There are large, colorful banners inside Jackson’s beautiful Banner Hall right now that display the striking cover art of The Saints of St. Mary’s, my first work of non-fiction and a book I co-authored with Mike Frascogna Jr. Those banners, adorned with a SAVE THE DATE reminder for our June 6 book launch, point the shopper upstairs to the city’s landmark bookstore, Lemuria, where Mike and I will sign copies from 4:30-7:00 p.m. while guests enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and the chance to catch up with old friends. 

Mike voluntarily coached elementary school football at St. Mary’s of Jackson from 1969-1972, and not only did he turn a bunch of ragtag, inexperienced kids into a juggernaut, he taught them life lessons that proved especially valuable as they grew up, got married, pursued careers, and had kids. Always giving your best effort, relying on your teammates, believing you can accomplish more than you thought possible, and respecting your school on and off the field were mentioned by so many of the former players I interviewed for the book, and some got emotional describing how much those years meant to them. The takeaways from Mike’s coaching years are just as relevant today as they were two generations ago and can be put to good use by today’s parents and coaches of both boys and girls.

Get a copy for yourself, and one for your kids.

Reaction to Candace Cox Wheeler’s Sunset in the Sound has been uniformly excellent. It’s always a party when Candy, her husband, David, and their many friends prepare a Gulf Coast book launch, and many of the host group were dressed in fifties-era garb to celebrate. Sunset is the final volume of Candy’s Biloxi-based trilogy, and this one, with illegal gambling at the center of the suspenseful plot, might be the best of the three. If you have Cradle in the Oak and Squall in the Gulf, you’ll definitely want to read Sunset in the Sound. If you don’t, Sunset is a great place to start as well as an obvious beach book!

So much fun with dear friends!
Enjoying a full house at the Biloxi Visitors Center.

The Scott Lenoir book tour for his suspenseful debut, The Amendment begins in Jackson at Lemuria on August 8 at 5 p.m. and includes a visit to the wonderful folks at the Bonfire Book Club in McComb the evening of August 26 and the first-ever signing at the all-new Buzy Beez Bookstore in nearby Summit the following day. We’re excited for Scott to have that honor, and old friends from his stomping grounds are eager to support him.

You’ll enjoy the noir feel of the cover. You’ll enjoy the story even more!

Sunrise Press, as I’ve discussed in this space previously, is the year-old faith-based imprint of the publishing house. Two new Sunrise Press titles are coming in late 2024. The first is an eagerly-awaited devotional by Hal Kitchings, pastor at Easthaven Baptist Church of Brookhaven, Mississippi, designed to help you grieve the loss of your beloved dog. Dog-Gone, It Hurts has 30 brief, easy-to-read entries that mix scripture references with support, gentle advice, and related quotes from luminaries ranging from Dr. Billy Graham to C.S. Lewis and Tim Tebow. Hal is a lifelong dog lover, and as he told me, he’s met untold church members over his quarter century of pastoring who were having a most difficult time after losing a pet but were embarrassed to say so to anyone. This one arrives in November.

Be thinking of friends who’ll want a copy.

Also arriving before 2025 is Monica Walton’s Lean Into Lent. Just like her well-received Advent Reflections For This DayLean Into Lent will be a pocket-sized little book packed with meaningful modern-day parables and scripture that brings the material to life. When it comes time to consider what you’ll be giving up for Lent, make it a point to pick up this wonderful volume that will add a lot to your Lenten season.

What a beautiful cover!

Be sure to visit for signed copies of all Dogwood Press titles, and know that although The Saints of St. Mary’s is published by The Mississippi Sports Council, you can order signed copies (with both my signature and Mike’s) from the Dogwood Press website. If you’re in the Jackson area, I hope you can stop by Lemuria on June 6. It’ll be a party, and you’ll sure eat well!

Thanks for your time. Happy summer, and keep reading!