Friday, April 3, 2015

Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston

Contemporary YA Clean Romance

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kensington PublishingKobo, and other online retailers.

A convict’s daughter should never fall for an FBI agent’s son, certainly not a feisty teenager like Julianna Schultz who is furious over her mother’s incarceration and the injustice of it all. But that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Julianna finds herself doing when Cody Rush, the cocky son of the FBI agent who put her mom behind bars, moves into her hometown of Gilbert, Arizona.

Cody Rush—studious, principled, athletic, good looking and blond to boot—is everything Julianna hates, or so she thinks. Yet a series of ill-fated events one night brings them dangerously close, entangling the futures of two people who were never meant to be…

Excerpt—Photo Booth


We listen to the monotone voice reel off instructions. Four pictures. A light will flash before each picture is taken. Etcetera. How I ended up in this position I’m not sure. We both sit, staring at our reflections on the dark plastic and, no doubt, both stuck on the same thought that crosses everyone’s mind when they’re on this seat.

“Quick,” I say, “what should we do?”

A flash of light. Picture one down. Both of our mouths were hanging open, blank stares straight ahead.

We burst into laughter and can’t stop. A second flash. Picture number two: both of us laughing.
Our gazes meet and we pull ourselves together, his eyes never veering from mine. He leans toward me, coming halfway before pausing, his eyes seeking permission. I regard him with equal parts terror and anticipation, the intimacy of the situation whispering a thrill. He closes the distance between us and glides his nose through my hair. My heart rattles around as though this is the first boy I’ve ever been close to.

“Now smile,” he whispers into my ear. Even if I should be creeped out, forget it. My cheeks burn despite myself and I feel the corners of my lips tugging upward. A flash of light signals the third picture and I am totally seduced.

About the Author

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and three children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.


My husband was a special agent for five years, and while I’m sure he would have loved it if I’d written an intense thriller about Special Agent Johnston thanks to all of his crazy stories (sorry, babe…maybe someday!), I wrote a romance instead.

The convict’s daughter and the FBI agent’s son—I couldn't stop thinking about it. Couldn't resist.
Soon, characters began taking shape. And then a certain photo booth scene that had been on my mind for years came back to me. For so long, I couldn't shake the image of two strangers meeting in the mall at a photo booth. I frequently wondered why I couldn't stop thinking about these two mysterious people.

The two characters now had a face, a name.

Julianna, the convict's daughter; Cody, the FBI agent's son.

Julianna doesn't realize who Cody is at first. Yet he does—Cody knows who she is, knows his dad put her mom behind bars. And he's into her. And Julianna is into him. However, Cody knows it won't soon as she figures out who he is.

Add to all of this the fact that Cody knows Julianna is in danger and we have their first meeting, near a photo booth, right after Julianna gets off work at the mall.

Their story was something else to write, and I’m so excited to see it in print!


  1. Forbidden love!
    Congratulations, Laura.

  2. Funny how it that one scene can just stick with us for so long, demanding to be written. I hope your book does well, congratulations!

    1. Yes! I love it when those scenes finally come together. Thanks for the congrats and well wishes! :)

  3. Congrats, Laura. Always great when characters take shape and away one can write

  4. Congrats to Laura. Such an interesting premise.

    1. Medeia, thank you! This premise was so fun to work with. :) Thanks for the congrats!

  5. Congratulations, Laura. Sounds like a winner.

  6. I love that this is a clean YA contemporary romance! And I think the premise sounds amazing! Congrats to Laura!

    1. Thank you, Kristin! Clean YA contemporary is one of my favs. ;) I appreciate you commenting!

  7. I actually love knowing the story behind the story more. How it came to be. :)
    Thanks for this.

    Happy Easter!

    1. Me too! It's always intriguing to discover how an author came up with the story. Thank you for commenting.

  8. Donna, thank you so much for this spotlight--it looks amazing! Your blog is always so lovely. I appreciate your help in spreading the word about BETWEEN NOW & NEVER.


Comments brighten my day.

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