Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – A Midwinter’s Tail by Sofie Kelly – #Review / #Giveaway?

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am so happy to be catching up on this series. This is why I started Flashback Fridays! 

a midwinter's tail
A Midwinter’s Tail:
A Magical Cats Mystery

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
An Obsidian Mystery (October 7, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451414717
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Kathleen Paulson is snowed under running her library and caring for her extraordinary felines, Owen and Hercules. But when a fund-raiser turns deadly, she’ll have to add sleuthing to her already full schedule….

Winter in Mayville Heights is busy and not just because of the holidays. Kathleen is hard at work organizing a benefit to raise money for the library’s popular Reading Buddies program. She has her hands full hosting the event. And when a guest at the gala drops dead, her magical cats, Owen and Hercules, will have their paws full helping her solve a murder.

The victim is the ex of town rascal Burtis Chapman, but she hasn’t lived in the area in years. And though everybody is denying knowledge of why she was back in town, as Kathleen and her detective boyfriend, Marcus, begin nosing around, they discover more people are connected to the deceased than claimed to be. Now Marcus, Kathleen, and her uncanny cats have to unravel this midwinter tale before the case gets cold.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Owen and Hercules are two of my favorite literary felines. They sure do keep Kathleen on her toes!

Winter has come to Mayville Heights (so nice to read during this heat wave) and it is a perfect time for a fundraiser for the library’s Reading Buddies Program. But when a former resident returns to town and then ends up dead in the middle of the gala, the entire program is at risk. Marcus and Kathleen are both working the case and confiding in each other as much as possible but all the clues are just not adding up. Maybe Owen and Hercules can “see” what they are missing or cause enough mischief to point the humans in the right direction.

The cats are evolving in this series which quite magical. If you are a fan of this series you already know they are extraordinary. They are also still cats, cats that at times just tolerate each other. They antics at times had me laughing out loud.

There is also a lot happening in this story, Marcus and Kathleen romance is moving forward, the friendships of the female characters continue to grow. A wedding is being planned where the groom is a bit “zilla” wanting everything perfect. Then there is the fundraiser, happenings at the library and of course the murder. With subplots galore the pages practically flew. As the final reveal started I truly was on the edge of my seat.

This is a strong series and this was a fine edition. I am so happy Kathleen has decided to stay in Mayville Heights!

perfect 2016

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sofie Kelly and her books here.

Written as Sofie Ryan

Now for a funny story!
I am usually so careful with my review books. I keep them in a safe place when I put them down. I never eat around them. But with my sore back I have been eating in bed with my feet up in the evenings. Mr. Dollycas brought me a delicious dish of his lasagna bake the other night and when I went to put my copy of this book down a couple of the bottom corners of the pages caught a drop of the sauce. I was so upset, trying to clean it up but there are still stains at the book. I want to share this book with one of you but I want to be clear about what you are getting.


So if you don’t mind a little sauce with your story, please Click Here To Enter

Maybe I can even get Mr. Dollycas to share his recipe 🙂
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Review: Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly


Cat Trick:
A Magical Cats Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (February 5, 2013)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451414694
E-Book File Size: 539 KB

Cat Trick (Magical Cats, #4)

Kathleen Paulson enjoys her life as a small-town librarian with two extraordinary cats, Owen and Hercules, who provide companionship during the quiet times and have a remarkable talent for sleuthing when murder disturbs the peace….

Mike Glazer comes back to his hometown of Mayville Heights as the representative of Legacy Tours, a Chicago based firm the local businesses are hoping to convince set up a vacation destination package for the town. He is not the same guy they remember, he has become a real loudmouth and it isn’t long before someone shuts him up for good.

When Kathleen or should I say Hercules finds the body on the boardwalk she just can’t help but get involved in the investigation. Her boyfriend, Detective Marcus Gordon, has begged her to leave the investigation to him but Kathleen with a little help from Hercules and Owen is determined to book the killer for an “extended stay in prison before someone else takes a permanent vacation”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Match two magical kitties with a extremely inquisitive librarian and a murder or two and you have all the makings of an extraordinary mystery series.

