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Old Hens Know All the Tricks

   

We started our chicken journey with eight chickens in February 2014. The one-day-old chick is a Buff Orpington. This one could be Eva, Joanna, Ruthie, or Leah. The other four chicks were Black Australorps: Lydia, Ninja, Sarah, and Rachel.

Lydia checks the fenceline for grasshoppers. She is the only one of the original eight that we still have, and she is still laying beautiful, light tan eggs with a purple sheen at least every other day. We have forty other chickens. They may be bigger, faster, and more aggressive, but nobody gives Lydia grief. Old hens know all the tricks.

 

Sadie is a German short-haired pointer and was born in December 2005. She was a rescue dog and came our way five years later. Her back legs aren’t as strong as they used to be, and her hearing is almost nonexistent. The aggressive tumor in her right eye was removed last year along with her eye, and her left eye doesn’t see so good. But she’s a happy old girl and still runs the paths and deer trails and keeps track of everyone. She loves the dog door because she can stick out her nose and check the weather and the smells.

Sadie loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old dogs know all the tricks.

 

Farmer Woman was born way before you all. Her eyesight is lousy, and she can’t see stars at night. She cleans the chicken coop every day and loves to learn new things. She writes novels, established a publishing business, and is a marketer. She drags heavy limbs to the burn pile and is a weather expert.

She loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot and buggy, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old Farmer Women know all the tricks.

 

QuickJAB

Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1

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.

Continue reading “Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1”

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RED IS THE NEW GRAY ~ BOOK 2, MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES

RedistheNewGrayVersion 55 3D Paperback
RED IS THE NEW GRAY

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

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The Girl Who Saw Clouds Finds Her Niche

CLOUDS 3D

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!

 

 

QuickJAB

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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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!

QuickJAB

What Do I Read First?

IReadJABooks

I’m asked by readers new to the Judith A. Barrett books, What do I read first?

Of course, the answer is It Depends. Do you like mystery series, thrillers, or survival and conspiracy? That’s where you should start. From there, go to another book. Easy, isn’t it?

DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES

Buy DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES (2 books) on AMAZON

SWEET DEAL SEALED, BOOK 1

Buy SWEET DEAL SEALED on AMAZON

It isn’t necessary to read Book 1 before Book 2 because each book comes to closure. However, SWEET DEAL SEALED will introduce you to the DONUT LADY and her friends and to Donut Lady’s style and her sense of humor.

SWEET DEAL CONCEALED, BOOK 2

Buy SWEET DEAL CONCEALED on AMAZON

If you read Book 2 first, you may want to follow up with Book 1. In Book 2, DONUT LADY, her old friends, and her new friends become embroiled in not just one murder, but two.

BOOK 3

Book 3 is scheduled to be released in July 2019.

sparkles

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY

Buy I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY on AMAZON

A MAGGIE SLOAN THRILLER

Maggie Sloan is a librarian and self-taught spy. Her story will grab you on page one and keep you guessing to the end. Or maybe when you read the end, you’ll say Aha! I knew it all the time!

Will there be a MAGGIE SLOAN THRILLER series? Depends on you. The book after Book 3 in July could well be another MAGGIE SLOAN THRILLER.

sparkles

DANGER IN THE CLOUDS

Buy DANGER IN THE CLOUDS on AMAZON

A MAJOR ELLIOTT SUSPENSE NOVEL

Major Dave Elliott, lonely widower, farmer, and retired state police officer lives with his dog, Shadow. If you love a good conspiracy and survivalist story, this is the book for you. For the conspiracy reader, it’s there. For the survivalist reader, Major gives us a handbook on how to survive off the grid. For the reader who loves stories about families, gotcha covered.

sparkles

THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS

Buy THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS on AMAZON

The GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS is a YA Novel, and the same story as DANGER IN THE CLOUDS told from the point of view of the teens and children.

 

WHICH CLOUDS BOOK SHOULD YOU READ? I recommend DANGER IN THE CLOUDS if you are older than 15 years old. If you decide to read both, please let me know which story you preferred.

 

LOVE A BOOK?  five-stars

Please review on Amazon or Goodreads. Amazon pays attention to reviews. The placement of the Judith A. Barrett books on Amazon depends on reviews.

Thank you!

IReadJABooks

 

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American Library Association and their Banned Books Week

Bannedbooks

The American Library Association uses Banned Books Week, September 23-29, to highlight books that have been (are going to be?) banned. I think it’s kind of a reverse psychology thing. You know, better read these banned books before we take them off the shelves again, wink, wink.

Good marketing, ALA. However, as an Indie Author and publisher, I shun the American Library Association. I’m sure there are a few indie authors who have managed to get a library to include an indie book on their shelf, but the library process is definitely not indie author friendly. I’m sure libraries would welcome donations of books, and there may be authors whose intent upon publishing is to provide a free book for anyone to reads. Not me.  I donate my free books to schools. And one or two to the local library while I wait for the ALA to catch up to the world of Indie Authors.

Maybe I’ll unshun ALA for a week. After all, maybe their campaign will encourage one or two people to pick up a paperback or an ebook and READ!

Here’s the link to the blog where I first learned about BBW.  Any blog titled Dysfunctional Literacy should be on everyone’s Must Read list.

What Books Would You Ban for Banned Book Week?