Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Courtney Walsh

July 5, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, Courtney Walsh, giveaway, romance 108

I am so excited to chat with Courtney Walsh today! She lives in my hometown in northern Illinois, and her best friend’s husband pastors the church that my grandfather helped plant. And by now you should all be singing Disney’s “It’s a Small World After All” (and if you weren’t, now you are. You’re welcome.) 🙂

Courtney Walsh is the author of Paper Hearts, Change of Heart, and the Sweethaven series. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller and a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. In addition, she has written two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright. Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

You can also connect with Courtney on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Her new book, Just Look Up, released yesterday (July 4th) from Tyndale House.

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home–a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work–something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along–if only she’d just look up.

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Hi Courtney! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:

apples or oranges

Courtney: Apples. I eat one almost every day. The texture of oranges isn’t my favorite, plus, they can’t really be eaten with almond butter, so apples win!

Carrie: I agree 100%

winter or summer

Courtney:  SUMMER! SUNSHINE! In Illinois, the winters get long…I crave that sunshine on my face so summer all the way!

Carrie: Don’t hate me … but I miss Illinois winters 😀

dogs or cats

Courtney: Dogs! VERY allergic to cats. Plus, I kind of think they’re creepy. (Don’t hate me!) 

Carrie: No worries – this is a ‘we prefer dogs’ zone 🙂

coffee or tea

Courtney: Oh, coffee! I found out I’m mildly allergic to coffee, but it’s still like kryptonite for me. I love it sooooo much!

Carrie: I know some people (mostly authors) who would find a coffee allergy most devastating lol!

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Courtney: I think it would be multi-tasking. I have lots of projects going at the same time, though this doesn’t always work well for me. For instance, when I’m cooking dinner and get distracted, it almost always ends in the fire alarm going off…On second thought, maybe this isn’t a great superpower after all…LOL

Carrie: Haha!

Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

Courtney: Anne Shirley, no question. I discovered Anne when I was sick and my mom brought home the movie. I was NOT expecting it to be good, I thought it was just some dumb movie my mom found at the video store. But I was sick, and I had nothing better to do, so I watched it and an instant love affair began… I read the books. I fell in love all over again. That story is still one of my all-time favorites. And Anne, with her big imagination, is still one of my all-time favorite characters.

Carrie: I love Anne too! I think she’s every imaginative girl’s kindred spirit 🙂

If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

Courtney: It would tell you that I have a lipstick addiction problem (I have three different lipsticks right now…) and that I have a special love for all different kinds of writing utensils. The pencil pouch I stole from my 9-year-old is a dead giveaway. It would also tell you that I’m incredibly busy because I have my old wallet, so packed with receipts it can’t be closed sitting right next to a brand new wallet, just waiting to be filled and organized. I’ve been walking around with both wallets for two weeks, I just don’t have time to make the switch.

Carrie: LOL I’m right there with you on the writing utensils and being too busy to switch things out!

Just Look Up follows two people who find themselves ‘back home again’ at the same time. What or who gives you that feeling of home?

Courtney: My parents’ house for sure. It always feels welcoming and somehow, the second I walk in, I can feel myself relax a little. Maybe it reminds me of simpler times or something, but whatever it is, it’s one of my favorite places, and I wish I got there more often.

Carrie: i love that! Yes.

Between Lane Kelley and Ryan Brooks, which character surprised you the most?

Courtney: Brooks, for sure. Ryan is different from the other heroes I’ve written, though I didn’t expect him to be at first. He’s funny and his bluntness takes Lane (and me) off guard. He doesn’t mind pushing her buttons—in fact, he kind of loves it. And I loved that he was willing to put himself out there to pursue her. Lane is the type of girl who needed to be pursued—she’s convinced she doesn’t need anyone.

Carrie: I’m swooning over him already!!

What do you most want readers to take away from Just Look Up?

Courtney:  This book is really personal for me. Lane was an overweight kid who was teased, who lost friends overnight for no reason—and she grew up to be a woman with something to prove, someone who would work tirelessly to prove it. That’s all familiar to me. I’ve lived through all of that, and I think in writing this book, even more so than the message to put our phones down and look up at the world around us, is a deeper message of grace. We don’t have to strive. We don’t have to work. God’s love is a gift freely given—we just have to reach out and take it. I hope readers feel that when they close the last page.

Carrie: I can absolutely relate to Lane – and that deeper message of grace.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Courtney: Right now I’m working on the next book in this series, Just Let Go, which will release next year, and I also have another novel coming out at the end of September called Hometown Girl. I’m excited about this upcoming year! 🙂

Carrie: SO much to look forward to! Yay!


