Friday, April 4, 2014

The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan: Guest Post/Review/Giveaway

The Whole Cat and Caboodle (Second Chance Cat Mystery Series #1)

Finding My Tribe by Sofie Ryan

Writers live, much of the time, in a make-believe place with people who don’t exist outside of our heads and our computers. We create entire worlds. We make passion simmer and rage ignite. And the real people in our lives shake their heads and wonder sometimes if we’re deluded. Or maybe delusional.

Which is why, once again, I’m looking at a brochure for a writing workshop, the chance to spend a weekend surrounded by a community who will think it’s perfectly normal to walk around talking out loud about imaginary people. Or occasionally to them. No one will ask why I don’t write something like Fifty Shades of Gray or team up with James Patterson. No one will laugh when I confess I’ve started writing poetry again. Reading the workshop agenda, I’m reminded of another workshop years ago, when I sat with a group of writers and heard poet and novelist Sue Goyette say, “We are your tribe. We understand.”

I’ve found my tribe many times in the years since that workshop, in person and on-line. I’ve found others who get giddy over a surprise plot twist or a well-crafted paragraph. We throw ideas at one another, stories growing out of a few words from one person, a few from someone else. “Send me your address, I found that poem we were talking about yesterday,” someone emails. “Can I borrow your book about poisons?” someone else asks. No one ever complains, “Mom, we have no toilet paper again.”

Writers write and when we aren’t writing some part of us is always watching, always plotting, no matter what’s happening to us or around us. No matter how sad, how silly, or how bizarre, a little voice in our heads is thinking, How can I use this? We are crows. We see shiny pieces of other people’s lives and we reach for them. In our real lives we hear, “Don’t put this in a book.” In a workshop a dozen people urge, “You have to write about this.” 

This is my tribe. People who sit too long at stop signs searching for the right words to describe a sliver of crescent moon that seems to be teetering on a roof edge. People who fall on a patch of sidewalk ice and ask the paramedic for a pencil and a piece of paper to scribble down the sensations. 

Still, if I go to that workshop, the real world will go on. Dust bunnies will meet, court and make babies under the beds. Enough crumbs will congregate under the kitchen table to make a sandwich. And after a few days I’ll be ready to return to the real world, to hunt down the dust bunnies and sweep up the crumbs, because I’ve been reminded, once again that I am part of the tribe. And I’ll bring that sense of community and encouragement back to the real world. Because the real world is, after all, where the stories begin. Stories about love, hate, despair and what really happened to a dozen double rolls of toilet paper.

******************************************************************

Blurb: Sarah Grayson is the happy proprietor of Second Chance, a charming shop in the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. At the shop, she sells used items that she has lovingly refurbished and repurposed. But her favorite pet project so far has been adopting a stray cat she names Elvis.

Elvis has seen nine lives—and then some. The big black cat with a scar across his nose turned up at a local bar when the band was playing the King of Rock and Roll’s music and hopped in Sarah’s truck. Since then, he’s been her constant companion and the furry favorite of everyone who comes into the store.

But when Sarah’s elderly friend Maddie is found with the body of a dead man in her garden, the kindly old lady becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Even Sarah’s old high school flame, investigator Nick Elliot, seems convinced that Maddie was up to no good. So it’s up to Sarah and Elvis to clear her friend’s name and make sure the real murderer doesn’t get a second chance.

Mochas, Mysteries and Meows Review: Elvis the cat stole Sarah Grayson's heart the day he made himself at home in her pickup truck outside the local bar where he received his name, and he immediately stole mine as well. Author Sofie Ryan, who also writes the bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries as Sofie Kelly, has another winner on her hands.

Sarah owns Second Chance, a secondhand/repurposing shop in North Harbor, Maine. Little does she know that a con man, Arthur Fenety, is courting her elderly friend Maddie. When his coffee is poisoned with pesticide in Maddie's garden, she becomes the main suspect. Sarah and a group of senior citizens who think they're Charlie's Angels join forces to prove that their dear friend is innocent.

This book is a whodunit up until the very end, and the friendship between Sarah and the elderly ladies warmed my heart. Elvis is a feline charmer and the way he assists Sarah in her investigation is quirky and unique. Sarah is a fantastic new character who has a perpetually empty fridge, but her go-to dinner, a scrambled egg and tomato sandwich, is something I absolutely have to try!

If you love cats and cozies, run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore or e-reader.

Giveaway: Leave a comment (don't forget your email address!) by noon eastern on Wednesday, April 9th for the chance to win a copy of The Whole Cat and Caboodle.

30 comments:

  1. I'd love to be one of those elderly ladies who think they're Charlies' Angels!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like exactly the type of cozy I love, and huge bonus points for the scrambled egg and tomato sandwich because I have loved them since I was a kid (for me, it was a riff on Harriet the Spy's tomato sandwiches). Thanks for Ms. Ryan's insightful description of the writers' tribe and the terrific review.
    michstjame at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed yes, cats can become a companion, a great companion even though you were not the owner. That's great about cat pets. Love keeping them.
    Jumping Castles

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG I love her books thanks for sharing this one with me will have to order it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really want to read this; hope to get a chance to!
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. My kind of story, my kind of book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for this great giveaway and lovely post. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a wonderful book. Love the locale. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a great mystery.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love mysteries about cats! I'd love this book. pumpkinpuddy at pumpkinpuddy dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love her Magical Cats Mysteries. This sounds like another winner.
    libbydodd@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  12. This book sounds like fun although TW hasn’t read a book since I started blogging. That description of a writer sounds like TW.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've not yet read any of Sofie Ryan's books. This one certainly sounds wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This sounds like a great new read. Thanks for the chance to win. drpepperdiva06@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds like something my godmother would LOVE!!! Thank you for the chance to win.
    : ) glogirl(at)visi(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you everyone for your kind word and thanks to Melissa and Truffles for inviting me to visit.

    Sofie

    ReplyDelete
  17. You always have such cute books! crepes AT catinthefridgeDOTcom!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really want to start this one
    sarah2323 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do love cats and cozies and would love to read this book! It sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really like Sofie's other series and think this would be great to read! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think it would be interesting to follow the actions of Sarah Grayson who owns shop in North Harbor, Maine and her life with her cat Elvis, and how the two of them solve the murder of Maddies friend in the garden, I once lived in Winter Harbor Maine, and I love stories about Maine and of course cats. I believe this would be a read in one sitting fun book, to read. Thank you for sharing this review. i.teel(at) sbcglobal (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love cats and cozies--so I'd better start running to the book store. Also, you don't have to be a writer to walk around talking to imaginary people---I just say I'm talking to my cats.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Everybody knows cats, cozies and mysteries go together. I'd love to read this one! fionalwoods(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sounds like my kind of read, I love cozies with cats. Thanks for the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've read her other series! This one sounds great too! melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just adore cats and cozies. This sounds like a great start to a new series. brookeb811 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. This cozy mystery seems to have a memorable cast of characters. I think I'd enjoy reading it!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  28. love getting 'in' on a new series!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. This sounds like a great start to a series.
    Elvis sounds great

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  30. It sounds like a fun and interesting book. I would enjoy reading this one. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete