Summer Reading: Claire Cook

We’re halfway through summer and there are so many wonderful summer books out there that I wanted to highlight some of my personal favs with you.   These books are all in my TBR pile, or have been read and are now in my library, and so every Saturday from now until Labor Day, I’ll be featuring a different ‘beach read’ and author here.

I’m starting off my Summer Reading blog feature with the wonderful Wallflower in Bloom, by Claire Cook.  Claire Cook wrote her first novel in her minivan and is now the bestselling author of nine novels including Must Love Dogs, which became a Warner Bros. movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack.

And now I’m handing my blog over to Claire.  Claire, it’s your turn!


Thank you so much, Jane, for inviting me to visit your blog to share the inspiration behind my new novel, Wallflower in Bloom. And may I say that I’m absolutely counting the days until The Good Woman is released in September!

Wallflower in Bloom began in kind of a crazy way. The publishing blog GalleyCat asked its Facebook readers which author they’d most like to see on Dancing With the Stars. Amazingly, I was one of the 10 authors nominated, along with Nora Roberts, Jodi Picoult, Harlan Coban, Ally Carter, David Sedaris, Andy Borowitz, Tatjana Soli, Tishani Dosh and Kathy Patrick. (I don’t know how they missed you, Jane – you would have been perfect!)

I have such true blue, incredibly supportive readers, as I know you do, and they got all excited and started voting like crazy – and I won the popular vote! GalleyCat sent the petition off the DWTS producers. Everyone started asking me if I’d really do it. “Of course, I would,” I said, my knees shaking. “Not just for me, but for midlife women everywhere.”

I totally would have done it, shaky knees and all, if Dancing With the Stars had ever called, which they haven’t – yet! But I have to admit it was a lot less stressful to turn the experience into the jumping off point for Wallflower in Bloom.

What was intriguing to me was the thought of a non-celebrity suddenly dropped into a celebrity world. And then I started thinking what if the heroine was the personal assistant to her famous brother, who was the family star. And what if she somehow used his connections to find her own fifteen minutes of fame?

And somehow into all this, my new novel, Wallflower in Bloom, was born!


For more on Claire, and to read an excerpt of Wallflower in Bloom (as well as enter to win a review copy) visit,  and while you’re there make sure you visit the book club page for questions, recipes, cupcake flags, and to schedule an author chat.   You can also follow Claire on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for her newsletter to stay in the loop.

Readers, for a chance to win my special Claire Cook beach tote give away–a tote bag packed with three of Claire’s fantastic novels, Summer Blowout, The Wild Water Walking Club, and Best Staged Plans, a Starbucks drink card, a Ty Gurney surf school water bottle, and fun Jane Porter giveaways–comment below.   The contest will run from now until Thursday night, with the winner announced on Friday.   Good luck and welcome Claire!


  1. I’m glad to know others read book according to the seasons too. 🙂 thanks for adding to my TBR list! 🙂

  2. I’ve loved the movie Must Love Dogs and watched it many times, so I am sure the new book of Claire Cook is wonderful. Thank you for giving reading suggestions while we patiently wait for the release of your new book. In the meantime, “Not fit for a king?” is on my night table ready to be enjoyed.
    Happy summer!

  3. Hi Jane! Can’t wait to read The Good Woman. I also love Claire Cook’s books! Have been looking forward to reading Wallflower In Bloom. Think I’ll wait to buy it until I see if I get picked! 🙂

  4. I am gearing up with books for my vacation in a few weeks. I am heading to Indy to help take care of my Grandma with Alzheimers, I will have to add this one to my TBR! Loved the movie “Must Love Dogs.” Have a great week everyone!

  5. Thanks Jane! Love when my favorite authors introduce me to new authors! Looking forward to reading Claire’s books! Glad you are starting to settle in!

  6. Claire Cook is a new author to me. Many thanks for introducing us to her and many other “newbies” to us, Jane.

  7. Thank you so much for showcasing authors on your blog. I’m always looking for new books to read and new authors to love 🙂 I am going to start reading her books pronto!

  8. Great book ideas come from so many places. I loved hearing how this story was born….awesome! Another great story that I am counting the days to read, The Good Woman…..will September ever get here!!!

  9. Jane, thanks for hosting Claire Cook today. I’ve listened to and enjoyed the audiobook of Seven Year Switch. Wallflower in Bloom sounds great. It’s on my TBR list.

  10. The two of you are both authors whose books I love. I also love to get the backstory behind the books I read when I can, as it tends to bring a little more atmosphere to the story! I’ll be watching for new books by both of you!

  11. I was enchanted by ‘Must Love Dogs’… and appreciate the ‘heads-up’ on Claire’s other books. Summertime reading is never wasted..

  12. I love learning about great authors from those I already read and love. Thanks for sharing Claire Cook with us. She is a new author to me and I will be giving her book a try. Looking forward to your next new book. Thanks for the contest also.

  13. “Wallflowers in Bloom” is now on my “to-read” list! Thanks for the recommendation!

  14. I’ve read another book by Claire Cook. It was a beach theme on the cover. I’d look up the name but I’m on my iPad and would have to close this out! I’d love to win! New books are always welcome, especially if they’re free!

  15. I have REALLY enjoyed getting tips about new authors from other authors…as mentioned above. Thanks, Jane, for the “heads up” about Claire Cook and for the chance to win some fun things to enhance our reading pleasure!

  16. I love the movie Must Love Dogs. 🙂
    I would love to see Claire on DWTS one season. I think they should go after some authors because some of the celebrities they have had on the show I have never heard of.
    As a woman in midlife I would love to see Claire give it a go.
    I plan on snagging a copy of Wallflower in Bloom real soon.

  17. Great blog. Looking forward to reading her novel, relaxing by the pool and drinking a watermelon daiquiri. Enjoying the summer with lots of vacation time. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

  18. Oh, I am going to have to pick up some of Claire’s books! They sound great. And how brave for Claire to do DWTS if they were to call. 🙂 I hope with each day you are settling more and more into the new house. Wishing you all the best!

  19. Thank you for introducing a new-to-me author. This books sounds like something I would really like to read.

  20. I love watching Dancing With the Stars and I hope to see Claire on it someday. I think it looks like a fun story, perfect for a day at the beach.

  21. Hi Jane,
    Sounds like a great read! I am not currently reading anything but must say your first summer pick sounds likr my type of reading.


  22. I love getting new suggestions for new reads! I will make sure to put Claire on my “list”. I am eagerly awaiting you new book also, so many books to read, so little time! Have a great summer!

  23. I love Claire’s books! I just finished ‘Best Staged Plans’, and ‘Wild Water Walking Club’ is one of my favorites (my aunt lives near Sequim, WA). Thanks so much for the giveaway! Perfect for the summer!

  24. I can’t wait to read this Claire Cook book. I really liked the back story about how the book came to be written but I must disagree that an author might be considered a non-celebrity. Thanks for suggesting this book, now if you could just throw in the beach I would be totally over the moon.

  25. Hi Jane,
    What a great idea to feature an author each week. I appreciate learning about new authors, so thank you. I am going to go to the library online and reserve some of her books.

  26. Hi Jane, What a beautiful cover! I love learning about new authors. Claire hopefully they will call you sometime for DWTS how fun! Yes though scary as well I can imagine. Thanks for the interview. 🙂

  27. They all sound so good. Can’t wait to read them..So you can pick me so I could start reading some really good books..Thanks for the chance to do that..

  28. This sounds like a book I would totally enjoy. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be looking for it on my next book store visit.

  29. I love Claire Cook’s books. I recently finished Seven Year Switch, which was really entertaining as well. I haven’t read any of the ones you mentioned being in the tote yet, but I have read Must Love Dogs and Life’s a Beach.

