Monday, December 16, 2013

Massive Night Walkers Giveaway!

I finally caved and created an Author Facebook Page and in celebration, I'm giving away the following:

~ A signed copy of INSOMNIA

~ An EARLY signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of PARANOIA


~ An INSOMNIA bookmark


~ An INSOMNIA backpack & swag!


Yay!

To enter, just go to the Author Page, share the giveaway post, and comment to let me know you did!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

School Library Journal Review of INSOMNIA!

Life is busy.

I finally got home from all my traveling and things are crazy. I've got line edits and proposals coming out my ears at this point so it's been a bit hard to find time to post. It will probably stay this way through the holidays, but after that I'll be around more.

I did want to pop in today to share a new fantastic review for INSOMNIA from School Library Journal!

Without further ado, here it is:


JOHANSSON, J. R. Insomnia. Bk. 1. 360p. (The Night Walkers Series). Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780738735931.

Grades 8 UpParker Chipp is dying. Dr. Brown confirmed Parker’s suspicions that lack of sleep would drive him mad before killing him, but Parker cannot confide in anyone, because who would believe him? Johansson’s adult personas are limited by their inability to accept the supernatural and understand the teen experience, both in the form of a ridiculous principal and a concerned yet oblivious mother. Before Mia moved to town, Parker was counting down the days he had left because he’s a Watcher: a dream-walker. He is tortured by the dreams of the last person to make eye contact with him, but Mia’s dreams offer unexpected respite from his condition; Parker can rest and dream his own dreams while inhabiting Mia’s. Unfortunately, his triumph quickly turns sour when she feels violated by his attention, especially when she receives sinister emails, seemingly from Parker. This thriller embraces every conflict imaginable with horrifying results, whether Parker is battling his own good and evil halves, his friends and reputation, or an unseen foe. Insomnia is a suspenseful mystery not entirely resolved at the end, leaving readers biting their nails while waiting for the sequel.–Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City


Dude! This review is so very happy-making. This line:

"This thriller embraces every conflict imaginable with horrifying results..."

and any review that ends with:

"leaving readers biting their nails while waiting for the sequel."

is made of awesome. :)

Hope your Monday is as happy as mine!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

INSOMNIA Ebook Only 1.99!

GUYS! The INSOMNIA ebook on kindle is on a $1.99 special right now! 


Right?!

So if you or someone you know needs a spooky read just in time for Halloween, please spread the word! 

Also, this is the last day to enter the PARANOIA Cover Reveal Giveaway so get your entries in now!

Monday, October 14, 2013

PARANOIA Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

I am so excited today, like this much:


Because I finally get to share my PARANOIA cover!

But...before I do that, here is the book description to whet your appetite:



"In the aftermath of the events that nearly killed him, Parker Chipp is trying to learn to cope better with life as a Watcher. And it seems to be working...until he wakes up in jail with a hangover and 12 hours of missing time. Darkness has somehow taken control and Parker doesn't have a clue how to stop him. He finds an unlikely ally in Jack, the mysterious guy in the motorcycle jacket who offers to help Parker master his abilities as a Watcher. But even as they practice, the darkness inside Parker is getting more and more powerful, taking over Parker’s body and doing everything he can to destroy Parker's life.

When Jack reveals that there is another kind of Night Walker, known as a Taker, Parker starts to wonder if the strange things happening in Oakville are more than just a coincidence. After all, people are more than just sleepwalking. They're emptying their savings accounts with no memory of doing so, wandering into strange parts of town and disappearing, they're even killing other people--all in their sleep. If Parker wants to find out what's happening or have any hope of seeing his father again, he’ll have to defy Jack and put his own life in danger...because the more he learns about the Night Walkers, the more certain he is that his life isn't the only one that could be lost."


So go ahead now, scroll down and enjoy the intense amount of creepy that is PARANOIA, you know you want to...



Go on...






Keep Going...






It'll be worth it...
























Don't worry, this kind of reaction is not only reasonable...it's expected.



I absolutely LOVE this cover. I'll be honest, I was worried about how it might turn out. The INSOMNIA cover is so epic and conveys the perfect mood for that book and I worried that anything we did for the sequel might be a disappointment. 

Boy does this not disappoint. 

It takes everything I loved about the first cover and amps it up. The tension and emotion and fear...it's all there. It's perfect and I couldn't imagine liking anything more. So, a huge thank you and shout out to Flux and my cover designer, Lisa Novak. You guys are awesome. Thank you!!

And now, to celebrate, I'm giving away a copy of INSOMNIA, an ARC of PARANOIA and a sweet swag pack! Enter here and tell me what you think about the cover below.




I have several other blogs celebrating with me today and you can stop by any or all of these spots for more entries:

YA Scream Queens
Friday the Thirteeners
Divergent Gryffindor
Shae Has Left the Room
The Eater of Books


Huzzah! So tell me, what do you think?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wordstock Festival/Book Fair This Weekend In Portland, OR


This weekend I'm so excited to be at Wordstock Book Festival in Portland, Oregon! I've never been to Portland and I'm stoked for my first visit. They have an amazing lineup of authors this year and I'll be on a panel called:

Crossing the (Genre) LineA discussion with three authors who run the gamut from sci-fi to contemporary to thriller to supernatural. These authors will discuss how to combine and bend genres effectively, maintain consistency while writing across a variety of genres, and reach readers looking for a little of this mixed with a little of that. 

It will be at noon on Saturday and I'll be with my FSG buddies Jennifer Bosworth and Jessica Brody. It should be so much fun! 

I'll also be doing a signing at 1pm and I SHALL have fun giveaways (like bookmarks and INSOMNIA backpacks!) so if you're around, come say hi! 

You can find the Wordstock Festival schedule here for more info.

Monday, September 30, 2013

CATCH by Michelle Davidson Argyle

My friend, the lovely Michelle Argyle, released a new mini-book called CATCH. I'm so excited about it, it sounds awesome. Here is the cover and the synopsis is below. Check it out to see why I think it sounds SO GOOD.



When eighteen-year-old Miranda chases a purse snatcher on the Las Vegas Strip, the last thing she expects is for the pursuit to turn into an extended game of hide-and-seek. All Miranda wants are the old black and white photographs buried at the bottom of her purse. They’re the only things she has left of the grandmother she never knew. But how much is she willing to put on the line to save them? 
And is it possible she’s falling in love with a thief?


Catch is a 20,00 word story (about 80 pages) and will take most readers 1 or 2 hours to read. It is available only in digital format.


Awesome, right? :) You can find out more about it (including where you can order it for yourself) at Michelle's sneak peek post here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to NOT A DROP TO DRINK and Mindy McGinnis!

I'm thrilled that it's finally time for the release of this amazing book by my friend, Mindy McGinnis!

Happy Book Birthday!



I love the green and gray deadly/sickly look of the cover. It truly reflects the feel of the landscape in the book. 

I was lucky enough to read this book as part of the Friday the Thirteeners ARC tour. It was stark and beautiful. The world pulled me in and the characters were varied and powerful. I absolutely loved it!

Here is the blurb from Drink so you can see what I'm talking about:

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 


Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.



Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.



But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….



With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.




This book is very different from everything else out there. I loved it and you should check it out. 

You can find links to order your own copy here.

And again...


Happy book birthday, Mindy! Congratulations and I can't WAIT to read your next book! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NEWS! - The Night Walkers Series in Spanish and Portuguese!

That's right...you read it right. My books will be available in TWO new languages. 

V&R Editora will be publishing INSOMNIA and PARANOIA in both Spanish and Portuguese!

That means my books will be published in seven languages...

seven...

SEVEN!



This means I've pretty much spent the last 6 weeks since I found out walking around like this:



If you saw me, you may or may not have noticed...

On top of all of this, I just got back from Worldcon in San Antonio and I've spent a lot of time drooling over the awesome that is my PARANOIA cover. Which you shall see very soon, I promise! 

And I'm getting ready for an amazing writers retreat this weekend with Jessica Brody, Jennifer Bosworth, Marie Lu, Emmy Laybourne, Jessica Khoury, Morgan Matson and Brodi Ashton.

There will be fun.

There will be cookies.

There will be pictures in which I shall try my best not to look like this:




But considering the cool people on the above list, I promise nothing.

The good news, my friends, it is oh so good.

In Portuguese - Estou tão animado! 
In Spanish - Esto es increíble!

In English - *Ahem* ~ Wow! Celebrate with me? :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to Renee Collins and RELIC!

I won't go into detail here because I did a big post about it on Friday the Thirteeners today with MANY hot cowboys and really...how can anything I post here compete with that?

So I'll just give you the link. :) Enjoy...and come celebrate with Renee.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Deep Breaths...

