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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Secret of Snow

ISBN: 978-1525806445

Publisher: Graydon House

Publication Date: 10/26/2021

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars +

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.

Highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Nancy Peterson (Narrator), Harlequin Audio (Publisher). I was gifted the paperback and purchased the e-book and the audiobook! One of my favorite Christmas books.

PS. When you buy The Secret of Snow audiobook, you also receive as a bonus, Christmas in Tinsel Tree Village: A Holiday Novella.

#thesecretofsnow by @usatoday #bestsellingauthor @viola_shipman is in stores NOW! Called "a beautifully written story about second chances" by @publisherswkly and named one of @countrylivingmag's #bestbooksoffall, THE SECRET OF SNOW is as comforting and familiar as a favorite sweater. Viola Shipman’s first #holidaynovel is a promise of heartfelt family traditions, humorously real experience, and the enduring power of love and friendship. @graydonhousebooks @authorwaderouse #winterreads #holidaybooks #christmas #booksmakegreatgifts #jdcmustreadbooks


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





Christmas in Tinsel Tree Village

A Novella

Format: e-book


Publisher : ‎ Graydon House (September 1, 2021)

Publication date‏ : ‎ Sept 1, 2021

My Rating: 5 Stars

Just in time for the holidays, a beautiful story about letting go of grief and discovering the healing power of love, from USA TODAY bestselling author Viola Shipman

Neve Ford, once the queen of Christmas, no longer loves the holidays. While she once reveled in the magic of the first snow of the season and her collection of heirloom decorations, they now serve as reminders of the husband she lost too soon. With so many painful memories haunting her small Michigan hometown, Neve moved away and never looked back.

Now working in Chicago, and a social media star thanks to her spectacular Christmas windows, Neve’s sole focus is creating crowd-drawing displays—and ignoring the pleading letters her grandmother continues to send from home. But then her job unexpectedly takes her back to Michigan to curate displays for a Christmas festival. An expert at avoiding her past, Neve plans to slip in and get gone…until word of her return leaks out. The walls Neve built around her heart may be strong, but with some unexpected help from the community, Neve will learn that she can’t outrun family bonds—or the promise of hope that only Christmas can give.

I listened to the audio and also purchased the e-book.

A Personal Note from the Author

Dear Reader:

My new book, The Secret of Snow, is much more than just my first “holiday novel.” It’s a deeply personal story about family, faith, forgiveness, overcoming grief and second chances.

Growing up, my family personified the holidays. My mother and father were a real-life Mr. and Mrs. Klaus, my grandma (Viola Shipman, my pen name), drenched her home in lights and filled her yard with dancing inflatables. She had the most beautiful heirloom Christmas ornaments and bought so many gifts for our family that she had to create a walkway through her living room.

But my brother, Todd, loved winter and the holidays most of all. Todd loved nothing more than cutting down a pine from our woods every year, dragging it into the house and drenching it in tinsel.

But when he died in a tragic accident when he was just 17, and I was 13, it crushed our family and our holidays. We were grief stricken, and the holidays only magnified our pain.

I expected future Christmases to come and go as quietly as a church mouse, but the following December I walked into the living room one evening to find my mother putting up a tree she had cut down herself. My mom, a hospice nurse, patted the carpet, and I took a seat.

“Think of how much your brother loved this holiday,” she whispered to me, tears in her eyes. “Why are we all trying so hard to forget about him? We shouldn’t just cast our memories away. We should start treating Todd like he’s still here. Because he is. And always will be.”

In the midst of all the holiday cheer, there rarely is room for grief. But these past two years have magnified the loneliness for too many Americans. We’ve lost over 600,000 parents, grandparents, siblings and friends to Covid, and we too often forget these aren’t just numbers, they’re names, like Todd, and my father-in-law, George, who died of Covid. There will be too many empty chairs at the table, and too many empty holes under the tree and in our hearts. And those of us who are suffering too often try to hide from the holidays, praying they will pass as quickly as Santa’s sleigh.

The Secret of Snow is a beautiful reminder that, no matter if those we love are no longer with us, family still surrounds us. It is a gentle reminder to reach out to those who need a hug, to let them know you care and that the names of all we’ve lost and still love shimmer as brightly as tinsel, and that their memories will never fade away as long as we refuse to let them.

Publisher’s Weekly gave the novel a rave, writing, “Shipman delivers a beautifully written story about second chances … while also sensitively handling difficult topics … Fans of women’s fiction won’t be able to put this down!”

The Secret of Snow might be my favorite novel to date because it is so meaningful to me. I hope it speaks to your heart and that you consider buying a copy for yourself and gifting a copy to someone you love.

Wishing you the most fabulous of falls, the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays!



About the Author

Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse, a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of 12 books translated into 20 languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks and Michigan Notable Book. Rouse chose his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his fiction. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday. WEBSITE







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