"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Sofie Kelly (Giveaway too!!)

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.” 

Would you like to win a copy of this delightful mystery?
Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin 
I have 2 copies to give away!
U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Followers will receive 2 bonus entries!
Leave a comment for Sofie and you will 
receive 5 bonus entries!
Contest will end at 11:59 p.m. CST on September 28.
Winners will be chosen using Random.org


Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

That story had me laughing! I can't wait to read this book after reading this post. Sofie, glad you became a law abiding citizen and turned to story telling. If your book is anything like this post, it should be fun and entertaining. I look forward to reading it.

Kuzlin said...

Great story! Can't wait to read your new book - I really enjoyed the first one and loved the two mysterious cats!

Sofie said...

Beth, I think the story proves truth can be just as entertaining as fiction! I wish I had a picture of Stephen today that we could have posted. He's a big, intimidating looking man now. I do have a photo of him dressed as a very cute kitten for Halloween--which I'm not sharing because I'm in the picture in a skeleton costume with a rabbit mask. Costumes were not the strong suit of either of our mothers.

Kuzlin, thanks for the kind words about the cats. I'll give you a hint and tell you that in Sleight of Paw Owen has a run in with the law.

Anonymous said...

Sofie, your story sounds like somthing I would have done as a child. Of course we had adventures like that, such good memories.

Luvdaylilies said...

Your childhood story was just hilarious! I just got so tickled reading it=)
I so enjoy your writing and the interview; Thanks for sharing your time with us!

Amy said...

Sofie, I love your story about how you were scared awa y from a life of crime! I also love that you adore cats and they are central characters in your books. I am surrounded by cats and they entertain and amaze me everyday.

Thank you for your books and thank you to Lorie for this wonderful giveaway!
~ Amy

Laura Alden said...

Ah, you were just a kid -- they wouldn't have locked you up for much more than 12 years. And think of all the stories you'd have about life in jail. Oh, the missed opportunities :)

LuAnn said...

I just love the mystery cats series, especially the twinge of humor added to the story!

NoraA said...

Hi Sofie,
I loved the first book so much that I passed it around the family. I would love to win a copy of Sleight of Paw.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sofie! I was wondering if you have cats at home, or just enjoy them? It sounds like a cute story! Rae

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to read the new book in the series.

Sofie said...

See everyone? Laura has the mindset of a writer. We see everything as potential story.

I'm happy to hear everyone likes the Magical Cats.

To answer Rae's question, I always say I sort of have cats. My husband is very allergic to them. But I've adopted several cats in the neighborhood so I have cat friends. Bert and Ernie live around the corner. Peaches is across the street and Pepper is the house cat at a wonderful old bookstore downtown. Pepper is a big, big cat but she's very stealthy. She likes to find new ways to sneak up on me and lick my ankle or arm and almost give me a heart attack. Then she looks at me almost like she's laughing. I keep telling her one of these days I'm going to stop scratching under her chin and behind her ears but she knows I'm bluffing.

dollycas aka Lori said...

I am loving these comments. Laura you crack me up!!! I am so happy Sofie is here today!!! After reading her post and getting it ready to go up here I was laughing so hard!!! I couldn't wait for today to get here!!!

J.J. Murphy said...

Great story. Have you ever used it (or a version of it) in one of your books?

Na said...

I love being detective, putting pieces together and solving things. A good mystery also engages my mind. I also have to say, having a hard head comes in handy in combatting a hammer. It means I won't feel so bad if I have to knuckly the head lol. Just kidding!

Maria said...

Great story. I'm sure Stephen would just give you a little hug. But keep that hammer handy...

Anonymous said...

What a funny story! It reminded me of hitting my little brother in the nose with an ice ball. My mom didn't think that was funny either.

Sofie said...

JJ, I haven't used the story in a book but now you have me thinking I should.

Na, I'm grateful Stephen had and has a hard head. I could have really hurt him.