My schedule for the next month, you guys, it is brutal. If you come around in October and find a bunch of gifs like this:


Or this:


Then it may be too late for me, save yourselves...

I will be at LonestarCon (WorldCon) in San Antonio from 8/28 - 9/4. I'll be doing a signing and generally hanging out, so if you're in the area, come chat.

Then I'm going to Colorado for an uber awesome (and more than a little intimidating) author retreat for 5 days.

Then I'm going on a family trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for 5 days.

And then I'm going to Wordstock in Portland, OR on the first weekend of October.

All of this while I'm getting together a proposal for a new book, and doing revisions on two other books...

Yeah...

I will be popping in and out and there will be fb and instagram pics/tweets from my various locations, so don't miss me too hard. But when October hits and I'm back home, hopefully with my sanity still intact, I would like to be greeted with something like this...


Okay? :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA & April Tucholke!

I am SO happy today to celebrate the release of an amazing book by my dear friend, April Tucholke!

Happy Book Birthday, Devil!


*pets* *Stares at the pretty*

The book is amazing. Possibly one of my favorites of the entire year. It's dark and gothic and the setting comes to life in so many ways. This book guys...this book is awesome. I love Violet. She is so strange and somehow familiar at the same time. Above all, she is different than every other character out there and I love her entire vibe.

Here is the blurb from Devil's page on Goodreads:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.


Seriously, it's amazing. I loved this book and you will, too.

Here you can order a shiny lovely copy for your very own!

And one more time...

Happy Book Birthday, April! I'm so happy for you! You and your book are going to blow people away and leave them BEGGING for more!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Giveaway Winner!



I'm excited to announce the winner of the PARANOIA Makes Me Paranoid Giveaway! 

Congratulations to: Elizabeth from Book Attict! *confetti party*

Thanks to everyone who entered! I promise to have more giveaways, more good news, cover reveals, and generally sheer awesomeness.

Oh my... ;-)

Monday, August 5, 2013

My News!

Some of you may have heard this already if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, but I wanted to post it here also because I'm still so freaking excited about it that I'm floating over here...very, VERY dancey.



www.reactiongifs.com

Last week, I just heard from my publisher that INSOMNIA is going back to press (meaning the demand is high and they need to print additional books) for the THIRD TIME already! 

He also said that INSOMNIA is currently the #1 bestselling book at my imprint (Flux) and the #2 at the entire Llewellyn publishing house! 

I'm beyond thrilled. I hoped the book sales would be okay, but to come out this well as a debut is just mind-blowing. I'm just... I can't even articulate how excited I am!! Look at the gif above to see a visual representation. ;-)

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped INSOMNIA do so well! Your support means everything to me! I love you all! I have SO. Many. Feels!

And remember to go enter the PARANOIA Makes Me Paranoid Giveaway! Because book #2 guys...it's going to be epic.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

INSOMNIA Book #2 Has A TITLE + Giveaways!

I have the news guys! I've been sitting on it for awhile, but I can now say it.

This makes me endlessly happy. 

Like this guy.


Yep. Just--Like--That.

Anyway...so yes, I have a title and a date!

The sequel to Insomnia will be released in June 2014! 

Which was what I was hoping, but I now have confirmation. :)

And the title of The Night Walkers Series book #2 will be:

PARANOIA

Dude...yes. So much yes to this name. I love it. 

In Paranoia (I just pieced this together, but it should give you a taste):

Creepy things are happening in Oakville. People are more than just sleepwalking--they're emptying their savings accounts with no memory of doing so, wandering into strange parts of town, they're even killing other people...all in their sleep. And now they've started disappearing. When Parker wakes up in jail with a hangover and 12 hours of missing time. There is only one thing he's certain of: Darkness has taken control and Parker doesn't have a clue how to stop him.  

Dudes...I am SO excited about this book. It gives me ALL THE FEELS!


And now to give things away!! I will be giving away a signed copy of INSOMNIA, one of my epic INSOMNIA backpacks, a pill bottle with candy, bookmarks, etc.

You know you want it...so go enter to win!


Monday, July 15, 2013

INSOMNIA Launch Video!

I'm in the middle of a revisions and a deadline, so you'll have to excuse my absence lately. But while I'm busy I thought I'd give you something to watch.

Ever wonder what a launch is like? Well here is a video of my INSOMNIA launch recorded and put together by my good friends at Writers Cubed. (THANK YOU!) So now you can see for yourself.

