I'd love to welcome author Toni LoTempio to my blog today for an interview and celebrate her paranormal romance book, Raven's Kiss. I'm excited to be part of the blog tour that's happening for the next month and I can't wait to see what everyone thinks! Toni's an amazing storyteller so I hope you enjoy the interview...
1. What gave you the idea behind writing Raven’s Kiss
Well, I’ve always been a big fan of the concept of parallel time, ever since I saw it on DARK SHADOWS years ago – and even though I do love vampires, I wanted to do something entirely different. I thought the idea of shapeshifting would be cool, and I also liked the idea of a hero with tremendous mental powers. I researched Scottish mythology and I knew I wanted to put some of that in there, too – I found it fascinating. The character of Raven just seemed to come naturally – I guess my forte is snarky strong women. LOL
2. In 2-3 sentences, can you share what Raven’s Kiss is about?
Basically, it’s a story about coping with change. Raven’s a mortal who got turned into a Shapeshifter by a demon’s bite, and she wants to bring him to justice. In the process, she travels to a parallel universe and meets a VERY hot Scotsman…
3. What was the most exciting part about creating the characters and storyline?
I’ve always loved writing confrontation scenes – I couldn’t tell you why, I just do. There’s something about good meeting evil I find fascinating.
4. What do you think is the most endearing quality about Raven ? What makes her an amazing heroine?
Her snarkiness is her most endearing quality to me – although some might find it off-putting. What you have to remember is that it’s a defensive shield for her, trying to cope as a supernatural being now rather than as a human. Her life didn’t turn out the way she wanted (yeah, I know, who’s does) and she thinks it sucks.
5. What were important traits you wanted Finn to have? Why did you think he’d be a perfect love interest?
I wanted Finn to be as strong or stronger as Raven, sympathetic to her plight (although not at first). And how can a hot-bodied red-headed Scotsman not be a perfect love interest LOL
6. Share your favorite lines from the story that make you swoon each time you read them.
Swoon? That would have to be the first description of Finn:
The face was what got me. It was all angles and planes, and looked as if it had been sculpted out of marble by one of the great artists, maybe even Michelangelo. He had a firm jaw, a sloping Roman nose, eyes that were wide set and greener than grass. And the lips—oh, yeah, baby! It was the lips that really got me. Full and sensual, they looked both capable of delivering a threat and kissing a woman into submission.
7. If your book could have a theme song, what would it be?
Time in a Bottle :)
8. I’m a complete cover whore and love this one. Who designed the cover?
A fantastic cover artist, Kimberly Killion, a very talented lady! Kim’s also an author of historical romances! You can visit her author website, www.kimberlykillion.com, or her cover design site, www.HOTDAMNDESIGNS.com
9. Is there anything new you’re working on?
Gosh, yes. I’m working on two novellas, sequels to Raven’s Kiss and Wicca, that I hope to have out by the Holidays. I just finished the first book in a new series about a vampire slayer allergic to vampires J and I’ve just rewritten a paranormal mystery about a mortal girl who writes for a gothic drama. I’m hoping one or both of the last two will interest a NY publisher, but if not – they will go indie. And, of course, I have my YA fantasy with the Dark Shadows tie-in set to debut early next year. That’s not counting my outlines for other, new books that I have scribbled in my notebook.
10. Anything you’d love to share with readers?
Yes – I just signed with an agent, Josh Getzler of SHG Literary Agency, so we will see where that takes me :)
I want to thank all of you who read my books and support me – YOU are the reason I do what I do! And do feel free to friend me (or Rocco, theSciFi blogging cat) onFacebook and Twitter, and watch my website, www.tonilotempio.webs.com, and the blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com for news on upcoming events! We have three author interviews scheduled for the month of June: Ashlyn Chase, Jeff Cohen, and a replay of Roccos interview with Janet Evanovich when the next Stephanie Plum book is released on June 21.
YAY! I'm excited to see there's more Raven's Kiss and WICCA (If you haven't read No Rest For The WICCA, definitely grab yourself a copy because it's awesome!)
* Raven's Kiss *
Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own.
To buy the book:
Next stop on the tour is
Hello! I’m Toni LoTempio, author of Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense/YA Fantasy! I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to read, when I didn’t like the endings of the stories my mother read me I simply rewrote them J Even though I write mainly in the paranormal genre, I have also written straight horror, as well as contemporary romance/suspense.
In 1995, I joined the staff of SUSABELLA PASSENGERS AND FRIENDS, a pulp magazine for collectors of antique children’s literature (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.) Currently I’ve written over 300 articles for that magazine, and I was the first recipient of their Margaret Sutton Award for Distinguished Writing in 1998. I joined the staff of NIGHT OWL REVIEWS IN January 2011 as the suspense reviewer/columnist. My column, DARK STREETS, which features articles on suspense authors and their novels, is featured on a monthly basis. I love to spotlight new talent, so if you’re a suspense author, please contact me!
In 2007, Whiskey Creek Press published BOUND BY BLOOD, a tale of possession, and EBONY, which deals with zombies and the dark side of man. EBONY was #2 on the Fictionwise bestseller list for e-books for the month of July 2007, beating out Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. (and no one was more shocked than I, LOL) In 2010, after countless attempts to land another agent, I took the advice of a fellow author HP Mallory, and self published NO REST FOR THE WICCA, which has been on Amazon’s list of top one hundred in Occult since March 2011. My short story, THE SACRIFICE, appears in the e-published anthology KISS ME KILL ME, and I also have a YA fantasy, MY SUPERHERO SISTER on B&N and Amazon. A complete listing of my books appears at the end of this bio.
Currently single, I work full time and live in Clifton, NJ, with my muses: Rocco, Maxx, Gata and Trixie. (Rocco is also known as Rocco the SciFi Blogging Cat and has appeared on the SciFi Saturday Night website and radio show, and also on the Kids Need To Read website where he holds the distinction of being the first (and possibly only!) blogging cat to support this charity!)
I love hearing from fans, so please feel free to friend me on FACEBOOK, and visit my website, www.tonilotempio.webs.com Rocco and I post daily M-F on his blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com