Guest Blogger T.C. Lotempio – Can a Cat be Inspirational? Oh yes, especially if his name is ROCCO…..

Fred_ProfileCan a Cat be Inspirational? Oh yes, especially if his name is ROCCO….
By T. C. Lotempio

I have always been an animal lover, especially of cats. When my calico died a few years ago, I went to the Clifton Animal Shelter and adopted a handsome tuxedo cat named ROCCO. It soon became apparent that he is the “boss” of my family, which includes three other cats! But never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever expect him to be the driving force behind our blog,, or end up as the star of his own mystery series!

Well – to clarify – the series isn’t named after ROCCO. He was just the inspiration for one of the main characters, a feisty tuxedo cat named Nick. Nick’s a cool cat, one with a sharp mind who likes to play SCRABBLE, and spell out clues so his human, Nora, can solve mysteries! Volume One in the Nick and Nora mystery series, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, came out December 2, and if you enjoy cozy mysteries featuring a cat that was inspired by a cat, maybe you’d like to give it a try.

Here’s a brief synopsis, taken from the cover back:Untitled-13

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

Granted, ROCCO wasn’t the only inspiration for the series – but he was and is a large part of it! And he reminds me, every day, in his own catly way…I mean, you would think HE wrote the book! Although….in many ways, I think he did. But let’s keep that OUR secret. 

What are some things your pets do that inspire you to do different things? Leave a comment with your email address. I’ll pick two of the most interesting comments and send the commenters an autographed copy of “MEOW IF ITS MURDER” and a MEOW bookmark! And you can visit ROCCO (and me too) at our blog,, where we interview authors and have giveaways every month!

0 thoughts on “Guest Blogger T.C. Lotempio – Can a Cat be Inspirational? Oh yes, especially if his name is ROCCO…..”

  1. Very clever, T.C. As both a felinophile and a fan of Nick and Nora (Powell/Loy), I think a cat could do at least as well as Asta, who seemed to be always hiding under the bed at critical moments! Your post reminds us of how we weave together many aspects of our lives into the stories we create! What I’ve most learned from a succession of Siamese cats–4 over 44 years is that we humans are not as smart as we think we are and nothing beats a good nap!

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