Viola
Internationally Bestselling Author
Fiction Writer & Memoirist
Travels from: Palm Springs, CA & Saugatuck, MI

“Every now and then a new voice in fiction arrives to completely charm, entertain and remind us what matters. Viola Shipman is that voice!”-New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank

Wade Rouse is the USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly and internationally bestselling author of 15 books, including five memoirs and ten novels.

Wade’s books have been translated into nearly 25 languages and have been bestsellers across the world. He chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name to honor the working poor Ozarks seamstress whose sacrifices changed his family’s life and whose memory inspires his fiction.

Wade’s books have been selected multiple times as Must-Reads by NBC’s Today Show as well as Michigan Notable Books of the Year. His memoirs and novels have been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today and on Chelsea Lately and chosen three times as Indie Next Picks by the nation’s independent booksellers. 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 will again publish two new novels in 2023 from HarperCollins/Graydon House, including a new summer novel, Famous in A Small Town (June 13), a funny, poignant story of an intergenerational friendship that is being compared to the work of Fannie Flagg, as well as a new Christmas novel, The Wishing Bridge (November 6).

Wade published three new books in 2022. They were The Edge of Summer, inspired by his grandmother’s buttons and button jars, which was an instant national and indie bestseller; Magic Season, his first memoir in a decade, about how the love of baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals was the only thing to bond him and his Ozarks father, which was a Michigan Notable Book of the Year, a Barnes & Noble Father’s Day selection, a USA Today summer reading selection, and a Best Book of Summer by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And his winter/Christmas novel, A Wish for Winter, was selected as a “Best Christmas Book” by Country Living Magazine, the November Meijer Book Club Pick and hailed by New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Magnolias Sherryl Woods (“Once again, Viola Shipman has written a captivating story for anyone whose memories of the past run deep and whose dreams for holiday magic seem just out of reach. This book keeps faith and hope alive!”

Wade is a noted humorist and memoirist, whose nonfiction has been selected as part of the American Library Association’s inaugural “Rainbow List” recognizing outstanding books with significant and authentic LGBTQIA+ content for readers.

Wade’s previous novels include The Secret of Snow, an instant national and indie bestseller that was named a Best Book by Country Living Magazine and Good Housekeeping; The Summer Cottage (a USA TODAY bestseller); The Clover Girls (a USA TODAY and #1 Great Lakes & Midwest Indie Bestseller); The Charm Bracelet (a 2017 Michigan Notable Book of the Year); The Hope Chest; The Recipe Box; and The Heirloom Garden.

A former journalist, magazine writer and People reporter, his writing has appeared in a diverse range of publications and media, including Coastal Living, Time, All Things Considered, Good Housekeeping, Parade, Salon, Forbes, Writer’s Digest and Publisher’s Weekly.

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.

Wade hosts the popular Facebook Live literary happy hour, “Wine & Words with Wade,” every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Viola Shipman author page where he talks writing, inspiration and hope, takes readers on tours of the places that inspire his novels, throws costumed monthly office parties, and welcomes bestselling authors and publishing insiders.

A Wish for Winter

Graydon House |
Fiction

“I love this book–funny, perfect and wonderfully good. A not-to-be-missed delight.” —New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery

With echoes of classic Hollywood love stories like Serendipity and An Affair to Remember, Viola Shipmans latest winter charmer following the USA TODAY bestseller The Secret of Snow is sure to tug on heartstrings and delight readers who love books about books, missed connections and the magic of Christmas.

Despite losing her parents in a tragic accident just before her fourteenth Christmas, Susan Norcross has had it better than most, with loving grandparents to raise her and a gang of quirky, devoted friends to support her. Now a successful bookstore owner in a tight-knit Michigan lakeside community, Susan is facing down forty–the same age as her mother when she died–and she can’t help but see everything she hasn’t achieved, including finding a love match of her own. To add to the pressure, everyone in her small town believes it’s Susan’s destiny to meet and marry a man dressed as Santa, just like her mother and grandmother before her. So it seems cosmically unfair that the man she makes an instant connection with at an annual Santa Run is lost in the crowd before she can get his name.

What follows is Susan and her friends’ hilarious and heartwarming search for the mystery Santa–covering twelve months of social media snafus, authors behaving badly and dating fails–as well as a poignant look at family, friendship and what defines a well-lived and well-loved life.

“Viola Shipman has written a captivating story for anyone whose memories run deep… This book keeps faith and hope alive ” —New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods

A Country Living Magazine Best Christmas Book to Read This Holiday Season

The Edge of Summer

Graydon House |
Fiction

Bestselling author Viola Shipman delights with this captivating summertime escape set along the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan, where a woman searches for clues to her secretive mother’s past

Devastated by the sudden death of her mother–a quiet, loving and intensely private Southern seamstress called Miss Mabel, who overflowed with pearls of Ozarks wisdom but never spoke of her own family–Sutton Douglas makes the impulsive decision to pack up and head north to the Michigan resort town where she believes she’ll find answers to the lifelong questions she’s had about not only her mother’s past but also her own place in the world.

