Friday, October 24, 2014

Cut Me Free Excerpt/St. George Book Festival & More!

I have so much going on right now that I sort of just want to sit around doing this:

Oh Captain Picard, how I love you so... 















But I can't, so I'll just tell you ALL THE THINGS!!!

First, you should TOTALLY go check out the Blog of Erised where I participated in their super cool Ominous October event by sharing an excerpt of Cut Me Free!

Second, I'll be helping out over on the Adventures in YA Publishing blog by being a mentor for their First Five Pages Workshop! Would you like your first pages critiqued by myself and an editor? Stop by and check it out to find out how!

Third, I'm spending the next couple of days down in St. George, Utah as a Spotlight Author at the St. George Book Festival! If you're in the area, please come and say hello! I'll be signing and have some surprise giveaways on Saturday.

*phew* And to think...all the awesome is just getting started, people. There is so much to come as I start getting into all the promotion for Cut Me Free.

So stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Book Birthday, SNOW LIKE ASHES and Sara Raasch!

Yay! Yay! It's finally here! SNOW LIKE ASHES is finally out in the world!

I've loved this book since I read it a couple of years ago and I'm so thrilled it is finally out where everyone can read it. I can't recommend this book enough.

*so many happy dances for Sara*

Read It.

Love It.

Do It Now.



I LOVE that cover so much! It is one of my favorite covers ever. 

And here is why you should be reading it:

Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self.  Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast story of loyalty, love, and controlling one’s destiny.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Go forth. Order your copy now. You know you want to.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

CONTEST & GIVEAWAY: Who Killed The YA Scream Queens?

Many of you have heard of the YA Scream Queens. If you haven't, I (and my insane schedule and deadlines) have failed you.

The good news is that now is an AWESOME time to go check them out.

For the month of October, the Scream Queens (a group of thriller/horror/dark fiction YA authors) are playing a virtual game of Clue online.

I know what you're thinking...

Best. Game. Ever.

And it so is. :)

The YA Scream Queens (myself included) have all been murdered by authors of darker books. Sure, most of the author-suspects claim they're innocent, but some of them are definitely not. Your job is to discover who murdered which Scream Queen. And enter to win some major booty (meaning treasure...not body parts, the game isn't that twisted).

You can find more details here on the suspects and the game.

Or, if you'd like to just begin your investigation first, below are links to the Scream Queens that have died. These posts include crime scene photos and reports. They are in general, incredibly awesome. Now go get your spooky investigations hat on and dive in!

Sarah Jude

Lauren Roy

Lindsay Currie

Hillary Monahan

Trisha Leaver

Courtney Alameda

Jenn (J.R.) Johansson - ME! *gasp*

Cat Scully

Dawn Kurtagich


And now...we have SUSPECTS!

April Genevieve Tucholke

Kendare Blake

And more to come...


Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Never Forget



Thirteen years ago today, I was driving to a store where I was supposed to audit their human resources department and files. I had the news on my radio and the pure shock in the voices of the reporters as they reported about the first tower being hit was terrifying. 

It was one of the few experiences in my life where the tone of their voices scared me more than what they were saying. Fear was clearer than any alarm I've ever heard. They weren't certain about what was happening at first and didn't want to over-react on the air, but the panic from what they were seeing was clearly overwhelming them.

I arrived at the store and it was like a ghost-town...no customers in check-out lines, empty registers. I ran to the electronics department where literally every soul in the store was standing together and watching as they replayed footage of the second plane hitting just a couple of minutes earlier.

We stood there watching for an hour before the store cancelled my audit and sent me home. I drove through Salt Lake City and listened to the news reports of the horrific developments on that day. I looked at some of the buildings in Salt Lake as I passed. They had signs up and various construction projects happening in preparation for the 2002 Olympics to be held in just a few months.

I wept and wished they would cancel it. I couldn't handle the thought of my city becoming a target, too. It was an awful feeling to see something that had been so hopeful and exciting turned into something I dreaded and feared in an instant.

September 11, 2001 - Never Forget

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Salt Lake Comic Con Schedule & Winner!

I'm delving out of the drafting/editing cave this week to go all in for Salt Lake Comic Con!

I have two signings and seven different panels. It's going to be busy and spectacular. I can't wait.

During my signings I will have giveaways and swag, so come say hi!

