Joseph-Beth Lexington 2011

Melissa was invited to Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Ky. to discuss and sign her new novel House of Cleaving. JBB is where Newman launched her first book, Sister Blackberry, with much success.

Fans of Sister Blackberry came to JBB again to visit with Melissa and find out more about what she's working on next.

Melissa signs books for those eager to read her latest published work, "House of Cleaving."

One of Melissa's former English Professors from Union College, Connie Danner, came to get a signed copy of "House of Cleaving."

Melissa visits with some of her younger fans.

Frank Newman and Roscoe Burns came to Melissa's book launch dressed as the help.

Lexington readers were eager to speak with Melissa about upcoming projects.

Melissa was very proud to have her banner hang next to Bobbie Ann Mason's. Mason was scheduled to be a JBB the Monday after Melissa's book launch.

The JBB building is such a beautiful structure.

Melody visits "the place."

A Note to Readers

Just a Short Hiatus ... More Novels to Come

While Growing Up Wilder was my last novel, it will certainly not be my final. I have two outlines just dying to escape from my desk drawer and I often have to apologetically shove them back in when I find they have made it to the surface time and again.

I am currently working toward completing my doctorate degree (I am all but dissertation, folks!) and I am tangled up in research that uses storytelling and social media as a way to increase hope levels for individuals and entire communities.

This research is allowing me to focus on solving a problem within Kentucky's Appalachia - negative stereotypes.

Readers, please be patient. I will return to fiction shortly. Until then, please continue to share Sister Blackberry, House of Cleaving and Growing Up Wilder with your friends and family.

As always, I welcome your notes and messages.