Posts tagged with: Fixer-Upper Mysteries

This Old Homicide Launch Party plus Giveaway

This Old Homicide by Kate CarlisleWelcome to the elegant Hennessey House bed and breakfast in Lighthouse Cove, California! Jane Hennessey, owner of this establishment, was kind enough to welcome us, even though she hasn’t yet opened her doors to the public. (She may regret her hospitality… she probably didn’t realize that we’d have a very naughty rooster in our party!)

Victorian Bed and BreakfastWe’re celebrating Tuesday’s release of THIS OLD HOMICIDE, the second book of my Fixer-Upper Mystery series! Whoop, whoop!

The Hennessey House is nearing the end of its incredible restoration by Lighthouse Cove’s own Shannon Hammer, who specializes in Victorian construction.

From THIS OLD HOMICIDE: It had taken me and Jane and my crew almost three years to renovate her grandmother’s disheveled old mansion and turn it into a world-class small hotel. The place had been standing there for over one hundred and fifty years, and in that time, it had been a family home, a brothel, a boardinghouse, a private residence, and finally an elegant bed-and-breakfast.

I stood on the sidewalk and gazed with pride at the beautifully restored Queen Anne with its wide, wraparound porch, wonderful three-story tower, and six chimneys. Hennessey House featured fourteen uniquely decorated guest suites, many with balconies and fireplaces. The entire house was furnished with beautiful Victorian-era pieces that were not only authentic but also comfortable and elegant.

Which is to say… be on your best behavior, cabana boys! No tearing apart Shannon’s hard work!

Shipwreck News StoryRumor has it, in 1839 a Spanish princess tragically went down with the Glorious Maiden just off the coast of Lighthouse Cove. Once in a while, a piece of gold washes ashore and brings a mad rush of treasure hunters to the princess’s watery grave.

Jane Hennessey’s Uncle Jesse, a former Navy SEAL, claimed to have found a priceless necklace while scuba diving at the shipwreck… but Jesse had a way of telling tall tales. We may never know the truth, since Shannon is about to find her neighbor dead in his own home. At first, everyone will believe Jesse died of natural causes, but Shannon will immediately suspect foul play. And if the police won’t investigate, she will.

A High-End Finish by Kate CarlisleClick here to read an excerpt of THIS OLD HOMICIDE

THIS OLD HOMICIDE is the second book of the Fixer-Upper Mystery series, following A HIGH-END FINISH, which came out in November (and hit #9 on the New York Times bestsellers list!) But don’t worry if you haven’t read the first. You won’t feel lost if you start with THIS OLD HOMICIDE.

Today, I’m giving away one autographed advanced copy of THIS OLD HOMICIDE. To enter, tell me what special cocktail Jane should serve at our Party. “Princess Punch,” perhaps? Or how about a “Salty Dog.” Or should that be a “Salty Rooster?” Or if you’re not into cocktails, tell me why you what intrigues you the most about the book. What makes you want to read it?

Bouchercon Mystery Conference

A High-End Finish by Kate CarlisleEarlier this month, I attended Bouchercon – Murder at the Beach, a conference for mystery writers and readers to mingle and plot murder.

Of the fictional variety, of course.

As far as I know.

The conference was especially exciting because the night before it started, I found out that my latest book, A HIGH-END FINISH, had debuted on the New York Times mass market paperback bestsellers list at #9! And my good friend Jenn McKinlay’s book debuted at #8, so we were bestselling besties all weekend. Jenn suggested we get tattoos to commemorate the occasion. As you can see, Edgar Allan Poe disapproved. He’s surprisingly judgmental.

Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay with fake tattoos

Having written both mysteries and romances, I’ve attended conferences for both genres, and once again, I was struck by the differences between them. Such as:

The conference theme

Bouchercon was Murder at the Beach. If it had been a romance conference, it would’ve been something like Love at the Beach or Love in the Afternoon or Let’s Roll in the Sand.

Bouchercon 2014 program cover

The pitch of the conference buzz

Romance conferences are attended almost entirely by women, but mystery conferences are more evenly split, which means that the buzz of conversation has a much lower pitch.

Books in the book room

It was fun to see so many of my books in the book room! It was interesting, skimming all the mystery titles in there. The cozy mysteries, such as the books I write, all have great titles based on the theme of the series. Romance titles are often clever, too, but here’s the difference—I didn’t see a single Duke in the book room at Bouchercon. (Hmm… wouldn’t that be a great mystery series, following a Duke detective through Victorian England?)

Bouchercon Book Room

Workshop topics

I got to see a very cool cadaver dog demo. There were workshops on murder methods and investigation techniques and forensics. Come to think of it, I could imagine all of those workshops taking place at a romance conference, too. One of the things I love best about romance novels is that they embrace every other book genre. There’s a romance for everyone!

I was the moderator of a panel on culinary mysteries. Such fun! Here’s a selfie I took, and then another picture of the exact same moment, taken by Dru Ann of Dru’s Book Musing, who was in the audience. Just goes to show… everything is a matter of perspective!

Mystery author selfie

 

Mystery author selfie

All in all, it was a great time! The best thing that romance and mystery conferences have in common is the chance to see my writer friends and to meet readers. That, and the fact that after a hectic few days, I get to hole up at home again and dive back into my story.

I always learn something at conferences like this. Have you ever been to a big conference of any sort? What did you learn that you still think about today?

By the way, during the month of December, I’m going to give away a paperback every day. Sign up for my mailing list at KateCarlisle.com so you don’t miss out on 31 chances to win!

Favorite Halloween Treats

I was on deadline. It’s not my fault. I sent my husband out to get the Halloween treats, and he came home with… Cheetos?

Halloween Cheetos

See? I kid you not. Trick-or-treat Cheetos in glow-in-the-dark bags. Clearly a winning strategy from the Cheetos marketing team, since I doubt anyone would’ve thought of this on their own. When I think Halloween, I think candy. And not even just candy. For me, it’s gotta be chocolate.

Hershey's KissesAt first, I was outraged. Cheetos???? Cheetos????!!!! How could he do this to me? It’s been a long time since Halloween gave me nightmares, but this just might do it.

Turns out, though, not everyone agrees with me. I told a couple friends about the Cheetos Catastrophe, and they said they would’ve loved to get Cheetos at Halloween. So maybe we don’t risk eggs splattered on our windows if we give these out. Plus—and I keep trying to convince myself this is a good thing—I’ll be less tempted to sneak into the treats. Cheetos, I can resist. Hershey’s Kisses? Not a chance.

A High-End Finish by Kate CarlisleA TREAT FOR YOU

Readers’ favorite treats are books. (Hey, maybe next Halloween, I should give out books! Nah… kids would get Cheetos all over the pages.) Ahem…. Anyway, I have a treat for you! I’m running a contest right now on my Facebook page, Facebook.com/KateCarlisleBooks, along with mystery authors Miranda James and Jenn McKinlay. On Halloween, we’ll choose a winner to receive a $30 gift card to the bookstore of his or her choice! We’re all celebrating our newest releases. Mine is A HIGH-END FINISH, coming next week… the first book in my brand new Fixer-Upper Mysteries series!

What is your favorite Halloween treat? Would you be happy to get Cheetos? Have you ever tricked someone who didn’t give you a treat?

Are We All Fixer-Uppers? (Plus Contest)

A High-End Finish by Kate CarlisleWith my new series set to start in November, I’ve been thinking a lot about the term “fixer-upper.” (My new series is the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. Book 1, A HIGH-END FINISH, will be out on November 4.) We’re all fixer-uppers, aren’t we? I certainly am. A work in progress. Never “done.”

How boring would that be, to think of yourself as done? Nothing left to learn, no improvements left to make.

Yep, I’m a fixer-upper all right, and I take great joy in the process of fine-tuning myself. Overall, I’m quite content. I’m a loyal friend, a caring daughter, a loving wife. But there are improvements I’d like to make, things I’d like to do better.

1. Kate Carlisle and friendsI’d like to reach out to my friends more often. Sometimes life gets so hectic that I lose touch with my friends. Temporarily, of course, and they understand. Their lives are hectic, too. We all have family obligations and work obligations that steal our time away. Before we realize what has happened, it’s been a couple of months since we’ve spoken to each other. The friendship remains strong, but a richness is lost—or muted, at the very least—when we don’t chat about the minutia of our daily lives. When we go two or three months between conversations, we hit the highlights and the lowlights, but we miss out on all those delicious little absurdities that make us laugh. And it was a shared sense of humor that brought us together in the first place.

2. I’d like to finish writing a book before the deadline, not on the deadline. I try to trick myself by setting a deadline two weeks ahead of the actual deadline, but it never works. scrabbleMy brain is too smart for that, I guess. It doesn’t allow shenanigans. It knows the Deadline-with-a-capital-D day, and it withholds the burst of writing energy and ideas until a week or less before D Day. Which means with every book, I’m scrambling right up to the last possible moment before clicking Send to get the manuscript off to my editor.

3. I want to come up with more seven-letter words in Scrabble. There is no natural high that is quite the same as getting a Bingo in Scrabble. And ooooooh, if you can get your word to land on two triple-word scores… I’m shivering here! Ba-BAM! Nine times the score, plus 50 points.

What about you? Are you a fixer-upper, too? In what way? Name three things that you would like to do better.

CONTEST: Four fellow mystery writers and I have put together two fabulous prize packages filled with lots of books and fun mystery swag. Click here to enter: BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY