Thanks to everyone who swung by to make the launch party yesterday such a hoot! The cabana boys are still cleaning up after all the shenanigans. We definitely sent WHAT A DUKE DARES out into the world in style!
The winners of the two signed copies of WHAT A DUKE DARES are:
Congratulations, Debbie and Ann. Please email me on anna @ anna campbell.info (no spaces) with your snail mail details and I’ll get your book off to you! Happy reading!
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.
An author’s website is a Very Big Deal. www.KateCarlisle.com 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.
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, www.katecarlisle.com, 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!
Break out the bubbly! Release the balloons! Today is THE BOOK STOPS HERE release day, and we are going to par-TAY! No party would be complete without gifts, so read on to find out how you could win an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE.
In THE BOOK STOPS HERE, Brooklyn Wainwright is hired as the book expert on This Old Attic, an antiques appraisal TV show, so we’ve got a TV crew here in the Lair today to film this celebrity event. The cabana boys are showing off a little, hoping to get noticed in Hollywood. Whoops! There goes Sven’s shirt! Yeah, he’s noticeable, all right, especially with the Golden Rooster sitting on his shoulder like a demented pirate’s pretend parrot.
The boys have been kind enough to set up a microphone for me between two palm trees strung with fairy lights. I’ll ignore everyone’s cries for karaoke (and you’ll thank me for it!) and instead, I’ll say, “Welcome to my book release party! Thank you for celebrating this very special day with me.”
The chants of “Excerpt! Excerpt!” are impossible to ignore, so I’ll do a quick reading with the beach band as back-up. (You’ll understand why the paragraphs are numbered in a minute.)
1. My mother always warned me to be careful what I wished for, but did I listen to her? Of course not. I love my mom, really, but this was the same woman who liked to recommend espresso enemas to perk me up. The same woman who performed magic spells and exorcisms on a regular basis and astral traveled around the universe with her trusted spirit guide, Ramlar X. Believe me, I’m very careful about taking advice from my mother.
2. Besides, the thing I was wishing for was more work. Why would that be a problem?
3. I’d been in between bookbinding jobs last month and was telling my friend Ian McCullough, chief curator of the Covington Library, that I wished I could find some new and interesting bookbinding work. That’s when Ian revealed that he had submitted my name to the television show, This Old Attic, to be their expert book appraiser. I was beside myself with excitement and immediately contacted the show’s producer for an interview. And I got it! I got what I wished for. A job. With books. That was a good thing, right?
4. Of course, I didn’t dare tell my mother that I considered her advice a bunch of malarkey. After all, some of those magic spells she’d spun had turned out to be alarmingly effective. I would hate to incur her wrath and wake up wearing a donkey’s head—or worse.
5. “Yo, Brooklyn,” Angie, the show’s stage manager said. “You look right into this camera and start talking, got it?”
6. “Got it,” I lied, pressing my hands against my knees to keep them from shaking uncontrollably. “Absolutely.”
7. “Good,” the stage manager said. “No dead air, got it?”
8. “Dead air. Right. Got it.”
9. She nodded once, then shouted to the studio in general, “Five minutes, everyone!”
10. I felt my stomach drop, but it didn’t matter. I was in show business!
11. This Old Attic traveled around the country and featured regular people who wanted their precious family treasures and heirlooms appraised by various local experts. The production was taping in San Francisco for three whole weeks and I was giggly with pleasure to be a part of it.
12. And terrified, too. But the nerves were sure to pass as soon as I started talking about my favorite topic, books. I hoped so, anyway.
Want to win an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE? We’re going to play a little game. Go to the paragraph that corresponds with your month of birth and choose one word. Tell me what word you chose and then use it in a sentence that tells me something interesting about yourself! I’ll choose the winner at random from everyone who plays.
Sven, bring in the dancing boys, please! Cue the music. Load the confetti in those balloons and let them fly.
I’m so excited about this release. Now, granted, I tend to be excited about all of my releases to one degree or another. But this story is a special one to me because the heroine was so fun to write, and she’s one I put a lot of myself into. Her friends call her a free spirit, but everyone knows they mean she’s a flake. Now, granted, few people have called me a flake (to my face) but Sage’s interests and her pursuit to find her calling, her quest for bliss, that I can relate to.
Its not that I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. As my stepmother likes to share, at a young age I informed everyone that I would grow up to be a mom, a gypsy and a writer. And I pretty well stuck with these goals through my childhood. But by seventeen, I realized that there weren’t a lot of Irish/German gypsys roaming around, that I’d have to get a college degree in English to be a ‘real writer’. And being a mom? My parents were pretty adamant that that goal remain on hold for a while.
Eventually, I found a way to make it all work, in my own fashion. The mom part was easy, and hands down the most amazing, joyful, blessed thing I’ve ever done. And yes, I waited long enough that my parents were comfy being grandparents LOL.
I wasn’t actually a gypsy, but I did spend 10 years as a professional tarot reader and Reiki practitioner, roaming from new age store to psychic fair peddling my trade. And I have not one, but two crystal balls now.
After the birth of my second daughter I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do that’d meet all my requirements (the main one being to work from home since we were already home schooling and home is kinda the key word there). My husband asked me what I’d do if I could do anything in the world-no holds bard, my dream job. Without thinking, I said romance author. I then immediately began piling on excuses for why I couldn’t… but he didn’t listen. Being the pushy type, he told me to go forth and write, dammit.
And so I went forth, I wrote. And I found my bliss.
Needless to say, it takes Sage in A SEAL’s Kiss a teensy bit longer. But her hero is just as instrumental in her finding hers as mine was in my finding mine (and how’s that for a convoluted sentence?!)
Here’s a peek at A SEAL’s Kiss:
“You don’t think I’m a flake?”
“I think the term that fits you best is free spirit.”
“I likethat image,” she decided. “It makes me sound like I should be running around outdoors, naked.”
“I like that image,” he decided with the husky laugh she’d happily come to recognize as his horny alert.
Mmm, decisions, decisions.
The temptation to go the naked route was overwhelming.
But she’d come this far. And while she might be a free spirit, she wasn’t a chicken. So she resisted the urge to pull her dress over her head.
“Actually, I meant my blog. You know, the posts I write. The causes I try to bring attention to. Do you think it’s a waste of time?”
“You’ve found homes for how many dogs?” he asked, tugging her off the path and over to the little gazebo at the base of the hill.
“Thirty or so,” she said. She pulled her hand free so she had both free to wave over her head. As if it were a vague number that didn’t matter instead of thirty-two beautiful, loyal animals who now had safe, loving homes.
“How much did you raise for that water project in Africa last year?”
“You knew about that?” She wished the moon was brighter so she could see his face. Instead, it was shrouded in shadows, so all she could go on were his words. And those were surprising the hell out of her.
“You blogged about it, didn’t you?”
“You really do read my blog?” Now she was grateful for the lack of light, since there was nothing attractive about her jaw hanging open.
“Of course I read it. I’ve donated, too. Not always, but whenever I can. I’ve been known to nag guys to donate sometimes, too,” he admitted, laughing quietly as he held out his hand to lead her up the steps of the gazebo.
“You got your big bad Navy pals to donate to my causes?” she asked, delighted.
“Hey, some guys push their daughter or nieces’ Girl Scout cookies. I push charitable causes.” His shrug was uncomfortable, like he wanted to brush off the conversation as fast as possible. “Look, it’s no big deal.”
“It is to me,” she admitted, lifting first one of his hands, then the other, to her mouth and brushing a kiss over his knuckles. “It means everything to me.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
Sage blinked hard, not sure where the tears had come from or why, but knowing they were the bittersweet happy kind that she couldn’t run from.
After all, they were falling in love tears.
And here’s my Party Challenge: Finish this sentence for a chance to win! I’ll award three commenters a copy of any of my previous SEAL releases (winners choice):
Brace yourselves, ladies! With the release of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION, I’ve launched a new series with Harlequin Desire featuring the McLaren brothers of the highlands of Northern California. To honor their heritage, we’re throwing a Scottish-themed launch party today. The Lair is decked out in tartan, the tables are overloaded with legs o’ lamb (plus haggis for the Bravehearts in the bunch), and the cabana boys are dressed in kilts!
Our young, kilted laddies are willing to play a few Scottish games with ye, if ye’ve a mind to… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
The MacLaren brothers are taking California by storm with their brewing empire, and pity the women who get in their way. Aye, these men have talented tongues, an’ make no mistake. Raise a pint for a traditional toast. (Never mind if you don’t drink. This is fictional beer.)
If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. So let it be!
Connor MacLaren never forgave Maggie Jameson for leaving him. Ten years later, his former sweetheart’s back in their California town, desperate for the Scottish businessman’s help. And he knows just how to get her out of his system once and for all…
Agreeing to temporarily pose as Connor’s girlfriend is déjà vu. After only a few minutes alone with the rugged Highlander, Maggie’s breathless with desire. Of course, this was Connor’s intention…until his plan backfires, leaving them both wanting much more.
Now, lassies, let’s give ourselves not-so-authentic Scots nicknames. Here’s how it works… Take your first name and give it an “-ie” ending. Then add “Mac” to your most notable physical feature, the street where you grew up, or a word related to your job. Today, I shall be Katie MacDeadline!
Post your Scots nickname in the comments below, and I’ll select one of ye at random to receive an autographed copy of SECOND-CHANCE SEDUCTION.
Wooot!! It’s party time. The only thing I love more than a launch party in the Lair is the wonderful people in the Lair.
And no, I’m sorry, Sven, I don’t mean you. I mean my Amazing Banditas, and the Always Awesome Bandtita Buddies! To kick us off, shall we cue the music?
So… with a little help from my friends, lets get this celebration rocking :-)
Drinks, anyone? Some shortbread to dip in the chocolate fountain?
Here’s a little peek at this friendship…FEARLESS, my Cosmo Red Hot Read, launches officially on 9/17 (although its up for preorder now, if you’re so inclined). There is so much that I loved in this book. The heroine’s makeover was fabulous to write. The shoes are gorgeous. And the sex… well, thats nothing to sneeze at (hey, no feathers are involved, so no sneezing, right? Although there is a blindfold). But one of the things that excites me the most about this story is the friendships it features. Four girls who’ve been tight since college, who meet at least once a month for drinks, dishing up news and offering each other not only a shoulder, but a good solid push when one or the other needs it to make her dreams come true.
“Gia? What’re you craving?” Jessa prodded from where she lounged on the couch, her head back on the pillow to better enjoy the moisturizing benefits of her facial mask.
Slicking another coat of midnight crimson polish over her nails, Gia absently finished her thought aloud, “A wild sexual adventure that includes chocolate, feathers and three dozen orgasms?”
The room went silent. Even the iPod, playing Rihanna in the background, seemed to quiet.
Oh shit. Had she said that aloud?
Gia looked up to find three sets of eyes locked on her in varying states of shock and amusement. She winced, then carefully pushed her martini glass away.
“Oh, this is juicy. Tell us more,” Jessa prompted, clapping her hands in excitement.
Right. Except she wasn’t the juicy type like they were. She was the practical, keeping it real type. Which probably accounted for their surprise.
“That was just the vodka talking,” she dismissed with a wave of her hand. “So, are you guys hungry? I’ve got nacho fixings. Or better yet, how about cookies?”
“No way,” Caryn protested, waving her own glass in denial. She had her feet propped on the coffee table while Sara painted delicate roses on her toenails. “You can’t offer up something that juicy, then try to change the subject.”
“Nope. That’s the sort of thing that needs explained. In great, graphic detail. Drawings might help, too.” From her spot on the floor, Sara wiggled her brows. Her black hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail to keep it out of any polish mishaps.
Gia debated. She could gloss over it on her way to make those nachos. She could downplay it into a joke. Or she could fess up. The first two were easier. And definitely the type of thing she’d always done the few times she’d found herself in the spotlight before. Like anyone who craved center stage, then discovered they were sick with stage fright, she’d always ducked back into obscurity.
But she was so tired of average.
And the only way to get over average was to enlist the power of her friends.
That’s what good friends do, isn’t it. Help each other make things happen. I’m so lucky to have friends like this in my own life – many of them right here in the Lair. These are not only great gals to drink with (and drink we do!), to party with (and party we do), but they’re here to push and encourage my dreams, to encourage me to push beyond what I thought I could do, and to celebrate when I do it. And, hopefully, I’m here giving the exact same thing right back.
