Friday, March 30, 2012


Can you believe it's almost Easter/Passover already!  Gosh, this year is going so very fast - I have to spin my tail jsut to catch up!

Just a few things....

Next week - Q&A and giveaway with author KAREN DUVALL.....
Coming up - our promised character interviews will begin, kicking off with MaryJanice Davidson's "Queen Betsy" in June, followed by CASTLE (fanfic) with our fundraiser in July, and August brings us Sara Dearly (courtesy of  Michelle Rowen)

do you have any favorite characters you'd like to see me interview?  Do let The Human know. interview with a pug????????????  Yes, for all you dog lovers.....Sampson, Kristen Weber's dog, sits in my hotseat later this month!

and now I must rest my paws.....

have a PURRR-fect weekend.

Incredible Blogging Cat

Monday, March 26, 2012

ROCCO loves...KIDS NEED TO READ! Fundraiser Plans!


Anyone who knows me knows I'm a cat who likes to put his tail behind a worthwhile cause, and one of the best I've found is KIDS NEED TO READ, a charity co-founded by Nathan Fillion, PJ Haarmsma and Denise Gary.  Last year the HUMAN had a fundraiser and participated in an anthology whose proceeds went to KNTR (with my approval, of course).

Above is a photo of one of the co-founders, Denise Gary, with a picture I sent them!  (PJ and Nathan have similar photos) 

This summer the HUMAN will once again host a fundraiser, in conjunction with our new feature, character interviews - so you all can look forward to my fanfic interview with RICHARD CASTLE!  Yes, it will be my version of what woudl happen if I got mystery novelist Richard Castle in my hotseat! (and it's fiction because, yes, Castle is a character! Although I bet lots of folks think he's the real deal!) This time instead of donating portion of the proceeds of e-books, we will have an auction via Ebay - Castle DVD, possibly a script - it's gonna be good!

Also, watch for character interviews with Queen Betsy (MaryJanice Davidson) and Sarah Dearly (Michelle Rowen) in June and August, to celebrate the debut of UNDEAD AND UNSTABLE & BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND!

Next Karen Duvall in my hotseat - and a giveaway!
And the winner of our Dark Shadows giveaway is: paranormalbabe!  She will receive a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's RETURN TO COLLINWOOD.  Watch for your email from the Human!


Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In ROCCO's hotseat to welcome in Spring....CHARLAINE HARRIS!


Today I am honored to welcome in Spring with a very special guest…Ms. Charlaine Harris!

For those of you not in the know, Charlaine Harris is the creator of Sookie Stackhouse!  She is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing  mysteries for over twenty years.  She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League, in addition to being a member of the board of Sisters in Crime.
As noted above, Harris created  The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a northern Louisiana bar. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the  Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series has been released abroad in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Greece, Portugal, France, the Netherlands – and that’s just a few!

“Deadlocked” – the 12th Sookie Stackhouse mystery – will hit bookstore shelves May of this year.  Charlaine was good enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for moi, so, now, dear readers, without any further preamble – Ms. Charlaine Harris!

R:  Welcome, Charlaine. It’s an honor to have you in my “hotseat”

C: Thank you Rocco.

R: You had success writing conventional mysteries before delving into the world of urban fantasy with the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Which do you prefer to write and why?

C: There wasn't such a thing as urban fantasy when I began writing the Sookie novels about fourteen or fifteen years ago. To my mind, I was writing mysteries with a supernatural twist. That's what I'm still writing, so I love both.

R: What’s your favorite type of supernatural creature to write about?

C: I'm not much on either/or questions. The werewolves are fun because of their strength and their human side; the vampires are fun because they have so many limitations, but they're also very strong and very political. The fae have never been human, so that's a special challenge.

R: Can you share any details about upcoming releases?  What’s next for Sookie?

C: DEADLOCKED will be out in May, and it's the twelfth book in the series.  I'm going to begin work on the thirteenth and last Sookie sometime this week. I have a lot of threads to draw closed.

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

C: I have no idea. Readers have some strange ideas about what I'll be like, in their heads. Actually, I lead a pretty normal life. My time is consumed by the usual stuff: laundry, bills, writing, reading, letting the pets in and out.

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

C: That's a poser. When I was in college, I was walking through a hall in a classroom building, and it was totally empty. It seemed like the setting for a musical; so I danced down the corridor. It was fabulous.

