Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ringing in the New Year with ....Ilona Andrews!

Meow! My guest to ring in 2013 is none other than...Ilona Andrews!
“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and working on the next volumes for both.

R: Today we welcome the feminine half of the Ilona Andrews writing team, Ilona Gordon! Welcome Ilona!
Thank you, ROCCO

R:  How did you become interested in writing? At what point in your life did you realize it was the career for you?

It’s just kind of happened organically.  I never wanted to be a writer.  I just started writing down stories because it made me happy.  My first attempt was when I was fifteen.  It was written in Russian on an ancient typewriter and while it was terrible, working on it made me happy.

R: Tell us about your upcoming release, Steel’s Edge

It’s a story of a woman who is trying very hard to not become a monster and a man who thinks he is one already. They both experience injustice and separately decide to stand up against it.  Here is the official synopsis:

Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.

Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive...

Steel’s Edge also happens to be the final book in the Edge series.

R: How different was this series to write than your Kate Daniels one, and do you have a preference?

I enjoyed working on it.  It gave us a really nice break between Kate releases.  I don’t really prefer one storyline over the other – each series came with their unique challenges.  I can tell you that now that the series is over, I’m excited to work on something new. 

R:  What is it about the fantasy genre that drew you to it?

I don’t know.  I suppose I always gravitated toward it.  The possibility of magic is just too intriguing to pass up.

R: Which of (your character) adventures was the most fun for you to write? Were any of them the least amount of fun?

I pretty much hate everything we’ve written.  I enjoyed working on Magic Strikes and Bayou Moon the most, I think.  I’m also enjoying the current manuscript, Magic Rises.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?

I have several soundtracks, which I play in a giant playlist while I write.  I also really like having scented candles or essential oils in a warmer.  Because we work form home, having little rituals signals to my brain that it’s time to work.  It helps me concentrate.

 R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?

I would like to see Moon landing, although I’d need a time machine and a space suit for that.  I think that was such a hopeful time for us as a civilization.  A promise of things to come.

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

I’m not sure I have any deep dark secrets.  I like to knit and I’m an avid computer gamer.  I like to watch anime.  That’s about it.

R: What other writing genre would you like to try that you haven’t yet? Historical, screenwriting, etc?

I thought of doing a murder mystery once, but I think it would turn into a paranormal murder mystery.  That’s just the way I’m wired.

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

Working on Magic Rises, Book 6 in Kate Daniels series.  We also have a free serial going, which is a lot of fun.  Here is a link:

R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I prefer to have some idea of where we’re going.  I think this is essential when writing with a collaborator, because we have to be able to discuss things knowing what they are connecting to and why they must be included.

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 

I came to US with no money.  I had like $60 to my name.  I didn’t speak the language, didn’t know anybody, and had never been in a boarding school before.

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

I hope that they will see that despite all of the difficulties, our character stick to their principles.  Honor, integrity, and loyalty – sometimes people say they are outdated words, but I believe they define who we are.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?   Dusk.

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  Dog.  Sorry, but I have yet to find that one perfect cat who will like me enough to cuddle with me without simultaneously demanding food. (R:  Aha, you haven’t met me yet, Meow!)

Beach or Pool?   Beach.

Steak or salad?  Steak.

Favorite Drink?  Tea.

Favorite Book?  Many.

Favorite TV Series?  Right now, Arrow.  Ask me tomorrow, it might change.  J

Favorite Movie?  It changes.  I have several comfort movies which I won’t miss if I stumble on them while flipping channels: 13th Warrior, Star Wars (the old ones), first Indiana Jones, Galaxy Quest…  If I had to pick one, it would be the Emperor’s New Groove. 

 Thanks for a great interview, Ilona and Gordon!
Folks, you can keep up with all the news about their new releases on their site:

 Enter to win a DIGITAL copy of Steel's Edge! Leave a comment with your name and email address below. The winner will be chosen at random using  For extra entries, you can:

Friend Ilona Andrews on FB
Follow  moi, Rocco on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
Friend te Human,Toni LoTempio, on Facebook
Tweet or post or FB about this contest! (3 extra entries!)

Contest ends midnight, January 3, winner announced January 4!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

IncredibleBlogging Cat



Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Meow! Happy Holidays everyone. A special thanks to all our readers and to all the authors who have participated on my blog this year! We look forward to seeing most of you again (along with some new ones) in 2013!

and thanks to all who participated in the "Holiday Gift Card Hop". We will be doing these next year too!

The winner of the $15 Amazon Gift Card was ....Sandy! Congrats, Sandy, watch for an email from the HUMAN!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to everyone. I'm taking a looong catnap waiting for Santa.....hope there is catnip under the tree.....but we will be back week of December 26 with Ilona Andrews!


Incredible Blogging Cat

Sunday, December 9, 2012



MEOW!  Well, Kitties, it’s that time of year again!  Time for me to share my very favorite movies of the season with you.  My brother and sisters and THE HUMAN and I wish each and every of our readers a very happy Holiday Season! And, in honor of that…
Leave a comment in the Comments section of this post and tell us YOUR favorite Holiday movie!  We’ll Select one lucky commenter at random to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card!  Contest ends midnight, December 17th and is part of the “Gift Card Giveaway Hop”!
Happy Holidays!  And now, here they are, in descending order – my favorite Holiday flicks!  Meow!

