Mary Alice Monroe celebrates new book

Mary Alice Monroe's new novel "The Summer Wind" will appear in stores on June 17. In anticipation of the release, a beachside book release party is planned for 6-8 p.m today at The Pavilion at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms.

The party, which includes live music, drinks and snacks, is free and open to the public.

"The Summer Wind" is the second book (following "The Summer Girls") in Monroe's Lowcountry Summer trilogy. The backdrop of the series is the current plight of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. About half of the dolphins inhabiting waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida shores are sick or contaminated, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

" 'The Summer Wind' continues the story about sisterhood, second chances and lifelong bonds among three estranged half-sisters forced to spend a final summer together at the family's beach house on Sullivan's Island," according to a press release. "And it continues the saga of Delphine, an enigmatic wild dolphin whose perilous life serves as the trilogy's keystone."

Monroe's book tour includes other local events:

A literary luncheon at Daniel Island Club, 600 Island Park Dr., 11 a.m. Thursday.

A book signing at the Mount Pleasant Barnes & Noble, 1716 Towne Centre Way, 2 p.m. Saturday.

A book signing at Sandpiper Gallery, 2201 Middle St., Sullivan's Island, 5 p.m. Saturday.

Local writer wins indie book award

Jan DiRuzzo, a Hanahan resident and author of "The Lost Mermaid: Return to Raspberry Kingdom," and "The Lost Mermaid: A Shem Creek Moonlight Jamboree" has been named a winner in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition.

"Raspberry Kingdom" won in the category of Children's Motivational/Inspirational Literature. "Moonlight Jamboree" was a finalist in the category of Children's Picture Book.

The National Indie Excellence Awards are meant to bolster independent publishing and recognize self-published authors. The competition is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Winners and finalists are chosen based on excellence of presentation and quality of writing.

DiRuzzo's books present children a seascape full of creatures and teach valuable life lessons.

Mt. Pleasant author at book signings

Mount Pleasant author Christopher Watson will sign copies of his paranormal murder mystery, "The Handyman," at local bookstores this month and next.

Watson will appear at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., 3-5 p.m. June 15; at Edisto Bookstore, 547 Highway 174, 3-5 p.m. June 19; and at Books-A-Million in North Charleston, 2150 Northwoods Blvd., 1-3 p.m. July 12.

"The Handyman" is the first mystery in Watson's John Wright series. Wright is a son of the South who loses his family and makes ends meet as a handyman. The book is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats. It is published by Holladay House Publishing.