SHARE THE LOVE

Yes, share the love … of reading! And share with it young people!
This idea isn’t new. I’ve had so many conversations at bookstores and libraries with fellow writers and avid readers just like this:
I WISH I COULD GET MY KIDS TO READ WITHOUT MAKING THEM DO IT. 
I WISH MY GRANDCHILD WOULD PICK UP A BOOK INSTEAD OF THAT STUPID DEVICE.
WHY DON’T THEY LOVE THE WAY A BOOK FEELS IN THEIR HANDS, LIKE WE DO?
Amen to all of that. All we can do is encourage them to read for pleasure. My wife and I did that with our son, with mixed results so far (he’s in college). We recommend books to our friends, just as our kids and grandkids recommend books, movies, video games, etc., to their friends. When I was a college freshman, one of my buddies couldn’t stop talking about the Stephen King novel, Cujo, and loaned it to me when I expressed interest. Well, guess what? I loved it. And I cobbled together enough one-dollar bills and some loose change and traipsed over to the local bookstore (The Book Mart & Cafe in Starkville, Mississippi) and bought Christine, I’m pretty sure. My mom jumped for joy. Not because I was reading Stephen King, but because I was READING!
So, with all of that in mind … you want relevancy for your teenage son or daughter (or grandchild) in a work of fiction? The Susan Cushman debut novel we’re getting ready to roll out, Cherry Bomb, features sixteen-year-old Mary Catherine Henry — who goes by Mare — as the protagonist. She’s a runaway, living on the streets. And she’s a graffiti artist, throwing up bombs on the walls of abandoned buildings before ducking and running at the first sign (or sound) of a police car.

Not just coming soon … coming VERY soon!

This is a powerful novel, with Mare meeting up with legendary real-life art legend Elaine de Kooning in what appears to be an especially meaningful mentor/student relationship — before the women learn of surprising ties that bind them and threaten to tear them apart. There’s suspense, forgiveness, redemption, and a fascinating Da Vinci Code aura to Mare’s artwork as the plot develops. So give some thought to getting this book into the hands of the teen(s) in your life after you’ve read it! Susan will launch Cherry Bomb at Lemuria on Tuesday, August 8 at 5 p.m.

Also, we’re just over two months from the third Mississippi Book Festival! It’s set for Saturday, August 19, and we’ll have the Dogwood Press tent on site again this year at the Mississippi State Capitol. Randy Pierce, Valerie Winn, John Floyd, Susan and I look forward to visiting with you and signing a few books. If you haven’t been yet, here’s one more great reason to attend: at 4 p.m. the “Voices of Home” panel will take place inside the Capitol building and will feature both Susan and John — it will be moderated by Tracy Carr, director of the Mississippi Center for the Book, and include a discussion on Mississippi writing from four Mississippi authors. Don’t miss it!

This is neat: Valerie was featured, along with our friend Jim Fraiser and author Johnnie Bernhard, in the June issue of South Mississippi Living. Written by Susan Ruddiman, the article discusses traditionally-published authors and is a good and informative read. And that same Johnnie Bernhard will be on the aforementioned “Voices of Home” panel at the Mississippi Book Festival! Speaking of Valerie, we’re not too far away from the release of her second novel, a very well-written follow-up to Forsaking Mimosa.

Look up South Mississippi Living online and read the story!
And guess who that is with Valerie? Yes, none other than Greg Iles, at Pass Christian Books on the lovely Mississippi Gulf Coast. What a fantastic writer, and very kind to his vast fan base.


Loading up on signed copies of Mississippi Blood!


Randy Pierce and I had a wonderful time at the Winston County Public Library a couple of weeks ago. Nothing better than to be greeted by a roomful of folks who love to read and are interested in the writing process. There were lots of great questions and lots of smiles. If you’re part of a book club and are interested in having any of us from Dogwood Press in to speak to your club, or be part of a panel, let us know. We love it!


Librarian Beth Edwards (second from right) is super encouraging of Mississippi writers!
The Mississippi Book Festival is our next big group event, but you can find our individual talks and signings by looking up www.dogwoodpress.com and the calendar pages for all of us. We’d love to see you! And before you go, take a quick look at what’s offered via digital download:

RANDY PIERCE … The Peter Bay
RANDY PIERCE … Pain Unforgiven
RANDY PIERCE … Magnolia Mud
JOHN FLOYD … Dreamland
JOHN FLOYD … Fifty Mysteries
JOHN FLOYD … Deception
JOHN FLOYD … Clockwork
JOHN LEE … The Legend of Roger (perfect for your middle-schooler!!!)
JOE LEE … Director’s Cut
JOE LEE … Last Chance Texaco
JOE LEE … The Long Road Home
JOE LEE … The Magnolia Triangle
VALERIE WINN … Forsaking Mimosa

You can download any (or all) to your Kindle in just minutes and spend the weekend with any number of good reads! Thanks so much for your time, and please don’t ever miss a chance to let one of those young people know about your love of reading. Help them find a book to enjoy!

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