#10:  A Charlie Brown Christmas:  Now, who doesn’t love Charlie and the Peanuts gang? (even if CB has a dog named Snoopy instead of a cat named ROCCO???)
#9:  Scrooged:  This adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” featuring Bill Murray is laugh out loud funny – even for a cat
#8:  National Lampoon’s Christmas: Chevy Chase and company at their best – although I do get a mite upset at the part about the cat, the Christmas Tree and the lights….
#7:  The Nightmare Before Christmas – The ultimate in animated awesomeness!  I love it almost as much as
#6: Felix the Cat Saves Christmas (Video, 2004)  - c’mon, you knew I had to put a cat movie in there somewhere!
#5:  Die Hard: Ok, not your traditional Christmas movie but…it’s got the redemptive struggle between good and evil going for it, Christmas with terrorists and…Bruce Willis!  Need I say more?????
#4:  The Santa Clause – Tim Allen puts on a Santa suit and actually becomes jollyold St. Nick!  A fun movie for the entire family – and it’s Disney!
#3:  Home Alone – it wouldn’t be Christmas until you watched this classic tale of a kid left to his own devices on Christmas Eve, and the two robbers he outwits. 
#2:  Disney’s A Christmas Carol – animated Ebenezer Scrooge was never at his best than when voiced by Jim Carrey, and in 3D no less!  This telling of a favorite tale is amazing!

And my very favorite of all time:
#1: Miracle on 34th Street (1947  There is nothing like the original black and white tale of a Macy’s store worker and her little girl who has a hard time believing in Santa, and the gentle man who may or may not be the original Kris Kringle.  It’s an Acadamy Award winner and it’s got a cute as a button Natalie Wood!  Who could ask for a better Holiday gift?

So, kitties, comment below on YOUR favorite and you could win a $15 Amazon gift card. It’s all part of the Gift Card Giveaway Hop and you can find other blogs with hop prizes here:

Happy Holidays!
Coming Dec. 27: Ilona Andrews!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Indie Author Megan Cashman visits my Hotseat!

 While growing up on Staten Island, NY, Megan Cashman was often seen reading and writing, making others suspect she will become a writer someday. At the age of 30, she certainly did by self-publishing her first book, “The Dark Proposal”. She intends to write many more books and hopes her readers will join her in a journey to other worlds, both real and unseen.

R:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.

I have been writing since I was a young girl and always had the goal of being a published author. I can’t really say how or when I became interested, I guess you can say it just happened. One of my elementary school teachers was a big influence on me, and she encouraged me to go after my dreams, and that kind of stuck with me.

R: What drew you to the urban fantasy genre?

I’ve been a fan of vampires since my teens. Anything is possible with urban fantasy and the fact that you can make it set in modern times makes it exciting, especially with all the technology we have these days.

R: What writers in your genre would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?

Anne Rice had a big influence. I read a lot of not only her Vampire Chronicles, but her Mayfair Witches books and even one of her historical novels, Cry to Heaven.

R: Tell us about your novel, The Dark Proposal.

It is about a college graduate named Claire McCormick who finds what she thinks is the perfect boyfriend. He’s a bit older, handsome, rich and intelligent. But then he reveals he is a vampire and wants to make her one too. The vampires in my book are the villains, so Claire has no interest in being a killer. But her boyfriend won’t take no for an answer.

R: What made you choose the self publishing route?

I was very intrigued by the amount of control I would have. For example, choosing the cover design was a big plus for me. I also liked the idea of being my own boss.

R: What are you working on at the moment / next?
The follow-up to The Dark Proposal, and once I am done with that, I’ll begin the third and final book in this trilogy.
R: What’s ahead for Claire?

She’ll accept being a vampire while her friends and family figure out what has become of her.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?

For some reason, I must be out in public. I prefer going to either Starbucks or Panera Bread to work on my writings. With my coffee by my side, I am able to focus better. I find being at home distracting, but I do work from there sometimes.

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

I never finished a novel until now. I always would start something, but never complete it. This time, I was able to focus and be dedicated to this project. Oh, I also hope to get into play and screenwriting, but for small productions.

On a personal level, I would like to mention that I am from Staten Island, born and raised, and I am very proud of how the people here have come together after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. I fared better than many others, but it was really tough to here and see the immense damage out here. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with the Island, but these days there's little room for hate :-)

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 

Getting a tattoo on my right shoulder. I come across as a bit square to others, but I do have my wild side!

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

I hope I take them to another world. I hope I am able to transport them to wherever my stories take them. 

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  Daytime. The sunlight is just too beautiful to ignore.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  Cats, but I do love pugs!
Beach or Pool?   The beach. Nothing like resting in the sun with the waves in your ears.
Steak or salad?  Salad at the moment.
Favorite Drink?  For caffeine, French Vanilla coffee. On a night out, a cosmopolitan
Favorite Book?  This is difficult to answer because I have so many. Maybe The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I love how it captures the realities of human nature and life.
Favorite TV Series?  I like Once Upon A Time, Girls, Copper, and True Blood (Although, season 5 was horrible). But I would say Game of Thrones wows me every time and I am so excited for Season 3!

Thanks for a great interview, Megan.  Folks, here are all the places you can find Megan:

Twitter:         @MeganCashman

“The Dark Proposal” will be free on Amazon on December 12th – that’s 12/12/12! A perfect way to mark that date!

the winner of our Donnette Smith giveaway is: Chris Bails!  Congrats, Chris!
Ilona Andrews visits us the end of December! Meow!

Incredible Blogging Cat