Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Disney Birthday Bash with Catherine West!

In a few days my family and I will be headed to Disneyland to celebrate my sister's 8th grade graduation and my 20th birthday, which both occur on the same day! In honor of our upcoming vacation, I decided to do a Disney-themed bash this week, and our first guest is Catherine West!

Catherine is the author of Yesterday's Tomorrow, a poignant and powerful love story set during the Vietnam War. Read on to find out more about this great author and to learn how you can win a copy of this great book!

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today! Since this week’s theme is “Disney,” could you share with us your favorite Disney movie and why it’s your favorite?

Catherine: That’s hard because there are so many great ones! I think I’ll have to say Beauty and the Beast. It was probably the first Disney movie that came out just as my daughter was getting to the age where she’d sit through a movie and understand it – I remember watching it with her and seeing how intent on it she was – and of course I’m a sucker for a great love story!

Amber: Such a wonderful movie! Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World? If so, do you have a fun memory you could share with us about one of the rides/attractions?

Catherine: My husband is a Disney Fanatic! Kind of makes sense considering he’s a pediatrician! We’ve been to Disneyworld five times! There is nothing like taking little kids to Disney – the first year we went, my son was three and my daughter five – I think that was the best trip ever. My favorite memory from that trip was eating breakfast in Cinderella’s Castle, and having Cinderella come talk to my daughter and tell her that she looked just like her!! I don’t think Sarah stopped smiling the whole trip! We thought my son might be a little young at the time, but it was amazing to see how much he really did enjoy it, once he got over the initial fear of the characters, he started following them all around! It truly is a magical place!

Amber: That is so sweet! Sounds like you've had some memorable experiences at Disney World. =) Which Disney character from any of the Disney movies do you most identify with?

Catherine: I’ve always loved Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She had a dream and she wasn’t afraid to go after it, risking everything for it. I think that as a writer, I really get that. And of course it all turned out well in the end for her!!

Amber: That seems to be a prominent (and inspiring) theme in Disney movies--following your dreams! Have any of the Disney movies inspired your writing (ie: characters, plot, etc.) in any way?

Catherine: I am a die-hard romantic and I absolutely love happy endings, so I always appreciate the final scenes where we see our beautiful heroine in her wedding dress, snagging her handsome prince! I mean, come on, it doesn’t get any better than that! I can’t say off hand that any particular movie has inspired a book for me, but I love the concept of good overcoming evil. That’s important to me in my writing.

Amber: *Sigh* I think the happy endings are great, too! What do you love the most about Disney movies?

Catherine: I actually prefer the real people movies to cartoon characters, but I’m always amazed at how the cartoons manage to tug my heartstrings as well! I love that there is humor, a good moral premise and that they are made for all audiences. Of course over the years, Disney has come out with some not so great movies and some scary scenes that I wasn’t sure were entirely appropriate for my children, but on the whole I don’t think you can go wrong with a Disney movie. I do have to say that my very favorite watch over and over again Disney movie of late is Enchanted. They hit it out of the park in my opinion with that one. I love the music, the color, the story – everything!! So is it just me, or does everyone else want to know what’s up with the whole mother thing and Disney? Missing mothers, dead mothers, evil step-mothers…weird, huh? :0) Oh well, we love Disney anyway!

Amber: Hahaha, I'm sure you're not the only one who's noted that! ;) Thanks so much for visiting with us today, and for sharing those adorable pictures from your past!

Readers, if you would like a chance to win a copy of Yesterday's Tomorrow, just leave a comment for Catherine along with your e-mail address! A winner will be announced on Friday, June 3rd.

And if you would like to learn more about Catherine and her work, check out her website and her blog.


Sara said...

Oh my goodness, I love Disneyland! My hubby and I actually just went on vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago and it was fabulous! I can't wait to read Catherine's book. I've heard great things about it.


Casey said...

*not an entry*

Oh fun interview! I enjoyed reading it. :) Amber, when is your birthday?? Enjoy that fun trip!!

Amber S. said...


I love Disneyland, too! I've been there twice, but I've never been to Disney World. That's awesome that you were just there a few weeks ago!!

Catherine's book is really powerful, and I think you'll really be moved by it. Thanks for the entry! :)


Amber S. said...


Thank you! I love Disney, so these Disney-themed interviews were a lot of fun to put together. :)

My birthday is Friday, the same day my sister graduates from 8th grade. :) We're definitely excited about celebrating in Disneyland!


Carissa said...

Still hoping to get to Disney World, I may be in my twenties but I still have that childhood dream of getting my picture taken with Belle and Beast.


Christine Lindsay said...

Love your blog, Amber, but I stopped by today because I LOVED Catherine West's heart-wrenching novel set in Vietnam. I'd been waiting years for a good Christian story to be set in that desperate time. I highly recommend Yesterday's Tomorrow. It's the kind of book I love to read. High stakes, lovers torn apart, so that only God can bring them together again.

Amber S. said...


I hope you get a chance to go sometime! :) It's fun to meet all the Disney characters, for sure!

Thanks for the entry! :)


Amber S. said...


Thank you for your kind words, and I so agree about Catherine's book! It really is a heart-wrenching story, and I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts with us! :)

BTW, I'm sorry I haven't read your book yet, but hopefully soon! I spend so much time on the computer as it is, that it's sometimes hard to spend my reading time on the computer, as well, but I better get over that for a while so I can read your intriguing book!


Linnette R Mullin said...

Hi, Catherine! I'm still trying to get that autographed copy of you book. :D My uncle was a decorated Vietnam soldier, so the setting is rather close to my heart. My daddy was drafted, but thankfully got sent to Germany, instead. I think God knew he'd already suffered enough trauma in his life and Vietnam would have been too much for him. Anyway, here's my addy: lr(dot)mullin(at)live(dot)come.

Renee Ann said...

I, too, love the Disney movies. So do my students--and they're seniors in high school! One of my senior girls just told me that she watched The Little Mermaid last night. My 6-yr-old niece's favorite movie right now is Beauty and the Beast, which makes it great for me when I babysit . . . Fun interview, Catherine and Amber!

Not an entry--Catherine's book is in my TBR pile. I plan to get to it when school's out--in 8 days :)

Catherine West said...

As always, I am fascinated by how many people leave comments saying they have a connection to the Vietnam war in some way. It's amazing to me and I'm so grateful to hear it and see the interest in Yesterday's Tomorrow! You can also LIKE Yesterday's Tomorrow on Facebook, and connect with me through Catherine West - Author, there as well! Good luck everyone!

Amber S. said...


Glad you could stop by and enter the drawing!

Many heartfelt thanks to your uncle and your dad for serving our country. My daddy also served during the Vietnam War.

Isn't it a comfort that God knows what is best for us, sheltering us when we need to be protected and strengthening us when He works His purposes through us? :)


Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

The Disney movies are wonderful, and I feel that way even as a soon-to-be senior in college! ;) I think the stories, songs, and messages of hope transcend age boundaries!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and happy almost summer! :) Hope the last part of the school year goes well for you and your students!


Amber S. said...


Thank you for checking in, and thank you so much for doing the interview and giveaway! Your book is amazing, and it's a pleasure to host you here. :)


Anonymous said...

HaPpiest 20th Amber! have a great time :))
and thx for this intro and opp to win ~ lovely!

Amber S. said...

Faith Hope Cherrytea,

Thank you so much! :)

And so glad you could stop by and enter the drawing! Good luck!


Missy Tippens said...

What fun! I LOVE Disney World! Amber, I hope you have a great time!!

A great interview, ladies. Makes me want to pull out the old Disney videos. We used to buy them each time they made a new one available. I wonder if they still do that? They used to only release one or two at a time when my kids were little. Great marketing strategy! :)

I think The Lion King is probably my favorite, mainly because of the music. :)

missytippens [at] aol.com

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

*Sigh* I've never been to Disney but I've always wanted to go and this celebration makes me want to go even more! Thank you for sharing this week Amber.

Cathy, I have to say that Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time fave Disney movies too. I loved it so much as a kid growing up that it has effected my taste in books. I love me a beauty and the beast type romance LOL!

Please don't enter me for Cathy's books Amber. I already have it and it's making my best books of 2011 list this year. :-)

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...


Thank you! I'm actually going to Disneyland in California (as I'm a California girl), but I'd love to go to Disney World someday! :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! Disney movies are wonderful. :) I know they've been re-releasing a lot of the earlier ones on DVD now, which is cool. And Lion King is definitely a great one!

Thanks for the entry!


Amber S. said...


You're welcome! I wish I could bring you with me--we'd have a blast, I think! ;)

Speaking of Beauty and the Beast (which I love, as well), I'm getting excited for the new fairy-tale-twist book by Melanie Dickerson coming out later this year!

Thank you for stopping by! And yes, Cathy's book is fantastic, isn't it? :)


Joy @ Edgy Inspirational Romance said...

I would love to read Cathy's book!

This is such an awesome idea for a theme week. I looooooovvve Disney! We took the boys to Florida twice and to California once. It's my favorite place in the world.

I'm a nut though. I am a park commando and print out a schedule of the rides we're going to take in the order we're going to do them. :)

Amber, make sure you post lots of pictures!

Amber S. said...


Oh, I think you would LOVE Cathy's book!! It is definitely edgy, in a powerful way!

So glad you like the theme for this week. :) Gotta love Disney!! That's great that you got to take your boys to both parks!

I'll definitely plan on taking and posting pictures! It's funny...I don't think the reality of the trip has set in yet. Maybe when I start packing... ;)