Purr M For Murder
by T.C. LoTempio
Starting Out as a Writer – Five Things You Should Know
by Toni LoTempio
One thing I hear a lot from new writers is what to expect, particularly if they are lucky enough to land an agent and even luckier to get offered a publishing contract. Here are some points every writer should know:
#1: Writing is a job, like anything else, and requires commitment. Whether you’re lucky enough to do it full time, or juggle it with a day job, you’re going to be at that computer at odd hours,on weekends,holidays, etc, what with deadlines, edits, etc. Your family and friends won’t understand deadlines or edits or why you seem to be glued to that chair and can’t make Aunt Louise’s 45th wedding anniversary party, but if you want to be successful, it’s vital you invest the time to make it so. Sadly, the books don’t write themselves – they require time, patience and commitment.
#2: Whether you are traditionally or self-published, I can’t stress enough the importance of online presence. In order for people to want to buy your book, they’ve got to know who you are and what you have to offer. Get on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest, LinkedIn, anywhere you can. Start a blog and begin to grow an audience. Establish yourself as a writer/author with a good, solid fanbase. Sales are the bottom line in publishing, and the only way to get sales is to entrench yourself with a solid fanbase. (Kind of like Kirstie Alley on Dancing with the Stars) J
#3: Also in conjunction with #2 – Promotion is a dirty word, but it’s got to be done. There’s a fine line between promotion and overkill, so be careful. Grow your presence, don’t use Facebook, Twitter or your blog solely to self-promote your books. Make Promotion a part of your online presence, rather than the focal point, or you may lose followers. Readers want to know something about you – your likes,dislikes, etc. It makes you “real” to them. Out of these online “friendships” grow loyal followers!
#4: Think before you post. You have opinions, sure, but don’t post anything on any social network about topics that are sure to anger someone. You don’t want to lose readers because you support a different Presidential candidate or on opposite sides of a timely issue, like birth control. It’s just simpler to keep your views out of the public eye and keep a low profile.
#5: If you haven’t already, grow a thick skin. When you put your work out there, it’s only natural some will love it and others will hate it,and still others wont’ care one way or the other. You’ll get glowing reviews and you’ll get others so bad you’ll want to crawl in a hole and pull it in after you. Just remember – you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of them all the time. Different tastes are what make up a world – just live and let live and get concentrating on your next book!
Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N6P3WYP
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.
Purr M for Murder is a marvelous start for this new series!
Sydney McCall has come back to Deer Park to help her sister Kat do some major fundraising and promotion for the local animal shelter. Almost everyone is happy about their first scheduled fundraising event. Trowbridge Littleton is making a major fuss and wants the whole thing shutdown. You would think since he is their landlord he would be supportive. The girls make a plan to meet with him and try to convince him the project is a great idea. When Syd arrives at his gallery the next morning she finds Kat already there. She also finds their landlord dead.
Syd gets another surprise when the police show up. One of the detectives is Will Worthington, is her old high school crush. She is not sure if this is a good or a bad thing because his partner clearly thinks the sisters, specifically Kat, is the prime suspect. So with a little assistance of that darling cat on the cover Sydney is pawing around trying to find plenty of alternative suspects and save her sister but she is also putting herself in danger.
I loved everything about this story. Friendly Paws Animal Shelter , a no-kill shelter, not only has friendly animals but friendly owners and volunteers. Their idea of bringing adoptable cats to a friend’s coffee shop for a pop up event sounds like so much fun. The entire town with the exception of Trowbridge Littleton seems to embrace the idea. But we find he is not a favorite with the community. There are many that are not too upset or surprised that the man is dead. The author gives us an abundance of suspects including his wife, his business partner and all of his tenants. Each character is unique and very enjoyable. They are all believable and the dialogue is spot on.
Now let me tell you about Toby. A handsome orange tabby who is a bit of a wanderer. Kat believes he is searching for his purrfect human companion and she thinks that may be Sydney. His wandering is a bit mysterious as he shows up in some unusual places. By the end of the story we see what a truly fantastic feline he is and if he does find his furr-ever home.
The pace of this book is quick. The mystery is well written and has several surprising twists taking us to a very exciting ending. There are some romantic sparks and funny scenes too. Add in the frisky felines and cuddly canines and you have a cozy mystery the will have you meowing for more. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!
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 www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”