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Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1

Fun Mysteries to Read In April that Are NOT Reader Magnets

What Amazon Readers say:

“Every town needs a Donut Shop like this.”

“Wonderful book. Laughs and a mystery.”

While we wait for that Reader Magnet, Read the DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOKS 1, 2, and 3.

What Is a Reader Magnet?

A year ago, I had no idea what a reader magnet was. In my literalness, I envisioned a nice refrigerator magnet with a picture of a book and a puppy. And maybe a kitten and a chicken for good measure. I don’t know about anybody else’s readers except mine – but we all like books, puppies, kittens, and chickens.

Then I stumbled across the idea of a “short story” that would give a reader a taste of the author’s brilliant writing. My first thought: That’s dreadful.

The Short Story that Wasn’t a Reader Magnet

Case in point: I wrote a short story called Barter and Bargains three years ago and submitted it to millions of contests. (I typed jillions, but autocorrect frowns on exaggeration.) The maximum word count allowed was 5,000, so I had to trim my 7,500-word story back with a hatchet.

I received two recurring criticisms:

  1. The story was too nice.
  2. The critic/judge wanted to know more about the characters.

I learned four things from the experience:

  1. I write nice characters that people want to know more about.
  2. I am a great storyteller.
  3. My writing craft skills needed work.
  4. I can’t write short.
  5. Wait, make it five: I’m not deflated by criticism.

What’s an Overgrown Short Story?

I expanded my short story to a longer story that I learned could be called a novella. Another unfamiliar bookish word for a reader becoming a writer who was learning about publishing.

I still didn’t have a reader magnet, but I had a nice short novel about a nice donut shop. I called my novella Sweet Deal until someone pointed out all the romance books that were titled, Sweet Deal.

Sidetrip: Genre

Then I learned another word. Genre. Whatever it meant exactly, I wasn’t sure, but I was definitely positive I was not a romance genre type of writer. Mystery? Yes. Science Fiction? Yes? Throw in a little Supernatural? Always.

Unwritten, Non-Negotiable Rules

After I published the novella, named Sweet Deal Sealed with the subtitle Novella, I marveled at the encouragement from readers for me to write another book about the Donut Lady. So I wrote Sweet Deal Concealed, Book 2, a longer book that is referred to as a novel, and the Donut Lady Mystery Series was born. Last summer, I published Sweet Deal Revealed, Book 3, another novel. Little did I know there is a magical rule in the Invisible Publishing Rule Book that says a series cannot have a novella as Book 1 if all the subsequent books in the series are novels.

Fighting an invisible rule is not healthy for one’s sanity. Take my word for it. It drove me crazy that “they” insisted on calling Book 1 Book 0.5 because it was a novella; and Book 2? “They” call it Book 1. Book 3? Book 2. “They” live by rules, not logic. Rant over.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Do Something Different

So I expanded Sweet Deal Sealed: A Novella to a second edition, full-length novel by adding a murder or two and called it Sweet Deal Sealed. Clever, no?

Side note: Amazon has been absolutely amazing in their support as I’m going through the process of replacing the novella with a novel and eventually retiring the novella. 

This is all well and good and an absolutely lengthy story that probably could use a murder right about now to help the plot move along. However, I still don’t have a reader magnet.

Where is Reader Magnet?

Do we leave our hero, Reader Magnet, lost in the maze of bookish words and invisible rules? Of course not! Reader Magnet hitches up her pants and begins her quest for her true identity.

The Cliffhanger Part

While we’re waiting for the next installment of Reader Magnet, feel free to check out all my books on Amazon. Note: None of them are short stories or novellas except the one we sent to retirement, but she’s away at the moment as far as Amazon is concerned.

Judith A. Barrett Author Page

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RED IS THE NEW GRAY ~ NEW RELEASE!

RED IS THE NEW GRAY

MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 2

 

MAGGIE SLOAN – former librarian, self-trained spy, literal, and brilliant – has the skills of a deadly assassin. Our Gray Lady (like the Gray Man who blends in, except shorter) accepts a two-week assignment in Galveston, Texas, to find a missing spy who trusts only her. Larry, her original police officer protector and “cousin” from her hometown, is her backup.

The Gray Lady is rocking her new red boots as the fill-in cook at a diner, but before the end of her first week, she is shot. The attacks escalate and so does Maggie’s determination to solve the crimes. Note to bad guys: Maggie is irritated, and Larry and Maggie’s men are furious.

Maggie and Larry struggle with the disturbing clues that point to the guilt of everyone they meet. How many more people will die before Maggie uncovers the vicious leader who has escaped detection for so long?

RED IS THE NEW GRAY Click/Tap to Buy on Amazon

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January 2020 New Release!

 

RED IS THE NEW GRAY, MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 2 is now available on Amazon!

MAGGIE SLOAN: former librarian, self-trained spy, literal, and brilliant, has the skills of a deadly assassin. The Gray Lady travels to Galveston, Texas to find a missing spy. Larry, her police cohort, is her backup.

She rocks her new red boots as the fill-in cook at a diner, but she is shot before her first week ends. The attacks escalate, and Maggie, Larry, and Maggie’s men are determined to solve the crimes, except everyone they know looks guilty.

How many more will die before Maggie and her team uncover the vicious leader who has escaped detection for so long?

RED IS THE NEW GRAY

amazon logo trans

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The Girl Who Saw Clouds Finds Her Niche

Sometimes it takes a book a while to find its niche. THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS has settled in at

#1 Children’s Science Fiction Books

and

#1 Children’s Fantasy Books.

Of course! Science Fiction + Fantasy! That’s it!

FREE UNTIL OCTOBER 25 on Amazon & ALWAYS FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED

 

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A Review from the UK ~ I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY

An Unexpectedly Unique Heroine

30 July 2019

Maggie Sloan always knew that she wanted to be a spy. She is unusual, almost emotionless. More than just a loner, she separates herself from the world, looking in at it, observing everything, making copious notes and filing them away, but not truly engaging with other people. This in an adult would be odd enough, but Maggie has been this way since a child. But do not pity her, because Maggie has grown up happily enough. We see snapshots of her early life – an absent father and over-protective mother – which seem to be filled with trivial episodes, yet like an expert quilt-maker, Judith A. Barrett creates an image of this character which is so strong, that she is far more flesh and blood in this, her first book, than many others become through a whole series. And I truly hope that this is the beginning of a series, because I want to spend a lot more time with Maggie. There is death and betrayal along the way to Maggie connecting with other people, but the delight she finds as she learns to live: to cook, colour-coordinate (she was always in first black, then grey shades), open up to love, learn fighting and weapon skills and ultimately put everything she ever learned into practice, is truly affecting. Oh, and she sees imaginary people – a side-effect of a medical procedure – which is presented so matter-of-factly that no one can question their existence. Maggie will haunt you long after you put the book down.

*  *  *  *  *

Have you read I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY? Maggie Sloan Thriller, Book 2 is in the works!

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July FREE Book REVEALED

SWEET DEAL REVEALED, Donut Lady Mystery Series Book 3 is FREE July 11-14 on Amazon!

An amazing fact in our universe is that READERS who download free books READ! Who knew? And almost as exciting, avid readers post REVIEWS!

So here’s a free book for you, Dear Reader! Read and enjoy! Devour the words and enjoy the donuts!

pink doughnut-side-400x400        Click or tap here for SWEET DEAL REVEALED

 

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DANGER IN THE CLOUDS NEWS

The Major Cover 6x9 Jul 2 2019 ebook cover version 20

AVAILABLE in RETAIL STORES!

For the first time, the DANGER IN THE CLOUDS paperback is now available for purchase by local book stores, big box and other large stores, small boutique shops, and libraries through wholesale book distributors in addition to being available for readers on Amazon.

The cover for DANGER IN THE CLOUDS was updated for the wholesale distribution. The eBook remains exclusive on Amazon Kindle as a FREE Book for Kindle Unlimited readers.

SO what does this mean? It means you can go to your local bookstore and tell them you loved DANGER IN THE CLOUDS and know others would too. NOW the bookstore can order two or three copies at wholesale and sell them in their shop!

If you’ve already read the MAJOR and AIMEE LOUISE cover book, DON’T buy the STORM CLOUD new-cover book because the story inside is the same! NO change to the story!  And if you haven’t read DANGER IN THE CLOUDS, ahem. Link to DANGER IN THE CLOUDS on AMAZON

Just a gentle reminder, if you’ve read and loved Major’s story and would like to leave a review but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet, PLEASE do! Here’s the link to leave a review! YOUR REVIEW FOR DANGER IN THE CLOUDS

What about a series? Would you be interested in hearing more about Pedro, Jennie, and Gordo? Wouldn’t that be a great Book 2? What should the series be called? (Need a little help with this!)

Major and Aimee Louise Cover

The original cover

Storm Cloud Cover

New! Updated cover

If you’re interested in the technical reasons for the change, let me know. I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned with others, especially other Indie Authors who self-publish or publish with an Indie publisher. Contact Me!

BookBlog, QuickJAB

Sweet Deal Revealed ~ Donut Lady Mystery Series Book 3 ~ Trailer

Here’s the cover reveal and book trailer for Sweet Deal Revealed! Watch for the release of the newest Donut Lady Mystery Series in early July.