Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbooking expert, theatre director and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was released in February, 2012 by Guideposts Books, and will be followed by two additional novels in the series. She has also written two papercrafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper and is currently working on her third, The Scrapcrafter’s Idea Book (F&W Publications, February, 2013.)
Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum, newsletters and other publications. She has also written several full-length musicals, including her most recent, The Great American Tall Tales and Hercules for Christian Youth Theatre, Chicago. Courtney is a member of ACFW and is the current PR Manager for Webster’s Pages, a scrapbooking manufacturer. She lives in Colorado with her ultra creative husband and three children.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Suzanne’s daughter, Campbell, journeys there in search of answers to her questions about her mother’s history.
Suzanne’s three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven’t spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven.Suzanne’s letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers.
As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.
I LOVED this book! It had all the right ingredients for my favorite kind of book: Christian, small-town setting, great friends, loyal family and fabulous writing! Growing up in a small town I have a special place in my heart for these stories. It provides nostalgia for me which helps me get buried even deeper into the story because I can just imagine myself there.
This is the second book in the Sweethaven series which I didn’t know until I read “About the author” at the end of the book. There were references to things that had happened prior but I wasn’t sure if it was from a previous book or foreshadowing of things to come. Initially it made me eager to keep reading to find out what happened but now knowing it was a preceding book, I must go back and get the first one!
Sweethaven is home to Meghan Rhodes who long ago abandoned her small town life to pursue her dreams as a country music singer. With her acquired fame comes a high price tag. After a tragic accident that sends her spiraling into addiction, she walks away from her husband and children, thinking they are better off without her. She buries herself in her music and tries to forget the past. When unwelcome news brings her back to reality, she must return home to fight for the life she thought she no longer wanted.
Going home means confronting the past, her tumultuous relationship with her mother, old friends and most importantly; her family. As Meghan struggles with her faith and letting go of the past, she realizes her biggest enemy is herself, not the people who never stopped loving her. Her childhood friends come together with a scrapbook they’ve worked on since their youth and try to use the past to heal the present. Can Meghan find redemption by going home? Will her husband and children take her back after all the hurt she caused? It takes another crisis to help her answer these questions.
Walsh has a warm style of writing that made me feel a part of her story. I could relate so much to her because I came from a small town and when I read her story at the end I saw that she was too. You can always tell when an author has a personal connection to her book by the authenticity she brings to her characters and settings. Even if this is not your background, anyone can relate to the need for forgiveness, love and redemption. I am going to get her last book “A Sweethaven Summer” and look forward to “A Sweethaven Christmas” this fall!