Maria, the last time I saw Stephen he gave me a very big hug. He lifted me about three feet off the floor. I'm very glad he's a big teddy bear who doesn't hold a grudge.

Carol N Wong said...

Can't have cats as we have birds!
But is sure is great to read about them.

I used to have two, Black Beauty and Happy Day, they were as different as night and day and sisters too. Blacky Beauty lived a life of leisure, she only wanted to eat, sleep, and sit ony your lap.

Happy Day was the huntress and extremely smart. I used to walk along the woods and she would leap from the top of one tree to another (sort of female feline Tarzan). Will really love to read about cats in your cozy.


katsrus said...

I want to read this book. Love the book cover. Enjoyed your post.
Sue B

Carol M said...

Who wouldn't laugh at a story like that! :) I'm so glad you turned to writing instead of a life of crime! LOL I love both mysteries and cats and would love to read this book!

holdenj said...

Sofie, I am so glad you stopped by! I loved the story and am glad your sense of right and wrong has led you to this career!

Christine A. said...

Hi Sofie- Great story- reminds me of times with my younger cousin- we did very similar things. Do you have any brothers or sisters? I have a younger sister but she was not that much fun to play with- always tattled on me. I can't wait to read your book. I have always grown up with cats since I was a baby and love their company.

Margie said...

Sophie...I really enjoyed your story of your past criminal life! I'm wondering if you are really a cat person, or if they are only in your books?
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

ann said...

Enjoyed your review and your childhood story. I like cats to tho I am allergic to them. Would enjoy reading your book

amhengst at verizon dot net

Liz V. said...

Glad Stephen is still in your life and seems a forgiving soul.

Best wishes for success Sleight of Paw.

Chris said...

I love your story! It reminded me of my childhood, when in anger over something I went David and Goliath on my friend and threw a rock at her head. Luckily, I too was young, a girl and a weakling and all she ended up with was a pretty goose egg to show for it.

cyn209 said...

i've been waiting for Sleight of Paw ever since i read Curiosity Thrilled the Cat!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!


Margaret said...

I love the idea of involving the cats into the mystery! They are very smart and I bet could solve it on their own. Sounds like a great read! Thank you for the giveaway!

Janelle said...

Sophie, I'm so glad you're a law abiding citizen, LOL, your tale was hysterical! I'd love to win. Tell me, how did you decide on what the cat's magical powers would be?

mamabunny13 said...

Sofie, I love to laugh and I love a good cozy mystery so I think I just found the perfect book. I'm keeping my eye on you for future reads!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Booklady said...

Sofie - I'm glad my oldest son never dealt with his little brother's tattling the way you did. Though I have to admit I've never been a fan of tattlers either.

Looking forward to reading your books. I have the first one and I have a friend who loves cat stories. I've got her started on this series.

Keep writing (and stay out of trouble.)

Beverly aka Booklady

orchid7 said...

Sofie, that's a great story about you and your brother! (I've got a few of those myself!) ;) Siblings are so fun...
I love your book ideas- this looks like an interesting series!

Sofie said...

Christine, I have one sister who is 8 years older, so that's how I ended up spending my time with Stephen and his brothers.

Margie, I am a big, big cat lover and if it wasn't for my husband's allergies I have a cat or two. I told him if he dies first I'm getting a cat.

Janelle, the cat's powers were suggested by my very talented editor. I like her idea and went from their.

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. Good luck in the draw.

kswederski said...

Great Story! Can't wait to read your book.


Linda Kish said...

Your story about Bill and Stephen was so funny. I look forward to reading your book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Darlene said...

Wow - a cozy mystery with cats! Cat-lover that I am, I totally want to read this series! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I'm currently enjoying the first in the series, and I can't wait to read this one too!

Stacie said...

Loved reading your childhood stories. They made me laugh. This series looks like a lot of fun so I will be adding it to my TBR pile. Look forward to reading it :)