Monday, February 25, 2013

I interview Lake Eden's Most Eligible Feline Bachelor...why, Moishe, of course (with an assist from Joanne Fluke)

We continue our character interviews with a dashing chap - Moishe, the handsome cat featured in the Hannah Swenson mystery series written by the talented Joanne Fluke!
R:  Welcome Moishe!  I understand you’re known as ‘Lake Eden’s most eligible feline bachelor, meow!”
M: Now, Rocco... you can't believe everything those Tabbies say!
R:  Well, as one eligible feline bachelor to another, welcome!  I myself have been called “Clifton New Jersey’s most eligible feline bachelor,” so I can identify!
M: That’s great, ROCCO! You sound like a cat who knows the score.
R:  As do you, my friend, as do you.  Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?
M: I'm ready anytime you are.  You're the boss, Rocco!
R: Ahem! Glad you recognize that, Moishe!  If only the Human did...Anyway, now for all our interested readers out there – particularly the female felines – describe a typical day in your life.
M:  Thanks for asking, Rocco.  It’s probably a lot like your typical day.  I get up when Hannah does and I follow her to the kitchen.  I’m careful to act hungry because I don’t want her to know that I’ve figured out the new lock she put on the kitchen closet where she keeps my food.  By the way, she calls them “kitty crunchies”!  Have you ever heard anything sillier?  After I brush against her ankles a couple of times, she gets the idea and fills my bowls with water and food.  Then she takes a shower, I help myself to a bit more food while she’s doing that, and then she dresses and leaves for work.  That’s when my day really starts.

I take a tour of the condo to see what’s new.  That’s usually nothing.  And then I climb back in bed to take a little nap until the birds start pecking at the feeder Hannah mounted just outside the window for me.  It’s fun to bang against the window pane to scare the birds off and I do that for a while.  Then it’s time for another nap on the back of the couch.  (It’s a great couch -- It works perfectly for sharpening my claws.)  I wake up when the two ladies across from Hannah’s condo come home.  You know, my friend Cuddles used to live with one of them.  I paw the picture window because they think it’s cute and they buy lots of cat treats and toys for me.  Then I eat a little mid-afternoon snack and nap on Hannah’s guest room bed until she comes home.  Then it’s food time again (I usually get some of her food too,) We sometimes have company or we perhaps we watch a movie on television.  The company is usually Norman or Mike and both of them bring me things.  Norman brings me Cuddles to play with.  She’s pretty and young and she likes to play chase, but I can usually calm her down by showing her how to open Hannah’s dresser drawers.  When the company leaves, Hannah sacks out for the night.  I pretend I’m sleeping until she starts snoring and then I open the closet door to play with the last mouse I caught.

R: How did you and Hannah get together?
M: I was out there on the streets and it was getting a little cold at night so I prowled around and found the warmest garage in Hannah’s condo complex.  I sniffed the bags of garbage she carried out to the dumpster and I knew I’d found a home.  Hannah eats salmon, tuna, shrimp, and lots of other really good stuff so I decided to move in with her.  I sat on her doorstep and when I heard her pull into the garage,  I looked so cold and miserable that she believed my performance, took me inside, fed me a whole can of salmon, and wrapped me up in a warm blanket.  I tell you Rocco, I should have gotten an Oscar for the acting job I did!    
R: I'm sure it was fabulous! Now, how do you cope with Hannah’s penchant for solving mysteries?
M:  It’s like this Rocco – everybody’s got to do something for a hobby.  Hannah’s hobby just happens to be solving murders.  I’d like it a little better if her hobby were raising boneless chickens or flightless birds in her living room, but hey, it is what it is!

