Here you can follow the blow-by-blow account of my attempt to transform myself into a (regularly) published author.

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Reviews

Reviews of North Country Cache

"New York to North Dakota, snowbanks or blazing sun, afternoon strolls and backpacking treks, Young serves up an eclectic collection of essays chronicling 2300 miles of hikes on the longest footpath in the United States, the North Country National Scenic Trail.

On her quest to hike the entire 4600 miles of the trail she encounters the best and worst of people. Sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always honest, it's a great read for hikers and non-hikers alike. With color pictures, riveting tales and endless adventures the book is a store of those experiences which have been distilled from memory, savored and saved, and presented for the enjoyment of all. Partway through the book you almost start thinking you could do it too.

Never mind 106 degree days in treeless North Dakota prairies, ferocious thick mosquitoes in wet Minnesota, little stream crossings grown into neck-deep swims due to beaver activity, or snowshoe treks through snow deep enough that face-level paint blazes turn up at hikers' knees! There are always enough spectacular mountain-top views, autumn colors, secret lakes, and heart-warming tales of both canine and human goodness to keep the author and her friends walking, and the reader turning pages." -- The Finger Lakes Trail News

"A good writer grabs the reader's interest, puts them at the center of the action. Joan Young does this, and adds the bonus of a warm sense of humor." --J. Woodhead

"Joan Young sold me this book a few weeks ago, in 2007, after just finishing another 220 miles of the North Dakota segment of the North Country Trail. I've read it with my highway maps in hand, visualizing the country that she describes so vividly.

It's not a travel guide, but much richer, more human, more scientific, more natural. Joan writes with competence and warmth about geology, botany, ornithology, entomology, history, engineering, ecology, and more. She must have invested thousands of hours in collecting details about what she saw along the route. Her down-to-earth writing captured my interest and earned my deep respect." --Doug Knudsen

Reviews of News from Dead Mule Swamp

"This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. The characters were interesting and real. The plot was believable, and the whole book felt fresh." --Elisabeth (on Amazon)

"If a murder mystery can be described as 'delightful', this one is. It contains my favorite parts: a small town, interesting characters, and a mystery to solve." --Arkansas Reader (on Amazon)

"Joan has the ability to keep a story moving fast with loads of detail. I can see Anastasia's new house down by the swamp. I sat on the porch listening to the evening sounds from the swamp and could see the animals moving through the yard. This is a fast read but that is because it is so hard to put down." --Ken Brown (on Amazon)

"News From Dead Mule Swamp is a really cozy, small town mystery. I love, love, love books about small towns. I live have lived almost all my life in small towns and it's awesome when an author can grasp the reality of what small town life is really like.
Anyway, this book is more of a novella, it's short, but so worth the read. I don't read enough mysteries so it was refreshing to get my hands on a good one. I liked Ana's back story, the failed marriage and her running off to hide in the country. It gives us a good idea of what her character might be like." --Jennifer Malone Wright

Reviews of Toby & Harry

"Not every writer can master the short story, but Joan Young did a great job in fleshing out the characters and rounding out the plot. And as for Toby? Well, let's just say I can relate to his poor mother." --Cathy Urbanski (on Smashwords)

"I loved Toby & Harry! I've had 5 children and Joan fleshed out Toby so well I could actually visualize this little fellow and his experiences easily." --Savanna Schroeder (on Smashwords)

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