Blog Tour- Play List for Paranoia by J.R. Johansson

I am honored to have JR Johansson the author of the Night Walker series on the blog today to discuss music and which songs set the mood to her latest book, Paranoia. I read Insomnia last year and really enjoyed it (my review)–I can’t wait to read Paranoia.

Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1) Paranoia (The Night Walkers, #2)

Here’s what Johansson had to say about how music impacts her writing:

I’m kind of a freak about music. I love it more than is probably normal. I can’t clean my house, workout or even get ready in the morning without a playlist. So it might surprise you that when I’m writing, I need silence. I can’t listen to any music when I write or I end up humming, singing and making up lyrics instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing…writing a book.

This is rough on me because, like I said, I love music…but over the last few years of writing experience, I’ve found a good compromise. I still can’t write with music on, but I now use music to help me get in ‘the mood’ if you will. I make playlists and I listen to them while running errands and such or in the mornings before I sit down to write. I find songs that fit a tone or particular scene/character and then I listen to those before I sit down to write. I’ve been surprised by how much it helps. After listening to these playlists, when I put my fingers on those keys, I’m ready to go. It’s awesome.

My three favorite mood setting songs to listen to while getting ready for PARANOIA were:

MONSTER by Eminem feat. Rhianna

A few favorite lines:

‘Keep knocking, nobody’s home. I’m sleepwalking. I’m just relaying what the voice in my head saying. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the monster’

‘You’re trying to save me stop holding your breath. And you think I’m crazy, well that’s not fair.’

LETTERS FROM THE SKY by Civil Twilight

“One of these days the sky’s gonna break and everything will escape and I’ll know. One of these days the mountains are gonna fall into the sea and they’ll know.”

“That you and I were made for this I was made to taste your kiss. We were made to never fall away. Never fall away.”

DEMONS by Imagine Dragons

“When you feel my heat, look into my eyes. It’s where my demons hide. It’s where my demons hide. Don’t get too close, it’s dark inside. It’s where my demons hide. It’s where my demons hide.”

“Don’t wanna let you down, but I am hell bound. Though this is all for you, don’t wanna hide the truth. No matter what we breed, we still are made of greed. This is my kindom come. This is my kingdom come.”

“They say it’s what you make. I say it’s up to fate. It’s woven in my soul. I need to let you go. Your eyes they shine so bright, I wanna save that light. I can’t escape this now, unless you show me how.”

Do any songs remind you of scenes or characters from books or movies? Thanks for letting me stop by for a guest post!

About the Author:
J.R. JohanssonJ.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author. Her books INSOMNIA, PARANOIA (June 2014), and a third untitled book (June 2015) are with Flux Books. CUT ME FREE (Winter 2015) and another untitled book (Winter 2016) will be coming out with FSG/Macmillan.  She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she’s nearly drowning in testosterone.

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J.R. Johansson on Goodreads               PARANOIA on Goodreads

Paranoia (The Night Walkers, #2)About the Book:
With Every Night of Blissful Sleep Darkness Grows Inside Him.

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 these other Night Walkers, the more certain he becomes that his life isn’t the only one that could be lost.

Paranoia will be available from Flux June 8th 2014

Pre-order Links
The Book Depository         Indiebound         Books A Million
Barnes & Noble          Amazon


Showcase Sunday #18

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

Thank you Claire Legrand for you ARCAPALOOZA Giveaway and Flux for the 7,000 Follower Giveaway
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (my review and interview with Cristin Terrill), Insomnia by Jenn Johanson (my review) and Lament by Maggie Steivfater
All Our Yesterdays

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and Hostage Three by Nick Lake. Thank you Steph (Inspiring Insomnia) and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. Thank you Stacey (Adventures of a Book Junkie)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Thank you Stephanie!! (Inspiring Insomnia). I’ve already read TBS, check out my review

For Review:
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano-THRILLED to read this

Review of Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

InsomniaInsomnia (Night Walkers #1)
By: J.R. Johansson
Release Date: June 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux

My Rating:

An electronic copy of this book was provided in exchange for a honest review. Thank you Flux!

Summary (via Goodreads):
It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all.

The Story:
Insomnia has two story arcs working in tandem. The main arc focused on Parker and his gift (or curse), which will hopefully carry through the entire series. Why does he have this ability? And how did he come about having it? I was so intrigued with this aspect of Parker’s story. Sadly, I wasn’t given the answers I wanted, which left me eager for the next book.

The secondary, smaller arc focused on the mystery surrounding Mia’s stalker which is fully concluded in the first book. Johansson created an incredible amount of suspense that had me questioning what was happening as much as Parker. But, by the time I got to the ending I was a little let down because, to me, it felt rushed and a bit forced. Granted, I didn’t see it coming but it didn’t feel right.

The Characters:
Parker is a complicated character and since Insomnia is told in first person we only know what he knows. This allowed me to be fully immersed in the mystery and questioning what Parker was responsible for. Johansson was able to transport the reader into the framework of his world. I felt sleep deprived, just as he did, as I read. I was very impressed that she was able to capture this feeling of insanity and barely holding on to what is real and what isn’t.

It was hard to keep reading as the story progressed because of how far Parker takes his need to see Mia every night before he slept. It was creepy and uncomfortable to take that journey with him. I found myself liking him less and less and wondering if he was ever going to make it out of his downward spiral. I didn’t feel like I saw that much character growth from him but I think this will be addressed in the next books.

Final Thoughts:
Overall, I felt this was an interesting concept done fairly well. Johansson almost lost me with how far she pushed Parker. Even with how uncomfortable it made me I was still intrigued with the physiological aspects of Parker’s mental breakdown from sleep deprivation. I was less thrilled with how Mia’s stalker mystery was wrapped up, because it felt forced and wasn’t as creative as I hoped. Though there were a few flaws with this first in the series I will be checking out the next book.

Read (and enter a giveaway) what J.R. Johansson has to say about scary books.

Insomnia Book Trailer:

Author J.R. Johansson’s Favorite Scary Books + Giveaway

Today, I have author of Insomnia J.R. Johansson guest posting on the blog. She is here to tell us a bit about her favorite scary books. I am so excited to have Jenn here. Check out her favorite scary books then tell me what are yours?

Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps, #1)The StandAnna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)3:59

My Favorite Scary Books
I feel like I’ve been reading scary books all my life. From Goosebumps to The Stand—from Poe to Lovecraft…scary, intense stories have always been prominently featured on my “favorites” bookshelf. There is something about the complete silence where all you can hear is your heartbeat pounding in your ears as you tear through page after page.

It’s intense and I absolutely love it.

Some of my more recent favorites are Gretchen McNeil, Kendare Blake, Dan Wells, April Tucholke and for a creepily funny read, Carrie Harris. And there are more amazing ones coming out all the time. Thrillers and horrors are going through a hot spot right now and every time I read deal announcements it seems like there are more of them.

I say we soak it up. Revel in it until our fingers get all pruny and we tremble with fearful anticipation…at least that’s what I plan to do. 😉

Insomnia (The Nightwalkers #1) Summary:Insomnia
Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can’t take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he’s made eye contact with. If he doesn’t sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that’s utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker’s furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he’d go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker’s memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

Praise for Insomnia 
“The perfect blend of everything I love in a story. I hope a sequel comes soon!” –James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER

“Completely unputdownable. I’ve decided to nickname Johansson: Scary McScarypants, because she spooked me in all the best ways.” –Carrie Harris, author of BAD TASTE IN BOYS

“Cleverly written and dangerously dark, Insomnia will take you to the brink of insanity. A must-read for thriller and romance fans alike.”—Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION

“A riveting story of terror and despair that will keep you up long past your bedtime.”—Jennifer Bosworth, author of STRUCK

About the author
J.R. JohanssonJ.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/Macmillan. Her debut, INSOMNIA is coming June 2013. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters.

When she’s not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she’s nearly drowning in testosterone.

Connect with the author
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