R:  What do you love most about Hannah?  Dislike most?
M: Hannah treats me like a furry, four-footed friend.  That’s what I love most about her- that, and the salad shrimp she always keeps in the freezer for me.  What I dislike the most about her is her mother.  Delores is a real pain in the fur, if you know what I mean.  You wouldn’t  believe how long it took me to teach that woman to feed me my favorite fish-shaped, salmon-flavored kitty treats !
R: **Big question: Which of Hannah’s suitors is your favorite, Norman or Mike?
M: I like Mike the best when he’s here.  And I like Norman the best when he’s here.  Both of them bring me snacks and toys so it’s pretty equal on that score.  I do think Norman would make a better husband for her, but that may be selfish on my part.  You see, if Hannah married Norman she’d move into that great house of his and I’d be able to live with my favorite little Feline Valentine, Cuddles.  (Of course she might just wear me out… If you ever meet her, don’t tell her I said that.)  I don’t really mind the way it stands right now with Hannah dating both of them.  I’m the most important male in her life and I know it.
R: Your name is so unusual. What’s the story behind that?
M: Hannah named me after the Israeli general, Dyan.  She says it’s because he was blind in one eye just like me, and because he’d been through the wars.  Now, it’s true that I’m blind in one eye, but that was an accident that happened when I was very young. I haven’t been through any wars, though,  unless you count the time that I spent on the streets.  It wasn’t that bad.  The people here in Lake Eden are nice to homeless cats.  I figure that the real reason she named me after that Israeli general is because I’m so brave.  I save her from mice and bugs, and if a bird ever gets in here, It’s TOAST! 
R: Like myself, you’re a big boy (grin),  Which of Hannah’s delicious recipes is your very favorite?
M:  She made me a Good Kitty Cake right after we solved the murder in Devils Food Cake Murder.  That was the best recipe she ever made.  Of course the Salmon Cakes she made when we worked on Carrot Cake Murder were really tasty too.  And Trudy’s Shrimp Bisque in Peach Cobbler Murder was great.  I’m not that fond of the broth, too much tomato for me, but if you hook the shrimp with a claw and pull it out of the bowl, it’s most excellent.
 R: We know Hannah likes to get a bit “zealous” solving a mystery. Which of her adventures caused you the most concern?  Which did you enjoy the most?
M:  I’m always worried about her when she confronts a killer.  Unless they have some kind of weapon, humans are pretty defenseless.  Hannah doesn’t have claws and she can’t climb a tree to get out of anyone’s reach.  She can’t run very fast either or jump over things that get in her way.  The thing that really burns me is that she could avoid all that jeopardy if she’d just listen to me.  I always know who the killer is long before she does.  I was absolutely appalled when I found out she’d almost drowned in Carrot Cake Murder.  I mean, who’s going to feed me if she’s gone?  Then there was that episode in the Jacuzzi in Cream Puff Murder.  The time she hid in the hospital morgue in Cinnamon Roll Murder was scary too, not to mention the episode in the bell tower of the church in Devil’s Food Cake Murder.  Who did she think she was?  Quasimodo?   I could go on and on, but I’ll save my breath so that I can yowl for dinner when she comes home.
R: So tell me how you feel about this woman, Joanne Fluke. Do you feel she portrays Hannah accurately? Portrays you accurately?
M:  She’s okay with Hannah and she tells a good story.  Joanne (we’re on a first name basis now that I’ve learned how to turn on Hannah’s computer and e-mail her) has, over the years, also picked up a few basic words of cat.  Of course the feline language is filled with nuances and it’s very complicated, not like the simple language Joanne speaks, so I have to be careful to simplify things for her.  That seems to be working because Joanne understood me when I complained about the fact that Hannah always has the starring role in the books.  She promised to give me a more important role in Red Velvet Cupcake Murder and she did.  Just wait until you read it.  It’s awesome!

R:If you could change one thing about Hannah, what would it be?
M:  I’d teach her to like fish heads.  I love fish heads and I haven’t had any in forever.  Hannah brought home a whole fish once and threw away the head!  Can you imagine being so short-sighted?  I had to wait until the next day and dig it out of the kitchen garbage.  But I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.  At least she gives me the heart, gizzard, and liver from the chickens she roasts.

R: Even though you’re visually challenged, you have a knack for getting at food (cat or otherwise) what are some of the ingenious ways you’ve devised to sate your appetite?
M:  I simply used the skills I learned on the street, Rocco.  If one thing doesn’t work, try another until you find something that does.  Once I started, it was a matter of pride to succeed.  I needed to prove that I could outwit Hannah.  Of course I probably wouldn’t have worked on those locks for so long if food hadn’t been involved.
R: We know Hannah’s mother Delores, isn’t exactly your favorite person. Care to elaborate?
M: Delores is a little slow, if you know what I mean.  Some humans simply don’t get it.  It took me over a dozen pairs of shredded stockings before she realized that I didn’t want her to pick me up.  And it took me almost 2 years to teach her that I wouldn’t attack her if she brought me my favorite treats.  Delores does have one redeeming quality though; she buys the big bag of salad shrimp at CostMart for her freezer.
R:  How does Hannah feel about her mom’s “career” as a romance writer?
Hannah thinks it’s great.  When her mother is working on a Regency romance, she’s busy and that means she doesn’t give Hannah a dump truck load of kitty litter about how she should settle on Mike or Norman and get married.
R:  Any chance of your getting a “sidekick” in these stories- like maybe a handsome tuxedo cat – anytime soon?
M:  That’s a very interesting idea, Rocco.  I mean, everyone knows that there are two cats in the Hannah books.  I’m the lead cat, of course, but I wouldn’t mind sharing some of the spotlight with a good buddy.  There’s only one thing… if I accept you as my sidekick, keep your paws off Cuddles!  One wrong move and I teach you exactly why I did so well on the streets!

R:  Just for fun…
Catnip or scratching post?
M:  Scratching post.  I don’t like drugs- unless you count shrimp as a drug.  (R:  Actually, I have on occasion! )
Canape or coconut cream pie?
M: That depends on the canapé.  I really like those little toast points with caviar, but please, please, please leave off the capers!  Those sour little things give me indigestion and that’s not fun.

Tabbies or Tuxedos?
M:  Aw, come on!  Just because I had that procedure at the veterinary clinic doesn’t mean I lost all my desire for… well, you know.  I prefer Tabbies, of course.  That doesn’t mean Tuxedos can’t be friends, but believe me, that’s as far as it goes!

Moishe, my friend, it's been a pleasure to host you!  Folks, in honor of Moishe's visit here, his human Hannah's friend, Joanne Fluke, is offering up a "Hannah Grab Bag" to one lucky reader, which will include: A Cookie Jar_Lake Eden Apron, A Chip Clip, Light stick saying "Hannah Rocks" and "Swedish Plasma" mug!

Just leave a comment in the comments section with your e-mail address! For extra entries you can:
Friend the Human on FB
Follow Joanne on FB or Twitter
Follow moi at RoccoBlogger on Twitter
Tweet or FB about this giveaway! (3 extra entreis)
Contest closes  Midnight Saturday, March 2.

The winners of our Miranda James giveaway are:  Karen B and Kathy! Watch for an email from the Human to claim your prize!

and on Sunday, kicking off March: Kari Lee Townsend returns to the blog!



Monday, February 18, 2013

In the Stacks with....Miranda James!

Meow - today I interview Miranda (aka Dean) James, the author of the popular CATS IN THE STACKS mysteries from Berkeley Prime Crime. For those of you not famiilar with this series or author, here's a short bio:

Miranda (aka Dean) James is the New York Times bestselling author of the "Cat in the Stacks" mysteries published by Berkley Prime Crime. The latest in the series, just released, is Out of Circulation. Dean is a medical librarian in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. A seventh-generation Mississippian, he attended graduate school at Rice University and somehow never left Houston afterwards. He is an avid book collector, reader, and bridge player. He has two cats and way too many books.

So my hotseat....Miranda (Dean) James!

R:  Welcome Dean!  Great to have you in the hotseat! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.

Thanks, Rocco! Well, I grew up on a farm, an only child who loved books and reading. I discovered mysteries when I was about 10 or 11, and I read a Nancy Drew book belonging to one of my cousins. There was no looking back after that; I was hooked on mysteries. I got the writing bug a couple of years later and actually wrote a mystery. The urge to write grew stronger while I was in graduate school, and I just kept at it.

R:  the character of Diesel is so adorable. Did anything in particular inspire him?

When I decided to write a series about a librarian and his cat, I knew right away that I wanted the cat to be a Maine Coon. I had met one in real life, and that cat, named “The Diesel,” inspired my own Diesel. Maine Coons are large, loyal, loving, intelligent, and those characteristics are the basis for Diesel’s character.

R: Tell us about your latest release, OUT OF CIRCULATION.

It’s the fourth book in the “Cat in the Stacks” series, and the idea for the book came from library fundraisers. Committees generally do the fundraising events, and there are always tensions because everyone has an opinion about how things should be done. Add to that a small town setting where there can be jockeying for social position, and that is the basic plot of this book. The two grande dames of Athena society, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, have long run everything in town, and Vera Cassity, a social climber who was born on the wrong side of the tracks, is forever trying to push them out of the way. My amateur sleuth, Charlie Harris, is a new member on the Friends of the Library board, and he gets caught in the middle during the power struggles.

R:  Do you have a “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?

I actually got my agent after a friend and I, who co-wrote a non-fiction book on mysteries, managed to sell the book ourselves. On the strength of that sale, we pitched ourselves to the agent of a friend of mine, and she took us on. That was in 1992 or 1993, I think, and I am still with the same agent.

I also “sold” my first novel without my agent. A friend was acquiring manuscripts of Southern mysteries for a small regional press in east Tennessee, and they accepted a book called Cruel as the Grave. They went on to publish two more of my books. The first novel that my agent sold for me was the first of four that I published with Kensington. It was called Posted to Death.

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

Most of the time I listen to music when I write, and what I listen to varies by my mood. Sometimes classical, sometimes pop, sometimes opera. I particularly like listening to Baroque music when I write, because I think the carefully structured nature of Baroque music is a subconscious support for plotting.

I like to have a notebook and pen handy because I never know when I might get an idea for a plot twist, a character, or some event crucial to the book. I jot down all kinds of things, and being able to scribble helps when I’m working through a book.

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

Maybe it’s that I have four college degrees: BA and MA in history, Ph.D. in medieval history, and MS in Library Science. I’ve spent roughly 23 years of my life in school.

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

Move from a small town in Mississippi to the big city in Houston to attend graduate school. Talk about culture shock!

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

That they have spent time with characters they enjoy reading about. That I have helped them forget about other things for a few hours while they read. I read fiction to escape from the everyday world, and if I can provide that to my readers, too, then I consider I’ve done my job.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little of both, actually. I occasionally outline, if not the whole book, at least part of it. But I also like the looseness that comes from writing by the seat of my pants (some prefer to call it “organic” writing). I’m a strong believer in the subconscious, and letting it do its thing.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
I have a full-time day job as a medical librarian, and I also work four hours a week at Murder by the Book in Houston. So I manage to stay pretty busy. When I’m not working or writing, I love watching old movies, favourite old TV shows, and reading. I also enjoy traveling; I’ve been to England quite a few times.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Write what truly engages you. If you don’t like science fiction, for example, don’t try to write it just because you think it will sell. Also read, read, read.

R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

I’d be a full-time librarian, as I am already. If I had the talent, however, I’d love to be a symphony-level musician.

R: What new adventures are in store for Charlie and Diesel? What can we look forward to?

The fifth book in the series, The Silence of the Library, will be out in late January 2014. After that there is one more book under contract at present. The Silence of the Library revolves around a famous writer of juvenile mysteries and an exhibition of her life and work at the public library in Athena where Charlie volunteers.

R: Are there any writers in particular that have influenced your style of writing?

My favorites are Margery Allingham, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Georgette Heyer, and Mildred Wirt Benson (who wrote the early Nancy Drew books). I think that the classic English and American detective stories in general have influenced me greatly.

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

Definitely a historical mystery. I have ideas for a couple of different books, but with my current work and writing schedule, there’s no time for me to work on them.

R: What book is on your TBR shelf you can’t wait to get to?

Lucy Arlington’s Every Trick in the Book.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?  How about afternoon?

Dog or Cat? Both. I have two cats, and if I weren’t gone so long during the day I’d also have a dog or two.
Beach or Pool?   Pool, unless we’re talking Caribbean, then beach.

Steak or salad?  Can’t have one without the other!

Favorite Drink?  Diet Coke (or the occasional – very occasional – Margarita)

Favorite Book?  The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham, closely followed by The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Favorite TV Series?  “Bewitched”

Favorite Movie?  “The Philadelphia Story”

Favorite Actor: Cary Grant

Favorite Actress: Katharine Hepburn, followed closely by Elizabeth Montgomery

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Margarita!!

Hawaii or Alaska? I’ve been to Hawaii once, so I’d have to say Alaska, just because I haven’t been there yet

Finish this sentence: 

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be _no one.______I can’t see trading my problems for those of someone else. Now, if I could have J.K. Rowling’s bank account, I’d go for that!

Dean, thanks for a great interview! Folks, to find out more about Dean and the "Cats in the Stacks" mysteries, you can visit: the 10th of every month – usually mid-month

Dean is giving away 2 copies of the latest Cats in the Stacks mysteries, OUT OF CIRCULATION, to two lucky readers! Just leave your name and email address in our comments section. For extra entries, you can:
Friend the Human on Facebook
Friend Dean/Miranda James onFacebook
Friend moi onTwitter, @RoccoBlogger
Tweet or FB about this interview/giveaway (3 extra entries)

Winners will be chosen using and contacted by the Human, so it's important to leave that email address :)  Contest runs thru midnight, February 24.

The winner of our EJ Copperman giveaway is: KarenB! Watch for an email from the HUMAN!

Next week: I interview MOISHE and Joanne Fluke!

Incredible Blogging Cat

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And now a word from....EJ Copperman!

Meow! As many of you know, author E. J. Copperman is a good bud of myself and the Human, and EJ's fourth instalment of the Haunted Guesthouse series just released last week:  A Chance of a Ghost (which is fabulous, Btw - if you get a chance run, don't walk, to pick it up!)

We asked EJ to do a guest post for our readers, and so, without further ado....

EJ Copperman!

Hey, thanks ROCCO!

 Authors get requests from readers. We get emails and letters (and the occasional tweet or blog comment) from people who are very invested in our work, which is always unexpected and gratifying. Any author who tells you s/he doesn’t like hearing from readers is a liar. We have egos, and they need feeding.

 I always find it just a little amusing when they ask for things. I don’t mean readers who request signed bookmarks (as you can if you follow the instructions at or who want to know when the next book will be coming (February 5, and it’s called CHANCE OF A GHOST, thank you). I mean the people who write in—usually very politely almost to the point of shyness—and ask for specific events to happen in an upcoming Haunted Guesthouse novel. That one always stumps me just a bit. First of all, I’m flattered that someone is so clearly enamored of my books that the characters and situations have become important to them. That’s the only explanation for a request for a fictional event to happen. Clearly, this reader has been thinking about the story after having read it, and is so close to the characters emotionally that the reader can come up with something s/he hopes to see in a future book. But the excitement of finding a story you can connect to that deeply—a film, television show, play or book—should be in following the characters through the trials and tribulations their creators imagine. Wouldn’t it be a drag to know what’s in the beautifully wrapped box before you open it?

For the record, I never use the suggestions given to me by readers. There are any number of reasons that’s the case, not the least of which is that I want the books to be products of my imagination (and I don’t want to be sued). If I see such a suggestion coming, I’ll stop reading the email and send back a reply stating that I didn’t finish reading it past a certain point. I don’t want to know if there’s a plot point a reader has cooked up. What if I liked it?

But on those occasions when I have not read the signs correctly or just missed a cue, I have seen some suggestions for plot elements in what the reader assumes will be an upcoming book. Most of these are fairly predictable—a lot of female readers are hoping Alison Kerby (the part-time investigator and full-time proprietor of the Haunted Guesthouse) will find a nice guy to help her forget her ex-husband The Swine. I have also seen suggestions that Alison’s daughter Melissa (now 11 years old) might get her first crush (I assume Melissa’s had crushes, being a precocious child, but I haven’t asked). When the reader floats an idea for a mystery plot, however, those are not so easy to anticipate. (The reader who said it would be a good idea to kill someone and have the body show up in Alison’s bed is clearly reading a different series than the one I’m writing.) I try very hard not to read any of those.

I will note, however, that the request I’ve seen most frequently is for Alison and Melissa to adopt a pet. But I point out that in running an inn open to the public, Alison has to be careful about remaining as hypoallergenic as possible. So Alison et al will not be gaining a furry friend.

 Anytime soon.

E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The latest in the series, CHANCE OF A GHOST, debuted February 5. You can find out more—at EJ Copperman

Thanks for a great post, EJ!  Folks, i cant' say this enough: run out and grab a copy of this book!  It's a great series - even without a cat, meow!