Kathleen’s contract in Mayville Heights is almost up and she will have to make a big decision whether to stay or go back to Boston where her family lives. Until then she has plenty to keep her busy both at the library and with yet another murder. This time the clues are hard to come by and the “gossip grapevine” is working overtime. It is the cats that literally dig up the clues needed to solve this puzzler. Hopefully Kathleen stepping on the good detective’s toes doesn’t stall their romance. Roma and Maggie would be devastated.

Sofie Kelly has created a very identifiable cast of characters, human and feline. You know we all talk to our cats and her “catversations” are real and true and at times hilarious. I absolutely love Owen and Hercules. It doesn’t hurt that I have their twins living with me. I have not noticed that mine have a magical powers yet but there’s still hope. Kathleen is surrounded by a wonderful group of friends and I know she will realize that no matter home homesick she is for her family Mayville Heights is now her home.

A captivating cozy! Curl up with it, your favorite kitty, and enjoy!!

a perfect escape

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sofie Kelly on her webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d085941Cruisin 20132013where are you readingWAARC

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Special Edition – Cozy Wednesday with Sofie Kelly (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to a Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!
There are so many wonderful books out this month and wonderful authors to visit with
I had to add an extra Wednesday.

Sofie writes the Magical Cats Mysteries but did you know Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of young adult writer and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. She is quite a versatile writer.Her latest book Copycat Killing hit the shelves Tuesday.  I am happy she is here today with us, as are my own not magical cats Sherlock and Professor Moriarty who look just like Hercules and Owen.  She answers some very interesting questions and if you are like me you are going to want more details on a couple of them, so be sure to leave a comment and maybe she will tell us a little more.

Hi Sofie!

Hi Everyone!!

A Dozen Questions for Sofie Kelly
(From the creative minds of my friends Jude and Sara.)

1. What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
I was an all-night, rock & roll disk jockey.

2. Have you ever been arrested?
No, but I have had a criminal background check done on me through Interpol. I’m not a secret European cat burglar. My daughter is adopted and it was part of the paperwork.

3. What’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
Getting herded out of Tienanmen Square by communist soldiers was pretty scary.

4. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I was having some tests done at the hospital and I was in a small room changing into one of those gowns that ties in the back. After I’d put it on I turned around to discover that I had just…um…flashed the group of construction workers working outside because I’d forgotten to close the curtains. I was so embarrassed I stopped being nervous about the tests.

5. What’s one of your most annoying habits?
I apologize to inanimate objects. It drives my friends crazy. For instance, if I bump into the sofa I say, “I’m sorry.”

6. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” TV show?
Yes. I like to watch Pawn Stars on the History Channel. The things people bring in to sell fascinate me. A straitjacket worn by Houdini turned up on one episode.

7. What is your hair its natural color?
It is at the moment. (Brown.) But I’m going to dye it red again.

8. Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve ever met?
Jake Lawless. Jake works with the Rick Hansen Anniversary relay. I met him in the fall when my daughter was one of the medal bearers. Jake is in a wheelchair—he’s what’s called an incomplete quadriplegic. He’s also one of the warmest, funniest and most positive people I’ve ever met. Not a Pollyanna, just a genuinely fascinating guy.

9. What surprises people the most when they meet you in person?
That I’m not taller. Apparently I look taller in photographs. And I often hear that I’m not as serious in person. I guess that means I look like a tall person without a sense of humor in pictures.

10. What’s your favorite winter sport?
Sitting on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate looking out the window at the snow.

11. What’s your favorite summer sport?
Swimming, followed closely by hiking.

12. Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I wanted to become a director, move to California and marry Michael Cole from the Mod Squad.


Tienanmen Square, really, scary, holy cow!!!
I am glad you are home safe and sound and writing stories for us to enjoy!!!
Check out and to find out more about this author.

Copycat Killing: A Magical Cats Mystery
3rd in the Series
An Obsidian Mystery
Publish by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group

Welcome back to Mayville Heights! I hope you brought your umbrella, boots and a rain slicker. It’s been “raining cats and dogs” for days. There is flooding all over town. The local artists’ co-op has a basement full of water and our favorite librarian Kathleen is helping her friends move their work to higher ground in case the water continues to rise.

All the artwork is saved but one artist isn’t as lucky. Mask maker Jaeger Merrill is found drowned in the basement. The death doesn’t look accidental to Kathleen. Detective Marcus Gordon is on the case and Kathleen along with her fantastic felines just can’t help themselves from assisting him in any way they can. Owen and Hercules use their magic to help “unmask” the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

These magical felines continue to steal the show! Hercules and Owen are truly special characters. Kathleen handles their powers much better than I would.  All the characters are continuing to evolve. Heck the good detective may even get a library card in the next installment.  Kathleen has definitely made herself at home in Mayville Heights. She has taken falling for a guy to a new level and finds something startling from Roma’s past.  And when Kathleen and Maggie get together there is never a dull moment. (Watch out for flying rodents!)

I especially enjoyed this story because of the history featured that creates a mystery inside of a mystery. The town is getting ready to celebrate the library’s centennial with a very special showcase of the groups that have met at the library over the years. One group was doing more than most people knew and some journals from Rebecca’s mother are discovered that hold several secrets.

Well written, carefully plotted, a little romance and a bunch of humor. A purrfect cozy mystery!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Sofie for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Curiosity Thrilled The Cat by Sofie Kelly

This post originally appeared over at Dollycas’s Thoughts on February 8, 2011

An Obsidian Mystery

An Imprint of New American Library

A Division of Penguin Publishing

A Magical Cats Mystery
  • ISBN-10: 0451232496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451232496

Kathleen Paulson needs to change her life NOW, her boyfriend goes away for two weeks and comes back MARRIED!!

Kathleen chucks her life in Boston and accepts a job in Mayville Heights, Minnesota, to supervise the renovation and modernization of their library.  This turns out to be no small task, but the job is just the kind of distraction she needs.

Not long after her arrival in town she allows to stray cats two snuggle their way into her life. She names the tabby Owen and quickly learns he is addicted to catnip. The other is a stocky tuxedo cat she names Hercules. Hercules loves Barry Manilow music as much as Kathleen, but Owen hates Barry, no matter the song and has no trouble showing his distaste.  It doesn’t take Kathleen long to learn the cats are very special, maybe even magical.

Life in quiet Mayville Heights takes a drastic turn when a guest of the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival is found dead.  For some reason all the clues seem to point to Kathleen.  It is then she finds out just how gifted her four legged feline friends are when they help her work to clear her name and quickly bring this caper to a close.

The first thing that really drew me into this book was the cover, the cat’s piercing eyes.  I have been trying this year to acknowledge the cover illustrators and designers, because book covers today are truly small works of art.  There is no information on the artists for this cover but click on the picture, the cats eyes alone will have you wanting to read the story.

The characters of Mayville Heights are so easy to enjoy from the quick wit of Roma, veterinarian by day to human doctor in a pinch, or coworker Abigail’s sarcasm, and Detective Gordon’s dry sense of humor. Add to that, loving neighbor Rebecca along with the newly transplanted Kathleen, the antics of her “magical” cats and so many more true characters in every sense of the word.  There is someone for every reader to love or even hate as I do, the maddening contractor in charge of the renovation.  As a former construction worker it took pure restraint not to jump right into the pages and slap him “up aside the head”!

You can’t go wrong with a cozy if you have characters like these, a really good mystery, the perfect setting of a library and magical cats.  A wonderful debut for what I know will be a “purrfectly” “cat-invating” series.  This author has written several young adult books and has now left a paw print in the cozy mystery world with this story and I am happy to welcome her and will anxiously awaiting her next feline escapade.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian/NAL, a Division of Penguin Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent


Be sure to visit the Author’s Website to find about her alter-ego and the other books she has written.
Posted in Cozy Wednesday

COZY WEDNESDAY – With Author Sofie Kelly

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts September 14, 2011.

I am really excited about today’s guest and contrary to what you may have heard just because my cats Sherlock and Professor Moriarty look just like Owen and Hercules on the cover of Sofie’s books Curiosity Thrilled the Cat and the latest Sleight of Paw they have no magical powers unless hiding from an almost 4 year old little boy is magic.  Kathleen’s cats are really magical and I love them!!!
Now back to Sofie, she is a wonderful writer and I am so glad she is because as you will see in her post below her life could have turned out quite differently.
Welcome Sofie!!
Thanks Lori, I am happy to be here today!!!
My Life As An (Almost) Criminal
I get asked at least once a week why I like to write mysteries. And generally I talk about my love of puzzles, my strong sense of right and wrong, my interest in the psychology of the criminal mind, and even my control freak personality that likes to make everything work out just so. And all of those reasons are true. But it’s also possible that my interest in mystery writing comes from an event in my childhood. Yes, I was almost a criminal. In fact if I’d had more upper body strength at six I could be making license plates in the big house instead of writing books on my computer.
First some background. As a child I spent a lot of time with the sons of my mother’s closest friend. Let’s call them Bill and Stephen because, well, those are their names. Bill’s a year older than I am, Stephen is a year younger, the baby of the family. They lived up a winding dirt road, across from woods that led up a slope to an open blueberry field. There were scrabbly bushes and a small pond just beyond their backyard. At the bottom of that narrow, dusty road was a little country store.
We weren’t allowed up in the blueberry field by ourselves. We weren’t allowed down at the pond by ourselves. We certainly weren’t allowed to walk down that road that wasn’t much more than two parallel ruts in the dirt to the store at the bottom. So of course we did all of it. We caught frogs at the pond and shoved them down each other’s shirts. We threw handfuls of mud at each other. We ate berries until our mouths were purple blue. We foraged in the ditch on both sides of the road, looking for pop bottles tossed out of passing cars, until we had enough to exchange for a popsicle. And every once in a while we’d hide and scared the crap out of Stephen because wasn’t that the point of having a little brother, even if he wasn’t yours?
The thing is, little brothers, no matter whose little brothers they are, will only take that for so long and then they will RAT YOU OUT. Which is what Stephen did one summer day.
Remember that strong sense of right and wrong I mentioned earlier? It was a lot stronger when I was six, especially with respect to tattletales. So when I found out what Stephen had done I took action.
I hit him with a hammer, smack in the middle of his forehead. I was saved by three things. One, it was a kid sized hammer. Two, I really had no upper body strength and I had a swing like a girl because, well, I was a girl. And three, Stephen has always had an extremely hard head.
So I didn’t kill him. In fact I maintain I didn’t even really hurt him other than the small divot the hammer left in his forehead. Of course my mother didn’t see it that way. Neither did his. I don’t remember what the punishment was, but I was a law-abiding citizen from that day on. I stopped committing crimes and started making up stories about them.
Stephen never ratted anyone out again as far as I know. Today he’s about the size of a defensive lineman and I’m pretty sure he could squeeze my head between his thumb and forefinger and make my brains come out my nose. So I’m planning on sticking to writing about crimes. Although, I do still have that hammer.
Oh My Gosh, this story had me laughing so hard! I am so glad you are a writer and not a criminal.  I would miss your stories!!! Thank you Sofie for being here today!
Want to find out all about Sofie be sure to visit her web page!
Sleight of Paw: A Magical Cats Mystery


Published by New American Library
A Division of the Penguin Group
Second in the Series
Agatha Shepherd was an educator and over the years she helped almost everyone in town in one way or another.  When she is found dead outside a local cafe people are certainly shocked. Who would do this and why???
Kathleen hopes that with the help of her feline friends and maybe a little assistance from a handsome detective she may find the answers.  Of course having a cat that can walk through closed doors and another that can become invisible at will makes Kathleen investigation a little easier as long as no one notices their cute little tricks. You won’t believe the secrets a cat can cough up.
My Thoughts
Cats are so much fun and they convey so much with a flick of the tail, a certain meow, or a twitch of the ear. Magical cats are even more special.  It’s difficult enough to write for people, there is a special place in my heart for authors that write for animals.  All the characters are well written in this story. The mystery is also extremely well written with many suspects and motives.  The very first chapter had me laughing out loud and the humor in continually interspersed throughout the story.  The friendships Kathleen has made in Minnesota are going to be lifelong and I am sure one special one will continue to develop making it very hard to leave when her short term contract with the library is complete.  I plan to enjoy many more trips to Mayville Heights!
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”