July 2021 Newsletter

Life Happens . . . Sigh

Hey, Everybody!

Recently Jess and I had a COVID-19 scare when an acquaintance of mine announced that he’d tested positive for that sneaky virus even though he’d received both shots. And so again I go out and about as Alien Juliet

So there was nothing for it for us to get tested, too. Unlike a test I had last year, the kind where the nurse scrapes the base of your brain when she pokes a long swab up your nose, this one was pretty much a breeze and handled very smoothly. I made a separate appointment at a drugstore with a drive-through close by. When I arrived, I slapped my appointment sheet or voucher against the driver’s side window along with my driver’s license. The clerk puttered around inside her little compartment inside the store, doing things like fixing a Fed Ex mailing box, processing the receipt and putting together the kit. After a few minutes, she opened the drawer and sent the paper work and kit out to me. I removed the swab, poke-poke-poke-poke-poked it up my left nostril, and then ditto the right. After that I put the swab inside a small vial, broke the end of the swab off, closed the vial and sent it back to the drugstore gal.

Jess did her test on Friday and got the results Saturday night. I got mine on Saturday morning, so it didn’t get there until Monday, but I got the results that evening. BOTH OUR TESTS WERE NEGATIVE.

But I’m not fooling around anymore. I’m Alien Juliet at the grocery store. We’ve gone out to eat two or three times since things loosened up a bit, but now we’re doing curbside pickup again, but mostly we eat at home. We take our masks with us when we walk around the neighborhood just in case we come upon little kids because the Delta variant is a sneaky bugger.

Another sigh to preface another life-happens thingy . . . The other day I was running a test for some postcards I wanted to make when a sheet of paper got jammed in our big HP color/black-and-white printer/scanner/copier. So I got in there and pulled the paper out, it tore and after that when I attempted to print anything the works growl and scream and grind and generally tell me that the printer’s a goner.

Here’s another sigh. For several weeks, my iPhone said it was too full of photos for me to take anymore with. So I bought a new one and I’m excited about it, but I haven’t had the time to set it up because now that I’ve finished Apart in April.

Why not? I’m taking some time off between projects to go back to school, sort of. Those of you who know me as Dr. J are probably saying, “What’s up with that?” Well, my writing, editing and text-formatting skills are first rate and my cover-skills not bad though they need improving. But my promoting skills are severely lacking. So before I get caught up in the next project, I’m attending Zoom meetings and webinars to try to strengthen them. For instance, yesterday I attended a round table discussion about hashtags with a social media professional. Tomorrow, I plan on attending a webinar on creating effective Amazon Ads.

So you know, better busy than bored.

Best, Juliet

P. S. If you haven’t gotten your copy of Apart in April, Book 5 in my Calendar Mystery series, yet, here’s the link to the eBook for $4.99: www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94. If you prefer print, it’s $14.99 (+ tax and shipping) also exclusively from Amazon. Enjoy! And if you like it, pretty please review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Just a few words–about your favorite aspect, for example–would help along with a four or star rating, and I’d appreciate it.

June 2021 Newsletter

I have become the old woman that . . .

I have become the old woman that, wearing pajamas, robe, and flip-flops, totters to the curb on trash day to put one last plastic bottle in the recycle bin. Or still in her nightclothes, she carries the bird feeders to their hooks in the back yard. Or she takes pictures with her phone of the lovely lavender hosta blossoms that line the garden shed. (She hopes to start a watercolor painting of them at her weekly art class and possibly insert a rabbit among them.)

But I’m also the old woman that, changed into a green and pink striped camp shirt she’s had for decades and black pedal pushers with an elastic waist band she bought last year, gets to her computer in the home office by ten most mornings and averages twenty hours a week on her writing project.

So I’m pleased to announce that Apart in April, Book 5 and the fourth novel in my Calendar Mystery series, will be published on June 30 as an eBook. It’s now available to pre-order for only $2.99 at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94. This special price is going away on July 6 when the price will become $4.99, so better get it cheaper while you can. And if you like it, please write a brief review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

For those of you who prefer reading print books instead of on devices like a Kindle, a Nook, or tablet, I am very pleased to announce that I’m currently working on the cover for the paperback version of Apart in April and it will be available for purchase by July 15. (Yay!) I haven’t figured out the price yet, but I’ll let you know.

And just so you don’t think I’m asking you to buy a pig in a poke, here’s a brief description of this forthcoming book.

Apart in April features  love, loss, and dangerous secrets. In April 1901, after a deep personal loss, Minty Wilcox Price runs away from her husband detective Daniel Price. But she leaves behind letters containing clues (both false and true) as she goes undercover on her own to find out the truth about how a young woman died. Will the secrets Minty uncovers prove deadly? Will Daniel bring his own grief under control to find her and help her with the case before she comes into danger, too? You’ll find the answers to these questions and much more in Apart in April, Book 5 of Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mysteries that tell the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and detective Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.

Also “The Barn Door” and “Lost Dog,” two prequel short stories to the Calendar Mystery series that feature business girl Minty Wilcox and detective Daniel Price when they first meet though they don’t realize it, will both be FREE from July 1 through July 5, 2021, at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G7ZXMP and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752SWBG1.

Don’t have a Kindle? When you get the stories, you can also download the free app to most tablets including a Nook. My books look especially neat on my iPad mini.

Stay safe and well in this troubled world, my friends.

Juliet

P. S. If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends.

New Calendar Mystery, coming soon.

In APART IN APRIL, Book 5 of my calendar historical mystery series, Minty Wilcox Price goes undercover as secretary Miss Minerva Preston. In the scene below she accompanies her new employer Lord Nelson as they visit David Hyde, the suspect in the case of “The Ravished, Slain Chambermaid,” who’s in jail. There they encounter policeman LeClerc. For the junket she wears a shirtwaist with leg-o-mutton sleeves.
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 Just then the policeman seemed to notice Minty still cooling her heels by the door for the first time because he said, “Who’s that female over there? Is she with you, Nelson?”
     “Indeed she is. This is Miss Preston. She’ll be taking notes when our lawyer interviews Mr. Hyde today.”
     “She can’t go inside with you,” LeClerc said.
     “And why not?” Lord Nelson asked sharply as if he’d run out of patience with LeClerc.
     “She might have a file up one of those big sleeves of hers, that’s why. Or she might be carrying a gun under all of them skirts she’s wearing. Females are sneaky that way. So unless I examine her lower parts, she can’t go in there.”
     “That’s outrageous,” Lord Nelson said. “You will do no such thing.”
     “I don’t really like it either, sir,” Minty said with her lips pinched together. “But I will do it since it seems necessary.” Carrying her handbag that held her picklocks and two-shot Derringer among other items under a false bottom, she scurried across the lobby. She set her bag on the desk next to the basket. “Feel free to inspect my handbag, Officer LeClerc, if you must, to make sure I’m not bringing in contraband of any sort.”
     LeClerc pulled the bag open, peeked in, rucked around inside it and closed it again. “Looks fine.”
     “And now for the rest of your inspection . . .” Grabbing hold of her left leg-o-mutton sleeve with her right hand, she pulled it tight against her upper arm. “See? Nothing hidden in there.” She repeated the action on her right sleeve. “Besides, to get to a gun or file I might happen to have up my sleeve, I’d have to take my shirtwaist completely off because the cuffs are too tight for me to slip anything out of there.” Minty glared at LeClerc. “I’m not about to do that in front of any gentleman, any gentleman at all since I am a business girl and never intend to marry.”
     Lord Nelson stifled a chuckle.
      “As for my lower parts . . .” Minty lifted her skirt in the front as far as possible without revealing the front placket of her pantaloons with one hand and the back of her skirt with the other. Then she whirled around very fast and dropped her skirts as soon as she faced the policeman again. “Was that sufficient, sir?” she said.
     LeClerc’s eyes were wide. “Yes, ma’am,” he said in a high-pitched voice.
     Lord Nelson was blushing, but laughing, too. “I say, Miss Preston,” he said. “You’re quite the ripping girl.”
     “Thank you, sir, I like to think so, too.”
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Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mystery stories and novels tell the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and detective Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago. You can pre-order APART IN APRIL, due out on June 30, 2021, for the special starting price of only $2.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94

May 2021 WiP Report

Hi, Everybody!

The first photo was me as Covid-19 Alien Juliet about a year ago. But thanks to receiving both my shots and the lifting of the mask mandate, lately I’ve been able to do some things for the first time in over a year.

For example, about a month ago, my daughter Jess and I ventured out to some place besides walking to the post office, picking up dinner from a restaurant or going to the grocery store. And that was to a place called Whiskers Cat Cafe where kitties recline on fake fur in sybaritic bliss.

This month for the first time in over a year, I went to a couple of in-person meetings instead  of via Zoom. One evening my book club met in person outside on a member’s driveway.  Since we all had received both our shots, we removed our masks and raised our hands with the V for vaccination for some photos our hostess’s husband took. And this month, the chapter of Sisters-in-Crime I belong to met outside a member’s house on the deck. It was lovely to be with friends in person at both meetings.

The best outing requires a bit of background. On the twelfth of every month, my daughter and I celebrate her being seizure-free for another month with a special meal. For the past fifteen months, we’ve done pick-up for dinner that evening. But May 12, 2021, marked the ten-year anniversary of Jessie’s last seizure, so we ventured out to a restaurant to celebrate this momentous event.

 

I’m also quite pleased to announce that I’ve resumed taking a weekly art class after a break of more than three years. Here’s my first piece. The medium is colored pencil, and it’s supposed to be a peony though it resembles a head of red cabbage with strange leaves.

 

 

I’d hoped to complete Apart in April, Book 5 of my calendar mystery series featuring a business miss and a dashing detective from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago,  in time to publish it in April this year. But it took more time in the editing phase to do a good job of it, and I decided not to rush. Rushing a project always creates opportunities to mess up. So now the publication date is June 30, 2021. You can pre-order the eBook for the special initial price of only $2.99. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94

Till next time, all the best, Juliet

 

 

 

 

April 2021 WiP Report

I hoped to report that I’ve finished my current Work-in-Progress, Apart in April, Book 5 of my Calendar Mystery series.

But it’s not happening, partly because my characters keep talking to me as I write. One of them will say, “How about I do this?” Another might say, “I wouldn’t do that! Take it out!” Or worst of all, some person in the book will say, “I’m bored.”

It’s practically axiomatic that every time a writer changes something, s/he introduces at least one error like a missing so there’s nothing for it but to edit each and every line of each and every page with a ruler on paper and/or by sliding the cursor down the margin, and/or reading each and every page word by word out loud at least once if not TWICE. (Did you see the glitch in the previous sentence in the previous sentence? [Repetition is another kind of glitch that often happens when the writer is switching stuff around.])

I’ve rushed the process before and ended up publishing a book or story that wasn’t ready yet. I’m not doing that this time. I have only forty pages to go in this draft, so it will be done by April 30 for sure. But then I will make myself take as long as the book and its characters demand for one last edit. After I’m done and I’ve tweaked the cover, too, I’ll begin the production phase, leaving time to set up the pre-order and all that other stuff. I’ll let you know when Apart in April is ready for you to pre-order at a reduced price.

In closing, an observation, especially for my fellow old fogey friends . . . At this stage of writing, I have to hold the entire three hundred pages of the book in fairly specific detail in my head. (Since I’ve made so many changes over the four drafts of this book, sometimes I have to go back and check the most recent draft to see what actually is in there.) A person with dementia can’t do that, and so I’ll end this WiP Report by highly recommending writing a novel as a preventive measure against senility.

Best, Juliet

P. S. It’s spring and doing stuff like potting these plants shown above is another distraction I’m dealing with.

 

WiP Report January 2021

Last Friday, I finished what I hope will be the next-to-the-last draft of Book 5 of my Calendar Mystery series, set in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago for a business girl named Minty Wilcox and a dashing detective named Daniel Price. (Just practicing my blurb here . . .) The next day we ordered BBQ carry-out for a celebratory dinner. Baby back ribs! Yum!

In its binder, the book weighs 6.4 pounds which makes for quite a weighty tome though I hope of course that it won’t feel like that for readers when it’s done. The text now is 306 pages and 86,489 words long. I started it on November 1 for NaNoWriMo, so it took me 83 days for an average of 1,042 words a day. That’s really not bad considering everything that’s been going on including a very weird holiday season, the pandemic, and the political turmoil.

An FYI for my fellow indie authors: whenever I start a novel, I format it for its eventual publication, that is, with 6” by 9” pages, 0.75” margins, 1.15 line spacing throughout including between paragraphs, 12-point font, usually Book Antiqua, all paragraphs except the first in a section or chapter indented 0.3”. I also mark all section breaks with <> <> <> because I never know where they’ll end up after revisions. Plus, I paginate the pages, create different first pages for the starts of chapters, and different odd and even pages for the rest. And yes, I type my first drafts and all the rest. All of this lets me get a feel for the overall proportions of the book and about where to place the plot points in later drafts.

For more guidance, check out my Novel Basics, a concise yet complete guide to brainstorming, drafting, and revising a novel available in print from Amazon. com and as an eBook at www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2LXFRP . . .

Now back to the report . . . If I can cut the 10% that Stephen King says in his author’s memoir On Writing he cuts from the first drafts of his books, Book 5 of my Calendar Mystery series will be around 78,000 words or 275 pages long. Hopefully, I will get it out by the end of April. (The tabs on the book shown in the photo on the left mark pages where I need to do some editing. Yikes!)

I’ll let you know how it’s going in next month’s WiP Report. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the fun short story “The 9th Street Gang” free from 02/03/21 through 02/07/21 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YYVTTX and Book 2 of the Calendar Mystery series Fatal February, on sale for only $0.99 at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017081JHM and £0.99 at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017081JHM from 02/10/21 through 02/16/21.

Eye Drops

A Live and Learn Blog

This coming week, I’m scheduled to have cataract surgery on my right eye and the left eye the week after that. Now this is a rather alarming prospect in itself. How come? Well, it’s like this. As a fiction writer used to creating all sorts of nightmare scenarios, I can think of an abundance of things that can wrong. The information sheets the eye clinic sent me home with don’t help since they include complications like losing an eye. I’m not sure an eye patch is really the fashion look I’m after though maybe a black satin patch with sequins . . . ?

The info sheets also list major risks that include a droopy eyelid. Oh great! My eyelids are already so droopy that when I went for my eye exam last October, the technician at my regular optometrist’s office took at least two-dozen pictures of my eyeballs in one test before she thought she got a good one. For another test, she called in another technician who grabbed hold of the back of my neck and tried to pry my eye wide open with her other hand, thus blocking the camera.

These exams turned to be such an ordeal that when I finally saw my doctor, I said, “Oh gosh, I think I flunked my eye test.”

Nice guy that he is, the doctor merely smiled and said, “You’re fine.”

Nervous about the surgery, I put out a call to my Facebook friends and they were quite reassuring as in “easy peasy.” So I’m feeling a little more relaxed about it. Still I have a problem. In the build up to the surgery, I have to put eye drops in my eyes. This wasn’t immediately easy since I had to take a pair of manicure scissors to the plastic on one of the tiny bottles of eye drops just to get it open. (What is it with these companies that make the containers they put eye drops, food like mini quiches, juice, and other things in that it’s such a struggle to open them?)

But here again my droopy eyelids were problematic. There I stood in front of the mirror in my bathroom trying to drop the once-a-day stuff in my right eye. And it’s cloudy and it gushes out and I feel it on my cheek. Plus extra comes out of the vial that I have to wipe off. This stuff isn’t cheap. Those three tiny bottles shown above altogether cost $75. So I worry about wasting the eye drops, having to buy more, and also being scolded by the eye surgeon for not properly preparing for the surgery.

The first two applications of the other pre-surgery eye drops ended up on my cheek as well, or mostly anyway. Thank goodness for my daughter. She suffers from chronic dry eye and so she’s developed a method for dropping liquids in her eyes. She gave me an eye drop tutorial. She tilts her head left when she wants to put eye drops in her right eye, puts the tip of the bottle close to the corner of the right eye but not against it, and squeezes the vial. I tried her technique and sure enough, most of the drop went in my right eye instead of rolling down my cheek.

So this whole saga goes to show you that old dogs can learn new tricks. Plus it’s really great to have a kid and friends that care. Thanks, everybody!

 

P. S. January Jinx, Book 1 of my cozy historical mystery series, is only #99cents athttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HSSSBE4 and a penny less than a pound at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HSSSBE4 today through Tuesday January 7, 2020.

Bargain Fiction

Get real Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains in a boxed set.

The Calendar Cozy Historical Mystery stories and novels by Juliet Kincaid tell the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing detective Daniel Price from newly met to newlywed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.

The boxed set includes January Jinx, Fatal February, Mischief in March, and the bonus short story “Detectives’ Honeymoon,” all for only $2.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDKF413 and £2.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QDKF413 from 11/28/2019 through 12/03/2019, many pages for your holiday reading pleasure. Happy Thanksgiving.

Praise for JANUARY JINX

Book 1 of the Calendar Mystery Series

The delightful, creative, and charming January Jinx introduces a terrific character in Minty Wilcox, a good old-fashioned cozy mystery persona who will surely be able to carry the planned-for series. It’s Minty who drives the readable narrative, and author Juliet Kincaid keeps the pace steady and fast at the same time for quite a readable experience . . . The unique setting of 1899 Kansas City is full of flavor that never overwhelms the story and the characters. With a terrific, original, but still comfortable series concept, there are certainly big things afoot for Juliet Kincaid and Minty Wilcox’s Calendar Mysteries.

 

 

 

Tuesday Writing Tip 08/13/19

This is one of my personal favorite cards from my Novel Basics method of brainstorming a novel with 20 index cards. Tuesday #writingtip #writetip: If you have trouble choosing between first person (I alone remain to tell the tale) and third person (The only remaining survivor of the shipwreck, Ishmael . . .), TRY BOTH.

 

 

You can get your very own copy of Novel Basics in print for $8.99 from Amazon and other sources, and digital at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2LXFRP

 

The Once and Future Book

A WiP Report

I’ve reached midpoint of my current Work in Progress. (I think. I hope.)  So I’m taking some time to reflect on the book I’ve worked on – or at least thought about –  since the 1980’s when my daughter and I participated in activities of the Society for Creative Anachronism, “an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century” (Wikipedia).

In the years Jess and I were active in the SCA, we made many friends; enjoyed the group fantasy of wearing weird clothes, sometimes eating strange food at feasts, speaking an offbeat version of the English language; attending events like  Kris Kinder in December; and learning arcane skills such as transforming fleece into yarn with a drop spindle.

But when I decided to become a part time writer in addition to my full time job as professor of writing at a local community college, and my family responsibilities, my leisure time vanished.

Yet over the years, my mind has returned to the concept of setting a mystery novel at least partly if not completely inside the world of a Renaissance Festival and/or inside a group somewhat similar to the SCA. Some times I called the book Death in Shining Armor and sometimes Die by the Sword. Currently, I’m working on the fourth version, or maybe it’s the fifth, again called Death in Shining Armor.

I wrote the first version of Death of Shining Armor with a young female police officer as the protagonist in the early ’90’s. In 1993 I received a review of the book by a published author who  also  belonged to the SCA, so sarcastic and scathing I felt like I’d been beaten after I read it. As the daughter of a belittling mother, the ex-wife of a belittling husband, and a teacher of writing, I abhor that sort of feedback. I would never permit it in my own classroom. But since those voices in my head echoed that of the reviewer, I abandoned the project.

Later in the 90’s I returned to the book with a female private detective from a family of investigators. I actually got an agent to shop this version around to publishers, but she didn’t manage to sell it. So I moved on to a completely different project.

Still intrigued by the concept, I returned to the project some time in the ’00’s, but gave the book  a young female protagonist in peril who wasn’t an investigator at all. This version I called Die by the Sword. I abandoned this version and a tweak I tried of it in 2017. I think what bothered me most about that version was that I’d bashed some of the characters in it based on people I have known, something I said I abhorred, that is , critique the crap out of them without allowing them to do the same to me.

But apparently this is the book that won’t die. And so about six weeks ago I picked the suspense version up again. And it’s going better. I’m doing a better job of letting the supporting characters live their own lives. In contrast, I’m finding points of identification with the protagonist that help me sympathize with her more. Another thing that might help this version is I’ve set in 1988 instead of present day. (What fun!) Another thing that seems to be helping is the confidence in my own work I’ve gained from my experiences as an indie author since 2011. I’ll keep you posted on how my once and future book is going.

Meanwhile, to keep up with what I’m doing, friend me on Facebook where I’m juliet.kincaid and JulietKincaidauthor2016, follow me on Twitter where I’m JulietKincaid, and occasionally check out my Amazon Central Author’s page at www.amazon.com/Juliet-Kincaid/e/B00DB4HWRG for new publications.

My most recent published work is a boxed set of my first three Calendar Mystery books and a short story featuring a business girl and a dashing detective and set in Kansas City where living could downright deadly a hundred years or so ago. You can get your own copy at www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDKF413

P. S. When you read my work and if you enjoy it, please write a review and post it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Just a few words, perhaps about what you like most about the book or story, would help. And I’d really appreciate it.