Kathy Maresca was born and reared in Florida when it was part of the Deep South. Kathy was the first woman on both sides of her family to join the military. Stationed at the Air Force Academy, Kathy was the first woman assigned to the Cadet Chapel. Later, she joined the First Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
After separating from the Air Force, Kathy finished her college education as an English major. While teaching English, drama, and journalism, Kathy became ill with a cranial nerve disorder, trigeminal neuralgia. Determined to help others, she went to graduate school and became a certified rehabilitation counselor. She wrote a faith-based book, With Great Mercy, for others who are suffering.
The Lord answered Kathy’s prayers and gave her a miracle, setting her free from the debilitating pain. Kathy did an internship with the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association and was hired as their director of patient services. Before long, Kathy was back in the world of education, teaching one of her favorite subjects, English as a second language. In 2017, Kathy was reminiscing about a friend she had when she was in the Air Force. She asked widowed Keith Maresca to be her Facebook friend, igniting a spark that had long been dormant. Before long, the two married. She now resides in North Carolina.
Kathy loves Texas but misses Florida, where her grandmother’s ancestors, the unconquered Seminole Tribe, are indigenous. Kathy had the opportunity to befriend Native American Seminoles when she was young. She listened to their stories and watched their ceremonial dances. Her first novel, Porch Music, is launched from those memories and the experiences her grandmother and great-grandmother shared with their descendants.
Praise for Porch Music
Foreword – 4 Stars “Strong bonds carry a family through their contrasting dramas in the historical novel Porch Music.”
“Kathy Maresca’s Porch Music sings with old-timey standards, hymns, customs, and family secrets. The progeny of Seminole matriarch Ma-Ki have struggles and secrets but perhaps none so grave as Ma-ki’s herself. Maresca braids the stories of Ma-ki’s daughters and son, as well as their own sons and daughters into a tapestry of sibling rivalries and revelations, despair and salvation. These fierce characters belong to a family remarkable in its fortitude.”—Grace Marcus, author Visible Signs
“God, Hisakitamisi, Mr. Jesus. We meet them all through the eyes of Janie and Rose and the other beautifully drawn characters in Kathy Gilbert Maresca’s debut novel, Porch Music. Set in rural central Florida in the early 1950s and to the soundtracks of country music and traditional church hymns, Porch Music tells the story of a seminal year in the life of Ma-Ki Ebbing’s Seminole mixed-race family. Through the strong and vulnerable Ebbing women, Maresca makes real the past outrages against native Americans by God-spouting Christians in the devastating crimes against the Ebbing family and the shame that engulfs the crimes’ victims. But from this shame, Porch Music sings a path of hope in the true love of the Divine – God, Hisakitamisi, Mr. Jesus.”—RLynn Johnson, author of Cry of the Heart
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