turning mourning into dancing
Our sweet, beautiful Patches passed away on Monday, April 10th. Y'all may have known her as my Creative Director, and boy-oh-boy, did she have pizzazz!!!
But when she wasn't calling the shots (demanding more cat scenes in the Shady Gully series) she was really quite the charmer...
The grief we're feeling now is in stark contrast to the blooming flowers and tweeting birds of spring. Seasons change, of course, but I wonder, are we ever really "ready" or "prepared" to lose a loved one?
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, has filled my head, heart, and soul these last few weeks. Verse one says, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven."
Here is my social media tribute to Patches, the cat that was definitely All That :)
We had to say goodbye to our sweet, beautiful Patches yesterday. Twenty-two years old and gifted with an amazing constitution, she waited out a variety of cats and dogs to finally have us all to herself. When Lucy died almost two years ago, Patches truly lived her very best life. A heated cat bed in every room. A diet consisting of treats and the finest tuna. She thrived being the only furry child in the house.
While she had her share of setbacks, especially lately, she fought hard and resisted her final farewell…right up until the end.
We are devastated. It truly feels like the end of an era. She grew up alongside our daughter, Bree, and purred in her arms when she went away to college. And then gave her the side-eye when she married and got a cat of her own.
Patches lived in three different states, enjoying sunsets in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Kentucky. She oh-so-patiently schooled a very select group of sitters whenever we traveled. Sarah Hopkins, Rachel Dodge, John Brothers.
I’ll never forget the kind and gentle words from Mr. Wimberly from the Pineville Animal Shelter in Louisiana. Twenty-two years ago, he told me with certainty, “She’s going to be a big cat and live a long life.”
I can’t imagine how he knew that, but she WAS, and she DID. While I’m so grateful for the time I had with her, as I circle the empty cat beds and her electric blanket perched on the couch next to my spot, my heart aches for more.
Back to Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, specifically verse 4, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."
While I'm mourning and weeping for our sweet Patches, I DO have some super, exciting news to laugh and dance about. And you guessed it, it's BOOK NEWS!
That's right, the audiobook of Shades of Violet is NOW AVAILABLE! The great Kathy Fox Vancil, aka the voice of Shady Gully, is back to narrate the third book in the Shady Gully Series. Here's what she said about her experience:
"From a narrator’s perspective, Hallie Lee writes immersive fiction. Her characters live and breathe because Hallie knows how to create and sustain real life experiences, emotions and personalities through the turn of phrase and masterful wordsmithing.
There were times, when narrating Violet, that I had to stop because the insecurity parallels hit a little too close to home. Meadow’s combined bitterness and hopefulness was a rollercoaster … a thoroughly exhilarating and unsettling ride. Lenny, dear man, is rock solid on the outside but needing real answers. One of the highest praises I can offer is that Lee’s male characters are men, not female author “idealized” male characters, but real men.
It was a privilege to narrate the 3rd book in this delightful and gritty Shady Gully series. Can’t wait to see where Hallie Lee takes us in the next book." ----Kathy Fox Vancil
The audiobook is available on Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books. Here is a link to purchase at your favorite retailer--> https://www.books2read.com/shadesofviolet
Now. Don't you think the Shades of Violet audiobook would make a GREAT Mother's DAY Gift? I do, and I'd love to give one away. Any takers? Just comment below or email me here and tell me why you want the audiobook of Shades of Violet. I'll pick a winner before next Friday.
The response to Shades of Violet has been fantastic, and as always, I'm grateful to all who have taken the time to rate and offer a line or two about my work. You can do that anytime on Goodreads as well as Amazon, and wherever you purchased the books.
So there, even amid sorrow and pain, there is always something to laugh, dance, love, and embrace. In fact, if you're wondering what's next for my husband and me, who suddenly find ourselves petless, stay tuned. I see a GRAND ADVENTURE in our future. Stay tuned!
And most of all...
Already have all three books, and enjoyed them. I share a kindle account with my mom. It isn’t easy keeping her in books, but I try. She told me one day shortly after your newest book came out that she had read it. She said, “I was looking through the list of books and when I saw that one I knew it would be different and good, not the same old thing as the other books.” Highest praise from my 81 year old mom.
This is fabulous, Vickie. Most definitely high praise from your sweet mom. Secret: when I'm writing I always think of my own mom reading it and whether she would approve and want to turn the page. Like your mom, she was an avid reader, so it means a lot to know your mom gave it a thumbs up :) Thanks for sharing this with me; I feel like it was a God wink of sorts :)
Thank you, Theresa. I'm so happy you're enjoying the series. I appreciate your support :)
Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful creature. Also, YAY to the audiobook release!!!!
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