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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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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!
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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 ~ 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

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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.?