I first had the pleasure of getting to know today’s featured author through exchanging Instagram and Facebook comments before I even had the chance to read her books (which I have since remedied… my review of Paper Hearts).
Perhaps my reader heart sensed a kindred spirit because today I can confidently say that’s what I’ve found in this sweet lady!
About the Author
Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals.
Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.
1. Who is your favorite secondary character?
The thing I love about her is that she has a heart of gold, but doesn’t want anyone to know. I think writing older, wiser, quirky women is one of my favorite things to do, and Ursula just takes the cake! (The whole time I was writing her, I was picturing Maxine from the Hallmark Shoebox cards) 🙂
Beth: Ursula is one business savvy lady but I’m more than a little bit scared of her tough exterior! 😉
2. What is your favorite childhood book?
Courtney: My favorite book when I was a kid was Anne of Green Gables. I remember one day I was sick, and my mom rented the movie for me. I was SO not impressed and knew it was going to be super lame (I was in sixth grade and already knew everything.)
Ironically (or not) my mom was right on the money and it became my all-time favorite movie of all time. I read the books and still love them to this day. Anne will forever be one of my favorites.
Beth: Me too!!! It’s the first book series I ever fell in love with! ???? I actually didn’t watch the movies until years later.
3. What are your favorite books?
Courtney: This year I discovered Liane Moriarty and was absolutely smitten with What Alice Forgot. It was so unique and inventive and the writing is yummy, so I devoured it and instantly told everyone I know they need to read it!
Beth: I’m adding What Alice Forgot to my wishlist!
4. What is your favorite (inside or outside) winter activity?
Courtney: Oh, this is going to get embarrassing! I am a HUGE homebody. My family teases me about it because I never want to go anywhere. Ever since the weather turned cold, I have been absolutely FREEZING. I cannot get warm.
So my favorite inside winter activity has become cheering on my husband while he builds a fire, curling up with my three blankets and watching Hallmark Christmas movies on my computer. I only watch TV when my brain has turned off for the day (usually after 9 PM) and I see no signs of stopping this tradition until it gets warm outside! 🙂
Beth: I’m right there with you except I’ll be reading! Not wanting to leave the house is pretty much a year-round phase for me, lol! ????
5. What is your favorite time to write?
Courtney: I’ve struggled with some back issues over the last several years, so my writing spot is very specific.
I have one chair in my house where it’s comfortable to write and I start early in the morning and write until I have to leave to pick my kids up from school (around 2 PM) or I meet my word count for the day, whichever comes first.
Once I start, if I’m on deadline, I rarely move from that spot. I just sit down and “sprint”!
Beth: Wow! That’s impressive! I can read like that but blogging is another story entirely.
Tell us about your latest release.
Courtney: My most recent novel is Change of Heart. It’s about a woman whose life falls apart and so many things turn out to be exactly the opposite of what she thought. It’s her journey to discovering her true identity, after years of being the person her husband thought she should be.
A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.
As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.
Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?
This one is set in Loves Park, Colorado, the same town as my previous book, Paper Hearts. I love to write about small towns and the eclectic collection of characters who live in them, and this place, inspired by the two years my family lived in Loveland, Colorado, fits the bill! 🙂
You can read the first chapter here: Change of Heart Chapter One
And bonus! It’s on an e-book deal for a limited time! Only $0.99!
Beth: I remember Evelyn from Paper Hearts! Can’t wait to read her story!
What are you working on now? Tell us about your next release.
But my next full-length novel is one I’m VERY excited about. It’s called Just Look Up and it’s inspired by our constant need to stay connected and how much we miss if we’re always looking down at our phones.
For this one, I’m traveling back to one of my favorite settings…a small tourist town filled with idyllic cottages in Michigan, right on the lake.
Beth: That cover is stunning and I can’t wait to enjoy another small town romance from you, Courtney! Thank you so much for sharing some of your favorites and your bookish news on the blog today!
Courtney: Thanks so much for having me, Beth!!