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

C: I hope that they'll think about the underlying message of tolerance in my books, but if they miss that, I just hope they've a little vacation from their lives. I'm not a preacher. I'm an entertainer.

One last thing, gotta know:  Cats or Dogs?

 C: I love both. (R: Good answer!)  I had cats my whole life until I married my husband, who is allergic to them. (Please don't send me a list of suggestions for getting around this, because we tried everything.) So is my daughter. So now we have four dogs. We've had ferrets, too. They were very entertaining!

Thank you, Charlaine, for taking the time to chat with us today.
Folks, don’t forget to pick up your copy of DEADLOCKED, which hits bookstore shelves (and Kindles and Nooks) on May 1, 2012!

Also:  next week, March 27, DEAD RECKONING arrives in paperback! Mark your calendars!

To learn more about Charlaine and her works, visit her website:

Photograph of Ms. Harris courtesy of C. Radish

Don't forget our Dark Shadows giveaway still going on until midnight Friday...leave a comment about the new DS movie on our previous post and you could win a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's RETURN TO COLLINWOOD. (Winner chosen using - open to US residents only)

More interviews and guest blogs coming soon! In the meantime, be good.  And if you can’t be good….aw heck…BE BAD!


Sunday, March 18, 2012



OK, so the HUMAN and I watched the debut of Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows movie trailer on Ellen Thursday, and several times on You Tube thereafter (for those of you who might have missed it, here's a link: )

And the final verdict is: Confusion.

OK, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  It would appear from the trailer that the duo of Depp/Burton went more of a comedic route versus a straight horror story, but...

I repeat...we're confused.

the whole charm of the original 1960's gothic soap was the fact that, even though there were TONS of bloopers and the dialogue was too campy to be believed, the actors played it like they were doing Macbeth at the Royal ShakespeareanTheatre.  They took the whole damn thing seriously, like vampires, witches and werewolves really did exist and this show was no different from DAYS OF OUR LIVES or ONE LIVE TO LIVE, when, in fact, it was.

But...we have to take into consideration times have changed.

this is 2012, not 1968-69, when DARK SHADOWS was considered a novelty and at the height of its popularity.  In the years since DS went off the air, we've been inundated with the paranormal, in books and television and movies.  Vampires are no longer something to be feared, as in the days of  Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee; although they retain thier air of mysteryt and confident sexuality, thier charm has become more blatant.  Vampires have become an object of lust and desire more so than ever: If you doubt that, just take a look at some prime examples: Edward Cullen of Twilight, Stefan or Damon of The Vampire Diaries are good ones.  the role of Cullen so elevated the actor who portrays him, Robert Pattinson, to star status that he was voted in a recent poll "the  man women would most leave thier husband for"  (Sorry, George Clooney!)

In the day, Jonathan Frid was idolized by hundreds of thousands of women who would stop whatever they were doing at four o'clock in the afternoon to switch on Dark Shadows.  He enjoyed a pop culture/sort of sex symbol status rivaling that of Edward Cullen and Stefan and Damon. (or, rather, his character did).  Women sent him fan letters offeirng him thier jugulars, as well as other parts of ther anatomy.

But Dark Shadows was a rarity, a one of a kind, unique in its time.  To do a remake in exactly the same vein (honest, no pun intended) seems...well, sacriligious, in a way.  We all know how remakes do. (take a look at Bewitched, the movie - need I say more?). Plus, we're playing to a different audience now.  the largest percentage of moviegoers today fall into the 18-25 demographic, and, let's face it: the Dark Shadows of the 1960's would not cut it with them.

So, will devout DS fans in the 50+ agegroup (where most of them fall) like this film?  Maybe, maybe not.  I have a feeling those in their teens or twenties will love it. It appears to have the right blend of comedy and romance that will appeal to that crowd. Because, in the end, Dark Shadows wasn't a horror show, or a was a love story. A tale of unrequited love between Barnabas and Josette, a triangle between Barnabas, Josette and the evil witch, Angelique.  And even though Barnabas fell in love at the drop of a hat (Josette, Vicki Winters, Maggie Evans, Roxanne Drew, Lady Kitty Hampshire...cripes, everybody EXCEPT the one woman who remained faithful to him through everything, Julia Hoffman) the love story was always front and center.

Well the HUMAN will be at the theatre May 11, waiting to view the film in its entirety (becasue, let's face it - you really can't tell all that much from a trailer).  I shall await the debut of DARK SHADOWS via On Demand.  Will it be different from the soap? Heck, yes. And it should be, for the simple reason that, just as Barnabas was confused waking up in 1972, what played so well to us in 1969 won't be the same in 2012.

