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Tuesday 21 June 2016

ℚ Claws for Alarm: Nick and Nora Mysteries [2] - T.C. LoTempio

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Claws for Alarm (, Berkley, 291 pages), a Cozy Mystery, book two of the Nick and Nora Mysteries series.

""Claws for Alarm" is clever, imaginative, and entertaining as a kitten stalking a make-believe mouse.  The plot features all my favorite elements: an enterprising amateur sleuth, a quirky supporting cast including a kitty with purrsonality plus, yummy recipes, a rambling old house, and twists galore.

As a die-hard fan of cats and cozies, I'm putting T.C. LoTempio's Nick & Nora Mysteries at the top of my Must-Read list!"
 - Wendy Corsi Staub, "New York Times" Bestselling Author

"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 of "From Fear to Eternity"

[A] "fabulous new crime-fighting team on the cozy crime scene a triple-decker sandwich of murder, danger, and delight Nick so brims with street smarts and feline charisma, you d almost think he was human an exciting new series." - Carole Nelson Douglas, "New York Times" notable author of the Midnight Louie series

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Toni LoTempio; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Claws for Alarm?
"My cat ROCCO has been the inspiration for the character of Nick Charles in my Nick and Nora mystery series.

The idea to center it in the artworld comes from a lifelong love of beautiful paintings and museums.  One dream of mine is to get to Paris and see he Louvre someday!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I modeled the main character, Nora Charles, after myself.  Nora is an ex-reporter and I always wanted to be Lois Lane growing up.  I imagine I live that dream vicariously through my blog,  I, or rather my cat ROCCO, interviews authors there monthly."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Claws for Alarm - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"As much as I would like to take credit for the cover art, the concept was all Penguin’s idea.  They also hire the cover artist, MaryAnn Lasher.  They did ask me for input and then they did what they wanted anyway LOL.

Since the story is set in an art school I suggested Nick spelling out a word with canvas and brush and paint…so of course they have him on a table spelling out a word with spilled coffee.  Makes perfect sense, right?  They also insist on the cat being slim, when it says specifically in the book that he weighs at least twenty-five pounds."
LOL  He does look like the Felix Cat rather than a massive tuxedo!

Why should we read Claws for Alarm and what sets it apart from the rest? 

"I think it’s a good old fashioned mystery and you can’t get enough of them.  How many series do you know that feature a cat that can spell?"
Can you tell us something quirky about Claws for Alarm, its story and characters?
"Yes, the characters are named after the ones in the popular THIN MAN series.

Nora Charles is an ex-true crime reporter who returns to her hometown of Cruz, California to take over her deceased mother’s sandwich shop.

Nick Charles is the tubby tuxedo cat who adopts her and spells out clues with his Scrabble tiles to help her solve mysteries."
Who would you recommend Claws for Alarm to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone over thirteen.  There is mild swearing but nothing really nasty (at least I don’t think so)"
If you could / wished to turn Claws for Alarm and the Nick and Nora Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Let’s see: Emma Stone as Nora, Brandon Beemer as Daniel, Morgan Freeman as Ollie, Jennifer Lawrence as Chantal – directed by Robert DeNiro?  What do you think?  And, of course, my cat ROCCO as Nick."

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to read mysteries, I always have, so I imagine it’s only natural I write them.  And I should be a lot better at it by now, LOL.  I have tried other genres – I actually started out writing horror, and I’ve also self-published a few paranormal suspense books."
What is your writing process?
"Well, first I make an outline (which half of usually ends up getting scrapped) and then I try to write at least ten to twenty pages every time I sit down.

I work a full time job, so I have to squeeze in one or two hours at night and then I write 4-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

It doesn’t leave much time for a social life.   I crank up the CD player and I usually listen to Phantom of the Opera or Michael Bublé while I write."
What is in store next?
"Book 3 in the Nick and Nora series is due out in December, and we are waiting to hear if Penguin is renewing the series.

However, I do have another cozy series which will be out form Crooked Lane Publishers next Spring.  The Cat Rescue Mysteries center around two sisters who run an animal shelter specializing in rescue cats, and the first book in that series is entitled PURR M FOR MURDER."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Absolutely… my cat ROCCO, the inspiration for the “Nick” in Nick and Nora and writer of his own blog, Join us there sometime!"

Hello Rocco! Love your blog!

Claws for Alarm
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Einsam said...

I love the Nick and Nora series, Thanks for the insight. Hope to get more in the future.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing :)

CJ said...

I loved this interview! Thank you for the giveaway! :)

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!