HE GAVE ME BARN CATS – On sale March 14, 2017
About the book –
Inspired by true events…
Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness. When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.
Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard: God: 9, Maria: 0. Her questions turn into anger at God. She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.
How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?
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Some say we’re closer to God here in the mountains. To me, Heaven will feel like I do when I walk with my Chocolate Lab, Lindsey, behind our 1922 barn to investigate the deer paths that create a maze in the forest. And amazed I truly am. As Lindsey sniffs and pads her fat paws into each hoof print, I study the specks of sunlight peeking between each leaf. I study the century-old, moss-covered apple tree, a “Virginia Beauty,” that fell a decade ago, yet it still bears fruit each autumn. I study the feathery ferns that try so hard to blend in with the wild grasses but can’t hide their striking beauty. I’m drawn to the filtered light where they live.
This morning, as we walk across the hillside, it occurs to me that the month of May in our area can be summed up with one word: green. It’s such a vibrant green that artists have a hard time creating it for their paintings, and when they do achieve the brilliant hue, customers say it’s not realistic. But it is. It’s a green so bright that it makes you think the sun is peeking out, even on a rainy day.
For those of us who live here, May’s green means more to us than mere beauty. It’s like you can breathe again. It’s as if during the long winter (November through April), you clench your jaw against the fierce winds and hold your breath against the cold. Then suddenly, in May, the brilliant green is all around you, and whoosh, you unclench your jaw and exhale winter’s bad air that you’ve held inside for six months―and you suck in a big gulp of green. You feel as if your New Year has begun now―not on January 1, but on May 1―so there’s an excitement in the air. As you breathe it in, you feel better than you have since October, when you had your last decent dose of sun―a sidelong glance before she left you.
About the author –
Formerly a newspaper reporter, Maria Santomasso-Hyde now owns Alta Vista Fine Art Gallery.
She lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, with her husband, Lee, and The Queen of the Universe (Roma, their Black Cat) … and other Black Cats who decide to move in.
There are print and e-book copies of HE GAVE ME BARN CATS up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway