Friday, September 12, 2014

Soul Stirring Fiction --- Yesterday's Tomorrow

Okay, so I just finished devouring this sensational book. You know how us writers get when we get all hyped about a story right? Well, YOU might write a great review, tell a bunch of your friends, lay awake at night letting the message continue to wrestle with your soul even after you've turned out the light. I did all of those things... BUT I also decided to cyber kidnap Cathy West for the day and force her to talk about the one thing I can't seem to stop thinking about. Her re-release Yesterday's Tomorrow. So after I interrogate this lovely Bermudan, check out my review and leave a comment or question for us. I'll personally buy a kindle copy of Cathy's book for one lucky guest who drops a line. 

ALS: There aren't a lot of wartime love stories written about the Vietnam War (at least not that I've stumbled across). What compelled you to pick this time period? 

CW--- Actually, cliche as it may sound, it picked me. I can't exactly say why. I suppose through conversations, television, movies and books I'd read, I've always somehow been drawn to that era, and the Vietnam War. I read about the young female journalists that went over there, often quitting their jobs, as Kristin did, determined to make themselves part of history. That concept was fascinating to me. And I suppose the story began to take shape from there. 

ALS: This book has a lot of depth and emotion. I was completely sucked in and even now that I'm finished, I still feel shaken--that's how you know you've done it right! What is the main thing you want readers to walk away with after reading YT?

CW--- Hmm. The main thing? I guess that would be to always remember that no matter how dire your circumstances, no matter how dark and desperate things might be or how far you've walked away from God, He never lets go. He's always there, always preparing the way and even when things don't go the way we planned, it's often later that we discover God had a better plan. When we fully trust Him, that's where the real freedom lies. 

ALS: Yesterday's Tomorrow is an award winning novel previously published traditionally. What made you decide to re-release it and self-publish?

CW--- My agent and I made the decision back in January to leave that publishing company. Rather than let the book languish, we decided I would work with a freelance editor to really bring it up a notch, self-publish it and give it another go-round, the hope being to attract lots of new readers who might be interested in more of my books. So I worked with Mick Silva, did a lot of fine tuning and a few plot changes, and I think the end result is a much better read than the first time around. 

ALS: For those who haven't read any of your incredibly compelling stories, what other authors would you say are comparable?

CW--- Ah, I hate that question! Comparing myself to other authors is hard because I always think they're so much better than I am. LOL! But how about we say, who do I really admire and enjoy reading? Susan Meissner. I love the stories she's come out with lately. I believe they're really fascinating reads that can reach a broader audience, still with that faith element, but appealing across both ABA and CBA markets. That's actually my goal - to be able to write stories that reach everyone regardless of their faith journey. I've recently read some of Siri Mitchell's books and she's another author I look up to. Kristen Heitzmann falls into that category as well. Of course I love Katie Ganshert, Beth Vogt, Deb Raney, Cynthia Ruchti, Dan Walsh, Jim Rubart - I have a huge list. :) Outside of CBA I simply devour anything written by Jojo Moyes. I also enjoy Sarah Addison Allen and Christina Baker Kline. Too many books, too little time! 

Hmm.. Luke #1?
ALS: I LOVED the dynamic between Kristin and Luke. The dialogue was sharp and witty, the heat of attraction burned hot and honest. Just the way I like it. :) But I have to admit, there were times I just couldn't pinpoint what they each looked like. Could you give a quick character snapshot of your hero and heroine?
Or Luke #2?

CW--- Actually I have to say Dineen Miller nailed Kristin on this new cover. She's got brown/blond hair and gray/green eyes. When I picture her, the cover model is pretty much it. Luke? Ha. He's been really hard to nail down and many have tried. And tried. And it's so much fun trying…LOL! Probably the closest you'll get is a combo between the late Paul Walker and Charlie Hunnam.

Independent, career-driven journalist Kristin Taylor wants two things: to honor her father's memory by becoming an award-winning overseas correspondent and to keep tabs on her only brother, Teddy, who signed up for the war against their mother's wishes. Brilliant photographer Luke Maddox, silent and brooding, exudes mystery. Kristin is convinced he's hiding something. 

Willing to risk it all for what they believe in, Kristin and Luke engage in their own tumultuous battle until, in an unexpected twist, they’re forced to work together. Ambushed by love, they must decide whether or not to set aside their own private agendas for the hope of tomorrow that has captured their hearts.


Wow. Wow. (It bears repeating.) This powerful piece of fiction just wrecked me. Shook me to my core. Catherine West serves up a wartime love story that will mark you. Fluid storytelling, sharp poignant emotion, complex characters with snappy dialogue and perfectly tuned wit and tension, all set in the vivid landscape of the Vietnam War. Wow.

Kristin Taylor is a heroine to cheer for, but more than that, you FEEL her conflict as you walk a tumultuous journey of love, loss, courage, and second chances as if you’d slipped into her skin.  And the hero, Luke Maddox, oh man… (fans self)…. Major swoon! Luke’s trek through the war ravaged terrain to find redemption and forgiveness will literally break your heart. Tears people. Big fat rolling tears and snot. At one point I had to step away to catch my breath as I sobbed my stinkin’ eyes out. Thanks for that, Cathy!

Rich truths, emotions so deep and stirring you’ll struggle for air, and a heart-rending plot that twists and turns until it pushes you to the very edge, this story… Wow. Yep, that’s the word for it. Though, I briefly considered the cost of a ticket to Bermuda to slap Cathy for those last few chapters of torment, but hey, what’s a good story if you don’t want to strangle the author at some point, right? ;)

Seriously, read this book. Read it! But just know you’re in for some really late restless nights glued to the pages, and a beautifully haunting tale that will stay with you long after “The End.”

Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards.

When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at


Anonymous said...

What an enticing story! I can't wait to fall into its pages and get swept up in the era again. I too, am entranced with the Vietnam War era - I was pre-adolescent during that time and it left an imprint on me. Can't wait to discover the secrets, and find out how Luke, and Kristin, overcome their struggles.
~ Robin E. Mason

Jennifer Major said...

This is one of my favourite books, ever. EVER!!!

Sarah Forgrave said...

This book is on my TBR pile! I've heard great things about it, but holy cow, after this post, sounds like it needs to shoot to the top of the stack! :)

Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I loved this interview. It's so fun to see you over here, Cathy! I've wanted to read this book since the first time I heard about it. Even more so now. Great review, Amy!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Hi Robin! So glad you stopped by! (Thanks for remembering to drop in your email address... Silly me!) you will just love Cathy's book! I'll pick the winner at random and post it in the Weekend Edition. Good luck!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Knocked my socks off too, Jen ;)

Oh, Sarah... Bump that one up! It's long but it Wong take you long to finish. I stayed to until 2:45 am two nights in a row. Extra coffee works in a pinch :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Yeah, Jeanne, this book deserves more buzz! Check back tomorrow... Maybe you'll win a copy :) either way, read it. Amazing!

Catherine West said...

Thanks for the fun interview, Amy! Great to hang out here at The Writer's Alley!
I forgot to tell you that if anyone is interested in learning more about me and Yesterday's Tomorrow, we're having an Author Chat on Facebook, September 22nd. Fun giveaways and all that jazz…it'll be a blast! If you want to sign up - here's the link!
Hope to see you there!

Jill Lynn Buteyn said...

Loved this book! It's so worth a few late nights. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Amy! At first I didn't think I wanted to read it because of the whole war aspect, and to be completely honest, some of the war stuff got to me. But it was worth it for the rest of the story!
Absolutely fantastic read! I highly recommend it! (And the guys will love the war stuff!)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

So glad you came by, Jill and Sue! Ahh, I just love talking good books :)