QuickJAB

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!
QuickJAB

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

QuickJAB

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.

 

QuickJAB

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

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

 

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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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

QuickJAB

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!