Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cynthia Ellingsen takes matters into her own hands...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Brian McConkey Photography
**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we welcome back Cynthia Ellingsen and her brand new novel, Marriage Matters, for which she is celebrating a pub day...today! Marriage Matters is about three generations of women who are planning weddings at the same time, but each of them has something to lose.

You may remember Cynthia from when she was here in 2011 to talk about her debut novel, The Whole Package. We're glad to have her back again, especially as wedding season is quickly approaching. Her latest novel will set the mood nicely. Aside from being an author, Cynthia is also a screenwriter. She lives in Lexington, KY with her husband.

Thanks to Penguin we have one copy of Marriage Matters to give away to a lucky reader anywhere in the US. 

You can find Cynthia at her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

*Before reading ahead, please note that there's a spoiler for The Whole Package, so watch out when reading the question about compliments.

How did you come up with the idea for Marriage Matters?

When I wrote The Whole Package, my first novel, I noticed that women were buying extra copies and having me sign them to their best friends from college or high school.

With Marriage Matters, I thought it would be fun to write a novel that women would share with their mother and grandmother. I’m a huge fan of Skyping with book clubs and I’ve already heard from some mother/daughter book clubs that want me to Skype in, which is so fun!

What is something you wish people knew about you?

When writing Marriage Matters, I listened to “Us Against the World” by Coldplay at least a thousand times. If a book could come with a theme song, that would be it.

If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be?

Ooh, given what I wrote above, let’s go with Chris Martin from Coldplay. Of course, I’d probably say something ridiculous, like, “Every time I look at you, a Coldplay song runs through my head.” (Thank you, Lena Dunham, for even putting that in my head.)

According to you what defines women's contemporary fiction? 

Relatability. For Marriage Matters, Publisher’s Weekly mentioned that I write characters that “talk like actual people.” I also call on pop culture - there are big references to The Bachelor in Marriage Matters, because it’s something that most women have snuggled up to at some point with chocolate and a bottle of wine.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism went as follows:

Reader: Cynthia, I saw your book at the-

Me: Ooh! Thank you so much for buying it.

Reader: Yeah… didn’t. I’m really into trilogies right now, if you know what I mean.

As for the best compliment, a conversation about The Whole Package went as follows:

Grandma: I knew Cheryl and Andy were meant to be together.

Me: Ooh! Was it my clever push-pull of romantic structure?

Grandma: No. I looked at the last page of the book.

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

It totally depends on the day. If I’m working from my bed – which I don’t do often, but it is one of the perks of being a writer – I don’t bother.

Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?

I drive a convertible, so during spring/summer/fall, I’m pretty happy to just sit in the sun. But when it’s raining and truckers fly by on the highway and do that whole, “Haha, now you’re sitting in a carwash” thing, I get mad. It would probably be worse if the top’s down during this scenario, right?

What project(s) are you working on now?

I’m working on my next contemporary novel, which I hope will be a summer read for next year, as well as putting together a young adult series. I’m also hoping to pull off a vegetable garden this year - fingers crossed!  

Special thanks to Cynthia for chatting with us and Penguin for sharing the book with our readers.

How to win Marriage Matters:
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your Facebook page or blog if  you can receive messages there.) 

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What do you find most annoying or frustrating when you're driving?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends April 7th at midnight EST.


TinaB said...

I think the most annoying thing when driving is when someone pulls out right in front of you and then goes soooo slow!! Ugh...I hate that!!
I already follow you on fb and pinterest

Mary Jo Burke said...

My daughter is learning to drive. People not using turn indicators is very dangerous to newbies.


susieqlaw said...

The most annoying thing about driving is low visibility weather-especially fog which seems worse than driving at night!

I follow CLC blog, facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

I tweeted this contest at susieqlaw

sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The most annoying thing when driving is all the people who are still texting and driving! Really people! No one is THAT important!!

Anonymous said...

Driving is a challenge anytime cause folks seem to be in their own world but most annoying when the driver is distracted by use of a cell phone.


