Monday, December 5, 2022

#GIVEAWAY Sophia Rose Reviews: A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza

10th Annual

Welcome to week 2 of the 10th Annual #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza. Today Sophia Rose is reviewing, A Wish for Winter by one of my all time favorite women's fiction authors, Viola Shipman. This novel is high on my shelf and I know if it wasn't on your radar before it will be after Sophia Rose gets done talking about it.
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Giveaway #2 is for one print copy each of
Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan
All is Bright by RaeAnne Thayne
& Home Sweet Christmas by Susan Mallery
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A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman
Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Graydon House
Published:  11.15.22
Pages:  391
Rating: 4
Format: eARC
Source:  NetGalley

Amazon Blurb:

With echoes of classic Hollywood love stories like Serendipity and An Affair to Remember, Viola Shipman’s 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.


Sophia Rose's Review:

Wintry breathtaking northern Michigan small town beauty and festivities, a family-run bookstore, and a family tradition of finding THE ONE in a Santa costume as backdrop for a forty-year old woman’s journey of healing from grief and guilt to new-found happiness.  A Wish for Winter is my second Viola Shipman tale and had all the feels, humor, friends and family, and winter festivities I adored in The Secret of Snow. 

In the pursuit of her “Single Kringle”- as advised by bestie influencer Holly, Susan Norcross had some dating disappointments and the humor this brings right from the get-go had me chuckling aloud and settling in for a comfy, heartwarming read.  Her whole town of Petoskey, a little town on the shore of Lake Michigan, has holiday hope that Susan, named for the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street no less, will be the third generation Norcross to find her match in a Santa suit.  Her girlfriends, shop friends, and grandparents are all there for her and she thought it was finally happening when she was in a Santa run and had a date planned with a certain Santa-costumed guy only to be stood up.  The hunt is on with Holly vetting the three best possibles.

But, it wouldn’t be a Viola Shipman story if all the mischief and holiday festivities were not balanced by a person who has some sadness and unresolved past to deal with.  In this case, Susan lost both her parents at a young age during the holidays when they were hit by a drunk driver.  But, instead of seeing it as just one of those bad things that happen, Susan blames herself and spends all her life from then on living by her guilt-imposed code of what she decides would have made her parents happy rather than setting her own course through life.  Now she’s the age her mom was when she died and it’s a wakeup call of sorts.

The romantic mystery of who she will be with is actually not hard to spot, but I also enjoyed seeing everyone trying to figure it out.  The romance is not the central element.  Susan’s personal growth, her relationships with grandparents, found family, and friends- even the vibrant town of Petoskey- are all central which is why I consider this women’s fiction more than romance.  However, it is all rather holiday romantic in tone so one doesn’t feel anything missing.  

Incidentally, loved the short at the end and the author’s note to readers.

It does have slow spots, but all in all, this was a sweetheart of a story and made me wish I could visit the bookshop and the world of A Wish for Winter for the holidays. 

Author’s Bio:

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, inter-generational 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 Washington Post, USA Today and on Chelsea Lately and have also been 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, Taste of Home, Country Woman, 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.

 Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience so many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Though, sorry, no horror or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.





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  1. Someone lucky will win A Wish for Winter. My copy just arrived at the door an hour ago which makes me happy and to see your review Sophia Rose is great.

    1. Glad to give you a bit of pre-read buzz, Kathryn. :)

  2. Sophia I love your views on this book and I can't wait to open page one of mine. I think I'll ask Santa for more time. LOL ;-)

    1. Now, that would be a nifty gift- more reading time. :)