Stay-at-home Mom Publishes Her New Teen Wilderness Thriller that Hits Amazon's Hot New Releases on the First Day of Release

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Untraceable, by author S.R. Johannes, gives teens a pacy thriller and a realistic heroine set in today’s world - all while touching on environmental topics.


"I want girls to know that they don't need magical powers to be strong. They can be real and be tough."

With the popularity of Twilight and Hunger Games, contemporary thrillers for teens have been practically nonexistent. S.R. Johannes hopes is challenging that with the release of her debut young adult thriller, Untraceable, the first in The Nature of Grace series. As soon as the book debuted on Nov 29th, against all odds, it hit Amazon's Top Hot New Releases.

Shelli said, "Publishers told me it woudn't sell unless it had magical elements or was in a fantasy world. I disagreed and reached out to teens on blogs at the grass roots level. I think teens are ready for something other than paranormal or dystopic books."

In a world where teens spend an average of thirty hours a week in front of some kind of screen, Untraceable is set in the Smoky Mountains and makes it cool - yet thrilling– for kids to get outside again and care about the world around them. Shelli makes it clear, "Not only is this a contemporary thriller but it has an underlying environmental message as well so it gets kids thinking."

Grace has grown up in the woods. Her first swing was a forest vine and her first pet, a wounded bear cub. When Grace’s forest ranger father goes missing on a routine patrol, she heads off into the Smoky Mountains in search of him. Soon, she’s enmeshed in a web of deception and murder that challenges everything she knows about the wilderness, survival, and self defense. And, it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this heroine to emerge from town conspiracy that’s spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she’s ever loved.

When Shelli first started writing the book, there were a few things on her mind. “I wanted to create a tough character who didn’t need a computer for entertainment. Someone who was strong and feminine with an honest love of natural things in this world. I guess I wanted my character, Grace, to be the Katniss Everdeen of today’s real world in the unexplored setting of Gary Paulson’s Hatchett.”

"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" -Kimberly Derting, author of Body Finder.

"This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page." - Kirkus Reviews

Untraceable is available in paperback or ebook at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

About S.R. Johannes
S.R. Johannes lives in Atlanta Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her high heels and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and a love of writing. You can find her hanging out online and visit her at

For interviews, ARCs, and publicity queries, please contact the author at shelli(at)srjohannes(dot)com.


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