Jill Williamson’s Blog

Pineapples in Peril by Cheryl Linn Martin

Posted by on Oct 1st, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 3 comments

Review by Jill Williamson

When police can’t figure out who vandalized a local pineapple plantation, Lelani decides it’s time to turn her childhood detective club into something real. She and her friends set out to solve their first official case. But Lelani’s little brother keeps following them, and if they aren’t careful, he’s likely to spoil everything!

Pineapples in Peril is a delightful middle grade mystery debut from author Cheryl Martin. A Nancy Drew-style story for the twenty-first century, Pineapples is packed with investigative fun that will bring young readers back for more adventures with the Hawaiian Island Detective Club. This is the first of several Hawaiian Island Detective Club mysteries for middle grade readers. I’m excited to see a series like this bring published.

Age Range: 10 and up
Genre: mystery
Part of a Series: Book one in the Hawaiian Island Detective Club series
Pages: 202
Publisher: Comfort Publishing
Released: 2012
Author website: http://www.cheryllinnmartin.com/

If Only I was ______ Then I Could Follow My Dream

Posted by on Sep 25th, 2012 in Adventures in Faith, Jill Williamson's Blog | 7 comments

“I’m not going to try that until I’m older.”

“If I could just figure out what’s wrong with me, I could be of use.”

“I can’t do that! Because I’m not good at that stuff!”

“One of these days, when I really understand God’s word, then I’ll be able to help out.”

“If only I was good at working with _______, then I’d help.”

“I want to, but I’m too unqualified.”

“I want to, but it’s too hard.”

“Once I find peace and healing, I’ll be able to help others. But not until then.”

I’ve heard people say things like this or variations of them before. I’ve said some of them myself. No matter what our dream is or what God might be asking us to do, we tend to put limitations on ourselves, to make excuses. We don’t think we’re good enough, talented enough, smart enough, experienced enough… so we do nothing.

And time goes by.

And we miss out on our chance to do something great.

Guess what? God doesn’t think like we do. He uses all types of people, whether they’re “good enough” or not. Because God doesn’t measure worth the way humans do.  And God sees our hidden potential.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

We’ve all been called to something. We can’t wait until we’re perfect to try, because we’ll never be perfect. Ever.

This YouTube video says it better than I can. Check it out.

YouTube Preview Image

Have you been putting something off? 

Remember, there is no time like right now. So what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and get to it!

God will equip you.

Map of Moscow by Nichole White for The New Recruit

Posted by on Sep 19th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

This is the map used in the book, The New Recruit. Cool, huh?

Thanks, Nichole!

Enter the Go Undercover Scavenger Hunt Contest

Posted by on Sep 11th, 2012 in Adventures in Life, Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

To celebrate the release of The New Recruit, I’m held the Go Undercover Scavenger Hunt contest. Matthew Schroll won the $100 Barnes and Noble gift card. Here is a full list of the runners up, who received spy kits:


Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to all who entered!


Here are the answers to the riddles:

1. No, I’m not angry, that’s just my shape. (Hints) — Answer: A cross (Spencer’s grandma gave him a cross necklace.)
2. I’m good for two, but three pleases the crowd,
Sometimes I give one, but only when fouled. (Hints) — Answer: A basketball (Spencer’s favorite sport.)
3. From hard comes soft, from salt comes sweet,
Children love this sticky treat. (Hints) — Answer: Peanut Butter (Spencer’s favorite snack.)
4. It has keys but no locks, space but no room.
You can enter but not go inside. (Hints) — Answer: A computer (A MacBook in Spencer’s case)
5. High it rides, hair it hides.
It may advertise, and catch pop flies. (Hints) — Answer: A baseball cap (Spencer always wears a Lakers cap.)




Click Here to Download aMustache. 


What are the Prizes?

  • Grand Prize- $100 Barnes and Noble gift card
  • 10 runner ups will receive Mission League spy kits 

The contest will run until October 29, 2012. 




1.   ELIGIBILITY:  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR CLAIM PRIZE.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry–or with parental permission.

2.   TO ENTER:  See entry guidelines here: http://jillwilliamson.com/books/go-undercover-scavenger-hunt/.

3.   PRIZES:  On or about October 29, 2012, sponsor will draw the winning entries. The winners will receive one of the following prizes: a $100 Barnes and Noble gift certificate or a Mission League spy kit.

Winners will be contacted via email at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.  If a winner cannot be reached within 7 days of initial attempt, winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner selected.  Odds of winning will be determined by the number of eligible entries received.

4.   GENERAL:  Taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of winners.  By participating in the GO UNDERCOVER SCAVENGER HUNT CONTEST (the “Promotion”), entrants agree (a) to these rules and decisions of Sponsor which shall be final in all respects relating to the Promotion; (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agencies, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives from any and all claims, demands, costs, expenses, liability, losses or damages of any kind resulting from their participation in the Promotion or their acceptance, use or misuse of a prize, including liability for personal injury or death; and (c) for all entrants, to the use of name and/or photograph for advertising and publicity purposes without compensation (unless prohibited by law) and agree to execute specific consent to such use.  Winners may be required to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release and (where legal) Publicity Release and an IRS Form W-9, which must be returned within the time period specified by Sponsor or an alternate winner may be selected.  Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification of winner and selection of an alternate winner.  Sponsor, its officers, directors, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents and representatives and their respective employees are not responsible for (a) any electronic, hardware or software, program, network, Internet or computer malfunctions, interruptions, disconnections, miscommunications, failures, or difficulties of any kind, including, without limitation, server malfunction or by any human error which may occur in the processing of entries; (b) failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, and (c) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsor that may cause the promotion to be disrupted or corrupted.  Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Promotion or website or act in violation of these Official Rules will be disqualified, at Sponsor’s sole discretion.  Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel or suspend the Promotion or any portion thereof should viruses, bugs, or other causes beyond control of Sponsor corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the promotion, in which case the prizes will be awarded via a random drawing from among all eligible entries received prior to cancellation.  No prize transfer.  No prize substitution except by Sponsor due to unavailability, in which case a prize of comparable or greater value will be awarded.  Sponsor is not responsible or liable for late, lost, illegible, damaged or misdirected entries.  CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.  In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the email account is registered at the time of entry.  Potential winners may be required provide evidence that winner is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with a winning entry.  In no event will Sponsor, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agencies, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives be responsible or liable for dishonesty of entrant or any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of your access to and use of the internet site http://jillwilliamson.com/ or other sites promoting the Promotion or the downloading from and/or printing material downloaded from said sites.  Without limiting the foregoing, everything on this site is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement.  Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Web site.  Entries become the property of Sponsor.  No prize transfer.  No prize substitution except at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

5.   USE OF INFORMATION:  Information submitted by entrants will be used in accordance with Sponsor’s privacy policy, available at http://jillwilliamson.com/blog/news-information/my-privacy-policy/.

6.   WINNERS LIST:  For a list of winners, email info@jillwilliamson.

Sponsor:  Jill Williamson, c/o Marcher Lord Press, 8345 Pepperridge Drive, Colorado Springs, CO, 80920.



1. Spencer’s grandmother gives him something with this on it. (Study the book cover for a clue.)

2. This is Spencer’s favorite object. (There is a hint listed in Spencer’s bio on http://themissionleague.com/.)

3. Spencer loves to eat this. (The answer is one of Spencer’s “Likes” on his Facebook page. If you visit it, please click “like.”)

4. Someone mysteriously gave Spencer one of these expensive items. (For a clue, such an object is necessary for one of Spencer’s “Likes” on his Facebook page.)

5. Spencer wears this almost everywhere. (Again, study the book cover.)


Team Novel Teen Blog Tour: Sneak by Evan Angler

Posted by on Sep 10th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 7 comments

Today Team Novel Teen is touring Sneak by Evan Angler, which is book two in the Swipe series. I like these books. Check out the book trailer for Sneak.

YouTube Preview Image

And here is my book review:

Review by Jill Williamson

We last left Logan on the run. And this story picks up there. Logan is working his way across the country toward the city of Beacon, in hopes of finding his sister Lily, who disappeared five years ago when she went in to receive her mark. There seem to be many more points of view in this book, though maybe it just felt that way. But the story is starting to get more complicated as more of the mysterious government is revealed.

This is a fun series. I really enjoy the futuristic storyworld portrayed. So much fun cleverness. And I’m finding the bits and pieces of the plot that are being revealed quite fascinating. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the end.

I kept wishing for fewer and deeper points of view. For example, it felt weird to be in Erin’s head when she made an amazing discovery, then have to wait to learn what it was until the end of the book when she tells everyone. And there were so many point of view characters, when one of them got caught, I didn’t really care because I hadn’t been able to keep all those side characters straight anyway. I just wanted to stay with Logan, Erin, Dane, or Hailey. Peck was cool. Other than that, I wanted to skim to get back to the people I cared about. I didn’t mind Grandma’s point of view, but she was easy to differentiate from all those Dust peeps. And if there had been deeper points of view, I think we’d have experienced the faith elements in a stronger way. I want to know more about Logan and that Bible he found, but everything is happening off screen.

Regardless of all that, this is a very fun series for younger readers. If you haven’t read the first book, I suggest you start there. Book one was called Swipe, and it was fabulous! And I’m very much looking forward to book three.  

Age Range: 8 and up
Genre: dystopian/mystery/suspense
Part of a Series: book two in the Swipe series
Pages: 277
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: 2012

Books one and two of the Swipe series by Evan Angler are now available.

Swipe, book 1

Sneak, book 2

Visit Evan’s website for more information at http://www.evanangler.com/.

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Sneak by Evan Angler by clicking on the links below, and check out www.NovelTeen.com for more information about Team Novel Teen. 

ADD Librarian • Blooming with Books • The Book Fae • Book Nook 4 You • Bookworm Reading  • Christian Book Review Blog • Heavenward Reviews • Jill Williamson • Labor Not in Vain • Maniacal Bookworm • Oh, Restless Bird • The Pen and Parchment • Reviews by Jane • Shadow Writer World


I Survived Simultaneous Deadlines

Posted by on Sep 9th, 2012 in Adventures in Life, Jill Williamson's Blog | 3 comments

One thing that never occurred to me when I decided to write two series at once was that the edits might overlap. I figured if the release dates were far apart, everything would work out. 

This was naive.

But after a very stressful three weeks, both books have been turned in. I survived. Though this is how I feel right now.

How about you? Ever felt like this? If so, what was it that piled on the stress?

Deadly Loyalty Collection by Bill Myers and James Riordan

Posted by on Sep 3rd, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Review by Jill Williamson

This is the third three-books-in-one volume of the Forbidden Doors series re-release that follow Becka, Scott, and Ryan as they face the supernatural. I’ve given a review of each story below.

Book 7
The Curse
Becka and Scott travel to the Louisiana Bayou to search for a girl named Sara who is involved in voodoo. But Sara wants nothing to do with them, and Scott and Becka get scared when Sara places a curse on Becka.

It was interesting to learn more about voodoo and how people get into it. This particular story reminded me of Frank Peretti’s Hangman’s Curse, as a few boys were hospitalized because of voodoo, which is truly demons using Sara’s spells. Again Becka and Scott were quick to forget the power of prayer, which frustrated me, knowing all they’d been through. I’d think they wouldn’t forget that amazing power. But they got the hand of things as usual, in the end.

Book 8
The Undead
Becka and Ryan travel to Transylvania, Romania where a vampire film is being made. The lead actress, Jaimie Baylor, has been attacked by a vampire several times. Becka believes Z, that there are no such thing as vampires, but Ryan isn’t so sure. And when the vampire comes after Becka, she starts to think that maybe Z is wrong.

This book read more like a mystery than a supernatural story. And it was. Becka became extremely jealous of the time Ryan spent with Jaimie, working on her lines. And Ryan, as a new Christian, was quick to stock up on garlic to fight off the vampire to the point he had Becka thinking there was a real vampire too. This story came to a satisfying conclusion.

Book 9
The Scream
Becka and Scott head down to Los Angeles to go backstage with The Scream, a popular rock band that plays satanic music. The band’s drummer, Mike, thinks the band is taking the dark thing way too far, but lead singer Dolan knows what he’s doing. But Becka knows what happens when a person gives himself over to be controlled, and Dolan is one dangerous lead singer.

An interesting view of the behind the scenes of a rock star’s life. I felt bad for Mike, as he developed a crush on Becka and she was only trying to save his life. Scott, again, forgot everything he’d learned in their previous supernatural battles, caught up in the excitement of being with a famous band. It was a little disheartening. But he came around in the end. This series remains an excellent one for exposing the truth about the supernatural world. I highly recommend all the books for teens to read and learn.

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: supernatural/suspense
Part of a Series: The third volume in the Forbidden Doors re-release series
Pages: 337
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: 2008

More New Recruit Fun!

Posted by on Aug 29th, 2012 in Adventures in Life, Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

Only four more days until The New Recruit comes out!

To celebrate, I have some more teasers for you.

Check out the official website of The Mission League series.

“Like” The Mission League series Facebook page.

“Like” Spencer Garmond’s Facebook page.

Look at these fun character sketches by Keighley Kendig.

And read the first chapter.

New Recruit anime character sketches


Interview and Giveaway– Janalyn Voigt, author of Dawnsinger

Posted by on Aug 28th, 2012 in Adventures in Life, Jill Williamson's Blog | 13 comments

Today I have author Janalyn Voigt on Novel Teen to talk a little bit about her journey to publication. Janalyn recently released her first novel, an epic adult fantasy novel called Dawnsinger (read my review here).

I really enjoyed Dawnsinger, Janalyn! And I’m so excited to find more fun Christian fantasy novels being released. How long have you been working on this story and where did you get the idea?

I’m glad to hear that, Jill. I felt the same about your Blood of Kings series when it released. 

My Tales of Faeraven series, of which DawnSinger is book one, began as a story to entertain my little girl during a drive. For the main character of my story, I twisted the name of her doll, Cinda, and came up with “Syl Marinda,” a half-breed princess in a divided land.  Long after my daughter had forgotten that first story, the world of Elderland took shape in my mind. I could picture its trees, creatures, and landscapes. As time passed, the characters deepened and grew, and so did the struggles of the alliance of Faeraven, a group of kingdoms unified under a High Queen in Elderland. Through several attempts, I tried to record the story as it unfolded for me, but I kept backing up in time because much of the history in the story demanded to be told.  Syl Marinda doesn’t even enter the scene until close to the end of WayFarer, book two in the series. She is the heroine of DawnKing, book three.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I stood on the hearth and sang into a bottle turned upside down as my early training in voice. 🙂 I also wanted to be an actress. I got to do both in small ways. Story telling was something I did just naturally. It wasn’t until I reached sixth grade that a teacher pointed out my ability to write and encouraged me to become a novelist. I’m so grateful for his encouragement.

When did you decide to try writing books?

My father read to me when I was a child, and through that time spent with him I learned to love literature. I began spinning my own bedtime stories long after I should have been asleep. Eventually, I wrote my inventions down. I was in my teens before I attempted to write novels, but I never seemed to make it past the beginnings in those days. Later, I realized those failed beginnings were necessary to my learning.

What do you consider one of your biggest life adventures?

During a period of my life I lived in the Australian outback at a remote communications station. When severe cyclone Karen went through town, I huddled in the utility closet with my husband and daughter while what sounded like a freight train went by, shaking the house and rattling the windows behind the storm shutters. Some of our neighbors had “storm parties,” but I didn’t take it lightly. The cyclone left little damage in our area, but one of our Australian neighbors did lose their roof.

Wow! That does sound like an adventure! I want to tell the readers a little bit about Dawnsinger. Here is the back cover blurb:

The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing–and the salvation he offers–into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.

What new fictional adventure are you working on now and when can we read it?

I’ve returned requested edits to my publisher on WayFarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven, but I haven’t received a release date yet. I’m also working on Cheyenne Sunrise, a historical romance set during Montana’s gold rush days. 

Fun! Where can readers learn more about you and your writing?

Author site for Janalyn Voigt: http://janalynvoigt.com and Creative Worlds blog: http://janalynvoigt.com/blog

Thanks for talking with us today, Janalyn! 

You’re welcome, and thanks for featuring me during DawnSinger’s launch.

Guys, Janalyn is giving away one copy of Dawnsinger here on my blog, paperback or ebook, whichever the winner prefers. Enter on the form below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

To Darkness Fled delay…

Posted by on Aug 24th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

I’m terribly sorry to have to delay the podcast. I really wanted to keep going without skipping any weeks, but I just got my new deadlines for edits on two novels that are due in the next three weeks! So I have to drop everything–absolutely everything–if I’m going to get this stuff done and do a good job.

I’ve already recorded chapters 40, 41, and 42, I just don’t have the time to edit them together and post the MP3s. Please have patience. And I’ll get back to them in the second half of September.