Monday, July 30, 2012


Today I get to announce the winners of my Too Many Books Giveaway! First let me say, I was SO excited at the amount of entries and participants for this contest. I'm so thrilled to have met so many new people. :) Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and spread the word. You all made it so much more fun!

And without further ado:


Prize Package 3 - A copy of SHADOW & BONE by Leigh Bardugo...the winner is:

Rachel T.

Prize Package 2 - Both UGLIES and PRETTIES by Scott Westerfield...the winner is:

Ilima T.

Prize Package 1 - A signed copy of both POSSESSION & SURRENDER by Elana Johnson...the winner is:

Stephanie W.

Thanks to everyone! I'll be contacting the winners about sending their prizes.

Have a happy Monday! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Postman, How I Love Thee -- ARCs!

Yeah, that's a blog title I never thought I'd write. Please, someone stop me before I write an ode to my postman like I did to my agent.

Neither of us want that...believe me.

Why do I love my postman so much, you ask?

Because he brought me THREE gorgeous ARCs in less than two weeks!!

Then I sat down to write this blog post...


Sorry, that was funny. As if I'm really going to take enough time away from reading these little beauties to write a full blog post. Yep, I find this amusing.

So, yeah...that's why this blog post is full of just me laughing and love for my postman.

What ARC are you dying to get your hands on these days? And even more important, if you got would you thank your postman? ;-)

P.S. You have just over two days to enter my Too Many Books Giveaway! Don't forget!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yeah, I'm That Girl

I have a secret. It's something I try to hide as much as I can. I never talk about it here, or anywhere in public. Only my closest friends and family are in on it.

Here it is: as an author, I can be very insecure.

And I highly doubt I'm the only one.

I work extremely hard at my craft. I strive to improve with each book and I spend as much time reading and learning from other authors as I can. I've spent up to 18 hours in one day working on revisions or edits. I'm lucky enough to have amazing critique partners and I do not take them for granted. Any feedback I get from them I take seriously. But I don't give my book to them until I've made it as good as I possibly can without help. By the time I'm ready for beta readers, my book has already been through several rounds of revisions and more hours of work than I can count. By that time, I'm more than invested, I'm in love.

When I send my book off to my beta readers, it's like introducing my loved ones to my fiancé. Do I realize that he might have a few flaws? Of course. Do I want more than anything in the world for them to love him anyway? Absolutely.

I bite my fingernails to tiny stubs, dive into reading two books a day to distract myself. I go on long drives (but not out of service for my smart phone, of course...that would be insane), start drafting new projects, put together outlines for the next three books down the line...anything to keep my mind off of what is happening.

I become a puddle of insecure writer goo. Yeah, I'm that girl. The one that twiddles her thumbs in the corner and watches her e-mail and phone with sad puppy dog eyes hoping for good news.

It isn't easy. It's actually quite miserable and nerve-wracking. But I wouldn't have it any other way, because that would mean I don't care as much as I should.

How much do you care? Do you become a puddle of goo?

And if you missed my Too Many Books Giveaway, don't forget to go enter! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Too Many Books Giveaway!

To celebrate my blog hitting 400 followers, passing 5000 tweets on twitter (turns out, I talk a lot), and um...summer and stuff. I wanted to do a giveaway!

Follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below and you might win some of these awesome books!

And *drumroll please* more than one person is going to win. Yay!

1st name drawn will win TWO books: A signed copy of both POSSESSION and SURRENDER by Elana Johnson.

2nd name drawn will win TWO books: Both UGLIES and PRETTIES by Scott Westerfield

3rd name drawn will win ONE book: the spectacular SHADOW & BONE by Leigh Bardugo

I will announce the winner next Monday. So, enter and spread the word! I want to give away some books! :) And don't forget to leave a way to contact you in the comments!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 20, 2012

Forward Momentum

In publishing, there are times where it seems that everything is happening at once. And there are times when it feels like nothing is happening at all and you're just sitting there, waiting on a query, or on sub, or for your book to come out...

We do a lot of waiting.

I just wanted to use today to say -- enjoy the journey. The slow and the fast all rolled into one. Each step or leap moves us forward. Every bit of it sculpts us into the person we will be tomorrow.

What is your favorite part of your journey this summer?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Some Fun With Covers and Anagrams

If you haven't heard of (and entered) our giveaway of thirteen awesome books over on Friday the Thirteeners, you might be the only one with internet access who hasn't...

This should be remedied, forthwith.

Yep, I used the word forthwith. That's how I roll. ;-)

As part of the giveaway, we did anagrams of our names (on this awesome site) and titles of our books. Mine was a little tricky, so I ended up using my full name:

Jennifer R. Johansson  - which came up with a great title name:


and my title, INSOMNIA - gave me a great author name:

A. Minions

And so, we have... *drumroll please*

Dude. How awesome does this book look? Any suggestions for a killer blurb?

And it was SO much fun! So after some joking around with the other Thirteeners, I decided to make another mock cover for... 

Are you ready?


