Now that it’s 2012, we’re in the very last days and weeks before the new Dogwood Press author, Valerie Winn of Gautier, Mississippi, bursts onto the scene with a wonderful novel called Forsaking Mimosa. It’s mainstream fiction with a hint of literary flavor, a coming-of-age tale that’s set in South Mississippi just before World War II. There are life lessons, humor, tragedy, compelling characters, and a storyline you won’t be able to walk away from in Forsaking Mimosa, and we’re gearing up for Valerie’s launch on April 3 at Lemuria in Jackson. Here’s the book cover:

Valerie will sign copies of her debut novel at Lemuria at 5pm on April 3, with a reading at 5:30.

One of the highlights of my Christmas season was signing books on December 17 at a gift shop in Madison, Mississippi called Persnickety. Owner Ben Rogers, his wife, Randy, and manager Flo Bryan carry a variety of upscale decorative items and also host author signings–Ben didn’t have to ask me twice if I was interested in an event with him, and he and his staff were wonderful hosts.

Joe and Ben. That’s the first time my books have ever been displayed on a roll-top desk before.

We start 2012 with my latest Oakdale novel, The Long Road Home, officially available for download through If you own a Kindle, grab it any time–as they say, you’ll be able to begin reading in a minute or less.

Upcoming speaking events: I look forward to meeting folks at the Robert C. Irwin Public Library in Tunica, Mississippi on Wednesday, January 18 at noon. On Friday, January 27, I’ll visit the Pearl Public Library at noon for their monthly Brown Bag luncheon. I was actually at the Pearl library last night to speak to the Chapter One Book Club, which was a lot of fun. I fielded some questions, and we all shared stories about writing and books and the business–great stuff. My thanks to Cecilia Sandifer, who invited me, and Kimberly Coley, who was kind enough to bring me in to speak to the Brown Bag group.

That’s Cecilia to my right. We all agreed that the most important part of writing is enjoying it.