My busy year as publisher continues with the great new Valerie Winn novel, The Dance Between, which we’ll release in less than six months. Valerie’s  debut from 2012, Forsaking Mimosa, is a fantastic read–the protagonist, young Max Brinkmann, is the only boy in an all-girls Catholic high school. The sequel, The Dance Between, is set a quarter century later (in the early 1960s) and focuses on Beth Brinkmann, the daughter of Max and his wife Adele. Beth is no longer a kid, but she isn’t quite a young lady yet–she’s a little of both, and the emotional transition ranges from humorous to difficult to poignant. If you liked Mimosa, you’ll really like this one.
Featuring a decades-old photograph on the cover taken by Valerie’s dad, John Balser.

Then there’s John Floyd, who has short stories upcoming in SIXTEEN different publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Woman’s World, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and the Bouchercon 2018 anthology. Also, John’s story “Gun Work” has also been selected by Otto Penzler and guest editor Louise Penny as one of the top 20 mysteries of 2017, along with stories by James Lee Burke, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, and others. It will appear this fall in the 2018 edition of Best American Mystery Stories. I’d say that’s pretty good company. And just so you’ll remember it, here’s the cover of John’s next superb collection of mystery/suspense short stories, The Barrens, which is also coming in October 2018.
A thing of beauty, inside and out.

My 40 Days tour has been a lot of fun. It included stops on four consecutive days at Mississippi libraries in Eupora, Bay St. Louis, Mendenhall, and Pontotoc (during National Library Week), and although there was a LOT of driving involved, it was a very rewarding experience. I met lots of nice people, saw some old friends, and witnessed firsthand how hard librarians and Friends group presidents work to provide quality programming for their patrons. 

That’s me with Valerie at Pass Christian Books on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Reading from 40 Days in West Point, Mississippi. I promise there was an audience!

Meanwhile, we’re getting closer to launching Molly May’s inspirational memoir, My Crowning Achievement (Beating Cancer). As I’ve said before, Molly and her mother, Debra (also a breast cancer survivor), have a nonprofit called CAPS THAT CARE which does great work. Find out how you can help by visiting Molly’s blog: Also, join me in rooting for her to win the 2018 Miss Mississippi pageant in Vicksburg this summer, and please plan on grabbing a copy of her book, which will be released in August!

An emotionally powerful read from a most courageous young woman.

Susan Cushman is the editor of Southern Writers on Writing, which is being published in a couple of weeks by University Press of Mississippi. Among the contributors to the collection of essays is John Floyd–a terrific reason to pick it up! And Susan continues to meet new readers and spread the word about Cherry Bomb.  

Susan discussing her Cherry Bomb protagonist Mare with attendees at the Pontotoc, Mississippi, library.

And a name and book title for you to keep in mind for spring 2019: I’m proud to add Janet Brown to the Dogwood Press team and publish her novel Deadly Visits. The beginning of the novel might strike you a bit like a ghost story, but it quickly emerges as much more–a fascinating read about mind control that a pair of out-of-control scientists wield via seemingly ordinary cell phones. 

That’s Janet with me at the launch of 40 Days at Lemuria in Jackson, Mississippi. Can’t wait for her novel!
It’s never too early to promote the Mississippi Book Festival! I have the honor of being on a panel inside the state capitol this year–we’ll discuss the rise of small and independent publishing houses. Susan, John, and Randy Pierce have all been on Mississippi Book Festival panels in recent years. The date is August 18, a Saturday, and I can promise two things: lots of warmth, and lots of people!  

As they say, save the date!

That’s all the news that fits! Come say hello soon at a book signing–I’ll visit the Barnes and Noble on the Mississippi State campus next Friday, April 20, and visit the nearby Columbus Books A Million store the following day–and visit the web site ( for a complete list of our author events as well as which titles in the catalog are available for download from Amazon to your Kindle! Thanks, as always, for your time, and have a great day!

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