Special Guest – Kate Carlisle – Author of A High End Finish (Review & Giveaway too!)


special guest blueI have been so excited about Kate Carlisle’s new Fixer Upper Mystery Series
and I am so glad to have her visit today!


Kate Carlisle’s Writing What She Doesn’t Know

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve loved books. More than just the content—the stories, the language, the knowledge—I loved the book itself as an object. I always volunteered to hang Dad’s dry cleaning so I could lay claim to the thin, white cardboard sheets tucked inside his dress shirts. I used them to make my own little books, beautifully decorated but blank inside.

9780451469199_large_A_High-End_FinishI moved on to take book arts classes at the local library and then at book arts centers. Writing the Bibliophile Mysteries with bookbinder protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright was a natural extension of a hobby I’ve enjoyed all my life.

The Fixer-Upper Mysteries? Not so much.

Shannon Hammer, heroine of A High-End Finish (November 4) and This Old Homicide (January 27), lovingly restores Victorian homes in the quaint town of Lighthouse Cove, California. While my father was a contractor and my brother painted Victorian buildings in San Francisco, I personally have no hands-on experience in that field. No, I have never restored a Victorian home. Or any home, for that matter. I had my kitchen remodeled a couple years ago, but I didn’t do the work; I just complained about how long it took.

queen anneWith the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, I’m writing about something I don’t know—for the sheer pleasure of doing the research. And I’m having so much fun, I almost feel guilty!

Through Shannon, we get to explore every nook and cranny of the fascinating Victorian homes of Lighthouse Cove, from the grande dames to the crackerboxes. When most people think Victorian, they think of Queen Anne style, but there are many styles of Victorian architecture. In the books, readers will have the pleasure of traipsing through strangers’ homes and through the history in each, all wrapped up in a quirky whodunit.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that in A High-End Finish, she literally stumbles upon a dead body in the basement of one of her projects. And even more unfortunate that the victim turns out to be a creep she went on a blind date with the night before, a date that ended badly… and publicly.

I grabbed my purse and jacket and started to dash off—until I felt cold air hit my skin. I looked down to see my teal blouse rippling in the breeze. Jerry had torn it off my shoulder!

I turned back and yelled, “You big jerk!” I was so angry. He’d ripped my clothing! What a Neanderthal! I knew it was wrong, knew I had to shake off this negative energy, but I wanted to give him a swift smack across his big stupid head. Just walk away, I thought.

I started to move, but stopped when I heard another sound.


Looking up at the pier, I saw two men rushing down the stairs toward me. The rest of the people standing at the railing were clapping and laughing and whistling. I even recognized a few of them when they waved at me. What did they think was going on here?

Jerry raised his head and glared at me. “You’ll be sorry for that.”

“Oh yeah?” I felt safer now that we were about to have company, so instead of slapping at him like I wanted to, I reached inside my purse and pulled out the only weapon I had on me. My pink needle-nose pliers. I leaned over and snipped them in front of his face a few times.

He recoiled. “Get that thing away from me!”

“Just a warning,” I said with deadly calm, furious with myself for ever believing that he might’ve been a nice guy.

So who do you think is the prime suspect when Jerry is found murdered the very next day? Especially when he’this old homicides murdered on one of Shannon’s job sites… and the likely murder weapon is one of the pink tools for which she’s known.

A High-End Finish is available now, so you have the chance to get in on the Fixer-Upper Mystery series right from the very beginning. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and that you’ll love learning fascinating little tidbits about restoring beautiful Victorian homes.

Read more about the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


9780451469199_large_A_High-End_FinishA High-End Finish:
 A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Brand New Cozy Series
An Obsidian Mystery (November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451469199
E-Book File Size: 2220 KB


In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed….

Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An awesome debut!

With a bit of home construction work in my past and a person who has renovated a house or two I loved this story. Shannon’s dad had built up a very successful business and Shannon has stepped to fill his shoes nicely. Her love life is a bit of a mess and she has a friend whose main mission seems to be to find Shannon and any of her other single friends a man. You would think Shannon’s last date and the man ending up dead would get her to stop but it barely slows her down. Shannon does meet some very interesting men, the new police chief who is thinks she may have committed murder and a crime writer who first met her when she was looking her absolute worst. If she survives and the murderer is caught there may be some developments in the romance department but first things first. She needs to stay safe and the police chief needs to do his job.

These characters are absolutely wonderful. Shannon, her friends, neighbors and co-workers all look out for each other. That what small town life means. Sometimes it means a lot of gossip but most of the time it means helping in any way they can. Her dad and uncle can’t always be around because when the fish are calling it is time to go fishing. The chief just needs to get to know everyone better and the writer seems to be settling in just fine. She also gives us some very interesting unsavory characters, the creepy Jerry and a man who comes to Lighthouse Cove for 2 weeks every year and no one in town wants him as their guest. Sadly Shannon drew the short straw this year and he is staying in one of the suites above her garage. He is one who believes the customer is always right but he is so very wrong.

I especially enjoyed all the descriptive details of the houses, the lighthouse and the town of Lighthouse Cove. It is so important to have the foundation of the setting as the series continues.

As for the plot, there was a lot of action, plenty of suspects and a few surprises. It was a captivating cozy and thankfully we don’t have long to wait for the next installment. This Old Homicide: A Fixer-Upper Mystery comes out January 27. This girl, who had her own set of pink tools, gives this story 5 starfish!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Kate  for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

76 thoughts on “Special Guest – Kate Carlisle – Author of A High End Finish (Review & Giveaway too!)

    1. Thank you, Dotty! That is so nice to hear! I hope you’ll love the Fixer-Upper Mysteries as much as you do the Bibliophile Mysteries. It’s been a lot of fun for me to launch this new series, but not to worry… the Bibliophile Mysteries will continue, as well. At least four more books, and I hope more after that!

  1. Right up my alley after watching my son do much construction and fixing up of our older home years ago.

  2. No need to enter me in the drawing, just wanted to say I LOVE Kate’s Bibliophile Mysteries and I know this series will be terrific, too. Very exciting!

  3. Great guest post by Ms. Carlisle, and thanks so much for the terrific review. I love that the characters are such a hit with you because that truly is the most important part of any series. This one certainly seems to be off to a fantastic start.

  4. I have been eyeing this book, and have two reasons for really wanting to get it: it is the first in a series, yay, and second I love to watch those home repair shows on tiv, always have. Thanks for the chance!

  5. I would love to read this book. My parents bought an old victorian home when I was graduating from high school. It was so much fun learning the history of it.

    1. Oh, that must’ve been fascinating! And knowing the history would make you feel so much more connected to the house. I caught an episode of the Gilmore Girls recently, and the characters were buying an old inn. They said that rather than the inn being a part of their lives for a while, THEY were a part of the inn’s life for a while. I thought that was beautiful. We are caretakers for future generations.

  6. So excited for this new series. I love your bibliophile series, it stays so fresh and new with each book. This is promising as well!

    1. Oh, Jana, you don’t know how nice that is to hear! I really work hard to keep it fresh with every book, and it means a lot to know you think I’ve succeeded. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Patricia! I’ve been really wowed by the reviews. Such wonderful reader reaction! I was really nervous, launching this new series. It was such an unknown. And wow, what an honor, to hit #9 on the NYT. That’s my highest showing yet, very exciting!

  7. I love Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile Mysteries. I think I own most of them. 🙂
    I haven’t started this series yet but I will. Thanks for the chance.

  8. Yo have always loved old houses and roaming through them. My husband and sons are the ones who get into the pipes, electrical parts and fixing structure. I like the painting, woodworking etc. this sounds like it could be a fun series to read and review!!

  9. There’s always a surprise of some sort waiting to be found when you start ripping into the past.

  10. I’ve never lived in an old house that needed to be rehabbed. I bet it would be fun but costly. I’d love to read your new book.

    1. The costs can add up so quickly, in part because of unexpected problems, and in part because your eyes may get bigger than your wallet. When you’re doing a reno, it’s natural to read all those home magazines, and invariably, they’re writing about the most expensive, most beautiful trends. It’s hard to keep yourself in control!

  11. This sounds like a mystery I would enjoy. I would love to acquire an old Victorian/Queen Anne style house and have oodles of money to fix it up.

  12. I love Kate’s books!! Cannot wait to read this one!!!! Congrats to Kate & continued success!!!!

  13. This looks like such a fun series, and it’s so great to know that we won’t have to wait long to find out what happens next, with book 2 coming out in January. Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Renee, YES! Isn’t it great that book 2, THIS OLD HOMICIDE, is coming out on January 27? My publisher really believes in this series, so they wanted to help me build momentum right out of the starting gate by releasing the first two books pretty quickly. I hope readers will love the Fixer-Upper Mysteries!

  14. I love the Bibliophile mysteries and look forward to this new series by Kate Carlisle! Definitely on my TBR list!

  15. So excited to read this new series! Love Kate’s writing! Absolutely can’t wait for bibliophile mysteries to be published! I’m counting this fixer-upper to be of the same great reading!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. I don’t know why but I’ve always wanted to live in a big, old house. Victorian homes are beautiful. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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