Posted by Kate Carlisle Jun 25 2011, 4:01 am in bibliophile mysteries, conferences, Kate Carlisle, National Conference, romance writers, RWA conference, RWA National
by Kate Carlisle
I did it! I met my deadline for ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, the next Bibliophile Mystery. Pretty good, considering that I’ve been working in the midst of a total kitchen remodel and my family visiting. When I reached the final sentence of the final scene, I paused, took a deep breath to savor the moment, and then slowly typed: T. H. E. E. N. D.
Moment savored, moment gone… and instant panic set in.
The Romance Writers of America conference is mere days away, and I have done nothing – nothing! – to prepare. I have nothing to wear. My nails have suffered the double mutilation of hammering away at the keyboard and of being gnawed at while I tried to work my way out of plotting quagmires. My scalp has little bald spots from me tearing out my hair, trying to get the book done in time.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. If you’re going to conference, promise me you won’t look for bald spots!
The truth is, I have a lot of work to do to get pretty enough for conference. Because you know that we all want to look good for each other. It doesn’t matter that 98% of the attendees are female. It’s soooo not about the men. We want to look fresh and relaxed so that when we reunite with friends we haven’t seen for a year, they’ll tell us how great we look, and we’ll be able to believe that they’re not just being polite.
(Yeah, I dream big.)
We also want to look professional so that when we see our editors and agents and other industry professionals, they will get the impression that we easily handle the stresses of this writing life. In the hopes, of course, that they’ll pile on more stresses by giving us more, bigger, and better contracts.
(I do actually dream big.)
Which means, of course, that I must go shopping. And I can’t rely on the internet this time. There’s no time to have clothes shipped to me, try them on, realize I ordered the wrong size, return them, and get a second outfit to try on in the comfort of my own home. No, I will have to brave the harsh light of the dressing room.
And don’t get me started on shoes. Ack.
I can’t possibly visit the clothing stores until I get a mani/pedi. Otherwise the sales clerks won’t take me seriously. Getting a manicure is an exercise in patience for me. It’s hard to sit still long enough for the polish to dry. Almost invariably, I end up with at least one ding. So I repair the ding by adding a glop of polish, which leaves a little raised bump on my nail that looks like I have some sort of medical condition.
If you’re going to conference, promise me you won’t look for deformities on my fingernails!
My hope is that all the panic and craziness I’m going through now will pay off in the end. That I’ll arrive at conference looking polished and chic precisely because I am worried about it now. Which means at conference, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the experience without giving a second thought to how I look.
That is, perhaps, the biggest dream of all.
The RWA conference is part professional networking event, part high school reunion. When is the last time you attended a big conference or reunion? Did you stress about what to wear, how your hair looked, how your nails looked, whether your shoes were scuffed… ? When you look back on that event, what sticks out most strongly in your memory?
Posted by Kate Carlisle May 25 2011, 4:01 am in bibliophile mysteries, Kate Carlisle, Murder Under Cover
by Kate Carlisle
Please don’t think I’m bragging when I tell you this. I’ve traveled a lot, and through my travels I have discovered that The Most Comfortable Bed in the World is at my house. In my bedroom. I don’t mean to rub it in or make you jealous. I’m simply stating proven, scientific fact.
As you all know, I was on book tour recently, promoting MURDER UNDER COVER. I traveled to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and North Carolina, and I had an amazing time. I even got some face-to-face with a couple of Banditas and Buddies. (*waving wildly at Caren and Nancy and Deb*)
I’m a social person and an adventurer, so I love getting out of the house, hitting the road, going places I’ve never been and meeting people I’ve never met. It’s fun, frantic, and exhausting. When the tour is done, I’m thrilled to come home to The Most Comfortable Bed in the World.
You probably wouldn’t recognize it as such if you saw it. It’s not a massive sleigh bed with mattresses you’d need a ladder to climb into. It’s not a four-poster draped with a luxurious canopy of fabrics. It’s just a bed… but it’s my bed. Well, mine and my husband’s, but the fact that he’s in it is part of what makes it The Most Comfortable Bed in the World.
It has exactly the right number of blankets. It’s firm but not too firm, and if there are any lumps, they’re me-shaped lumps. The lamp on my nightstand is precisely an arm-length away, as measured by my arm. And I always have a stack of books waiting to be read.
The sheets – oh, the sheets! Sighhhhhhhhhhhh. Climbing into those sheets instantly releases the tension of the day. If you take only one thing away from this post, let it be this: indulge yourself in the best sheets you can afford. You can get great deals on quality sheets when stores have sales. It makes such a difference to lay your cheek against a soft, tightly woven pillowcase. And my pillow? Oh, my. That’s a whole ‘nuther blog post altogether.
