Of Cats and Cafés

Dianne Mossor you are the winner of the books and tote bag! Watch for an email — Julie and Liz will need your contact information!

Today we are wicked happy to continue celebrating the release of Chime and Punishment by Julianne Holmes, aka Julie Hennrikus and Cat About Town by Cate Conte, aka Liz Mugavero. If you leave a comment you have a chance to Win a copy of Chime and Punishment, Cat About Town, and a cute cat bag!

Chime and Punishment is the third book in the Clock Shop Mystery series. Here’s a little about the book: Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town’s beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she’s returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she’s determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower’s bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth’s nearest and dearest. Time’s a-wastin’ as Ruth tries to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project.

A Cat About Town is the first novel in the Cat Cafe Mystery series. Here’s a little about the debut: Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

Both series have cafés and cats in them! So Wickeds, do you have a favorite café and/or a favorite cat?

Christabel behind Preston at Christmas. They often array themselves in matching poses.

Edith: I can’t wait to read both these new books! I don’t go to cafés much, but we have two lovely ones here in Amesbury: Ovedia and Market Square Bakehouse, and I’ve met people at both for coffee and conversation. Ovedia has the added attraction of making their own very fine chocolates! As for cats, well, my sweet Birdy shed his earthly shell in June, alas. Now we have two cats, and I couldn’t possibly play favorites between Christabel (the kitchen cat in the Quaker Midwife Mysteries) and Preston (the farm cat in the Local Foods Mysteries).

Barb: One of the things I’m sorry to leave on my last day in Somerville, Massachusetts, (today!) Is the Diesel Cafe. I wrote many of my first drafts there, particularly of my short stories, but also some of the novels. The funniest thing about the Diesel is that at certain times of day, everyone who is there is writing a book. The Diesel is included in the dedications and acknowledgements of many novels. As for cats, I have to admit I am endlessly amused by my son’s cat, Monkey, who has been trying to murder my son’s wife, Sunny, for almost a decade. Monkey does things like spreading shampoo all over the bathroom floor in the middle of the night and then gently nudging Sunny awake. I find it hilarious. I’m not sure Sunny does.

JJLiz: I love Diesel, Barb! I’m still searching for my favorite cafe in my new neighborhood, but in my old one there was a great coffee shop called Grounded. It’s owned by really great younger people and offers high end coffee drinks in a neighborhood that, a couple years ago, would’ve laughed it right off the street. I have great admiration for them. As for cats, it IS like picking a favorite child! The cat in the book, JJ, is based on my real life cat JJ. Isn’t he handsome?

Julie: I need to go to more cafes just to hang and drink coffee. I don’t do that enough, but will start! There are a good number to choose from–including 1369, Cafe Neros all over town, and the Thinking Cup to name a few. As for favorite cats–how can I choose? I’ve had five in my adult life, the most recent of which are Fred and Ginger. They are rescues who finally are settling into life in my condo. I’m not going to let them read Liz’s book–I worry that they’ll want to start walking me through Somerville.

Jessie: I don’t live near enough to any cafes to have a neighborhood favorite although I have enjoyed plenty of them whilst traveling. On a recent trip to Edinburg I had the pleasure of visiting The Elephant Cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter book. It was a magical experience, especially the bathroom where fans have covered the walls with messages to Harry’s creator.

Sherry: My favorite cafe is Helen’s in Concord. They have delicious breakfasts. Oh, now I want to fly up to Massachusetts! I’ve had two cats in my life, Snoopy, a Persian and Lucy, a beautiful gray and white. I would love to hang out in the town of Orchard and on Daybreak Island with their cats and cafes!

Readers: Do you have a favorite cafe or cat? Fictional or real?


105 Thoughts

  1. We adopted a feral kitty we call She-She from the feline vet about 10 years ago. She is beautiful and sweet and still afraid of the things feral kitties are afraid of. At night if I sing her a song (Jingle Bells is her favorite), she’ll come and sit nearby as long as I sing. She has one toy that she would play with all day if I would make it dance. It’s a fluffy stretchy dancing rainbow on a stick. She is a great friend.

  2. Growing up we had Mickey, a very large light gray cat, well guard cat. Mickey would sit at the end of our driveway quarding our home. People would walk on the other side of the street to avoid Mickeys stare. But inside our house he was the most lovable kitty! Thanks for the contest Sherry.

  3. I at present have only one cat: Sam, a long-haired orange tabby with a white tip to his tail. At best guess (adopted as an adult found wandering a field) he is about 19 years old. When he passes I do NOT plan to replace him: too great a chance of any replacement surviving me and needing another home.

  4. Helen’s is also one of our favorite breakfast places…I love the Mediterranean omelette. Is Maddie James named that in tribute to Maddie Day? I’m looking forward to both books.

  5. Love cats–I currently live with 2. Love cozy mysteries. Would love to win!!

  6. I can’t see a clock without thinking of Julie these days! Big ones, little ones, old ones, sad shells that have been gutted or had their innards replaced with something modern–what is it about time that we have to keep track of it? As for cats, I talk to all those I meet, anywhere, and a surprising number of my new friends have curled up on my lap and gone to sleep. I think I’m a cat magnet.

    As for cafes, my new favorite is the Good Things Cafe in Skibbereen–not only does it serve great food in a comfortable atmosphere, but the owner/manager/chef was kind enough to let me stand in a corner and watch how her kitchen operates. A dream come true!

    But I also had to laugh at Barb’s comment, because I knew a cafe like that in Berkeley, years ago. Everyone was nursing a cup of strong Peet’s coffee and writing poetry (and trying to look very intense and artistic).

    1. I always think of Julie when I see clocks too! Putting Good Things Cafe on my list of places to go when someday I make it to Ireland.

  7. No cafes near me either, Jessie, but cats? Oh yes. And most of ours live to be 18 or 20, so they provide years of inspiration. Our current two,Nefret and Bala, appear as Lumpkin and Glenora in my Liss MacCrimmon books. A past cat, Calpurnia, is the model for Cal in the new series launching next June. Almost every book I’ve written has at least one cat in it. I mean, who else can the heroine talk to when she’s trying to work out a thorny problem?

  8. I don’t get out often enough to have a favorite cafe. Although the bakery near me has a cafe area and it’s nice to sit outside (in warm weather) or by the fireplace (in the winter) with a chai latte and a pastry.

    We don’t have cats; the hubby is allergic. I just got done pet-sitting for the neighbors with their two cats and a bird. The scratches from where the one cat nipped at me when I didn’t do what he wanted are finally healed, so I’ll keep my cats fictional, thanks.

  9. De Cleiu in Fairfax nearby has a great space, great vibe (as Sherry herself may know). As for favorite cats, we’ve got two here in the house: Stanlee and Izzy!
    And will Liz/Cate sign the cute cat bag too? ….I mean, not that I’m counting on winning here, but….

  10. Really looking forward to reading these two books. Favorite fictional cats? Way too many to choose from. They all have some neat trait (whether realistic or fantastical) that makes them lovable in their own way. Many of our cats have been literary: Agatha, Miss Marple, Kinky (Friedman), Sherlock, and others who have have not: Pussington Le Chat, Kaboodle, Chloe, and Baby Ruth. And I would love to win the books!!

  11. I am not a cat person although cats seem to like me. At least most of them! I have no pets but I do visit others with pets like my daughter’s tortoise cat. Cafes are wonderful as are restaurant/bars for sitting and “being” near lively people. Meeting friends for dinner, I always go early to pick up on the patrons and life in the venue. When traveling, I look for restaurants that have packed parking lots!

    1. The packed parking lot idea is a good one. We’ve been the mistake of going to the empty place a couple of times when every other place was crowded.

  12. I look forward to reading both books and would love the chance to win. My favorite cats are the 4 cats my parents and I have between us. I have Lucky and Lexie and my parents have Chloe and Kammi. I don’t really have a favorite cafe. I wish there was one around me that wasn’t a chain that I knew about.

  13. Our household is owned by two cats who rule the roost. Romeo Luigi is the eldest and is a black cat (poo to the belief that black cats are a bad omen) with a line of Siamese somewhere in his family tree. As you can tell by his name he is quite a lover. The other puss is a long haired ginger tabby named Ralphie Lee. He owns my daughter and his grandfather. Ralphie is a really great therapy cat for our son who has Autism. It is a very interesting bond for the two of them. I love any book that has cats in them and even better when there is a mystery involved. Thanks for sharing these two new books on your blog.

  14. There are no cafes near me currently, I have heard rumors that one will be coming soon to our small town. These books both sound like great reads! I must buy them for our library! Cats…I love! Currently we have an outside one that graces us with her presence.

    1. I hope the cafe comes to town. And I know that Julie and Liz will be thrilled if you order the books for your library! Lucy was our outdoor cat who moved from house to house in the neighborhood.

  15. I like to stop into a chain shop after my walks in the morning. I stop, take a break, and draw for a bit. It’s how I start most of my days. It’s not the brand or the layout that draws me in. It’s the people. The employees and I talk about coffee and pairings, travel, school, their kids… The customers in the morning are mall employees, our local librarians, stay at home moms, working moms on their way to drop off their kids, professionals, sleepy college students. It’s a fun, eclectic, grouping of my community.

  16. Our favorite family cat, Tigger, was with us for 17 years. He was a rescue cat that loved rock and roll and jazz. He played with the dog next door and loved walks on leashes. He would settle down for naps after we touched noses. What a cat! As for cafes? No indies here in town, but I keep hoping. Happy Launch Days! 🙂 🙂

  17. Stubbs, a cat, was the mayor of Talkeetna for 20 years until he recently crossed Rainbow Bridge. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person but I must attest that Talkeetna is one of the more peaceful towns on the Last Frontier, so he must have done a very good job.

  18. I’m drawing a blank on both of them right now. I’m sounding like a party pooper. 🙁

    (Don’t enter me in the drawing. I have both already.)

    1. One of the things I loved about living in Southern California was all of the little breakfast places. Of course I can’t think of the name of any of them and they aren’t close to you because we lived in Redondo Beach and then San Pedro.

  19. Cafes and cats–both favorites of mine. Add a mystery, and it’s a winning day! My favorite cafes include Jitter Bean and The Creamery near where I live and my two favorite cats are my current two Russian Blue sisters, not yet a year old. One is Moxie (yes, after the Maine beverage as well as her personality). Her sister is Moshi, after Moshe Feldenkrais, a brilliant physicist who developed a great functional movement program named after him (The Feldenkrais Method). Cheers to cafes and cats!

  20. At 82 there has been cats in my life but down to one , a feral that we take care of and Miranda James’ Diesel. In my small town we have a real Tea Room , even with a Table and Chairs that are a cup and saucer. It’s fun to take people to and often pop in for desserts.

  21. No cafe. It is so hard to choose just one cat! There are two who were with me through the hardest times that broke my heart when they crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Sundance, who as a kitten tried to chew off my earrings an d Sprout, who slept wrapped around my head from the time she was a kitten. Haven’t had a beastie since, although I adore the cats we have now.

  22. I have 2 favorite cats. My own Belle, she is a sweet girl. Then there is Barnabas who we adopted at a shelter in Salem, MA and Barnabas has fangs. I should get him a cape but he would most likely shred it in minutes.

  23. I love Sunnybud in Karen Rose Smith’s Shades of Wrath. He’s a ginger like my two.

  24. I’ve had several cats in my life that have meant the world to me. As a little girl there was Thomas and after he was gone Fluffy. Poor Fluffy was a boy but he dealt with the name. In high school there was a Manx named Chester who was my side kick. In my 20’s there was Diesel who was my snuggle buddy. There were some others in between these but these are the ones who stole my heart.

  25. Both my kitties are rescues. One is 14 the other will be 7 in a few days. How do I know he’ll be 7? I was working in an animal hospital when a FedEx driver rushed in with this tiny kitten just hours old. Found him on his route. He’s my spoiled baby. I love them both to death.

  26. My own “real life” cat is a spoiled princess named Shadow. She looks exactly like a French Chateaux cat but is really a plain old barn cat– but she clearly believes she’s royalty. My favorite fictional cat is, of course, O’Ryan –from my Witch City Mysteries!

  27. I do not go to cafes, although I know I would be there constantly if we had one near us. I have had cats my entire life until the last 17. From Tom my huge cat that slept in my bassinet (it was huge) with me, to Smokey, Papillion, Boots, Balthazar, and many others they were all amazing. Deedy though was one in a million. He weighed 32 pounds, when standing on his hind legs he could reach over the kitchen counter, could turn over the recliner when he was stretching his legs on the top, his tail was the thickest, longest tail I have ever seen (and I have worked in vet’s offices). His tail could knock over a full drink when he walked by the coffee table. He walked on a leash, went camping, flew with me, went on road trips. He would sit out front when I gardened and beat up any neighboring dog that dared come in my yard. One was so scared of him, he would yelp, put his tail between his legs and take off running if he even saw him outside. He was also diabetic and was on insulin for over 10 years. He was my attack cat and would attack anyone if I screamed. (That was a fun game to play by the way). He was my buddy. I have not had a cat since he passed. I am a dog person for sure, but honestly Deedy was a lot more dog than cat!

  28. My son”s partner is a vet tech and one day a woman brought a tiny kitten into the hospital. She found it in her yard. It was near death but she couldn’t take financial responsibility for it so he did. He saved the kitten’s life and bottle fed it round the clock.
    He named the kitty, Macchiato since he was the color of a Caramel Macchiato.
    Macchiato is sweet and feisty. Loves having his cheeks rubbed and is quite loud when he wants something. He has beautiful blue eyes that are crossed.

  29. Land Ho in Orleans on Cape Cod is my favorite cafe. And my sister had a beautiful kitten, Midnight, many years ago. Because my son was allergic to cats 🐱 we never had one.

  30. I love Deisel from the Cat in the Stacks series. I have 6 cats at home and 1 feral cat outside that I feed. All of my indoor cats are special needs cats. I can’t wait to read both these books!

  31. I’d like to read these books, putting them on my list! Congratulations!

  32. What a great giveaway!
    As for favorite neighborhood cafes, we are in a small town but we had one called The Chocolate Spoon and i really liked going there until I was finally diagnosed with a wheat allergy (possibly celiac) so that ended that! Now it’s closed 😕.
    As far as a favorite cat it was a torty named Psyca – she was crazy and loved water!
    Can’t wait to read and/or listen to the books!

  33. What a great giveaway!
    We used to have a place here called The Chocolate Spoon, but it’s closed now. As far as favorite cat, we have one named Psyca who was nuts! She loved water. My hubby is horribly allergic now so I have to love on everyone else’s!
    Can’t wait to check out the books! I love finding new authors!

  34. Favorite cafe, no. Nothing like that in this little town. But my favorite cat is Kasey, who was once a feral stray and is now a member of our family.

  35. My favorite real cat is my now dearly departed calico cat, Nougat. She was the sweetest cat I’ve ever met. Great books and a great giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win!

  36. I don’t have a favorite cat but since my daughter is living with me I have her two cats. They can be lovable but they also can get into mischief. I really like Hannah Swensen’s cat Moishe in the series by Joanne Fluke. It amazes me how Moishe can always tell when Hannah’s mother is at the door or on the phone.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  37. Remember the Disney movie The Aristocats? They were the first cats I fell in love with! Thanks for the chance to win!

  38. These books look so fun, and JJ is a cutie! I don’t have a favorite cat cafe (never been in one, and I don’t think there are any near where I live), but I have two favorite cats, mine! Anna Belle and Molly are both rescues who have been with me for five years now. I don’t know what I’d do without them! Marla: mbradeen@yahoo.com

      1. They insisted! They were actually supposed to be foster cats until they found a permanent home, but after a few days here they decided they weren’t going anywhere. (You can probably guess who runs the household!)

  39. I have a favorite cat..MY Ragdoll breed cat Molly! She is the first cat I have had in years…we got her a while ago from a friend, is eight years old and 100% attitude and diva! Thanks for the chance to win your very generous giveaway….

  40. I can’t wait to read both of these!

    My favorite cafe is The Barge in Hamilton, NY…probably because it was my first cafe and a favorite hang out in high school.

  41. I have cared for several memorable cats during my life. At the moment, I am the guardian of a 14+ yr old female named Kitty. She doesn’t answer to any name in particular but the veterinarian required a name for her file at the clinic. Kitty wandered into my house years ago and after I removed the sticky hobo spider trap from her thigh fur, she decided to stay with me as a thank you. Recently she has been waking me up early in the morning with a paw to my face so I will let her out into the back yard where she likes to eat grass, inspect the herb garden (rosemary is her favorite to roll around in) and sample the wild catnip growing there. Then she comes back in for a 15 hour nap. I guess being the equivalent of late 80’s in human years has it’s privileges.

  42. There’s a cafe in my town that I like to visit when I have a day off from work. Their scones are fabulous!!

  43. My favorite cafe was one I sang in when I was in college. I’ve never developed a taste for coffee, but they had many kinds of tea and the most decadent hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It was like liquid heaven. I love cats of all colors and stripes (and non-stripes, too). My favorite fictional cat is Koko, from Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who books. My favorite real cat was my heart kitty, Dreamer (Codakatz Sunshine Daydream). He was a big red silver tabby, snuggle buddy, cat. He was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy when he was 20 months old and the vets told me he wouldn’t live to see 5 years. I spoiled him thoroughly and he crossed the Bridge at a few months shy of 13. I still miss him.

    1. How cool that you sang in cafes! I would have emptied the place! I love Koko too — I think that is the first series I read where a cat played a part in the mystery. And Dreamer sounds like an amazing cat!

  44. I am a crazy cat lady have quite a few and anytime a stray shows up and they stick around they get a name ad I keep feeding them 🙂 parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

  45. We have a cute café near me called tomato pie café. This place is perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner. Sometimes we just go for coffee and dessert and hang out and surf. Thanks for the chance.

  46. I do have a favorite cafe with sifas and big overstuffed chairs and in the summer I love it there as it is always nice and cool. I have gone there with my daughter and granddaughter and live meeting my friend Deb there as she lives close by and would use any excuse to go for lunch or just iced coffee. 😊 When our son in law went to Japan on business this past spring he took our teen granddaughter and his parents and they loved the Cat Cafe they went to while there. We all love cats in our family. Can not remember a time without one or two or more cats since I was a very young child.!!! Love them…

  47. I never drink coffee, (I’m a tea girl). But I enjoy conversation and a cup of chai latte at my local coffee shop, Java House, in LeClaire, IA. It is right next door to The Chocolatier which makes their own sweet treats. As for cats, my favorite childhood one was Houdini. She could get out of any box that my brothers would try to lock her in! The boys thought that was the way to get rid of her! But it didn’t work. Unfortunately shortly after giving birth to a litter of 6, she was hit by a car. But our German Shepherd had also just had 6 puppies so, Juno nursed the kittens along with her own puppies!

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