I hope you’ll join me as I FEARLESSLY Tour the web, sharing the news about my Cosmo Red Hot Read. You can check out my blog tour deets here. And if you’d like your very own copy of the Girlz Guide (chockful of Words of Wisdom, excerpts, recipes and fun) you can download your own PDF on my website.
And since I know we all have girlfriends we adore (yes, we probably have boyfriends, too, but today’s all about the Girlz) I’d love to hear your favorite Girlfriend Story. Who’s got your back? I’ll choose one lucky commenter to win a FEARLESS Basket of wonderfulness.
A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY is available today, and to celebrate, we’re having a big ol’ party in the Lair! A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY is my latest Bibliophile Mystery. Publishers Weekly calls it “well plotted” and says “Carlisle keeps the suspense high as Brooklyn sleuths her way through a host of chefs and other suspects to a satisfying resolution.”
Pardon me while I happy-sigh. I love a good review quote! Today, I’m giving away an advanced review copy of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY. Check back at the end of the day to see if you won!
In A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, Brooklyn Wainwright is asked to restore a one-of-a-kind leather-bound cookbook and journal from the Revolutionary War days, and she discovers secret spy codes written in the margins. So… in honor of spycraft during the Revolutionary War, the cabana boys are wearing invisible clothes as they whip up a batch of my Deadly Delicious Dark Chocolate Fudge. You know every party ends up in the kitchen, anyway. Save room for dessert!
Kate Carlisle’s Deadly Delicious Dark Chocolate Fudge
2 10-oz bags dark chocolate chips
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 T instant coffee powder
½ t cayenne powder
2 t chocolate liqueur or vanilla extract
Sea salt for sprinkling
This is so easy, Brooklyn Wainwright could make it!
Line an 8-inch square pan with waxed paper and set aside. Put the dark chocolate chips, condensed milk, instant coffee, and cayenne in a heavy saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. You might need to remove the pan from the heat from time to time. As soon as the chocolate is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the liqueur or the extract.
Spread the fudge into the prepared pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate for two hours or more. Cut into one-inch squares.
Calories: Trust me, you don’t want to know.
To enter for a chance to win an ARC of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, share a recipe for your favorite summer drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)! Sven is having a Skip and Go Naked, of course – and yes, that’s a real drink!
It’s an impromptu launch party in the lair! I’m so excited and honored that Harlequin is reissuing my Oct 2009 release, HIS SECRET AGENDA as the bonus book with Carla Neggers’s BEWITCHING, which comes out next Tuesday. Carla is such a fabulous author and I know she’s a favorite around the lair
HIS SECRET AGENDA was my third book – it’s also the third book in my Serenity Springs series. Here’s the original back cover blurb:
Dean Garret is about to break the number one rule of undercover work. And it’s all because his new “boss” is as pretty as a professional cheerleader and has a do-gooder’s heart. Who can resist that combination? Still, Dean suspects Allison Martin is hiding something behind her dazzling smile. That something being the runaway mother and son he’s been hired to find.
To get the job done, he needs to gain Allie’s trust. Only, the lawyer-turned-bar-owner isn’t cooperating. But she can’t remain immune to his good ol’ boy charm and sexy drawl forever. Because Dean never fails. And he’ll do anything to solve a case. Even if it means he has to break all the rules.
That part about Allie being as pretty as a professional cheerleader still makes me smile!
I hadn’t really planned on throwing a party in the lair (there’s a lot going on at my house right now and believe me, things are crazy *g*) but then I realized that maybe a party is just what I need *g* The only problem with hosting or attending a last-minute-get-together? What to serve/bring!
Tell me, what’s your Go To recipe? The one thing you make/bring/buy/serve when you’re short on time but still want to serve a winner? And, just for fun, which cover do you prefer?
Congratulations to Kim (a different one), chosen at random as the winner of an autographed copy of SHE’S HAVING THE BOSS’S BABY! Kim, please email your address to me at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com. Woo hoo!!!!
Disclaimer: Our guests run the gamut from personal friends, to interesting authors who've asked to appear, to authors whose books we love. We have not always read our guests' books before hosting them here. Some of them provide us with free books though most do not. We do receive a commission from Amazon for every book purchased through links on our site. For purposes of making purchasing decisions, visitors should assume the bandit sponsoring the guest has a personal connection of some kind to her guest and may have received a free copy of the guest's book.