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Brunonia Barry's very good fortune

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When Brunonia Barry spent $50,000 to self-publish her first novel last summer, she figured it might find some success in bookstores near her home in Salem, Mass. One year later, The Lace Reader is poised for a much bigger audience. William Morrow reportedly paid a cool $2 million for a two-book deal that includes a reprint of Lace, which centers on a woman named Towner Whitney who returns to her Salem hometown and explores her gift for reading people’s fortunes through a piece of lace. Local Wiccans have even started to ”read” lace — a concept Barry invented — after reading the novel. ”I’ve been looking for 10 years for someone that does it,” says Barry, 58, who herself returned to Salem a decade ago after 15 years in L.A. ”There’ll probably be a lot of people doing it now.”

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