A Day in the Life with Shannon Hammer by Kate Carlisle

deck-the-hallwaysNew York Times bestselling mystery author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. Kate 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. Kate’s latest book, Deck The Hallways (a Fixer-Upper Mystery), is available in paperback and e-book wherever books are sold.

Visit Kate online at www.KateCarlisle.com, and be sure to pop into the Secret Room, where she’s giving away a Deck The Hallways Christmas ornament every day in November!


“I’ll take it,” I said, handing the green cashmere scarf back to the shopkeeper. My friend Marigold loved all things colorful, the brighter the better, perhaps in reaction to growing up Amish.

“Would you like it gift-wrapped?”


Although there were technically twelve shopping days until Christmas, today was it for me. Starting tomorrow, I’d be busy from sunup to sundown.

My name is Shannon Hammer. I’m a contractor here in Lighthouse Cove, California, but for the next two weeks, I would be the project manager on the most massive project the Holiday Homebuilders had ever attempted. We were converting an 1867 Victorian mansion into apartments for deserving families. I wasn’t too worried about the construction crews that would be working on each apartment—they were pros, and I knew I could count on them. But the volunteers were an unknown and were already keeping me up at night with apprehension. I hoped they wouldn’t cause too much trouble.

I scoffed at myself for being silly. What was the worst thing that could happen?

A shiver ran through me. I’d already been through the worst—murder—on multiple occasions, but surely that wouldn’t happen again. Not on this job, which was supposed to be all about goodwill.

I shrugged off my doom and gloom thinking. I was as prepared as I could be. I’d made my list and checked it twice. So to speak.

“Here you are, Shannon,” the shopkeeper said, handing me a brightly colored package. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas,” I repeated dutifully.

As I stepped out into the bright California sunshine, I tried not to grimace. I’d hoped that today’s shopping excursion would shake me out of my grumpy mood. Buying gifts for my loved ones should do that, right? Except I didn’t know whether or not to buy a gift for one particular person—man—Mac—and that uncertainty was keeping me firmly in a funk. If I did buy him a gift, should it be as “just friends”? I’d thought we were becoming more than that, but I wasn’t sure anymore. Not after—

LamppostNo. Not thinking about that today.

I decided to take a break from shopping and walk home to drop off my packages. Although I’d grown up in Lighthouse Cove, I’d never tired of walking through our quaint downtown streets. Our town was known for its Victorian architecture. The shops along the town square continued this theme, with pretty painted facades in feminine colors. White holiday lights lit up every window, and red bows decorated the lampposts. I waved at all the people I knew but didn’t stop to chat.

When I reached my driveway, I felt a stab of loneliness. Not only was my guest apartment glaringly unoccupied, but Dad’s RV wasn’t parked here as usual, either. Most people wouldn’t be thrilled by a parent camped out in their driveway, but I loved having him nearby. To be honest, though, his absence just now was probably a blessing.

I didn’t want Dad anywhere near the Holiday Homebuilders project. He had an almost unnatural hatred for the banker overseeing the work. Potter. I couldn’t blame Dad. The man was odious. He did everything he could to push Dad’s buttons. With Dad’s weak heart and short fuse where Potter was concerned, it would be best to keep them apart. Far apart.

A blur of white flashed past my front door from the inside, and Robbie, my Westie, barked impatiently at me. We’d been separated for a whole hour already, and he couldn’t wait one more second to see me again. I couldn’t help but smile. It was nice to be loved.

dth-ornamentI let myself into the house, and as I cuddled Robbie and Tiger, my marmalade cat, I vowed that I would shake this cranky mood. I would get into the Christmas spirit even if it killed me.

To celebrate the release of Deck the Hallways, Fixer-Upper Mystery 4, Kate is giving away one of these Christmas ornaments every day during the month of November. Sign up for a chance to win in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com!

Deck the Hallways is the fourth book in the Fixer-Upper mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, November 2016.

Someone’s been slayed! If contractor Shannon Hammer can’t nail the real culprit in the St. Nick of time, her dad will wind up in the clink. . .

Even at Christmastime, Shannon is more spackle than sparkle, which is why she leaps at the chance to transform a grand old Victorian mansion into ten charming apartments for homeless families. Filled with the spirit of the season, all of Lighthouse Cove turns out to help—including her best friends, a troupe of far-from-angelic Santa Claus impersonators, and her father, Jack.

But their merriment is soon dashed by a heated scuffle between Jack and the miserly president of the bank who’s backing the project. When the man is murdered, all eyes are on Jack, and visions of prison time dance in Shannon’s head. Now, she needs to pull off a crime-solving miracle, before her father’s Christmas goose is cooked. . .

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All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Deck the Hallways. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 11, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

97 responses to “A Day in the Life with Shannon Hammer by Kate Carlisle

  1. Love this series & can’t wait to read this newest entry. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I love Christmas books!

    • I do, too! DECK THE HALLWAYS was my first Christmas mystery, and I enjoyed the process of writing it so much. I love the idea of a whole community getting together once a year to fix up a house for needy families.

  3. I like this author and I’d love to win! Thanks for the chance!

  4. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Love this series! Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Thank you for reading the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, Linda! You might be excited to know that you can get a map of Lighthouse Cove in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com. The map even shows the site of each murder in the books so far.

