Only the dog whisperer can identify a serial killer … if she can put the pieces together before she is murdered. Death follows her.
A new series means we’ll be introduced to a story about a new person with a problem to solve.
Meet RILEY MALLOY, a talented veterinary technician who understands her patients. When her employer abruptly closes the veterinary clinic where she has always worked, she adopts an abandoned dog at the worst possible time – no job and no animals allowed in her apartment building.
After she moves to her family’s hometown for a new job, death follows her.
Riley Malloy has a remarkable talent for understanding her veterinary patients. Unknowingly, she’s also the only one who can identify a serial killer.
As one murder follows another, the evidence she discovers may lead her to expose the murderer’s scheme. When she gets too close, Riley finds herself in the crosshairs of the desperate killer as he escalates to a final murder. Can Riley escape his deadly intentions?
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.
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 of four figures
Note to any far-flung relatives who show up looking for a handout now that I’m only four figures in negative net earnings: I will feed you, introduce you to the dogs and chickens, provide you a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and boring conversation about books, chickens, trees, and dogs then sell you a book or two before you leave.
GOALS for 2021
2021 Goals: Publish six books including Book 1 of a New Series, sell a complete series through a bookstore; and a wild dream of a stretch goal, end the year with a positive net income of five figures.
Bonus Goal for 2021 – Tame the Wild Unicorn
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.
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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:
- The story was too nice.
- The critic/judge wanted to know more about the characters.
I learned four things from the experience:
- I write nice characters that people want to know more about.
- I am a great storyteller.
- My writing craft skills needed work.
- I can’t write short.
- Wait, make it five: I’m not deflated by criticism.
DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 1
Why a Second Edition?
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!
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?
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!
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?
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.