Monday, September 29, 2014


Okay, I got to read an ARC of THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE by Shallee McArthur, and I just can't wait another month to talk about it. I thought the book was brilliant, starting at the premise. I mean, a whole race of people who can't store their memories in their minds? They store their memories in beads made of stone or wood (as those materials house them best) and can remember every--tiny--detail of their lives because of it.

You want to know more about this book. Here's the official blurb: Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

I absolutely loved this book. See, the main character, Gena, is one of the Mementi, and she's a victim of the memory thief. No, the thief doesn't take any of her beads, but she's siphoning off her memories.

I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to get to the heart of this mystery. I wanted to know who the memory thief was SO BAD. And the best part? I figured it out mere seconds before Gena did--and that is masterful plotting and writing. I always want to know split seconds before the MC does. I never want to be blindsided by something I didn't see coming, nor do I want to have figured it out pages and pages before the MC does.

Gena is a likeable and smart character. There's a hint of romance with Kalen, but it's not overdone, nor does it detract from the main plot of solving the mystery of the memory thief.

The world-building is pretty flawless. I felt like I existed inside Havendale, Arizona, and that I could join that city as one of the ordinary humans (obviously!).

THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE comes out on November 4. If it's not on your radar yet, this should be your warning to put it on!

Have you read anything spectacular lately? What?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Few Thoughts on Validation

Okay, so I've had an interesting year. It was almost exactly a year to this date that I decided to break up with my first agent and seek a second. That process took a couple of months, and during that time, I decided to self-publish a novel that my first agent and I had submitted to publishers in New York.

That book was Elevated, and I think it's done pretty well out there. Since then, I've published two more novels and two novellas. I've had another book out on submission with my new agent that didn't sell.

I'll admit that it's getting a little...I don't know the right word. Taxing? Tiresome? Something along those lines. It's getting a little tiresome to keep beating my head against this wall of publishing.

Here's the thing: I think my stories are good. I've even had agents who thought they were good enough to submit to editors. Both of those are validating things, but for some reason, I still want that publishing contract. I want that validation with an editor, a marketing team, with readers, and with my author friends.

I've struggled with this for a while. I'll have weeks where I'm like, "Who cares? I'm still the same person no matter what. I don't care what people think." Then the next day, sometimes the next hour, I'm like, "I need the validation from All The People."

It's sort of a sickening seesaw. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Maybe just wondering where you get your validation from? How can I gain more internal validation? Or maybe I have enough and that's why I haven't quit trying yet? 

Monday, September 15, 2014


My newest novel, a YA contemporary romance in verse, is available today! I hope you'll take a few minutes and just four bucks to support me and my new release.

SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE is my second YA contemporary romance novel-in-verse, and I hope you love it as much as you did my first (Elevated).

What people have said about SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE:
"Hooray for another fantastic YA contemporary verse novel from Elana Johnson!" ~Hazel @ Stay Bookish (see full review)

"Something about Love is an exceptional read." ~wrecked_life (see full review)

About SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE: High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart. 

And ELEVATED, my first novel-in-verse that came out earlier this year is free this week! So be sure to get your copy of that too.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dual Cover Reveal: HALF-LIFE by Tina Ferraro and RACING HEARTS by Laura Lascarso

Okay, so I'm participating in an awesome dual cover reveal today for two amazing NA novellas, coming in 2015 from the Shine line at Leap Books. This is a novella-only line, and I'm excited to read these two stories!

About HALF-LIFE: Probably not a good idea to take advice from your dead twin sister.

High school sophomore Trisha Traynor and friends have played the Halloween mirror game for years, the one that’s supposed to show a glimpse of the guy they’ll marry. But no one’s ever seen anything.

Until tonight—when Trisha is gob smacked by the candlelit arrival of her long-deceased twin sister, instead of her crush, Kirk Maxwell.

In a voice and vision that only Trisha can hear and see, Chessie claims to be back on a compassionate journey. Trisha fears she's gone nuthouse crazy. But she nonetheless follows the instructions Chessie outlines in their nightly conversations, until she finds herself stepping across some ethical lines, and probably ending all chances with Kirk.

When a sisterly showdown ensues, resulting in the shattering of the mirror, Chessie’s gone again, and a heartsick Trisha sets about righting her recent wrongs. That is, until she stumbles upon the real reason Chessie had come back and the most important glimpse yet that the mirror could never predict.

About Tina Ferraro: Tina Ferraro been writing since she learned to hold a pencil, and sold upwards of a hundred short stories to national magazines before turning to novels. She is the author of three Random House novels, The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, How to Hook a Hottie and Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, which have received distinctions such as the ABA Book Sense Award and two RITA nominations.

Her fourth YA, The Starter Boyfriend, has spent time on Amazon’s Top 100 Lists. She lives in Los Angeles with her rocket scientist husband, two cats and whichever of their three young adult children is in town. When not writing, she enjoys playing Facebook Scrabble, swimming, and chasing coyotes out of her neighborhood.

Watch for Tina’s title with Shine….HALF-LIFE which follows Trisha in the days before her 15th birthday, as her long deceased identical twin makes appearances in mirrors to help prevent her similarly early demise. (ETA, Fall 2015)

Find Tina online!
Facebook: tina.ferraro1 (and) Tina Ferraro’s Books
Twitter: @PromMom3

About RACING HEARTS: He wants to honor his father’s legacy; she wants to prove her father wrong.

18-year-old Jesse is still grieving from the loss of his father to cancer when he learns his mother has lost her job. All too soon, Jesse, his little sister, and his mother might be put out on the streets.

Jesse hears of a local car race sponsored by his father's nemesis, Shep Bradley, and the prize money might be enough to keep Jesse’s family from losing their home - if he can win it.

When Shep’s own daughter Brooke asks Jesse to build her a racecar against her father’s wishes, Jesse accepts. After all, he needs the money.

About Laura Lascarso: Laura Lascarso strives to craft stories that are honest and real with characters who must overcome great odds. Her debut novel Counting Backwards (Atheneum 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for YA literature. RACING HEARTS is Laura’s first e-series with Leap Books. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children and a menagerie of animals.

Watch for Laura’s series with Shine which follows a pair of star-crossed lovers. He wants to honor his father’s legacy; she wants to prove her father wrong in this modern-day Romeo & Juliet set in the world of competitive car racing. (ETA. Fall 2015)

Find Laura online!
Twitter: @lauralascarso

Awesome, right?? I can't wait to read them!! What books are you waiting on right now? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Okay, so I've posted a few times with the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Just a few, but I often relate to many of the posts I read on the first Wednesday of each month. And this month, just after their third anniversary, I have a guest post over on their main site!

Be sure to go check it out and leave me a comment over there. I will be checking throughout the day (and coming days) and interacting with you all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

When You Just Don't Care

Dude, okay, I have a confession to make. I've been writing for about 7 years. I've had a few periods of writer's block, or times when I've been so busy I don't have time to write. I've given myself permission to take a break and not work on anything writing-related.

But I've never felt this complete apathy I feel now. I don't have writer's block. I'm not too busy to write--the dozens of TV shows, movies, and sports I watch can testify to that. (And the zillions of games of Scramble with Friends and Memory...) I don't feel burned out, so I don't feel like I need a break.

I just don't care to write right now. I have things to work on--several in fact, and my writing partners probably hate me for not sending my chapters back to them. I feel bad about that, but not bad enough to get some words on the page instead of watching Project Runway.

So yeah.

I've wondered why I feel like this, and some people have given some suggestions. Maybe the projects I have aren't the right ones. Maybe I am burnt out. Maybe I could do some research and get inspired. Maybe I just need to force myself to write. Maybe this. Maybe that. Some encourage me to enjoy the break--and I am!

But maybe, just maybe, it's okay not to care right now. I can still be a real writer. I can still be considered an author. I don't have to write every day to be legit.

Have you ever felt like this? Did you embrace it or freak out?

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