Friday, December 2, 2016

A big announcement from ROSIE GENOVA!


Author Rosie Genova has big news!  Presenting: The Seven Course Christmas Killer by Rosie Genova

Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen. Priced at .99, the e-book will be available on Amazon and most other retailers.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder!





  On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .
You can buy A SEVEN COURSE CHRISTMAS KILLER here:



A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for her cozy series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. Her debut, Murder and Marinara, was voted a Best Cozy of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. Her books have been described as blending “mystery with comedy, romance, family drama, a vivid and affectionate portrayal of the Jersey shore and…oh yes, cooking.”

The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy. She also writes women's fiction as Rosemary DiBattista.

Note from ROCCO: for those of you who are not familiar with Rosie's Italian Kitchen series, they are fabulous!  Rosie has consented to give away either one of the first three Italian Kitchen mysteries  or an e-copy of Seven Course Christmas Killer to one lucky commenter! To enter, just leave your email address and comment below!  for extra entries, you can:
Friend the Human on Facebook
Follow moi on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
Tweet about this contest
Post about this contest on Facebook
Mention this contest on your blog or other social media.
You get one extra entry for each action!  Contest closes midnight, December 5!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ROCCO welcomes author Delia James!

Meow, my guest is author Delia James!

ROCCO interviews author Delia James

  • Welcome Delia! Tell us a little about your background.
     I started writing early.  I knew by the time I was thirteen it was what I wanted to do.  In fact, I got my first professional rejection in high school.  I went through college on an eccentric program I more or less made up myself, trying to get as much practicle experience as I could and came out with a communications degree, and spent the time after that writing and submitting.  I sold my first novel in 1994 and since then have written in about every genre; starting with science fiction and fantasy and moving through romance, young adult and mysteries.
  • Tell us a bit about your Witch’s Cat series.
     The witch's cat mysteries follow the investigations of Anna Britton, who is in order, a freelance artist, a new resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a witch.  Her partner in solving crime is her magical familiar, a large, highly intelligent cat named Alistair.  It's sometimes tough to tell who has more attitude, but between them they manage to get in and out of a whole lot of trouble.
  • You’ve written other series under other names. Can you tell us about those?
     Well, as I said, I've written in just about every genre.  Using different names helps the stores know where to put the books.  You don't necessarily want the romance mixed up with the Young Adult.  As Sarah Zettel, I've written science fiction and fantasy, a fantasy series for young adults calle The American Fairy trilogy, and most recently a set of historical mysteries called Palace of Spies.  Under the name Darcie Wilde I write regency romances and the Rosalind Thorne mysteries which are also set in Regency England.
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
     I take a lot of notes and a lot of long walks.  Mostly, I start a book with a particular scene in my head.  It might be from any point in the plot, even the end.  Then, I'll work my way back; who the heck are these people and how did they get here?  The details usually fill themselves in fairly randomly once I start asking the questions.
  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
     A little of both.  I sort of sketch.  I'll write some chapters in details, and rough out others.  When I'm writing a mystery, I need to work out a pretty detailed plan for the ending, so I know where I'm going while I'm working.
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
     That's like asking which is more important; breathing in or breathing out?  You cannot separate them and still have a good, complete story.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
     Starting over.  As a writer you're doing it constantly and usually on more than one level and in all kinds of circumstances.  It can get extremely frustrating at times, and staring at the blank page can feel like the worst thing in the world.
  • Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?
     Let's see if I can do the short version.  I'd actually written and submitted a (very bad) romance novel, and to my shock I got an offer on it.  A friend of mine had just signed with a prominent agenct and I asked him to ask her if she could recommend someone who represented romance.  He did and she did -- herself.  We started emailing and she thought she could get me a better offer for the romance.  I mentioned I also had some science fiction projects.  The romance (thankfully) never sold (nothing against romance but this was really bad), but the sci-fi sold in three months and we were off to the races.
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
     Right now I'm working on a piece of suspense and a young adult fantasy series.  After that...your guess is as good as mine.
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
     I am lucky enough to be able to write full time.  I keep office hours, usually 8 to 4 weekdays, and I write at a co-working space, which is great because it gives me a chance to be away from the house and in a work-focused environment where I'm not worried about all the laundry that's not folded. 
  • If you could take only three books with your for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?
     Oh, help.  What day is it?  Okay.  Watership Down by Richard Adams.  The October Country by Ray Bradbury.  Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and as much Georgette Heyer as I can sneak in the bottom of my suitcase.
  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
     Learn to finish what you start.  Everything else is secondary.  If you can't finish, you can't submit, and if you can't submit, you can't sell.
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
     Become a writer.
  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
     I'm a good baker and a lousy gardener.
  • What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
I honestly have no answer for this one.  I've been asked such a wide variety across the years, and the genres.
  •  Where can we learn more about you and your books?
You can find out everything about Delia James and the Witch's Cat mysteries at www.deliajamesmysteries.com.  To learn more about Darcie Wilde and the Rosalind Thorne mysteries, go to www.darciewilderomance.com.  All other inquiries should go to www.sarahzettel.com

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  .Day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  I plead the Fifth.
Beach or Pool?   Beach.
Steak or salad?  What are you kidding me?  Steak.
Favorite Drink?  Again, are you kidding me?  Coffee.
Favorite Book?  Jeeze, making me choose again.  It's a toss up between Watership Down and Rebecca.
Favorite TV Series?  Doctor Who.
Favorite Movie?  The Prestige, if it isn't The Heiress with Olivia deHavallind, if it isn't The Big Sleep with Humphery Bogart and Lauren Bacall, if it isn't The Barretts of Wimpole Street with Norma Shearer..
Favorite Actor:  Oh, lordy.  Pass. 
Favorite Actress: Yeesh.  I'm a movie buff and you want me to pick just one?  I'd need to narrow it down to an era.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada?  Coffee.  I don't drink...alchohal.
Hawaii or Alaska?  Maine.
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Charlotte Bronte
If I had just one wish, it would be to know how best to use my wishes.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be : I've just spent five minutes thinking about this, and you know what?  I wouldn't trade.  I'd have to stop being myself, and I like me.

Penguin has donated a copy of BY FAMILIAR MEANS to give to one lucky commenter! To enter, leave a comment with your email addy in our comments section!  Contest ends midnight, December 2!





Monday, November 21, 2016

ROCCO'S guest - Ling Ling from the Mrs. Odboddy series.

My guest: Ling-Ling from the Mrs. Odboddy series.

Ling-Ling is a charming cat featured prominently in the Mrs. Odboddy series written by Elaine Faber. 

Elaine Faber is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers, and Cat Writers Association. She has published four novels. Her short stories are published in multiple anthologies. Elaine lives in Northern California with her husband and three housecats, the inspiration for the Black Cat Mysteries. She volunteers at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop.
Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot        http://tinyurl.com/hdbvzsv
Black Cat’s Legacy http://tinyurl.com/lrvevgm
Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer   http://tinyurl.com/q3qrgyu
Black Cat and the Accidental Angel     http://tinyurl.com/07scsm2

R: for all our interested readers out there – particularly the feline ones – describe a typical day in your life.
LL:With the victory garden to fertilize, keeping free-loading birds out of the apple tree, and garage rodent patrol, there’s little time left for an afternoon nap in a sun puddle.

R: Tell us about your owner, Mrs. Odboddy? What’s the deal with the Nazi spies? LL:Unlike many elderly human’ minions’, Mrs. Odboddy has severe flights of fancy. But, seeing conspiracies under every cabbage bush and obsessing about Newbury newcomers as Nazi spies? Really!

R: Tell us about some of Mrs. Odboddy’s adventures? What’s her latest caper? LL:Most recently, she discovered a supposed ration book conspiracy and had to bring the culprits to justice. So, she hid in the dark and climbed into the back of a pickup truck that was… but you’ll have to read for yourself what happened next.
Then, there was the time she put six chickens in the bathroom. Now, what self-respecting moggy could ignore such temptation? So, I carried out a Black-Ops mission. Chickens? Birds? What’s the difference? I don’t know why she was so mad.

R: What do you love most about her? Dislike most?
LL: I’ll be forever grateful that Mrs. Odboddy rescued me when my former ‘minion,’ Lilly, was sentenced to a Japanese internment camp. Oh, the injustice of it! I guess Mr. Roosevelt had his reasons, being there’s a war on and all, but I think if I was President of the USA, I would have figured out a better way to deal with Japanese-American citizens. Dislike? Probably when Mrs. Odboddy is making the bed and tosses me to the floor. Now, that’s a real injustice!!!!

R: What’s the story behind your name?
LL: My previous owner, Lilly Jengyu, named me Ling-Ling after a relative who lived in Japan fifty years ago. Lilly has never been out of the USA.

R: If you could change one thing about your human what would it be?
LL: Mrs. Odboddy thinks no one knows about the henna rinse on her hair. She should be delighted to have grey hair with some tinges of dark around the edges. I mean, that’s what my fur looks like, right?  Mostly grey with dark edges around my feet and face? Aren’t I beautiful? You bet your extra dew-claw I am! 

R: Do you have a boyfriend?
LL: The orange tabby across the street likes to come courting, but I believe relationships should be based on similar religious beliefs, political affiliation and ancestry. I am an Episcopal Democrat Siamese…and that striped cat across the street is a Baptist Republican that favored Wendell Wilkey in the last election. How would that work out? What would be talk about?  

R: Would you be open to the idea of a handsome tuxedo courting you from afar? LL:Depends…What is your favored religion, political views and ancestry? I don’t believe in mixed marriages. But, I’m always open to purr-suasion...

R:  Just for fun…
Catnip or scratching post? Definitely, scratching posts. As a Democrat Episcopal Siamese, catnip is against my religion, as it alters one’s ability to resist temptation.
Tabbies or Tuxedos? We’ve already discussed this issue above.
Fish or Steak? I’m a Friskie-atarian. I don’t eat anything that had eyeballs.
Shakespeare or Stephen King? Shakespeare is boring and Stephen King keeps me awake at night. A girl needs her beauty sleep.  I only read cozy cat mysteries.

Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot is a hysterical mythical romp through small town America during WWII. Available at Amazon for just $3.99. You’ll laugh at Mrs. Odboddy’s fancies and foibles as she deals with her life full of conspiracies and spies during this exciting and challenging time in American history.

Elaine (and Ling-Ling) will give away two e- books (reader's choice) to one person who leaves a favorable comment on this blog!  Please don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you!  Contest ends midnight, November 26..

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Say Hello to author KELLY OLIVER

Merow, my guest today is author Kelly Oliver!

  • Welcome Kelly! Tell us a little about your background
·        I grew up in the Northwest, Montana, Idaho, and Washington states.  My maternal grandfather was a forest ranger committed to saving the trees, and my paternal grandfather was a logger hell bent on cutting them down.  On both sides, my ancestors were some of the first settlers in Northern Idaho.  I went from eating a steady diet of wild game shot by my dad to becoming a vegetarian while studying philosophy and pondering animal minds when getting my PhD in philosophy at Northwestern University.  Competing with peers who’d come from private schools and posh families “back East,” my working class backwoods grit served me well.  And much to my parent’s surprise, I’ve managed to feed and cloth herself as a professional philosopher. 
·         
·        When I’m not writing Jessica James mystery novels, I’m Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, and the author of thirteen nonfiction books, ten anthologies, and over 100 articles, including work on campus rape, reproductive technologies, women and the media. I’ve been published in The New York Times, interviewed on ABC television news, the Canadian Broadcasting Network, and various radio programs
·         

  • Tell us a bit about your Jessica James series. What was the inspiration?
  • The inspiration for my first novel WOLF was my own experience in graduate school. I plead the fifth on what parts of WOLF are true. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you! But, my protagonist, Jessica James, is a lot bolder than I ever was. With more wit than grace, the philosophy graduate student and former barrel racing champion, stumbles into murder mysteries, human trafficking, rape drugs, art scams, and corporate corruption

  • Tell us about your latest release
My latest novel is COYOTE. After her first disastrous year in graduate school, Jessica James returns home from the big city to the backwaters of Montana for a summer job at an historic railroad lodge in spectacular Glacier Park.  After her cousin dies in a gruesome accident at the lumber mill, Jessica is pulled into a fight against the corruption and greed ignited by the oil frenzy on the Montana plains. Her roommate, Kimi RedFox is determined to stop powerful Knight Industries, headed by Cheneyesque billionaire Richard Knight, from drilling oil on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation.  “Kimi” means “secret” in Blackfoot, and the reticent Kimi keeps hers until it’s almost too late.  Kimi’s not about to accept help from Jessica or anyone else, but she’s resolved to find her missing sisters, even if it kills her. Corrupt Richard Knight has assigned his younger brother David to oversee fracking operations in on the Blackfeet reservation.  Trying to overcome his reputation as a spoiled slacker, David wants to impress his brother and earn Jessica’s respect.  But is the handsome young businessman his brother’s henchman or his dupe?  And, will Jessica and Kimi quit sparring long enough to team up and expose sex trafficking, prostitution rings, and murder schemes involving some of the biggest FRACKERS in the country?  Or, will they become the murder’s next victims?
  •  
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
  • That’s a great question. I have a sense of them when I start, but they develop as I write and eventually take on lives of their own. At that point, I have a pretty clear sense of what they would and wouldn’t do.  And just in case I don’t, I have a great copy editor who occasionally warns me that Jessica would never do that!
  •  

  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
  • I start with a couple of main plot points, and then think of what characters I need to tell the story.  I guess I’m more of a pantser.  My “outlines” are sometimes just a couple of lines.
  •  
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
  • I think they have to go together.  My novels are character driven page-turners. But in order to get the action and plot moving, you need the right characters.  And in order to get readers to invest in the action and plot you definitely need well developed characters!
  •  
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
For years, I’ve written nonfiction and learned how to navigate that publishing world.  Writing and publishing fiction is a lot different. Writing fiction is so satisfying and enjoyable (except for the back pain from sitting so long at the computer!). But publishing fiction is very tricky and difficult. It’s hard not to obsess about the marketing and publicity and your amazon rankings and just get back to the writing, which is what I love.
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’ve just started the third Jessica James mystery. It takes Jessica back to Northwestern and Chicago where she gets involved with some pretty creepy stuff going on at the Medical school!
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
  • I like to start writing in the morning after breakfast. If I start first thing, I usually get a lot more done than if I put it off.  If I do anything else first, it is hard to get back to writing. I try to write just about every day. But I also have my “day job” as a professor and that keeps me busy, too.  Luckily, I write pretty fast, and I’m a workaholic. My best days are when I have time to write all day (unless, of course, I’m x-country skiing!).

What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
Just write, and keep writing until the end. And get a really good editor!

  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
  • Hmmmm…I’ll have to plead the fifth on that one…but read WOLF for some clues!

  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I hadn’t written a word of fiction until I started WOLF.  I wrote the first draft in 7 weeks and then revised it over the next year.
  •  
  • Where can we learn more about you and your books?
  • Kellyoliverbooks.com

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  DAY
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)   CAT, obviously!
Beach or Pool?   POOL
Steak or salad?  DON’T DARE ANSWER.
Favorite Drink?  Huckleberry Milkshake.
Favorite Book?  Too many….but my mother-in-law, Rosario Ferré wrote some whoppers; her House on the Lagoon is great. And I loved Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I like a lot of Ian McEwan, especially The Beach. For mysteries, I’m a big Elizabeth Peter’s fan. I especially love to listen to her books on audiobooks when read by Barbara Rosenblatt.
Favorite TV Series?  Star Trek….okay, I know, I admit it.  I’m a total Trekkie!
Favorite Movie?  Depends on when you ask. Kurosawa’s Kagamusha is pretty great. I love most of Hitchcock, especially Marnie, and Rear Window. And film noir, of course. Fritz Lang’s The Secret Behind the Door is pretty great.
Favorite Actor: Gregory Peck, Johnny Depp, Theo James.
Favorite Actress: Grace Kelly, Scarlett Johanson, Jennifer Lawrence.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? How about Jack and Coke?
Hawaii or Alaska? Alaska for sure. I can’t take the heat.


Thanks Kelly.  You can find her at:


Twitter: #ProfKellyOliver



Look for Kelly's giveaways on GOODREADS.  Follow her there for more info.




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meow! Welcome Julie Chase!



Merow!  I’m pleased to welcome the author of the “Kitty Couture” mysteries , Julie Chase, to be my guest today!

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). As Julie Anne Lindsey, she also writes the Geek Girl mystery series and the Patience Price mystery series. Visit her at juliechasebooks.com.

  • Welcome Julie! Tell us a little about your background Hello! Thank you so much for having me over to your blog, Rocco! I’m Julie Chase. I’m a Midwestern mother of three. I started writing about seven years ago when I read a book that gave me a much needed escape. When I put that book down, I opened a search engine and typed “How to write a book” because I wanted to give someone else the kind of gift my book had just given me.
  • Tell us a bit about your Kitty Couture mysteries for Crooked Lane. How did that idea come about? The idea emerged just over a year ago while I was in New Orleans researching for another project. I rode a streetcar to the Garden District and immediately fell in love with the neighborhood. The shops along Magazine Street were so eclectic and inviting. The homes were breathtaking. I had to write about them, and my heroine had to make pet clothing because there’s nothing cuter on this planet than a cat in a hat. 
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books? I spend several weeks pondering new concepts and playing with possibilities before I begin writing my stories. It gives me time to understand the personalities I’m dealing with and what to expect from them when I put them in various situations.
  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”? I’m a dedicated outliner. I always leave room for flexibility, but I have three kids and no time, so outlining keeps me on track and more importantly on deadline.
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character? Oh, Rocco, you sly kitty. This is a tricky one. I think both are important, of course, but I must admit that I’m a plot girl! I come up with my twisted and mischievous schemes first, then build characters into them and not the other way around.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated? The biggest challenge I face as a writer is dealing with self-doubt. I spend far more time questioning myself, my lack of talent and whether or not I’m wasting everyone’s time than I care to admit.
  • Do you have a “How I got my agent” story you want to share? My agent story is fabulous, but unusual. I’m represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Jill was and is my “dream agent.” About a year ago, I had a big glass of wine and sent her a query for Cat Got Your Diamonds. It was late on a Friday night, and I woke Saturday morning to a lovely note from Jill. She’d read the query and loved it. She wanted to read the whole manuscript! I spent the day rereading the pages, then sent it to her Sunday night. She called Monday morning to offer me representation, and she had multiple publisher offers by the week’s end. And now, she is my Yoda.
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans? I’ve just finished writing a third exciting Kitty Couture adventure, and I’ve begun working on a Christmas themed cozy for next fall. I also have frameworks for another cozy series and a traditional mystery concept filling notebooks that I can’t get to until early spring, but I hope they will both find themselves in the hands of readers one day, too.
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing? I get up at five every morning. On Monday through Friday I wake three children at half hour intervals between 6 and 7. Make breakfasts. Pack lunches. Run the vacuum, clean house, and do laundry between walking to the bus stop and back three times. When the last bus leaves, I sit down and begin writing. I write until the children start coming home at three, three-thirty and four. I help with homework. Mend hearts. Make dinners. And run the kids to various sports and other activities until their bedtimes. I spend time with my husband from nine thirty until he goes to bed at eleven or twelve, and I repeat the process five days a week. I also write late at night and on most weekends. I easily spend forty hours a week writing.
  • If you could take only three books with you for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take? I’d love to be stuck on an island for a year. I guess I’d take my Bible, and two giant notebooks. I could probably write a hundred stories with that kind of time and solitude!
  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author? Don’t give up. This industry can be tough, and the rejections can wear you down, but you can make it through. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can do this. You will do this. And you’re probably already much closer than you realize.
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I once walked the plank on the Jolly Roger in Barbados. (I was much braver when I was in college).
  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you? I’m extremely introverted and struggle with social anxiety. You probably wouldn’t guess it if we met online or at an event, but behind the smile and faux confidence, I’m probably overanalyzing everything I say and feeling like it’s all ridiculous and wishing I was hiding behind the nearest curtain. 
  • Where can we learn more about you and your books? You can find me online day or night on Facebook and Twitter as Julie Anne Lindsey. I also keep a website with all the latest Julie Chase updates at juliechasebooks.com

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  . Day
Dog or Cat?  Cat!!!
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  Salad
Favorite Drink?  Coffee by day. Pinot by night.
Favorite Book?  Wuthering Heights
Favorite TV Series?  Castle
Favorite Movie?  You’ve Got Mail
Favorite Actor: Ryan Reynolds
Favorite Actress: Katherine Heigl
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum books inspired me to try my hand at mystery writing.
If I had just one wish, it would be to live long enough to see my children graduate college, choose professions, marry their best friends, and have brilliant, happy, healthy kids and grandkids of their own. I don’t want to miss a moment of their amazing lives.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be … Honestly, I love my life. Profoundly. It’s a Cinderella story filled with unfathomable blessings, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ever.
Thanks Julie! Folks, you can find out more about Julie at:



Crooked Lane will give away a copy of CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS to one lucky commenter! (US and Canada entries only, please)
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:
* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link: https://twitter.com/RoccoBlogger)
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link: https://www.facebook.com/ToniLotempio)#!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, Nov 20!




Friday, November 11, 2016

ROCCO WELCOMES AUTHOR LYNN CAHOON!

ROCCO WELCOMES AUTHOR LYNN CAHOON!


  • Welcome Lynn! Tell us a little about your background:
Thanks ROCCO! I’m an Idaho native that now lives in the Midwest. I’m a 9 year breast cancer survivor who started writing because someday isn’t promised. I love talking to my imaginary friends and hope you enjoy their stories as well.
  • You write not one, but two cozy mystery series. Can you tell us about them?
 Tourist Trap is set in central coastal California in South Cove, a tourist trappy town. Jill Gardner is my amateur sleuth and she owns the coffee shop/bookstore and is dating the town police detective. My new series, The Cat Latimer mysteries, is set in Aspen Hills, a small college town near the mountains of Colorado. Cat is a young adult author and has opened a writer’s retreat in the house she inherited when her ex-husband died without changing the will.
  • Can you tell us about your latest release?
 A Story to Kill is Cat’s first book.  Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
By writing them into the story. For the book I just finished, I had the opening scene in my head for months before I started actually writing. Then I started naming the new characters and why they are there. I learn as much about my town as I’m writing, more than I know in the beginning.

  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I do both. I have a chapter by chapter outline, and I know where the turning points in the story should be. I typically know what I want to happen, but my characters know what actually happens, so I listen to them.
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
 Character. Plot drives your story, but if you don’t care what happens to the people, you aren’t going to keep reading.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
 I love it when I work through a book, then read it and LOVE it. I enjoy being my first reader. And if the story makes me smile, or cry, it’s on track.  I think sometimes I skim emotion and I’ve been working hard on adding that in without sounding too emotional. Fine line here.  I’m okay with rejections because I figure someone is going to love the story. And there always is someone.
  • Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?
 I got my agent on the story that no one wanted – in a way. I’d sent the first book in the Tourist Trap series to everyone I WANTED for an agent (including my current one.) They all turned me down. I submitted it on my own to Kensington and got a contract, actually, four contracts, unagented. Then I got an email expressing interest in the film/movie rights for TT. I knew I needed an agent for that. And one of the five I approached was perfect for me. So now I have an agent. (but sadly, no movie deal)
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’m writing the last contracted book in the Cat Latimer mystery series. We’ll see where that goes once I turn that book in. And next year, I start writing a new Farm to Fork mystery series – with Who Stole my Goat Cheese as book one.
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
Since I’m still at the day job, I work first thing in the morning, some lunch hours, and at night when I need more words. I goal 10K a week, which gives me a book in two months. IF I follow my schedule. Add in the marketing, social media, and in person visits, and I’m working all the time.
  • If you could take only three books with you for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?
 Great question – The Stand – and probably, The Talisman by Stephen King (and Peter Straub for the second one.) And probably the latest in the Thunder Point series by Robin Carr. That way I could think about all the other stories as I’m re-reading the newest. Or I would cheat and say for my third book, the complete works of William Shakespeare. That way I get a classic in there and with a year to read, I should get it done.  J
  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
 Finish the book. Then another one. Then a third. Then look for publication. You need to know what you like to write and what is your voice.
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I went out shooting with a couple guys in the Idaho desert. I had met them the day before and since I was writing mystery, I thought it was a great idea.  Not sure, looking back, I’d do that.
  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I throw pretty good darts for a girl. J  And my husband and I count trail riding in our Side by Side as date night.
  • What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?
What do you think of reviews?  Actually, no, I don’t want to be asked that. Why write?  Because I have to.
  •  Where can we learn more about you and your books?
 My website – www.lynncahoon.com

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  .Day.  Morning.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  Thor would want me to say Cat, but I’m kind of bilingual here. But Cat, I’ll say Cat.
Beach or Pool?   Both. Beach is for walking, pool is for swimming.
Steak or salad?  Salad.
Favorite Drink?  Flavored sparkling water.  Dasani Black Cherry if available.
Favorite Book?  Illusions by Richard Bach I have it mostly memorized.
Favorite TV Series?  Besides Project Runway or Top Chef? Right now it’s Lucifer.
Favorite Movie?  Sleepless in Seattle. Always. Or a Harry Potter Marathon.
Favorite Actor: Matthew Mcconeheh… Although I can never spell his name.  Matthew McConaughey – that’s it.
Favorite Actress: I’m a big Sandra Bullock fan. Mostly because she’s so relatable. Or Kate Hudson. Because she’s Goldie Hawn’s daughter.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Stephen King.
If I had just one wish, it would be to travel wherever I wanted to go.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be maybe Nora Roberts?  I don’t know, I kind of like my life. J 

Thanks for having me over!
Thanks for a great interview. You can find out more about Lynn at:
Goodreads -http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5857424.Lynn_Cahoon
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
website - http://lynncahoon.com/
Amazon author page - http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Lynn will give away an E-copy of Tea Cups and Carnage or Murder on Wheels (Winner’s choice)  to enter, just leave a comment with your email address and the title of the book you’d like to win.  Contest closes midnight,November 15!