QuickJAB

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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QuickJAB

SECOND EDITION? Why?

NEW RELEASE!

SWEET DEAL SEALED, SECOND EDITION

DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 1

SDS 2 Kindle 3D

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, Goodreads considers SWEET DEAL SEALED: A NOVELLA, BOOK 1  in the DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES as Book 0.5; SWEET DEAL CONCEALED, BOOK 2, Goodreads labeled as BOOK 1; SWEET DEAL REVEALED, BOOK 3, Goodreads 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!

CLICK OR TAP FOR SWEET DEAL SEALED SECOND EDITION

FREE ~ KINDLE UNLIMITED

 

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!
QuickJAB

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

QuickJAB

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

BookBlog

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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October Bonus for the Young Adult/Middle Grade Reader

A quiet splash about The Girl Who Saw Clouds – a Young Adult/Middle Grade novel.

FREE for the younger reader interested in dystopian science fiction. Oct 23-25.

On Amazon THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS

 

QuickJAB

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

ALWAYS FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED