~Cat Hayes~

**After a 2-year walkabout and subsequent return home to Maui, the Gypsy Cat is now in Seattle!
To quote Jumanji: "There is a lesson you must learn; sometimes you must go back a turn."...

Newest news: I am currently in rehearsal as vocalist with a newly formed Big Band called RJ's Express Band. More details TBA about that and about life. I am WAY behind on updating this page, argh...



sneak peak condensed excerpts of my books at the bottom of this page!

The Survivor Effect

*AVAILABLE* online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and in Kindle edition at Amazon.
Also available by order at all bookstores nationwide, or directly with RoseHeart Books.

Secrets of Night

*AVAILABLE* online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and in Kindle edition at Amazon.
Also available by order at all bookstores nationwide, or directly with RoseHeart Books.

Shadows In Paradise
a novel of suspense and Hawaiian heart


*AVAILABLE* online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and in Kindle edition at Amazon.
Also available by order at all bookstores nationwide, or directly with RoseHeart Books.

*NOTE: My contract with RoseHeart for Shadows in Paradise is up and I am contemplating re-publish options, so this book may not be available at this time.

I am currently crafting my fourth book, Room Service.


My name is Cat Hayes ...

Author, performer, massage therapist, chameleon ... all synonymous in my book ;)

I am a humanist and agnostic, and a ponderer of life philosophies.

As a single mom, I have raised two amazing sons, now adults, my greatest gift to this world. I couldn't be prouder. You're welcome, world! :)

Shadows In Paradise has been a cathartic labor of love for me. It is a journey of suspense and imprinting characters, and it is peppered with the love of and cultural appreciation for Hawaii, which is the setting for over half of the story.
Secrets Of Night allowed me to roam deeply into the human heart amidst shocking trauma, and to further express multi-cultural - as well as bi-racial - appreciation, this time spotlighting the island of Jamaica for part of the storyline location.
The Survivor Effect is a moving patchwork quilt of sixteen individual survivors, each with their own intense backstory, who find strength in fellowship and give us all the opportunity to feel our own spirit and circumstances ... and remember hope.
Room Service will be a multi-national, traveling whodunit involving the boomerang karma of rude tourists. One might say it is "Karma and Punishment" ... ;)

Thank you for visiting. Please read on as I share a few condensed excerpts of Shadows In Paradise, Secrets Of Night and The Survivor Effect:


SHADOWS IN PARADISE

~condensed excerpts~

~~~Prologue:

The news is sure to rock the island where peace is cherished and aloha reigns. Tomorrow's headline in the Maui News will not be about a legislative issue or a North Shore swell, or some hideously unnecessary new resort. Tomorrow's headline will be about Kiri Kilohana, an eleven-year-old local boy that was abducted.

This kind of thing just doesn't happen here. This island, this hallowed respite from the violent everyday realities elsewhere, is safe harbor to children. Today, all of that has changed.

Kiri and his little sister, Lehua, had been playing in the backyard when the Pied Piper melody of the ice cream man wound its way through the neighborhood and cried out to the children. With almost a frantic frenzy the two children tore off down the street in search of the elusive music.

Prizes in hand, Kiri and Lehua danced home, giggling and singing Eddie Murphy's ice cream song: "I have some iiiice cream!" The car approached with stealth, neither of the children noticing until it was less than five feet behind them.

The stranger dragged Kiri back to the car. Lehua froze. The car sped away leaving swerving black streaks in its wake. A cracked waffle cone and a blob of ice cream lay abandoned on the sidewalk.

And just that quickly, Kiri Kilohana disappeared from view forever.

~~~The Bad Guy:

Julie dropped Joey off with her mother early that morning. She was back at home getting ready for work when she heard the knock.

When she opened the door, she was looking down the barrel of a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver. Zane got right to the point.

"I'm here for my son."

"He's not here, Zane," Julie retorted.

"Liar!" He looked past her. "Get out of my way."

Her eyes met his as she very slowly enunciated, "Go. To. Hell."

His hand moved too fast for her to react, and the cold hard metal of the gun made impact with her face. A sickening crunch of bone was the last sound she heard. He moved in closer and kissed her forcefully. The pain reverberated throughout her face. "Goodbye, Julie. Lights out." He smiled and, his grip still wrapped around her face, slammed her head back against the parquet floor. Everything went black.

~~~Beauty:

Island people are one. Nature's gentle forces form their unity. How humbling the simplicity of it all.

As we gather to witness the awesome power of a sunset over the horizon waters, we are drawn together. There is no race, no age, no hatred. We are one.

Let us listen to the voices in the breeze. Let us fill up our souls when we see a rainbow. Let us feel the calm of a still, starry night. Let us stop and breathe the air that we all share.

Let us hear the ever-present music of creation, and join in the song. Let us pause to reflect the majesty of it all.

And on this lonely planet we call home, let us learn to be island people.

~~~Contemplation:

Emotions run the gamut when you're grieving. Welling in the heart ebbs and flows like the tide that carves the coastline. It surges forth with dynamic power, and often tries to hide, lying still underneath the thin protective layer whose very existence can save a soul from insanity.

Julie drove to the top of Haleakala, Maui's dormant volcano. It was a desolate place with a unique landscape like the surface of Mars. The crater stretched on for miles of sliding sand with lava rock in blended tones of silvery grays and reds in eerie beauty. It was amazing how the destructive force of such violence as a volcano could produce such awesome majesty.

The descent from Haleakala offered a panoramic view like no other on Earth. The rolling hills of gentle upcountry Maui melted into a sleepy valley with the ocean lapping on two sides, and across the valley, the West Maui Mountains jagged their way into the sky. Julie stopped on the winding road for a family of cows that ambled across. A mother cow and her calf stepped in front of her car. The mother, still chewing on a mouthful of grass, looked up and their eyes locked. Mother to mother, animal to animal. Julie smiled and whispered through the glass, "Take good care of him."


SECRETS OF NIGHT

~condensed excerpts~

~~~Prologue:

A blood-chilling scream awoke her with a start. Standing in the middle of the woods near Lake Talquin, she was horrified to realize that she had been sleepwalking and that now before her unfolded a terrifying scene.

Neanderthal posture defined the shape of the man who had ahold of a young woman by her pink-ribboned long dark ponytail. Her shirt and shorts were torn completely open in front. Her bare arms were sliced and bleeding as they churned through the dirt and rocks and leaves while she fought to gain balance and focus. A second man straddled her and pinned her arms, dripping sweat and drooling saliva onto her face and neck and into her eyes. The more she fought the more excited he became. He took his belt and gave her a wind-shearing whip with it across the face, cutting her cheek with the buckle. The first man laughed as he watched, and laughed harder as he urinated on the girl's bleeding face while the other man raped her.

The full moon above illuminated the scene through the trees with bizarre clarity like a stencil-covered spotlight. After what seemed like an hour, the men dragged the wilted woman to a red pick-up truck parked on the dirt road, hoisted her into the bed, bound her wrists to an equipment rack, got into the truck's cab and drove off.

The witness stared as she watched them leave. A feeling like burgeoning liquid cobwebs swelled under her skin, pumping through her with surging escalation until suddenly the adrenaline flash flood forced her body up into a winged sprint back toward her campsite. But disorientation clouded her focus. She zigzagged through the wilderness and brush, stumbling, falling, her anxiety ever heightening.

The catacombs of the forest closed in around her as she slowed her pace. She felt desperate tears within but they would not shed. Finally hugging a tree for some modicum of comfort, she felt her body slide harshly down the bark as she trembled and shut down. There, deep in the woods, her mind numb, her throat parched, and her heart racing wildly, she collapsed and rocked into a pulsating catatonic bobbing while swallowing the secret of this terrible night.

~~~Accompong:

Ironic and disturbing how the quest to feign the charade of alleged civilization can lead to rationalization by humans of blatant barbarianism. It just doesn't get any more twisted than that.

In a darker era of Jamaica's truth there came to the island African slaves imported initially by the Spanish and subsequently by the British. Bands of escaped slaves formed camps and grew in strength and power. Ultimately adapting to survival on their own high in the mountains and mountain caves, these strong people known as Maroons became truly free. Today the Maroon culture is alive and well.

Damon and Chase ascended into the mountains to the nation within a nation. Accompong. The town is self-governing and there is no crime at all. No taxes, no police, no crime. This is a people and place of peace and respect. An unusual number of people here live to be over one hundred years old. Can Shangri-La really be just as simple as being kind and peaceable? It makes sense.

As they walked, Chase pointed out a group of children playing a game with a juice box being thrown.

"Ah dat's Dandy Shandy!"

One smiling child looked their way and beckoned for them to join in. And for a few exhilaratingly free moments Chase was a child of Accompong.

~~~Family Dinner:

Waiting impatiently was Damon's mother, who everyone called Mama Bertena. Damon's family was gathered. Big Daddy Luther. Tyronne, the eldest sibling, with his girlfriend, Necie. Andreas, Damon's younger brother. Georgina, the baby of the family and the only girl.

The dutchie began to make its way around the table followed by a huge platter of fried chicken, another with fried dumplings, and yet another platter with vegetables. Finally came the bigass gravy boat, as Luther called it.

"Look at mi plate with these lovely dumplings that are so sad without any gravy!" He smiled sweetly, "Please, Bebe, I need di bigass gravy boat!"

Mama playfully smacked Daddy on the head, and she poured, dousing Luther's dumplings much to his childlike delight. He reached up, pulled her to him, and gave her a huge kiss.

"Please!' Andreas objected, "I'm trying to eat here!"

Mama walked over to Andreas and smacked him on the head too. She looked at Chase with a grin, saying "I love mi family."

Luther smiled and said to Chase, "I hope someday that you can be a part of our family. You've made mi son the happiest I've seen him."

~~~Recall:

"I cannot sleep for dreamin'; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I'd find you comin' through some door."

"Very good, Sam!" Kristi yelled up to the stage. Then she announced, "Okay people we're going to do an exercise. The Crucible is a work of mob mentality and we're going to do a little shunning."

Darcy went first. She taunted and jeered but got no reaction. A few hovered over her with scowls. Darcy crouched down as she felt the body warmth from their close proximity.

"That's good, that's how each of those women in this play felt."

Peggy was called. Sam focused on the girl. A couple of the boys sneered while raising their hands to the girl but not striking. "Stop!!" Sam suddenly outburst, "Leave her alone!" She threw herself in between Peggy and the aggressors, flailing her arms.

"Sam!" Kristi shouted with alarm as she ran up to the stage. She grabbed the hysterical child, calming her as she walked off the stage with her, leaving a dumbfounded crowd in her wake.

Chase arrived quickly at the school after getting the call. She sat down next to her daughter and held her.

Samantha looked up into her mother's eyes. "I remember everything."


THE SURVIVOR EFFECT

~condensed excerpts~ ... More will be added but I'd like to introduce to you my three core characters:

~~~Alex:

“Help is on the way, Alex.” He looked back up, then once again at his wife. “I’m sorry, Baby. I can’t explain. I’ve got to go.” He stooped to snatch up the deposit bag and off he dashed into the night. Alexandra Libertine-Baker lay in the sand and blood, shocked, betrayed, dying, alone. She was discovered off of the boardwalk in the wee deserted hours of the morning. She stared at her bruised and sliced and sewn up Frankenstein image. She was ugly. She was alive.

Inhale, exhale. Ebb, flow. Rise, fall. As Alex walked alone along the beach, she inhaled, exhaled her own tidal breath. We rise, we fall, we get up again. And life goes on. But there are times in life when the view of the road before us and the hope within us is muddied and blurred, and sometimes even completely obscured. When sight and hope is dimmed, sheer will must be our driving force. And when that will is also eclipsed, we walk in deaf darkness with decreasing pace until we simply stand still. Alex walked on though standing still. The sand beneath her feet hugged and released her toes with each step. She felt it, but at the same time she didn’t. And that was what she found to be her greatest nemesis and struggle. Feeling.

She went back to her car and drove home where she closed and locked the door and all of the windows, and drew the blinds to obliterate the outside world. Day after day she remained hidden in her hermitage, leaving the house only to run to the store and then return as quickly as possible. Weeks passed.

A bowl of over-buttered popcorn in hand, Alex settled on the couch, picked up the remote, and prepared herself for another in an extensive series of numbly cozy evenings alone. In her cave she could safely shut down. In her deterioration, she had. She mindlessly flipped through the channels. Who cares and what does it really matter anyway? The news was on and her absent apathetic disinterest began to dissipate as she became engrossed in the story before her of a woman an hour away in Cherry Hill. The woman's face was on the screen. Young. Weathered. Tired. But what fascinated Alex the most about her face was the glimmer of hope and dawn in her eyes. They were the eyes of a survivor.

~~~Hannah Leigh:

Dust-fogged day after dust-fogged day had trudged by with ethereality. Life had always been dusty for Hannah Leigh Martin Jones. Born on a bed of hay in a barn in a confined community called Buck Springs in Utah, she seemed destined to be just one of the animals. Here with her husband and his five other wives, she lived a perverse reality. Hannah Leigh had been only thirteen years old when she was married off to her father's cousin. The horror of her wedding night would remain with her forever. Still just a child and twenty years younger than Arville, she braced herself as he positioned her for his consummation. "This is what the heavenly father wants, Hannah Leigh." In other parts of the house, Arville's other wives prayed for her.

Annie Elizabeth Jones was born only a few days after Hannah Leigh turned fourteen. The home birth was presided over by Mary Louise who held her hand and hummed soothing lullabies as Hannah Leigh grew more and more distressed. Something was terribly wrong. As Hannah Leigh hemorrhaged, the wives prayed and rocked and sang hymns aloud. The noise in the room grew and intensified and when at last little Annie Elizabeth Jones entered the world outside of her mother’s womb, Hannah Leigh lost consciousness and lay in a puddle of blood. Recovery was slow and solemn. There would be no other children for her to ever bear.

It was a peacefully quiet Saturday morning. Hannah Leigh awoke alone in her room and stretched, looking forward to celebrating Annie Elizabeth’s sixth birthday. As she looked through her window, there stood her daughter, her back against the barn door with Arville seated on a chair watching with approval as a man inspected and groped Annie Elizabeth. It was Jessup Ray Martin. Hannah Leigh’s own brother. No!

After the day, after supper, after the charade, Hannah Leigh took her daughter by the hand and as the darkening sky blessed them with obscurity and cover, they walked away from their home forever.

~~~Ridge:

As a four year old child, Ridge Willis knew the smell of burning crack as well as he knew the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the breeze from the bakery down the street. The sweetly rancid burning citrus puke smoke filled the living room where his mother, Candy, sat in her trance, and it wafted like feathery lace venom throughout the tenement. It wasn’t unusual so he was not alarmed.

“Babyyyy,” Candy puffed out from her anesthetized lips in the other room. Ridge dutifully came to her. Time and the consequences of her choices had eroded her beauty. “Baby light.” Ridge understood. She had felt the daylight beginning to soften, and needed him to light the lantern. On the street below a truck backfired, and it startled Candy so much that her legs bounced off of the table and back down again, causing the lantern to topple over. She bolted upright, sending the pipe flying. Embers met fuel and before Ridge’s horrified eyes, the floor, the table, the couch, and his mother caught on fire.

He was placed in a foster home in Brooklyn. The front door opened and out walked a woman that looked like she’d stepped out of a magazine. With silky flaxen Betty Grable hair pinned back from her face with clips, she flashed a perfect white smile and held out her arms. But pictures can be deceiving and the quintessential upper middle class Stepfords had a black secret which they guarded. Mental illness was an ugly blemish. And covering that blemish had become a way of life. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. The first strike left a black eye. The third, a dislocated shoulder and cracked rib. On his tenth birthday, he overheard a friend of the monster declaring how big he had gotten, and shortly thereafter on his next visit to the hospital, he pocketed a muffin from the tray of a neighbor patient, and walked out.

Street life was cold but it was free. He lived on an hour by hour basis, moving along as he needed to, seeking out the safest places to close his eyes. And on that hour by hour basis, during which time he very slowly walked his way from New York to New Jersey, fifteen years elapsed.

~~~

Want more? Contact Rose Heart Books or order from your favorite bookseller!

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~

Cat Hayes

*Special footnote for my beautiful sister, Carol, cruelly stolen by Alzheimer's.
I love you, Carol. And I am with you always.