This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. T. C. Lotempio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
By T. C. Lotempio
I have always been an animal lover, especially of cats. When my calico died a few years ago, I went to my local Animal Shelter and adopted a handsome tuxedo cat named ROCCO. It soon became apparent that he is the “boss” of my family, which includes three other cats! But never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever expect him to be the driving force behind our blog or end up as the star of his own mystery series!
Well – to clarify – the series isn’t named after ROCCO. He was just the inspiration for one of the main characters, a feisty tuxedo cat named Nick. Nick’s a cool cat, one with a sharp mind who likes to play SCRABBLE, and spell out clues so his human, Nora, can solve mysteries! Here’ a brief synopsis of book one, Meow if it’s Murder, taken from the cover back:
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.
In Book two, CLAWS FOR ALARM, out now, Nora’s investigation into the disappearance of Nick’s former owner takes a backseat when she’s sidetracked by her sister being arrested for the murder of her art professor! Will Nick and Nora ever solve the mystery of the PI’s disappearance? You might have to read Book 3, out December 6, to find out….
Granted, ROCCO wasn’t the only inspiration for the series – but he was and is a large part of it! And he reminds me, every day, in his own catly way…I mean, you would think HE wrote the book! Although….in many ways, I think he did. But let’s keep that OUR secret. ;-)
What are some things your pets do that inspire you to do different things? I’ll pick two of the most interesting comments and send the commenters a “MEOW IF ITS MURDER” bookmark! And you can visit ROCCO (and me too) at our blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, where we interview authors and have giveaways every month!
Enjoy an excerpt:
I sat up straighter. “You think he vanished on purpose?”
“Who knows? I’m just saying it’s a possibility. Nick knows many ways to make himself scarce.” Ollie paused and then added, “Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.”
“Maybe so, but I’ve never been one to do what’s best.”
He sighed heavily. “Okay. I can see your mind is made up. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. And if you need help—any help at all—you call me, y’hear?”
“I hear. And thanks.”
I put down the phone and nibbled at my lower lip. Almost as if he knew I’d been thinking about him, Nick appeared, jumping into my lap with surprising ease for a cat of his girth. I rubbed the sensitive area behind his ears and whispered into his ruff, “You’d like to know what happened to your former master too, wouldn’t you?”
Nick raised his sleek black head. “Er-ewl,” he mewled as his little (debatable point) kitty claws moved up and down, kneading my lap.
“That’s what I thought.” I picked up the piece of paper on which I’d written the address Ollie’d given me. “St. Leo isn’t far away—as a matter of fact it’s only about two miles from Aunt Prudence’s house. We could conceivably kill two birds with one stone, say, tomorrow afternoon?”
His steady rumble made me smile. I gave his head a quick pat. “I thought you’d agree.” I reached for my cell phone. “Maybe I’d better warn Aunt Prudence we’re going to be stopping by, though. So she can prepare my sister.
” Nick’s eyes popped wide, and he leaned back on his haunches, pawed at the air.
I laughed. “Yes, she might find you charming, and then again . . . with Lacey, you can never tell. We—we’ve never gotten along all that well. I’m sure she’ll like you, though.” I leaned over to stroke his head, and I didn’t imagine the cat smile he gave me. As I reached for my cell with my other hand, it started to ring. I snatched it up, glanced at the number, and then hit the button. “Aunt Prudence. You must be psychic. I was just going to call you.”
“Oh, Nora, I’m so glad I got you.” My aunt’s voice was a high-pitched wail of distress. “The most awful thing has happened. “Your sister’s been arrested—for murder.”
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