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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”

QuickJAB

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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WARNING Label? Read the Series in Order

Maggie Sloan Mystery Series, Books 1 and 2

I’m struggling with whether I need to add a warning label or spoiler alert to the beginning of RED IS THE NEW GRAY, MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 2.

For anyone who has read  I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY, BOOK 1, you know about Maggie and her men and her heartbreak.

It is possible for a new reader to read RED IS THE NEW GRAY, BOOK 2, without having read BOOK 1 because the men and other characters from BOOK 1 are introduced.

HOWEVER, the dilemma is that BOOK 2 of course also mentions Maggie’s heartbreak from BOOK 1. THAT’S a spoiler! Do I add a warning label to the beginning of BOOK 2?

WARNING: READING BOOK 2 WITHOUT READING BOOK 1 FIRST IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR READING ENJOYMENT.

or

WARNING: DO NOT PROCEED WITH READING BOOK 2 UNTIL YOU HAVE READ BOOK 1. WE DON’T CARE IF BOOK 2 WAS FREE. GO READ BOOK 1.

or

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ BOOK 2 UNTIL YOU READ BOOK 1. ANGRY READERS MAKE CRANKY REVIEWERS.

 

LINK TO MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES

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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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An Award for Maggie Sloan

SPY 3D with NewApple2019

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY  has been awarded the 2019 EBook New Apple Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing by New Apple Literary Services.

New Apple’s Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing were established to honor the creative achievements within the world of indie and self-publishing that so often go unnoticed among the multitude of book releases.

happydance We tried to get a photo of Spike doing his wacky dance, but he was too busy pestering Larry. Here are his fill-ins.

Not sure who Spike and Larry are? Time to read I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY.

SPY 3D with NewApple2019

 

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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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Donut Lady Mystery Series — Sweet Deal Sealed, Sweet Deal Concealed and Sweet Deal Revealed by Judith A. Barrett — Jennie Reads

This review if for the first 3 books in this series – because just like donuts I could not read/eat just one! I heard this author speak on a panel at the Indie Book Fest in Orlando and got an immediate fan girl crush! She was a hoot – and when I enjoy someone that […]

via Dount Lady Mystery Series — Sweet Deal Sealed, Sweet Deal Concealed and Sweet Deal Revealed by Judith A. Barrett — Jennie Reads

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New Release! SWEET DEAL REVEALED

SD Revealed Cover 2 ebook June 2019 PICTURE STYLE 2

KAREN O’BRIEN, DONUT LADY, has a knack for being at the wrong place at the right time. Does she get too close to the truth? She witnesses a sketchy incident involving a good friend’s estranged husband. A drug deal? The man turns up dead on his wife’s porch. Was he murdered? Did the wife do it?

After a second murder, DONUT LADY falls under suspicion, but is she actually the next target? Jack, her self-designated protector, can’t be everywhere. Her nightmares saved her once, but the murderer takes it to a personal level. She’s on her own.

SWEET DEAL REVEALED is on Amazon! Your choice – eBook or Paperback!

Click or Tap for SWEET DEAL REVEALED

And remember – If you enjoy the DONUT LADY’s latest story, PLEASE leave a review on Amazon!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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