Newsletter – January 2017


Hi, Friends. I’ve missed you, and I hope you’ve missed hearing from me. It’s been ten months since I got out a newsletter. I’d love to tell you that in that time I’ve written five terrific novels, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

Two things have kept me from writing: health concerns and remodeling/moving. First, it was my stomach—found out I am lactose intolerant. Now I watch my diet, eat special foods for those who can’t eat dairy, and, when necessary, take a pill. Then I broke my right leg at the ankle and turned a simple break into a compound mess by walking on it. An orthopedic boot, followed by a brace, and ultimately a walker which I used as a scooter rather than a walker. Right now I’m in a wheelchair. Turns out I over-stressed the other hip, already deteriorating, and I’m scheduled for January 19 hip replacement surgery. In the midst of all that, I suffered from a problem many elderly do—I was over-medicated and my meds were fighting with each other. My kids and my surgeon got that straightened out, and I am much happier, more alert, and more ambitious these days. So that’s my sad story.

My joyful story is I moved in September. We remodeled my guest apartment/garage into an 800-square foot cottage for me. It’s complete with living/office area, small kitchen (no stove because of zoning regulations), small but fancy bathroom with a bidet, and a bedroom with a huge walk-in closet. Daughter Jordan, her husband Christian, and grandson Jacob moved into my house. When Jordan doesn’t know where to put something, she puts it in my closet, so now you’d never realize how spacious it is.

All summer and fall people asked me, “What are you working on?” Difficult question that I learned to answer with “I’m managing my career.” Actually, a truthful answer.

The first Kelly O’Connell mystery, Skeleton in a Dead Space, was included in a boxed set of 10 books that were all first in a series. The idea was that offering this at a real bargain price would interest readers in other books in each series. Here’s the link to Sleuthing Women: Amazon. The ten books sell for $0.99 in one boxed set. It’s been a nice adventure for me, and I’m grateful to be included.

I’ve kept up my blog (Judy’s Stew), not always daily but close to it. That’s been a boon—gave me the sense of keeping my writing skills fresh while I was “on vacation.” I also made it a project to post my books digitally. When my publisher went out of business, my books went out of print—they were print-on-demand (copies were printed individually when ordered). All my e-books came off the web, so I literally had no books available. I’ve been working to get them back on various digital platforms slowly but surely. All my mysteries and most of my historical novels are on Kindle and maybe half on other platforms. I’m still working on that project.

When I quit writing, I had notes on three new novels and 40,000 words on another (that’s almost two-thirds of a book, and I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen between now and the end). Today I can’t imagine that I turned my back on 40,000 words but that’s an indication of how I felt. Recently I reread those words and wrote the first new little bit. My head is bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. I feared I’d never write again; now I know I will.

This book will be a sequel to The Perfect Coed and Susan Hogan is fighting an open-carry citizens group—and more but she doesn’t know that.

I honestly don’t know how to tell you how happy I am these days. I looked at my son who was here the other day and said, “I am one perfectly content woman.” (Well, if surgery were behind me.)

I’d love to hear from you with questions, suggestions, comments. Email me at ; find me on Facebook (Judy Alter Author); check my web page –

And may you have a happy and healthy new year.


To my newest subscribers and readers, welcome! If you haven’t read about it yet, I would like to introduce you to my most recent book titled The Gilded Cage. As a reviewer wrote about it:

The Gilded Cage is a wonderful recreation of early Chicago and the people who made it what it is. Central character Cissy Palmer is a three-dimensional, real, vibrant person. The Gilded Cage is fiction, but firmly based on fact—the Chicago Fire, the prisoners from the War Between the States interred in Chicago, the newcomer Potter Palmer, the explosive growth of wealth in a prairie town, deep poverty adjacent to great riches—the American experience laid bare. You don’t have to be a Chicagoan to love this book.”

Excerpts from this book are available for your reading pleasure here.

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