Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Meow If It's Murder (Nick & Nora Mystery #1) by T.C. LoTempio

First in a new series!

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.  

Hello.  My name is Toni LoTempio, and I’m the proud HUMAN to Rocco!

As some of you may or may not know, ROCCO not only runs his own blog, but he is also the “honorary spokescat” for KIDS NEED TO READ, a charity co-founded by Denise Gary, PJ Haarsma and Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly)  In addition, he’s also the inspiration for the feline character NICK in the Nick and Nora mysteries, coming this December from Berkley Prime Crime!
ROCCO has interviewed many authors on his blog, but no one to date has ever interviewed him!  So now…it’s his turn. I interview ROCCO!

TLT:  Hey, ROCCO!  For all our interested readers out there, describe a typical day in your life.

R:  Thank you,  my Human.  Well, I’m usually very busy as you know, what with coming up with authors to interview for the blog, as well as ideas for that new mystery series you have coming out in December.  That takes up a great deal of my time.  My morning usually begins at around 3 a.m. when I start knocking everything off your dresser so you are sure to get up and feed myself and my siblings: brother Maxx and sisters Trixie and Princess.  Once that’s done, I usually bother you whilst you are getting dressed to go to your day job and once you’re out the door, I take a mid-morning nap to regain my strength.
            Later, if I am so inclined, I amuse myself by playing with my favorite toy – my ballies! I love to lose them underneath large pieces of furniture so that you can get on your hands and knees and find them for me!  Then when you come home, I meow loudly to remind you that we all still need to be fed! Once that’s done, I trot myself into the den where you are working on one of your (our!!!) books and finagle you into spending at least twenty minutes playing “catch”.  After that, I take my evening nap (usually at the foot of your bed, sometimes next to you) until it starts all over the following day!

TLT: How did you become the spokescat for KIDS NEED TO READ?

R:  You and I were surfing the web one day and came across the charity.  It looked worthwhile, and you were travelling to Arizona that year on vacation, so you set up a meeting with Denise Gary and then we hit upon the idea of having an Ebay auction, publicized by moi on my blog, every summer.  So far we have run two very successful ones and will be doing our third this September.

TLT: What’s the story behind your name? Are you a Sylvester Stallone fan?

R:  Ah, my name has nothing to do with the ROCKY movies.  The lady at the Clifton Animal Shelter, where you adopted me, named my sister Pebbles and me ROCCO. Even then she could see I was a feisty devil.

TLT: I’ll definitely agree with the devil part…..

R:  Moi? Devilish????????? You betcha!

TLT: What do you love most about me?  Dislike most?

R:  Love is an extreme term.  I love the fact that you know to feed us on time.  If I had to hone in on one dislike, it would be you do not play “catch” enough with me.

TLT: Now, suppose you explain how you became the “inspiration” for our new mystery series debuting in December.

R:  With pleasure!  If you will recall, my Human, I have meowed many times to you that you should concentrate on writing stories about a cat such as myself and give up on the vampires and other such supernatural creatures.  After your supervisor concurred with my assessment one day, you came home and after watching a “Thin Man” movie on Turner Classic, got all fired up and started calling me “Nicky”.  Thus was born the Nick and Nora mysteries! My only regret is it had to be rewritten to eliminate my “talking”, MOL! (Meow Out Loud)
And I did come up with the title…MEOW IF ITS MURDER…although to date I have received absolutely NO credit for doing so, hisss!!!!!!!!!

TLT:  Just for fun…
Catnip or scratching post?   Scratching the arms of your couch!
Tabbies or Tuxedos? Both are equally fine.
Fish or Steak? Sardines

TLT:  Rocco, where can readers find out more about you and our mysteries?

R:  My human has a website  and one can always check my blog,  Not only do we have at least 3 author interviews/giveaways per month, we also post news about the Human’s upcoming books!
The first Nick and Nora mystery, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, for which I am the inspiration for the tuxedo cat Nick, will be available December 2 from Penguin/Random.

TLT: Any last words?

R:  Pad softly and carry a big fish.

This book is a fantastic start to a very promising series.  It's smart, fun and witty with characters that are so wonderful, you fall in love quickly.  It's incredibly well written with a wonderful setting, and is complete with plenty of references to The Thin Man that fans will LOVE!  Not to mention a very frisky cat that ties the whole story together.  The mystery is thrilling and the author has created quite a world in which we, as readers, can freely escape.  

I can't wait for book #2, and hope that it'll bring just as much joy as this one! 

Rating: 4.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.  
Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 copy of Meow If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio to give away to one of my lucky readers! Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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