New cozy cat mystery: Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy<<<Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.


About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at and

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog | Website | Amazon | Twitter



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New Painting Cozy and Interview: A Palette for Murder

>>>Enter to win A Palette for Murder in paperback (U.S. Only)<<<

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.
<Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

Q: Sybil, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist? 

SJ:   Aurora (Rory) Anderson is in her late twenties, a freelance computer programmer and tole/decorative painting enthusiast. She was adopted at age 2 when her birth parents (a couple of serial arsonists) died in a fire of their own making. She didn’t learn this until right before the first book in the series, FATAL BRUSHSTROKE, so that’s something she’s dealing with. And she now lives in the town where her birth parents went on their arson spree.

Q: How much of you is in Rory?

SJ:  I think all of my characters have a bit of me in them, some more than others. Rory and I have quite a bit in common. I was in software development for 20 years; she’s a freelance programmer. We both share a love of tole/decorative painting and we’re both a bit klutzy. I would really like her. She’s caring and compassionate and will stick up for her friends and family. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have faults, but she’s overall a likeable person to me.

Q: This is the third Aurora Anderson mystery. Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

SJ:  Rory, in particular, is slowly changing as she deals with what her birth parents did when she was little. Her adoptive parents, Arika and Swan Anderson, took her away from Vista Beach when she was small so she wouldn’t have to grow up with the stigma of what her birth parents had done. But they moved back a couple years ago and there’s still some antagonism around town, though it is cooling off as people get to know her. The town’s chief of police, Redmond Marshall, is also changing. His wife and young daughter were killed in one of the arson fires years ago. It’s hard for him to trust Rory, especially since she’s the spitting image of her birth mother, but he’s learning.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean? 

SJ:  All the time! I suppose I shouldn’t admit that. I’d never intentionally hurt anyone in real life, of course, but killing someone on the page… If someone annoys you, it’s rather cathartic. But, I would never use that person’s real name. Who I’m killing off in a story is between me and the book.

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

SJ:  My books take place in Vista Beach, a fictional Los Angeles county beach town that I’ve modeled after the beach cities in the area in which I live. I try to take elements that are peculiar to cities on the coast. e.g. in A PALETTE FOR MURDER there’s a chalk art festival which is loosely based on the chalk art festival that is held every year in Redondo Beach.

Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?


SJ:  This is a really tough question. Some authors have particular actors in mind when they write their characters, but that’s not me. I do have a vision of what each one would look like, though.

Rory (main character) – Whoever plays Rory needs to be tall since Rory is 6 feet. I think I’ll go with Mandy Moore who is in “This is Us”. She exudes a girl next door vibe, which is how I see Rory.

Liz (Rory’s BFF/sidekick) – Kimiko Glenn best known for “Orange is the New Black”. She shares a common heritage with Liz. I saw an interview with her about “Waitress,” the musical she’s in. I think she’d make a good Liz.

Detective Green – Daniel Gillies who plays Elijah on “The Originals”.

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

SJ:  The best: Just write! Forget about those doubts and fears swirling around in your head. Forget about what everyone else is doing. Tame those inner demons and write, write, write!  The worst: Anything that is an absolute, that says that every writer must do this or that. Every writer is different. We’re all on our own journeys. What’s good advice for one person may not be good advice for another.


About The Author –

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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New Pet Mystery with Giveaway and Character Interview: Custom Baked Murder by Liz Mugavero

>>>Get a print copy of Custom Baked Murder<<<

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

Q: Stan, thanks for dropping by Island Confidential! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Stan Connor: Hi readers! Thanks for stopping by the blog today to get to know me a bit better. I’m Stan Connor, and I live in Frog Ledge, Connecticut. My life was pretty normal until I moved here and started stumbling over dead bodies way too often. But you guys already know that. So, something you might not guess? Well, how about this – I had serious confidence issues until I moved here and found my real purpose in life. Yep, it’s true. Despite the fact that I was a corporate big shot, I had no confidence in myself as a person – it was all about who I was with the suit on. I moved here and learned that yes, I can create new relationships, a new business, and basically an entire new life from scratch and be a much happier person for doing it. It’s been a wonderful lesson.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

SC: Oh, that’s a tough one! It’s a toss up between my amazing boyfriend Jake McGee and my lovely friend Izzy Sweet. Jake is simply everything I always wanted in a man but never thought I’d find. He’s kind, funny, attentive, dependable, loyal, and sexy as all get out. And Izzy? She was my first friend here. She’s definitely unique. I met her and felt like I’ve known her for years and could tell her absolutely anything. She listens, she’s not intrusive, and she always gives good advice. Plus, she’s in charge of the town’s best coffee and sweets – of course we get along!

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

SC: I think everyone who’s been reading knows that Trooper Jessie Pasquale and I have butted heads a few (hundred) times. She doesn’t approve of my penchant for dead people, and she definitely doesn’t approve of me butting in to help figure out who killed them! At the beginning of our relationship we really struggled with each other. It didn’t help that she’s Jake’s sister. But over time, we’ve…come to an understanding. I mean, we still like to duke it out (figuratively, of course) for the sake of it, but we’ve developed a mutual respect for each other. Although the bickering has become fun, I must admit.

