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!

QuickJAB

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

Author Goals 2020

My Author Goal in 2018 was to publish a book. Results: I published two books.

My Author Goals in 2019 were to publish four books and earn a prestigious award.  Results: I published four books and received three awards.

My Author Goals for 2020: Publish four books, receive a prestigious award, sell one book through a bookstore, and end the year with a POSITIVE net income. 

That last one – positive net income – is a stretch goal. At least I know the IRS is cheering me on!

QuickJAB

RED IS THE NEW GRAY ~ BOOK 2, MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES

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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

No Coconut Trees in Georgia

Here’s a hack you won’t find anywhere else!

When you are at a school library in Georgia and you are discussing the differences in plants and trees between the Florida Everglades and South Georgia, NEVER dispute a second-grader. For example, coconut trees in Georgia? Pay attention to the seven-year-old expert.

Readers always win.

 

QuickJAB

Bizarre? Just a Little

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As soon as I had my table set up at the Bizarre Bazaar in Bainbridge, GA, my newest friend grabbed her DONUT LADY BOOK 1, Sweet Deal Sealed, before they were all gone. Note that I am a good inch taller than she is. She was at the booth around the corner from me with her amazing, talented husband and his beautiful woodwork. I love the new-to-me local festivals in south Georgia. I meet nice people and sell books.

There were some slightly bizarre happenings. I’m not going to tell you though because they all have a place in one of my books for 2020. I will tell you that I discovered the next murderer for DONUT LADY BOOK 4. One hint: the murderer is not pictured above. Unless she wants to be, then all bets are off.

Interested in knowing more about my current books? Here you go! Judith A. Barrett Author Page

QuickJAB

International SPY DAY

OCTOBER 10 is International SPY DAY. From the first Tuxedo worn to a dinner party held in Tuxedo, NY in 1886 to the Premier release of From Russia with Love in London in 1963, OCTOBER 10 has had special significance in the World of Spies.

OCTOBER 10, 2019 ~ Best day ever to read I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY Celebrate your spy-ness as you join Maggie Sloan in Maggie Sloan Mystery Series, Book 1.

 

QuickJAB

A Birthday Conspiracy

Agatha Christie’s birthday is September 15 ~ #cozymysteryday

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When four mystery authors join together to celebrate #cozymysterday, is anyone surprised by a two-week birthday conspiracy? #anyexcuseforaparty

Judith A. Barrett

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Judith A. Barrett lives and writes in the USA on a farm in Georgia with her FarmerMan husband, 2 dogs: TJ-Boy and Sadie, a rooster named Malfoy, 45 hens (let us know when you want the names of all the chickens), abundant wildlife, wild birds, and beautiful butterflies. To her husband’s amazement, she has not named all the wildlife, birds, and butterflies. Yet.

Judith is the author of the Donut Lady Mystery Series. KAREN O’BRIEN is a former teacher and convicted felon. After prison, she looks forward to a new, quiet life in a small town in southern Georgia where she buys a donut shop complete with a sweet German Shepherd, Colonel, and a sassy gray cat, Mia. Donut Lady’s plan for tranquility is disrupted by a missing boy in Sweet Deal Sealed, murders in Sweet Deal Concealed, and more murder in Sweet Deal Revealed.

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Celebration

Join the Birthday Celebration with Donut Lady Mystery Series Book 1, Sweet Deal Sealed

 

 

Isabella Muir

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Isabella Muir lives and writes in England in the historic county of Sussex and has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Isabella is the author of a popular crime series – the Sussex Crime Mysteries. The stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie.  In The Tapestry Bag, when Janie’s good friend, Zara, goes missing, Janie applies what she has learned from the great Poirot to untangle the web of lies and deceit as she explores the circumstances of Zara’s strange disappearance. In the second and third books in the series – Lost Property and The Invisible Case – Janie continues to develop her sleuthing skills, solving crimes and mysteries.

Isabella Muir 3D COVERS x 3

Celebration

Join the Birthday Celebration with Sussex Crime Mysteries first book in the series – The Tapestry Bag

And there’s more! Receive the FREE Sussex Crime novella, Divided we Fall when you sign up to receive Isabella’s newsletter with cozy mystery news and views, special offers and so much more. Just click here.

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Visit Isabella at https://isabellamuir.com/

 

C.H. Sessums

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C.H. Sessums lives and writes in gorgeous East Texas with her hubby and their two rescue dogs. Every weekend all four of them pile up into their bunkhouse to watch classic movies and listen to old-time radio.

C.H. SESSUMS is a pen name for USA Today Bestselling Author Olivia Hardin. While Olivia writes all manner of romance, C.H. scribbles out cozy mysteries set in her beloved state of Texas. Whether exploring urban legends from all over the lone star state or solving capers set in far off times, mystery meets history in all of her stories.

C.H. is the author of The Errant Heirs Caper – Book 1 of JD Pierson Mystery Series. The setting for the story is Texas in 1936. JD Pierson’s daughter Jenny wants her dad out of his bottle of gin and back in the investigator game, but having an old friend turn up dead was not part of the plan. When a swarm of heirs swoops in we’re left wondering if his death really was an accident, or if murder is how one of them means to cash in.

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Celebration

Join the Birthday Celebration with  The Errant Heirs Caper.

Visit C.H. at http://www.chsessums.com/

 

David Wake

David Wake (hi-rs)        David Wake (steampunk)

Ever the gentleman, David Wake brings up the rear for our list of celebratory authors. (We’ll avert our eyes politely and ignore the fact that our authors are in alphabetical order.)

David Wake is an award-winning playwright, director, and technical stage manager. He’s taken plays to Edinburgh and London, and provided lighting for Hollywood stars.
He graduated from Birmingham City University’s MA in Writing with distinction and was awarded the year’s screenwriting prize. The SF convention, ArmadaCon, kindly invited him to be their guest of honour for their 25th anniversary event, and he’s also been the guest at Redemption too. He turned his hand to novels and has two series: The Derring-Do Club adventures and the Thinkersphere series; as well as stand-alone books.

David is the author of the Derring-Do Club Series. Steampunk at its best.

Three sisters, Earnestine, Georgina and Charlotte, are forbidden to go on any adventures… but when did that ever stop them?  From Austro-Hungarians plots to zombies with alien creatures and flying machines and time travel in between.  Putting their best foot forward, without showing an ankle, since 1896.

Death on the Suez (Front Cover)

Celebration

Join the Birthday Celebration with  Death on the Suez. Book 4 of the Derring-Do Club Series.

Visit David at http://davidwake.com/

 

 

Celebrate, Read, and Review!

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