Tuesday, August 28, 2012


MEOW!  Today my guest is Gerry Bartlett, the bestselling author of the REAL VAMPIRES series!

Here’s a bit about her:

Gerry Bartlett is the nationally bestselling author of the REAL VAMPIRES series about a vampire who was bloating the day she was turned in 1604. Gerry was previously published in historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense as Lynn McKay. This former teacher lives south of Houston, not far from Galveston, Texas, where she has an antique business and enjoys treasure hunting for it when she’s not busy writing the next Glory adventure. Would she like to be a vampire? No way. Give up Mexican food? Not happening. You can check out Gerry’s website and blog at gerrybartlett.com, friend her on Facebook or follow her on twitter.

And now…Gerry in my hotseat!

R:  Meow, hello Gerry and welcome
G:  Thank you, Rocco.

R:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
G: I have always been an avid reader. One day I decided that I had my own stories to tell and tried my hand at writing one. It was a romantic suspense. It took me a few years to find the right story and publisher and to discover Romance Writers of America, but eventually I got published.

R:  The “Real Vampire” concept is so original. What inspired it?
G: My critique partner Nina Bangs dared me to try a vampire story. Another friend suggested that I give her generous curves. Making Glory “every woman with fangs” was my idea. I figure if vampires are really out there, they would be hiding in plain sight, blending with humans. I enjoy writing comedy and it all just clicked when I began writing first person.

R:   Is there a bit of you in your main character, Glory St. Clair?  Who or what inspired her?
G:  Yes, I think I can relate to Glory because she has issues with her less than perfect figure and isn’t rich like a lot of vampires we read about. She’s a working girl who has to make her own way in the world. She’s like you and me, but with a liquid diet. Of course she misses food. Who wouldn’t?

R: Tell us about your upcoming release, REAL VAMPIRES KNOW HIPS HAPPEN.  
G: At the end of REAL VAMPIRES HATE SKINNY JEANS, book 8, Glory’s main guy, Jeremy Blade, headed home to Scotland, upset because she’d had an affair with her former bodyguard. Glory decides to follow him to his ancestral castle so a lot of the story happens there. She meets her mother for the first time. You haven’t met an interfering mom until you meet Glory’s. She really doesn’t want Glory to be with a vampire. I have a lot of fun with this one.

R: What made you choose a vampire over another supernatural character like a werewolf or a warlock?
G:  I have always thought that night creatures, especially vampires, are more sensual. And male vampires just seem to do it for me, ever since Anne Rice did Interview with a Vampire.

R: Are you a fan of vampire shows?  If so what is your favorite tv show? Movie?
G:  I watched True Blood until it got so graphic. I have it DVRed and will probably catch up. Love the BBC version of Being Human. I had to go see Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows. What a hoot. I’m really not into violence. I can write it, but don’t want to see it.

R:  Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share?  How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
G: I tried to get an agent for years. It was the Glory proposal that finally did it. She was my dream agent and sold the series in three weeks. I actually sold my first novel when I was out of the country when my husband was working overseas and I’d gone to visit him. I got back and found out an editor had called me. Wow! I was over the moon.

R: You’re a Scorpio, like Glory. Do you feel that you are true to your sign?
G: Yes, I’m a very sensual person which is frustrating since I’m a widow now. I made Glory a Scorpio too so I’d understand her. We can be pretty bossy and secretive too. That’s me.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
G:  I’ve got to have Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Coke. Caffiene is my fuel. I also need to get out occasionally and lunch with friends. I don’t hold myself prisoner until a book is finished. I have to fill the well with good gossip and good food.

R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
G:  I’d go back to the sixties. I totally wasted them being a good girl. I’d do some of the dangerous things my brother did—backpack through Europe, sleep around. Oops, did I just say that?

R:  If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?
G:  We are doing a fantasy movie setup on my Real Vampires Fan Group on Facebook right now. Friends there are voting on the leads. I had my own ideas when writing the books. I’d start with Real Vampires Have Curves, of course, then jump to Don’t Diet because that’s a great book with rock star Israel Caine. I’m totally into him. Anyway, I always saw Scarlet Johanssen as Glory and maybe Hugh Jackman as Blade but they’re getting older so it would have to be someone else. I’d love to have a movie deal. It’s an author’s dream. That or TV. I see this series on USA—Characters welcome, especially Glory.

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
G:  I really tell my readers way too much on Facebook. I don’t think there is much that would surprise them. I even shared a picture of my messy office on there. I’m disorganized, for one thing. It’s a miracle my Street Team gets their stuff on time.

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
G:  I try to avoid crazy.  (R: Don’t we all, heh heh)

And now, a little thing Big Rock calls, “Just for Fun”
R:  Your Favorite –
Movie—Snow White and the Huntsman but any of these can change as I see something new!
TV Show-Lost Girl
Actor-Matt Bomer
Drink-Diet Dr. Pepper
Mountain or Seashore? Seashore
Night or Day- Night
Vampire or Vixen-- Vampire
Cat or Dog? Dog (sorry, Rocco, my dog Jet made me write that)
Martini or Manhattan? Manhatten

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
G: A smile

Folks, to keep up with everything Gerry’s doing, check out Gerry’s website and blog at www.gerrybartlett.com, friend her on Facebook or follow her on twitter

Now for the giveaway!
Gerry will give one lucky reader their choice of the first book in the series, REAL VAMPIRES HAVE CURVES or the latest available, REAL VAMPIRES HATE SKINNY JEANS.  Just leave a comment below with your email address (comments without email addresses will be disqualified, sorry L)  For extra entries you can:

Friend moi or the Human, Toni LoTempio, on Facebook
Follow me on twitter @RoccoBlogger
Follow Gerry on twitter
Friend Gerry on Facebook
Tweet, FB or blog about this interview and contest (gets you 3 extra entries).

The contest is open to US residents only and closes midnight, September 3 – winner announced September 4!

Get crackin’!

And in September – Rebecca Hale, Dakota Cassidy, Angie Fox and Penny Warner – all right here!

The winner of our Carole Nelson Douglas giveaway: Tonette! Congrats!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day!

Incredible Blogging Cat

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Welcome in the Hotseat...Carole Nelson Douglas!

Meow, in the words of the Pointer Sisters, "I'm so excited" becasue today in my hotseat I have none other than the creator of one of my favorite feline characters, Midnight Louie, Carole Nelson Douglas herself!

For those not familiar with Carole or her works, here's a bit about her: (taken from her website)

Carole Nelson was born in Everett, Washington. She received a bachelor of arts degrees in Speech and Theater and English Literature from the College of St. Catherine in 1966. The next year, she married Sam Douglas, an artist who worked as the Minnesota Museum of Art as exhibitions director. She was a reporter and feature writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch from 1967 to 1983, then became a page designer and editorial writer for the opinion pages, 1983 to 1984.  She sold a paperback original novel, Amberleigh (1980), to Jove and a fantasy, Six of Swords (1982) and its sequels, to Del Rey Books. Douglas became a fulltime fiction writer in 1984.

Douglas had incorporated animals since her first novel (there was an Irish wolfhound in Amberleigh, a King Charles spaniel in the next historical, Fair Wind, Fiery Star (1981). So little surprise she began to write about Midnight Louie, the twenty-pound black tomcat with the wit of Damon Runyon. The cat was based on a true-life cat who made his home at a motel, and truly munched on the fish in the reflective pond. The owners had no use for the cat, but a sympathetic woman retrieved and cared for the feline — and Douglas interviewed the woman and cat for a story for the St. Paul newspaper she worked for at the time. Douglas later came to own a number of cats, including one she named Midnight Louie Jr.
Midnight Louie first appeared in romantic suspense novels, Crystal Days and Crystal Nights (1990). “I just moved Louie and his carp pond to the abandoned (fictional) Joshua Tree hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, which was remodeled into the (fictional) Crystal Phoenix, the classiest hotel in Vegas, with Midnight Louie in lace as ‘unofficial hosue dick,’” she explained in a Crescent Blues interview.  Lately his adventures have taken some interesting turns: In Cat in a Sapphire Slipper (2008), for instance, takes the action to a Nevada brothel, where a prostitute has been murdered. “Douglas explores the campy, lighter side of ‘chicken ranches’ at the same time she exposes their seamier aspects,” said a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

The author  novels, including mainstream, mystery, thriller, high fantasy, science fiction, and romance/women’s fiction, Carole Nelson Douglas has been nominated for or won more than fifty writing awards. Carole was an award-winning journalist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press until moving to Texas to write fiction full time. In fact, she “found” Midnight Louie in the newspaper’s classified ads  and wrote a feature article on the real-life alley cat long before she began writing novels or Louie returned as a feline supersleuth with his own newsletter, Midnight Louie’s Scratching Post-Intelligencer, published since 1995.

Now, let's get to it! In my hotseat! Carole Nelson Douglas!

R:  Meow, hello Carole. Welcome
C:  Thank you Rocco, I'm glad to be here.

R:  for starters, tell us about Midnight Louie.
C: Midnight Louie is the first-furperson, partial narrator of his own mystery series. His beat is glitzy, dangerous Las Vegas and he is “Sam Spade with hairballs.” His alley-cat noir voice has appeared in twenty-three mystery novels.

He shares the stage in his books with four human characters, two men, two women; two amateur sleuths, two pros. Crime-solving Temple Barr, PR woman, is Louie’s roommate. (No one “owns” Louie.) He’s Temple’s protector and “muscle.” Hard-boiled female homicide lieutenant C.R. Molina has to put up with the pair of them. Max Kinsella is Temple’s ex, a magician and counter-terrorist operative on the run. Matt Devine is an ex-priest radio advice counselor who’s become Temple’s fiancée.

R:  Meow, a cat after my own heart!  How did the series start and what was your inspiration for a feline PI?
C: Louie and I had a “cute meet” through the newspaper Classifieds. I was a reporter and animal lover in St. Paul. He was a California product. Cruising the pet Classifieds, I was intrigued by a very long and expensive ad for “Midnight Louey,” a black cat “equally at home on your best couch or your neighbor’s garbage can.” The right home could have him for a dollar.

I wrote a feature story and learned that ML was surviving nicely on the expensive koi at a fancy Palo Alto motel but in danger of being shipped to the shelter. He cozied up to a visiting woman from Minnesota by the soft drink machine, wanting to escape the chilly night in her room. Obviously a ladies’ man. She flew him to St. Paul in a borrowed puppy carrier. He didn’t like apartment living with her lawyer husband, two fixed females, a vacuum cleaner and a litter box. She wanted him to go to farm where he could be free. That did happen, thanks to my article, but his unique spirit and macho chutzpah had put a firm hook into in my mind.

The key moment came after I’d written the first “who, what, when, where” sentence of the article. I decided to let Louie narrate his own remarkable saga of survival and out came his voice, part Damon Runyon, part generic gumshoe with a tad of Mrs. Malaprop.

Midnight Louie was introduced in four romances with mystery, written in the mid-eighties. But the romance editor drastically cut his few sections and stripped out many mystery elements without telling me. You might be able to do that to a down-trodden author, but you can’t do that to a cat, and especially this 20-pound black literary lion and master of cattitude. I flipped the concept to mystery with an ongoing romantic triangle (or quadrangle) and an international thriller backstory. After Catnap and Pussyfoot I wanted readers to know the order, so began a title sequence with an interior “color word” alphabet starting with Cat on a Blue Monday. Cat in a White Tie and Tails is just out.

R: How did you become the first author to make a woman from the Sherlock Holmes stories the protagonist of her own series? And have the first book, Good Night, Mr. Holmes named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and win mystery and romance awards?
C: First, I loved the stories as a kid. As an author, I noticed yet another Holmes spin-off coming out and realized that only men wrote them. So I searched the “Canon” for a female heroine. Irene Adler has been portrayed in recent successful films and TV series . . . but not as the fully developed, substantial and strong character I reinvented from Conan Doyle’s original story, “A Scandal in Bohemia.” I’m bringing the first four Adler books out in eBook and trade paperback in late September. Check her out. The reviews are fabulous, and if more women produced and directed films, she’d surely have one that does her justice in her own right.

A theme might be developing here. I like to go where women writers and women characters have traditionally not “been allowed.”

I wrote bestselling high fantasy when I started out, but the bias against female writers in the sf/f genre forced me to migrate to mystery by coming up with the Irene Adler Sherlockian series, which I at first considered a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy. So when I saw women writing paranormal urban fantasy in the 2000s, I was primed to reenter the field. It’s been a delight to re-imagine Louie’s Las Vegas as a full-out supernatural Sin City with a werewolf mob running one hotel-casino and vampires a rival one and bunches more of scary, funny and socially relevant characters, elements and themes.