Courtney Walsh is offering a copy of Just Look Up to one of my readers! (US Only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What is something you’re allergic to that you really love?

Carrie

108 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Courtney Walsh”

  1. Karen Sargent

    Great interview, Courtney & Carrie! I love a clean house…but lately it seems I’m allergic to cleaning (or something like that). 🙂

    • Winnie Thomas

      Karen, same here! I’m definitely allergic to cleaning, although I force myself to keep at least a basic level of cleanliness. 😀 I’m actually allergic to dust, so I have to be careful when cleaning.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    I’m not allergic to any foods that I know of, but I’m allergic to lots and lots and lots of medications, and also have side effects from tons more. I’m also allergic to mornings. I can’t think of anything I’m allergic to that I love.

    I’ve heard such good things about this book, Courtney! It’s on my wish list.

  3. Amy

    I don’t really have allergies to anything I love, thankfully. 🙂 Hopefully that continues!

  4. Katherine Good

    Ice cream. Technically I’m allergic to the milk. Yes, it’s an allergy, not a lactose thing. Thank God I can have milk in baked goods, but anything made with the fresh stuff is a no go.

  5. Diana C

    I’m only allergic to a couple of antibiotics, so no big loss there! haha

  6. carylkane

    Wonderful interview, Courtney and Carrie! I’m not allergic to anything I love.

  7. Susan Mason

    Great interview! This book sounds great. I too was a chubby kid and have been up and down over the years. And of course being Canadian I loved Anne too. Can’t wait to get this book. 😀❤️

  8. Joy Hannabass

    Thank you Carrie and Courtney! Can’t wait to read this book!
    I’m allergic to a number of medicines, some of which I really need to take because of health issues. But I have to go to the alternative, which of course don’t help as much. But I have learned to deal with it with God’s help!
    Keep up the awesome reviews Carrie!
    Blessings Joy

  9. Dianne Casey

    I’m not allergic to any thing that I know of, really glad I’m not allergic to cats or dogs.

  10. danielle hammelef

    One thing I’m allergic to that I love is fragranced body lotion.

  11. Brittaney B

    Fortunately I’m not allergic to anything that I know of, but I don’t think I could live if I was allergic to coffee. Or chips and salsa.

  12. Trixi

    I don’t have any allergies that I know of! The only thing and I definitely DON’T love it is poison ivy or oak!! I had it so bad one time as a teen, that I was miserable for two whole weeks. And I hadn’t even touched the plants, I think someone was burning them. So I got it just from the smoke…yikes! That stuff is AWEFUL, why did God create it…lol! Thankfully living on the Oregon coast, I haven’t run into any.

    I don’t see how cats can be creepy…lol! They are definitely very independent creatures though and I love ’em 😉 Anyhoooo…thanks for the giveaway chance.

    • Carrie

      Oooo I’m itching just thinking about your poison ivy misery, Trixi!

  13. Kay Garrett

    The only thing I’m allergic to is the flu shot. I guess you can look at it that I miss being protected from the flu which means I have to be extra careful in the flu season although I don’t miss the shot itself. 🙂

  14. Marylin Furumasu

    I’m allergic to dairy and I love cheese, ice cream, and things made with butter! UGH!
    It just doesn’t seem fair, but just one lick of any of those things and I’d be suffering for the next couple of days.
    NOT FUN!
    Fortunately, there are more things out and around which give me choices. Like made with almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. This helps, but there just isn’t a replacement for the real thing!

    • Carrie

      So true! I find I actually like almond milk on my cereal better than dairy milk. But I would have a hard time giving up ice cream

  15. Jamie Smith

    Not allergic to any foods that I know of but I have horrible seasonal allergies especially to trees but I love to spend time outside so its hard when I know that I have to stay inside for my own protection because otherwise I can’t breath so well.

  16. P Diane Buie

    I am not sure I have an allergy to anything I love… I have an allergy to a medicine but, don’t really like taking that particular one! 🙂 I don’t have any food allergies so, I guess that is a blessing to be able to eat foods you enjoy without too much discomfort. 🙂

  17. Chanel M.

    I am allergic to cashews but I love cashew butter. The day after I discovered I love cashew butter, my body broke out in hives. So sad.

    I love Anne of Green Gables too! We stumbled onto PBS one day in my childhood and ended up watching the movie. I actually laugh out loud, smile and get all the feels when I watch it. I still have to read the books though…

  18. Loraine Nunley

    I am blessed in that I am not allergic to anything that I can do without. I do have an allergy to certain real Christmas trees but it doesn’t bother me to have a fake one. 🙂

    Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

  19. Paula S.

    I’m lactose intolerant but it rarely bothers me as it did when I was younger. Also allergic to penicillin and something in my house makes me cough. This book looks good!

