Please welcome Toni LoTiempo to Read My Mind today, as part of the RAVEN'S KISS virtual blog tour, courtesy of Bookish Snob Promotions.
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. 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!
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Toni LoTempio Books:
Bound by Blood – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback and e-book, Feb. 2007 (paranormal suspense)
Ebony – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback and e-book, July 2007 (paranormal suspense)
Witch’s Pawn – Echelon Press, trade paperback and e-book, December 2008 (horror)
Nom de Plume – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback and e-book, November 2008 (contemporary romance)
It’s in the Cards – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, February 2010 – (paranormal romance)
Out of the Ashes – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, May 2010 – Fantasy
No Rest for the Wicca – Amazon and Barnes and Noble Pub-It, e-book, September 2010 – paranormal suspense
I thought I’d talk today on how I became hooked on the paranormal genre!
My fascination with things that go “bump in the night” started when I was young – around nine or ten. My father loved horror movies (my mother couldn’t stand them – so we know who I took after LOL) and used to take me along when he went to the movies – the most notable one that stands out in my mind was “Black Sunday” with Barbara Steele. I remember being fascinated by the whole idea of a vampire who was also a witch, putting a curse on her exact double! And, of course, I loved all the scenes where there was burning at the stake! The fact the movie was in black and white only served to creep me out more!
As a youngster, I adored Nancy Drew – but as I matured and went into my teen years, I discovered the joys of Stephen King, John Saul and Dean Koontz! There was also afternoon fare to keep my taste for gothic drama sated – every afternoon at four p.m. I religiously watched DARK SHADOWS! I was so completely hooked on this gothic drama I confess I got a bit obsessive – but in the end it paid off. I wrote a letter to the VP of Daytime Programming at ABC telling him just how much the show meant to me. He forwarded my letter to Jonathan Frid, and shortly thereafter Frid’s secretary called me – I got to go down to the studio, meet him, and watch a taping! Quite a big thrill for a teenager, I can tell you!
So now we move into adulthood – and the plethora of paranormal suspense/romance books that are available! I have devoured practically every series I can get my hands on, and Iconfess many of them have influenced my writing today. I’m especially fond of Caitlin Kittredge’s NOCTURE CITY series, and Jill Myles Succubus Diaries, but I also enjoy Vicki Lewis Thompson, Kimberly Raye, Mary Janice Davidson as well as a new author I recently discovered: Ashlyn Chase.
Why do I gravitate toward the paranormal? Well, I honestly don’t know. There’s something about it that “calls” to me. And I do so love vampires, in any shape or form. Vampires in paranormal romance today are steamy and sexy, and there really are no hard and fast rules. Like Angel, some can walk in daylight (just not direct sunlight) some prefer the nightlife, some are just damn bloodthirsty while others fight on the side of humanity. I have a few vampire heroes in my books - in SOAPSUDS, SEX AND SILVER BULLETS (yet unpublished) Logan Slade is a detective. In NO REST FOR THE WICCA (indie, published through Amazon, details at the end of this blog) Cole St. John is a special forces agent for the PFSU - Paranormal Forces Special Unit.
The mystique of "the bite" never changes. Considered the ultimate sexual experience, in old lore people thought after 3 bites the victim turned into a vampire. Other mythology had the victim rising as a vamp after the vampire drained them of their blood. Another way to "turn" someone was to bite them, then have them drink their blood.
In summation, there are no hard and fast rules concerning vamps anymore - or any other type of creature for that matter! and isn't that great for us writers! We can create whole new worlds of vampiric hotness for you, the reader! (and for us, too!)
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…
Come back to Read My Mind on June 25th to see my review!
June 24th - Good Choice Reading
To see all of the blog stops so far, visit:
The Bookish Snob Promotions Raven's Kiss Tour Page