GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Summer is the perfect time to head to the beach and relax with a good book. Author Viola Shipman, also known as Wade Rouse, has a new novel just in time for summer. He joins us in the studio to talk about “Famous in a Small Town.”

Much like Shipman’s other novels, the story is set in northern Michigan and chronicles the life of Mary Jackson, who in 1958 became the first woman ever crowned The Cherry Pit Spittin’ Champion of Good Hart, Michigan, landing her in the Guinness Book of World Records. Later in life, Mary runs The Very Cherry General Store, a business that has been passed through three generations of women in the family in Good Hart. A woman named Becky Thatcher, an assistant principal from St. Louis has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and heads to Good Hart for a healing girl’s trip with her best friend. When Becky drunkenly spits a cherry pit an impressive distance, Mary urges her to enter the upcoming contest, and wonders if Becky could be the woman she’s been waiting for.

About the author: Viola Shipman is the pen name for LGBTQIA author Wade Rouse. Rouse is the author of fourteen books. He chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday.