Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interview: Nicole Chardenet, author of Young, Republican, Yuppie Princess

Nicole's Bio: Nicole Chardenet was in college back when Duran Duran was still considered cool. She was in the medieval re-creation group The Society for Creative Anachronism, where she learned how to dress like a historically misplaced dork, belly dance, flirt outrageously, terrify battle-hardened Vikings and dance around campfires at midnight surrounded by screaming barbarians wearing loincloths and roadkill and very little else. She currently lives in her Den O' Iniquity with Belladonna the Demon Beast in Toronto, where she now terrifies Canadians rather than Vikings.

What inspires your stories?

I have a T-shirt that says, “Careful, or you may end up in my novel.” I’ve had characters inspired by bad behavior, odd or funny behavior, or just someone who strikes me a certain way. At a US airport somewhere is a Homeland Security power nazi who will find himself lampooned in my next novel. Behave yourself around me. Consider yourself warned!

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?

I gravitate towards fantasy, but not what’s popular at the moment. I offer absolutely no vampires unless you count the mortal wannabe in a future project (who still lives in the modern world) and I prefer twists on the other classic tropes. My witches are Wiccans or Pagans who live in our real world (although sometimes they discover that those hoary old European crones of yore and their magic weren’t as deluded as we think). I have a zombie in one project, but he’s a major babe.

What are your work habits like?

Funny, my boss is always asking me that! I’ve been so busy for the past year with my Young Republican, Yuppie Princess project that I haven’t had time to write much, although when I found myself briefly unemployed this summer I got forty pages written. I find a downtown patio table on a sunny day with discount cocktails at your elbow is highly conducive to creative writing ;)

What do you consider your best work?

I have a largely-completed project that I’m proud of because it has a lot of plot twists and red herrings.

Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?

I wrote a novel on the fly when I was eighteen and it was bloody awful. I don’t recommend it, especially for new writers. I have an outline that gets fleshed out as I go along, usually beginning with a sentence or two, then I add to it as I’m working. I mean, the first outline literally reads like, “A recently-divorced woman is looking for love again and meets some guy who has some weird secret involving The Partridge Family and then some stuff happens with some hippie ghosts and there’s some thingy they all have to find or, I don’t know, the Satanist plumber will do something bad with it, and in the end the divorcee marries the zombie instead of the Partridge guy.” I’m also not dogmatic about the outline – I have characters that I don’t know if they’re going to be good or evil until the very end.

What experience do you want for your readers?

My mission in life is to make people laugh, at least when Congress isn’t in session. I wrote the first draft of YRYP during the '93 recession while I couldn’t find real work. I made fun of the tight-assed Reagan-obsessed Young Republicans common at Kent State University (same time period for main character Joyce – 1984). I pulled it out again, ironically enough, in the middle of the recent big financial meltdown and as I read through Joyce’s wild-ass conservative opinions, with everything she held dear falling into disrepute in 2008, I thought, “This is actually a lot funnier today.” If I write a sequel Joyce’s yuppie greed is going to transport her into a world of trouble.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?

Hell yeah! The four main characters in YRYP are based loosely on myself and three college friends at Kent State. Two of them know about this and are okay with it. The other one is still looking for me, so please don't tell him where I live :) Prince Chip is based on a guy I met at a Society for Creative Anachronism medieval re-creation event a long time ago. At the time I thought, “Man, he’d make a good villain.” (Although he was a nice guy in a very rough Jersey Shores way.) I usually, however, base characters on just that one aspect of a person that inspired me, and make the character otherwise obviously different. I don’t want to inadvertently cause anyone pain.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?

Today, it’s finding the time to write. Between my YRYP publicity campaign and my full-time job and George Clooney’s obsessive pursuit of me, it’s a wonder I have time to breathe!

What are you currently working on?

