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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Old Hens Know All the Tricks

   

We started our chicken journey with eight chickens in February 2014. The one-day-old chick is a Buff Orpington. This one could be Eva, Joanna, Ruthie, or Leah. The other four chicks were Black Australorps: Lydia, Ninja, Sarah, and Rachel.

Lydia checks the fenceline for grasshoppers. She is the only one of the original eight that we still have, and she is still laying beautiful, light tan eggs with a purple sheen at least every other day. We have forty other chickens. They may be bigger, faster, and more aggressive, but nobody gives Lydia grief. Old hens know all the tricks.

 

Sadie is a German short-haired pointer and was born in December 2005. She was a rescue dog and came our way five years later. Her back legs aren’t as strong as they used to be, and her hearing is almost nonexistent. The aggressive tumor in her right eye was removed last year along with her eye, and her left eye doesn’t see so good. But she’s a happy old girl and still runs the paths and deer trails and keeps track of everyone. She loves the dog door because she can stick out her nose and check the weather and the smells.

Sadie loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old dogs know all the tricks.

 

Farmer Woman was born way before you all. Her eyesight is lousy, and she can’t see stars at night. She cleans the chicken coop every day and loves to learn new things. She writes novels, established a publishing business, and is a marketer. She drags heavy limbs to the burn pile and is a weather expert.

She loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot and buggy, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old Farmer Women know all the tricks.

 

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

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

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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

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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

 

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New! The Girl Who Saw Clouds

The Girl Who Saw Clouds is a story of conspiracy, family, and survival.  The novel is available NOW on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

Link to The Girl Who Saw Clouds on Amazon

Girl Who Saw Clouds Cover 5.5x 8.5 June 1 2018 ebook cover.png

AIMEE LOUISE is a bright, quirky 14-year-old with autism who doesn’t recognize facial expressions, but instead sees clouds that reveal a person’s true intentions. After a cyber-attack takes down the nation’s electrical grid, can her ability to see danger where no one else does expose the secret plot to take over the U.S.?

QuickJAB

National Doughnut Day Month

Sweet Deal Sealed LettersizeLargerMedX9

If you’ve been waiting all year for National Doughnut Day, you’re in luck. It’s National Doughnut Day Month! Yep, in honor of the Doughnut Lady and Woody, we aren’t doughnut-deprived because June 1 was National Doughnut Day.

This will be a short post because I want to beat the crowds at the local Doughnut Shop. I know Dunkin Doughnuts, Krispy Kreme, and all the other smaller doughnut shops will heartily support National Doughnut Day Month. Don’t believe me? Walk into a shop and take a big whiff…doughnuts, right? See! All month!

And while you’re waiting in line for that doughnut, how about using your phone, which I see in your hand, to leave a review for Sweet Deal Sealed on Amazon. I know you’ve read it. Doesn’t have to be long or flowery. How about “I’m standing in line waiting for a doughnut because I read Sweet Deal Sealed and now I need a doughnut.”  See? Easy.

Oh. You haven’t read Sweet Deal Sealed? See the phone in your hand? Sweet Deal Sealed is on Amazon. You can read the ebook on your phone, tablet or computer.  Or if the feel and convenience of a paperback is your preference, same link and your postal carrier will deliver!  Link to Sweet Deal Sealed on Amazon