make sure that the message is true, that the expectation my website sets is the expectation that will be fulfilled when a reader tries one of my books for the first time.

It was complicated before because I write both mystery and romance, but now it’s even mooore complicated because with November’s release of A HIGH-END FINISH, I’ll have two ongoing mystery series… plus, we can’t forget about my romances! I will always have a deep and abiding love for romance!

Before, on my mystery site, I could tell my webmaster to give it a bookish look, to represent the Bibliophile Mysteries and Brooklyn Wainwright’s profession as a bookbinder. But now I need the website to also represent the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. Shannon Hammer restores Victorian houses in her hometown, Lighthouse Cove. Two different heroines. Two different settings—one a city, one a small town. Two different occupations.

One overwhelmed writer!

I have a wonderful web designer, Xuni Designs, who specializes in author websites. Maddee and Jen have become masters at helping authors define what they want. With a detailed questionnaire and thorough instructions about gathering images, they helped me identify the tone and the substance that I wanted my website to convey. Smart, funny mysteries about a bookbinder. Smart, funny mysteries about a home renovation expert.

Without further ado, I invite (implore) you to visit right now.

Kate Carlisle with thank you card

To enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE, respond to this in a comment below:

Name one thing on my website,, that gives you the impression of either “Smart” or “Funny.” Let’s make a game of this—try to avoid repeating what someone else has already said. While you’re there, be sure to enter my super fabulous Road Trip Giveaway in the Secret Room!

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  • teresa says:

    Smart impression: That old book in the banner 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Hi kate

    WOW I do love the new web page firstly I love the colour I think it makes it smart and very inviting the book covers are beautiful it is such a welcoming page one that I need to spend some time looking arounds

    Congrats on the new page

    Have Fun

    • Thanks so much, Helen. I love it, too. We had to do some tweaking with the colors. The first color was a bit too depressing too me. Too gray. But the current color has just enough saturation in it, the grayish-purple or purplish-gray, that I think it makes a much lighter emotional impression.

  • Amy Conley says:

    I see mostly smart things. I really don’t see anything cunny. Maybe it’s just my exhaustion missing it.

  • Mary Preston says:

    Your website looks fantastic!!

    I don’t know about funny, certainly a lot of fun, but the book cover jigsaw puzzle certainly caught my attention. What a fabulous idea – a smart idea!!

  • Quantum says:

    Very professional web site.

    I thought the use of words to give the appearance of grass waving in the wind (on a sand dune? ) was pretty smart and appropriate.

    • Ummm… there is a sand dune, but it’s a still picture. I’m not sure where you see the grass waving, but it sounds very cool! 🙂 LOL I should get on that!

      • Gretchen H says:

        There is a “slide show” of book reviews just under the dune. The quotes fade from one to the next and do give an impression of waving dune grass.

  • Maureen says:

    Daphne du Maurier Award winning author says smart to me. Congratulations on the new website!

  • Shannon says:

    I love the heading, “Don’t be nervous! I might not be much of a cook, but these recipes are so foolproof, even I can make them!”

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I think the pictures were smart of you. When I see the house, the bridge, the old book, the bicycle, I immediately get the feeling that this is some place I would like to be. It’s warm and inviting, cozy, it draws you in and definitely makes me want to try your books. Great job!

    • Thank you, Debbie! “Cozy” was just the feeling I was going for, since I write cozy mysteries. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment.

  • Laney4 says:

    Hi, Kate!
    I think your secret room picture with the giant book is funny AND smart!
    Congrats on a job well done, to you, as well as to Maddee and Jen!

  • Brenda Rumsey says:

    Wonderful website! The first thing I notice is the FOG and mist that envelop the pictures….the bridge, book, house….they all give it a sense of mystery and make me want to find out more of what’s going on. The colors are very pleasing and give a sense of homey comfort.

    • Thank you, Brenda! I had the “homey” feeling, too, when Xuni Designs showed me the first draft of the website. The softness of the photos at the top just completely nails the feeling I was going for.

  • Pissenlit says:

    Yay! Happy new website launch, Kate!

    Funny – That picture of you holding up a mug…next to your mug! Mug shot! 😀

  • Laurie G says:


    I like learning about you , the author, how you got to where you are today, interests, likes, past history and current history too. Thanks for sharing!

  • flchen1 says:

    What a lovely, inviting site, Kate! Congrats to you and Xuni Designs on a job well done! The art and the well-written text definitely shout smart, while the choice of headers (The Secret Room?!) wink and say “funny”… Looking forward to browsing more and getting better acquainted with your new digs!

    • Thank you!!! I hope you will explore the site. Lots of new stuff in there, especially the insider scoop on my upcoming series, the Fixer-Upper Mysteries.

  • Deb says:

    I LOVE the web page, Kate!! I want to live in the pretty house with the wrap-around porch and the turret, LOL! I love the blue-lavender colors. Maybe that gives a sense of smart…to be true-blue in solving mysteries?

    I love the sound of Shannon’s stories! I cannot wait to read them!

    • Deb says:

      But, I also like the description of Shannon’s series; Shannon Hammer of Hammer Construction. VERY clever, and smart!

      • Thank you so much, Deb! Oh, I love Shannon! I hope readers will like her as much as I do. She’s smart, capable, a loyal friend, and it’s been a lot of fun developing a second mystery series.

      • Deb, you’re the random winner of an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE! Please send your mailing address to me no later than July 30 at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com so I can put your prize in the mail. SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!

  • Cassondra says:

    Kate the new site is gorgeous!

    It’s the color I think. It just pulls me in and makes me want to stay.

    • I *love* hearing that! Love, love! Thank you so much, Cassondra. The color was the trickiest thing for us to get right, especially since everyone’s monitor is a little different.

  • Kate, the site is gorgeous! I love the graphics. And I’d say your bio is funny!

  • bn100 says:

    the disclaimer in your recipe section is funny

  • Debbie says:

    Very nice, I like the colors and love the pictures of the lighthouse, grapes, etc. The secret room is fun and ties in with mystery nicely. The comment about the recipes, hysterical
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  • sandyg265 says:

    The general layout of the page says smart to me.

  • Rachel Lepree says:

    I love the look of the new website – the graphics, colors, the whole package.

    • Thanks, Rachel! It really did all come together so nicely. Did you notice that the main background has the look of cream-colored paper. Really soothing to the eye, I thought. Very readable.

  • melanie says:

    funny: a way to kill your professors… (been there…)
    Love the new look!

  • Gram says:

    I went to the Pinterest site and found out how smart you were by clicking the books you love – so many of the same ones that I love…very smart 🙂

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    Just the fact that there IS a Secret Room is smart – drew me right to it, make me bookmark your site right away. And once in the Secret Room, the descriptions, comments and pictures are funny. Not overboard or ridiculous, but very amusing. Love the site and the books!

    • That is lovely to hear, Sally! We played with a few different names for The Secret Room. I thought this gave it just the right note of mystery for my readers. I’m so glad you agree!

  • Lois Rotella says:

    I love the look of your website. The colors and pictures of the books, bike, bride an other things shows me a strong, smart and adventurous writer. Willing to entice the reader. Keep on writing !!!

    • Thank you, Lois! I love the Golden Gate Bridge so much, I knew I wanted it incorporate it into my website design, and my webmaster and I worked to find other pictures that would bring in that pop of red. Did you notice that the bridge, the rose, form a triangle? So clever of my brilliant web designer!

  • Sara says:

    I think the overall design is smart. It is visually appealing and very easy to get around. Personally, I love the secret room. Giveaways and a chance to win are always fun, and a way to try a new series. One of the better author websites I have been to.

  • I love the illustrations. They enliven the site.

    • Thank you, Sharon! My webmaster gave me links to several different photo websites and asked me to go through and choose pictures that represented my books. It took AAAAGES. Looking through photos is fun but very time-consuming. I’m so glad you like the ones we settled on!

  • Sharleen Wells says:

    Love your website. Would love to win the book!

  • Debbie Rohlwing says:

    I was immediately drawn to the Golden Gate Bridge. We just got back from a visit to San Francisco and it brought back such fun times. I love the recipes and your disclaimers. They are so much fun.

    • Oh, how fun, Debbie!!!! One of my favorite cities in the world. What did you do? What did you see? Did you have a specific moment that stands out in your memories?

  • Debbie Lyon says:

    without looking at the other entries, so if this is a repeat, I’m sorry.

    I think you are very smart as you have a cat on the cover — cat lovers are the best!!!

  • Kareen says:

    I see funny, whimsy, crafty, and intelligent! I love the vines and beach it makes me feel peace and want to read and relax with the wine from those grapes. Then I see the hidden objects in your book covers. I giggle when I see where you’ve placed the phone the shears, hammers or drill, etc… Oh and I love the colors!! I have to say smart and funny!! Happy Bibliophile Day and congratulations!!

    • Thank you, Kareen!!! We have so much fun with those book cover puzzles. I have an assistant who designs them for me, and then she sends them to me to be the first person to solve the puzzle. Just soooo fun! I giggle the whole time.

  • I think the page is attractive.

  • Debbie Turner says:

    Smart: The picture of the lighthouse and how it looks surrounded by water

    • That lighthouse represents Lighthouse Cove, the setting of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. I looked and looked to find the perfect picture. I love this one!

  • Bev Sten says:

    What caught my eye first was the header. It’s colorful (and leads me to believe you live in SF) The layout is nice and easy to navigate. I looks really awesome.

    • I don’t live in San Francisco, Bev, but Brooklyn Wainwright does. I set the Bibliophile Mysteries there to give me an excuse to visit often because I love it so much.

  • pam paterakis says:

    I love the recipes so I say smart and helpful.

    • Thanks, Pam! I must admit, I am quite proud of those recipes! My family thinks it’s kind of hysterical, but really, they’re GOOD. I promise!

  • Pen Mettert says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments so I don’t know if I’m repeating. I still like the secret room best. 🙂

  • catslady says:

    Obviously, no one has read your section on all about Kate lol. I don’t know where to begin but it had a lot to do about lies (imaginative stories) and hair to name a few lol.

  • Rebecca Warner says:

    The fact that you write books with good plot lines and great stories tell me you are smart. But when I look at the page the number of books point to a love of reading and in my opinion, it takes a smart person to love reading.

  • marylouh says:

    You must be smart – you have the rose and mask from the Phantom in your header. smart people love the Phantom.

    • marylouh says:

      guess that shows how dumb I am – I mentioned something from the blog rather than yours.
      I did notice a rose on your blog though – so I guess I’m close. duuhhhhhh

      • LOL!!!! You had me going there! I went to my website and looked and looked and thought, “Where does she see a mask????” Snork!!!!!! The rose, I got immediately. 😉

  • Lisa Kelley says:

    Well, the first thing that I saw that I think is both smart and funny is you!

  • Sue Foster says:

    The symbolism of the rose and the mask to suggest mystery and romance.

  • Sue Foster says:

    Ok, I admit to not reading well. I will still go with the symbolism that fits the series. The books and bridge for Brooklyn and the house for the fixer up series. The wine grapes and rose for romance.

  • SusanEB says:

    Smart to have a login for your members only section :0)

    • Thank you, Susan! I wanted to give my readers a gift, as thanks for signing up for my mailing list. The response has been really positive, everyone seems to love it!

  • Raquel M. says:

    The first thing that caught my eye is, “One blog. 17 authors. One out-of-control rooster.” Going to continue looking through the web site to see if I can find any more information on this rooster.

  • Anne MacEneaney says:

    What I like about your website is your choice of colours, makes me want to come back to the site, which is very smart. For funny the old style telephone on top of the bookcase on the cover The Book Stops Here.

  • Thanks, Anne! That phone looks like it probably hasn’t run in decades, doesn’t it? Guess that’s why it’s in the attic. 😉

  • Michelle Fidler says:

    You studied acting, singing, and worked in TV production.

  • Tracy Kilgore says:

    I think it is smart to have all tabs easily accessible and easy to read.

  • Renee W says:

    The website is great. And for funny, I loved your parents thinking that your “good skin and naturally attractive telephone voice” signified your future in cosmetology or telephone sales. And then, as a fellow Catholic school girl, I loved them sending you off to be educated by the nuns because of the scissors and the lies. You have a great dry wit that I really enjoy. 🙂

  • Katharine Kan says:

    Another smart thing – the photos indicate the two coastal settings of your two mystery series.

    I’d have to say just the whole tone of your bio is funny. It made me giggle!

  • Linda Unrun says:

    I don’t know if it’s smart or funny, but I love the cats on both of the covers. You must be a “cat lady!”
    I find the pink drill funny – I’ve been involved in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build; maybe a pink drill would have helped me do a better job!

    • LOL, Linda!!! Shannon Hammer, the heroine of my new Fixer-Upper Mysteries series, is known for pink tools. One of the reasons she likes them is that the guys on her crew are too embarrassed to borrow them. 😀

  • Cyn209 says:

    the colors are sooo vibrant!!!!
    VERY smart!!!!

  • Ronna Lord says:

    Love the bicycle. I think delivering flowers that way is smart because you’ll bring beauty while exercising!! Or&–you’ll get good exercise while bringing home flowers to plant in your garden!!

    • Both true! Plus, it’s a pretty picture to look at. 🙂 I think because no one’s on the bike, it makes the viewer imagine herself in that spot. Idyllic. Other than the occasional murder, of course.

  • Joann Hunter says:

    Love, Love, Love, your books!

  • Cynthia Hogue says:

    I think the entire site is very smart with lots of information about you, your books, appearances, contests and plenty of little extras for your fans to enjoy. The funniest thing for me is your humorous personality that comes through…and “The Gong Show” of course!!!!!!

  • CarolBEE says:

    Fun!! I love the picture of you in the car. You can tell you are going places. 😀

  • I really like your covers of your books. They are quaint and make me smile.

  • Rachel plouffe says:

    The game puzzle

  • Karin Tillotson says:

    The Secret Room, of course!

  • Marcy X says:

    I clicked onto Brooklyn’s World. This section gave more detail about the characters than if I just read the blurb about the books. I haven’t read all of this series yet. I found this section to be very informative and the photos were “smart”. I especially like Minka’s photo, that was funny to me.

  • Kris Dickinson says:

    I love the gorgeous blue and white gazebo towards the center of your banner. Those colors have always looked smart together to me 🙂

  • Angela Butz says:

    I love your books. Such good artwork on the covers makes me really want to read the book even more. Please, Please pick me. I am 6th in line for this book at the library and the way some people read I may not even get to read it this year.

  • Elizabeth Dent says:

    I love your web page . I love the light house in the banner I think it looks out over all of your books . I have not read any if your books , but I love a good romance and a good mystery . Would love yo be a winner . Thanks for the chance .

  • Elizabeth Dent says:

    Sorry my gmail was wrong on the other one .

  • Grace says:

    It is smart of you to include real pictures of places that Brooklyn describes (in your pinterest page). Makes your readers want to check out those places!