The Publisher

Genre: Fiction Novella Family Drama – 31 pages 15,644 words


The Publisher takes you into the life of Joe Smelt’s life. This part of his life should have been the best time in his life. But when his wife a well known LA psychiatrist messes with the wrong guy and has him locked up for a murder he apparently didn’t commit, Joe’s life suddenly and unexpectedly takes a turn for the worst. Within minutes his perfect life is shattered as he reads about his own children’s kidnapping in a manuscript that miraculously appears on his table. From that moment on things move fast as mere seconds count in the race to rescue his children. During this time Joe discovers Suzanne his wife of fifteen years is not who he thought she was as quickly her trail of lies and deceit is uncovered.  But just when Joe thinks all is well it is only to discover quite by accident that his wife has again deceived him. As a result only one of his children is found and rescued. With his marriage damaged beyond repair and his teenage son begging him to divorce his Mother Joe then learns his son was fathered by ne of Suzanne’s boyfriends and is not his after all! Many years later on the eve of his son’s wedding a small child enters their lives she is wearing the same handmade butterfly clip that his daughter was wearing the day she was abducted.  It only takes one clue and again all the wounds of the past are reopened. In the most unimaginable way the tiny butterfly clip takes them on a journey back towards the children’s abductors and finally to Joe’s beloved daughter. With the many twists and turns in this story this story is a certain page turner.


Mary Barr takes you on another gripping journey through twenty years of the Smelt family and Joe Smelt’s quest to find his missing children. Barr packs the equivalent of a full-length family drama-suspense novel into an incredibly economical novella, and the result is a story that grabs you, shakes you up, and throws you against the wall hard, only to grab you again and repeat the process. Barr is one of the most versatile writers around today and this is another winner.

Jeff Lyons: Author, Story & Premise Development for Screenwriters: 7 steps to creating scripts to sell. 

The very talented Ms. Barr has done it again. This novella is a recommended read and will keep you turning the page and breathless. “The Publisher” has many twists and turns throughout its brilliant plot line, and promises to keep you enthralled until the unexpected ending.

Victoria Martin: Author, Editor, & Cosmopolite.

A Novella that challenges our complacency’s and compels us to count our blessings.

Tony Joyce & Dr Manon Bolliger: Lawyer, Naturopath, author, lecturer & speake