Dark Shadows has fallen prey to our changing times, and that's where the confusion comes in for those of us a bit reluctant to let the past go.  But go it must, and hopefully for the better.  Comedy or horror, as long as there's a love story, I say....onward! It's all the characters, a bit more modernized, after all.  We've just got to wipe the slate clean and view it with a fresh mind:  hard, I know, but once again, a sign of the times.  and for those offput by Depp's garish  makeup, let's not forget:  when Barnabas went back in time to 1897, his skin was white kitties!  And yes, there were those dark circles under his eyes! (see photo above)

To sum up, some will love it, some will hate it - mostly DS purists.  No one's right or wrong.  Dark Shadows, like every other remake, is tailored for the time era it's remade in - but only time itself will tell if the Depp/Burton remake will carve a niche for itself in history like the original soap opera. What do you think?  Leave your comments with your email addresses below, and one lucky reader will win a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's, Return to Collinwood!  (Contest closes Friday, March 23, midnight EST. Open to US residents ONLY, sorry.)

Enough of my soapbox, kitties!  Get ready, becasue not only is Tuesday the first day of
Spring - it's the day CHARLAINE HARRIS sits in my hotseat.  (Speaking of vampires, right? Charlaine is the creator of the Southern Vampire series - for those of you who live under a rock, that's the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood HBO series!)

It's something you won't want to  miss!


Thursday, March 15, 2012



Firstoff, I  must do a "shout-out" (or would this be a meow-out???)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROTHER, MAXX!  He is 4 today, and a great older brother. I cannot think of anyone I love to wrestle to the ground and sink my teeth into his neck more! And the guy jsut lies there and takes it, succumbing to my tuxedo superiority.....

In other news....

Our good friend ASHLYN CHASE 's novel, The Vampire Next Door is a finalist in the Award of Excellence contest given by the Colorado Romance Writers! If you have not picked up this book, I urge you to do so IMMEDIATELY!  As well as the other two books in the trilogy - they are funny, sexy and fantastic!

Trying my best to find a DARK SHADOWS trailer, and this is the best I came up with so far:

Watch ELLEN today for a preview of the trailer!

For those of you who loved the series, you might like the HUMAN'S YA paranormal romance/fantasy, DEMONS AND FIRE, whose main character is named Vicki Winters and the book definitely has pop culture/tie-in to the 60's gothic soap.

it is available in kindle, nook and paperback on Amazon and B & N:

The HUMAN's co-worker, Jeff Taormina, did the fab cover!

OKay, kitties...don't forget our Salute to Spring kicks off next week with....CHARLAINE HARRIS in my hotseat!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beware the Ides of March....not just another Clooney movie!

It's true...The Ides of March is not just another George Clooney movie (although it was quite good.) It actually refers to the 15th day of March in the Roman Calendar.The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.

In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed. He was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by  Brutus and Cassius. A seer had foreseen that Caesar would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey Caesar met that seer and joked, "The ides of March have come", meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Ay, Caesar; but not gone."[This meeting is famously dramatized in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the seer to "beware the Ides of March

Hence, "Beware the Ides of March" has become a popular sort of warning in pop culture.  And no, I'm not usually this smart this early in the morning. Iget my info from Wikipedia, of course! Meow!

Well, no reason to beware the "Ides of March" this year. Thursday I'll give Y'all a glimpse into what we have coming up this year, share some news, and....yes, talk about St. Patrick's Day!  (We cats like it, too! - although is LoTempio Irish?????)

And dont forget our Spring Kickoff next week with Charlaine Harris!



Thursday, March 8, 2012

THE HUMAN makes Paromantasy's top 25!


It appears I must announce that the Human's Urban Fantasy, RAVEN'S KISS, has been included in Paromantasy's listing of BEST ROMANCE/UF BOOKS of 2011! along with other such notable authors as Stacy Kennedy, Rose Pressey, Felicity Heaton, Camilla Chafer,HP Mallory, Traci Slatten and more!

Here's the link if you are so inclined:

You can also check out the sidebar - and also check our the novella sequel, RAVEN'S QUEST! (Review coming soon from Paromantasy!)

We will be adding a new feature to the blog - interviews with fictional characters! IN some instances the character will be voiced by the creator, and in others it will be fan fiction, strictly out of the fertile imagination of yours truly, ROCCO THE SCI FI BLOGGING CAT!  So look for interviews with characters such as Queen Betsy Taylor, Sarah Dearly, Richard Castle, and others!

I've just finished up typing my first novel - hard work!  So I do believe my tired paws are entitled to a break :)

Do continue to visit and enjoy our Q&A with Margarita Felices (Prior Post) and next week we shall catch up on news on Dark Shadows, Nathan Fillion, Kids Need to Read, and assorted other topics.

On deck to help us welcome Spring: A Q&A with CHARLAINE HARRIS! Coming March 20!

And more to come....

Have a great weekend


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In my hotseat - Margarita Felices!

Meow! Today I’m happy to have new writer Margarita Felices in my hotseat! Margarita has a dark paranormal out now, JUDGEMENT OF SOULS, that’s garnering great reviews on Amazon and B&N, so we invited her over to sit in my hotseat!

R: Welcome, Margarita!
M: Thanks, Rocco!

R: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer?
M: I live in Cardiff. For all its modernisation, there are still remnants of old Victorian Cardiff. I love the castle in the centre of the city and the fact that you have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other side of Cardiff.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.   I’ve always loved to write.  My teachers at school used to limit me to no more than ten pages.  I wrote short stories for magazines, it paid my way through college.

R: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
M:  Supernatural stories, they are fun and you can let your imagination run riot.  I wrote a romantic story once as a screenplay.  I might re-write it as a novel one day, I liked the story.
R: What have you had published to-date? Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?
M:  My first novel Judgement of Souls has just been published as an eBook by and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.  I love Rachel, my main character – she’s strong and independent, but I do admit to having a soft spot for Daniel, the club owner.  I had a few short stories published in a few women’s magazines some years ago. I didn’t keep copies of the magazines but I do have the stories saved.  I re-wrote one of them recently and sent it to BTGN as a short story.

R: Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you have any plan to write any eBook-only stories? And do you read eBooks?
M: Yes my novel is available, but only as an eBook.  For now I’m happy with that, it reaches a lot more people and eBooks are the way forward.  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to see my story as a paperback some day, but for now I’m happy with this.  I didn’t have much to do with the epublishing process, I left the whole process to BTGN, they knew what to do and I thought I just might mess it up.  I did a lot of editing before we agreed with the finished product, I deleted almost ten thousand words, but the story flows so much better and I couldn’t be happier.  I do read eBooks.  The last one I read was Journey in Time by Chris Karlsen.  I’ve just downloaded the next story in the series.

R: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
M: Well I have to admit that I did have pictures of who I would love as my leads to help me write them better.  For Max I used Jared Leto, something about his eyes that just matched how I imagined Max’s are perfectly.  For Rachel, perhaps someone who looks a little like Juliet Landau, I saw a picture she posted on my Facebook page and she looked different to the character she played in Buffy. And Daniel, well I used Aidan Turner. The people I write about at the club are actual people!  The club is real, albeit named different, it has a credit at the start of the book, take a look.   I used these actors to help me get a perspective on my characters, but I haven’t a clue to who I would really use. I’ve not thought of my novel going that far. But now you mention it….

R: What are you working on at the moment / next? Do you manage to write every day?
M: I’m writing book two of the Judgement of Souls trilogy.  I’d like to write everyday but it’s not always possible, I have a full-time job so I try and fit writing in when I can.  I carry a Dictaphone so that if I get ideas I can record them for later.

R: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
M: I plot step by step.  Each page has a sub-line of what is meant to go on that page and then I just write that section when I think about it.  I have the beginning written in the next novel, then a few blank pages, then more writing etc etc.  I even have what I’d like for the end!

R: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
M: I form my characters on people I see almost everyday, but with a twist.  The names, well I try not to make them too romantic and unbelievable, I like names that are old but still used today.  But I have made up a few.

R: Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop etc., do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?
M: I write better at home and usually at night.  I have the TV on or I listen to music, I need background noise.

R: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
M: I write in the third person.  Mind you, sometimes I get it mixed up so my editor corrects me.

R: What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
M: How hard it is.  It’s not just sitting down and writing. I had a hard hitting editor who returned my first draft and made it look like a bloodbath!  It was a surprise.  But the end result is something you can’t possible imagine, you’ve brought these people to life and you control their lives. I love it.
And I think the worse is having that great idea and by the time you get to write it down, forgetting it! And marketing.   I’ve never contacted so many people, websites and groups since the book became LIVE on the 27th December 2011.

