I made one of my favorite book trips yesterday: to Starkville, Mississippi, for the annual Christmas Open House at The Book Mart. It’s my hometown bookstore and managed by my friend Carolyn Abadie, and this year there were over a dozen authors in the store. Merchants all up and down Main Street had their doors open, and Christmas music was playing on loudspeakers and shoppers were darting in and out of the stores hunting for bargains and one-of-a-kind items you just can’t find anywhere else!

Among the authors was Michael Kardos, who (along with his wife) heads up the MSU Creative Writing Department these days. He’s also the author of THE THREE DAY AFFAIR, a very impressive suspense fiction novel and his major label debut. A nice guy, and it was great to share a signing table with him. In addition, Sid Salter, who penned the excellent Jack Cristal biography a year ago, and television broadcast legend Walt Grayson were also there and visited with lots of folks. I’ve admired both men for years, and it was great to visit with both of them.

Mississippi newspaper legend Sid Salter and TV broadcast great Walt Grayson were kind enough to let me be photoshopped into their photo!!!

Michael Kardos is a nice guy and a good writer.

Valerie Winn continues to sell lots of copies of FORSAKING MIMOSA, which makes an oustanding Christmas gift if you haven’t given her book a try yet. Congratulations to Valerie for being named the Literary Arts Director for the Mary O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi! The Mary C. recently hosted a concert for Mississippi music legend Marty Stuart, and one of the folks in attendance was Mississippi publisher and author Neil White, the author of IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS. Neil’s a real nice guy, and Valerie and I both look forward to seeing him at the annual Main Street Books Christmas Extravaganza in Hattiesburg, which will have at least two dozen authors, and takes place Monday, December 3 from 4pm-7pm.

Two of the hardest-working people in show business!

While running all over the place in the Bookmobile to support the launch of LAST CHANCE TEXACO, I’ve also been training for a half marathon! I joined a group that runs together to get ready for the Mississippi Blues Marathon (and Half Marathon) in January, and I’ve made a bunch of nice friends while pounding the pavement the last three months. Brad Brady and Virginia Morris were kind enough to drop in on me at The Bookshelf in Ridgeland, Mississippi, and it’s always great to see lots of old friends at libraries all over Mississippi!

I just try to stay in the same zip code when running with these REAL runners!

At the Webster County Library in Eupora, Mississippi, in front of the Friends group.

Lots going on as we near the end of 2012…John Floyd, whose next mystery suspense short story collection, DECEPTION, is coming in April, will sign at Mississippi Books A Million stores in Meridian, Hattiesburg, and Jackson in December. If you haven’t read John’s stories, take it from a fan as well as his publisher: they are really, really good. All three previous collections (RAINBOW’S END, MIDNIGHT, and CLOCKWORK) are loaded with stories of all kinds (police procedural, Western, sci-fi/fantasy, humor), and all have a classic Hitchcock-type ending that will amaze you…I’m talking about the very last sentence of most stories having a surprise you didn’t see coming. So pick one up (or all of them!!!) and be ready for DECEPTION this spring.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving, and please plan on dropping by and saying hello the day after Thanksgiving at Books A Million of Columbus, Mississippi, where I’ll begin signing books on Friday, November 23 at 11am. I’ll visit Bay St. Louis, Mississippi on Friday, November 30 and sign books with Valerie at the Bay/Waveland Yacht Club from 12pm-4pm. I’ll sign at Bay Books in BSL that afternoon
from 4pm-6pm, and Valerie will sign there the following day (Saturday, December 1) from 11am-1pm.
The full Dogwood Press author schedule can be viewed at www.dogwoodpress.com.

Happy reading! See you soon!