QuickJAB

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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BookBlog

January 2020 New Release!

 

RED IS THE NEW GRAY, MAGGIE SLOAN MYSTERY SERIES, BOOK 2 is now available on Amazon!

MAGGIE SLOAN: former librarian, self-trained spy, literal, and brilliant, has the skills of a deadly assassin. The Gray Lady travels to Galveston, Texas to find a missing spy. Larry, her police cohort, is her backup.

She rocks her new red boots as the fill-in cook at a diner, but she is shot before her first week ends. The attacks escalate, and Maggie, Larry, and Maggie’s men are determined to solve the crimes, except everyone they know looks guilty.

How many more will die before Maggie and her team uncover the vicious leader who has escaped detection for so long?

RED IS THE NEW GRAY

amazon logo trans

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

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

ALWAYS FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED

QuickJAB

SPY the Free October Book

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 ~ I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY begins DAY 1 of 5 days FREE on Amazon. Doesn’t that make the chills creep up your spine until the hairs on your neck tingle? Read A Maggie Sloan Thriller. And hold on for the fast-paced action.

OCTOBER 10 – 14 Grab your copy to read while it is FREE. (Tell the others.)

Link to Amazon

ALWAYS FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED

QuickJAB

April is National Poetry Month

Puns-are-bad-but-poetry-is-verse.jpg

I’m sure I missed it last year, but poetry’s publicist was busier this year. I see April is National Poetry Month in the US and Canada and is being announced everywhere I read. Except on my cereal box. You still read cereal boxes too, don’t you?

Because Cheerios® has been my go-to cereal since forever, this poem is dedicated to Honey Nut Cheerios®.

When The Chicken Don’t Lay

When the chickens don’t lay

And we have no eggs,

When the north wind blows

And the storm rushes in,

When the chickens have declared

No eggs this week.

When the sun rises

And our plates are bare,

Where is our relief from hunger and defeat?

Cheerios.

 

~ An Original Poem by Judith A. Barrett

Thanks and a lift of the bowl to Grammarly. My favorite of all time editing software.

QuickJAB

I Always Wanted To Be A Spy

I Always Wanted to be a Spy 29 6x9 new girl with gun THRILLER 2

MAGGIE SLOAN’s lifelong dream to be a spy began when she was four years old and already a focused, self-trained spy. After college, Maggie’s job searches are futile despite her willingness to consider diverse employment opportunities, until the county library system hires her as a librarian.

When Maggie’s brilliant observational talents and her potential to expose complex criminal activity draw the attention of an international ring, she becomes their target. However, a senseless murder changes her life forever, and MAGGIE transforms from prey to predator.

Will the librarian with the soul of a spy and the unusual security team stop the desperate kingpins or will she become the latest victim? It all comes down to kill or be killed.

 

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY

 

REMEMBER!

If you love Maggie’s story, leave a review, especially if you are interested in reading another MAGGIE SLOAN adventure!

 

 

 

QuickJAB

Author’s Goal 2018 ~ Publish A Book

2018 Books

The Girl Who Saw Clouds

A novel entitled Novel Needs a Name, also called N3, got its start in 2017. It underwent 108 revisions by the time it was published as The Girl Who Saw Clouds in June 2018. The Girl Who Saw Clouds received the 2018 Semi-Finalist Royal Palm Literary Award.

Link to THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS on AMAZONRPLA_18_SemiFinalist_Badge (1)

 

Sweet Deal Sealed

Sweet Deal was a short story in early 2017 too. The beta readers and critics asked for more detail, and the novella Sweet Deal Sealed was born and published in May 2018.

Link to SWEET DEAL SEALED on AMAZON

fivestars2Both books are rated FIVE STARS on AMAZON.

 

GOAL ~ EXCEEDED!

happydance