Jill Williamson’s Blog

Christy and Todd: The College Years by Robin Jones Gunn

Posted by on Jul 16th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Christy and Todd the College Years

Click to read more reviews on Amazon.com.

Review by Jill Williamson

This is a three-books-in-one volume that contains the final books in the Christy Miller tale. I’ve given a review of each story below.

Book 1: Until Tomorrow
Christy, Todd, and Katie travel Europe together, and Christy wonders if she and Todd are going to grow closer or farther apart.

This book made me laugh. Traveling for three weeks in Europe sounds like so much fun, but Robin Jones Gunn showed a more realistic side of such an adventure. Confusion, fatigue, hunger, awe, and running out of money! The trip was worth it for the characters and me, though. Fun story.

Book 2

As You Wish
Christy is back in Southern California attending the same college as Todd and Katie. She’s never had so much time to spend with Todd before, and now that he’s told her he loves her, Christy struggles over whether or not to say it back.

Finally! Christy and Todd get to spend some real time together on a regular basis. After so many books, this is what we’ve all been waiting for! I loved seeing Christy wonder over her relationship with Todd. I say what I’ve said all along. This is a GREAT series for teen girls. And this book in particular is perfect for girls contemplating true love. One of my favorite Christy books!

Book 3

I Promise
Christy and Todd discover some major differences between them which cause Christy to question whether or not they’re right for each other.

*SPOILERS* Another fabulous book for girls wondering if they’ve found “true love.” Christy and Todd work through a lot of things about each other and come out okay in the end. But this book will give readers a glimpse of a more realistic happily-ever-after as Christy and Todd go through pre-marital counseling and survive the coming together of their extended families. It’s a satisfying end to the series. A standing ovation for Robin Jones Gunn. Loved this series!

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: contemporary
Part of a Series: Christy Miller
Pages: 656
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: 2008


Posted by on Jul 13th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

CLICK HERE to download To Darkness Fled-Episode 34

Now that Achan has discovered that Sparrow is a girl, how is he to act around her? If she wants to be treated like one of the men, she’s going to get tousled like one.

Teen Summer Reading Sampler 2012 (free ebook)

Posted by on Jul 11th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 2 comments

Zondervan has released a FREE summer reading sampler. Get the first three chapters from Halflings, Reckless Heart, The Merchant’s Daughter, Interrupted, Finally and Forever, and Replication. Cool off this summer with a sampling of some of the best books in YA lit in this FREE eBook! If you don’t have a ereader, you can download the app and read on your computer too. (Click the cover image below to view on Amazon.com.)

Teen Reads Sampler

Click to view on Amazon.com.



Posted by on Jul 6th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

CLICK HERE to download To Darkness Fled-Episode 33

As Achan continues his search for a traitor, he sees Polk attacking Sparrow and tries to stop Polk.

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Posted by on Jul 5th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Review by Jill Williamson

When the pastor’s son, Sam Hopkins, falls in with the wrong crowd, it’s only a matter of time before he gets into serious trouble. His new friends harass an odd girl name Jennifer, and Sam sticks up for her. Then Jennifer tells Sam that she has dreams of demons and death, which freaks out Sam even more when her prediction comes true. When Jennifer tells him about another prediction, Sam is the only one who takes her seriously, which means he’s the only one who can stop it from coming true. 

This book was a lot of fun. Sam had a great personality that sucked me in and kept me laughing out loud. I liked the way the story was told, taking us from the bizarre changes in Sam’s life straight into a mystery. The only thing that bothered me was Sam’s father’s insistence that Jennifer’s dreams couldn’t possibly be prophecies. I was shocked to see a pastor so certain that God wouldn’t use prophecy in the world today. Maybe that’s a denominational thing—I don’t know. But most pastors I know keep an open mind in regards to what the God of the universe is capable of. So other than my little pet peeve with the pastor’s treatment toward his son, this book was awesome. And entertaining thrill ride. Recommended. 

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: action/adventure
Part of a Series: no
Pages: 336
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: 2012


How Peter Furler and the Newsboys Saved My Book!

Posted by on Jul 3rd, 2012 in Adventures in Faith, Jill Williamson's Blog | 12 comments

Newsboys-He Reigns-The Worship Collection

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I was driving to the Oregon Christian Writer’s conference a few years back and I was praying and listening to the Newsboys tape (my car is old) that my husband made for me. I was praying through book three of the Blood of Kings trilogy (From Darkness Won) because I was stuck and didn’t know how I was going to end the thing! I had this epic, Tolkien-esque adventure, and I had readers emailing me how much they loved it, and I was feeling all this pressure to end it well, but I didn’t know what to do.

So I was praying, and I had just passed Multnomah Falls, which is one of my most favorite places in the whole world. So beautiful. And I suddenly tuned out of my prayer and into the music. And I heard, “All the powers of darkness tremble at what they’ve just heard. All the powers of darkness can’t drown out a single word.”

And I knew exactly what I needed to do to end my trilogy! I was beside myself praising God for using the Newsboys’ song He Reigns to answer my prayer, and when I got to the writer’s conference, I ran to find my editor, Jeff Gerke, and told him how I figured out how to end the war and he was, like, “Yes!”

Anyway… when you get stuck in your writing or in your life, you never know what God might use to help you through it. It might be a song, a kind word from a friend, a bird, an email. Trust that he is listening to your prayers and he will answer, just maybe not in the way you expected an answer.

Here’s the music video for “He Reigns.” Listen for the lines that saved From Darkness Won! Coolness, huh?

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s Lily by Nancy Rue

Posted by on Jul 2nd, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Review by Jill Williamson

The kids in school tease Lily for being so tall and having such curly red hair. But when a talent agency owner comes to school to talk to the girls about beauty, she singles Lily out and offers her a chance to be a model. Lily’s parents allow her to participate in the modeling classes on one condition: that she find out whether God is present in this opportunity. So Lily sets out to discover if there is more to beauty that looking good.

This was a really sweet little story. Lilly and her friends were “young” sixth graders, as the ones in most public schools today, sadly, are already dating. But I find this book refreshing and know that these are books I will urge my daughter (who is eight) to read. Lilly was a kind girl, she worked hard to treat others kindly, even when others were mean to her. And she went through a traumatic experience and didn’t let it get the best of her. I liked Lilly a lot and found her an excellent and relatable role model for young readers. Recommended for readers 8-12. 

Age Range: 8-12
Genre: contemporary
Part of a Series: The Lilly series, book 1
Pages: 144
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: 2012


Posted by on Jun 29th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

CLICK HERE to download To Darkness Fled-Episode 32

The army finally leaves Darkness and arrives in Mitspah. Achan meets Lord Yarden and a stray boy. And Vrell suffers through entrance duty with Kurtz.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Posted by on Jun 28th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Review by Jill Williamson

When little Colton Burpo’s was in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy, his soul was in heaven with Jesus. His parents didn’t discover this until a while later when they passed by the hospital and Colton said, “That’s where the angels sang to me.”

Many people believe in an afterlife of some kind. But Colton’s experience gives us a glimpse of more than just hanging out on white clouds. According to Colton, no one will be old in Heaven, there are people and animals everywhere, there are angels, and there is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

The story in the book itself bounces around a lot, and I found myself skimming to find the parts where Colton talks about Jesus. But it’s well worth the read. This is a short book. And you can’t help but be fascinated by the things Colton said after his experience. I read the book out loud to my kids, and they loved hearing about all the colors, Jesus’ rainbow horse, and the size of Pop’s wings. This is a book everyone should read if for no other reason than to discover for yourself what Colton saw.

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: non fiction
Part of a Series: no
Pages: 163
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: 2010