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 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)


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!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Massive Latin American Cover Reveal for saga Caminantes Nocturnos!

I have big news!

Tonight at 8pm Argentina time (7pm Eastern Time), there will be a massive cover reveal for the Latin American version of INSOMNIA the first book of saga Caminantes Nocturnos!

This will be happening simultaneously on blogs in Chile, Argentina and Mexico and I am so excited! There will also be a short video message from me included with the cover reveal.

The Latin American version will be releasing at the beginning of September and in between now and then my publisher has tons of exciting things planned so stay tuned to find out more!

I'm posting links below as I receive them to the cover reveal sites. Go check them out! :)

Leyendo Sobre Nubes - Mexico
Book's Minion - Mexico
Mi Realidad de Tinta - Chile
Lee.Sueña.Vuela - Argentina
Sueños y Palabras - Argentina
Dentro de un Libro - Argentina

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Escape Reality Event at the Provo Library!

I just got back from the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas and I'll be posting about that soon, but not this week...because this week there are THINGS.

On Wednesday (July 2nd) at 7pm I'll be at the Provo Library for the Escape Reality Tour! Come out of the heat and spend the evening with me, Kasie West, Bree Despain, Michelle Argyle, Natalie Whipple and Renee Collins!

We will be chatting, answering questions, and signing books! I'll have Finn button swag and some Insomnia bags to give away, so come say hi!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Heading to ALA Summer in Las Vegas!

Wow! This summer is just flying by! I can't believe it's almost the end of June already! I'm sure the fact that I'm spending so much time tucked away in my drafting cave lately isn't helping the whole time-flying-by situation...but, yeah...

I am so excited to be heading this week to sunny (and I'm sure steaming hot) Las Vegas for ALA's Annual Summer Conference!

*packs all the sunscreen...ever made*

I will be signing at the Flux Booth (#235) on Saturday(June 28th) from 11:00am - 12:00pm. I will have Finn buttons and Insomnia bags to giveaway so please come and say hi! If you miss the signing, I'll try to leave any extra swag at the Flux booth for people to pick up later.

Hope everyone has a great week!