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Courtney Ellis Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

At Summer's End (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Forgotten Cottage (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Courtney Ellis
Courtney Ellis started writing at a young age, and developed an interest from her grandpa’s stories of World War II. After she obtained her BA in Creative Writing and English, she went on to pursue a career in publishing.

Courtney had been deep in World War I research for a few years, attempting and failing to write this sweeping novel set during this period. She realized that she was thinking far too broadly, and instead decided to hone in more on the personal devastation of war which affected on single family.

One reason that WWI fascinates her so much is due to the way that it started reshaping society, especially the roles of women, improvements in medicine, and class divide. It was a bit of disillusionment period, particularly for the aristocracy, who struggled financially after the excess of the Belle Epoque. She set the novel in a grand stately home which is past its prime in order to show a physical representation of this shift.

Originally, she’d wanted to write the whole novel in Bertie’s first person perspective. However while building the backstory of Lord Wakeford’s family, his sibling’s voices started getting louder and the scenes that she had been imagining grew much more vivid. When she first wrote Wakeford’s sister Gwen’s perspective, it was just for fun, something she could put on paper that was playing out in her mind. She wound up loving what she wrote, and what it added to the story, so she figured out a way to work Wakeford and his siblings’ chapters into this structure. Now they’re some of her favorite parts of the novel.

Courtney started writing “At Summer’s End” in December of 2018, and the first draft was done by the end of January. She had fun drafting the novel, playing around in the country house setting, and getting to know her characters better, however it was not until rewrites that she started understanding what she was actually trying to accomplish. An antagonist for Bertie got written out entirely, and a loud house party scene was deleted. Instead, she focused more on the idea that Castle Braemore and its inhabitants have been struck from society, and what this means for Bertie, as their hired artist.

She wasn’t ready to start querying agents until the summer of 2019 came around. Her agent requested to read the full manuscript in August, and offered her representation in October. Over the holiday season, they revised the manuscript together, and gave the novel its current title. January of 2020, they were out on submission to editors, and by the end of that month she got a publication offer.

The day before her agent requested her full manuscript, she got a rejection for the same book that totally crushed her, and made her swear that she was just going to quit.

“At Summer’s End” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2021. This ambitious female artist accepts this unexpected commission at a powerful earl’s country estate in 1920s England, she finds that his war-torn family crumbling under the weight of some long kept secrets. A captivating debut novel about finding the courage to heal after the ravages of a war.

Alberta Preston accepts a commission of a lifetime after she gets invited by the Earl of Wakeford to spend the summer painting at Castle Braemore, His Lordship’s country home. Bertie had imagined her residence at the prodigious estate is going to finally enable her to embark on a professional career and prove her worth as an artist, regardless of her gender.

Upon arriving, however, she finds the opulent Braemore and its inhabitants diminished by the Great War. The earl has just been living in isolation ever since she returned from the trenches, having locked himself away in his rooms and hiding his battle scars behind this prosthetic mask. As his younger siblings eagerly accept and welcome Bertie into their world, she quickly sees chips in this world’s gilded facade. While she and the earl start developing an unexpected bond, Bertie soon gets deeply entangled in the secrets and pain that she finds hidden within Castle Braemore and the hearts of its residents.

This novel (threaded with love, hope, and loss) is a portrait of a family, and a world that was changed forever by the war to end all wars.

Fans of the novel loved everything about this book: the evocative setting, the richly drawn characters, and the very soul and heart of the story within these pages.

“The Forgotten Cottage” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2022. Connected through time to her great-grandmother by this shared English countryside home, one American nurse attempts to piece together her family’s tangled up history.

England, 2014. Audrey Collins knows just two things about her beloved grandma’s past: she immigrated to America at the age of seventeen and she was born into nobility. So once Audrey inherits her gran’s home in North Yorkshire, and arrives only expecting this sprawling country estate that is fit for ladies and lords. But instead, all she finds is this abandoned stone cottage that’s been perfectly preserved just as Gran left it when she fled back in 1941, ration book and everything, and starts uncovering what secrets her family has been keeping all this time.

France, 1915. Lady Emilie Dawes is working as a nurse on the Western Front, just grateful that she has escaped the restraints of her restrictive yet privileged home life. However the independence that she fought so hard for gets jeopardized suddenly once a familiar guy shows up in one of her hospital beds. Facing the man means facing her past, and the choices that she had made in fear. While the war rages all around her, she realizes that she cannot keep running from who she is until she decides who it is that she really wishes to be.

Emilie and Audrey, over a century apart, both struggle to find love, purpose, and a place they can call home in this enchanting family saga that celebrates the bravery of underestimated women, and the power that a secret can across generations.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Courtney Ellis

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