Monday, December 4, 2023

#Giveaway Sophia Rose Reviews The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman Day 2 #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza


Welcome to day 2 of the 11th Annual #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza today Sophia Rose is reviewing The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman. The book is published by one of the new Harlequin Imprints Graydon House.
Enjoy her thoughts on the novel and don't forget to enter the 2 #Giveaways Below.

The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman

Women’s Fiction

Publisher:  Graydon House

Published:  11.7.23

Pages:  368

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: eARC

Source:  NetGalley

Sellers:  Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads


GoodReads Blurb:

With unabashed winter charm, The Wishing Bridge sparkles with the humor and heart fans of Kristy Woodson Harvey, Nancy Thayer and Jenny Colgan love most.

Once the hottest mergers and acquisitions executive in the company, Henrietta Wegner can see the ambitious and impossibly young up-and-comers gunning for her job. When Henri’s boss makes it clear she’ll be starting the New Year unemployed unless she can close a big deal before the holidays, Henri impulsively tells him that she can convince her aging parents to sell Wegner’s—their iconic Frankenmuth, Michigan, Christmas store—to a massive, soulless corporation. It’s the kind of deal cool, corporate Henri has built her career on.

Home for the holidays has typically meant a perfunctory twenty-four-hour visit for Henri, then back to Detroit as fast as her car will drive her. So turning up at the Wegner’s offices in early December raises some eyebrows: from her delighted, if puzzled, parents to her suspicious brother and curious childhood friends. But as Henri fields impatient texts from her boss while reconnecting with the magic of the store and warmth of her hometown, what sounded great in the boardroom begins to lose its luster in real life. She’s running out of time to pull the trigger on what could be the greatest success of her career…or the most awkward family holiday of her life.

Includes the bonus novella Christmas Angels


Sophia Rose's Review:

The age-old question, what matters most?  Is it the career she gave up everything to have or the family whom her late grandmother said was everything?  A cut throat acquisitions executive is about to find out. 


The Wishing Bridge is my fourth Viola Shipman book and I’ve discovered something to delight in from each one.  In this case, I was especially anticipatory of the latest Christmas themed novel because of it being set in my part of Michigan.  I adore Frankenmuth and Bronner’s so was tickled to see this special place become a fabulous extra character in the story.  And, this story… ahhh, so much feeling.  The way it captures the magic of Christmas for a child and shows a woman who has lost her way that she can come home and try for those Christmas wishes she had so long ago.


In truth, I was never down on Henri for her desire to leave her town and go for a career even if it meant saying no to her high school love.  I was glad her dad didn’t make it tough on her, though, yes, he had his druthers about wanting her to stay and make it a family business. My struggle was when she wanted to come back and did it under false pretenses.  It was down to the wire and I was caught up with so many feelings to see her struggle with deceiving her family about planning to sell their beautiful store or whether she’d be able to see her way clear that would be best for all involved.


There is a second chance romance and it was sweet and heartwarming with some complications because of what came between the pair, but as usual with Shipman’s books, I was more focused on the internal struggles and the family situation.  But, I can’t forget the feelings elicited about a place and a holiday season, too.


All around this was a well done abso-fabulous holiday season read that would put a Grinch in the mood for Christmas.  Chick Lit, Women’s Fic, and Holiday Sweet Romance fans should definite give The Wishing Bridge a look-see.


Author 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.


My novels are a tribute to my Ozarks grandma, Viola Shipman. The jangling of her charm bracelet was as ever-present as the call of the whippoorwill, the scent of her hope chest as vivid as cedars after a spring rain, and her burnished wood recipe box stuffed with family recipes that still make my mouth water.

Her heirlooms, life, lessons and love not only inspire my fiction but also inspired me to become a writer and, I hope, the person I am today. She taught me that the simplest things in life – family, friends, faith, fun, love, and a passion for what you do – are truly the grandest gifts. My fiction is meant to honor the elders in our lives whose sacrifices and journeys helped make us who we are today. I couldn’t be prouder of my novels, which I hope reconnect you to your own family’s stories, heirlooms, histories and traditions.



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. Interesting! I had no idea that this was a pen name. I haven't had the chance to read this author yet but do hope to in the future.

    1. Yeah, fun surprise about the author. He writes so that you honestly couldn't tell if you didn't already know. Hope you get the chance soon, Carole!

  2. I was surprised (like Carole above) that Viola Shipman was a penname for a man. His stories sound like my cup of tea! Wonderful review, Sophia and what a fab giveaway! :)

    1. Oh yeah, Rachel! He makes you feel the charm of the season and setting and his characters from multiple generations are form some great relationships. The humor is always as present as the sensibility. :)

  3. Sophia Rose great review as you know I love Viola Shipman and this book in on my short list. Thanks for sharing

    1. I am so glad, Debbie. You'll adore this one when you get the chance. You got me hooked on his books. :)

  4. I, too, was surprised to discover that the person behind the name is a man. I would never have guessed based on the writing. This is on my list to read before the year ends. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

    1. It was a fun background bit to learn. :) Good plan to read this one.

  5. Great review! I love that the pen name is from a male author and that he uses his grandma's name in her honor.

    1. I thought that was beautiful of him to do, too, Elizabeth.

  6. Lovely review Sophia. This is on my wishlist. :) I loved the first one.

    1. Yes, that first Secret of Snow was what hooked me in, too. :) This one was tender and heartwarming like that, too. And, some funny moments. :)