Monday, April 22, 2019

Viola Shipman is THE a book giveaway

We're pleased to have Wade Rouse a.k.a. Viola Shipman at CLC today. Wade used to write for CLC as our Go-to-Gay, but we're pleased to have him here as an author these days. Melissa A has enjoyed his previous novels written as Viola and is excited to check out his latest, The Summer Cottage. The cover looks so inviting. Thanks to Graydon House, we have one copy for a lucky reader!

Wade Rouse is the internationally bestselling author of nine books, which have been translated into nearly 20 languages. Wade chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction.

Wade’s novels include The Charm Bracelet, a 2017 Michigan Notable Book of the Year; The Hope Chest; and The Recipe Box. NYT bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank says of Wade and his latest novel, The Summer Cottage: “Every now and then a new voice in fiction arrives to completely charm, entertain and remind us what matters. Viola Shipman is that voice and The Summer Cottage is that novel.”

Library Journal writes that Wade has “hit upon the perfect formula to tell heartwarming, intergenerational family stories by weaving together the lives, loves and history of family through cherished heirlooms.” He recently signed a three-book book deal with HarperCollins. His next novel, The Heirloom Garden, will publish in April 2020.

Wade's books have been selected multiple times as Must-Reads by NBC’s Today Show, featured in the New York Times and on Chelsea Lately and chosen three times as Indie Next Picks by the nation’s independent booksellers. His writing has appeared in a diverse range of publications and media, including Coastal Living, Time, All Things Considered, People, Good Housekeeping, Salon, Forbes, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest and Publisher’s Weekly.

Also a noted humorist of four memoirs, Wade was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards in Humor (he lost to Tina Fey) and was named by Writer’s Digest as “The #2 Writer, Dead or Alive, We’d Like to Have Drinks With” (Wade was sandwiched between Ernest Hemingway and Hunter Thompson).

Wade earned his B.A. from Drury University and his master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. He divides his time between Saugatuck, Michigan, and Palm Springs, California, and is also an acclaimed writing teacher who has mentored numerous students to become published authors.

Visit Viola online:
Website * Wade's website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home—complete with its own set of rules for relaxing—that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.

But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What did you learn from writing Viola's previous novels that you applied to The Summer Cottage?
Sense of place is important to me in my work. All of my novels are set in Michigan resort towns along the coast of Lake Michigan, and they are central to the story line. In The Summer Cottage, I actually made the location and the cottage as big of characters as my protagonists. They live and breathe and speak to Adie Lou, the main character. Moreover, this is a more contemporary novel – younger, funnier, more romance – but I retained the themes that are central to all Viola novels: Family, memories, history, heirlooms, forgiveness as well as giving voice to women whose voices are often overlooked in our lifetimes, seemingly ordinary women on the surface – good, kind, hard working women like my mother and grandmothers – whose lives are truly extraordinary simply by the way they live and the impact they have on those around them. I’m deeply proud of this novel and the way that each one I write seems to grow and change while retaining those themes I hold dear.

What is a favorite compliment you received on any of Viola's novels?
When readers are shocked to learn that a man wrote the novels. It happened a lot when my first novel, The Charm Bracelet, was published; many women readers would show up at events and be absolutely shocked to see me take the stage. “That’s a man,” they would say in a Shakespearian whisper. But it still continues to happen. In fact, just a few weeks ago at Literary Orange, a large, day-long author event sponsored by the Orange County (CA) Library System, a woman ran up as I took the stage and yelled, “Viola’s a man!” That’s the ultimate compliment: That I’m writing female characters, of all ages, and women’s lives and emotions well enough to have readers believe it was written by a woman.

My other favorite compliment is that my novels are reconnecting readers to their family histories and memories. Hundreds and hundreds of readers have attended events the last few years, bringing along their mother’s, grandmother’s and family’s charm bracelets, recipe cards, quilts, McCoy vases, holiday ornaments and photos to share with me. In the process, they’ve told me how my work has not only touched them deeply but also reconnected them to their family’s history. They are writing it down so it doesn’t get lost, sharing their memories with family and remembering from where they came. They are also sharing and reading my books among the generations – daughters and mothers, sisters and cousins, grandmothers and granddaughters – just like my grandmas did with me.

If you could cast The Summer Cottage as a movie, who would star in the lead roles?
Authors always love to cast film versions of their books in their heads! For The Summer Cottage, I would cast the leads as:
Adie Lou – Kristen Bell
I think she would bring just the right blend of intelligence, strength, fragility, humor and charm to Adie Lou, a woman is starting over by starting at the beginning, a woman who learns how to dream once again.
Scooter – Kyle Chandler
He would be ideal as the former small-town high school football star with a heart of gold who has lived a rough life but has now realized who he is (and who he loves)
Evan – Lucas Hedges
As the tender, emotional, supportive son of Adie Lou, who helps his mom achieve her dreams while coming to peace with his parents’ divorce, he would be perfect
Iris Dragoon – Meryl Streep, Annette Benning, Joan Collins
SO many good choices to play the “Dragoon Lady,” the rich preservation committee chair and society matron who makes Adie Lou’s life and renovation a living hell, but who, underneath all the wigs, makeup and pretense, is not that different from her at all. Such a rich role!
Trish – Maya Rudolph
Perfect for the funny, cutting but loving best friend and attorney who tells it like it is but is always there to support you (and get you into trouble)

What are you looking forward to this summer?
My tour for The Summer Cottage, as well as everything about summers in Saugatuck, Michigan (the resort town where I live and where The Summer Cottage is set)! It’s like living in a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. We hike the dunes, spend afternoons on the golden sand beaches, boat and swim in Lake Michigan, visit wineries and U-Picks, gorge on blueberries, asparagus, strawberries, ice cream and good wine, head to Friday night art auctions on the lagoon at Ox-Bow (an artist colony affiliated with the Chicago Institute of Art), watch theatre at the Center for the Arts, and I read on my cottage’s screened porch, write in my tree-top carriage house and eat at one of the great restaurants in town with friends. It’s like summer when I was a kid.

Lake Michigan sunset

What is the last movie you saw that you'd recommend?

I loved The Wife! I loved the novel as well. Glenn Close was stunning (and should have won the Oscar for Best Actress), the screenplay was compelling, the supporting cast terrific, and I loved watching how a woman responsible (literally) for her husband’s literary success slowly implodes. A smart movie (and book) for book lovers and readers.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I’m a total klutz. I fall or trip constantly. Every year, it seems, I break a toe or a finger or injure myself in some idiotic way, tripping over one of my dogs, or falling over a slipper in the middle of the night. At work once, I fell backwards over an open drawer on my desk while I was talking on the phone. I split open the rear end of my pants but didn’t realize it until someone told me as I was walking into a meeting. A few weeks ago, I literally walked head-first into a door jamb while carrying laundry, eating a mouthful of food and totally engrossed in my mind about a scene in the next book I’m writing. I had a huge bruise, knot and wound on my head and had to attend book events looking as if I just went 10 rounds with Ronda Rousey. Now, I have a permanent scar. And something will happen again soon … I just don’t know when.

Thanks to Wade/Viola for visiting with us and to Graydon House for sharing his book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends April 28th at midnight EST.


Tricia Gilbert said...

I don't travel or take vacations but I do enjoy swimming at my sister's pool.Talking to family,good music,a drink and if it is a quiet day there a good book.Thank you for the giveaway!!

Carla S. said...

To the beach - any beach!

Linda May said...

I love to escape on the beach, walk in the sand and build sand castles with my grandson's. Thanks for this amazing chance.

Margie Shaw said...

What I’m most looking forward to this summer is just being able to get outside and soak up the warm sunshine while reading some really good books. I love the smell of cut grass also. Just being outside after the long winter is so relaxing.

Suburban prep said...

The last number of years it has been staycations so essentially we have stayed home and not gone places. But if I were to say I would love to go either to the Wine country or on a cruise to Alaska or up to Door county in Wisconsin. All different places.

Linda D said...

I only have to go as far as my own backyard to enjoy my summer! We have a pool where all the family gathers for cookouts and swimming, it's very relaxing!

Michelle L said...

I escape to the hammock in my back yard, or, a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.

traveler said...

I enjoy a vacation at a beach. Relaxing at the ocean or lake and reading and enjoying the precious time in a special setting.

Kelley B said...

I love Ocean Isle, North Carolina!

Bernice Kennedy said...

I want to escape to my lake house all summer and forget about time and concentrate on relaxing.

Bonnie K. said...

I love going to the coast. It's therapeutic for me. I could look and listen to the waves all day.

jean602 said...

I love escaping to the beach.

diannekc said...

I like escaping to Michigan and going to the beach in Holland and Grand Haven.

Kate Vocke said...

Definitely the beach!

Elena Y. said...

I love to go to the beach or somewhere colder such as mountain.

Linda Kish said...

I like to escape to the San Diego Zoo to visit the animals. I find it peaceful there.

Rita Wray said...

I like to escape to Lake Tahoe, NV.

Mary C said...

I like visiting my friend in Bar Harbor.

Di said...

I like the beach, but sometimes it's just too hot & humid in the summer, so I love a shady area with a breeze.

Mary Preston said...

Anywhere along the coast would be great.

Shari said...

I love escaping in my own backyard, floating in my pool

Lori Thomas said...

I escape to my back yard enjoying nature and the sunshine

Janine said...

We don't get vacations or even weekend getaways, so there really is no place to escape physically. I guess I could say my escape is through books.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

To the beach.

dstoutholcomb said...

I'd love to go to the beach, but I usually end up in the mountains.


bn100 said...