Friday, February 6, 2015

Author Kate Carlisle Offers 'A Secret to a Happy Life' {+ Giveaway}


This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle - Thoughts in Progress Feb. 6I’m delighted today to welcome author Kate Carlisle to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her recent release, THIS OLD HOMICIDE, the second installment in her Fixer-Upper Mystery series.

During her visit, Kate offers us ‘A Secret to a Happy Life,’ as well as giveaway one print copy of THIS OLD HOMICIDE. First, here’s a brief description of this fun new mystery.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries and A High-End Finish comes the second Fixer-Upper Mystery…
          Contractor and part-time sleuth Shannon Hammer specializes in improving the quirks and flaws of the Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. The quirks and flaws of their residents are another story.…
          Valentine’s Day is approaching, and while Shannon is delighted to be friends with not one but two handsome men, not everyone in town is feeling the love. After her elderly neighbor Jesse Hennessey fails to make his daily appearance at the local diner, Shannon swings by his place to check on him. Not only does she find Jesse dead—of an apparent heart attack—but she also realizes that his home has been ransacked.
          Someone suggests that a thief was searching for a priceless necklace Jesse claimed to have retrieved from a capsized sailing ship, but Shannon doesn’t believe it. Everyone knows Jesse had a penchant for constructing tall tales—like the one about him having a hot new girlfriend. But his death is soon ruled a homicide, and shady suspects begin popping out of the woodwork. When another victim turns up dead, Shannon is convinced she must find the killer before someone else gets nailed.…
 
Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kate. Welcome, Kate. What’s your secret?

I don’t claim to have *the* secret to a happy life. I’m not that wise or all-knowing. But I can say without reservation that I have one of them.

Ready?

Creativity.

Being creative—in whatever form that takes for you—is one of the secrets to a happy life. Making something that didn’t exist before. Something you can look at (or listen to) and feel the soul-deep satisfaction that comes from knowing it came from you.


It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be as simple and fun as decorating cookies or making flower arrangements. (You can get amazing ideas from Pinterest! Find me there at www.pinterest.com/booksbykate.) My creative outlets are writing, as you might have guessed, and also bookbinding and paper arts. (The free pattern for these paper gift boxes can be found in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com.)

Even if a person doesn’t have opportunity for creativity in her professional life, she can find ways to be creative at home. Baking, knitting, quilting, drawing, making music, decorating your home, gardening… all of these are creative outlets that make life richer.

(This quilt pattern is available for free in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com.)

Have you noticed that the protagonists of pretty much every cozy mystery series have jobs or avocations that are creative? The same is true of my mystery series. Brooklyn Wainwright, heroine of the Bibliophile Mysteries, is one of the preeminent bookbinders in the
world. There’s a lot of creativity involved in restoring a rare book. And Shannon Hammer, heroine of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, has a very creative job, too, renovating Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. When a home is 130 years old, you can’t just run down to the local hardware store to find all of the parts you need. You have to fashion a lot of them from scratch.

A sneak peek at THIS OLD HOMICIDE:

          It was weird to return to the house while the sun was shining, weird to think that I’d found Jesse’s body all those days ago. It was no longer a crime scene. Jane’s cleaning crew had come through and done a great job. I couldn’t see a trace of that fine black soot the police liked to leave on every surface after they’d dusted for fingerprints. I knew how hard it was to get rid of that powder residue because the police had dusted for fingerprints in my garage a few months ago and had left it for me to clean.
          I was actually looking forward to doing the work on Jesse’s dilapidated home, even though he was no longer here to enjoy it. I’d offered to help him fix the place a bunch of times over the years, but he’d never taken me up on it. His house was charming, or it would be once I was finished with it.
          It was one story, but it had a steeply pitched roof and a large attic with a dominant front-facing gable. The porch was roomy enough to create an outdoor sitting room if someone wanted to, and the widow’s walk that circled the attic was instantly appealing from the street.
          I had my computer tablet with me and as I walked through the main living areas, I took pictures and typed out notes. Later, I would prioritize the work. On most jobs, that meant starting with the basement, reinforcing the support posts and beams before doing anything else. Otherwise an old house like this might collapse on top of itself.
          I ignored the instant chill that shot up my spine. After finding that body in the basement a few months earlier, I got a little flash of terror whenever I had to go down into the bowels of a house.

What creative outlets do you enjoy?

Kate, thanks for joining us today and sharing this secret. Being creative in various ways does make for a happier life.

Here’s a bit of background on those who aren’t familiar with Kate.

Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier Award winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. She loves to drink good wine and watch other people cook. Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America®.

Kate’s first Fixer-Upper Mystery, A HIGH-END FINISH, debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestsellers list. THIS OLD HOMICIDE is available in paperback and eBook wherever books are sold.

For more on Kate and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Now I’d like to share my thoughts on this entertaining story.

Author Kate Carlisle has created a fascinating protagonist in Shannon Hammer. She a bit unusual in that she’s a contractor who restores homes. She strong and determined, but loyal with traits readers can relate to.

The small-town setting draws readers in as the cast of delightful characters entertains with their interaction. The story flows smoothly at a good pace with just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

THIS OLD HOMICIDE is an engaging cozy that will hold you spellbound from beginning until end.

This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle, A Fixer-Upper Mystery Book #2, Obsidian, @2015, ISBN: 978-0451469205, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

This giveaway is for one print copy of THIS OLD HOMICIDE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Feb. 15. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress Kate Carlisle’s Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Have you ever dreamed of buying a run-down Victorian home and restoring it? Or have you already realized your dream, but maybe it wasn’t a Victorian? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Hope we’ve enticed you to check out Kate’s THIS OLD HOMICIDE.

*This post contains affiliate links.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

58 comments:

  1. It sounds like a heap of fun. Thank you for yet another introduction to an author whose work tempts me.

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    1. Thank you! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know you're tempted. ;) I hope you enjoy THIS OLD HOMICIDE.

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    1. Isn't it??? I love the talented cover artists!

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  3. looks like a great series, thanks for the chance to win it :)

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  4. Sounds like fun. I love old houses, but I'd rather read about them than try to fix one.

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    1. LOL, Gram! Not up for the adventure, eh? ;)

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  5. Creativity is a great way to stay balanced. And I think most creative people are that way in several areas of their lives.
    And we have our first cat!

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    1. I think you're right, when someone is creative by nature, they carry that into every area of their life.

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  6. I think the fixer upper mysteries are fun. Thank you for sharing the new one.

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    1. Thank you, Angela! I love writing the Fixer-Upper Mysteries as much as I love writing the Bibliophile Mysteries, and I hope to continue alternating both series for many years.

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  7. Mason - Thanks for hosting Kate.

    Kate - I couldn't agree more. Creativity is so important. And being creative in some way also helps make writing more interesting, I think. I wish you success.

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    1. Thank you, Margot! I agree, other creative pursuits can only enhance the writing because it feeds the soul and fills the well. Best to you, too!

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  8. I visited a friend yesterday who lives in an old house with turret like the one pictured and thought it would be a great place to set a cozy mystery. Can't wait to read this one. Love the cover.
    Ann

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    1. Oh, how delightful, Ann! If your friend is okay with it, I'd love for you to post a picture of her house to my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks

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  9. Sounds like a good one! Love cozy mysteries!

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  10. My hobbies include reading (cozy mysteries are my favorite!), writing, sewing, and hiking. This review truly makes me want to read this series!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! You know, I think reading is a creative endeavor. Fiction requires creativity on the part of the reader, which is why each reader gets something different from a book.

      I hope you'll love THIS OLD HOMICIDE!

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  11. I would rather watch someone else restore a Victorian. I'm too old now.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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    1. LOL! Well, I hope you'll enjoy watching Shannon Hammer restore Victorians in the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. ;)

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  12. Loved the first in this series, and I'm looking forward to this one! My favorite creative hobby is cooking. I enjoy feeding folks great homemade food and making them feel at home.

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    1. Oh, Leni, I like you already! I somehow manage to eat very creatively. ;)

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  13. I loved the first book in this series, and I'm sure this one will be fun also.

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    1. Thank you, Chris! I'm so glad you enjoyed A HIGH-END FINISH. I hope you'll check out THIS OLD HOMICIDE next time you're at the bookstore.

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  14. This looks like a great read! I've never really tried to write but everyday my 2 daughters and I make up adventures that our cat had while we were at school/work! It's a lot of fun and gets us to use our imaginations!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh my gosh, Julie, that sounds so fun! What a good mom you are, to play creative games with your girls.

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  15. Great cover and I love fixer upper cozies because I have done a lot of fixer upper work!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Carol! So glad you're enjoying the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. They are a pleasure to write... all the reno satisfaction, none of the blisters. ;)

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  16. I enjoy cooking. This cozy looks captivating and interesting. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I enjoy watching other people cook! We should be friends. ;)

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  17. love cozy mysteries and this one sound intriguing - thanks for the chance to win it

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  18. I think Kate makes a great point about creative outlets. In addition to making you happy, I think there's a great deal of stress reduction in doing a craft such as stamping or knitting! Thanks for the great post and chance to win! JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh yes, anything that gets those creative juices flowing is a vital part of life!

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  19. I've heard such good things about this book—I can't wait to read it!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  20. Sometimes we have to stop and realize that we are creative, just maybe not in a traditional way (I can't sew but I sure can cook).

    As Kate already knows, this story has hooked me! What an interesting life, fascinating interview.

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    1. Awwwwwww, thank you! Yes, I definitely think cooking can be a creative outlet.

      So glad I hooked you! :D

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  21. I loved the first one and I'm sure I'll love this one too, heck I love all Ms. Carlisle's books.

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  22. I'm in the middle of High-End Finish and look forward to reading this, too. Keep writing, please!
    lizc@mac.com

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    1. I definitely will! Can't imagine anything I'd love more. :D

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  23. Solid Gold!! I grew up watching that show. How exciting that she's turned that career into one as a novelist. I'm sure her life gave her plenty of experiences to write about.

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  24. I used to enjoy crocheting and reading but all I do now is read, lol.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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  25. I would love to win. Enjoy the series

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  26. In my dreams I'd like to buy a rundown Victorian and restore it, but realistically, no.

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  27. I love old homes but don't have the money or patience to fix them up. I do gladly appreciate those that do fix beautiful old homes.

    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

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    1. It would definitely take a lot of both money and patience, that's for sure! You can enjoy the thrill vicariously through Shannon Hammer in the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. How's that? :)

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  28. Love Kate's books. Looking forward to reading this one.
    dotkel50@comcast.net

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  29. I read the excerpt and would definitely enjoy reading this book.

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  30. I love to do calligraphy, so I am teaching myself how to use markers, pencils, and pens to create artwork.

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  31. I've had my eye on this book for awhile. I'm working my way through my TBR list and should be starting it soon. :D

    cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

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  32. Looking forward to reading this book!

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  33. it would be neat to have a Victorian house to fix up, my sister and i have always loved houses that had attics, gables, window seats and little nooks to hide in when we were children. We use our little bit of carpentry skills to help out with Rebuild Joplin and Habitat for Humanity. If we ever were able to buy a Victorian, we could probably refurbish quite a bit ourselves, but most of the outside would have be a professional like Shannon

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  34. I love old Victorian Houses and have always wanted to fix one up. By the way, I love your books; ALL of them!!!

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  35. What an interesting post. I'm familiar with Kate's books, but I was unaware of her varied past--both law school and The Gong Show! Thanks.

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  36. This book sounds very interesting. I have it on my TBR list. I really enjoyed reading the post. Thanks!

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  37. What a perfect combination: homicide and Old Victorians that must be dripping in mystery and secrets.

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  38. Love Kate Carlisle and would love to own this book. Victorian houses just belong in mysteries don't you think?

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.