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

SC: My author…well, you promise you won’t tell? She makes me nervous sometimes when we have a deadline and she’s procrastinating! I mean, we have an important story to tell here. This is my life, you know? And sometimes she just wants to watch Gilmore Girls and ignore me. I admit I’m a bit neurotic when we’re in the middle of a mystery, but I just want to make sure everything turns out okay in the end. And that we don’t miss our deadline!

Q: Stan, what’s next for you?

SC: We – my author and me – are working on book six in the series now. It’s a Christmas mystery, and unfortunately Santa ends up dead in his sleigh as he rides up to light the Frog Ledge Christmas tree. As if that’s not enough, there’s a case of mistaken identity, a missing crazy uncle, and a little international intrigue we all have to figure out. It’s going to be a fun ride – if that author of mine ever gets it written!

Thanks for having me! xo, Stan

About the Author

Liz Mugavero has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. Before that, she would tell them to anyone who would listen (not many at the time). After deciding early on she would write books for a living, she practiced by writing bad, angst-filled poems, short stories and even a storyline for a soap opera–all by age 15. She never wavered from her goals despite all the usual questions including, “So are you going to be an English teacher with that degree in English?” or, “That writing thing sounds nice, but how are you REALLY going to make a living?”

She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.

Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.


Facebook Author Page |Amazon Author Page | Twitter  | Goodreads Author Page  | Website B&N 


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New Cozy and #Giveaway: Cat Got Your Diamonds

>>>Enter to win two Geek Girl books from Julie<<<

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?Early Praise:

“In all that New Orleans heat and glitter, there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A fun read.”

Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series

“Everyone needs a Furry Godmother! A delightful new series steeped in the flavor of New Orleans and its old families. Julie Chase’s clever characters are guaranteed to make you smile.”

Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Paws & Claws mysteries

“A stunning debut… Julie Chase’s new series is a cross between Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking series and Ali Brandon’s Black Cat Bookshop. A fantastic start to what looks like a promising cozy series. Even if you are not a cat/dog lover, you will love this one!”

T. C. LoTempio, author of the national bestselling Nick and Nora mystery series.

Q: Julie, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us something about your protagonist, Lacy?

A:  Lacy Marie Crocker is from one of New Orleans’ wealthiest families, but she’s never quite fit in. She chased her dreams of making a life for herself, outside the family fortune, all the way to Virginia, but when a broken heart causes an unexpected change in plans, Lacy heads home to the city she loves. She quickly puts her fashion degree and love of animals to use making custom clothing and costumes for pets by opening Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery. Lacy is curious, smart and determined, all the things I love in a woman. Better still? She’s kind, loyal and compassionate, all the things I love in a human.

Q: How much do you have in common with Lacy?  

A:  There’s a lot of me in all my characters, I think. They’re made of my thoughts, opinions and experiences. Good and bad. Kind and evil. They’re all inspired by something I’ve seen, heard or lived. I make strong, smart and determined heroines because those are qualities I admire and aspire to have. If I could sit down and talk to Lacy in person, I’d be there all night. I think she’s fabulous.

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A:  Definitely. In Cat Got Your Diamonds, Lacy comes home to lick her wounds and make a place for herself in a society where she never really fit in. I’ve just finished writing book three, and in less than a year’s time, she’s made a place for herself, while being herself, in that world. She even develops a friendship with her mother, the woman who has driven her bananas for thirty years. Also, the love triangle that emerges in book one takes a distinct turn in book three as the dynamics between Lacy and Jack, and Lacy and Chase evolve. Steadily, her shop, Furry Godmother, makes a name for itself and so does she. Lacy is continuously unraveling who she is, where she belongs in this life and what exactly that means.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

A:  Ha! That’s a great question! No… I don’t have it in me. I’m a professional conflict avoider. I’m the woman who never thinks of what she should say in the face of a meanie until hours later, long after the creep is gone. Then, I act out the one-sided argument in my shower until I feel vindicated.

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A:  My Kitty Couture series takes place in the Garden District of New Orleans, which is, of course, a real place, but the story happens in a very fictionalized version of this neighborhood. For example, Furry Godmother isn’t an actual store on Magazine Street, but Magazine Street is an actual street in the Garden District. For me, finding the right mix of fact vs fiction was a tough one, but I hope the result is a delicious escape.

Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

A: Oh, fun! I’d love to cast this show LOL! I’m a very visual person, so I actually kept a pin board of characters up as I wrote, and I used pictures of Ian Somerholder as Detective Jack Oliver’s character, Stephen Amell for Chase Hawthorne, and Jennifer Lawrence is Lacy Marie Crocker.

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A:  The worst advice I’ve seen about writing is that aspiring authors should stick to one genre. I’ve seen tweets and blog posts dedicated to admonishing newbie writers who “genre jump,” calling the behavior amateurish. It’s total nonsense. If you have a story to tell, then tell it. If it’s a horror story today and a romance tomorrow, so what? Writers are creative people by definition. Of course we’re going to have a multitude of ideas. That’s completely understandable. What’s crazy is telling us to get inside one box. I say, fly free young writers! FLY!

Best advice: Don’t give up. No matter how bad today looks, tomorrow will be better. You have no idea how close you are already. You can’t give up now. And that advice covers more than just writing.

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.





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