Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Kicking off something new.....a little thing we like to call "Pet of the Month"

got a candidate? A dog a cat, a rabbit a bird or even a snake you want honored? Send a picture to and put POM in the subject line! I'll consider all candidates carefully.

Now our Pet for April....PETE WEBB

He might be a dog, but he's a damn sexy one! Congrats, Pete!

Next week, for those of you who missed Q&A with Charlaine Harris to celebrate the release of the next Sookie Stackhouse novel!

Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat

Monday, April 23, 2012

coming attractions.....


Just thought i'd give you all a preview of what we've got coming up for the summer!

May 1 - Re-post of Charlaine Harris (in honor of Sookie Stackhouse new novel hitting shelves)
May 22 - Q&A and giveaway with romantic suspense author Gina Robinson!
June 5 - Q&A with Queen Betsy Taylor, courtesy of MaryJanice Davidson!
August 7 - Q&A with Sara Dearly, courtesy of Michelle Rowen

there are others, but no definite dates :)  so more on those when they are firmed up.  They include Victoria Laurie and Sara Zeffel and Rachel Vincent and Jeaniene Frost, to name a few :)

I can tell you definitely in October we will host:
October 2: Sheila Bonham Carter
October 16 - Vicki Lewis Thompson

and on deck for Jan/Feb 2013 - Patricia Briggs!

So now, I must continue work on my second novel...


Friday, April 20, 2012


Toni, the "Human", here:

As I'm sure most of you know by now, Jonathan Frid, the ORIGINAL Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows, passed away on April 13th of this year.

Below is a link to a very nice tribute from the NY Times:

Speaking as one of the legion of "crazed" fans, I myself used to rush home from school every afternoon to watch Dark Shadows.  I confess, I did not become a fan until 1968, but I remained loyal to the show until it's demise in April of 1971. As a matter of fact, I even got to meet Jonathan Frid and take a studio tour in 1969.  He impressed me as a very warm, laid back, gentleman.  In many respects, much like the character he portrayed.

Few actors can claim that they made the role of a vampire "immortal". Jonathan, Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi all come to mind when one thinks of a film vampire.  Jonathan and Dark Shadows made Gothic popular at a time when the market wasn't overflooded, when a paranormal romance or mystery was unheard of in the publishing industry and long before BUFFY wielded a stake or ANGEL solved a mystery.  A classically trained actor, becoming a pop icon was the last thing he dreamt of becoming, but...he did. and his legacy lives on.

Now Johnny Depp undertakes this role when the big screen remake of 'DARK SHADOWS' premieres on May 11. Big shoes to fill, Johnny. but no pressure.

RIP Jonathan.  Your portrayal of Barnabas will live on, and, just as Christopher Reeve will always be Superman, you will be, now and forever, the true Barnabas Collins.

ROCCO will return on Monday with news of upcoming guests!
Until good!

ROCCO's Human.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP - the ORIGINAL Barnabas Collins

Sad news...Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins, passed away Saturday.

The HUMAN is a huge Dark Shadows fan, and even met Frid in person back in the day when the show was at the height of its popularity.  Frid's portrayal of tortured vampire Barnabas Collins is a classic, and is what catapulted the gothic soap to pop culture history.

Below is a link to a post on Frid. We'll post more next week.

His last appearance is a cameo in the upconing Johnny Depp remake of "Dark Shadows"

Godspeed Jonathan! You will be missed.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Okay, kitties, here it is....I've listened to all you DOG lovers and the HUMAN"s friend, Kristen Weber, generously volunteered her PUG, SAMPSON's time for an interview!

For those who do not know, Sampson is the beloved pug pet of former NAL and now freelance editor Kristen Weber!  I've listened to all of you who've said Dogs need equal time, so without any further ado!  Sampson Weber in my hotseat! Meow!

R:  Hello, Sampson
S: Rrf! Hello, Rocco!

R: Thanks for being here (gives catly yawn)
S:  My pleasure.

R: Tell us something about a day in the life of a pug!

S: Usually I'm pretty booked with sleeping, but I do take a few moments to patrol our house and make sure no one gets too close. I think you know what I'm talking about, mailman!

R: Your owner, Kristen Weber,was a former editor at NAL.  How does she compare freelancing to the daily 9-5 grind?

S: I used to have to wait for her to come home, but now I appreciate how close she is although she's always looking at that small gray machine. Treat consumption has gone up 52%.

R: What other breeds of dogs do you find attractive?

S: Nothing gets my tail wagging like a French bulldog. Ooh la la!

R: What is your favourite toy?

S: Right now my mom is investigating the mystery of where all my dad's socks are going, but I'll never tell. (Hint...look under the couch.)

R: What’s your favourite thing to do to annoy your owner?

S: If the one who controls the food bowl is reading and not paying
attention to me, I'll paw her until she looks up.

R:  How do you compare sunny California to your former home in New York?

S: While I miss the smells of a city street corner, the lack of rain in LA really works for me. Plus, I have dreams of being discovered as a pug plus sized model.

R: Give us, in one word, your opinion on:

S: Birds  "Challenge"
Mice    "Fast food"
Cats     "Pointless" (R: Oh, really????????)