My protagonist is Delilah Street, an orphan in search of a mysterious double and a former investigative TV reporter. The name is a play on lawyer-detective Perry Mason’s right-hand woman, Della Street, so the black-and-white days of noir and mystery film are a big element. My “Cinema Simulacrums” are a paranormal blend of zombies and famous black-and-white film noir characters used as tourist draws and Delilah’s confidential informants. Delilah has a wolfhound-wolf cross rescue dog, Quicksilver, but there’s a shapeshifter who becomes an 800-pound white tiger. Midnight Louie has traveled to Delilah’s Vegas to help her on a case in a novella.

 R: Which do you prefer to write, paranormal ala Delilah Street or mystery ala Midnight Louie and why?
C: My favorite thing is to blend genres, so no series is a favorite. I’ve always liked to switch settings, times, styles. It’s the secret to being a prolific writer and the world-building is endlessly fascinating. I mix a tad of paranormal in my mystery (both Midnight Louie and Irene Adler) and put a lot of mystery noir in the seriously paranormal Delilah Street series. I even have the occasional cross reference between series, since Louie and Delilah series are both set in Las Vegas, although Delilah started out in 2013 six years before the calendar got there. Delilah started inventing paranormally named cocktails at the Inferno Hotel bar, so my characters in the Louie series can order an Albino Vampire or a Silver Zombie in the “real” world.

R: Which out of all the characters you’ve created is your favorite and why?
C: I must say Midnight Louie is my favorite. (He wouldn’t have it any other way.) This fantasy construct of a cat who thinks he’s Sam Spade can go anywhere, even the past, and satirize any social trend or institution that needs it. He’s the ultimate author’s mouthpiece. My main thrust for writing, though, is creating original and strong women characters in genre fiction. I like creating “innocent savants,” women who are smart and strong but initially naïve about the world’s evil, “Jane Doe” in the Probe books and Delilah Street in urban fantasy. That mirrors the comics male superhero upbringing in a more realistic way.

R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
C: I’ve been a newspaper feature writer and reporter and editor and was the “first woman” in several positions at the paper. Had I not started writing fiction on the side, I was unconsciously heading in the direction of being a columnist on the opinion pages, probably syndicated. If I had been “allowed” to get all the way there in those times.

R: What other writing genre would you like to try that you haven’t yet? Historical, screenwriting, etc?
C: I’ve written high and urban fantasy, contemporary and historical romance and mystery and science fiction thrillers. I might try children’s or YA, or a straight thriller.

R: Every writer has an “agent” story. How did you get your agent, and what is your advice to aspiring novelists querying agents?
C: A newspaper book reviewer suggested I look for an agent who was just starting out. When the first New York agent I contacted responded positively to the book, but wasn’t taking on new clients, I asked if she knew someone starting out. She happened to be giving a desk at her agency to a friend, a children’s book publisher’s widow. I’d been fantasizing about an agent with a romantic “literary” name like Serena Ravenel . . . I got Frances Schwartz.

Nowadays you want to sign up for webinars on finding an agent by Writer’s Digest or by legitimate agents themselves who offer a reading of your first three pages or the like included with the cost of the webinbar. Legit agents will give any money they get to charity. With the feedback, you can approach other agents directly, saying your proposal or complete MS was seen by so-and-so.

R: What book is on your TBR shelf you can’t wait to get to?
C: Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. 

R: What advice would you give new writers just starting out?
C: First , read voraciously. You not only learn writing by osmosis, but you learn what you want your own writing to be and do. Second, hold true to your belief in your ability to write. Everyone will have an opinion on what and how you should do it. That’s easy for them to say. You have to do the hard part: believe in your hard work and talent no matter what.

R: What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
C: I wanted to be an archaeologist or anthropologist in grade school.

R: Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
C: The 2013 Midnight Louie novel will be Cat in an Alien X-File. I’m also getting all of my earlier books and shorter pieces of fiction into eBook format, and trade paperbacks when possible. Out in Ebook now is an Irene Adler novella, “The Private Wife of Sherlock Holmes,” and a Midnight Louie Past Life adventure in ancient Egypt, “Fruit of the Tomb,” where an early Midnight Louie incarnation solves a mystery and goes from lowly Pharaoh’s Footstool to the first private Eye of Horus.

