LTAMS is pleased to announce that one of our members, Candace Cox Wheeler, has a debut novel, Cradle in the Oak, which will be released in hardback on Saturday, April 17, 2021. You can attend a book-signing event from 10 AM – 12 PM at the Hillyer House in Ocean Springs and at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum from 2 PM – 4 PM. The Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will also host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the book’s release at 2:00 p.m. at the museum that same day.
Cradle in the Oak, published by Dogwood Press, is a historical fiction set along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the year 1906. Inspired by a true story, a mother wakes in this suspenseful tale to find her sons have disappeared, along with her unfaithful husband and his young mistress. With no financial means of support, but plenty of helpful friends and family members, she gets a job working in Biloxi’s growing seafood industry. Determination to find her sons and ingenuity help her become something she never thought possible. Surrounded by danger, she finds it difficult to trust anyone, even the one person who continually comes to her rescue, as she uncovers clues that lead her to a city on the East Coast of Florida, and beyond.
The turn of the century was a time when tourists and wealthy residents from New Orleans with second homes in Biloxi became great benefactors of the city, some even serving as politicians. George E. Ohr, Edward Barq, W.M. Dukate, Sophie and Ulysse Desporte were all hard-working residents of Biloxi in 1906 and are just a few of the 90 real-life characters who interact with fictional ones in this exciting novel where the reader will experience a schooner race at the Biloxi Yacht Club, make deposits at the Peoples Bank and Bank of Biloxi, and dine at the Montross Hotel. Many long-time residents of the Coast may find their ancestors among the pages of Cradle in the Oak.
A fourth generation Biloxi, Mississippi, native, Candace is a partner in the law firm of Wheeler and Wheeler, PLLC, where she has worked alongside her husband, David, for the past 40 years and raised two sons. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. While at USM, she wrote for the campus newspaper, The Student Printz, where her articles included an interview with the comedian, Steve Martin and the musician, Stephen Stills. She went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981 and since that time, she has focused most of her literary skills writing briefs to the courts on behalf of her firm’s clients.