In our 2012 Summer Reads issue we dubbed author Mary Alice Monroe the “Queen of Lowcountry Fiction.” And it’s a title Monroe tells us she cherishes. But in order to keep her throne — especially from the creative clutches of the wildly prolific Dorothea Benton Frank — Monroe must know she has to, well, put out. And she has with the upcoming June 17 release of The Summer Wind, the second edition in her Lowcountry Summer trilogy.

But this isn’t just a chick lit beach read. Monroe’s trilogy about three estranged sisters who return to their family’s Sullivan’s Island beach house and ultimately reunite, calls attention to dolphins in peril. Monroe, a conservationist who serves at the Dolphin Research Center in Florida and with the Charleston branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in addition to being a licensed sea turtle team member and volunteer for Center for Birds of Prey says in she always wanted to one day write a novel about the dolphin. “But the impetus for me I think to write this series now is the hard fact that 48 to 52 percent of the wild dolphins in South Carolina and Florida are sick,” she says in a press release. “It’s an alarming situation.”

The Summer’s End is the final book in the series and set for a 2015 release. “My greatest hope is that readers enjoy a great story and then discover they’ve learned about this sentinel species along the way.”

To spread the word about dolphins and her latest read, Monroe will host a free beachside book party at Wild Dunes June 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Pavilion. For more information on her 30 city book tour, visit