    If you’re looking for other summer reads I’ve been reading up a storm and would recommend The Beach House and Another Summer by Georgia Bockoven or any of Elin Hilderbrand’s books, which are all set in Nantucket so they make for good beach reading as well.

  30. Thanks for the contest! Claire Cook’s books sound like my kind of reading. I loved the movie Must Love Dogs.

  31. Hi Jane,

    What a cool idea for a Summer blog. I love it when you tell us about other good writers. I´m still reading “Saving Gerda” and love it that I was introduced to this good book.
    Thanks 🙂

    Have a great week.

  32. Wallflower in Bloom sounds simply wonderful. I’m going to put that on my TBR list. I have never read any of her books and look forward to doing so.

  33. I loved Must Love Dogs. The book was better than the movie imo. Thanks for recommending Wallflower in Bloom. I’m adding to it my TBR list.

  34. I think you would of been a great pick for DWTS too!!! and thanks for the summer suggestions Wallflower in Bloom sounds like a great read!

  35. Congrats to Claire on her new release, I have not read her work before but will be checking it out now because it sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for sharing with us today.

  36. I will definetly look into this book. Thanks Jane and also for the good reads website. It is amazing.

  37. I am so happy to see what others are reading, sometimes I find I get in a rut and need something new, so Thank you! And BTW I have been eyeballing ‘Wallflower in Bloom’, it looks like a fun read!

  38. I love your books Jane. I just finished “Not fit for a King”. I will be checking out Claire Cook. Thank You!!!

  39. I’m afraid I haven’t read her or had the chance to see the movie but I’m always looking for new books/authors and pay attention to other’s opinions! Thanks.

  40. I have never read any of Claire’s book. I will start now with Wildflower in Bloom. It sounds really good. I like when you talk about other authors. I am always in need of book recommendations.
    I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars. What fun.

  41. New author.. gorgeous cover, so bright and carefree! Makes you want to go outside and enjoy the day.

    Also enjoyed the excerpt! I do want to find out more: Tag, Deadhead parents, Steve, undies, Dancing With The Stars. WOW Lots of stuff going on, packs a punch!

    Thanks for the intro Jane. Hope all is going smoothly with your settling in your new home.

  42. I loved the book, Must Love Dogs. I will be picking up her new book soon. She has a wonderful writing style. I really enjoy reading her books. I can’t wait to see what author your spotlight next.

  43. Thanks for the information about this book! I now want to add it to my summer reading list. I loved Wildwater Walking Club and this one sounds great.

  44. I wonder if Claire Cook got to pick her cover. I remember how many covers you showed us that you went through for Mrs. Perfect. I love “peeking” into authors’ minds.

  45. I never read any of Claire Cook’s books, but she sounds fun…my kind of gal. Getting ready to go to the beach, a new tote would be fantastic too! Thanks for the introduction, love the cover…Ruth

  46. Wow I just love the cover and the story matches what I love to read so can’t wait to add this to my get list

  47. I have read several of Claire Cook’s books and really enjoy them. They are a delicious treat on a summer day in the sun. I am looking forward to reading this one….perhaps on my Kindle Fire. Thanks for the info on her new book.

  48. I love it when someone shares a book they have read and loved it, it always seems to be a winner! I am looking forward to this book being released as well as A Good Women shortly…Love the cover who said you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!!!

  49. I love reading books by “new to me” authors. I have had some wonderful reading experiences this way and have found some really great authors to follow!!

  50. What a treat! Only thing that would make it better would be to have that gorgeous pink skirt that’s being twirled on the cover. Thanks – and happy summer!