Now if I told you that then I’d have to kill you! Well okay…it’s about a loose collection of fairly nutty people and an ancient horndog demon-thingy stalking the wilds of Toronto. Plus a band of angry radicals with an entirely different ‘solution’ to the ongoing Jewish/Palestinian land dispute. That said...I won't have to kill you, I'll just mess you up a little.

Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

Start writing. Do or do not, as Yoda would say. Absolutely read writing books and join writer support groups to learn how to write better. You’re never as good as you think you are. Remember that your first draft is NEVER even close to being good enough and don’t think an editor at a publishing house will take care of it - your Slurpee will melt in the slush pile. Get yourself a good book on editing fiction & read it before you start the second draft – and when you do, prepare to cut, cut, cut. Network with others and research everything you do so that you can move forward in a more organized, better targeted manner. And never give up, no matter what. Remember that the most alcoholic club in the universe is Publishers Who Passed On The First Harry Potter Novel!

Where to buy Young Republican, Yuppie Princess:


Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Author Interview: Alex Adena, author of Signs and Wonders

Welcome, Alex Adena, author of Signs and Wonders

After working in journalism and telling other people's stories for more than 20 years, Alex Adena decided it was time to create a few stories of his own. The result is his debut novella "Signs and Wonders," a story about a fallen faith-healer who goes on a journey of redemption.

What inspires your stories?
Usually there's something in the news or in culture that leads to the story. With "Signs and Wonders" I was flipping channels and came across faith-healer Benny Hinn's program. I know that some folks believe Hinn's claims, but I see him as a charlatan. So I was watching Hinn "heal" people and that led to the idea -- what if someone who had been spent their entire life conning people suddenly discovered they really COULD heal people? What journey of redemption would come out of something like that? That led to my main character, Annie Grace.

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?
I guess you would call it family-friendly fiction. I just like to tell stories that are entertaining and make people think without being preachy about it.

What are your work habits like?
When I'm writing, I set aside time every day -- at least an hour in the morning before work or after I get home in the evening. I know there are writers who can crank out 3,000 or 4,000 words in one session, but I can't do that. I'm too fussy about my words to work that quickly.

What do you consider your best work?
Hopefully, it's the next thing that I write! It shouldn't matter whether you're John Updike or a first-timer -- every writer should strive to keep getting better.

Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?
I prefer to have an outline with the main storyline plotted out in advance. Otherwise, you run the risk of taking too many wrong turns. That leads to a bloated book that disappoints the reader.

What experience do you want for your readers?
I want them to be entertained by the story and hopefully think about faith. What do you believe and why do you believe it? Too often we go through the motions and fail to take a good look at ourselves. That kind of introspection almost always leads us to become better people.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?
Much of "Signs and Wonders" is based on real places in Texas and events that have happened there. I don't want to give away too much detail or it will spoil an important plot point.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?
Writing authentic and snappy dialogue. All the character details in the world aren't worth a hill of beans unless they talk like real people.

What are you currently working on?
A second novel featuring some of the characters from "Signs and Wonders." I don't know yet if it will become a series -- that's up to the readers to decide, I suppose. But there's definitely another story I want to write involving those characters. Then I want to write a sweet romantic comedy involving minor league baseball.

Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?After you write the final chapter, let your book sit for a few weeks before you look at it again. You'll be surprised what jumps out at you. Also, don't rush the editing process! You want that first impression to be as good as possible.

"Signs and Wonders" is available at, Barnes and Noble, the Apple bookstore, and Smashwords. You'll also find a new sign every day at my blog.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Contents

Top ‘o the Monday! Let’s see what we have on the agenda this week and if I can keep my days straight. We have an interview extravaganza!

Tuesday: Interview – Alex Adena, author of Signs and Wonders

Wednesday: Interview – Nicole Chardenet, author of Young, Republican, Yuppie Princess

Thursday: Interview – Davis Aujourd’hui, author of The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga and Babes in Bucksnort

Friday: Fiction Freebies!

Authors and assorted book promoting types, I have interview and author spotlight availability for late September. Please email me if you would like to appear on the blog. Interview spots fill up the fastest, so if you want one of those, you might want to request sooner rather than later.

Lea Ryan, Editor

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fiction Freebies!

Here we are.

Horror of Yakshini, by Ratan Lal Basu

The protagonist, a collector of antique goods, buys a nude idol of a yakshini from an old man and uncovers it ignoring warnings of its seller. Thereafter he gets infatuated to the voluptuous idol and encounters horrible consequences.


Hush, by Theresa Weir and Anne Frasier

Baby and mama murdering serial killer. A victim who escaped aids the cops in their investigation.


Ok, this freebie isn't a specific title. It's a whole website with really old comics for online viewing and download. It's very cool. However, I did read one that wasn't exactly politically correct. It was a wartime comic, so uh, ya know. Tensions were probably running a little high.

See you Monday!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Author Spotlight: Renee Pawlish

Today is the first Author Spotlight! We have Renee Pawlish.

Name: Renee Pawlish

Bio: Renée Pawlish was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado Boulder, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History. A few years later, she graduated from Denver Seminary with a Master of Arts in Counseling.

Renée loves to travel and has visited numerous countries around the world. She has also spent many summer days at her parents' cabin in the hills outside of Boulder, which was the inspiration for the setting of Taylor Crossing in her novel Nephilim: Genesis of Evil.

Favorite Books: 'Salem's Lot, The Godfather, To Kill A Mockingbird

Favorite movies and/or TV shows: Some Like It Hot, The Godfather

Hobbies: collecting sports memorabilia, playing guitar, hiking, cycling

Genre of Choice for Writing: mystery

Independent or Traditionally published? indie published

Current Work in Progress: the next Reed Ferguson mystery

Title and Synopsis of most recently released work:

This Doesn't Happen In The Movies

This Doesn't Happen In The Movies is a rollicking ride. Witty, intrepid Reed Ferguson, a wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction, needs a paying client to prove his career choice to himself and his parents. The customer shows up at his downtown Denver office in the form of Amanda Ghering, a rich, attractive, but unhappily married woman. She hires Reed to find her missing husband, but it doesn't take long before Reed realizes that all is not as it seems. The superb cast of characters in this humorous mystery include a duo of oddball brothers who lack common sense and a genius computer geek. Follow Reed as he solves crimes akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart.

Available at:



Other urls:


on Facebook

Her Blog


Thanks for stopping by, Renee! - LR

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview: Debra Brown, author of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire

Welcome Debra Brown, author of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire!

Quick Bio from the author:
I was born in Minnesota and have lived in California, Idaho and Oregon. I read a lot as a child and student. I went to college, raised a family and ran a business, which kept me from reading for entertainment for many years. However, certain writers, settings and characters remained in my mind. Though some stories disappeared with time, the period writings remained and became a part of who I am. My study of art has been useful in many areas of life, and I still love to paint, but writing is a passion that will probably be my work for the rest of my life.

What inspires your stories?

I have always loved period novels and drama. When life finally slowed down to a reasonable pace, what would have been more enjoyable to me than writing one of my own? I can’t think of anything at all. I remembered the wonderful stories of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, as well as other past era authors, and took my cue from them.

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?

Historical fiction. I love the Regency and Victorian settings because of the polite gentility and the wishful thinking about the life of leisure in pleasant surroundings. I would want it for every person, if that were possible, and not just an upper class. It is, of course, impossible that everyone could live like that, but the sad reality of a servant class and the working poor of the time helps to improve the stories I write. It adds another dimension of characters.

What are your work habits like?

I am still in what I call a surge of work for my first novel. I wrote by day and late into the night with breaks here and there; the story wouldn’t leave me alone. And since it was published, I’ve been working all day at making it known as far and wide as possible. That launch is now taking on a life of its own, and I have begun on my second novel. I plan to work at a balanced pace, though I will have to restrain myself. I will be networking mornings and writing in the afternoons. If I have other things to do during the day, I can fall back on evenings for writing.

