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.

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

 

 

 

 

Mystery and Romance in Old KC

Mystery . . .
Romance . . .
A Most Improper Honeymoon . . .
Join business girl Minty Wilcox and detective Daniel Price in old Kansas City as they sleuth, get to know each other, and fall in love in six stories that occur before, between or after JANUARY JINX, FATAL FEBRUARY, and MISCHIEF IN MARCH, the three novels in Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mystery series, in OLD TIME STORIES, a collection of fiction and nonfiction.
In prequel story “The Barn Door,” Daniel goes undercover to help an old man overrun by his young wife’s free-loading relatives. Daniel also meets a pretty gal called Minty. He’ll probably never see her again, he thinks.
In “Lost Dog,” a second prequel story, Minty saves a stray pooch from a mean neighbor. And as she looks for the dog’s owner, her thoughts wander to the good-looking gent she met the day before.
Skipping forward six months, Daniel lures Minty off on a mysterious streetcar ride that ends with a surprise in “Two Birthdays.”
The next year, soon after Minty and Daniel become engaged, they pursue “The 9th Street Gang” and discover some of each other’s finer qualities. (They also sneak in some canoodling.)
A few weeks after that in “Detectives’ Honeymoon,” Minty and Daniel find their wedding trip in peril because of a dead body they discover in their bed.
And in “The Shackleton Ghost,” published here and nowhere else, they search a house that might be haunted by a vengeful ghost. (They sneak in some more canoodling.)
In this snippet from “The Shackleton Ghost,” available exclusively in OLD TIME STORIES, Minty and Daniel, just returned from their most improper honeymoon on April 1, 1900, and Minty’s younger brother and sister talk about why Miss Whitmore doesn’t want to stay in the house next door.
“I know the real reason why Miss Whitmore doesn’t want to stay over there,”
Eddie said. “And it’s not because of that will business.”
“I do, too,” Peach said.
“So what is the real reason, you two?” Minty asked.
“She’s scared of the ghost,” Peach said.
“The ghost?” Daniel said. “What ghost?”
“There’s a ghost in the Shackleton house next door,” Eddie said. “Sure as shooting.”
“Is that your April Fool’s prank, Eddie?” Daniel said. “If it is, it’s pretty far-fetched. It might be even less convincing than my description of our wedding trip to the moon.”
“It’s not an April Fool’s joke,” Eddie said, raising his right hand. “Honest Injun. There’s a ghost over there and Miss Whitmore is afraid of it. It’s her guilty conscience. I bet old Miss Shackleton came back to haunt her.”
Indeed, Miss Whitmore might have good reason to feel guilty about the death of Agnes Shackleton . . .
OLD TIME STORIES also includes eleven nonfiction pieces about the real people and places that inspired Juliet Kincaid to tell the story of Minty Wilcox and Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.
Five-Star Review of “The Barn Door”
“This short prequel story to the first book, January Jinx, is fun and introduces us to the two main characters, Daniel and Minty, before they actually meet. I especially like the descriptions of Kansas City in the 1900’s as well as the vivid descriptions of the characters. Read ‘The Barn Door’ and you will not be disappointed.” An Amazon Reviewer.
Five-Star Review of “Lost Dog”
“What a delight to find myself in ‘old’ Kansas City again with such wonderfully drawn characters. I feel I know them and would love to follow them along the street while looking for the lost dog’s owner and I could just push that old neighbor back into the bushes after rescuing the poor dog from her vicious beating. Oh, this author brings them so alive and that is what keeps me reading her stories.” An Amazon Reviewer
For a short time only, you can get OLD TIME STORIES for only $0.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B07F4JL8D5 and £0.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F4JL8D5 (and it’s always FREE on Kindle Select.)

Spring Things

 

You know what? Life isn’t too bad at our house right now. After all it’s spring. Plus I’ve had both my shots and Jess has had the first. Having them has lowered our stress and helps us sleep better.

 

 

On the slightly down side, my WiP is going slower than I’d hoped. This time it was supposed to be a quick final draft except for one last copy edit. But, I keep thinking up really cool plot developments, pieces of dialogue, and details. For instance, as I was working on Chapter 15 of Apart in April, the fourth novel and Book 5 of my calendar mystery series, I decided that the dashing detective Daniel Price should wear Navajo jewelry when he’s undercover as an itinerant salesman, so two young chambermaids get the impression that he’s been to Santa Fe. He hasn’t He bought the lot at Jesse James, Jr.’s pawnshop over on Main in Kansas City earlier in April 1901. Things like these make a story come alive, but they also might introduce errors like missing words or repeated phrases that must be found and fixed. Still, I hope to have the eBook of Apart in April out by the end of April.

Meanwhile, the boxed set of the first three novels and a really cool short story called “Detectives’ Honeymoon” is now available for only $2.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDKF413 and £ 1.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QDKF413 through Tuesday March 30.

And look for Old Time Stories, a collection of nonfiction and fiction that includes the original short story “The Shackleton Ghost,” for the discounted prices of $0.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B07F4JL8D5 and £0.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F4JL8D5 from April 1 through April 7, 2021.

Till next time, stay safe and well. Best, Juliet

 

Nifty Mystery, low price

MISCHIEF IN MARCH
As their wedding day fast approaches, Minty Wilcox has many questions about her fiancé Daniel Price. Did he really kill someone? What else is he hiding about his past? Why has he never told her he’s rich? And for goodness’ sake, where are they going on their honeymoon?
All of these questions seem trivial when Daniel disappears and a blackened, disfigured body is found in the burned-out office of Price Investigations. Could it be Daniel’s?
Mischief in March is Book 3 of the Calendar Mystery series that tells the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing detective Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond a hundred years or so ago, when life in Kansas City could get downright deadly.
For a short time only, Mischief in March is $0.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XR1STRN and £0.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XR1STRN
(And it’s always free on Kindle Unlimited.)

Been a rough month but . . .

Hi, Everybody!

Here’s the cover for the fourth novel, fifth book in my calendar mystery series featuring the former business girl, Minty Wilcox, now Price, and her dashing detective husband Daniel, in Kansas City, MO, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.

I had lots of trouble making this cover fit into the birthstone theme of the series. I mean what can you do with white for goodness’ sake? But finally this version is coming along though it needs tweaking here and there. FYI: I stole the lilacs from a lady’s hat that appeared in The Delineator of August 1901. And a while ago, my cousin Sarah Faye Morse Meurer very kindly sent me the photos of our grandfather Miles Smith and our grandmother Juliet Perkins Smith.

Here’s the blurb for the book: After a personal tragedy on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1901, Minty Wilcox Price runs away from home, strewing letters behind her like Hansel’s bread crumbs for her husband Daniel to find. Can he overcome his own grief and anger to figure out where she’s gone and with her solve the case of “The Ravished, Murdered Chambermaid”?

I’d appreciate any feedback on the cover and blurb you’d care to give.

As for the book itself, I hoped to be farther along with the final draft by now.  But life has thrown some interference our way this past month that has taken up my time. For example, though we didn’t lose our power or heat during the recent Arctic blast, our water pipes froze when the temperature reached 15 below here near Kansas City. But my daughter Jess and our next-door neighbor’s son made a sort of bucket brigade to bring water to our house. And our pipes thawed on their own when the temperature moderated a bit.

The cold also complicated our grocery shopping. Lately we’ve shopped on line, and then Jess drove to the store to pick it up. But there was no way either of us wanted to go out on snowy streets when it was 7 below zero outside. So we tried to reschedule at first and then to cancel. But apparently their shopping app doesn’t handle changes well, so the shopper shopped our order not once but twice. And even after several phone calls and twelve days, the charge remains on my credit card. Sigh . . .

But I’m making progress on my project overall, and probably I’ll meet my deadline, the end of April. Also I’m struck by the way I still learn lessons about the process, or in this case, relearn them. For example, yesterday I struggled all morning to get information about a new setting, a ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Originally, I’d planned on asking a friend of mine if I could tour her family’s ranch. In a pandemic? Well, no, I literally can’t go there. So then I spun my wheels all morning looking for virtual tours and taking two dozen screen shots of prairie hills. But then finally, I remembered the sage advice I received back in the 80’s from a writer friend. “Think film,” she said. So then I CUT TO the front door of the farmhouse I needed Daniel to visit and blew that writer’s block up.

Stay safe and well, my friends. Get the shot soon if you haven’t already. (I have an appointment for next Wednesday.) Best, Juliet

 

P. S. Mischief in March, the third in my calendar mystery series, is only 99 cents from March 3 through March 9 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XR1STRN
It’s also a penny less than a pound at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XR1STRN

 

 

For an even better bargain, you can buy the boxed set that includes the January Jinx, Fatal February, and Mischief in March, the first three novels of the series, and the bonus short story “Detectives’ Honeymoon” from March 24 through March 30 for only $2.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDKF413  (British friends, for a similar bargain price, check http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QDKF413)

Charming Cozy Historical Mystery

In February 1900, a young woman has gone missing from a Kansas City garment factory. Minty Wilcox, now a typist/stenographer at Price Investigations, longs to help find the girl, but her boss, George Mathison doesn’t approve of women sleuthing. He also forbids any office romance at all, especially with his nephew,  detective Daniel Price. When Minty defies her boss and goes undercover to find the girl, Daniel helps. But he also hinders Minty with outrageous flirtation and other ploys. And as she digs into the case, Minty comes into danger herself.

Excerpt from Fatal February

Just then the door to Mathison’s office from the outside hall opened and a fellow shuffled in. He wore a loose, black jacket that came down to his mid thighs and brown corduroy trousers that bagged around his ankles. As the man sauntered toward them, he pulled a black, visored cap off his head.

“It’s getting cold out there,” said Daniel Price.

“Why, Mr. Price,” Minty said. “I didn’t recognize you in those clothes.”

He stopped, held his arms wide and looked down. “Like them? These are my workingman’s duds.”

“Fetching, Mr. Price, though they do look like you stole them from a larger man.”

“Not exactly. I bought them second hand or even fourth hand. Who’s to know? At any rate, these duds suit the work. And by the way, Miss Wilcox, I like your pretty hair ribbon.”

“Why, thank you, sir.”

“Enough of your banter, you two,” Mathison said. “It’s about time you decided to come in, my boy. I hope your efforts paid off better than Miss Wilcox’s.”

“But, Mr. Mathison, I discovered quite a bit . . .”

Will Daniel rescue her? Will Minty even let him try? To find out, you must read Fatal February, Book 2 of Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mystery series now only $0.99 at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017081JHM and £0.99 at https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017081JHM. (And it’s always free on Kindle Unlimited.)

Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mysteries tell the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing 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.

Praise for FATAL FEBRUARY

In the year 1900, Minty Wilcox has been hired by a private detective agency, her on again/off again beau’s employer, as a stenographer. For this spunky gal, typing and taking shorthand aren’t enough. She wants to be an operative. So, of course, author Juliet Kincaid, accommodates her protagonist by letting her delve into a missing person/murder case, sometimes sanctioned, but often not, by her boss. The ins and outs of the investigation, Minty’s romantic ups and downs, and her inside out family situations are fun to follow. It’s also interesting to learn about the physical layout and the social customs of Kansas City at the turn of the last century. Good follow-up to January Jinx, the first mystery in the series. Amazon Reviewer

Free fun mystery story

“The 9th Street Gang”
“Stop! Thief!” a woman screamed. Across the lobby, outside the New England National Bank stood a stooped woman in black and a raggedy little boy. The woman pointed to a fellow running up the stairs and shouted, “Come back here with my purse.” Then, seeming to notice Minty and Daniel for the first time, she said, “That man took my purse!”
“Hold this, darling girl,” Daniel said.
Minty took the shopping bag fragrant with the lunch they’d just purchased from the deli down the street and clutched it to her chest as Daniel sprinted off past the elevators.
After that, in quick succession, the boy who’d opened the doors for them whistled sharply and shouted, “Let’s get out of here, Mick!”
The little kid turned away from the screaming old lady and limped up to Minty. “Please, ma’am, could you spare a nickel?” he said. “I ain’t eat nothing yet today.” He gazed up at Minty with heart-breaking blue eyes.
“No time for that now, Mick,” said the boy who’d held the door for Minty and Daniel. He snatched the shopping bag out of Minty’s hand and pushed past her to the door.
“Hey!” Minty said. “Give that—“
In their first case together as a detective couple, business girl Minty Wilcox and the dashing Daniel Price pursue a gang of thieves plaguing Kansas City in February 1900. Distractions include the objections of their boss to any show at all of their affection for each other inside the office and out and Minty’s wayward thoughts about the secret married couples keep to themselves. Join the fun, mystery and romance of this Calendar Mystery short story that takes place between the events of Fatal February and Mischief in March. And along the way you’ll meet the son of a famous outlaw.
Praise for “The 9th Street Gang”
If you wish for something pleasant to get your mind off the lately awful news, delve yourself into the story of three little hoodlums that steal this story from the endearing main characters and enjoy the tidbits of Kansas City history. Amazon Reviewer
Get “The 9th Street Gang” for free at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YYVTTX

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.

Shopping in Person During the Pandemic

Yesterday afternoon the day after Memorial Day, I ventured out to shop in person for only the second time in over two months. The crowd at the garden center plus the lack of social distancing and masks the first time made me cautious about doing it again.

So before I even got out of the car, I counted the number of other cars – fewer than ten – in the parking lot of the closest Ace Hardware. I pulled my mask up over my nose and spritzed my hands with the hand sanitizer Jess made from a few odds and ends she found in our hall cabinet early in the pandemic.

Once I was inside, an employee I recognized from previous visits greeted me and asked, “Need some help?” She wore a mask and a small sign on her shirt pocket that said in red Six Feet.

When I acknowledged that I did need help, she proceeded to guide me around the store where there were fewer than ten people including patrons and employees the whole time I was there.

She helped me find caulk for the front window of my house that I put plastic on last fall and a different kind of caulk to reseal the flashing on the roof. She handed the tubes to me instead of having me touch them.

She helped me find garden hose and a nozzle that’s easier for people with arthritis in their hands than the kind that you have to keep holding down to make them work. She put the hose and nozzle in my cart

She left on my own to go into the garden center to search for begonias, but checked me out again later after I’d passed through the line with six feet intervals marked off on the floor. The cashier stations had plastic panels to separate shoppers from cashiers. I paid by credit card. And soon I’d loaded my bags and plants in the back of the car, got in and spritzed my hands before I started the car.

I was on my way out before I spotted the display of discounted Memorial Day planters I hadn’t noticed when I came in because I was too busy counting cars. My hope that Ace would still have some was the reason I’d gone there in the first place, so I parked, chose three planters, paid for them, and again was on my way.

I did turn into the parking lot to a grocery store at the corner, but once I counted the thirtieth car, I said, “No way I’m going in there,” and left. My lessons for today, as the lock down restrictions lift and you venture out to shop, be smart and be careful.

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