Recalling Miss Mabel’s sewing notions that were her childhood toys, Sutton buys a collection of buttons at an estate sale from Bonnie Lyons, the imposing matriarch of the lakeside community. Propelled by a handful of trinkets left behind by her mother and glimpses into the history of the magical lakeshore town, Sutton becomes tantalized by the possibility that Bonnie is the grandmother she never knew. But is she? As Sutton cautiously befriends Bonnie and is taken into her confidence, she begins to uncover the secrets about her family that Miss Mabel so carefully hid, and about the role that Sutton herself unwittingly played in it all.

The minute I finished The Clover Girls, I ordered copies for all my friends. It’s that good.” –Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author

The Secret of Snow

Graydon House |
Fiction

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage

“A beautifully written story about second chances. Fans of women’s fiction won’t be able to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly

The forecast is calling for a reluctant homecoming and regrettable decisions with a strong chance of romance

When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny’s been avoiding since the day she left for college–her northern Michigan hometown.

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood…with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who’s now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.

To distract herself from the memories she’s spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she’s ever going to find a place she can truly call home.

The Clover Girls

Graydon House |
Fiction
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage

“Like a true friendship, The Clover Girls is a novel you will forever savor and treasure.” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls–inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom–until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror.

Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time, to spend a week together revisiting the dreams they’d put aside and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever…

USA TODAY bestselling author Viola Shipman is at her absolute best with The Clover Girls. Readers of all ages and backgrounds will love its powerful, redemptive nature and the empowering message at its heart.

The Heirloom Garden

Graydon House |
Fiction
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage

In her inimitable style, Viola Shipman explores the unlikely relationship between two very different women brought together by the pain of war, but bonded by hope, purpose…and flowers.

Iris Maynard lost her husband in World War II, her daughter to illness and, finally, her reason to live. Walled off from the world for decades behind the towering fence surrounding her home, Iris has built a new family…of flowers. Iris propagates her own daylilies and roses while tending to a garden filled with the heirloom starts that keep the memories of her loved ones alive.

When Abby Peterson moves next door with her family–a husband traumatized by his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability–Iris is reluctantly yet inevitably drawn into her boisterous neighbor’s life, where, united by loss and a love of flowers, she and Abby tentatively unearth their secrets, and help each other discover how much life they have yet to live.

With delightful illustrations and fascinating detail, Viola Shipman’s heartwarming story will charm readers while resonating with issues that are so relevant today

The Recipe Box: A Novel (The Heirloom Novels)

A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin |
Fiction

“Filled with cherished memories and treasured recipes, The Recipe Box is a touching tribute to the women and food that unite us and connect our past to the present.” —Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times bestselling author

In The Recipe Box, beloved author Viola Shipman spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life—including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

The Summer Cottage

Graydon House |
Fiction

A USA Today Bestseller

“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 absolutely irresistible and necessary novel.” — New York Times Bestselling Author Dorothea Benton Frank

From the bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet and The Recipe Box comes the perfect summer escape about the restorative power of family tradition, small-town community and the feel of sand between your toes

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 clich , 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.

The Hope Chest: A Novel (The Heirloom Novels)

A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin |
Fiction

“A graceful, moving, emotionally impactful read.” —Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in The Rain

“Saugatuck, MI, springs to life in this nostalgic, gentle story of lifelong love along with the emotional support and care that families and friends can provide. ” —Library Journal

The discovery of one woman’s heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again.

Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn’t feel like herself. She can’t navigate her beloved home, she can’t go for a boat ride, and she can barely even feed herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn’t want to imagine life without his wife of nearly fifty years, but Mattie isn’t likely to make it past their anniversary.

But when Rose, Mattie’s new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple’s life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother.

With each item—including a favorite doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges.

A beautiful story about the unconditional love and support of family, The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman will remind you that hope can be found where and when you least expect it.

The Charm Bracelet

Thorndike Press |
Fiction

Lose yourself to the magic of “The Charm Bracelet.”

Through an heirloom charm bracelet, three women will rediscover the importance of family and a passion for living as each charm changes their lives.

On her birthday each year, Lolly’s mother gave her a charm, along with the advice that there is nothing more important than keeping family memories alive, and so Lolly’s charm bracelet would be a constant reminder of that love.

Now seventy and starting to forget things, Lolly knows time is running out to reconnect with a daughter and granddaughter whose lives have become too busy for Lolly or her family stories.

But when Arden, Lolly’s daughter, receives an unexpected phone call about her mother, she and granddaughter Lauren rush home. Over the course of their visit, Lolly reveals the story behind each charm on her bracelet, and one by one the family stories help Lolly, Arden, and Lauren reconnect in a way that brings each woman closer to finding joy, love, and faith.

A compelling story of three women and a beautiful reminder of the preciousness of family, “The Charm Bracelet” is a keepsake you’ll cherish long after the final page.

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Why Wade uses his grandmother's name as his pen name

Honoring family through fiction

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A Literary Victor Victoria

Why a man chose to write women’s fiction using his grandmother’s name

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A Novel Idea

How heirlooms inspire Wade’s fiction

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Overcoming Fear to Channel Your True Voice

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The Magic of the Three H's: Heartbreak + Humor = Honesty

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How libraries, books, and his grandma saved Wade's Life

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How Growing Up in the Ozarks Made Wade Who he is Today

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Don't Fit In: Why It's Better to be You

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Honors, Awards & Recognition

International Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
Indie Next Pick
Today Show Must Read
A Michigan Notable Book
American Library Association “Rainbow List”

Media Kit

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