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Binge Readers Rock!

We’re being told we need to practice self-care, right? Binge readers actually invented self-care by immersing themselves in a story that takes them away from day-to-day stresses and into a world where they share the exciting adventures of overcoming bad guys with their favorite characters.

Somewhere not long ago, a sharp pyschologist peeked into her office waiting room and noticed that three relaxed patients were reading ebooks or paperbacks while the rest of the patients paced, fidgeted, or fumed about the wait. Ah, ha! Self-care! She promptly instituted a take one/leave one book table and hired another psychologist to help with her practice.

Ready to binge read? Here’s an omnibus of the first three books in the Donut Lady Mystery Series; or in today’s language: boxset. Tap or click on the books for MORE…

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Author Goals – 2022

strategy_image 2022

The road to 2022 is particularly appropriate because road trips are part of the plan.

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2018 Goals: Publish a book Results: Published two books

2019 Goals: Publish four books and earn a prestigious award Results: Published four books and received three prestigious awards.

2020 Goals: Publish four books, receive a prestigious award, sell one book through a bookstore; and stretch goal, end the year with a POSITIVE net income. Results: Published six books, received a prestigious award, sold books in US and UK bookstores, and ended the year with a POSITIVE net income.

2021 Goals: Publish six books including Book 1 of a New Series, sell a complete series through a bookstore, a wild dream of a stretch goal: end the year with a positive net income; and a bonus goal for 2021: Tame the wild unicorn.

2021 Results

  • Published six books including Books 1-3 of a new series
  • Sold 1 complete set of a series through a bookstore
  • Sold 4 complete sets of a series at in-person signing events
  • Sold and signed books at two in-person signing events
  • Wrote a short story that was included in a Halloween anthology
  • Attended a national book conference and incurred travel and lodging expenses but gained an incredible amount of knowledge.
  • Ended the year with a positive net income, and I learned a lot about marketing in 2021.
  • Tamed the wild unicorn! There’s a saying among authors that if a book receives 50 reviews on Amazon, the author receives a Unicorn. I received more than 50 reviews on 6 books: Each Book 1 in all four series, and Book 2 in two series. BOOM! Unicorns tamed!

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GOALS for 2022

  • Publish six books
  • Publish a Halloween novella
  • Publish a trilogy boxset
  • Write a Survivalist SciFi short story
  • Sell and sign books at four in-person signing events
  • Attend the national book conference (Road Trip, Baby!)
  • There’s a saying that when readers read more than one million pages of an author’s books in one month, the author has caught the Wild Rainbow Trout.

Bonus Goal: Capture the wild Rainbow Trout!

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Once Upon a Halloween…

A Wicked and Wild Cozy Mystery Anthology 

Halloween, the day where the veil between the normal and the paranormal is as thin as a whisker on a witch’s chin…
 
Twenty-three cozy mystery authors cook up tales of fun, mayhem, and murder!
 
With a sprinkle of seniors with sharp minds and smart mouths, a dash of witches with familiars with more sass than sense, and a pinch of whodunits in quaint little towns…
 
Don’t miss the Exclusive DONUT LADY Halloween Story, SWEET SCARY DEAL, found only in ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 
PREORDER NOW for your copy of the October 18 Release of ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 

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Series Readers Are Awesome

RILEY MALLOY MYSTERY/THRILLER BOOK 2

For all the readers who are advanced series readers and already read TAGGED BY DEATH, BOOK 1, here is BOOK 2.

For all the series readers who wanted to be sure there’s a BOOK 2, here you go! Also, please read BOOK 1 first, because RILEY MALLOY MYSTERY SERIES is an actual series that follows the challenges of Riley Malloy, fulltime vet tech and part time crime buster.

DEFY DEATH 

Riley, vet tech and dog whisperer, stands in the way of a desperate criminal. Easy fix. Kill Riley.

DEFY Cover Book 2 Jan 31 2021 ebook 

TAP for DEFY BY DEATH

For all the thriller and mystery readers that missed TAGGED BY DEATH, BOOK 1, you are not forgotten either.

TAP for TAGGED BY DEATH, Book 1

 

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Another Sweet Donut Lady Novel with a Side of Murder

Donut Lady Mystery Series continues with Book 5, SWEET SECRET DEAL.

Donut Lady is in a race to uncover the secrets and solve the murders before the desperate killer murders her.

Donut Lady’s reputation for solving murders continues to grow in Book 5 of the Donut Lady Mystery saga.

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KAREN O’BRIEN is puzzled by the secrets of a respected, longtime resident of Asbury. How many secret partners can any one person have? And when one of the partners and then another is murdered, Karen is convinced the killer must have been one of the other partners, but which one? And why? The Donut Lady asks too many questions and uncovers too many secrets. She’s in the killer’s crosshairs.

DONUT LADY mysteries are best enjoyed by starting with Book 1: SWEET SEAL SEALED.

SweetDealSealedBuy  SweetDealConcealedBuy   SweetDealRevealedBuySweetDealAppealedBuy  SweetSecretDealBuy

DonutLadyMysterySeries 3D 5 Books July 25 2021

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2020 – View from the Author’s Seat

My goal for 2020 was to write and publish four books.

One of the four books I planned was a complete rewrite of a novella because it was Book 1 of a series. Little did I know in my younger years – back in the day – of 2018 that a novella is not Book 1 of a series of novels; instead, it is Book 0.5. Learning is fun. And hard. New Book 1 became a novel and is officially Second Edition of Book 1.

The other three books were planned to be one book for each of my three series. My editor was busy, as all editors are, but she was onboard for four.

Then 2020 happened, and just like the rest of the world, both my editor and I were less busy than we had planned. I wrote, she edited, and I published six books in 2020.

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Apples or Pumpkins

So many annual events have been postponed until 2021, so I wondered how many of the 2020 outdoor fall festivals would proceed as planned. My research led me to conclude there are two major fall festivals – apple and pumpkin.

As an aside, did you expect Halloween festivals in addition to apple or in place of pumpkin? Not this year. My theory is that not everyone can fit into last year’s costume.

Back to our fall festivals. From there, I jumped into the next rabbit hole – given a choice, which would people prefer? Or more specifically, apples or pumpkins – which do readers prefer?

So, I asked my newsletter readers their preference – apples or pumpkins. The result? Apples won and by such a large percentage, that I gave APPLE the opportunity for a cameo appearance in my newly released novel. Much to my surprise, Apple made two appearances. Let’s see if the readers find both of them.

If you are interested in becoming a subscriber to my newsletter, you are welcome to join us in our shenanigans.

Here’s the link! Click or tap!  Subscribe to the Newsletter!

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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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SECOND EDITION? Why?

SWEET DEAL SEALED, SECOND EDITION

DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 1

SDS 3D Paperback May 3 2020

Why a Second Edition?

Short answer:

More Story! The first edition of SWEET DEAL SEALED: A NOVELLA is 115 pages; the new SWEET DEAL SEALED, EXPANDED SECOND EDITION, is 235 pages!

Long Answer:

The first edition of SWEET DEAL SEALED is a novella – a short novel or a long short story. In the publishing world, there is a rule that says a series cannot have a novella as Book 1 unless all the rest of the books are also novellas. Who knew? Not me.

For example, Book listing services list SWEET DEAL SEALED: A NOVELLA, BOOK 1  in the DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES as Book 0.5; SWEET DEAL CONCEALED, BOOK 2, is labeled as BOOK 1; SWEET DEAL REVEALED, BOOK 3, labeled as BOOK 2. Ugh. Were readers confused? I know I was!

With DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 4 in the plans for 2020, it was time to channel my inner Don Quixote and pick my windmill/battles. Taking on the entire literary and publishing world to force them out of their antiquated rules didn’t seem fun. And I’m in it for the fun. I realized there was so much more to the Donut Lady’s earlier story. Who knew? And the EXPANDED SECOND EDITION was born. Now that was fun!

QUESTION: I’ve already read/never read Sweet Deal Sealed: Novella. Do I read Sweet Deal Sealed, Expanded Second Edition?

ANSWER: YES!

If you’ve read the original novella, you’ll enjoy the expanded story.

If you haven’t read the original novella, all of its story is included in the expanded second edition.

 

Are you interested in Book 4? Watch for it in the fall!
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Author’s Goal 2019 – Publish Four Books and Earn One Award

My Author’s Goal in 2018 was to publish a book. I published two. Time to up my game in 2019, so I did.

Danger in the Clouds

Published January 2019

Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Award

 

I Always Wanted To Be A Spy

Published February 2019

New Apple Literary Award – Excellence in Publishing

Sweet Deal Concealed

Donut Lady Mystery Series Book 2

Published March 2019

Florida Writers Association Award

Sweet Deal Revealed

Donut Lady Mystery Series, Book 3

Published July 2019

In 2019, I published four books and won three awards. Time to up my game.