Three years ago today me and my mom published our book, FINDING MYA – He Can’t Live Happily Ever After Without Her.
It’s a 5-Star book on Amazon.com, with the art work for picture map illustrations provided by our friend Mya Campbell who was 8-years-old at the time.
To celebrate, we are giving away a copy. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter.
In case you’re new to our blog and don’t know about FINDING MYA , here’s what the story is all about:
Eight-year-old Mya has a magical relationship with her grandma’s foster kitten, Herman. They can talk to each other. Not with words. With tickle thoughts! They plan to live together, but then the worst happens. Mya’s vacation ends and Herman is given to a woman whose dog treats cats like chew toys. He escapes danger, but the road to finding Mya is scary and tough. She promised to leave picture-maps along the way to her home. All Herman has to do is follow them and he will live Happily Ever After in her arms. It’s a wonderful plan. Too bad it goes wrong right from the start.
Here’s a scene from a chapter called DUMPSTER DIVING where raccoon brothers Danny and Huck teach me how to find food cuz I was starving.
Herman shivered inside a hollow, dead log. One lousy beetle. That’s all he’d eaten in the two days since the weather had turned bitter-cold.
Nor had he found any of Mya’s picture-maps, making him worry that she had changed her mind about him living Happily Ever After with her.
He’d be a goner if she didn’t want him. Never to be cuddled. Never to be fed tuna noms. Never to find his missing purr. As his empty tummy tied itself into knots, he began to sob.
“You okay there, pallie boy?” A raccoon peeked in at him.
“Starvy? Oh no! Been there, done that. Here. Eat this.” He flung a carrot into Herman’s paws.
“Thanks, but cats don’t eat carrots.”
“Neither do raccoons.” It left without taking back the carrot.
Herman tried to think happy thoughts to take his mind off his misery. Maybe happy thoughts would help him find his purr.
He remembered Mya making a blanket tent in her bedroom. They’d had a tea party inside with milk and cookies. Another time, Mya gave him a walnut, and had cheered when he smacked it across the kitchen floor into a paper bag.
“’Scuse me, pallie boy?” The raccoon had returned. “Do cats eat broccoli?”
Herman wrinkled his nose. “Bwoccoli? No way!”
“He’s a picky little pussycat,” the raccoon said to someone outside the log.
A voice without a body said, “Ask him if cats eat bread.”
Before he could answer, Herman’s tummy yowled, “Yes! Yes, we eat bread. Any kind of bread!”
A burger bun rolled into Herman’s paws. “Come raid with us when you’re finished,” they told him.
Not knowing when or where his next meal would come from, Herman savored every bite of the hard, stale bun before he crawled out to meet the raccoons.
“I’m Danny,” said the one who had fed him. “And that’s my brother, Huck. That’s what the stray cat lady calls us.”
“I think I’m Danny,” said his brother.
“No. I’m pretty sure you’re Huck.”
Herman asked, “Where does the stray cat lady live?”
The brothers stared at him. “Why?”
“I’m looking for Princess Mya. Her mom has cats. Maybe that’s her house.”
“I don’t recall seeing a princess,” said Huck. And Danny said, “I wouldn’t know a princess if I saw one.”
“Well, I would,” Herman assured. “If you take me there, I will know if I see her.”
“And what if she’s not there?” asked Huck.
“I guess I’ll stay there until my paws feel better. I’ve been walking a long time. Plus, I’m starvy.”
“So are we,” Danny told him. “After the strays get done eating, there’s barely any food left over for us. If you stay, you’ll eat our share, and we will starve.”
With the bright, full moon lighting their way, the raccoons led Herman to the alley behind the Sooper Dooper Yooper Market. “Dumpsters are like surprises in a can,” Danny told him while Huck climbed inside the giant metal bin. “You never know what you’ll find. Now stand back. My bro has a wild arm.”
Containers of chip dip, salsa, sour cream, and yogurt flew out of the bin, often exploding all over Herman when they hit the ground. He didn’t see the bag of popcorn until it burst open and covered him with butter-scented oil. After licking a few puffs from Herman’s back, Danny made a face. “Bleh. Needs salt. Hey, Huck! Any ice cream in there?”
“Lemme check.” A minute later, Huck slid down the dumpster side with a dripping carton clenched in his teeth.
“Must be Saturday,” Danny told Herman. “There’s always ice cream on Saturday.”
While Herman enjoyed the brothers’ company, even though they chewed with their mouths open, he had trouble finding something to eat. The sour cream smelled sour, and the yogurt smelled limey. He knew he had to eat to survive, but the only food he could choke down was the popcorn drenched in weird oily fakey-type butter.
“Oo tink da stray cawt law-dee has ice cweam?” Herman used his dew-claw to pick at a popcorn hull stuck in his back teeth.
The brothers stared at him, their faces smeared with their feast. “Nice try,” Danny said. “But we aren’t taking you to her.”
“Please! I promise I won’t eat your noms.”
“It’s not just that,” Huck said. “You’re not meant to be a stray cat. Strays eat whatever they find because they may not eat again for days. You’re not a rambling kind of guy, like us. You’re a lounge-around-the-house kind of cat.”
Danny pointed north. “Head to the Big Cold Lake, picky pussy. Lots of people live there. Maybe your princess does, too.”
The raccoons left him to raid the dumpster behind the Cheapie-Quik Food ’n Gas Mart. Herman thought about following them, but knew they wouldn’t lead him to the stray cat lady. Then a scary strong wind chased him under a parked car. Pressed against a tire for protection while the wind terrorized him, Herman felt sickened by the smell of gas and car oil, and the cold, damp cement made for a miserable bed. But he refused to give up.
“Tomorrow,” he yowled over the screeching storm. “Tomorrow I will find Princess Mya.”
But tomorrow came and went.
Days turned into Nights.
Nights turned into Days.
A week later Herman saw a dark shape lying in the middle of the road. At first he thought it was Jack, the opossum. But as he neared he saw it was a gray kitten, not much older than himself. He also saw the black claw marks made by the truck monster. “This is horrible!” he wept.
The kitten wore a blue collar with its name, ‘LUCKY’, on a silver disk though sadly, he had not been lucky at all. Hearing the distant growl of the truck monster, Herman rolled Lucky into the ditch, and hid him under a mound of leaves. He then crouched to wait until the truck monster roared past.
As the bitter wind stung his ears and tore through his fur to bite his skin, Herman had a frightening thought: If I never find Princess Mya, will a truck monster eat me?
If you think this is a book just for kids…maybe a few reviews of FINDING MYA will change your mind cuz my book is written for adults to enjoy, too!
Like Being Part of a Grand Disney Adventure! August 11, 2015
With Kimberley Koz’s ability to weave a grand adventure and descriptive narrative, Finding Mya is like being part of a wonderful Disney movie, complete with a “Happily Ever After” ending. Engaging characters – from sweet Herman, the main cat character of the story who is looking for his missing best friend, an 8 year old human named Mya – to friendly opossums, bossy mice, overbearing dogs, and more it is a story that is perfect for all ages. Adults will enjoy the sharp writing and kids will love the escapades that Herman gets into in his quest to find Mya.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to perhaps a second in the series… Hint, hint!
Herman’s Adventure To Find Mya June 6, 2015
Finding Mya is a book that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. It is a delightful story about Mya, a young girl who spent time with her grandmother’s cat, Herman. When it was time for Mya to leave and go back home, she really wanted to take Herman with her, but Grandma said someone else was adopting him. Mya was brokenhearted and so was Herman. Herman promised he would find Mya, and sets out on an adventure of a cat’s lifetime. Will Herman survive on his hunt for Mya after meeting several interesting and dangerous characters?
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
will love this story January 5, 2015
The story of an underdog is always captivating, but Herman’s journey to find Mya highlighted his perseverance and strength in a admirable way! Anyone who feels a strong connection to animals, especially rescued ones, will love this story. Kimberley does a beautiful job of writing it and I know I will read it again and again!
A delightful story for young and old alike. I was given a copy of Finding Mya, as a present. Herman’s personality shines through the story, he and his tickle thoughts, tickled my funny bone too. But it’s not all laughter, you feel for Herman plight when he is taken away from his beloved Princess Mya.
The author Kimberley Koz told the story convincingly, and reminded us of the hardships faced by animals in the wild. Particulary a domestic cat with no hunting skills trying to fend for himself. Herman you are a true hero.
5.0 OUT OF 5 STARS SURE TO BE A BELOVED CLASSIC
By Pinkcameo on October 24, 2014
I read and loved this book which pulls at your heart and makes you proud to be loved by your pet. Herman is a cat that is separated from his adored girl, Mya. The writer makes Herman come alive as a dedicated thinking kitty and a true friend. I cried for him as he embraces many thrilling adventures that all lead him back to his Mya so they can live their lives together. Herman meets many new friends on his travels but knows he belongs with just one human, Mya. The artwork is engaging and Herman sends adorable tickle thoughts out as he makes his way back to Mya. Finding Mya hits all the right notes and will be read over and over to any age group over the holidays in my home. Loved it. A plus.