  5. New series for me but it sounds like fun. Christmas stories are fun to read. And this little town sounds like they go all out for Christmas.

    • Hi, Donna! If you’re intrigued, you can read free excerpts of all of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries on my website, KateCarlisle.com. Chapter 1 of each book is available to give you a taste of my writing.

  6. Great post. I have yet to read any in this series so hope this will be a start. It looks really good

  7. I really enjoy seasonal themed mysteries. Looking forward to reading this book.

  8. This is a new series to me, but it sounds good. The setting, Christmas, pets, grumpy father, and murder – all the elements of a good story!

    • Shannon’s pets are really fun. Tiger is quite the affectionate cat, not the standoffish type. Robbie is a typical Westie–fun-loving, happy. He makes me smile every time he’s on the page. Just love them both! Hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them, Gail, as well as the people of Lighthouse Cove.

  9. I’m looking forward to this one…I love Shannon and her friends!

  10. What a good way to get in the mood for the holidays than to read a holiday themed mystery book. Thank you for the chance to win

  11. elainehroberson

    I love to read Christmas mysteries in December and this one sounds great. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  12. I like the house on the cover and would like to read this book! Thanks

    • Isn’t that house great?! When I first saw the cover, I squealed. It just has just the right combination of cheeriness, holiday spirit… and a hint of danger. Good luck in the giveaway, Donna.

  13. This new book has such an awesome and pretty cover!!! I love, love, love all the other books in this great series and can’t wait to read this one too!!! Thank you so very much dear DruAnn and Kate Carlisle for the chance to win!!! God bless you both!!!

  14. This is a series I have not tried, but I love mysteries set at Christmas. I will look out for this book.

  15. This is a new series for me but I’m adding it to my Wish List. Deck The Hallways sounds great. Thank you for this chance.

  16. I have been enjoying this series.

  17. Lovely book. I want it to share.

  18. Brian Frauenknecht

    I absolutely love this series and I can’t wait to read the newest in the series. Thank you for the chance to win Dru!!

  19. I really like this series.

  20. Karlene Barger

    There’s no place like home for the holidays! And I’d love to win this signed copy to read during those holidays.

  21. Marihelen Ligon

    Wonderful author and series!! Thanks for having her on the blog today Dru!!

  22. Melissa Castor

    I have read the Bibliophile mysteries and just started reading the Fixer-Upper mysteries. Can’t wait to read this latest book!

  23. I love Kate Carlisle’s series and have this book on my wish list. Thank you Dru for including her on your blog. Also thanks to you and Kate for the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  24. Patricia Fester

    Can’t wait to read.. cover and exert has drawn me in! Thanks for the chance !

    • They say you shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but in this case, I hope readers do–I just adore the cover of DECK THE HALLWAYS. Here’s something fun: On the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com, I’ve created book cover puzzles that readers can play. See if you can find the ten hammers I hid on the cover of DECK THE HALLWAYS. 🙂

  25. New series for me. Can’t wait to read it. brichardson0056@yahoo.com

  26. I love this series! The protagonist is so real.

  27. Great series, great author. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  28. Great series – love to win!

  29. Donamae kutska

    That book looks so good!

  30. Sounds like a great read!

  31. This sounds like a really good read as that is what I think all of your books are! I would be so excited to win a book of yours as this series is just wonderful.

  32. This is such a fun and entertaining series. I love it!! I would love to win a signed copy of Deck the Hallways. Thanks for the chance!

  33. I love this series. My son has a small construction business and at the start my dear DIL often worked side by side by him. Wished she a pink tool box full of tools.

  34. I loved reading how you started writing fiction as a way to kill off your law school professors! I enjoyed Shannon’s Day in the Life and look forward to reading Deck the Hallways ~

  35. I love this series! I devour them as soon as a new one comes out.

  36. This sounds like a great book, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  37. Love this series and about Christmas too, a double bonus.

  38. Barbara Hackel

    This is a great series, and I am happy to say a copy of this book is on the top of my stack of books to read! Great post Dru Ann. Thanks Kate for sharing! I am going to your website next! 🙂

  39. love this author and this series. Thanks for the review and a chance to win a copy of this newest series title

  40. I love this series.

  41. This is a really great series, I’m really looking forward to reading “Deck the Hallways”. Sounds like a great holiday read.

  42. Michelle Fidler

    I like the title. I don’t have any of the books in this series, but I have a couple in your other series.

  43. Kristina Millett

    Looks like an awesome series! Thank you for the giveaway

  44. I haven’t read this series yet but I have now bought the first one to get started. Thanks for the chance to win! awilcox1182@gmail.com

  45. I do like the sound of this. And what a powerful hammer, right?

  46. Jennifer Hansen

    Sounds like a great book, would love to read! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

  47. Kate Carlisle’s books are the books that introduce me to cozy mysteries. I love her books. I would love to win a copy of Deck the Hallways.

  48. I would love to read this book!

  49. Can’t wait to read the latest Fixer-Up mystery!

  50. Mary Brockhoff

    I picked up two of the other Fixer-Upper books, now I need to have the latest.

  51. I would love to win a copy of this book, thank you!