Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Sweethaven Summer :: Fiction Giveaway

A Sweethaven Summer_Final_sm
If there's one thing I love in life, it's getting lost in a paperback novel. I love knowing it's there, waiting for me at the top of the stack on my night-stand. If it's really good, I toss it in my big ol' bag when I run out for an errand. (I like to pretend that I'm one of those moms who might find herself with a quiet moment to read.)

I love heading in to bed early and propping myself up. I like turning the pages with fingertips smelling faintly of orange peel. I like a cup of tea beside me, with a spoon to clank around.

I've got this down to a science, people.

In Junior High, I used to stay up until three in the morning and read two teen romances. It bugged me that the girls were always so pretty. I wanted to read one sometime where she was just average and still landed square-jawed Todd. Regardless, I read on, feeling so cool when my older brother came home after curfew only to find me wide awake...sitting on my bed...reading.

Looking back, he never seemed all that impressed. "Dude, my little sister is so cool! She stays home every Saturday night and reads!"

I think you understand all of my points, the main one being that I was born not to party, not to be wild, not to run, but to read. Jealous much?


Here's something that I didn't realize until very recently. Reading a novel written by a friend is a brand new kind of awesome.

My friend Courtney Walsh just released her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer. People. It's such a fun read. It's beachy and Summery. It's transportive. The ideal prescription for mid-February gloom and despair. It redeemed a recent slow stretch of cooped-up, too-cold, get-me-the-heck-out-of-here days, and for that I will be forever grateful.

What I loved second-most was the story of friendships that transcend years and hurts. Aren't we all suckers for that? What I love third-most was the undercurrent of food. Give me some sweet tea and carrot cake, Adele. Fourth most? The cute boy, Luke. Fifth? The nostalgia. Sixth? The suspense.

Here's what I kinda hated the most: Courtney is so dang good at weaving together a story. She makes it look easy and I know it's not. I wanted answers and she had me trapped between racing to find them and slowing down to ride the train. I wanted to climb into her noggin' and take a good look around, really see how it worked. (Hey Court? Wanna write my book for me? Pleaseandthankyou.)

What I loved most of all was getting a window-seat into the soul of my friend. I loved hearing her laugh during the funny parts and seeing her quirks in her characters. I loved being amazed (but not surprised) by her ability to pick me right up and take me to that cute little lake-side town.

Homegirl carries a full-size bottle of creamer in her purse and magic up in her brain.

But don't just take my word for it.

You can buy your own copy of A Sweethaven Summer here, here, or here. (It'll be available for Kindle, soon, Sherry!)

And if you leave a comment, I'll enter you in a giveaway to win a copy. Tell me about your favorite summer memory from childhood or your nerdiest way of spending a Saturday night in the 8th grade or just tell me your name. I'm not here to complicate life.

I'll draw a winner on Sunday evening. And remember, you can comment even if you don't have a blog. Just be sure to leave your email address in the comment!