Press Kit

Author Bio

As an only child, Lora Beth Johnson grew up telling herself stories and reading past her bedtime. She spent her adulthood collecting degrees, careers, and stamps in her passport before realizing her passion for creating fictional worlds. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching college English and learning new languages. She lives in Davidson, NC with her little roommate, Colocatire the Yorkipoo. Goddess in the Machine is her first book.


Andra wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than she was supposed to, forcing her to team up with an exiled prince to navigate an unfamiliar planet in this smart, thrilling sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Renegades and Aurora Rising.


When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists–including her family and friends–are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne–if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her. 

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Praise for


“Johnson’s rich, intelligent world blends sci-fi elements with palace intrigue and swoon-worthy characters in a way that is wholly unique and utterly brilliant. This book will make you laugh, make you fall in love, and then it'll blow your mind.” 

—Emily Suvada, award-winning

author of the Mortal Coil series


"Utterly inventive and unique, this story has more 

surprises in store for you than you can imagine." 

—Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling

author of Across the Universe 

and Give the Dark My Love

***Starred review from School Library Journal***

“Reminiscent of Moira Young’s “Dustlands” series, this novel by debut author Johnson is a must-purchase for all YA science fiction collections. Highly recommended.”

***Indies Introduce pick for Summer/Fall 2020***

“Wow! Lora Beth Johnson takes the literal ‘deus ex machina’ and turns it on its freaking head. Several times! Andra wakes up from cryo-sleep 1000 years too late to help her family, but just in time to help Zhade the exiled. He wants to grab ‘Goddess 3’ and return home the hero. But Andra isn't here to live up to someone else's expectations. And she is not the Goddess you were looking for.”


– Kathy Burnette,

The Brain Lair (South Bend, IN)

“Whew! What a wild ride Goddess in the Machine is. From the very beginning, Andra’s struggle to orient herself after waking up from cryo-sleep and finding herself on a brand-new planet is felt acutely. But that’s nothing compared to her shock at waking up 1,000 years after she is supposed to.... and learning that the people of this planet think she’s a goddess. With the help of a man (jerk) named Zhade, she journeys to a domed city to try to figure out what exactly happened while she was asleep. Meanwhile, she must keep her goddess facade up so the ruler of the city and all its citizens don’t do to her what they did to the last two goddesses who awoke. Goddess in the Machine is a truly original story that features some incredible twists that I never saw coming. I’m a fantasy lover at heart, but this sci-fi gem has definitely won a place on my shelf.”

-Emily Hall Schroen,

Main Street Books (St. Charles, MO)


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