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Tuesday 21 June 2016

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

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Claws for Alarm, a Cozy Mystery by (, Berkley, 291 pages).

This is the second book in the Nick and Nora Mysteries series.

Don't miss our interview with author T.C. LoTempio.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read various excerpts with Amazon Look Inside.

Author T.C. LoTempio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.  

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

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


“The purrfect sleuthy duo” is back, and this time murder hits close to home for Nora Charles and her partner Nick, a stealthy little feline gumshoe groomed to solve a shocking crime.

Since inheriting her mother’s sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder—until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey’s bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade.

Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick’s animal instinct won’t be enough to rescue Lacey from a perfectly executed framing.


Teaser: Excerpt


When he pulled out of the circular driveway of his beautiful English Tudor home that morning, Professor Thaddeus C. Pitt had no idea he was in the last hours of his life.
      A robust man in his late fifties, he could easily pass for ten years younger.His thick, curly hair was still a striking jet-black, with nary a gray strand in sight. His health was quite good—it had been ages since he’d seen the inside of a hospital—and for that he credited his sensible diet, sparing consumption of alcohol, and the Gold Crown membership at his health club. Money had rarely been a problem for him: He’d amassed a considerable fortune over the years, partly due to his own talent as an artist and, in the later years after the arthritis had made it impossible to continue painting, through his art acquisitions. It was well known he had one of the largest collections of rare paintings and sculptures on the West Coast. Why, only last month Donald Trump and Sylvester Stallone had offered him millions for the rare Cezanne he’d recently acquired. It had given him enormous pleasure to turn them down cold.
      He liked having things other people wanted.
      One thing he was certain several people wanted was the young, beautiful, blond wife he’d acquired a few years ago. Giselle couldn’t tell a Cezanne from a Renoir, had not the faintest idea who Leonardo da Vinci was (“Isn’t he the guy who was in that Wolf of Wall Street movie?”), but her other—ahem—attributes more than made up for her lack of polish. Yes, he was a lucky man indeed.
      He pushed his wire-rimmed glasses up on the bridge of his aquiline-shaped nose and cast a wary eye at the stack of student portfolios left to grade that teetered on the edge of his cherrywood desk, threatening to spill over onto the thick shag carpeting. Even though teaching was a profession foisted upon him because he could no longer hold a brush in his hand for more than ten minutes, he had to admit to a certain satisfaction from nurturing his more talented students, inspiring them on to bigger and better things. The less talented ones—well, most of them, he feared—appreciated neither his candor nor his bluntness. Only the passage of time would most likely heal the wounds his words, perhaps cruel in tone but not cruelly meant, inflicted.
      He leaned back in his chair. The glove leather felt like butter against his skin, and he let out a sigh of contentment as he reached for the top folder. He’d done half already, given them back in today’s class. Not one student had gotten higher than a C—and none of them deserved any higher, in his opinion. Several of them had expressed their displeasure both verbally and visually, and his blasé attitude at their fury only served to add fuel to their fire, which he could only hope and pray might manifest itself in future works. One student in particular had not taken his criticism well at all—although if he were to be perfectly honest, Lacey Charles wasn’t quite as hopeless as the others. Her portrait work was quite good, actually, but even so, she was certainly no Anne Rowe or William Branson. Lacey’s problem was, surprisingly, a lack of confidence. All she needed was a fire lit under her—that was why he’d told her to come to his office after her last class today.
      One thing he was very, very good at was lighting fires.
      His eye fell on the photo of Giselle in the silver frame square in the center of his desk, reminding him he still had yet to answer her about going to that damned fund-raiser. He leaned back in his chair, trying to think of a worthy excuse, and as he did so his gaze fell upon an object tucked on the shelf on the far wall. He abruptly straightened in his chair and reached for his phone, brows drawn together as he punched in a number. The frown deepened as voice mail kicked in, and when the beep sounded, he said, “It’s me. You didn’t call as you were supposed to. Avoiding me won’t change anything. As I told you this morning, I’ve discovered the flaw—the dirty little secret of what you sold me, and since I don’t take lightly to abuse of art in any form, unless this matter is resolved—and quickly—I’ll be forced to take further action. Oh, and for the record, I don’t bluff.”
      That done, he rose, stretched, and made his way over to the well-stocked bar at the other end of his office. He poured himself a glass of port and stood in front of the bay window, sipping and looking out at the dimly lit street below.After a few minutes he began to feel groggy. He put his hand to his head, rubbed at his temples.
      You’re getting old, Thaddeus, my man. You can’t drink like you used to.
      He held the glass aloft, swirled the liquid, and took another sip. He held the glass out, frowned. Was it his imagination, or did the liquid seem a tad cloudy?
      Impossible. I drank from this decanter only last night and everything was fine, just fine.
      His knees started to wobble, and the wineglass slid from his hand, landing on the carpet with a soft thud. The room seemed to spin crazily, and his vision blurred. His dimming gaze fixed on the bottle of wine as the shudder ripped through his body.
      Good God. I’ve been drugged.
      His legs went out from under him, and he fell upon the soft carpet, his head lolling to one side like a broken doll’s. So dulled were his senses that he was oblivious to the creak of the office door as it opened, or the soft footfalls that signified the presence of an intruder. Pitt never felt the sharp blade of the knife as it entered his body and pierced his heart. He let out one long, shuddering gasp as his lungs started to bleed into his chest cavity, and his last conscious thought as the life slowly ebbed out of him was that, even had he been a praying man, no amount of it could help him now . . .

Claws for Alarm
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The Series: Nick and Nora Mysteries

[1] | [3] |

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Meow If It's Murder [1]

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.

[Published 2 December 2014, 305 pages]

Crime and Catnip [3]

Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

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...

[Published 6 December 2016, 304 pages]

About the Author

Born in New York City, T. C. LoTempio is the national bestselling author of Meow If It’s Murder, the first in the Nick and Nora Mystery series.

She has been a staff reporter at the young adult magazine Susabella Passengers and Friends for more than a decade.

When she isn’t reporting or writing novels, she and her cat Rocco fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read.

Follow T.C. LoTempio:

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Victoria Alexander said...

Sounds like a great series - thanks for sharing :)

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

Ally Swanson said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

Ally Swanson said...

Most books seem to be better than the movie; is there a movie that you think was better than the book?

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