Crime and Catnip
by T. C. Lotempio
GENRE: cozy mystery
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…
“Yes, so you needn’t worry about anything, Nora, other than preparing your excellent food,” Nan remarked and then added with a twinkle in her eye, “unless you think the grimoire and its history might make a good story for that magazine you write for.”
“NOIR. It might. I’ll ask Louis.” Louis Blondell, the owner and editor of the online true crime magazine I wrote part time for, was always eager for any article that smacked of mystery – plus I owed him two articles already. I tucked the tip about previous theft attempts away, determined to do a bit of research on my own regardless of whether or not he’d be interested – although knowing Louis, I was sure he would be. “I can name some of the sandwiches and main dishes after the more popular characters in Arthurian mythology. I’ll just need to do some research on them – and I know just the person to help me.”
“Splendid!” Nan clasped her hands in front of her. “And several food critics will be there – they’re patrons of the museum – so it will be a wonderful opportunity for your shop, Nora. Why, you might generate more business than you can handle.”
“An increase in business is not a bad thing.” Violet glanced at her watch and rose. “We’d best get going. The exhibit manager is waiting for us back at the museum. Apparently there are many cases to unload. At this rate we may have to move the exhibit the Red Room.”
Nan shrugged into her fleece jacket. “We’ll give you a key to the kitchen, so you can just stop in anytime to look it over or whatever. You can pick it up later, and do let me know if there’s anything you’ll need.”
Nan bustled out the door, Violet trailing at a slower pace. She paused to lay her hand on my shoulder. “I hear you’ve become quite the sleuth. I heard what you did for your sister, and I read the account of the Grainger case. Very impressive. Like that sort of work, do you?”
“I do. Then again, I enjoyed tracking down leads when I was a true crime reporter so I guess it’s really not that much of a stretch.”
She nodded. “Well, then, when you’ve got a bit of time to spare, stop by my office. There’s a matter I’d like to discuss with you that the sleuth in you should find quite a challenge.” She looked at me, and I caught a glimmer of a twinkle in her eye. “It involves a disappearance, and there’s even the possibility it might also involve…a murder.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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 – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com
Where to find them:
Amazon- Crime and Catnip
Amazon: All Books Page
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
With the publishing market tougher to break into than ever before, more and more people are turning to self-publishing, especially popular authors. It no longer has the stigma attached to it that it once did. I myself was self published before I sold my mystery series to Penguin. I self published two paranormals that are still available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
Definitely mysteries! Of any shape and size. And I enjoy reading true crime fiction too. I always wanted to be an FBI agent or a PI.
Do your characters talk to you?
I don’t think you can write a book UNLESS they talk to you! Especially Nick in the Nick and Nora series, LOL. He was a talking cat in the original manuscript.
How do you approach starting a new book?
I get an idea which I noodle around for a while, and then I do a sketchy outline which I expand upon before I actually sit down to begin writing.
What is your writing process?
Go to my den, crank up the CD player, and just get into it. I do zone out when I’m writing.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
Probably the best one is ON WRITING by one of my favorite authors, Stephen King.
What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?
I enjoy watching re-runs of old tv series. Right now I’m devouring the first ten seasons of Gray’s Anatomy on Lifetime. I also like watching the Hallmark Mystery Channel.
What was your best date ever?
We went to a waterpark. I’d never been to one before, and it was such fun! I love swimming. I should have included that in the question above. Put me in the water and I’m like a fish….i hate to get out.
Navy SEAL or cowboy?
Hmmm…since my day job is at a defense company I’ll have to say SEAL.
Chocolate or chips?
chips – I’m allergic to chocolate
If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?
I always wanted to fly like Superman.
Fancy restaurant or picnic?
oh, restaurant, definitely. I can’t stand the ants.
Beer or wine?
tough call –Reisling?
tough call – I have too many favorites to list
Smooth or hairy?
smooth by a mile, unless we’re talking about cats 🙂
T. C. Lotempio will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.