Beach Reads: Marriage Matters

Great books go with beaches like lacy white goes with wedding gowns. At The Homestead, the summer beach season is also prime time for couples tying the knot. With this in mind, we'd like to clue you in on a great summer read with an opening chapter set right here in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Author Cynthia Ellingsen is coming to Northern Michigan this summer. Check out where you can meet the Interlochen Arts Academy alum and get a signed copy of her new romantic comedy, Marriage Matters, just in time for summer.

It's hard to imagine a place more perfect for a wedding than the Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore. Idyllic, romantic and scenic beyond belief, the Lakeshore has for years provided a dreamy backdrop for couples tying the knot at The Homestead - the only resort located in the heart of this natural paradise. Now, the Sleeping Bear Dunes is the setting for a new novel of "first loves, second chances and unexpected twists," in which three generations of brides-to-be discover that "love is always better as a family affair."

"I composed the rough draft of the novel by the fire at Bud's Coffee Shop in Interlochen," Ellingsen told the Traverse City Record Eagle back in March. Ellingsen, who now lives in Kentucky, considered the Sleeping Bear Dunes an obvious choice when it came time to choose a setting for the opening chapter of Marriage Matters.

"As a Michigan native, I had a great time imagining this gorgeous scenery and its incredible view of Lake Michigan and the sweeping expanse of the Dunes. Writing the scene let me pretend, for a brief moment during the dark winter of Kentucky, that I was bathed in the bright sunlight of Northern Michigan."

Ellingsen told the Record Eagle that she hopes the multi-generational story about the relationships between mother, daughter and granddaughter and the men they love - and, of course, its wedding setting on the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes - will appeal to women and their mothers.

Ellingsen's summer book tour includes a planned stop in Northern Michigan on July 6th at the conclusion of the Traverse City Cherry Festival. Ellingsen will be signing copies of Marriage Matters at Horizon Books in Traverse City. Copies are currently available at Horizon and other area bookstores, as well as online at Barnes & Noble. For more information and reviews of Marriage Matters, check out www.cynthiaellingsen.com.