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Cynthia Ellingsen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Starlight Cove Books

The Lighthouse Keeper (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Winemaker's Secret (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bittersweet Surprise (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Play for Revenge (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Whole Package (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marriage Matters (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girls of Firefly Cabin (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Choice I Made (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
When We Were Sisters (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Letters of Aisling (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Cynthia Ellingsen is a Michigan author best known for the writing of contemporary romance novels that have won her critical acclaim. Ever since she was in elementary school, Ellingsen had an obsession with reading books and watching soap operas. That coupled with her love for the haunting beauty of Lake Michigan in her hometown is what has inspired her most popular novel “Lighthouse Keeper”. As a child, her parents never liked that she spent so much time watching soap operas and would try as much as they could to find her a new passion. She did not like physical activity and neither did she take to piano lessons, which left her father scrambling until he brought home a grape smelling purple pen. Cynthia was so delighted to get the pen that she swore to write a story with it, and hence was born her love for storytelling. She was fascinated to learn that she could make her characters just as charming and humorous as all the people she loved watching on her soap operas. It was not long before she was totally obsessed with writing, but it would be many years before she sold her first work to Penguin Berkley.

Cynthia was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan but currently lives Lexington, Kentucky, with her son and husband. For her high school studies, she went to the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in writing and theater, two subjects that made her proficient in literary character development. At the academy, she created a ton of stories and spent most of her summer writing either a short story or a book. After graduation, she left home and moved to Chicago for college and finally to Los Angeles where she hoped to make it big in Hollywood. It was in Los Angeles that her dream of becoming a professional writer was finally realized. While she was working in Los Angeles waiting tables and going for auditions, she was secretly writing a manuscript. With her knack for people watching she had drafted quite a story which her roommate discovered and asked her to make into a screenplay. The two would collaborate on the screenplay they named “The Proposal”, which was later bought by a minor production company. Her first taste of success gave her the drive to pursue her dreams, and she got down to writing with more purpose than ever before. During this time, she got married to Ryan Ellingsen a Lexington native, who encouraged her never to let up on her dream. In early 2011, she had completed her first novel “The Whole Package” that was inspired by her experience in the service industry. Unlike many of her contemporaries that have to jump through hoops and suffer numerous rejections before making it big, Ellignsen never had to go through that. When she thought she was ready for publishing, she googled and emailed a teaser to the top ten editors from the big publishing houses, and had an offer within three days. She has never looked back since.

“The Whole Package” Cynthia Ellingsen’s first novel is a novel about the comfort and complications of having lifelong friends. The lead characters are three friends all of whom find themselves in difficult circumstances. Jackie is a woman left broke and with a bohemian soul to boot. Doris is a stay at home mother in the mold of the character in Wild Hogs whose husband goes gallivanting on his motorcycle for days. Cheryl is a high-powered corporate mover and shaker who suddenly finds herself out of a job. Lighthouse Keeper is inspired by the author’s childhood living on the shores of Lake Michigan, and is set in Starlight Cove, a fictional town with many similarities to her hometown of Battle Creek. The lead in the novel is a protagonist who moves back home to help her parents deal with some legal drama involving her grandfather. Since she does not want to live with her parents, she purchases a lighthouse that is one of the town’s most cherished jewels, only to find that the property is full of mysteries and secrets of her family’s past. The novels are cozy mysteries without the guts and blood, full of secrets, comedic romance, and unexpected twists and turns, that still captures the delight and enchantment of small town America.

“The Whole Package” is the story of three friends on the edge of despair after devastating setbacks. Jackie is left in poverty after the death of her husband that has left her deep in debt. Cheryl has been fired from her fantastic job, while Doris just discovered her husband was cheating on her. The three have been friends since high school, and now in their forties it seems all of their worlds have come crashing down on them. But out of the blue, they strike upon an idea that will reclaim their happiness, independence and lives. The three friends intend to open a restaurant, where women will come to get their dose of a delicious meal served by a half-naked yummy waiter. The concept of “The Whole Package” is to combine great food, with a little show and some eye candy. Will the concept of the business work or will the restaurant flop, taking away the decades-old friendship of the three?

“The Lighthouse Keeper” is a delightful novel with the requisite romance and thrill of small town America. Dawn Conner comes from a long line of treasure hunters even as she cannot seem to keep anything she finds. She has recently lost her boyfriend, her job, and her reputation due to a dirty expose on her grandfather. Her late grandfather is said to have been a thief of a huge amount of silver that has been found in an old shipwreck. Looking to clear his name, she goes back to Starlight Cove and purchases the vessel and the ramshackle lighthouse beneath which it is anchored. Her plan is to fix and sell the lighthouse and in the process resolve the decades old family mystery. It is not going to be an easy task given that the quirky locals and her parents get involved and bog her down at every step. To make matters even more complicated, Kip Whittaker, her hometown’s most eligible bachelor and a nautical researcher seems to have feelings for her. Despite sharing the feelings, she is wary of getting too close to the townsfolk, as she is afraid of opening her once broken heart to anyone. The lighthouse might just guide her to bright new beginnings she never thought she would ever experience again.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Cynthia Ellingsen

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