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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Interview & #Giveaway: Crime and Catnip by Toni Lotempio @RoccoBlogger


Please help me welcome author Toni Lotempio to Full Moon Bites for an interview and giveaway! Read on below for more about her novel Crime and Catnip. As a cat lover I am super intrigued!


Holly: Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Toni Lotempio: Well, I’m originally from New York but moved to New Jersey when I was thirteen. I’ve been reading mysteries all my life, and I only got serious about a writing career in 1997. It took fourteen years for me to finally get an agent and sell my Nick and Nora series to Penguin Publishing, but better late than never! 

Holly: What do you do when you are not writing? 

Toni Lotempio: When is that LOL? I like to read, particularly since I also review books for Night Owl magazine. 

Holly: Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write? 

Toni Lotempio: I used to be a “pantser” but I find that I can write more quickly if I have an outline. I do not necessarily FOLLOW said outline; the finished product is usually much different, but I have found a sense of direction helps immensely and saves much valuable time. 

Holly: Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult? 

Toni Lotempio: I devoured mysteries, so I think they pretty much influenced me; I loved Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, and of course, pretty much all the popular Girls’ Series, especially Nancy Drew! 

Holly: I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers? 

Toni Lotempio: Absolutely never give up. It took me fourteen years to realize my dream, so nothing is impossible. Read, read, read and write, write, write! If you really want it, it WILL happen! 

Holly: When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book? 

Toni Lotempio: Probably when I was ten! I wrote a book of fairy tales, TWELVE TALL TALES, and a classmate illustrated it! 

Holly: Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book? 

Toni Lotempio: In Crime and Catnip, Nora is catering an event for the Cruz Museum when the curator asks for her help in finding her missing niece. It’s not long before Nora realizes that the niece’s disappearance could be tied to another MIA closer to home – Nick the cat’s former owner, PI Nick Atkins! And then, of course, there’s the requisite dead body…… 

Holly: Which came first for you, the characters or the plot? 

Toni Lotempio: The characters, definitely! I knew cat msyteries were popular back then and I thought my cat ROCCO would make a good character. I was watching the Thin Man on Turner Classics and he jumped onto my lap and I thought, “what would happen if Nick Charles came back as a cat?” 

Holly: Where can we purchase this book? 

Toni Lotempio: Anywhere fine books are sold. :) Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million. 

Holly: Can we expect more novels from you in 2017/2018? 

Toni Lotempio: Book one in my new series, PURR M FOR MURDER, is out now in hardcover. The paperback comes out January 9. Book two in that series, DEATH BY A WHISKER, will be out February 13. 

Holly: Are you working on anything at the moment? 

Toni Lotempio: I’ve just finished outlining Cat Rescue three and four, in the hopes of acquiring a contract. J Books four through seven in the Nick and Nora series are finished, my agent is currently looking for a home for them. 

Holly: Do you think you may ever go into another genre? 

Toni Lotempio: I would love to try my hand at another horror novel (my original genre) or a thriller ala James Patterson! 

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers? 


Toni Lotempio: I want to thank each and every one of them for reading my books and for loving the characters of Nick and Nora. Even though Penguin has opted not to continue the series, my agent and I are hopeful that N&N will soon find another home! 
  

Random Quickies!


Pepsi or coke?  Iced Tea

Cats or dogs?  ROCCO would kill me if I didn’t say cats!

Do you read more than you write? It’s about equal

Favorite movie?  Gone with the Wind

Favorite book to movie?  The Thorn Birds

Hardback/Paperback or eReader? Paperback

How many paperback/hardcover books do you own? Way too many! I have six banker bookcases full.

Have you ever been out of the state where you live?  Yes, thank God.  :)  I love Arizona!!!!!!!


Cozy Mystery
Date Published: December 6, 2016 
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime

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While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him...


About the Author


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 (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and the just released Cat Rescue Mysteries from Crooked Lane!  The first volume, Purr M for Murder is out now! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or at www.tclotempio.net

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