Crystal: Today I am so happy to Welcome Cynthia Ellingsen to talk about her newest Release Marriage Matters. Which is a WONDERFUL story that I have had the pleasure of reading. My review can be found on Romancing the Book. Thank you so much for stopping by today Cynthia.
Cynthia: Thank YOU so much for chatting with me. I’m delighted to talk about Marriage Matters – so happy you enjoyed it.
Crystal: First of all would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Cynthia: Of course! I’m a Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Popcorn addict, a Coldplay fanatic and a hopeless romantic. I wrote “Marriage Matters” because I’m fascinated by love – especially when it involves three different generations.
Crystal: Do you have any certain routine you follow when you are writing?
Cynthia: When I’m actively working on a project, it’s an all-consuming process. Generally, I wake up, make coffee and stay at the computer until my husband or friends tear me away - but even then, I’m still thinking about what I’m writing. During this time, it’s pretty typical for me to put the milk in the freezer, lock myself out of the house or leave wet laundry in the washer for a few days.
Crystal: What inspired you to write a story about a wedding with three generations?
Cynthia: “The Whole Package”, my first novel, is about three best friends who open a scandalous business together. I noticed that women were buying extra copies to send to their friends from college and high school - the characters in the book reminded these women of their old friends. It struck me that my next book should be something that women would want to give to their mother and grandmother, so “Marriage Matters” was born.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite Scene from Marriage Matters that you would be willing to share?
Cynthia: Absolutely!! See the excerpt below. I wrote this scene because my writer’s group kept telling me I couldn’t leave the grandmother’s sex life out of the book, so… here it is.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Cynthia: Readers have told me that both “Marriage Matters” and “The Whole Package” are great summer reads, so I plan to set my third novel at the beach. As of now, it’s set in Mackinac Island in Michigan. It should be ready just in time for summer, next year.
Crystal: Have you had to do any research for your books? If so do you have a favorite fact you would like to share?
Cynthia: Hahaha. This question reminds me of when “The Whole Package” came out. The scandalous business that the women open is, essentially, a male version of Hooters. More than one interviewer asked how I researched that particular topic. Too bad Magic Mike hadn’t come out yet, or I guess that could have been my answer.
As for “Marriage Matters”, I confess that I researched the wedding cake more than anything else in the book. Look, it would have been irresponsible not to.
Excerpt from Marriage Matters:
Chloe, the granddaughter, has not heard from her grandmother in three days. Concerned that June has had a heart attack or fallen, Chloe enlists the assistance of her fiancé, Geoff, to search her grandmother’s house.
Geoff searched the entire house from top to bottom. Nothing. In the kitchen, he walked over to the counter and eyed an apple on the cutting board. “This seems . . .” A note of hope crept into his voice. “Decently fresh.” He held it up. The apple was cut in half and only slightly brown at the edges.
Chloe’s heart pounded with relief. There might still be time to save her.
Geoff’s eyes darted to the window. “I think I just saw something move outside.”
Of course! June would have been working in her garden. Maybe she’d fallen out there. Chloe rushed for the back door. It was dark outside and she couldn’t see a thing, but she could hear the faintest muffle of laughter. “Grandma?” she called.
Abruptly, the laughter stopped. There was the sound of shuffling and nervous whispers. Chloe squinted. Through the dark night, she could swear she saw Charley Montgomery dart across the lawn. But he wasn’t wearing a shirt. And his hands were crossed in front of his . . .
Chloe froze. Her eyes fell on the wrought-iron table where her grandmother typically ate her breakfast. A checkered gardening shirt was neatly draped across it like a napkin. A few feet away, something white was suspended over a rosebush. Chloe put her hands over her mouth.
It was a brassiere.
She gasped in horror. No. This couldn’t be . . .
Geoff rushed into the yard, the beam of a flashlight bobbing in front of him. “Did you find her?”
With one hand, Chloe shielded her eyes. “Yes,” she whispered. “But something terrible is happening. Please turn off the . . .”
“Chloe?” June called, her voice high pitched and nervous. “Is that you?”
Geoff shined the light in the general direction. June was peeking out from behind a tree, a branch pulled over her form. Even though the tree was covering her, it was perfectly obvious that she was naked.
Chloe dove for the flashlight, turning it off. “Oh, no.” She clutched it in her fist, maintaining eye contact with Geoff, afraid of what else she’d see if she dared to look away. “Oh, no.”
“Chloe?” June called again. The leaves on the tree rustled.
“Don’t,” Chloe shrieked. “You stay right there!”
Geoff’s eyes widened as he, too, finally figured out what was happening. “Oh, no.”
Chloe closed her eyes, shaking her head. “Apparently,” she said, “my grandmother is not dead. Not even close.”
There was silence. Out in the garden, both June and Charley chuckled.
“Sorry,” June sang. “Didn’t mean to scare you. We just . . . um . . .”
“Got attacked by fire ants,” Charley said. “Had to wash the clothes out. But I think everyone’s okay now.”
“Yup.” June’s voice was cheerful. “Doing just fine.”
A small smirk settled at the corner of Geoff’s mouth. Raising his eyebrows, he said, “Fire ants. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”