I’ve stayed in some really wonderful hotels while on tour, but no hotel can hope to compete with The Most Comfortable Bed in the World.
It’s good to be home.
Do you think your bed could compete with mine for the title of Most Comfortable Bed in the World? What do you do to make your bedroom comfortable? What do you miss the most when you’re away from home?
Posted by Kate Carlisle May 2 2011, 4:05 am in bibliophile mysteries, Kate Carlisle, Launch, Launch Party, Murder Under Cover
Launch party!!!! Launch party!!!! Bring on the cabana boys and the margaritas! The caterer is taking special requests, so shout them out!
MURDER UNDER COVER, the fourth book of my Bibliophile Mysteries series, is out tomorrow, and you know what that means: sudden, overwhelming panic about my hair. I’m going on book tour, and I must have fabulous hair.
I haven’t had great luck communicating my needs to hair stylists in the past. I go in early, thinking that I can flip through their books to find the style I want. The problem is, many of their books are either outdated or way too avant garde. I just don’t think I’d look good in a blue Mohawk. Although… it would make my blue eyes pop.
This year, I decided to do my searching in advance, and I want your help deciding which is the right look for me. Since I’m releasing a mystery novel, I’m going to limit my search to hairstyles found on my favorite mystery shows on TV. I am convinced that having mystery show hair will send a subliminal message to book buyers that they will love my book as much as they love the show. I’ll do anything to sell my book. Extensions, color, cut, even – gasp! – a perm (as a last resort).
So here goes… whose hair looks best on me?
Kyra Sedgwick from The Closer:
Either of the blondes on Psych:
Maybe I should go dark. I love Mariska Hargitay… but should I do Season 1?
Or the shorter years?
I have to say, Elliot does not look impressed with the dark hair/blonde bangs look in either picture. And honestly, I want to impress him even more than I want to sell copies of MURDER UNDER COVER.
Finally, from another favorite show, NCIS, I could totally rock Pauley’s hair, don’t you think?
What do you think? Which ‘do should I do? Or do you have a better suggestion for whose hair I should try? What’s your favorite mystery show hairstyle?
Thank you for celebrating the release of MURDER UNDER COVER with me! I hope you’ll rush out tomorrow to get your copy! You can get a sneak peek at Chapter 1 on my website: http://katecarlisle.com/murder-under-cover.php
Posted by Kate Carlisle Aug 25 2010, 4:21 am in bibliophile mysteries, covers, Jo Beverley, Kate Carlisle, San Francisco, The Lies That Bind
And it’s a beauty! (If I do say so myself!) It’s the cover for THE LIES THAT BIND
, my November 2010 Bibliophile Mystery. It comes out barely two months from now!
Much of this book takes place at a fictional books arts center in San Francisco that I call Bay Area Book Arts, or BABA, and my cover depicts one cozy corner of BABA.
And pardon me while I gush, but I’m so in love with this room with its wall of beautiful books and its gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s Baba Ram Dass, the cat who lives at BABA, as well as a few clues scattered about. And it’s all as imagined by the brilliant artists at Penguin Books. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful team working on my book covers.
Here’s the back cover copy …
One bookbinder. One bully. One beau.
Looks like someone has got to go…
When it comes to rare books and antiquities, Brooklyn Wainwright is a master. That’s why she has returned home to San Francisco to teach a bookbinding class at Bay Area Book Arts. Unfortunately, BABA director Layla Fontaine is a horrendous host who pitches fits and lords it over her subordinates. With the help of her beau, Derek Stone, Brooklyn manages to put on a brave face and endure.
Unfortunately, someone else is not so forgiving. Layla is found dead from a gunshot wound, and Brooklyn is bound and determined to investigate. But when Layla’s past ends up intertwined with Derek’s, Brooklyn realizes that the case is much more personal than she thought–and the killer might want to close the book on her for good.
Dare I say it? I love this book! It’s got all my favorite characters: Brooklyn and Derek and Gabriel and Minka and Guru Bob and Mom and Dad, plus a few new ones you haven’t met yet, but I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them. Plus there’s a lot of San Francisco in this book, which is just about my favorite city in the whole world. There’s mystery and romance … and the occasional dead body, of course. What’s a mystery without them?
So … do you ever buy a book based solely on the cover? When was the last time you did so, and what book was it? Who are your favorite ongoing characters in a series, romance or mystery? What city would you most like to read about? And how do you feel about cats in mysteries?
Oh, did I mention that THE LIES THAT BIND is available for pre-order here?
And today I’m giving away an ARC of THE LIES THAT BIND to one random commenter. So comment away!!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Apr 25 2010, 6:00 am in bibliophile mysteries, Kate Carlisle, librarians, The Millionaire Meets His Match
I was a born reader. Weren’t we all?
I think my love of reading was honed by the fact that my family moved every few years. We always moved in June, after school was out, so for the first three months in a new house in a new town, I had no friends.
But that was okay, because the first thing I would do in a new neighborhood was scope out the closest library. I would ride my bike there almost every day, check out three to five books and read them that day. The next day, I would return and pick up three to five more. I was a voracious, if lonely, reader for many years.
Now that I’m writing the Bibliophile Mysteries, I meet librarians everywhere I go. They are the personification of the word bibliophile. (Bibliophile: A lover of books. A collector of books.) Many of them, like my protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright, also have an interest in bookbinding, both as an art as well as a survival mechanism. Think about it. Because of budget cuts, librarians often have to repair or rebind their own books, just to make them last longer. So if you love books (and who here doesn’t?), think about donating to your local library or joining your library’s Friends of the Library group. Librarians everywhere will love you!
We interrupt this blog to announce that Romance is in the Air!!
It’s my first Silhouette Desire cover! Isn’t he–er, it–beautiful? I love him!!! Er, the cover. I love it!
The Millionaire Meets His Match will be out in July, but you can pre-order it now! Just click the cover.
Ahem. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog.
Everyone here is a book lover, so how did it happen? Do you remember your favorite book growing up? Do you have a library you love? Tell me about your favorite librarian or your favorite book. How did you become the voracious reader you are today?
Posted by Kate Carlisle Sep 25 2009, 4:40 am in bibliophile mysteries, If Books Could Kill, Judi McCoy, Juliet Blackwell, Kate Carlisle, T-shirts
I’m thrilled to reveal–to my close personal friends in the Lair only!–
my new cover for book two of the Bibliophile Mystery series, IF BOOKS COULD KILL
Isn’t it fun? There’s a cat, of course. And there are books and various bookbinder’s tools and instruments of destruction. There’s a book fair going on outside the window. And there’s blood on the bookbinder’s hammer.
And yeah, that’s a really BIG cat. Uhh … don’t look now, but I think it got bigger when I wasn’t looking.
Hmm. Anyway, here’s the back cover blurb ………..
A haunted city, a forbidden masterpiece, and a deadly threat are all in a day’s work in the life of this brilliant bookbinder….
Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is happy to be attending the world-renowned Edinburgh Book Fair. But then her ex, Kyle McVee, shows up with a bombshell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history—and humiliate the beloved British monarchy.
Trying to get Kyle’s story out of her mind, Brooklyn takes a nighttime ghost tour of the city. Unfortunately, the first landmark contains a real dead body…Kyle’s. The police are convinced Brooklyn’s the culprit, but with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn begins conducting her own investigation. Before she can crack the case, she’ll have to find out if the motive for murder was a 200-year-old secret—or something much more personal…
Cool, huh? IF BOOKS COULD KILL won’t be out until February, 2010, but I couldn’t resist sharing it with y’all now. Let me know what you think!
So if it wasn’t obvious to everyone, I love mysteries! My favorites are the traditional series featuring an amateur sleuth and a hunky hero type who tangles with her as she tries to solve the crime. After all, who doesn’t like a little romance with their mystery? Here are two of my newest favorites …
, a witchcraft mystery, by Juliet Blackwell
. I love Juliet Blackwell! (She also writes as Hailey Lind and her Art Lover’s mysteries are not to be missed.) This series features a witch who’s recently moved to San Francisco and must deal with murder and child kidnapping as well as a gorgeous and powerful male witch named Aiden and a hunky “myth buster” named Max. The blend of mystery, romance and a touch of paranormal is awesome and her witchy details are fantastic.
, a name that should be familiar to romance readers, has a new mystery series featuring a New York City dog walker who can actually hear what her canine clientele are saying. The first book in the series is HOUNDING THE PAYMENT
and protagonist Ellie and her doggy clients must solve the crime before another dog is stolen and Ellie becomes the victim of a ruthless killer. Oh, and never fear, there’s a very hot detective watching Ellie’s every move. Yum!
There are so many other great series out there, I wish I had enough room to talk about all of them. But I can highly recommend Kate Collins
‘s Flower Shop mysteries, Victoria Laurie‘
s Psychic Eye mysteries, Lorna Barrett
‘s Booktown mysteries, and Rosemary Harris
‘s Gardening mysteries. And I’m really looking forward to Wendy Lyn Watson
‘s first book in her new Mystery a la Mode series (something tells me she’ll be stopping by the Lair sometime soon!).
Have you read any good mysteries lately? Do you like them with a touch of romance? Yup, me, too! I have a special mystery basket to give away to one lucky commenter today that includes goodies and books from all the above authors!