  51. I get inspired when I read about how writers got their start, and it makes me want to really begin writing the book I have inside of me. I congratulate you both on writing wonderful stories…

  52. I loved this book. I have enjoyed all of Claire’s books. I must say that I had the pleasure of meeting her in Stuart, Florida, and what a lovely woman she is! She has been inspirational to my in my writing. The bad thing about Claire’s books is that when you’re done reading them, you wish you weren’t. 🙂

  53. I need to spend more time on your website, Jane! You have the best giveaways!

    The first book I reviewed on my review blog was a Claire Cook book. It was the first one I read and thought it was great.

  54. hey jane this is a great page i just happened apon it as i was reading claire cooks facebook post,i love her books and am a big bookworm .very pleased to discover a new author to read,its great to see you supporting each other x

  55. I loved Must Love Dogs and look forward to reading more of her books. Also, I think I found another great author/book to read in The Good Woman when it comes out!

  56. Looking forward to another great Claire read and to becoming acquainted with Jane! Congrats to you both!

  57. Thank you for your drawing. I read Claire’s new book in one sitting on my kindle. Would love to have a hard cover of this one.

  58. So, it’s the last Monday of my wonderful kiddos’ summer break, and i am a tad melancholy, as my baby will be going off to all day kindergarten next Monday. I have been silently wallowing in my self pity and trying to help my children adopt a positive attitude about summer’s end …All.. Day. Long. Not doing so well.
    So, I pop over here, and … Manic Monday NO MORE! Jane Porter AND Claire Cook, Here. Together!!

  59. I can’t wait until your new book comes out. My sister and I plan on buying it the day it comes out 🙂

    Based on your facebook comment a month or so back about this book, “Wallflower in Bloom”, I read and loved it. Thanks so much for the recommendation 🙂

  60. This will be a perfect way to try a new author (for me) ..haven’t read any books by Claire 🙂

    today is our son’s 2nd day at his new elementary school..and tomorrow is the last day before they’ll have a month holiday..yay..

    *fingers crossed*

  61. I actually just read “Wallflower in Bloom” last week, and really enjoyed it. Haven’t read the other books yet though, sounds like a great giveaway!!

  62. This sounds like a book I would like to read. Thank you for the recommendation. I will be sure to look into Claire’s other books too. I love the cover of it too…definitely reminds me of summer.

  63. Hi Jane,

    I love Claire Cook’s work! I hope you guys are settling in to the new house and you have some time to read your TBR books. It’s been a very hot and humid summer here in Pennsylvania so we are staying cool inside with lots of books and favorite movies.

    Take care,

  64. I love Claire’s writing! I am excited to add more to my to-read list for this summer. Trying to get all of my pleasure reading done before the Fall Semester starts and I have to switch to require coursework.

  65. Yeah, another author to read! I trust your recommendations, haven’t steered me wrong yet. 🙂 I especially needed the suggestions for the plane, can’t wait for Hawaii in August!

  66. Thank you Jane for introducing us to Claire. I absolutely loved Must Love Dogs. Congratulations on her upcoming new release. Cannot wait!!!

  67. Thanks for this amazing contest! I have never read any of Claire’s work, but would absoloutely love to!!! My TBR pile is getting down to nothing…which is sad. Your recommendations are always the best and I appreciate them! Have a great weekend!!

  68. In such a need for a good mental escape.
    Had to drop an all time favorite NYTimes best selling author from my list. Books became predictable and repetitive. Hope everyone and the new home is doing good.

  69. Can you believe that I have yet to read one of Claire’s books? I know! What is wrong with me? I seriously need o get my hands on them. I could definitely use a new author to obsess over 🙂

  70. Good morning everyone! I was so busy doing house stuff (that incouded getting my compters to synch up) that I totally forgot to annouce the winner of the contest!

    #66 Lynette, your name got drawn! Please send me your mail address and we’ll get the prize out to you as soon as we can!

    Also, I have a Mystery prize winner from a prize that went uncollected …#29, Jane Cook, your name was drawn for that prize.

    Will both of you send me a private email to jane (at) janeporter (dot) com with your address and I will send your prizes out.

    New contest starts today with today’s guest blog. Enjoy!!

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