EJ will be giving away a signed copy of CHANCE OF A GHOST to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment in the comments section with your email address. Winner will be chosen using  Contest runs through Midnight, February 17!  Don't forget, for extra entries you can friend the HUMAN on facebook, follow me on Twitter @RoccoBlogger, tweet or FB about this post (gets 3 extra entries) Just don't forget to list all you've done in your comment!
the winner of our Donna Grant giveaway is...VickiLake! Congrats, Vicki.  Watch for an email from THE HUMAN on claiming your prize!

Coming up next week - the author of the "Cats in the Stacks" Mysteries, Miranda James, pays us a visit! and to round out the month, on Feb. 25 - I interview MOISHE, courtesy of Joanne Fluke!
  We go "gato a gato" so to purr....


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Author DONNA GRANT in ROCCO's hotseat!

My guest today is NYT Bestselling author Donna Grant!
born and raised in Texas, her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. 
Her childhood dream was to become a professional ballet dancer and study under the amazing Mikhail Baryshnikov. Though she never got to meet Baryshnikov, she did make it to New York City and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later, Donna’s love of the romance genre and the constant stories running through her head prompted her to sit down and write her first book. Once that book was completed, there was no turning back.
 Her books include several complete series such as Druids Glen, The Shields, Royal Chronicles, Sisters of Magic, Dark Sword, Dark Warriors, and her new series, Dark Kings.
Despite the deadlines and her voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two young children, four cats, three fish, and one long haired Chihuahua. 

and's Donna! Meow!

R:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
I’ve always been a reader.  I was never without a book from a very early age.  I’d read anything I could get my hands on, and then one day when I was only 12, I was with my mom at her work waiting to go to the dentist when I found a romance book.  She loved them, so I started reading.  And I was hooked.  I read almost exclusively romance from that day onward.

It almost seems natural that after reading so much, my mind began to craft stories of my own.  It was my husband who pushed me to give writing a try, and after that first book, written in my own office at work while pregnant with my first child, I got hooked again – this time on wanting to be an author. 

R: Tell us about your new release from the Dark Warrior series, Midnight’s Warrior. What’s that about?
This is Ramsey’s book, and I’ve been dying to write his book since the moment he appeared in the Dark Sword series.  I knew he was going to be special and that he had secrets, but I didn’t know those secrets until well into the series.  And boy were they some big secrets!

MIDNIGHT’S WARRIOR is the 4th book in the Dark Warrior series that continues from the Dark Sword series.

R: Tell us about the latest release in your Shield series, A Warrior’s Heart?  How different are these two series and is there one series or character you prefer?
The Shield was the second series I ever wrote, but I always loved the characters.  When I got the rights back to the books, I re-read them, expanded on them, and revised them.  Then I got new covers done and I’ve re-released them myself.  AWH is the last book in the Shield series and features Gabriel, a man who can’t remember his past.  He fears what’s in his past, and he should, because the past is about to catch up with him.

The Dark Sword and Shield series is different because in the DW series, it’s the heroes that hold the paranormal power by having a primeval god inside them.  With the Shields, the paranormal is in the mythological creatures they fight and the Fae who help the Shields.

As much as I love the Shields, my favorite is the DW series. J

R:  Your Dark Warriors series focuses on the fiercest, sexiest warriors of Scottish legend.  How did you become interested in writing about Scottish legends? Is there a backstory to this?
Since the series begins with the Dark Sword series, it all started because I wanted to write a huge, sweeping series set in the medieval period.  I knew it had to be in Scotland (why?  Because of the Highlanders J).  Next was the question.  What if?  What if Rome didn’t leave as we’ve been told?  What if the reason there is so much speculation about the Druids is because they don’t want their true nature to be know?

Those questions continued as I put together the series.  Even when the series moved to modern times and began the Dark Warrior series, it will remain in Scotland.  I love it too much to move it anywhere else. J

R: Which of your character’s  adventures in your Dark Sword/Dark Warriors series was the most fun for you to write? Were any of them the least amount of fun?
I loved writing Hayden and Isla’s story (Untamed Highlander), and I had a lot of fun with Logan and Gwynn (Midnight’s Master), but I think my favorite to day is Charon’s book (Midnight’s Temptation – Nov 2013).  He and his heroine are some of my favorite characters ever.

R:  You and Lisa Renee Jones are hosting your first “fan convention”. How exciting is that and how did you get the idea to do somethig like this?
Lisa and I have been friends for years and always talked of hosting some kind of reader event, but there was always something that prevented it.  Then we realized we had the same release dates in the coming year, and everything just kinda fell in place after that.  We don’t write in the same genre, but we have some cross-over aspects in our books that makes it very easy to cross-promote for each other.

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?
Oh, everyone has an agent story. J  I’d been searching for some time, and had several interested, but no one wanted to touch my historical paranormal stories.  Then, I contacted an agent I’d met several times through a mutual friend.  She read my work immediately and offered representation three days later.

She loved my work, but was really intrigued with a series idea I had called the Dark Sword.  She asked me to put together a proposal for that, which I did in less than a week. She sent it out, and a month later she called to tell me I had an offer.

I was floored.  But that was only the beginning.  She contacted the other pubs who had it to let them know I had an offer on the table.  That next morning I had a second offer.  Out of the 6 publishers it was sent to, 5 wanted it. 

After all those months/years of hearing from agents that a historical paranormal story would never sell, I had all this interest.  It was so surreal, and even looking back now it’s hard to comprehend that it actually happened. J

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
I’ve been writing since I was pregnant with my first child.  I’ve written with an infant in my lap and a toddler playing on the floor beside me.  I’ve written with them screaming, in utter quiet, and anything in between.  But, those kiddos are 13 and 10 now, so not sure if I could do that again. Lol

As long as I can put in my earphones and turn up my movie soundtracks (King Arthur, Thor, Immortals, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, etc...) I can write anywhere.

R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
No historical moment exactly.  I’d just like to see the day-to-day living in medieval Scotland.

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?
Oh, that’s a hard one.  I love my Warriors (Dark Sword/Dark Warriors), but I think I might be leaning more toward my Dragon Kings from my Dark Kings series.

As for actors to play the Dragon Kings, that’s a toughie.  Chris Hemsworth is always a good bet, as is Hugh Jackman. J

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I’m a homebody.  I prefer to stay around my house for the most part, but about once a week I’ve got to get out. J

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 
If I tell you, I’ll have to kill ya. :D

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
That there is love out there, that relationships can get messy but if its love, its worth fighting for and not just walking away. 
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
My website –

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  Cat
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  steak
Favorite Drink?  French martini
Favorite Book?  Any
Favorite TV Series?  Right now Downton Abbey
Favorite Movie?  Can’t choose!
Favorite Actor:  too many to name
Favorite Actress: Kate Beckinsale
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 a commoner from medieval Scotland.

thanks for a great interview, Donna!
Donna will give away signed copy of MIDNIGHTS MASTER to one lucky reader! Leave your name and email addy in the comments section of this blog.  Winner will be chosen at random using and the contest closes on midnight, Feb 10!

for extra entries you can:
Friend me RoccoBlogger on Twitter
Friend the Human on FB
Tweet or FB about this blog/conte(3 extra entries!)

Next week:  EJ Copperman visits! Meow!
Coming up:  Miranda James, author of the Cat In the Stacks Mysteries! and Feb. 25 - Joanne Fluke and MOISHE! MEOW!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Another Monday Morning......

Meow, Kitties, it's another Monday morning! And February already? Where is this year going? LOL

I would like to call your attention to the fact our good friend EJ Copperman's latest Haunted Guesthouse book, A CHANCE OF A GHOST, is released tomorrow! If you  haven't yet tried this great series, now is a perfect opportunity!  EJ will be here with a guest post next week, BTW, so dont miss that!

Yesterday the Human and I "On Demanded" the January 24th episode of the JIMMY KIMMEL show, wherein his show was "taken over" by Matt Damon. If you get a chance, do watch it!  We have never seen a funnier episode!  Or so many guest stars! If that does not win an Emmy there is no justice in this world!

Okay, now, the winner of our Jaime Rush giveaway from last week is...Chris Bails! Watch for an email from the human, Chris, to claim your prize!

Tomorrow...Donna Grant! Interview and giveaway
Feb. 12 - EJ Copperman
Feb. 25 - Joanne Fluke and MOISHE!