Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan (Guest Post, Review and Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming Sofie Ryan to Debbie's Book Bag today. Sofie is here promoting the first book in her new Second Chance Cat Mystery series, The Whole Cat and Caboodle. Enjoy Sofie's guest post, along with my review of her book and a giveaway!

I Hate Research by Sofie Ryan

I hate research. I don't mean the kind that involves curling up with a stack of books for the afternoon. I mean the kind of research that involves me doing something. That kind of research never quite works out for me. And it’s kind of why I don’t want to  go back to a certain big box hardware store.

I was trying to solve a plot problem. I had my main character tied to a chair. Would she be able to throw herself sideways? Could she do it without hitting her head? There was no way I could figure out the problem on paper. That meant...research

"Could you tie me up later?” I asked my husband.

"What will you be wearing?" Mr. Romantic asked with a leer. "Will there be whipped cream involved?"


I went out to the shed to look for rope. There wasn’t any. Then I remembered that when I'd moved a chair for my mom I'd had to tie the car trunk up with a plastic skipping rope, because we had nothing else.

So where was all the rope? There had been a length of white nylon rope hanging up by the snow scoop. Then I remembered I’d kind of set that on fire. (For future reference, it's not a good idea to try to melt the end of a fraying piece of rope if it may have been at one time tied to the handle of a gas can.)

At one time we did actually have some “real” rope. Hemp. Cotton. Sisal. I didn't know what it had been made of. It was the kind of rope you use to practice tying knots when you’re learning about sailing, when what you’d really rather be doing is planning how you’re going to sail to the Bahamas, live on the boat and write a best-seller a year. I'd used that rope to tie up a couple of boxes of books before the school yard sale--with perfect reef knots, by the way.

So I couldn't get tied up until I got some rope. It was off to the big-box hardware store where there was an entire aisle of rope and chain, all on big cardboard and metal rolls. A nice young man with a pierced lower lip was happy to cut me a length. What did I want? And how much?

What did I want? I wanted rope. Who knew there were so many kinds of rope? 

"What do you need the rope for?" Pierced-lip asked.

This is why I hate research. I can’t tell Pierced-lip that I need rope because I'm planning on getting my husband to tie me up. First of all, I'm old enough to be Pierced-lip’s mother. Yes, I know I don’t want rope for something out of Fifty Shades of Gray, but he doesn’t know that. And second of all, I learned the perils of giving away too much information the time I was looking for a new toilet in the same store. When the sales guy asked me what kind of toilet I was looking for I blurted, "The one with the biggest hole." (Stop laughing. At the time I had a four-year-old who used half a roll of paper with every bathroom visit. Every flush was an adventure.)

I could have told Pierced-lip that I was doing research for a book, but I was buying rope and, well, I embarrass easily. So I said, "I want to tie up a rug."

"You shouldn't tie a rug with rope," he told me. "You could damage the pile, ma'am."

I had to get the only keener in the entire store. However, using my quick writer-ly thinking, I said, "It's a really old rug."

"It could be an antique, ma'am," he said. "You definitely shouldn't tie that with a rope."

"No, no," I insisted. “It's only an old rug I need to get rid of. I just want to roll it up and tie it on my car."

"You have roof racks?” he asked.

Roof racks? I just wanted some rope. Why were we talking about roof racks? "No,” I said.

"You know you shouldn’t just tie things to the roof of your car," he said. "It's not really safe. And I think it's against the law anyway."

By that point I had a headache that felt like someone had just driven a spike through my left eye. “Never mind," I said, heading for the door.

"Roof racks are in aisle 14," he called after me.

When I got home, Mr. Romantic was in the kitchen practicing knots with the tie-backs from the kitchen curtains. "Is the guy in your book a sailor?" he called after me as I headed for my office. "Because I think he should be." I just kept on going.

I hate research.

Book Information:

The Whole Cat and Caboodle (Second Chance Cat Mystery - Book 1) by Sofie Ryan

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0451419944
ISBN-13: 978-0451419941

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Sofie Ryan on the WEB: website, goodreads

Excerpt from, The Whole Cat and Caboodle, courtesy of the author's website.



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.


Cat and mystery lovers alike will love Sofie Ryan's new series featuring Elvis, a very savvy kitty. The Whole Cat and Caboodle is the first book in The Second Chance Cat series. Readers who enjoy a good whodunit, with a kitty cat twist will find Elvis irresistible. Ryan's success with the Magical Cats series, under the name Sofie Kelly, proves that she knows what she's talking about where felines are concerned and killers too. With an elderly con artist, a capricious cat and some very good friends, new cozy protagonist Sarah Grayson is on the case!

What I liked:

I totally adored the Magical Cats series from Sofie Kelly and knew that this new series under a different name would be just as good. Sofie Ryan may be a new name, but readers are still treated to the same amazing characterizations and descriptions of feline behavior that will keep them reading for hours on end. Ryan has a knack for knowing how cats and other animals get into the hearts of readers and she uses it to her advantage. I love the way she makes the reader wish they had a cat that was just as clever as Elvis. 

There were lots of things that I liked about Sarah as the protagonist for this series. First of all I liked her profession. She has a second hand shop with vintage furniture and other items that can be re-purposed and brought back to life for some new person to enjoy. I have always enjoyed taking someone else's junk and making it my treasure, so I appreciated this theme a lot. I also liked Sarah's attitude. She goes to the nursing home to teach seniors how to re-purpose things as well. That was endearing on it's own but her relationship with the three elderly ladies who help her out in the shop was the best part of this book for me.

Liz, Rose and Charlotte provided a lot of comic relief for this book, calling themselves Charlie's Angels and helping to solve the mystery. But the thing that made this one special was how Sarah, a younger woman treated them and developed such an endearing friendship with them. And the entire mystery also features another senior, Maddie who ends up the murder suspect. I think Ryan did a great job of showing the unique kinds of friendships that can develop between women of all ages.

The mystery was well written and a lot of fun to try to figure out. It seems that Maddie's new beau Arthur was quite the con artist. When he ends up dead on the patio, apparently poisoned, Maddie is the main suspect. I loved finding out about all the women that Arthur had conned along the way. Including four wives and slew of girlfriends. It made for a great mystery and readers will love all of the ins and outs of the case.

What I didn't like:

Not much to report here. This was a great first book in a series and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with this group of characters. Elvis could have had a more substantial role in the book and that would have been fine. He was a great feline character. 

Bottom Line:

This is a great new series, with a very interesting heroine. Sarah and her feline sidekick Elvis get in to all sorts of trouble that readers won't be able to keep from laughing about. 

The Whole Cat and Caboodle is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! 

About the Author:

Sofie Ryan is a writer and mixed media artist who loves to repurpose things in her life and her art. She also writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries under the name Sofie Kelly.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 20th.

1. Please leave a comment about the kinds of animal rescue options there are in your home town.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

Many including Lap Dog Rescue, Chihuahaa's rescue and many others. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Sofie said...

Hi Debbie, thanks for inviting me and thanks for your great review!


Linda Kish said...

We really only have shelters and pet rescues that have pet adoptions at PetSmart and PetCo on the weekends. If you look online and want to drive a ways, you can find other rescue groups but none locally.

Jane Cook said...

Love me some kitties!! Thanks for the review & giveaway!

cyn209 said...

hmmmmmmm......not sure if there are any animal rescue shelters in my area......sorries............

thanx for the giveaway!!!

Unknown said...

I live in a small town, but we have a very active PAWS rescue. They have lots of fund raisers that everyone in town participates in and I have 3 furbabies I have personally adopted from them. They even follow up with you when they see you around town, asking about the animals by name.

NoraA said...

I live in NYC, Brooklyn to be exact. The only animal shelter I know about is the ASPCA which has a building in the city.

My partner and I both love cats, but there's one major issue. If we get cat dander on any part of us we blow up like balloons and get a horrible rash. So we have to admire our nieces' cats through photos.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

We just have the animal shelter in our town as a rescue option

Sue Farrell said...

We are sadly in need of rescues in our area. They only shelter I know of if over 30 miles away.

Carol N Wong said...

There is not for profit organization called Animal Rescue Klub, ASPA, Animal Shelters and several breed rescues here.


Rita Wray said...

I live in a small town so at this time we don't have any animal rescues.

Carol M said...

We have several shelters and several stores that have cats up for adoption. The police rescue animals whenever they hear there is a problem.

Brooke Showalter said...

I don't know that we have any specific animal rescue options available in my town. I know friends that work with others throughout the area in an effort to help animals, have fundraisers, drives, adoptions, etc.

Texas Book Lover said...

We have several animal shelters as well as the big SPCA downtown. We got our first dog from one of those shelters!

Unknown said...

We have a ton of shelters in our town, and a lot of animal-loving people. I am glad of that.

Anita Yancey said...

I live in a really small area, so we don't have any animal rescue options at this time.


Unknown said...

we have an animal shelter just 10 minutes away; luckily, not many animals there.

Natasha said...

We don't have any in my home town. It is really small.
Thanks for the chance to win!

lag123 said...

There was a story on the local news last night about an Equine rescue team in our town.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Bonnie said...

We have several rescues that foster animals in the area. We also have several rescue shelters. I volunteer at two different ones.
There are tons of rescues on the internet and many concentrate on a certain breed.

bn100 said...

there are shelters