Tuesday, March 14, 2017

He Gave Me Barn Cats {+ Giveaway}

I’m delighted today to welcome author Maria Santomasso-Hyde to Thoughts in Progress today as part of her HE GAVE ME BARN CATS Blog Tour with MC Book Tours.

Her book is being released today (March 14) by Dancing Lemur Press. In celebration of the tour, I’m sharing my thoughts on this charming book. In addition, you can enter to win your own copy of Maria’s book. Please see the end of the post for more giveaway details.

◊ He Gave Me BARN CATS
◊ by Maria Santomass0-Hyde
◊ Published by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
◊ Available March 14, 2017
◊ $10.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 134 pages
◊ Genres: Christian Fiction/Christian Life-Death, Grief, Bereavement
◊ Print ISBN 978-1-939844-21-7
◊ eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-22-4
◊ Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or from the publisher
◊ $3.99 eBook available in all formats

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?

Here are my thoughts.

This is a tender story about love, loss, grief, and hope. The author uses a variety of viewpoints to share her story. While the story does go back and forth from the thoughts of these various viewpoints, readers are able to follow without any problem.

The author shares her emotional journey at losing her elderly mother after having taken care of her for many years. During this journey the author finds hope, loss, and happiness through numerous animals that she and her husband share their lives with.

If you’ve ever care for a loved one during a lengthy illness, this book will touch your heart. The comfort and hope the author finds from the animals around her will resonate with those who have four-legged fur babies as part of their family.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is filled with emotions. Readers will be able to relate on many levels to the ups and downs the author encounters throughout this story. If you’re the least bit tender-hearted, don’t be surprised if you need a tissue or two before the story ends.

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available for pre-order in print format at following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Everything Cats, Foyles, and Chapters-Indigo.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available for order in eBook format at the following sites: Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon.

Be sure to add HE GAVE ME BARN CATS to your shelf on Goodreads.

Author Maria Santomasso-Hyde
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.

For more on Maria, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Come join the blog tour and learn more about Maria and HE GAVE ME BARN CATS by visiting the following blog:

March 8 - Rockin' Book Reviews - Guest Post
March 10 - Defending The Pen - Excerpt
March 13 - Reviews by Crystal - Q&A
Alex J. Cavanaugh - Guest Post
March 14 - Thoughts in Progress - Review
March 15 -
March 16 - A Bluestocking's Place - Excerpt
deal sharing aunt - Review
March 17 - Juneta @ Writer's Gambit - Q&A
March 20 - The Story of a Writer - Feature
CBY Book Club - Excerpt
March 21 - bookworm1102 - Excerpt
Storey Book Reviews - Excerpt
Celticlady's Reviews - Feature

This is a tour-wide giveaway for two (2) print copies (U.S only) and two (2) eBooks (international). To enter just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today during Maria’s visit. Do you think animals helps us in times of stress and loss? Do you think animals are a gift from God?


  1. I saw this book featured on Alex's blog this morning. Colour me intrigued. I am very certain that we can often learn from animals - and even more often get comfort from them.

  2. I'd like a print copy if I win. I love books with cats in them, and this one sounds so nice. Cats can be very therapeutic.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  3. Big congratulations to Maria! Hope she enjoys her day.

  4. Thank you for hosting Maria on her launch day.

  5. Animals can really be healing, and it sounds as though that's this book's focus. Thanks for sharing, Mason, and I wish Maria much success.

  6. I volunteer with rescue and we have a barnyard cat program. Want to read this book

  7. Thank you for the review you wrote on your wonderful blog! You honed in on the main points of the book. Also, I enjoyed the comments from your readers. Thanks to all!

  8. Just the title alone sounds like the most romantic novel I will ever read! hehehehehe... - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  9. Animals have an amazing power to help us through difficult situations and to heal.

  10. Animals are little fur or fin-covered beings goodness, love and playfulness. They are zen, they are poets, they are blasphemers, they are raw. Animals are our hearts and minds.

  11. I like the line, "No dogs are good at a stare-down contest." So true! I wish Maria luck with her book.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.