R: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or invite three people, hiding the takeaway containers)?
M: I would definitely invite Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Anne Rice.  Can you imagine what kind of conversation we would have around the table?  I’d be frightened to go to sleep that night I can tell you.  But I bet I’d get a great story from it all. I love seafood and pasta, so perhaps that and maybe some Sushi.

R: Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
M: It’s a wrap.  And perhaps, that was your final edit!  I did write a funny section in Judgement of Souls. I howled because I thought it was funny – but my editor decided it didn’t suit the mood and cut the section out!

R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
M: I love taking pictures.  When I’m not doing that I also have three dogs and playtime is a twenty-four hour job. They can play fetch all day!

R: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
M: I’m a Facebook addict.  I’ve targeted every Gothic / Vampire / Writers page on there, plus a few external Vampire / Gothic websites that would be interested in the genre. I’m going to look up a few Romantic websites and see if they’re interested in doing a Vampire Romance review.  I’ve signed on to Twitter (@felicm60) but haven’t come to grips with it yet.  I’m following around 107 people on it and I have around 40 followers.  I will get around to doing a lot more on it soon, but right now I’m a Facebooker!

R: Where can we find out about you and your work?
M: At the moment you can contact me via 
I’m in the middle of having a website made for me and I’m getting a Book Promo done.

R: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
M: This is a series of 3 books. I started at the end. There isn’t anyone who will be able to tell me why I did that. When these three are finished, I’d like to write some shorter stories about Daniel and Rachel and maybe their quest to find supernatural occult items and somehow tie them in to working for The Righteous.  That should be interesting!

R: Do you have any advice for other writers?
M: Don't give up. If you have a story that is dying to be told, then work hard to tell it. But make sure you are doing your best work and you get an editor that can help you make the most of your manuscript.
Don’t give up even though you may get rejection letters.  If everyone thought like that there’d be no books, no films.  Keep writing, even if its dribble! Then read, re-read and edit.  Try and write a little each day.  One hundred words a day is seven hundred a week, twenty-eight hundred a month and one hundred words a day is so simple!
And carry a Dictaphone or a notebook and pen!

R: And now, JUST FOR FUN!

Movie: Many! Interview with the Vampire, The Crow, Pirates of the                                         Carribean…to name a few.
Author:          Anne Rice and Stephen King!
Book:              Interview with the Vampire (but I love Stephen King, too!)
TV Show:       Criminal Minds, Bones, Dr. Who, Torchwood
Detectives or Demons?  Detective…no Demon…no Detective…Demon…grrr a tie?
Mountain or Lake?   Lake
Sunrise or Sunset:    Sunset. I love the night!
Cat or Dog?               Dog…I have 3…(R: 3 dogs, eh?  Well…okay)

Thank you for sharing with us, Margarita! Folks, hop on over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and check out JUDGEMENT OF SOULS, or check it out at her publisher’s site:

Coming soon: Charlaine Harris sits in my hotseat! MEOW!
And here's just a brief sampling of who we've got coming up in the coming months:  Q&A's with Queen Betsy, Sarah Dearly and Richard Castle; also Victoria Laurie and Jeaniene Frost; and the return of some of our old friends!

Sci Fi Blogging Cat

And for those of you who missed it, below is my Night Owl Review of Judgement of Souls:

Review – Judgement of Souls - Four Stars

JUDGEMENT OF SOULS is a dark paranormal in the tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King.  New author Margarita Felices has a way with words that results in characters so vividly drawn, you expect them to leap out of the pages.  The pacing is excellent as well.  As a big fan of Stephen King (the early works) I was drawn to this novel because it brought back memories of the first King book I ever read: Salem’s Lot. Not for the faint of heart. Recommended for those who like their vampires…and their paranormals…dark. – Rocco LoTempio

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coming Attractions....Charlaine Harris; and the winner is.....


Well, kitties, it's true. The wonderful CHARLAINE HARRIS has agreed to sit in ROCCO's hotseat for a brief Q&A!  That will be our "welcome to spring" special posting, airing March 20!
Tomorrow we welcome a new indie author - Margarita Felices - to our hotseat!

and now...the winners of our Caitlin Kittredge giveaway!

You will receive an email from The Human shortly - please respond with your snail mail addys so that Caitlin can send out your books!

Until tomorrow,