Gosh, I’m excited about the new John M. Floyd collection of stories, Deception. Talk about a cool cover…

Deception, the latest from the Derringer-Award winning short story master, is loaded with 30 tales of mystery, suspense, intrigue, and…yes…deception. There’s police procedural, sci-fi/fantasy, Western, nostalgia, romance, and more…all with a jaw-dropping twist at the end. You know what I mean; you read right down to the very end and there’s almost an adrenaline rush because you are CERTAIN something totally unexpected is going to happen. Make a note of the title story, as well as John’s story “Redemption.” Both are outstanding, but every story in the book is top quality. And what else would you expect from John?

The official kickoff is at Lemuria in Jackson, Mississippi, on Wednesday, May 1. He’ll sign books at 5:00, with the reading to follow at 5:30. Put that on your calendar and plan on joining us. If you’re in John’s stomping grounds of Attala County, Mississippi, put April 24 on your calendar (exactly a week before Lemuria) for a book talk and signing at the Attala County Public Library at noon in Kosciusko. In addition, John’s visit to Purvis, Mississippi in January was rescheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 5:30. Many more events involving Deception are to follow. Finally, John will teach at the Gulf Coast Writer’s Association event on Saturday, February 23 and sell copies of Rainbow’s End, Midnight, and Clockwork.

And now for an observation, as I traveled, spoke, and signed copies of Last Chance Texaco in late 2012:


Okay, all I have is anecdotal evidence. But based on my random sampling over the past decade, the number of books I’ve sold to potential customers with hair they’ve dyed blue is…wait for it…none. Zip, zero, nada. I encountered my most recent addition to this category at Books A Million in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At least she didn’t ask if the books were free!!! (Nor did she hang around long enough for me to document the, uh, colorful hair.)

Speaking of Hattiesburg, one of my favorite events each year is the annual Christmas Extravaganza multi-author event at Main Street Books, which is hosted by proprietors Jerry and Diane Shepherd. It was great to visit with author/publisher Neil White and nationally syndicated cartoonist and good friend Marshall Ramsey. The economy may be struggling overall, but it was roaring like a warm Christmas fire for one chilly afternoon in early December in Hattiesburg.

Ellen Brumfield (author Valerie Winn’s mother in law) and me with Marshall at Main Street Books.

Valerie and I signed books together at the Bay/Waveland Yacht Club the last day of November, and we made separate appearances at Bay Books in Bay St. Louis. Jeremy Burke, who owns the store with his wife, Kristen Tusa, is one of the more creative book biz types I’ve met. He’s also a big believer in social media and was very interested when I told him that one of my own Facebook posts brought Christine Cuicchi to the store from nearby Diamondhead…we continue to get results from Facebook!

Ho ho ho!

Christine Cuicchi is the daughter of my high school physics teacher, Paul Cuicchi. It was an honor to sign books for both of them. Just so you’ll know, neither Mississippi State University nor Starkville High School have named any buildings or scholarships for me.

That’s Michael Hewes with Valerie and me. Next year at this time he’ll hoist his own book!

And with Christmas in the air, it was neat to see some of the different book displays at our events. I gave talks at public libraries in Florence and Richland in December and really enjoyed bantering with the folks who asked questions about everything from plotting a story to marketing one’s book. As always, I tell them to ask any questions they want…I’m a fiction writer, and if I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll gladly make it up!

At Persnickety, on Main Street in Madison, Mississippi

At the Richland Public Library in Richland, Mississippi.

2013 is going to be a BUSY year for Dogwood Press! In addition to John Floyd’s Deception, we’ll release the Michael Hewes thriller, Watermark, in October. Can’t wait for that one, too!

Remember, the Dogwood Press authors love giving book talks, and email addresses for John, Valerie, and me are on the author pages on the DP web site, which is Drop any of us a note, and let’s talk about getting one (or more) of us in front of your book club, civic organization, to your arts/crafts festival, or into your store!

Finally, if Santa brought you a Kindle for Christmas, here’s the list of Dogwood Press titles available for download through

JOE LEE – The Magnolia Triangle
JOE LEE – The Long Road Home
JOE LEE – Last Chance Texaco
VALERIE WINN – Forsaking Mimosa
JOHN M. FLOYD – Clockwork
JOHN LEE – The Legend of Roger

As they say, order now and start reading in less than a minute. Both Deception and Watermark will be released through Kindle, too. Never forget, though, that an author can’t sign your download…just a book!!!

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