Keli Gwyn
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Visit with Author Catherine West

It’s my pleasure to host Catherine West, my agency mate and friend. Her latest novel, Hidden in the Heart, was released by Oak Tara Publishing in September. The story deals with adoption and the search for one’s birth parents and has already received a number of glowing reviews.

Cathy is an island girl who hates sand. But she loves living in beautiful Bermuda with her two college-aged kids—when they’re home, her pediatrician husband and rambunctious Border collie. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, she holds a BA in English from the University of Toronto.

When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her in the garden with her roses or tending her orchids. Catherine volunteers with Bermuda Riding for the Disabled. She loves to shop and takes frequent trips to the US to satisfy the craving and fuel her Starbucks addiction.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s learn a little more about Cathy. . .

We’ll start with an easy one:
What’s your beverage of choice at Starbucks?

Haha! Well, since we don’t have Starbucks in Bermuda, I beeline for it as soon as I get off the plane wherever I am! I am partial to Caramel Macchiatos, and I also love Pike’s Peak.

I’ve noticed on Facebook that you travel a good deal. Do you travel light, or are you a pack-everything-you can-possibly-squeeze-in type of person?

Yes, we seem to be traveling a good deal this year! Unfortunately I do not have the ‘pack light’ dna anywhere in my body. I wish I did! I always end up bringing far too much wherever we are going. I try, but I think it’s a lost cause. And then of course if I do any shopping, I have more to pack!!

I see that you’re a dog person. What’s the most amusing thing that beautiful Border collie of yours has done?

Ah…he’s pretty amusing, that’s for sure! Let’s see…when he wants a treat, he’ll just launch himself into doing every trick he knows, one after the other – it’s pretty funny to watch! He is also a little OCD – we have outdoor fans on our patio and he loves to run back and forth after them if they’re on. They don’t even need to be on, we just have to say “Get the fan!” and he goes nuts!

Your story deals with the search for a birth parent and is based on your own experience. When did you embark on your search for your birth mother, and what were the most rewarding aspects of it?

Yes, the book is loosely based on my own experiences. I learned a lot about myself during that time. I discovered I had a lot of unresolved feelings, and emotions I didn’t even know I had, surrounding my being adopted. Finally finding peace in who I am and where I came from was the most rewarding thing, but more importantly, the process made me draw closer to God and I realized that while it is good to know my biological history, who I am in Him is what’s going to matter in eternity.

And now to end with a glimpse into your world. If we were to look around your living room, what would we learn about you?

I like color! Deep greens, butter yellows – I love art and pottery and glass, and we have a lot of it all over the house! My living room is actually the one room that’s pretty much always tidy, so that’s great! Look into my study and that’s a different story!!

Cathy’s Question for You

During my search and reunion journey, I was faced with many difficult situations, and sometimes it was all I could do to cry out to God to help me keep going. He came through in a big way for me and provided me with miracles I could not even have imagined. Have you ever had a time where you cried out to Him in desperation? What happened?

Win an Autographed Copy of Hidden in the Heart

To enter the drawing, leave a comment by Sunday, October 21st. Be sure to leave your email address when prompted so I can contact you if you win.

I’ll post the winner’s name here and in a comment.

Congratulations to Joanne Bischof, winner of Cathy’s book!

No purchase necessary.
Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to number of entrants.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. or Canadian addresses only.

Learn About Hidden in the Heart

Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach… After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living.

Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price.

With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found?

• • •

To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit http://www.catherinejwest.com.

 

Keli Gwyn

26 Comments

  • Enjoyed spending time with Cathy in CA. I believe her book is going to start some great conversations about adoption.

    I had a time when I cried out and God let me wrestle through. And that’s exactly what he did…he got me through.
    ~ Wendy

  • Cute interview! Cathy’s collie sounds adorable. 🙂

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Loved the interview. And as an Iowa girl heading into winter, I’m trying oh-so-hard not to be jealous about the Bermuda thing. 🙂

    A time when I cried out to God–right after college when I went through a pretty hard year. God made it obvious my plans were not His plans…but now I look back and am ridiculously grateful. And yeah, He got me through. 🙂

  • Loved your interview, Cathy!I’m a Starbucks gal, too. Love the Sumatra blend (a bold, get-ya-going indulgence) similar to Pike’s Peak. And don’t even get me started on the scones… 🙂

    I’ve had many seasons I’ve cried out to God. Sometimes, He shortened the season. Other times, Spring seemed a long way off.

    • Cathy West says:

      Thanks, Cynthia! I know – Starbucks…sigh! At least in Bermuda we can get the coffee to make it at home, so it’s not entirely a tragic situation!

  • It was so nice to meet you at ACFW, Cathy, though it was so brief. 🙂

    I have two goldens so I’m totally a dog person as well!

    Yes, I cried out to God when my mom suffered through cancer and died…and He upheld me, even though there were times I raged against him.

    • Cathy West says:

      Definitely hearing that one! My mom didn’t have cancer but she was ill for many years and slowly just lost everything, it was very hard to watch such a slow and painful process and believe that God was still in control. But he was and I know she is with HIm and having a blast up there!!

  • No Starbucks in Bermuda?! And here I thought you lived in paradise, Cathy. 😉

    Great interview, ladies. I loved getting to know Cathy better.

  • Lisa Jordan says:

    Cathy, my mom was adopted, and when I was in high school, I met my mom’s natural family. I’d never give up my adopted grandma for anything, but it was nice to meet my mom’s biological family.

    When Hubby was out of stead work with benefits for three years, I cried out to God. He proved His faithfulness even when I had shaky faith.

    Excited to read your new book!

    • Cathy West says:

      Thanks, Lisa! Your mom’s story sounds interesting! I think in most cases, birthfamily never replaces the family you grew up with, it just adds a different dynamic and helps to fill in those missing pieces. For me, I found a sister and I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life. 🙂

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Congratulations Cathy! I loved your first novel, and look forward to reading your new release.

    I have a 14 year old border collie. She’s going deaf and blind but she still has spunk. They are such great dogs!

    • Cathy West says:

      Loree, I hope you enjoy Hidden in the Heart! It’s sad when our dogs get older – our first border lived to be 12, so yours is doing really well! 🙂

  • I read Cathy’s first book and it was amazing! I bet this one is even better!Thanks for telling us about it!

  • Congratulations on your book, Cathy! And fun interview 🙂

  • Susan Mason says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Congrats on your second book! It sounds terrific! And I’m sure I’d enjoy it even more knowing how personal this was for you.

    Cheers,
    Sue

  • Carla Gade says:

    Congratulations on your newest book, Cathy!

  • Cathy’s book looks and sounds wonderful!! And can I just add how much I love her bio? 🙂

  • Keli, you continue to feature the best of the best in inspiring stories from talented writers.

    Cathy, you capture the heart with your story. Best to you for this release and for your career 🙂

  • karenk says:

    keli, thanks for the chance to read catherine’s latest novel…

    i’ve learned to listen to god’s voice…sometimes it’s loud…sometimes silent.

  • Deevena says:

    There have been things that we’ve prayed for as a family…that I’d prefer not to elaborate on…sorry. :/

    But…the many prayers that have been answered were answered in big ways that we didn’t expect!!

    And I’m sure there are other prayers that I didn’t realize were answered, cuz God is just so wonderful!!!

    I like the interview, and the book looks like fun!!!

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    I went to random.org to choose a winner for the copy of Hidden in the Heart that Cathy so generously offered as a drawing prize. The winner is Joanne Bischof!

    Congratulations, Joanne! I’ll be in touch.

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