Signing Times:
Thursday, Sept 4th - 2:00 - 3:00pm (Booth #111)
Saturday, Sept 6th - 4:30 - 5:30pm (Booth #111)


Panel Times:

Thursday, Sept 4th
3:00 - 3:50pm - Katniss Revealed: A Closer Look at The Hunger Games on Film and in Print (Room 251A)

Friday, Sept. 5th
6:00 - 6:50pm - Why People Need to Pay More Attention to Natalia Romanova a.k.a. The Black Widow (Room 251 A)
8:00 - 8:50pm - Why We Love the Winchester Brothers: Supernatural and the Art of Characterization (Room 255B)

Saturday, Sept. 6th
12:00 - 12:50pm - Are You a Brony or a Pegasister? My Little Pony Fans Unite! (Room 355D)
1:00 - 1:50pm - Why Lego is Taking Over the World (Room 255F)
6:00 - 6:50pm - My Favorite Disney Princess Villain (Room 251A)
8:00 - 9:50pm - Dark and Dangerous: The Appeal of the Bad Boy Hero (255F)

*phew*

So, I will kind of be all over the place at Comic Con. If you will be there, please come and say hi!



And...the winner of the Happy Celebration Giveaway who will be receiving an early signed copy of CUT ME FREE is:

Sara Stevens! 

Huge congrats, Sara! Thank you to everyone who entered and I hope you all have a great week!



Friday, August 22, 2014

Some Early Love for CUT ME FREE + an ARC Giveaway!

I'm crawling out from deep in my drafting cave to tell you that CUT ME FREE is receiving some exciting early love from bloggers and reviewers! Seriously, this is so early and I can't believe how overwhelmingly positive the response has been.

First,  I was thrilled to find out that the Teen Librarian's Toolbox listed Cut Me Free as one of their Five Titles to Look for in 2015 from Macmillan

Wow...Macmillan has some amazing titles, so that's freaking cool. Cut Me Free is also in the Top 5 Most Requested Titles on NetGalley for Macmillan right now, so YAY!!!





Here are a few other things people are saying about it:

"I was a little scared to read this, but I shouldn't have been. It was AWESOME!...The ending is such a thrill. Wow!" -- Kami's Library Thoughts

"I absolutely loved Cut Me Free! The story, writing, everything about it was phenomenal!...I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! The story was so intense. I wanted to finish it as soon as I started reading it. This is the first book in a long time that I stayed up later than my bedtime to finish." -- Jenni Elyse's Blog

"I'm sad that this book is over! I loved reading Piper's story. It was very dark and chilling, but meaningful as well." -- Kaitlyn from Reading is My Treasure

"Cut Me Free is dark, and it is the most beautiful novel I’ve ever read. Each emotion is real, true to the main character’s life and background, but even better is how raw they are. I didn’t just know what emotions Piper felt, I lived them. Johansson's stunning words brought these lovable characters to life in a way that leaves me thinking about them long after I’ve closed the book. Well-written, thrilling, and not a page without suspense (whether from danger or the heart-wrenching and subtle romance), Cut Me Free is a novel I’ll read time and time again." -- Kathy

"This story played my heartstrings like a violin, making me laugh, cry and fall in love with all the characters. Cut me Free by J.R Johansen is a great book and one that nobody should miss out on." -- The Young Folks

"This is a very intense story. A lot of emotion in it, the beginning was kind of hard to read, as you got to hear about some of the things Charlotte/Piper went through.  How her life was, and then finding out what Sanda has gone through, and feeling so sorry for this little girl. This is a very realistic fiction with a very important theme, one that unfortunately is probably more true than any of us outside this type of a situation may know." -- Lisa Loves Literature


Suey from the It's All About Books blog said, "But despite the harrowing bits, it's also an inspirational tale that leaves you with the feeling of  "you go girl" toward Charlotte. She is strong and determined, yet she is also unable to do this alone...I totally enjoyed this one. A sad, powerful story." and she hosted a discussion of the themes of the book.


Jenni Elyse also featured me for an interview here.


I'm blown away. So far every person that has actually written a review has loved it. You can imagine how difficult a book like this can be to write. It means so much to see it connecting with people like this, so I had to share the happiness. 


If you are a blogger/librarian/reviewer/bookseller/teacher and would like to request a copy to review, you can find Cut Me Free on Edelweiss and Netgalley right now. Or if you want to request a hard copy, fill out this form for my publisher. 

While I'm at it, I might as well celebrate by sharing a copy of the book, too. Enter below for a chance to win a signed ARC of Cut Me Free



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

London Baby!

I am in London for Worldcon baby!

It makes me want to start quoting lines from the Friends episodes in London. Please tell me that someone else knows what I'm talking about when I say that I want to get a pop up map of London, lay it on the ground and say, "It's time to go in the map."

:)

Anyway, if any of you are at Loncon and want to come say hi, I'd love that! Here is my schedule:


Friday, August 15th

10 am - Signing (Exhibits Hall Signing Space Level 1) - I will have swag and bookmarks and things to giveaway, so stop by and have a chat, because FREE THINGS.

12 pm - The Future of Boardgames Panel (Capital Suite 16: Level 3)

Saturday, August 16th

4:30 pm - Make My Book YA Panel (Capital Suite 5: Level 3)

You can see more details about these panels here.

Yay for LONDON!