R:  And now, a little thing I call:  JUST FOR FUN!
Your Favorite:
C: Book: Depends on the decade of my youth: Little Women, The Three Musketeers, The Lord of the Rings, Rebecca
Movie: The Wizard of Oz (but it should have had a cat in it)
TV show:  So You Think You Can Dance?
Actor: Johnny Depp
Actress: Meryl Streep
Night or Day: Dusk
Mountain or Lake: Lake
Hawaii or Alaska: Hawaii
Book or Nook: Book
Cat or Dog?: Cats. And one occasional dog.  (Very diplomatic, heh heh)

R:  And now, in closing...Finish this sentence:  If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be _______
C:  Gee, I'm glad this was last!  Hmm...honest, I can’t come up with anybody I’d trade places with. It might be somebody rich. That’s always nice. I suppose it’d be a younger version of myself. I really want to know what happens to the world after I’m gone.

R:  Thank you so  much, Carole, for taking time out to visit with us and for one fantastic interview! 

Interested in the adventures of Midnight Louie and Carole's works? You can find 'em here:

Books available at independent mystery and other bookstores, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Hastings, Powell’s Books and online bookselling sites:

You might also want to subscribe to her newsletter for all the latest news!

Now...Carole has generously chosen to give away a signed copy of the Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta!
You know the drill.....

Just leave a comment below with your email address (comments without email addresses will be disqualified, sorry L)  For extra entries you can:

Friend moi or the Human, Toni LoTempio, on Facebook
Follow me on twitter @RoccoBlogger
Follow Carole on twitter
Friend Carole on Facebook
Tweet, FB or blog about this interview and contest (gets you 3 extra entries).

The contest is open to US residents only and closes midnight, August 26 – winner announced August 27!

Get goin!

Next week we welcome Gerry Bartlett, author of the "Real Vampire" series!

And coming in September...

Sept. 4 - Rebecca Hale
Sept. 10 - Dakota Cassidy
Sept. 18 - Angie Fox
Sept. 26- Penny Warner

Stay tuned! Meow!  And here are the winners of our Freedom Hop giveaway!
Will receive Smashword coupons for the e-books of their choice!  Keep watching the blog - we've got lots more ahead!


Friday, August 17, 2012

We are Writers, Hear Us Roar!

Hello, Folks. and thanks to ROCCO for turning the blog over to me today. I'm pleased to be part of the "Last Days of Freedom" Giveaway Hop!

So, as some of you who follow ROCCO's blog regularly know, I (that would be THE HUMAN) am a writer…okay, right now I don’t have the luxury of doing it full time, but it still doesn’t erase the fact that, no matter how much time I’ve  got to spend on it, I..AM…A…WRITER. And so, obviously, is my blogging cat!

Hey, our names might not be on everyone’s lips…I may not be on the USA Today or the NY Times bestseller lists, but…we are writer.  ROCCO has his blog (and his seekret projects) and I’ve written books, some YA, some paranormal romantic suspense, some better than others…and because we are writers hear us roar, the subject of illiteracy is near and dear to our hearts.

According to the UNLD:
· Worldwide, one in five adults cannot read or write
· In low-income countries, only about 61% of adults are literate
· In high-income countries, almost 99% of adults are literate

Check out these literacy statistics:


This fundamental lack of basic skills inhibits most people from achieving success in many areas of life. Illiteracy has profound effects in the life of the person who can't read, and it also affects on the rest of society as well.

That’s one of the reasons I (and my cat, ROCCO, the real owner of this blog) became supporters of KIDS NEED TO READ.

Kids Need to Read works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across the United States, especially those serving disadvantaged children.

From their mission statement:
Reading – it is the single most important skill children must learn to be productive members of society. Books open their minds, inspire their imaginations and stimulate their intelligence. As budget cutbacks increase, funding for libraries is often the first thing to go, especially in failing school systems. There are great numbers of schools that have been unable to buy new books for their students to read in years. Kids Need to Read was established to fight this disaster by sending exciting new books to underfunded schools and libraries across the United States, as well as to other organizations that provide literacy support to children, particularly disadvantaged children.

This charity was founded by author PJ Haarmsma, TV’s Castle, Nathan Fillion, and Denise Gary to help children in underfunded areas have access to books they might not otherwise have a chance to read.  You can learn a bit more about it here: www.kidsneedtoread.org

ROCCO and I just hosted a fundraiser for this charity, an annual event!  So check ‘em out! And then…enter our giveaway!

TWO lucky commenters will get their choice of two of my e-books!  You can choose from:

No Rest for the Wicca – (Paranormal Suspense)
Raven’s Kiss  - (Paranormal)
Raven’s Quest – (Paranormal)
My Superhero Sister (YA)
Demons and Fire (YA)

To enter, just leave a comment indicating which books you'd like to win along with your email address. Contest is open to residents of US/Canada/International, and ends midnight August 22.  Winners will be chosen using random.org  Entries without an email address will be disqualified.
If for some reason the unfriendly at times Blogger will not let you post, go to the HUMAN's facebook page (Toni LoTempio) and send a message.  We will enter you.

