Search This Blog

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NBTM & #GIVEAWAY - Claws for Alarm by T. C. Lotempio


Cozy mystery



“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.

Add to Goodreads

 Nick trotted along beside me as we made our way deeper into the warehouse. Suddenly, he froze, tail upright, the hairs puffed and fluffed out like a giant fan.

“What’s wrong?” I whispered, even though I knew he couldn’t answer. We stood in silence for a moment, and suddenly, I did hear something. A very faint sound, from far away . . . like a door closing.

“Come on,” I hissed. I lifted my head, sniffed at the air. It smelled pretty stale, but there was another scent, cigarette smoke. I racked my brain, trying to remember if I’d seen either Julia or Samms smoking.

Nick’s tail swished, and he pawed at arrows painted on the ground. He trotted ahead of me at a brisk pace, and I fell into step. We followed the painted arrows along a white-tiled hallway down to a door with a shade pulled all the way down. A sign placed haphazardly in the window proclaimed it CLOSED.

I tried the door, which seemed to be stuck. I looked at the doorframe, which appeared to be less than sturdy, and checked it for alarm wires. Seeing none, I raised my leg and gave the door a swift, hard kick. It clicked open an inch, and I pushed it all the way open. We walked into a tiny office not much bigger than a postage stamp. A large metal desk and battered file cabinet took up the majority of the space. Another door at the far end stood partway open. Nick suddenly tensed, and I saw the hairs on his back rise. His tail fluffed out, and he started to growl, deep in his throat.

I frowned. “What’s wrong? What do you sense?”

Nick reared up on his hind legs and then shot through the partially open door. I had no choice but to follow. The room I now found myself in appeared to be a slightly larger version of the previous office. Nick crouched in front of a large metal desk, and as I entered, he shifted his body slightly. I caught a glimpse of two feet, very still, shod in the pair of eggplant Louboutins I’d admired earlier in the evening.

“Oh crud,” I cried. “Please tell me that’s not what I think it is.” I walked around Nick and peeped around the edge of the desk. I saw a twisted figure in a white raincoat bunched up around shapely legs, a tumble of dark hair covering its face, the neck bent at an unnatural angle.

“Shoot,” I said.

“MA-ROW!” Nick yowled.

I heard a sound behind me as Nick dived under a nearby chair. My heart started to beat wildly in my chest. The last time he’d pulled something like that I’d been caught next to a dead body and hauled off to the police station. His fat rear had barely wiggled out of sight before the door slammed back and I found myself looking first down the barrel of a .45 and then, as I raised my gaze, at the grim, unsmiling face of Detective Leroy Samms. He looked at me, then at the feet, then back to me again. He lowered his arm, slipped his gun back into his shoulder holster. “Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.”

I responded almost automatically. “He didn’t drag me. I walked in on my own.”

One eyebrow quirked. “Pardon? It’s an expression, Nora.”

“Oh, sure. I knew that.” The queasy sensation in my stomach was getting stronger, and I really felt like gagging. I started to push past Samms, but his strong fingers reached out and encircled my elbow in a grip of steel.

“No need to run off.”

I pressed my palm against my cheek. “I—I’m not. I just felt a little . . . squeamish.”

“Of course you do,” he said, still not cracking a smile. “I’ve got some Pepto back at the station. Fix you right up. Then we’re going to have a chat, you and I.” His grip on my elbow tightened. “Ms. Charles, you’ve got some explaining to do.”

Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  B&N  |  Kobo

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

T. C. Lotempio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in New York City and moved to New Jersey when I was thirteen.  I started reading at age three and making up my own endings to stories shortly after that.  I’ve been married and divorced, and I currently live in New Jersey with my furbabies, ROCCO, my tubby tuxedo and his brother, Maxx.  Meow if it’s Murder, the first in the Nick and Nora mystery series, is my first traditionally published novel but I have had others published by small press and I’ve self published some paranormals on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m usually always writing, but on the rare occasions I’m not I like to read and when the weather permits, go swimming.

Do you have a day job as well?
Yes, I’m a Compliance Analyst for a National Defense company in New Jersey.  That sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is. 

What was your favourite book as a child?
Wow – I guess any of the Nancy Drew mysteries, although I’m partial to THE SECRET IN THE OLD ATTIC.  That was the first Nancy book I ever read and the one that started me on my love of mysteries.

When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
Three years ago when my agent called to tell me that we had a firm offer from Penguin for the first Nick and Nora mystery.  It’s a great feeling to know that all the hard work, blood sweat and tears is finally gong to pay off!

What book do you wish you had written?
The Harry Potter series.  I think every author in the world wishes they had thought of that idea.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing and hopefully on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Oh my God lots of times.  When it strikes, I usually try to distract myself by playing with the cats, I go for a walk, anything to take my mind off what’s my sticking point.  Usually if I can distance myself for a while, the brain cells clear and I can continue.

Are you a planner or a pantser?
Both. I start out with an outline but the finished product nine times out of ten is nothing like the original outline.  The characters, as the story moves along, usually end up dictating how the plot is driven.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
The book that my agent originally signed me for, a paranormal suspense tale entitled SLAY ME ONCE about a slayer who’s allergic to vampires.  I absolutely love that book but unfortunately we could not find a home for it.  And also DARK BLOOD, about four vampires who own a winery.  That one I REALLY like.  Once again – no  home – yet!

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Book 2 of the Nick and Nora mysteries, CLAWS FOR ALARM, deals with  Nora trying to clear her sister of a murder charge.

Here’s the back cover copy from the third Nick and Nora, CRIME AND CATNIP, due out in December:
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...

And next Spring will see the debut of the first Cat Rescue mystery, PURR M FOR MURDER, which revolves around two sisters who run an animal shelter.  I’m really looking forward to that series!

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Writing, like any art, is subjective.  The best way to get published is to read, read, read and then write, write, write and, of course, to never give up.  I’m living proof that if you want something bad enough and keep at it, you WILL get it.
Do you read your reviews?
Oh yes. Reviews are very important to an author.  I read ‘em all, good and bad. If they offer constructive criticism I take it under advisement.

What is your least favourite part of the writing or publishing process?
Of writing:  doing the outline.
Of publishing:  the waiting game. But I’m getting better at it.

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.

Tour Organised by: 

Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. I haven't gotten to this one yet but O love the excerpt. You are really doing it!

  3. Hello and I am back saying thank you once again for the opportunity you have given us to win this giveaway

    1. Thanks James! If you like giveaways you should visit our blog,
      We have giveaways usually twice a month at least. This week we are featuring EJ Copperman

  4. Great post - thanks for sharing the interview and excerpt!

    1. You are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it

  5. FYI the author isn't able to access this at work, but will comment ASAP. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Goddess Fish, for organaizing the tour!

  6. Hi So sorry to be so late, I couldn't sign on here from work. Thank you so much for hosting me! and don't forget to visit our blog,

  7. Loved this excerpt. Don't often find stories that have cats in them. This one sounds like fun.

  8. If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

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

  10. I am a lover of books and I love animals especially cats (which you can probably tell by my avatar!) I am enjoying this book tour. Thank you for the post! :)

  11. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an exciting, interesting, and intriguing read! Can't wait to read this book!

  12. Hello! Hope your day is awesome and thanking you for the giveaway.

  13. I enjoyed the interview. Thank you.

  14. Happy Friday! Hope it's a good one for you I appreciate your offering us such a great giveaway and thanking you for all you put into this for us.

  15. Have a great weekend and thanks for all you do amd hard work you put into offering us the great giveaways

  16. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday and thank you for this chance to win

  17. Happy Monday and thanks again for the chance to win