  20. MH

    Not me….but my poor son is allergic to carrots and apples and pears and cherries….he used to eat these veggies and fruit by the pound when he was younger….now he can’t eat any of them….

  21. Vivian Furbay

    Just Look Up is what Christians need to be reminded of every day, looking up to Jesus. I would love to win a copy of this book.

  22. Dianna

    I’m not allergic to anything, but I have borderline diabetes….and I LOVE Coke. Which might partially be why I have borderline diabetes.

    • Carrie

      LOL could be. I’ve found Coke Zero to be similar enough that it satisfies my craving for Coke without the sugar!

  23. Kim

    Great interview! That purse question gets me every time. I too have a thing for various writing utensils!

    I am allergic to several different medicines one being aspirin and another is in about 95% of all eye antibiotics and the last one is in about 3% of the remaining 5% of eye antibiotics!! That might be an issue one day. 😕

    • Carrie

      LOL Kim, I think of you every time an author answers that question 😉 And – oh dear! Maybe by the time it’s an issue they’ll have come up with a new one :-/

  24. Karen

    I’m only allergic to pollen, dust, etc, but I prefer to be inside, so it’s all good! Hahaha

  25. Lindsay

    I am allergic to nickel plated earrings, but it’s not too bad because I can wear them for at least a day; I only react if I wear them two days in a row. Earrings are my favorite jewelry though, so I’m glad there are other options in earrings! 🙂

    • Carrie

      i cannot wear earrings at all – even solid gold. They cause an awful infection in my piercing. I’ve tried a couple of times to go back to earrings but it’s just never worth it :-/

  26. Jocelyn

    I don’t think I am allergic to anything. At least that I know of. Great interview. The book looks like a winner.

  27. Melissa Romine

    Pretty sure I’m allergic to the gym!
    I am looking forward to reading this and meeting Courtney Walsh.

  28. emilee

    I have always loved eggs cooked any way but in the last ten years I have gotten a really bad allergy to then. i can’t even crack them open to bake with. If raw egg gets on my fingers they start to itch. I haven’t Courtney’s books yet but I am planning to.

  29. Janice Moore

    I hate that I am allergic to kittens and many flower scents.

  30. Rebecca Maney

    I am not really allergic to anything that I know of except codeine . . . I am very fortunate.

  31. Shannon Graupman

    Strawberries!! I was never allergic to them until I got pregnant with my first child. Now I tell her she has to eat twice as many of them for me 🙂

  32. Julie Waldron

    I’m allergic to Wasps but I don’t love them LOL My husband thinks he may be allergic to our oldest daughter’s cat 🙁 we’re keeping him for the time being because they can’t have pets at their apartment. Our youngest is allergic to peanuts/tree nuts, I love peanut butter so I do miss not having that around. But her health is obviously much more important than a PB&J sandwich!

  33. Lisa Harness

    Only thing I’m allergic to is propylene glycol & cobalt. 🤔

  34. Beth Erin

    I don’t have any allergies (as far as I know) but mosquitos love to bite me and it REALLY itches so even though I’d love to spend hours outdoors, I tend to stay inside during mosquito season (which is, yes, most of the year) 😀

  35. Nicole

    I’m not allergic to anything I love, but I would possibly consider having a cat as a pet if I wasn’t allergic to cats.

  36. Janet Ferguson

    I used to be slightly allergic to cats, but we had them so I guess I’ve learned to live it the stuffy nose. I do love them, except for when they are naughty.

  37. Joan Arning

    No food allergies unless I eat too many tomatoes! However, I love flowers but get a poison ivy type rash from touching many plants. When I work in my flower garden, I have to wear long pants, long socks, long sleeved shirt and gloves no matter how hot it is!

  38. Monica

    I am allergic to wheat. . .so I don’t always get to eat goodies when I go places. BUT I have learned to make my own and often other people like them and can’t tell the difference that my recipes use other flour. At first it bothered me but now I don’t mind.

  39. Denise

    I loved this book so much.

    I can’t believe you’re from her town. Truly a small world. I went to college with a girl from there so I always think of her when I think of Courtney!

    I’m lactose intolerant. It is something I’ve gotten used to after developing the problem in high school. Most things I don’t miss because there are alternatives. But I do miss them still on occasion 🙂

  40. Laura W.

    I am not allergic, but I do have to watch what I eat. If it is too salty, even mildly spicy, or acidic, it bothers my tongue. So what I could tolerate 15 years ago is nothing like what I can today. 🙁

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