Friday, April 18, 2014

The Whole Cat and Caboodle (+Giveaway)

It’s a pleasure to welcome author Sofie Ryan to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE, the first book in her new Second Chance Cat Mystery series.

The cover of this brand new series is so inviting, but it may be missing something. Sofie stops by to tell us what it is. In addition, thanks to Sofie and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of this fun book:

        Sarah Grayson runs Second Chance, a repurpose shop in North Harbor, Maine. When her beloved grandmother volunteers Sarah to teach one of her do-it-yourself workshops for free to a group of seniors, Sarah ends up discovering the body of Arthur Fenety. She also reconnects with hunky Nick Elliot, an investigator for the medical examiner’s office.
        It turns out the charming, silver haired Fenety was a con artist with a string of wives and fiancés, who were all left a lot poorer after their time with the man. Since he’d been in North Harbor, Fenety had been seeing Madeline Hamilton, and when the police arrest Maddie for Fenety’s murder, her friends — including Nick’s mother, Charlotte — decide to investigate.
        Sarah has never forgotten how kind Maddie was when Sarah’s father died, and she refuses to believe the older woman could hurt anyone. Before she knows it, Sarah and her would-be detectives, with some help from Mr. P., a geriatric computer whiz, and Elvis, a cat with an uncanny nose for sniffing out the truth, are on the trail of a cold-hearted killer.

Please join me in welcoming Sofie, who is going to tell us about ‘Cats, Dogs, and Buxom Blondes.’

What do you have against dogs, an email I got a couple of weeks ago began. There are never any dogs in your books. For the record, there is one dog in my Magical Cats series that I write as Sofie Kelly, a German shepherd named Boris, but so far, there’s only a cat, Elvis, in the Second Chance Cat mysteries. No dogs, no fish, no gerbils. 

And for the record, I don’t have anything against dogs even though I am a cat person. Two houses from mine there’s a wonderful golden retriever named Mona. When I go out to shovel she comes over to keep me company. We’ve spent a lot of time together this winter. All the cats in the neighborhood have the good sense to stay inside when it snows.

Before I became a writer I was a late night disk jockey. Back in the early 80s, tuned in to the right place on the 9780451419941_medium_The_Whole_Cat_and_Caboodledial, you would have heard my voice in between songs from the Rolling Stones and Air Supply. I even had my own fan club of sorts. Yes, my fans were mostly guys. Yes, most of them had a thing for my voice and definite ideas about how I looked. And they were almost always disappointed when they finally saw me in person. You see it seems that on the radio, I sounded like a tall blonde. That's right, blonde. And, apparently, I also sounded… endowed.

In reality I'm a short brunette and no one would ever call me statuesque. But it never failed. I'd be out doing a public appearance, and at least one man would come up to me and say, “But I thought you were blonde,” in a voice that was a mix of annoyance and disappointment. And he’d never be looking at my face when he said it.

I learned a lot of things working in radio. I heard an amazing number of swear words used in some pretty creative ways. (I worked with seven guys.) I could give you a list of one-hit wonders. I could tell you more than you probably want to know about the Rolling Stones and Air Supply. And I learned that you're never going to make everyone happy. Some days you're not going to make anyone happy. Still, I hope you like the first book in the Second Chance Cat mysteries, THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE. And it’s okay if you’re not a cat person. Trust me. Not everyone likes Air Supply, either.

Sofie, thanks so much for joining us today. It’s funny that a reader wanted a dog in your book. I don’t think I’ve ever considered someone’s hair color just by listening to their voice, interesting.

Here’s a bit of background on Sofie …..

Sofie Ryan is the pseudonym of young adult writer and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer.
For more on Sofie, visit her website.

Now for my thoughts on 

When a spunky cat is among the main characters in a book, I can’t resist.
In author Sofie Ryan’s THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE, a lovable black cat named Elvis is front and center. Elvis is cared for by Sarah Grayson, owner of Second Chances, a repurpose shop.

Sarah is busy with her shop and doing volunteer workshops at the senior center. When one of her grandmother’s friends – Madeline Hamilton – is arrested for murdering her boyfriend, Sarah steps up to help (if nothing else than to keep her grandmother and her friends out of trouble). It seems the boyfriend, Arthur Fenetry, had a good many wives, even more girlfriends and was busy scamming everyone.

Sarah, aided by Elvis and a group of zany seniors, searches for the real killer amid a few twists and turns.

The author has developed a group of realistic characters with likable personalities and humor. She combines the various age groups in a loving and respectable manner. Ryan blends the suspense of the murder, the mystery of the killer and the light-hearted humor of her characters into a well-balanced read.

The setting of North Harbor, Maine, is quaint and inviting. Ryan’s vivid descriptions brings the area to life.

You don’t have to be a cat lover to enjoy THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE. But if you are a cat lover, you’ll enjoy the antics of Elvis. This is an energizing start to a fun-loving new series that promises to regale cozy mystery lovers.

The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan, Second Chance Cat Mystery Book #1, Signet, @2014, ISBN: 978-0451419941, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


This giveaway is for one print copy of THE WHOLE CAT AND CABOODLE and is open to residents of the U.S. only. To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. It may take the widget a few seconds to load, please be patient.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and visiting. Do you enjoy visiting repurpose shops? Have you made any great finds while shopping at such a store?
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have been to only one shop, and it was fascinating. Didn't want to leave!

  2. This sounds like a great new series.

  3. You're right - you can't make everyone happy. You just need to please a handful, not the whole world.
    Cool that you worked as a disc jockey.
    And trust me, I don't like Air Supply.

  4. I like to go to antique shops but I can't do used clothing shops. I have a touch of ocd and I just cant do it.

  5. Sofie, thanks again for joining us and sharing this look at The Whole Cat and Caboodle. Being a disc jockey sounds like fun. Wishing you much success.

  6. Mason - Thanks for hosting Sofie.

    Sofie - Thanks for sharing some of your 'writer life' with us. It's so interesting how readers get perceptions of what writers 'should' be and do. I wish you much success with your new series.

  7. I'm a cat person, so I love the cat on the cover.

    We recently chucked most of our records and to my horror, I had some Air Supply albums in there. Ugh!

  8. the cover is so cute and sweet and cosy

  9. I enjoy the old type shops which I find fascinating and nostalgic. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Found some great CHRISTMAS decorations made from old metal from cans. They were quit beautiful!! Ronnalord( at) msn ( dot) com

  11. Yeah, I'm the resident crazy cat person at work. :-) I have found some really cool old cameras - one of my daughter's obsessions.

  12. I have not been to a repurpose shop, but will be on the look-out for them!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  13. I love to repurpose old clothing into new quilts.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.