I put "Friday the Thirteeners" in the anagram maker and came up with:

A. Resented Thrifty Heir - which felt appropriate.

Anyway, clearly, I've missed my calling. My covers are stellar. ;-) Did you try an anagram? What did you come up with? 

And don't forget to enter in the giveaway! You have until Thursday night. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's the Most Challenging Part?

A few weeks ago, I asked for topics you wanted me to post about. You came up with some great questions, because you're geniuses like that.

Today, I'm answering a question posted by Randy Lindsay. He asked:
"As a published author, what is the most challenging part of the process? Is it writing, or promoting, or something else?"

I think it absolutely depends on the author. My book isn't out for several months still, but I think I can give you an answer anyway. For me, this answer has been the same since the first day I started writing. The hardest part is balancing all of the roles involved in this job. As I move closer to my release date, it doesn't get any easier.

To be honest, I think I've gotten pretty good at balancing. And I work on it every day. As an author, we wear so many hats. Creator, out-liner, drafter, editor, reviser, reader...and then we move into marketer, social-media-expert, public speaker, presenter, teacher, mentor...all of this on top of anything outside of writing. It's a massive balancing act.

For me, I take one day at a time and I have a plan. I've grown to know my own strengths and limitations. I understand that I can only spend one hour drafting for every 3 hours editing. I know that I work better with a very loose outline and some time to mull it over before I dig in.

Most importantly, I understand that I can't do it all by myself. I have an amazing family and friends that help me and have my back. And even if everything else falls apart, I know that I will still have them. This is what gives me the strength to keep balancing, to keep putting on all my hats day after day, and to keep doing what I love.

What about you? What do you struggle with and what keeps you going?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Giveaway & The Book I Wish I'd Written First

To celebrate this Friday the 13th, my Friday the Thirteeners group is having a massive book giveaway over on our blog. We're giving away THIRTEEN awesome books from our respective genres that we wish we'd written first!

The book I chose is ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by the lovely Kendare Blake.

Oh, this book. Seriously. I have so much love for it's dark deliciousness. I adore the horrifying enigma that is Anna. And Cas is one of those so tough, so cool, and also somehow vulnerable and very real male characters that make me want to call up my mom and thank her for teaching me to read. The prose is beautifully eerie. This book is gory and scary and incredible. If you like a little fear in your fiction. You need this book.

And don't forget to enter our giveaway! Who doesn't want 13 FANTASTIC BOOKS delivered to their doorstep?! It's like Christmas in July!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm a Lucky 13!

I'm happy to announce that I'm a new member of the Lucky 13s! Here is my intro post over on their site.

As part of my post, I had to tell them my favorite superstition or charm. Mine has to do with fortune cookies, but you have to go to the intro post to see all the details because I'm sneaky like that.

So, my friends, now I ask you. What's your favorite superstition or charm?

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Los Pipitos Project

My friend, the lovely L.T. Elliot, is a part of a team working to raise funds on behalf of special needs kids in Nicaragua. I'm posting a message from her to help with this worthy cause. If you'd like to help, too. You can repost/tweet/share these links, or if you're able, you can donate at the link below. Thanks and have a great Monday!!

The Los Pipitos School in San Juan del Sur helps educate and enrich the lives of children who, due to their limited abilities, would be otherwise unable to take advantage of a regular classroom education. In early August, volunteers are going to Nicaragua to bring school supplies and funds to help keep the school running.
About The School
This special needs school provides an educational experience for the mentally and physically disabled that a regular school cannot. Their goal is to help their students develop to their full abilities and be able to live as normal and independent lives as their disabilities will allow. Disabilities range from cerebral palsy to Down syndrome to mental retardation and brain damage. Beyond the classroom, they provide activities that these children would not otherwise be able to do, including teaching them to surf, dance, and make music.

What they need
It costs the foundation $150 per month to pay for the teacher’s salary and $200 per month to pay for bus transportation for the students at the school. Many of the students are confined to wheel chairs and live in communities with dirt roads; therefore if the foundation does not transport them to school then they will not be able to attend. Also, they desperately need school supplies. Unfortunately they cannot rely on the postal system to receive the supplies so they rely on visitors to bring supplies with when traveling to Nicaragua.

How you can help
All children deserve an education, and too often special needs children are overlooked. In order to keep the school in operation for another year, it's our intention to raise $4,200 to go toward teacher's salaries and the cost of transportation for the children. The remaining portion will be used to buy and transport school supplies as well as help the school to buy new chairs, desks, and chalkboards for the classrooms. Help these children by being the change you want to see in the world. No contribution is too small: $1, $5, whatever your can give; every dollar counts. Time is short and we need your support to give these children hope for a brighter future!

If you'd like to help support this cause, stop by the fundraiser page or link to it on twitter or Facebook. You can also find this fundraiser on Twitter

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I'm taking a week off for holiday festivities and family time. Try not to miss me too much. A few tears are acceptable.

For those in the U.S.A --
I hope you all have a truly great holiday. Hug those you love, watch fireworks, and remember everyone who sacrificed to make it all possible.

Happy Independence Day, my friends!