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March 2024

Hi Y’all,

      I am so excited to publish my first of many newsletters.  I’m gearing up to go on the road to visit schools and organizations around the United States. I will be speaking about my latest book – “Anita and the Goatman.”  When I was seven years old we lived in Bowdon Junction, Georgia and Ches McCartney a real man who traveled the United States in a ram shackled wagon and a herd of goats came to my neighborhood.    I was lucky enough to have him park himself and a wagon he had converted from a train car along with a whole bunch of live goats in the pasture behind my home.  Just imagine my excitement or terror as a young child when the bells and buckets clanged loudly as he arrived. When Ches McCartney stepped out of his wagon and came and knocked on my front door my Daddy answered it.  Tebo (my dad) who was always clean as a whistle and dressed to perfection shook the hand of this old, wrinkly man who smelled like he hadn’t had a bath in years. I was completely shocked.    You have got to read “Anita and the Goatman” to find out all about my adventures with Mr. Cartney and how I went from being absolutely terrified of him to loving him when he left our town.

        If you are interested in hearing me speak about Ches McCartney, one of our true southern legends, please fill out the form listed under school/organization visits and I’ll quickly get back with you and get on my exciting calendar.  I love talking with children and adults about my books and experiences and encouraging everyone to write their own books.

          I will be outside of the Carrollton Center for the Arts located in downtown Carrollton, Georgia under a white tent at Bookfest on April 6, 2024.   I am a member of the Carrollton Writers Guild and we are hosting a two day book festival called Bookfest on April 5 and 6. We are excited to have Rick Bragg as the keynote speaker.  Rick Bragg doesn’t know it yet but he and I are second cousins by way of our grandfather. Having been adopted at birth, I learned about this relationship in the last five years when my half-brother phoned me out of the blue. Imagine my dismay when I learned I had 6 siblings in all.   I am hoping I get to have Rick sign his best known book “All Over but the Shoutin” and I share my news with him.  I bet he’ll be surprised!

        I’m also busy having my newest book, “Santa Surprise Me!” that is planned to be out by the second weekend of October edited.   I have the first draft completely written but it is time for my editor to examine it with her critical eye and I do a bit of rewriting.  I don’t really enjoy doing this rewriting because it’s hard work but the thing about rewriting is my work gets better polished with my editor’s perspective and that’s very important to me. It’s definitely worth my time and best effort!

         “Santa Surprise Me” will take you back to the days when you could ride around the top of Rich’s toy department in downtown Atlanta on the pink pig! Anyone remember or is looking forward to learning more about my exciting adventures with Santa Claus and the pink pig? Plan on getting your hot off the presses copy this fun Fall weekend!

         I’m also busy researching my 2025 book which will begin my new book series known as Pierre and Me.  The title is Amazing Tails, Wagging Around the U.S.A.  The first book will have me and Pierre traveling around Georgia that’s known as the peach state.  In case you are wondering, Pierre is my one year old Australian Shepherd puppy.  Pierre is a very sweet, well behaved but energetic puppy that loves to play and get everyone’s attention.  He is very well trained by Riverwood Kennels in Franklin, Georgia so don’t worry because he won’t jump on you.  This new book series has us traveling to all 13 states that have adopted state dogs. Pierre and I will visit with each state’s dog and travel through their home state locating safe and fun places that kiddos and their families can travel with their dogs.  Did you know that there are hotels that won’t let you bring your dogs in to spend the night and others that will?  We look forward to sharing the cities and great places dogs are allowed and welcomed. This book is scheduled to come out in the fall of 2025.         

       Watch for my next newsletter in June when I’ll share all about the children’s book organization I founded a couple of years ago called Authors, Illustrators and Artists (AIA).  This group is for adults that are at least 18 years or older and want to fulfill their dream of writing and/or illustrating a children’s book. We meet twice a month at the Carrollton Center for the Arts on the first and third Thursdays from 10 – 12 in room 3. Please email me at if you are an adult interested in learning how to write and or illustrate and have your book published.

         I’ll also share about my non-profit organization called “Your Story Matters” and what’s going on with it. This non-profit is setup to help adults who need extra financial assistance as they are writing and publishing a children’s book.  These writers will in return give back some of their published books to schools /organizations and children to show their gratitude.  I will explain this a great deal more in June. 

        So find your flip flops and get out your flower vases so they are ready to fill with gorgeous daffodils – it’s almost Springtime!!!  I really hope to get to go to Gibbs Garden a north Georgia spot where hundreds of thousands of daffodils are currently blooming!

 Hoping to see or hear from you sometime soon!

                                                                       Bye y’all,


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