Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


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More Writing Tips

Keep your manuscript professional

Two posts ago, I offered some handy writing tips which were well received, so I am offering more. I wish I could say the following list was compiled by me, but I received it years ago from someone whose name I cannot remember. Nevertheless, that does not change its importance to writers who want their manuscripts to appear professionally written.

Periods in abbreviations.

  • There are no periods between the letters in acronyms such as CBC, HIV, AA; nor in countries/provinces/states (US, UK, ON, BC)
  • There are no periods following: Mr Mrs Dr PhD but after Prof. there is a period.
  • There are no periods following measurement abbreviations: km m cm ft in
  • Use periods between abbreviations such as a.m. and p.m. and a.k.a.; also use between initials of a person’s name, such as W.C. Fields, W.H. Auden, or J.R.R. Tolkien, with no spaces between the initials.

Hope this helps you as much as it did me. Don’t forget to file this info somewhere close to your fingertips while writing. In the meantime, why not check out the first in my seaside series ebooks: Under the Shanklin Sky: only .99 cents (usd) and available from your Amazon or the following links. The second in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and the third: The Bathing Beauty, are also available. Please watch for my next three in the Series: A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, coming soon in 2017.

Under The Shanklin Sky

Under The Shanklin Sky

Genre: Fiction/Adventure. Title: Under the Shanklin Sky

Milly Mullan is a retiree from London with delightful childhood memories of holidays spent at the scenic seaside town of Shanklin, located on the Isle of Wight. As an adult, she intended to vacation there often, but, with a successful career as an interior designer to oversee, and hubby being top chef at a popular up-scale London restaurant, time to holiday was denied them. Not until retired, did Milly return to Shanklin, by which time Harry had died from health complications. Their daughter, Rosie, had grown up and married. Still, Milly has only one regret: losing touch with a young boy, Jonathan, she had met when only ten-years old during one of her Shanklin vacations. When retired, her hope to see him again absorbed her thoughts until, one day, while tending her balcony flowers; she found a valuable silver fob watch in a flowerpot. Determined to find its owner, she begins a search and finally locates her lost love, but is it Jonathan? To find out, join Milly—Under the Shanklin Sky.

The first in the seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky is available at your Amazon and the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com


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What is a cozy mystery?

Well, for a start, a cozy mystery is a fiction genre.

I have to admit, not until someone who had read my book, The Bathing Beauty, said, “Barbara, I loved your cozy mystery” had I ever heard the word cozy used in relation to a book. As a writer, I should have known what a cozy was, but, too embarrassed to ask, I thanked her for the compliment then turned to the Internet for help.

“Cozy… cozy… hmm… let’s see,” I said as I googled—What is a cozy?

Fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results came up. Which means, that amount of people and probably more know what a cozy is. Pathetically, though I had written several, I was not one of them.

So, just what is a cozy mystery?

Well, according to the first few of those fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results, a cozy is a fiction genre, usually a mystery. Some of the stipulations for a cozy are:

  • A cozy mystery does NOT drip with gore, blood, violence, nor vulgarity.
  • The emphasis of a cozy is on the whodunit aspect of the story, not the sensationalism of the crime.
  • The crime solver is an amateur sleuth, usually a woman.
  • The victim is often someone the amateur sleuth knows.
  • Evidence arouses the sleuth’s curiosity.
  • The amateur sleuth is a bit snoopy and actively seeks out gossip for clues.
  • She generally doesn’t stop until she solves the crime.
  • The activity takes place in villages or hamlets, where people know their neighbors and individual quirkiness is not only accepted but also often celebrated.

Given all those points, I was thrilled to come to the conclusion that Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth in my Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, who actually is a bit of a snoop, though she would never admit it, falls into the cozy mystery genre. She is also featured in my next two books in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty. Right now I am editing the manuscripts for the next three in the series, titled, A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, which will be available in 2017.

Under the Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty, are available now at your Amazon store, or the following links, and many other ebook distributors:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Available in 2017 from your Amazon store:

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring: A Hint of Spring is the fourth in the, Under the Shanklin Sky, fiction series and a brand new adventure for Milly Mullan. Rain, hail, sleet, gale; the petulant, English winter reluctantly gives way to spring by mercilessly battering Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. Conversely, spring ushers in a new adventure for retiree, Milly Mullan, resident of flat number 6 in the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach. Anticipating an upcoming fundraising gala, she is shocked to discover the host, Evelyn Scott, is embezzling funds from the charitable agency: Triple-F. With little evidence, Milly drags her obnoxious daughter, Rosie, into the fray, who then witnesses Evelyn’s murder. With so many suspects, all of whom hated Evelyn, Milly is at a loss as to whodunit. Was it Crystal, the receptionist at Triple-F, who held a long-standing grudge against Evelyn; or, perhaps, Evelyn’s love affair, married man, Fred Barker-Ford, of Barker-Ford dog foods, and collaborator in crime? Or, was the killer Tom Fielding, a local health and fitness business owner who, for personal reasons, detested Evelyn Scott. As Milly delves deeper into the case, she inadvertently saves scores of seniors from financial ruin. Given that, and her solving the case of Evelyn Scott’s murder, she is abruptly elevated to bees’ knees status in the eyes of Shanklin’s locals.

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image: To be, or not to be, that is definitely the question in the fifth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, The Spitting Image. When something is afoot, leave it to retiree, Milly Mullan, to be forefront in solving the case. Residing in flat number six of the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach in the seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, she ruthlessly hunts down the suspect until all is revealed. This time, the suspects are an attractive church-going couple, Sarah and Martin Kendall, who turn into greedy, trigger-happy blackmailers. However, Martin suddenly goes missing, but, in place of grief, Milly senses Sarah’s relief. Piecing clues together, she completes the puzzle to Martin’s disappearance during her visit to Windsor’s Theatre Royal where snobby guest presenter Sir Nigel Evans introduces a play… but is it really Sir Nigel? Suspicious, Milly relentlessly searches for clues until all is exposed and the Kendalls get what they deserve.

 

Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard: In Mann Overboard, the sixth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, a howling storm rages through the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, but not before retiree, Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth, eavesdrops on two young women, one of whom is seeking revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Feeling foolish for listening to teenage gossip, when the young man is found washed up on the beach the next day, Milly reluctantly confesses to her daughter, Rosie, that she believes foul play is afoot. Two witnesses, however, admit to seeing the young lad, the evening before, tossing stones into the raging surf, causing police to believe he was overcome by the sea. But, Milly knows better. So, how does a lost, silver, charm bracelet eventually lead her to the truth? Does it belong to the young man’s killer, or is it just coincidence that the revenge seeker was seen wearing it the night before his death? Find out more in, Mann Overboard.

 


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A Hint Of Spring

A work in progress!

Milly Mullan's Mail

Milly Mullan’s Mail

A Hint Of Spring is my latest work in progress and will be available in 2017. It is the fourth in my–Under The Shanklin Sky Series–and falls into the same genre as the first three: cozy/amateur sleuth. If you have visited the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight you will know its beauty. I’m a senior now, and born in England, but when only sixteen years of age, I spent two weeks vacation in Shanklin staying at The Shanklin Beach Hotel. I have never forgotten the seaside’s serenity, and amazing scenic views. My fond memories of the sandy beach, rushing waves, and high cliff top ripe for endless walks, is one reason why I chose Shanklin as the location for my series. I also chose to have my main character, Milly Mullan, be a senior, not because many people retire in Shanklin, but because Milly proves us seniors continue to live vibrant, productive lives.

A Hint Of Spring. So if you feel like lazing on the couch with your feet up for a few hours while reading a book from my series, here is where you can find Under The Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, and The Bathing Beauty. Don’t forget to watch for the release of Milly’s new adventure: A Hint Of Spring.

All my books are available from your Amazon store, the following links,

and from many other ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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Shanklin Flower Show

Milly Mullan in The Faring Foxglove

Milly Mullan at the Shanklin Flower Show

Milly Mullan at the Shanklin Flower Show

The Faring Foxglove

The Faring Foxglove

The Faring Foxglove. Genre: Cozy/Amateur Sleuth. Location: Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

The Faring Foxglove is the second in the Under The Shanklin Sky series, and another adventure for Milly Mullan.

Do you love weekend cozies? Amateur sleuthing? In The Faring Foxglove, the second of the Under The Shanklin Sky series, Milly Mullan returns on another adventure! Yearning for a peaceful life beside the seaside, Milly retired to the seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, but her inquisitive nature draws her into disastrous predicaments. This time, Milly’s innocent trip to the Shanklin Flower Show with daughter, Rosie, in tow, ends in a summer full of poisoned cats and the slow-death of a neighbor by a witches brew, but how is Milly involved? Under police suspicion, she has some explaining to do! Join Milly Mullan as she sleuths her way through the hazy days of a Shanklin summer in her latest adventure: The Faring Foxglove.

All my books, including The Faring Foxglove, can be purchased from the following links, or from your favorite ebook distributor.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 

 

 


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Barbara Studham dot com

Author, Barbara Studham

Welcome to Barbara Studham’s author site

My Author Site

Welcome to my new author site, barbara studham dot com. At the moment it is a work in progress, but here you will find a list of my memoirs, fiction, and non-fiction.

Please see the menu bar for more information and in-depth descriptions of my books.

Memoirs: My memoirs include Two Decades Of Diapers, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. Both books describe the twenty years of challenges and struggles I faced while raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. My third memoir, Psychopathetic, highlights the emotional violence I experienced during a five-year abusive relationship.

Fiction: My stand-alone stories include, Friday at 4:00, The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old, and, Not My Type. All relate to the daily deluge of dilemmas woman face during their lives. Some are challenged by age-gap relationships, infidelity, ageism, and marital boredom, while others face more intense trials and come out fighting! Nevertheless, all women will relate to the stories because every woman has a story to tell.

Fiction Series #1: Under The Shanklin Sky.  Milly Mullan is a retiree from London with delightful childhood memories of holidays spent at the seaside town of Shanklin, located on the Isle of Wight. As an adult, she intended to vacation there often but with a successful career as an interior designer to oversee, and hubby being top chef at a popular up-scale London restaurant, time to holiday was denied them. Not until retired, did Milly return to Shanklin, by which time Harry had died from health complications and their daughter, Rosie, had grown up and married. Milly has wonderful adventures Under The Shanklin Sky, and returns for more in the next two books in the series, titled, The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty.

Fiction Series #2: I, Gossip. James Gossip is the main character in my series: I, Gossip. James is different from my other main characters because he is male, whereas, to date, my main characters have been female. While going about his everyday business he is caught up in a strange wave of demonstrations against a government threat called, Project Abaddon. Not sure, he should get involved, his gut tells him to take a stand, join in the protests, and steadfastly face this new threat to the lives of Christians worldwide. He returns in, The Hugger-Mugger Heart for another adventure with his One Road Ministries team.

Non-Fiction in progress: A Time To LieWhen an individual first receives salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, he or she is full of joy and so embarks on a study of the Bible. But, it doesn’t take long for the new convert to realize that the Bible is a very complex book requiring years of study which many Christians find difficult to endure. So they tend to close their Bible and walk away. They might still love Jesus, but are not sure why. It was for this reason, I began an in-depth Bible study until verses came together and heightened my understanding of God. In A Time to Lie, I share my significant findings with readers.

Books by Barbara Studham

Books by Barbara Studham

All my books are available at the following links, or your favorite ebook distributor.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com