Did you catch my review of The Memory of You? This is one novel you are not going to want to miss! I am excited to have Cathy West visiting with us today, and she’s offering to give away a copy, too! Before we visit, let’s take a quick peek at The Memory of You.
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she returns to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. He knows Natalie intends to close the gates, and he’s determined to convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it. For both of them.
Welcome back, Cathy! Tell us a little about The Memory of You. Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
I got the idea for The Memory of You while on vacation in California wine country. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and touring around the area visiting as many vineyards as we could. I was completely enchanted by California, especially the Sonoma/Napa region, and I knew I wanted to set a story there. The storyline itself didn’t come until months later, but that’s how the setting came to be.
From your descriptions, it sounds like a beautiful area! Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
I’m supposed to say I love all my characters, right? 🙂 While that is true, I really love Tanner Collins. He’s such a nice guy, but not without issues. I love his commitment to family and his desire to do the right thing.
I suppose that would be the PC answer… 😉 Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?
While I don’t particularly have personal experience with PTSD, I’ve spoken with people who do. I wanted to share with my readers how complicated it can be, and that it doesn’t just happen to war vets, as is a common misconception. I do have experience with the loss of a loved one, so that part of the story wasn’t too hard to imagine.
There’s such depth to this story. What do you hope your readers take away from it?
There are so many issues in life that we tend to brush over, for one reason or another, and I think it’s important that we examine them, realize those things are who we are or who others are, and understand them a little more clearly. The Memory of You deals with many issues, guilt, forgiveness, understanding and ultimate restoration, as well as external issues such as PTSD and mental illness, that often play a big role in our ability to handle those internal issues. My hope is that readers might gain a better understanding of some of these realities in life that people struggle with, often on their own, and that they would have compassion for those individuals. And as always, that they would come away with the knowledge that no matter how dark and impossible the situation seems, there is always hope to be had.
We all need that reminder from time to time. There is always hope! Would you tell us a little about yourself? Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love spending time with my family!! It’s not really a hobby, but that’s really my number one priority. My daughter and son-in-law live here, and are expecting their first child, so we will be first time grandparents very soon!! That’s an amazing concept. I can’t wait to meet this new addition to our fun clan!! Our son and his fiancé live in Boston, and going to visit them there is one of our favorite things to do. When they come back to Bermuda and we’re all together, it’s so much fun! We’re blessed to have such great relationships with our kids.
I spend time in my garden, I love growing roses. I like to draw and paint, but haven’t done a lot of that lately.
We enjoy chatting about sweets around here… What is your favorite dessert? Would you be interested in sharing the recipe?
My favorite dessert is made at a local restaurant here, so I don’t have the recipe, but it’s called Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s sort of like a gingerbread, with a delicious toffee sauce served over it. And vanilla ice cream.
That does sound yummy! What are you reading right now?
I’ve just finished reading The Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner, and it was fabulous!!
Ooh, another book to check into! What accomplishment means the most to you?
Actually getting published! It was a lofty goal at the beginning, but the fact that I was able to stick it out, deal with all the rejection until that wonderful day when I finally realized my dream would come true, that was pretty amazing. That said, of course I know none of it would have happened without God’s blessing, so I am grateful every day for that.
Many people only dream of getting published, so meeting that goal is definitely something to celebrate! Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you . . .’ I need that constant reminder that God is in control of my life, and even when things don’t seem to be going the way I’d like, He’s got a plan, and it is a good one.
Can you share about a time when you knew that God was in control and/or had your back?
So many times! Probably the biggest one was when I decided to search for my birth family. Having been adopted at birth, I made the decision to search, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make. A lot of things happened along that journey that were very difficult to handle emotionally. It’s a rather long story, but the happy ending is that I found a half sister and we now have a wonderful relationship. Looking back at that time, I can see God’s fingerprints all over it, and He truly made some miracles happen.
What a neat testimony to be able to share! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us, Cathy!
Your turn! What is your favorite or “life” verse?
More about Cathy:
INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors.She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Catherine’s latest novels are The Things We Knew (July 2016) and The Memory of You (March 2017), Harper Collins Christian Publishing.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com
You can also connect with Cathy online:
Website – http://www.catherinejwest.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CatherineJWest
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cathwest
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/cathwest/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cathwestwrites/
‘The Memory of You’ Giveaway:
Cathy has generously offered to give away a copy of The Memory of You. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.