Tag Archives: cats

Meow If It’s Murder Book Blast and Giveaway!

Meow if its murder












Meow If It’s Murder by L.C. LoTempio

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

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Author Toni LoTempio

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

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Praise for the Book
“Meow if it’s Murder is an absolute delight and Nick and Nora make a purr-fect mystery-solving team. ! I couldn’t put it down!” –Michelle Rowen, national bestselling author

“Meow If It’s Murder is delightful! Readers will love the mystery and charming cat. You don’t want to miss this new series” –Rose Pressey, USA Today Bestselling Author

“Nick and Nora are a winning team. The crafty feline manages to stay one paw ahead of his new owner – and the criminals in Cruz, California.” –Rebecca Hale, NY Times Bestselling Author

“Namesakes Nick the cat and Nora the deli owner can teach Hammett’s amateur detective duo a thing or two. Meow if It’s Murder is a fast-paced cozy mystery spiced with a dash of romance and topped with a big slice of “cat-itude.” Enjoy!” ~Ali Brandon, NY Times Bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries

“Nick and Nora are the purrfect sleuthy duo!” – Victoria Laurie, NY Times Bestselling author of the Psychic Eye Mystery Series


Meow if its murder

Blog Tour – December 8th to 16th



My friend cut me an eyeroll, a sure indication she thought I was full of, as the French would say, merde. “The only other thing she saw was that this mission had to do with something that was switched.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Something switched? Like what? That’s not much of a clue.”

Chantal shrugged. “What can I say? Sometimes the images come over a bit…clouded, shall we say? We have to interpret them the best we can.” She hunkered over the pile of cards before her and flipped over the one closest to her. “Well, well,” she murmured. “On a much better note, it looks like there is love in your future, chérie.”

I let out a squeal and gave her arm a playful punch. “So now you’re reading my cards? Please don’t. I do so hate when you do that.”

“That is because you do not open yourself up to the universe.”

“I wouldn’t say that. I’m very open. Just not to portents and omens.”

She shook her curls. “You are practical to a fault. Just once I’d like to see you let yourself go – believe in the unbelievable. The world is a wonderous place, if you only open yourself up to all the possibilities.”

I hesitated, and then shrugged. “Oh, what the hell. Hit me.”

She plucked a second card from the pile. “The King of Swords crosses your card,” she said. “That means a dark handsome stranger will shortly enter your life and sweep you off your feet.”

I rolled my eyes. “You can tell that from one card?”

“Not just from the card – the vibe. And this is a strong vibe, very strong indeed.”

Uh-huh. I’d heard all this before from my friend, in many ways, shapes and forms, and a handsome stranger, dark or otherwise, had yet to make an appearance in my life. “Well, when he shows up you’ll be the first to know. I’m not holding my breath.”

Chantal glanced at the clock on the wall and jumped up. “Oh zut – I am late for my shift at the flower shop. Remy will kill me.” She swept her tarot cards into their velvet pouch, tucked them inside her tote, and ambled toward the front door. Her French accent slipped a bit as she said, “Try not to work too hard, willya? You’ve been looking a little peaked lately.” She opened the front door and stopped still. “Well, well,” she murmured, accent back in full force as she shot a swift glance over one shoulder. “Come quickly, chérie. This will teach you to have more faith in my predictions. There is a dark, handsome stranger out here who wants to see you.”

“You’re kidding.” I moved forward and looked over Chantal’s shoulder. The street outside was deserted. I cocked a brow at my friend. “There’s no one here.”

Her tongue clucked against the roof of her mouth. “You are not looking in the right place.”

Chantal pointed down. I followed her finger and beheld her dark, handsome stranger.

A stocky, black-and-white cat.



$50 Blast Giveaway

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Ends 12/22/14

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This year, I’m thankful for writers, and my neocortex. What about you?

Hi guys …

So, here’s a picture of the inside of your brain:

Nice right, all that disgusting pink macaroni?