Book Mama said...

I find it annoying when people try to tell you how to drive. My mom is so much a backseat driver!

I am a follower of this blog

I posted this contest on FB

I'm a member of CLC on FB

I follow CLC on Pinterest

I added Saoching Molly Moose to CLC on FB


Stephanie said...

Slow drivers in the fast lane send me into a frothy frenzy! Oh, it drives me batty!

I follow CLC on Facebook (just joined)!


Rhonda said...

People who don't use their signals.follow on Twitter @rhondareads and on email. Lomazowr@gmail.com.

Nova said...

I hate it when people tailgate or come up on you real fast when you are stopped at a traffic light. Annoying!!
I follow CLC by email.
I follow CLC by GFC.
I follow CLC on pinterest.
I am a CLC fan on facebook.

Bonnie K. said...

The most annoying things I see people doing while I'm driving is texting, talking on the phone while holding the phone, and tailgating.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

I follow the blog.

Shared on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.karoly/activity/10151362608170233 and twitter: https://twitter.com/grobiemum/status/319209046227959809

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central.

I follow on twitter. @grobiemum

Lea said...

leaasman AT yahoo DOT com
Use your blinker people!!!
Follow the blog - email.
Posted this on twitter @LeaB8
Member of Chick Lit Central on FB

Rita Wray said...

People who text while driving are very annoying. They don't care about their own safety or others.

email follower.


Anonymous said...

People who cut in front of you without blinkers and then drive super slow.
I follow the CLC blog
I follow on Facebook
I follow on Twitter

SuzyQ4PR AT aol DOT com

Unknown said...

There are so many, but the most frustrating is people who drive slow in the left lane!

I follow the blog
I'm a member of CLC on Facebook
I follow on twitter


bn100 said...

people who tailgate

I follow the blog

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

JROSEN60 said...

people who drift from one lane to another without signaling!


karenk said...

cell phones

thanks for the chance to read this novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Hailey Fish said...

I don't drive but when I'm in the passenger side, it annoys me when someone doesn't put their blinker on, they drive slow and when they aren't paying attention to where they are going.


Unknown said...

People trying to drive and use their cellphone. They don't use turn signals, drive at varying speeds and sometimes can't even stay in their lane just because they aren't paying attention!!

I follow blog and on twitter.

kumquat8 at hotmail dot com

rubynreba said...

Tailgaters are the most annoying to me!

I am a follower.

Like you on facebook.


Karen White said...

I'm with TinaB on people who pull in front of you and then go slow, but I also have a problem with people who don't look out for pedestrians and bike riders.


Sharla Lovelace said...

Love the image of you zipping around in your convertible, giving truckers the stink eye. O.o LOL! So happy for you my friend! Can't wait to read this one! And can't wait to hang out in Atlanta!

Linda Kish said...

I don't like slow drivers. They are okay as long as they aren't in front of me. But that's where they always seem to be.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

pascale said...

So many things about other drivers annoy me, but the thing that MOST annoys me is when women put on makeup while driving.

I follow CLC blog and facebook.

Lisamarie said...

I think the most annoying thing is when you are at a four way stop and drivers just stare at each other & don't follow the logic of the person to your right goes or right over left etc..

I am a CLC blog follower
FB groupie & Twitter follower

Patricia said...

The other day someone was talking on the phone and putting on lipstick AND putting on lipstick, while negotiating a turn into traffic. Now that was really annoying. Not to mention dangerous.

follow via GFC

follow on Twitter (@CapitalismRox)

am a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/CapitalismRox/status/320746498134519808


theveganwifey said...

I find people who tailgate most annoying when driving... it's dangerous and rude.

ssremington at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I hate tailgaters!


Just a Girl In the World said...

Random.org has chosen a winner of "Marriage Matters" by Cynthia Ellingsen!!!

Congratulations, Ingeborg! (44)

You will receive an e-mail soon on how to claim your book.

Thank you to all that entered this giveaway!