Happy Summer!

You know that feeling you get when arrive at your family summer cottage, head to your favorite vacation spot or enjoy the day at a beloved beach? That moment your soul sighs, your whole body relaxes, and your mind frees? That moment when we become not only our happiest selves but our best selves?

That is the foundation of The Summer Cottage. I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the reception the novel has received from readers. Yes, this is the novel you take with you to the beach, the pool or wherever you vacation, or just carry to the hammock in your yard. But it’s so much more than that as readers have discovered.

It has at its heart a simple question: What does it mean to be happy? Moreover, it’s about the power of dreams, and what happens to us when we lose sight of not only who we dreamed of being, but who we were meant to be. Too many of us – like Adie Lou, the main character in The Summer Cottage – live in fear, let the influence of others guide us, and try to please everyone but ourselves.

Adie Lou learns she is an unconventional woman who, in her 40s, can do anything she dreams, including returning to the family cottage that made her the happiest. She renovates it into an HGTV-worthy inn, as well as a place of empowerment and inspiration for guests who are seeking to harness their own beauty and light.

And those messages are resonating! “The Musings of The Well Read” blog wrote, “I’ve only just begun allowing myself to be more of an unconventional woman, and it’s definitely been a learning curve. [Adie Lou’s] discovery of self and decision to let go and simply be the woman she was always capable of being … connected on a personal level as we too often tone down our true selves to please others.”

On book tour, a woman approached me in tears and said, “Growing up, my family used to ask what I dreamed of being when I grew up. Then when I became a teenager, they began to ask me what I was going to do when I grew up. I realized I was doing the same thing to my children. We don’t even give kids, especially young women, a chance to figure out who they want to be before we’re telling them who they should be.” And a reader in Arizona recently emailed me, writing, “The Summer Cottage made me feel like I am enough. Finally enough. Thank you, thank you for that message!”

And that’s the foundation of this novel: WE ARE ENOUGH! Each and every one of us are spectacular souls meant for incredible things. And when we take risks, when we love and support and nurture and DREAM, then the ripple effect on the world is extraordinary no matter how ordinary we may think our lives are.

Here’s to dreams coming true and unconventional women everywhere! I wish you a magical summer filled with family, sandcastles on the beach, stunning sunsets and magical sunrises that remind you that anything is possible today.

xoxo,
Viola

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