And here is a picture of the inside  of a writer’s brain:

If you are a writer, I’m sorry, but you know it’s true

Regardless, it’s that pink macaroni (on fire or not) that I am thankful for this year. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. A. She’s weird. (True dat) and B. WTH?

I’m doing research for my new young adult novel. I believe in working hard for my readers. If I ask you to suspend belief as I write the unbelievable, then I better root my lies in some basic truths so there’s a tiny shred of plausibility to follow, make sense?

So I find that the reason I care and the creativity that exists within me and you, for that matter, comes from our little friend here, the neocortex.

It deals with patience…

… and every writer knows you need patience to finish a novel. We have loads of it. (cough)

The neocortex deals with creativity, imagination, problem solving, abstract thought …

All that crap intelligent processing goes into writing a good story. Stands to reason, does it not?

Authors dream up interesting characters and put them in impossible storylines they then have to be savvy enough to get them out of in one piece.

Or not. Maybe it’s a tragedy, who knows? Either takes some serious brain power!

Point is, I have read some amazing novels this year from truly gifted authors. Books that make me want to throw my laptop against the wall, confess I’m a total poser in comparison to their brilliance and wish I had their talent … but I digress. Toward the end of the year, I’ll post my top favorite books for 2012. Today, I just want to say I’m thankful to people who write. For their exceptional brains. That they are willing to lay bare a piece of their soul and present it for the masses to inspect and peruse, to read and review, in all its raw, dazzling beauty or epic failure. They are all heroes to me.

Anything you dig out of your heart with a spoon and show the world takes courage. Be it writing or acting or music or dance or any other form of expression. Wild applause to you, my friends, if it’s your passion, never stop trying. Never ever give up. When you master your gift and use the gray matter within to its fullest capacity, with all that unlimited ability unleashed, the world will thank you.

I already am, and I’m taking this moment to say so.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

And just if you want to … drop me a line and tell me what you’re thankful for this year. I’d love to hear from you.

Interview with Aimee Laine, author of Surrender

Surrender — Mimics of Rune #2

Surrender (Mimics of Rune, #2)

Face the past or look to the future? Both will hurt. One could kill her.

All her life, Lily Crane has supressed her childhood memories, masking the signs of abuse with a variety of looks. From brunette to blonde, tall to short — as a Mimic, changing shape is her gift. Her right. Her achilles heel.

It’s Lily’s latest likeness, chosen simply by accident, which threatens to repeat a history she’s desperate to forget. Worse, she must do so without the one man who takes all her pain away: Cael Aldridge.

Cael has no intention of leaving Lily on her own. He never has. Now, with the woman he loves in the hands of a predator who wants Lily for her genetics, Cael will do everything he can to bring her home.


He can only pray he isn’t too late.

Aimee Laine

About this author:

Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she’s produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.
With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there’s absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn’t need a calculator to add two numbers, either … but she does.

Ms. Laine will now take your questions:

 Q. Hello and welcome! Can you tell us about your book?

My book? 🙂 What do you want to know about it? I mean, it’s a romance (with some good steam to coat your glasses but not too much) and it’s a mystery (because someone is always doing something they shouldn’t) and it’s suspenseful (because who knows if the outcome will be good!) and it’s the 2nd one in the series, which is super cool because I got to write about characters I fell in love with in book one!

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

It came to me. Really. It did. I don’t come up with anything. 🙂 Ultimately, though, the idea came while writing Little White Lies because Lily and Cael are in that story and being able to dive into their lives was a big part of what I wanted to do so once I started writing, I couldn’t stop!

 Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Lily’s greatest strength is what she deems the weakest … it’s her ability to empathize. That truly defeats all.

Cael’s greatest strength is his fierce loyalty to his family and especially to Lily.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Facebook. Twitter. The Internet. My middle name is distracto-girl. I swear, if those things didn’t exist, I’d get a lot more done!

Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

Um … I’m pretty sure THIS is a question an interviewer has never asked. LOL Now for wishing for a question … well … hmmm… I have no idea!

 Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I’m always working on multiples. One in editing, one in draft, one in final. Right now I’m finishing Silent Echoes to deliver to my editor. I’m writing Perry Road,  YA trilogy and I’m writing Redeemed, book 3 in the Mimics of Rune series.

 Q. What is your favorite line from this book?

Well, it’s not one line, but one statement from Maggie …

“But you do everything for her. Or you say you will. You’re always there for her. She needs some room to grow some balls, Cael.”

 Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Nope. 🙂

 Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

Not avoided, but struggled with … I rewrote 25,000 words in the story when I realize I was going down a path I didn’t like at all. That’s the hard part – determining that what you wrote sucks and you HAVE to fix it.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

I’ve just recently read Shadowborn by the uber fabulous Jocelyn Adams!

> Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Hobbies? With my crazy life? 😉 I am taxi-mom to my boy and my girls. I work full time (which bleeds into more than full-time) and I’m a professional photographer though I haven’t been shooting much because I’ve been writing and working and being taxi-mom! 😉

 Q. What was your favorite book/who was your favorite writer as a teen?

Hmmm… as a teen? I’m not sure. I read a lot of literary fiction. Maybe Judy Blume. 🙂

 Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

Me! Oh, you meant someone else. You! No? Emi Gayle? That’s cheating. Hmmm… I like a LOT of writers and their work. I just don’t have ‘a favorite’ because those I like are all great!

Q,. What is the best young adult book you’ve read so far in 1012?

After Dark? 😉 Crux? 🙂 I’m going to go with those. I have read Touch, too. Liked that a lot.

 Q. What do you see emerging  as the next big trend in young adult literature?

In YA? Hmmm … trend-wise, not sure exactly, but I’m thinking New Adult instead of YA because teens ‘read up’ and the age group from 19-23 seems to be missing their books. I think that’s the next place. The kids in college that the teens ascribe to be.

Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

Yes. Some days I think it’s a pointless endeavor because I don’t get enough time to do it! But, at the same time, I can’t stop. I’m addicted.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

I have a career I love. I’m a Program Manager for an eLearning company. I write. I manage people. I work with great people. I educate people. And it’s software related. It’s an awesome job, just really, really busy right now.

Q. We love animals! Do you have any pets at home?

For some reason, we have a menagerie of black and white animals. From oldest to youngest …

Dizzle, the SOLID black cat …

Sprinkles – a cat that came to us just this year with a freaky history and past! But a good one!

Oreo – Guinea pig number one who came with Squirrel, ‘delivered’ on Christmas by Santa. 🙂 This is post-bath.

And, not to be forgotten, but 8 month old Rascal. Yup. Totally fits his name.

We love ’em all!!

 I guess so … the cute factor of these little guys is a ten!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Aimee. It was great to have you here. 🙂

For more info on this author and where to buy her books:




So … what about you guys? Books, Cats, and Guinea Rats (that’s what we call those little guys at our house) … Aimee’s pretty neat, isn’t she? I think her book looks fantastic, what about you?

P.S. I really want to know how a cat can have a “past”, come on Sprinkles … dish!  🙂

When I say we…

I mean me, well, but not really.  Meet my crew…

Hugo (Hurley) was named after the LOST character. He’s a 25 pound, eleven-year-old Maine Coon rescue. He pretends to be a high brow book snob, but I totally see him reading over my shoulder at my cheesy, mushy, paranormal YA romance reads. He’s not fooling anybody.

Loofah Sponge (yes, his full name is Loofah Sponge, it’s on his chart at the vet’s) is a two-year-old, blue point exotic shorthair rescue. He’s a complete romantic (who I’ve seen cry on occasion at the end of a good book) and loves a fast paced urban fastasy or dystopian.

These are my friends. They help me write by keeping me company, providing important inspiration and much needed breaks when my head is about to explode from editing, block or too many ideas at once. Do you have a writing/reading buddy? Who or what is your muse? Do you believe in them? I love my pets and am passionate about animals. Are you? Tell me about them, and what they mean to you. I’d love to hear! 🙂

Next time you can meet my dog Scout and my horse Tucker, but that’s for another day …