Some of the gifs didn't work in the video, so I'm posting the gifs below and you can see them there.

Enjoy!


GIFs from Launch Presentation

Rollerblading

Dreams



Reality


More Rollerblading

Dreams



Reality



Writing a Book

Dreams



Reality



Being an Author

Dreams



Reality




After this presentation, I did a short reading of part of the first chapter and then a Q&A session. It was so much fun! :) Have you ever been to a launch? If so, what did they do?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why You NEED The Distance Between Us


You know how sometimes there are books that make you so happy you just want to squeeze them and cuddle them and have tea parties with them at night when no one else is watching?

...

No?

Okay, it's just me then.

Well that's what this book did to me. I laughed out loud often and may have cried once or twice. It's adorable and I love it and NOW it is out so you can love it to!!

Are you as happy as you should be about this? Good. :)

Here is more about the book and not just how I feel about it...in case that matters to you:


Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Dude...it's awesome. This is Pretty in Pink meets Pride & Prejudice. You want it and since it's officially out in the world now, this is where you can get it:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository
IndieBound

Also, if you are in Utah, you can come to the Escape Reality Tour at Provo Library on (tomorrow) July 9th at 7pm and get a signed copy from Ms. Kasie herself. Plus...I hear other cool people may be there. ;-)

Happy Monday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Short Break

I'm taking a short break this week. I have much writing to do and now that the INSOMNIA launch is out of the way, this is the perfect time to do it.

So you all have good summertime fun.

And I shall write...a lot.

When I come back there will be an awesome post full of many pictures and general happy-making-things.

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Reveal! - SALLY SLICK by Carrie Harris

Today I'm thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for an amazingly hilarious author & my very good friend, Carrie Harris.

And guys...THIS BOOK! I'm SO excited for it! Not only is the description awesome, but the cover is gorgeous!! Here is more info before we get to Ooh and Aah over the cover.

SALLY SLICK AND THE STEEL SYNDICATE
Release date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions
Ages: 12 and up

Jacket Description:

Every hero has a story. This one starts with a girl and a racing tractor.

Sally Slick knows she’s meant to be more than a Midwestern farm girl. What she wants more than anything is to be an inventor when she grows up—and she has the custom-built racing tractor to prove it. But good girls in 1914 don’t go off to the city in search of adventure. Everything changes when Sally’s big brother comes back from Chicago with a robot in hand and mobsters on his heels. With the help of her friend, wannabe hero Jet Black, Sally will risk everything to protect the people she loves.

Those bad guys are about to get a giant wrench thrown right into their plans.


Um, tractor racing, mobsters AND a robot in 1914?! Yes, please! :)

And now, the cover...


Oooooh...the steampunk-iness! The robot army! The giant wrench! Plus, she looks like someone I want on my side when fighting any bad guys. :) I need this! *grabby hands*

What do you think? What's your favorite part?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

INSOMNIA Launch Day & WINNING!

Hello people. You are all awesome. I'm feeling super happy shiny today because...

MY LAUNCH IS FINALLY HERE!!

And look at this amazing pic of my giveaway doorprizes. Don't you just want to cuddle them?


I do. *pets*

Anyway, today I'm crazy. SO much to do! SO little time left to do it in. I promise there will be MANY pictures and *I believe* a video of the launch online.

I'm crossing my fingers that it ends up with a whole lot of this going on:

Via ReactionGifs

And with all that happiness...I leave you with WINNERS!

The winners of the INSOMNIA Release Giveaway (winning a signed copy of INSOMNIA) are:

Vivien
Gabriella Majer
Jovon Tucker
Dianne
Kristia Miltiadou
Roxana Zuziac
Ashfa Anwer
Kim Kimbrough
Jessica Dixon
Ashtrie Karana Putrie


And the winners of the 10-pg critiques are:

Mime
Sheena-kay Graham
Ava
Carl Hackman
Jovon Tucker 
Konstanz Silverbow
Kate Larkindale
Sarah Glenn Marsh
Ellie M
Carly Jayne

CONGRATULATIONS guys! Please email me at jenn at jennjohansson (dot) com to let me know if you accept. I'll be emailing you if I haven't heard from you by tomorrow. And then you have 48 hours to respond and let me know you accept your prize.


YAY! And now...I'm off to party.


via ReactionGifs

Friday, June 14, 2013

Insomnia Blog Tour FINAL STOPS!

I'm crazy busy getting ready for my launch party. You're coming right? You should be coming. It's going to look something like this...


...or not.

But either way, it will be awesome.

And speaking of awesome. Today is the LAST DAY of new stops on the blog tour, although you will still be able to keep entering until Sunday night.

To make it easy on you, here are the two new posts for today.

On the Read Books and Live Green Blog there is an excerpt scene in which Parker tries to get answers about what's happening to him from the family doctor and you can enter to win one of 10 Signed Copies of Insomnia!

And over on Robin Ambrose's blog, she uses her law-based powers and interrogates Parker about what he's been up to. She's one tough customer. Also, writers can enter to win one of TEN 10-pg critiques I'll be giving away! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

5 Release Facts I've Learned + More Blog Stops

I'm crazy busy with release stuff, plus prepping for my Launch Party which is less than a week away!! *happy dance*

So I thought I'd do a quick Things I've Learned post today and then send you on your way to more INSOMNIA blog tour posts that are out there right now.

5. The last 3 months before release are mad crazy. I'd heard this and felt prepared for it...I still vastly underestimated.

4. Brains do not work in a pressure cooker. I can't count the number of household possessions I've forgotten about and/or left in various locations throughout my state. My launch party will now end with a massive scavenger hunt.

3. There is such a thing as saying 'Yes' too much. I agreed to do every interview that I was asked to do...I am not saying I regret it. I'm saying I need a nap.

2. Cupcakes can fix anything. Bad review? cupcake. Computer glitch is causing issues? cupcake. Haven't figured out launch party presentation yet? cupcake...in separate and totally unrelated news, I will now be on a diet for the rest of time.

1. There is nothing in this world like seeing something you created in your mind on a shelf in a bookstore...literally nothing. I've never been so ecstatic and so stunned as when I stared at it and realized that it had actually happened...yes, a cupcake helps with this also.


So there you have it. Proof that I do indeed learn things. Which of these facts surprise you the most?

Stop by the My Friends Are Fiction blog stop where I discuss my favorite scary books.

And don't forget to stop by the Divergent Gryffindor blog stop where my Insomnia Dream-Cast will be facing off against Kim's Insomnia Dream-Cast. It will be epic.

Also, you can still comment on Kendare Blake's or Jessica Spotswood's blogs where all you have to do is comment to enter to win a signed copy of Insomnia! These are TWO separate giveaways! :) So the odds are...uh...ever in your favor! Go enter!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Release Day Pictures - And The Fun Continues!



I have release day pictures! It was so much fun!



The day started off with amazing amounts of happy congratulations from all over twitter and Facebook. (thank you everyone again!)



Then I received these lovely flowers from two very good writer friends - Kasie West and Candi Kennington. Aren't they beautiful?





My family and I went out to dinner at an amazing restaurant named The Chef's Table and it was amazing...my mouth is still watering.














I mean...seriously. This is the dessert. It's a double fudge brownie with a pecan pie topping, ice cream and fruit.

Mmmmmm...








Then we went to my local Barnes and Noble where we found MY BOOK! Right there on the shelf! And then there was laughing and crying and happy dancing. They had me sign them and put that cute little autograph sticker on them.




(Extremely) Dorky Author photo :)








And then I got these lovely debut author celebration presents from my lovely friend Sara Raasch.

*I seriously have the best friends in the world*







This is a clay mini-Parker that Sara made for me.

I love him more than I've ever loved anything made of clay.

That's a lot.






And today I'm having a girls' day celebration with Sara, Natalie Whipple, and Michelle Argyle.







Needless to say, so far, I 'm LOVING this whole release celebration thing. :)


And the fun continues - There is one more week of the release blog tour and you can still get entries for the Ten Books and Ten Critiques giveaways!

Friday, June 7, 2013

In Which INSOMNIA Releases and I Flail and Blubber...


LOOK! It's my book. It's all grown up and out in the world! It's the teenager that keeps pushing me away and is embarrassed when I smooth its hair. And people can buy it, and I'm a published author, and over on my widget there are no numbers, it just says "Available Now" because it is available, because I write books, and people can read them...and...and...and I'm totally sitting here crying as I write this because there were so many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years that I NEVER thought I'd get here. And here I am and...



And I'm an author and I don't even care that the above paragraph contained the longest, most ridiculous run-on sentence in all creation. It was a very happy-making sentence. That's all that matters to me right now.

So please celebrate with me because dreams do not come true every day. And they shouldn't. Dreams shouldn't be easy or they aren't worth it. They should be hard, excruciating, exhausting and make you want to give up every other step. A dream shouldn't be the hill at the end of the street, it should be the massive, daunting, dangerous mountain that everyone else looks at, laughs, shakes their head and walks away.

But I started the trek up my mountain. On the way, I fell down. I bled. I held on when I felt like I might plummet back down to where I started, I kept moving forward and never turned back.

Today I reached the top, and that is worth some serious celebrating.




You can order your brand new shiny copy of MY BOOK, Insomnia, at any of the places in the right side bar. :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

FOREWORD Review of INSOMNIA!

First - OMG! RELEASE DAY IS TOMORROW!! *flails* *panics* *blinks*

*Ahem*


Recently, Insomnia got a new trade review from ForeWord Reviews. They are a review journal distributed quarterly to 7500 librarians and booksellers across the US. They're also available at most Barnes & Noble newsstands and by subscription.


They're prestigious and awesome and I'm thrilled they reviewed Insomnia and even happier about what they had to say:


~~~~~


Insomnia
J. R. Johansson
Flux
978-0-7387-3593-1
(Jun 8, 2013)

Supernatural young adult thriller creates a real sense of tension, anticipation, and dread. Parker Chipp hasn’t slept in four years. Every night, he’s an involuntary witness to the dreams of the last person whose eyes he looked into before going to sleep. Sometimes this means a night full of talking ponies or whimsical adventures; other times, he’s tormented by nightmares of endless domestic brutality or the guilt-wracked memories of wrongdoers who escaped all justice except that delivered by their own conscience.

Either way, he doesn’t get to sleep properly, and the stress is taking its toll, perhaps even killing him. Beside this, the more mundane problems of a typical high school junior—trying out for athletic teams, navigating conflicted friendships and budding romantic attractions, and dealing with the absence of his father and the consequences of a stressed-out mother—seem tame and manageable.

When Parker inadvertently glances into the eyes of a new arrival in town, he’s startled to find that, for some reason, he’s able to sleep peacefully in her dreams. Why? And can he enjoy the peace of her dreams without making her think that he’s a deranged stalker?

J. R. Johansson’s debut novel has an intriguing, original premise and an engaging first-person narrator/protagonist. It’s refreshing to read a supernatural young adult thriller that, for once, does not involve zombies, werewolves, vampires, or some other familiar trope. Parker’s curse (or gift), the rules that govern it, and the effects it might have on him and the people around him are mysterious and unknown, creating a real sense of tension, anticipation, and dread as the reader, along with Parker, tentatively explores his ability’s parameters without knowing what he will find or what the consequences will be.

The plot inevitably expands outward from Parker’s own problems to those of the people around him. High school social drama gives way to more visceral dangers, both real and imagined, as Parker finds reasons to question his own motivations and even his own sanity. Mysterious links to Parker’s father suggest that there’s more to his peculiarity than he knows, and his untutored explorations suggest that it may be much darker and more powerful than he dares contemplate.

Some of the plot threads of Insomnia are tied up a bit too neatly and suddenly, but Johansson’s first book lays the groundwork for an intriguing series based on an original premise.

Bradley A. Scott
ForeWord Reviews

~~~~~

Have you ever wanted to wrap yourself up in words? What am I talking about, you're all readers...of course you have. That's how I feel about this review. I want to cuddle with "intriguing, original premise and an engaging first-person narrator/protagonist." I want to get the words, "Supernatural young adult thriller creates a real sense of tension, anticipation and dread," tattooed on my forehead...that wouldn't be awkward or off-putting at mix & mingles, would it? :)

Anyway, happy day! I survived another trade review! 

Also, here are the rafflecopters for the two blog tour giveaways (signed copies of Insomnia & 10-pg critiques) I have going on right now. You can go ahead and enter here if you'd like...because I'm nice like that. What did you think about this new review?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tomorrow is the big day! I'm going to try my best to not injure or break myself before then. I've been known to do that...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Truth, Insanity of Release a.k.a. How Stephanie Perkins Saved My Mind

A couple of items of business first: 

~ The winner of the Insomnia ARC from Monday's post is: Lena! Leave your email in the comments and I'll get in touch about sending it to you! Congrats!

~ Since Insomnia started shipping out early and the official release day is on a weekend, we're going to celebrate Insomnia's release on Friday...HOLY COW THAT IS SO SOON! Stay tuned for more info and check above for links to today's blog tour stops! 
~~~~~

Dude...publishing is the most massive roller coaster I've ever been on. It's up and down, and in and out, over and over, until you feel like some bully in school is doing one of those toilet swirlies on your brain.

Releasing your debut novel is immense and terrifying and brilliant and breathtaking. It is everything you want it to be. Sometimes it is so much more, and occasionally so very much less.

There really is no explaining the gut-sucking sorrow and sadness when things go wrong with your dream. And no making sense of the elated floating and bounciness when even the smallest things go right.

It is absolute and utter madness.

Maybe that's why I write about people going crazy...

Anyway, the roller coaster is me this month...until yesterday...yesterday I went full-on freak out. 

It wasn't pretty.

I found out there were some issues with Insomnia being mis-categorized in Barnes & Noble. It was coming up in their system as a Young Reader book (grades 3-6). The stores were looking at their option to order it from the warehouse into the store and going...uh, this cover looks too scary for the kids wandering that section...and not ordering it. 

*cue visions of small children running for B&N door and crying over my scary book cover*


(Don't worry, it's being fixed and should be *crosses fingers* going out into stores asap.) So yeah...it was one of those last straw kind of freak outs and I did what I always do when I'm upset (after I break out the ice cream, duh...). I grabbed a book and started reading.

I've known Stephanie Perkins for a while online, and I actually met her in person a few weeks ago. *waves at Steph* She's a sweetheart and we share a love for things dark. Anyway, I'd started her book, Anna and the French Kiss about a year and a half ago, read the first chapter and loved it...then got a call from my agent and we got my book deal. It was dropped in the flailing/panicking that ensued and  I haven't picked it back up. 

So it was the first book I grabbed yesterday, and I didn't put it down until today when I finished. I carried it from room to room. I propped it open and kept reading while I did laundry. I stayed up until 3am reading and then started reading again as soon as I woke up this morning. 

I adored this book. This book made me happy. This book reminded me why I love books.

All of that to say this isn't really about Anna or Stephanie's genius (as much as that's all I want to talk about right now). It's about books. We are authors, editors, readers, bloggers, publicists...we're all in the business of books, but sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in the roller coaster and the cogs and machinery of it that we forget what it's all about -- the books. Books allow us to explore, to escape, to revel, to live lives we aren't capable of, to become our heroes and even sometimes the villains.

So all of this to say, 

Books are so freaking cool!!!

And none of us should forget that fact no matter what else we have going on. 

What have you been reading lately?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This Is Me This Week


Yep, that's what I look like every time someone posts nice things, leaves nice comments, writes good reviews/blog post stops, tells me they're excited about my book.

So pretty often right now. (people are nice on release week--mostly)

Yay for release and giveaways! These are my stops for today:

On the Starbucks & Books blog, Chelsea does a character profile of Parker from Insomnia, and wow is she good! All that plus an awesome new review & signed books! 


On the Read Rinse Repeat blog, we chat about the fine line between letting your main character do bad things and yet somehow still making them likable + giveaways!



I SAT (Successful Author Talk interview) over on Mindy McGinnis's blog where we chat about my road to publication, how I got my agent, and other such tidbits.



Plus, an INCREDIBLE new review on the Such A Novel Idea blog!



Wow...just posting that was exhausting. How about we all go take a nap after we're done? ;-

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nook HD Winner! AMAZING NEWS & Insomnia Release Blog Tour Day 1

I know you guys want to know about winners...but I'm saving that for last. I'm cruel like that. ;)

Some of you may think that a week before my official release that I'm sitting around like this:


NOT TRUE...

In reality, it's a lot more like this:


But I got some news in the last couple of weeks that made me go like this:


I found out that

Insomnia is going to be published in 
Hungary AND Taiwan!

SQUEE!!! I am SO thrilled you guys! Fonix in Hungary and Sharp Point in Taiwan have bought rights to publish in their respective territories!

This brings the total number of languages to FIVE (English, German, Hungarian, Italian AND Chinese)! My book, something I created in my dark and twisty brain, is going to be printed out and available in FIVE different languages! I can't even...I'm just...

WOW!

I'm just so grateful and thrilled and a little bit FREAKING OUT! :)

So now, I am going to be riding high on that news as well as all the fun release stuff going on. I may never come back down.

Oh! And about fun release stuff...
Today is the first day of the Insomnia Release Blog Tour!
Every weekday for the next two weeks there will be fun guest posts and giveaways all over the place. 

The two main giveaways will be TEN signed copies of Insomnia and TEN 10-pg critiques

On top of this, I'll be doing giveaways sporadically on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook!! (Giveaways will be various things I find: bubble gum, signed books, swag items, perhaps Finnish candies...you'll have to pay attention to see what I come up with)

Here is my blog stop for today:

And the fun, guys...it will be immense. So stay tuned!

AND last but certainly not least...
the winner of the NookHD from the Insomnia Preorder Giveaway!

Cindy Irvine!


Huge congrats, Cindy! I'll be in touch to talk about how to get your prize to you! :)


Let's get this Week O' Giveaways going!!

Celebrate with me by leaving a comment below and you'll be entered to win one of my last Insomnia ARCs + a swag pack with bookmarks and surprises to go with it! :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Forging Fridays - Knowing Your Audience

*****First - some cool things!*****

~ On Monday, I'll announce the winner of the NookHD! I'll also be able to share some epically exciting news I've been sitting on for a bit. AND I'll be starting the Insomnia Release Blog Tour in which we'll be giving away 10 Signed Copies of Insomnia and 10 10-pg Critiques! :) Make sure you stop by! ~

*****Back to your regularly scheduled post*****


Today is our nineteenth (and final...for now at least) Forging Fridays query! Wow...that's just awesomely crazy. Can't believe how fast this year has flown by. Thank you so much to all the volunteers! You guys are amazing and I've gotten emails/tweets/comments every week saying how much this series is helping people.

So you volunteers rock. We love you. :)

As stated before, I will not be revealing any names of the Forging Fridays volunteers unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest, but I won't mention anyone by name. Without further ado:

Here is our last volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~~


Dear [awesome agent]

Milo is a weapon.

His brain is crammed with blood-smeared visions of Jxxx, a jungle world where nightmares are reality and survival is a game of chance How so? This is pretty vague. We want specifics about the world at this point. On top of his visions of the past and future The past and future of our world? of Jxxx? Is this a new ability or clarification of the same one? Make sure the info you give us is clear., Milo has the sole ability to read the coded Jxxx book, filled with answers to world domination Our world or Jxxx?, why the mud has a heartbeat, and how to murder the invincible natives.

And the kid is only eight years old. No pressure. Interesting...this seems dark for middle grade...or at 8 it would be...a chapter book? 

Forced to translate the code, Milo figures out he’s one of the natives and he’s set their execution date. If he set it, why does he not know this already? Any hints as to why he has been selected for all these special powers? A collision with native teen assassin, Mikael, ends in a shaky alliance and an agreement to guide Milo to the elusive natives to warn them of the oncoming massacre. But the visions turn up a notch as Milo realizes a violent power plays with his mind. Forget being a weapon, he’s a puppet. Okay, now these twists are becoming overwhelming. I'd focus on the main bad guy, if it's the puppeteer then I'd streamline the rest of it into something that flows to the main point better. Maybe like, "After discovering in the code that the natives are scheduled for execution, Milo strikes a shaky alliance with one of their own, Mikael, to warn them. Harder than it seems when the natives want to kill him and Mikael is a trained assassin. On the way, the visions turn up a notch...etc. Obviously, add voice and make it your own, but just try to streamline to get to the point a bit smoother.

As their journey turns into a bloodbath, Milo sees there’s no “good side” in this racial war – and the monster inside him is about to explode. What kind of monster? What races? Did you mention races before? This tidbit should probably be left out. You need to tell us more details about this monster if you want him to be the big threat at the end? We need to understand a bit more what he's up against.

BLOOD is an 85,000 word high fantasy novel for young adults, with potential for a series. I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy dark fantasy adventure like FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK in the style of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS. 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Okay...I'm very concerned about your genre choice and the age of your protagonist here. People especially older teens and adults, are very sensitive to children in violent and horrific circumstances. Also, in a YA, your protagonist is "usually" a teen. I know it's not always true, but it usually is. Could you make Milo older? If you want him to be the same age, you may have to play down the violence and darker issues in this book a bit. Another way to go is: Is Mikael a teen? Should he be the protagonist as protector of Milo? This sounds like a cool idea, and I'm all about the dark and creepy, but you have to make sure your target audience will be able to relate to the book and that the book has a place it will fit in the market. :)

Good luck!

~~~~~


Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.