What do you consider your best work?

I love the plot and characters from my first novel, The Companion of Lady Holmeshire; it has great twists and turns, but it is a light read. I am grateful to be getting good reviews for an interesting story. My next book, however, For the Skylark, will be a novel of greater depth of emotion. I am very caught up in the emotion myself; it compels me to write. I think I will like Skylark even better.

Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?

I plot my novels out. I must know what the ending is to get the twists and turns to have purpose and lead to the ending. I also find it easier to create surprising twists this way. I think, here is the beginning, and here is the end, but what happens in the middle to make it intriguing, confusing and interesting?

What experience do you want for your readers?

In my first book, I wanted to take the reader away into a different world, into a time free of the workday rush and into a setting of leisure, etiquette and duty. It was meant for relaxation, sighs and laughter. I hoped to leave women longing for a gentleman in their lives. It is a mix of mystery, sweet romance and humor. My second book is more touching and emotional. It may hit home for people with problems similar to those of the characters. However, I do not dwell on the negative feelings long and I bring it around to restore happiness. I want the end to surprise and delight the reader with something he did not expect.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?

My settings are realistic for the Regency and Victorian times. I do not make a fairy tale out of the balls and banquets; the truth is that there was great stiffness and snobbery as well as great suffering in other corners of London. The story is not based on my life, however. My characters in my second book deal with some obsessive-compulsive behavior, which is real to my family. That is why I have to work at balance in my writing hours.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?

Any writer needs quiet time, and that can be a challenge. I think that the other great challenge for me is that I cannot shut the story off when I go to bed. A lot of my best ideas come when I am trying to sleep. I know that is a problem for others, too. I have a notebook, now, next to my bed so that I can get the ideas down and not have to worry about forgetting them. They really do disappear if they are not written down!

What are you currently working on?

My second novel is For the Skylark. It is a Regency era story about some young adult twins, Dante and Evangeline, and their strange mother. She is modeled loosely on Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham. I’m sorry to say that Mr. Dickens based her character on a real life woman without exaggerating the situation. People today deal with extreme mental and emotional problems, too, but there can be happy endings. I’ve given it away already; it has a happy ending.
Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

I’m sure there are many aspiring authors who could advise me! However, I would like to advise people who are thinking that they couldn’t write or couldn’t publish their work, but would like to, to give it a try. I have been amazed when I tried various things that I had talent I never knew I had. Writing is just one of them. Painting is another. Do not hold yourself back!


The Companion of Lady Holmeshire is available in digital format for ereaders through Barnes and Noble, Coffee Time, Smashwords and Amazon.

Available in Trade Paperback at Amazon, World Castle Publications and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Trailer Tuesday

Welcome to Book Trailer Tuesday! Today we are all Neil Gaiman. I do heart him. He wrote Coraline, The Graveyard Book and American Gods (one of my faves).

Here is a trailer for Coraline. The description indicates that it was done for a contest. This is very, very cool, especially if you've seen the movie. You can compare and contrast them.

Next up is one for The Graveyard Book. It is narrated by Neil Gaiman himself. I love is voice. I think it's soothing. The story of The Graveyard Book is actually based on The Jungle Book. The boy goes to the graveyard instead of the jungle. There are ghosts instead of bears and snakes, etc.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Contents for the Week

Welcome back! Here is the schedule for this week.

Tuesday: Book Trailer Tuesday

Wednesday: Interview with Debra Brown, author of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire

Thursday: Spotlight - Renee Pawlish, author of This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

Friday: Friday Fiction Freebies

Guess what else. You might notice there is a new icon to the right. Journey Reader now has an Android app! That’s right. Fancy time. It does work. We put it on my husband’s phone. There is a lovely starry night sky background and the posts come up on a list. It is not yet in the Android Marketplace. I will let you know when/if it hits. Oh yes, the app is free. I should mention that too.

Any author who want their freebie included on Friday, please email me the link so I can put it on the list.

- Lea Ryan, Editor

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Fiction Freebies!

Fiction freebies!

A Shadow Passed Over the Sun, Ryan Schneider

A SHADOW PASSED OVER THE SON is the first installment in the epic urban fantasy adventure series THE GO-KIDS, involving young protagonists dealing with universal themes of growing up, friendship, and loss of innocence, themes of children coming of age in an age of war. Ride along during the ongoing adventures of Parker, Sunny, Bubba, Igby, and Colby, characters readers will come to know and love.


Four Weird Tales, Algernon Blackwood
The Insanity of Jones
The Man Who Found Out
The Glamour of the Snow

Ancient Awakening, Matthew Bryan Laubbe
Hell comes home to Jersey.

Seven ancient demons known as the Fallen have awakened in New Jersey after a hundred years. Fortunately for Mike and Ann, so has the one man who can stop them, Joseph Miller. Trapped in a hospital filled with mythical monsters, only together can they unravel the mystery of the Cursed and escape with not only their lives but also their very humanity.

Ancient Awakening is a Horror/Action novel with just the right touch of comedy. It is the first book in the series The Ancient which follows the adventures of eccentric demon hunter Joseph Miller. His job is to defend the human race against seven mythical demons and their offspring. Unfortunately for us, he has been dead for the last hundred years. Ancient Awakening is followed by Ancient Enemies.
The all-new second edition of Ancient Awakening is professionally edited, 57,000 words, and includes a free preview chapter of Ancient Enemies.


And lastly, one of my freebies.

Like Clockwork & A Tangled Mind, Lea Ryan
A trio of short stories about the supernatural
A Great Man
Mischief in Reau Garden

Happy reading! Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

- Lea Ryan, Editor

Thursday, August 18, 2011

guest post: Camille Minichino, AKA: Figment

I'm on my second pseudonym as a writer of mystery novels. In some ways it's inconvenient—with three series under three different names, it's hard sometimes hard for my readers to find me.

But my pseudonyms also fulfill a childhood dream. I never had a real nickname as a kid. I used to envy my classmates with cool short forms like Jim or Gerry or Lizzie. All the more cool were Buddy and Rusty and Lefty. I had a crush on Boo-ah Louie, mostly due to his name.

The possibilities were there: I might have been called Cammy or Mini, but nothing ever stuck.

To make up for this lack in my early life, I've changed my name often over the years. I even changed to a number once—a few people still know me as 0.3.
Here's how that happened.

I was teaching math at a college and had two Marys, three Megans, and three Jessicas in my class. To make things easier—and to raise the status of mathematics in our minds—I suggested we each choose a number. In fact, I reasoned, if we all simply got a number at birth, we'd all be truly unique. It wasn't too late to start, even though a few billion people preceding us had letter names (from which only a finite number of different combinations can be derived.)

So I became 0.3; one of the Margarets chose 29; another creative math major became 0.6666 (repeating), and so on.

Eventually, it was back to Camille with the publication of my first series, the Periodic Table Mysteries. The next opportunity for change came with the Miniature Mysteries. (Apparently the one dozen cousins who bought the eight periodic table books weren't enough to justify another Camille series.)

I embraced Margaret Grace, and now Ada Madison for my latest, an academic series featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, a college math teacher who, I know, would love to be called a number.(Wonder what all those kids with nicknames would think of me now?)

It's not all cool, however. Once you have that new name, for whatever reason, how do you live with it? What do you tell the barista to write on your latte cup? Which name do you sign at a book event?

Do I sign Margaret Grace for "Monster in Miniature," and then, for the same customer/reader, sign Ada Madison for "The Square Root of Murder?" What if the person is a longtime friend? Do I use Camille no matter which book it is?
I seem to have come full circle. I don't want a nickname. I don't want any more pen names. I'm not even sure I need Camille back.

I like Andy Warhol's idea:

I always thought I'd like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph, and no name.

Well, actually, I'd like it to say "figment."
Sounds good to me.

Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer. She's on the Board of NorCal Sisters Crime and a member of Mystery Writers of America.

The first chapter of "The Square Root of Murder," (a July 2011 release) is on her website:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Post: Erin Schmidt, The Magical Girl’s Guide to Womanhood

What did Hermione Granger do when she got her period? It’s a silly question, but thousands of girls and young women relate to Hermione in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

For them, I wrote The Magical Girl’s Guide to Womanhood. The Magical Girl’s Guide is two things. First, it’s a well-researched, fact-based guide to young women’s health and sexuality, similar to an abridged version of The Boston Women Health Collective’s Our Bodies, Ourselves. Second, The Magical Girl’s Guide frames this factual information in a fantasy context, as if a college-age witch were sharing this information with first-year wizarding school students. For example, the chapter on the menstrual cycle has a sub-chapter called "Historical Cases of Magical PMS."

This project combines three things I care passionately about: educating young women (I have a BA in Psychology and worked for over four years at a mental health hospital, working with pre-adolescent girls); writing intelligent, feminist literature about sex (please see the enclosed list of my writing credits); and fantasy literature (which I read, write, and review).

The books on young women’s health on the market today are straightforward and useful, but not a whole lot of fun. The Magical Girl’s Guide to Womanhood (30,000 words) will make reading about health topics fun and entertaining. It will appeal to a wide audience of pre-teen and teenage girls and their parents.

Link to book trailer:
Book purchase link:

Erin E. Schmidt

Looks interesting! Thanks for visiting, Erin! -LR

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Trailer Tuesday!

Now it's time for Book Trailers.

First up is Glenn Kleier. He was recently on my other blog. I liked his trailer a lot, so I'm sharing it here too.

Below is one of my other favorite trailers. This one is for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

I love this last one for the animation. I have a thing for art.

** Do you want your book trailer featured next Tuesday? If so, email the link to **

- Lea Ryan, Editor

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday! Contents

Good evening, Cats and Kittens! There is much in store.

First announcements - Author interviews are full for the next few weeks. I am limiting them to 1-2 a week in order to provide a variety of content. Thank you to everyone who responded. I think I’ve messaged everyone who requested to be interviewed. If I missed you, please let me know.

I am still accepting all other forms of content. Please see the Submissions page for information about what I’m looking for.

This week’s schedule looks like this:

Book Trailer Tuesday - If you want your trailer included, please send me the youtube link before 5pm tomorrow.

Wednesday – Guest Post, Erin Schmidt, The Magical Girl’s Guide to Womanhood

Thursday – This day is going to be a surprise, mostly because I haven’t set anything definite. Whoever gets back to me first with their content gets this day.

Fiction Freebie Friday – If you would like your Fiction Freebie listed, please email a brief synopsis, small jpg of the cover and the link. I need to receive these by 5pm Friday.

That’s all there is for now.

Lea Ryan, Editor

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Hello world! Welcome to the launch of Journey Reader, an online blog/magazinish sort of thing. There will be coverage of authors and their work, interviews, book trailers, excerpts, hopefully recorded readings, tips on where to find fiction ebook freebies and more!

Authors, publishers, book publicists - you can promote books here at no charge through content like author interviews or information or guest posts. Be sure to visit the submissions page for more information.

Digital subscription to the blog is free via the handy dandy feed buttons to the right.

About the editor: I've actually been doing this whole blog thing for a couple of years now. Honestly, it's gotten to the point that I couldn't imagine not having a place to express myself on a regular basis.

I had author guest appearences on my blog many times. I always loved having them on but recently I realized that my personal blog might not be the right place. I decided to give that particular breed of content its very on home. Journey Reader feels like a natural evolution from what I was doing before.

So, welcome. I hope you enjoy the ride.

- Lea Ryan