We will also throw in an autographed photo of moi - ROCCO the INCREDIBLE BLOGGING CAT!  Now if that isn't incentive, I don't know what is  :)

There are skeptics out there who don't believe a cat can talk...but we all know otherwise.

Come back and visit us, y’hear?

Toni & Rocco, the Incredible Blogging (And Talking!)  Cat

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

If it's mid-August it's time for ROCCO'S PET OF THE MONTH!

Heh, it's time again for our Pet of the Month...and by popular demand, we've chosen once again to feature a pet of the canine variety...yes, our good friend, PETE WEBB!  Pete's human works with my human, so we always get good pictures of Pete...and for a dog, he is tres photogenic, don't you think?

Here's a new shot of Pete Webb...my Pet for August 2012!  Hey Pete...what's with that centerfold pose??????

Dont' forget to join us next Tuesday, when I get Midnight Louie's creator herself...Carole Nelson Douglas in the hotseat!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Winner of our Sarah Dearly Giveaway!

Meow, kitties, and Happy Monday!

got some great stuff lined up for you this August.  August 17 we will be participating in a blog hop; August 21 we have Carole Nelson Douglas (and Midnight Louie!) on board, and on August 28 we welcome Gerry Bartlett of the Real Vampire series! Meow!

And now for the winner of our Sarah Dearly giveaway, a copy of BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND!  The winner chosen at random by random.org is:   DonnaS!

Watch for an email from Michelle to claim your prize, Donna!

More later on in the week!  Until then...don't do anything I wouldn't do, meow!

Incredible Blogging Cat

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SARAH DEARLY DISHES IN MY HOTSEAT! (Courtesy of Michelle Rowen)

MEOW! Today marks the debut of paranormal  mystery BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND, a continuation of the adventures of fledgling vampire Sarah Dearly and her beloved, the vampire Thierry! HAPPY RELEASE DAY!

For those of you not familiar, Sarah's adventures were previously chronicled in much detail by our friend author Michelle Rowen, in the IMMORTALITY BITES paranormal romance series (Bitten and Smitten, Fanged and Fabulous, Lady and the Vamp, Stakes and Stilettos, Tall Dark and Fangsome).  Now Sarah is back, sinking her fangs into paranormal mysteries!  The MMPB from Penguin makes its debut in bookstores today, August 7, and I invited Sarah over to  my blog to dish on what she's been up to, her life since becoming a vampire, and (of course) Thierry and The Ring!

R: Hello, Sarah, and Welcome

S: Thanks, Rocco. Glad to be here.

R:           What was your very, very first thought upon realizing that you were, in fact, undead?
S:            Actually, I most certainly am not undead. I am very much alive. This is one of the most common myths about vampires, actually, that we’re the walking dead. No way. Heartbeats, blood pressure, breathing – check, check, and check. We might not be human, per se, but we’re definitely alive. Now... what was my first thought upon realizing that I was a vampire and it wasn’t just a bad dream? I think it was along the lines of: “Oh $#%*!”
R:            What’s one of the biggest perks of being a vampire?  One of the biggest drawbacks?
S:            Biggest perk – I get to stay 28 forever, which is a great age. Biggest drawback – no reflection. Some might say the vampire hunters who want to end my newly immortal life, or the life of any vampire, but nah. It’s the mirrors. It’s just so incredibly inconvenient, you have no idea.
R:            What advice would you give a fledgling vampire?
S:            Stay away from vampire hunters. And mirrors.
R:            What was the hardest adjustment for you to make when you began your new lifestyle?
S:           Let’s face it, drinking blood is not the most natural thing to do. Even as a fledgling. I had some iffy moments when it came to the red stuff. Because...gross. But also, yum. It’s so bizarre, you have no idea.
R:            Can you tell us what’s ahead for you now that Thierry has joined “The Ring”?  How do you see this affecting your lives?
S:           The Ring is essentially the shadowy and mysterious council that governs vampiric law worldwide. Thierry was the one who founded it more than a century ago, but left for personal reasons. Their number one priority is to keep the existence of vampires a secret from humans. They recently recruited Thierry to be a consultant for them, which is a pretty way of saying he’s an investigator. He’s sent out on assignments here and there and he has to get to the bottom of vampire-related problems swiftly and efficiently. And I get to go along as his assistant because I think we’ll make a seriously kickass team – me the sassy fledgling and him the often dour, sometimes scary master vamp. How will it affect our lives? Well, I can promise that there will be mega travel, a great deal of danger, and an extra helping of paranormal intrigue and kooky characters we’ll meet along the way, that’s for sure.
R:            If you could meet any famous vampire from fiction, who would it be and why?
S:             I still have a bit of a thing for Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I like ‘em angsty and mysterious.
R:            What would you change about Thierry, if you could?
S:            If there’s one thing that bugs me about him it’s how secretive he is about his past. If he doesn’t want to share something he totally clams up – as if I might not be able to handle the truth. I have this crazy feeling like this might cause some problems in the future. Hmm. Could be.
R:            What would Thierry change about you?
S:            Likely, that I get in trouble way too much for my own good and I should be “more careful about who I trust.” Yeah, yeah.
R:            What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done, post-vampire?
S:            Probably that I fell head over fangs in love with a master vampire with the exact opposite personality to mine. That’s pretty cray-cray. And I love it!
R:            In the first chapter of Blood Bath & Beyond, we find out that your parents have moved to a retirement community, George moved to Hawaii, and Amy and Barry to British Columbia.  Who will you miss the most and why?
S:          Well, Amy, of course. She’s my BFF and has been for longer than anyone else. Although, quite frankly, my world has been in a serious whirlwind mode since everyone recently scattered and Thierry got his new job, so I have barely had any time to process everything.
R:            You’ve moved from the paranormal romance category into the paranormal mystery category.  Are you looking forward to sinking your fangs into a good mystery?
S:        If I am minding my own business and I just happen to fall into a mystery, then what else can I do but try to solve it? So, absolutely, I’m pretty much ready for anything that’s coming next! Bring it on!
R:            The last time we saw you (Tall, Dark & Fangsome) Thierry FINALLY gave you that ring.  Do you predict a smooth or rocky road ahead for you two lovebats? Or will yet another woman from Thierry’s past come back to haunt you?
S:         Now, I’m not psychic, but if I can predict our future... I believe there’s a great deal from Thierry’s past that could POTENTIALLY cause issues for us. I mean, the dude’s over six hundred years old. That’s A LOT of history. Do I think that there will be troubles with love triangles and the like anymore? I highly doubt it. I mean, that’s so 2009.
R:            What do you have to say about this woman who chronicles your adventures, Michelle Rowen? Do you feel she’s portrayed you accurately? Would you change anything?
S:           Well, I am the one who bugged her incessantly to write more books about my adventures after she thought she was finally finished, so I guess it would be rude to complain. *clears throat* Still, things were pretty sweet at the end of the first series – and now things are taking a deep nosedive into dangerville again...
R:            What do you want to say to the legions of fans who are thrilled to have you back and can’t wait to sink their teeth into your newest adventures?
S:          Legions, huh? Well....... I’d say that I’m THRILLED to be back. For those who already know me – howdy once again! And for those who have yet to meet me – remember that Blood Bath & Beyond is BOOK ONE of a brand new series. Those other books? Just backstory about how me and Thierry met. You can start right here if you like, new friends, without any problems. Either way, I will try my very best to be as entertaining and charming as possible. Happy reading! Xoxo
  R:       Thank you, Sarah, for a wonderful interview.  Best of luck to you and Thierry!

MEOW! Sarah's right, folks. You don't have to have read the previous Immortality Bites series to jump right in on this one - unless, of course, you want to. 
Follow Sarah on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sarahdearly!
Find out more about the Immortality Bites Mystery series at www.michellerowen.com plus get a sneak peek at the first two chapters of Blood Bath & Beyond. Follow Michelle Rowen at www.twitter.com/michellerowen, and/or “Like” her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/michellerowenbooks.

People! Michelle will be giving away a copy of BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND to one lucky reader! Now, you know the drill. to enter, just leave a comment with your email address on this blog post. For extra entries, you can:
Friend the Human, Toni LoTempio, or me, Rocco the Blogging Cat, on Facebook
Friend Michelle on Facebook
Follow moi, Rocco, on Twitter (@RoccoBlogger) or follow Michelle on Twitter
Tweet or FB about this blog post/contest (gets you 3 extra entries)

Be sure to list all you've done in your post so we know how many entries to assign to  you. Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Contest is open to US/Canada residents ONLY. Contest ends midnight EST Sunday, August 12, winner announced Monday, August 13!

Get crackin! (And if Blogger won't let you post - send the Human a message via FAcebook.  We'l lmake sure you get entered!)

Coming up in August - Jon Gibbs, JR Turner, Gerry Bartlett (Real Vampire Series) and - MIDNIGHT LOUIE'S CREATOR herself:  Carole Nelson Douglas!
September: Dakota Cassida and Angie Fox, Rebecca Hale and Penny Warner!


Incredible Blogging Cat

Friday, August 3, 2012

What's coming up!

Meow, kitties!

Just thought I'd give a foreshadowing of what you can expect in august/september/october here at MY blog!

Next week: Sarah Dearly, the Immortality Bites vamp herself, sits in my hotseat (courtesy of Michelle Rowen!)
Also on deck for the coming weeks:
Jon Gibbs
JR Turner
Carole Douglas (Yes, the creator of Midnight Louie herself!!!)
Gerry Bartlett
Rebecca Hale
Dakota Cassidy
Angie Fox
Penny Warner
Sheila Bonham
Nina Bangs
Vicki Lewis Thompson

and in November:  Janet Evanovich returns!

Is that a line up or what!!!!!

got to stretch my paws - have a purr-fect weekend!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two "Dark" Matters...Knight and Shadows!

Happy August everyone! Can you believe it!

A word about two “Dark” subjects: Knight and Shadows!

Firstoff, the Human saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and absolutely loved it. the two  hours and forty minutes flew by! Great plot, great acting – just all over great.  And even though its premiere has the pall of the tragedy in Colorado to loom over it, from all reports it was a box office success.
For followers of the comics, Catwoman’s gone back to her roots – the original Selina Kyle was an airline stewardess turned jewel thief – and Bane keeps pretty close to his comic book persona (even to his punishment and torture of the BAT!)  We won’t give away spoilers ala David Letterman, but take it from the Human – this is one summer flick you won’t want to  miss!


For those of us who weren’t especially enamoured of the new Dark Shadows movie (and, heck, even if you were!) it’s worth your while to check out the new series of DARK SHADOWS COMICS put out by Dynamite Entertainment.  Below are a few thumbnail synopsis of the first issues: (courtesy of dreadcentral.com)
Issue1:   Barnabas Collins is re-adjusting to life under his vampiric curse. Haunted by terrifying dreams of his age-old lover and nemesis, Angelique, and fighting his bloodlust, Barnabas fears that danger lies ahead for all who live at Collinwood. Meanwhile, Barnabas' ally and trusted friend Dr. Julia Hoffman is harboring secrets of her own...
Issue 2:  Barnabas Collins fears that another vampire is loose at Collinwood, while his friend Dr. Julia Hoffman finds herself in the thrall of a sinister force. As a seance is held to contact a restless spirit, Quentin Collins finds himself drawn into a dangerous mission to restore an ancient force to life.
Issue 3: There's trouble ahead for vampire Barnabas Collins as the vengeful spirit of his eternal nemesis Angelique continues to make her presence felt. What links the mysterious statue in the woods to the Collins family, and who among them can Barnabas trust?

Sound enticing? We’re all the way up to issue 6, now, out this month, here’s a glimpse of the cover:

And a brief teaser: The arrival of a stranger in the town of Collinsport leaves Barnabas Collins facing exposure, forcing him to take drastic action. What is contained in the new arrival's luggage that can see into the souls of innocent men, and how much longer can Barnabas keep his vampire nature a secret?

Quite honestly, the comic plots sound more enticing than the movie (sorry, Johnny! L) We’ve found the first five to be highly entertaining – loyal DS fans might want to give them a whirl – extra note, they’ve also drawn the characters to resemble the soap actors – so Barnabas is pictured as our beloved Jonathan Frid (RIP, Jon!)

You can find out more about the Dark Shadows comics and Number 6 here:

Plus there is a great article on them in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamite_Entertainment

Check them, and the DS line out – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

OK, then...I'm getting ready for my interview next week with Sarah Dearly, the star of Michelle Rowen's paranormal mystery, BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND!  This book is out next Tuesday and kitties, it's one you won't want to miss, regardless of whether or not you are an "Immortality Bites" fan!

Got to go put some "bite" in my interview....

Be good! Meow!