R:  What is the one thing you like, if any, about cats?

S: I like their litterbox system. Sometimes it's just too much work to have to go outside all the time.

R:  Where can someone find out more about your human’s editing service?

S: Please visit our web site at You can also follow both of our adventures via twitter. Mom's user name is KristenWEditor.  

R:  What would our readers be surprised to know about you?

S: I once slept for 22 hours, but I also have a cameo in an essay my mom wrote about her first year of marriage in an anthology called Wedding Cake for Breakfast (Berkley, May 2012).

R: Any final words of wisdom for our readers?

S: Just when you think you'll never catch your tail, you might be surprised. With hard work, dreams can come true.

Well, thanks so much for being here today, Sampson!  Folks interested in keeping up with Sampson (and learning about his master's editing service) can do so at

coming up:  We revisit Charlaine Harris's post on the eve of the next Sookie Stackhouse release; Q&A with Gina Robinson and more; info on the upcoming CASTLE/KNTR fundraiser!

Stay cool!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Read all about it!

and by that I mean THE HUMAN'S interview with Josh Getzler in this month's digital issue of Night Owl Reviews, INSIDE THE MIND OF A SUSPENSE AGENT.

Josh shares what he looks for in a good suspense novel!

For convenience, here is the link:

Click on magazine #29 and go to the suspense section, Dark Streets!  Good reading and informative for those who read/write suspense/thrillers/mysteries!

And later this week: my interview with Sampson Weber - yes, a PUG!

Don't say I don't listen to all you DOG lovers!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where, oh where has my comedy gone?

Recently the HUMAN started re-reading one of her very favorite mystery novels, which got me to thinking:  there's just not enough comedy anymore. Real comedy, that is, like the slapstick comedies of old.   Where are all the Marx Brothers, Bud and Lou, Desi and Lucy, the Danny Thomases, the Red Skeletons of old?

If you are like the HUMAN and like your mysteries light and peppered with snappy one liners, you might like a little trilogy called THE DOUBLE FEATURE MYSTERIES.

The premise of the Double Feature Mystery series was that the main character, Elliot Freed, made a pile of money form selling his novel to Hollywood and used it to open a local theatre where he showed only comedies:  one old classic and one modern.  (and, as is befiting, the modern never quite lives up to the classic)  The titles were parodies on classic comedy title:

It Happened One Knife
Some Like it Hot-Buttered
A Night at the Operation

Mysteries abound, one having to do with one of Freed's employees, another with his ex-wife (with whom he remains VERY friendly).  Cohen's rapier wit spills over onto his main character, Elliott, making for some very funny one-liners.  In addition the msyteries are good whodunits in the tradition of good mystery series (think Perry Mason or Remington Steele).

It makes one wonder why this series ws not picked up for more than three books - is it that we do not like so much comedy sprinkled in with our mysteries?  Or not so much mystery sprinkled in with our comedy?  Or was perhaps the idea of somone wanting to own a theatre that played only comedies too impausible?

its a shame, because these books are GOOD.  Really, really, GOOD.

Anyway, the above is only my catly opinion, of course, but I think if you read these books, you'd come to appreciate good comedic mysteries the same way I do:  Laugh your head off while at the same time peeking around the corner to  make sure the boogeyman ins't sneakng up on you with a knife.

Comedy tonight, anyone?

If you'd like to check some of 'em out, here are some links:

they are also available on Kindle!

And now I shall get off my soapbox and start preparing  my future interviews, as well as begining work on my second novel.  I am a busy kitty,  meow!

Coming soon: Sampson Weber in my hotseat! (Yes, I am going to interview a PUG!)

Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Human plays the "Lucky Seven"

Thanks for turning the blog over to me today, ROCCO!

Since my pal, the amazing author Ashyn Chase, tagged me on her blog, here's the excerpt from page 77 (starting at line 7) from RAVEN'S KISS:

The Professor nodded. “Indeed I do. You think Raven’s situation is a similar one?”

I took a step back. “Wait a minute. Problem with Merlin? Surely you don’t mean…”
“Oh, no!” Crystal’s laugh tittered out. Even the Professor’s lips curved upward. “Not Merlin the Magician. Lord, no! Merlin Fernbottom. He was an annoying little devil. I saw him every Thursday, in my attic, until Brammy here helped me and showed me how to deal with him.”

RAVEN'S KISS is the story of shapeshifter Raven Grace, made that way by a demon's bite. When she gets a lead on capturing the demon who turned her, it takes her into a phenomenon known as 'parallel time' and pairs her with a VERY HOT Scottish detective!

Read more about my books on the sidebar!

Other News:

The winner of our Karen Duvall giveaway is chrisbails  Congratulations. Look for an email from Karen to claim your prize.

Later this week:   Where has all the comedy gone in mysteries, both in books and film! ROCCO's lament!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

What's coming up in the months ahead!

Just thought I'd whett your appetite for the things we've got coming up:

Mid-April: for all you DOG lovers (and I know you're out there!)Sampson Weber, editor Kristen Weber's pug, in my hotseat!
June:  An interview with Queen Betsy Taylor, courtesy of MaryJanice Davidson!
July:  An interview with Kitty Norville creator Carrie Vaughn, and our CASTLE fanfic interview and fundraiser for Kids Need to REad!
August:  An interview with Sara Dearly, courtesy of Michelle Rowen, on the eve of the release of BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND!

At a date to be determined:  Abby Cooper, courtesy of her creator VICTORIA LAURIE, in my hotseat!

Also on deck, but dates need to be determined: Jeaniene Frost and in early 2013, Patricia Briggs!

Now if that doens't get you salivating, I can't imagine what would......

dont forget our giveaway with author Karen Duvall still going on till midnight Sunday!  Leave a comment on the previous post and you could win not one, but two books!

Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In the Hotseat - KAREN DUVALL!


Today in my hotseat I welcome author Karen Duvall!

Karen hails from Bend, Oregon.  KNIGHT’S CURSE, her debut title with Harlequin, was released August 23, 2011 and was a Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 10 pick for Fall 2011.  The second book in the series, DARKEST KNIGHT, debuted March 20, 2012.

When Karen isn’t writing, she’s a graphic designer looking for work.  She welcomes all inquiries for book covers J Interested parties can email her at jkduvall at bendbroadband dot com.

And now…Here’s Karen!

R: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer?

K: I live in Bend, Oregon, but I think my heart is still in Colorado, where I lived for most of my adult life. I've always loved telling stories, ever since I was a little kid. Writing is a passion of mine. I'm also a visual artist, which is how I make my living, but writing and art go hand in hand. You could say I create word pictures with my writing.

R: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?

K: I write urban fantasy, and I've written romantic suspense, which I'd like to do more of. Paranormal romance is a genre I plan to pursue.

R: What have you had published to-date? Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?

K: My first published book was a futuristic supernatural novel called PROJECT RESURRECTION published by Speculation Press in 2000. In 2006, my romantic suspense novel, DESERT GUARDIAN, was published by The Wild Rose Press. Then last year my urban fantasy, KNIGHT'S CURSE, was published by Harlequin Luna and the sequel, DARKEST KNIGHT, just came out in March of this year.

R: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?

K: As a matter of fact, I just blogged about this. I'd like Chalice to be played by Nina Dobrev, who plays Elena in Vampire Diaries, which is convenient since her leading man on and off the stage is also my pick for Aydin. Ian Somerhalder plays Damon on Vampire Diaries and is a great match for Chalice's main man.

R: What are you working on at the moment / next?

K: I'm currently writing a novella for Harlequin's End of the World Anthology coming out next year. It's a dystopian tale that takes place after a cataclysmic Solar Storm brings the world as we know it to its knees.

R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

K: Both. I write a loose synopsis to start me out so I know the conflicts, the inciting incident, a couple of big turning points, the climax and the resolution. This isn't written in stone and can change at any time, which it often does. But the core components stay true throughout.

R: What is a “must have” for you that aids the creative process?

K: Chunks of time. I have a real hard time writing on the fly with a few minutes here and there between doing other stuff. I'm easily derailed and it takes some effort to get back on track, and by then I may have already lost whatever groove I'd managed to carve into the story I'm working on.

R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)

K: I'm an artist so that keeps me busy when I'm not writing. I create 3D graphics for gaming and I design book covers for self-published authors.

R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?

K: You can visit my blog at

R: What one thing would your readers be surprised to know about you?

K: Only one? LOL. That I used to be a sky diver in college.

R: Do you have any advice for other writers?

K: Lots. J When it comes to writing, don't sweat the small stuff. Don't get too caught up in formatting issues or tear your hair out over passive voice and then do a search and replace for all words ending in "ing." Instead, focus on the craft of writing a good story. Practice the basics of scene structure, learn how to make your characters real, and don't overwrite every little detail of your characters actions because it's boring. Join a good critique group, enter some good writing contests and attend writers' conferences. Then write every day.

R: Just for Fun:

K: My favorite:

Movie: Home Is Where The Heart Is
Author: Stephen King
Book: Galilee by Clive Barker
Tv show: Grimm
Detectives or Demons: Demons
Knights or Sorcerers?: Knights
Sunrise or Sunset: Sunset
Cat or Dog (Careful, now!): Cat! (R:  Good answer, meow!)

Thank you, Karen, for this great interview!
Folks, below are links to Karen’s books and her website:

B&N Link:

Karen is giving away paperback copies of her books, KNIGHT’S CURSE AND DARKEST KNIGHT, to one lucky reader! 

To enter, leave a comment on this blog with your email address.  For extra entries, you can:
Friend me on FB and follow me @RoccoBlogger on Twitter
Friend the “Human” on FB
Friend Karen on FB or follow her on Twitter
Tweet, blog or FB about this contest!

Be sure to mention all you do in your post so we know how many entries to give you! Contest is open to US residents ONLY and ends midnight, Sunday, April 8, winner announced week of April 9! Winner chosen using

Get goin’!
Com ing soon:  Character interviews with Queen Betsy, Sara Dearly; our fanfic/KNTR fundraiser with CASTLE; and an interview with a pug???????

Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat