As you can see, I made some minor changes to the cover. I finessed the fonts a bit and that was it. Love those winding old train tracks!
The Kindle version of the short story, "The Newcomer." is now out for an affordable $0.99 but you will be able to get it free starting Thursday (September 24) midnight Pacific Daylight Time (3 am Eastern Daylight Time). It will be free until 11:59 PDT (2:59 EST) Monday September 28. Of course, if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can get it for free anytime.
Find out how the Saint Maggie Series' unlikely, portly lead, Eli Smith, came to Blaineton and ended up staying thanks to the kindness of boarding house owner, Maggie Blaine. Also discover how the chemistry between Maggie and Eli got its start. It only took them five years to actually act on that chemistry but, hey, it's the mid-1800s in a little New Jersey town. Life was slower then. Or so they say. Anyway, if you're curious you can read how their friendship morphed into marriage in the full-length novel, Saint Maggie.
I'm excited the short story is out and am looking forward to having the paperback available soon. Meanwhile, click on the Amazon link to find the Kindle book.
Also, if you like the story, please leave a star rating and a review. The review may be as short as "I loved it" or as detailed as you wish. But it helps authors to have reviews on Amazon.
Thanks again for your support, and for your patience while I work on new stories as well as a full length novel (A Balm in Gilead expected out in 2021).
Meanwhile, stay safe and well. And don't forget to be kind.
Janet R. Stafford
Ever since COVID hit, things have been - shall I say - a wee bit challenging for me.
But then again, it's been that way for everyone else, too.
These past few weeks, I gave up on the idea that an author must blog on a regular basis to build a following. It is an idea that seems to be based on the notion that all authors are full-time writers.
Most of us are NOT full-time authors.
And that means we need to support ourselves in other ways.
As you know, I work part-time as an assistant minister/director of Christian education/communications director at a United Methodist Church. That job description alone should tell you that it's a lot to do in around 25-30 hours per week. It's also the type of work that does not stay in the office. It follows me home. These days, since I now work from home, it's like my best friend - always popping in for a chat. Don't get me wrong. I love what I do. But it's just a new twist on things.
I generally work in the mornings. Evenings find me leading studies and groups or going to meetings - all on Zoom. Again, it's the same thing I've always done - but this time I don't leave my home. Ever.
So, like most authors, I write because I love to write and because I'm called to write. I can't help myself. Frankly we authors would write even if we never published a word, because writing is what we do.
My new reality is that even though my hours have not changed significantly, the amount of time I spend staring at a screen has. So much so that my old eyes have taken to screaming, "Enough, already!"
With that reality in mind, I consciously made a choice to back off on the blogging so I could spend my non-church screen time writing.
The decision has yielded some good results. One is a short story. "The Newcomer," the story of how Eli Smith came to Blaineton, had been posted last year on this blog. But I now have revised and edited it, and it has something like a cover design (see above). I probably will fool with the cover a bit more this weekend. The plan is to publish the story on Kindle next week (at the usual $.99 price). I'll be working on a paperback version in a week or so.
The other result of stepping back from the blog is that I am nearly finished with the first draft of the full-length Saint Maggie novel, A Balm in Gilead. Now comes the fun part - revising, rewriting, and editing my way through about four or five revisions. Then I'll release it to my beta readers and receive more things to correct and revise. After that comes the cover design, for which I will hire my designer, Erin.
So, while I'm sorry that I haven't been blogging lately, I am glad to have backed off. I needed to do what an author does: write.
If you have purchased the Kindle version of my novels, novellas, and short stories during 2020, thank you! Thank you so much. I sincerely appreciate your support. And thank you for spreading the word about Maggie and her friends.
And practice love.
Janet R. Stafford
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder