Jill Williamson’s Blog

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.



What are you called to do?

Posted by on Aug 21st, 2012 in Adventures in Faith, Jill Williamson's Blog | 4 comments

There are some things in life we are all called to do. Love God. Love one and other.

But in regard to our dreams, we all have different gifts. Some of us are good with people, some are good with numbers. Megan works great with kids but doesn’t know what to say to the elderly. Martin does great with athletes but has no clue what to say to dancers. Kelly is a great cook but she can’t sing. And Pastor John can preach the Word but don’t hand him a baby!father's day

God gifts each of us with specific talents and abilities for a reason. He intends for us to use them! Maybe not all at once. But our abilities are no coincidence. They are part of God’s plan for each of us.

But I want to caution you in two ways. First, just because you’re called to work with homeless people, that doesn’t give you a right to make others feel guilty because they aren’t so called. You may love your calling with a passion, and you may wish there were more people called to it, but you mustn’t point your finger and judge those who aren’t serving alongside you. God will call who he wants to call. So you do what you are called to do and leave the calling to God.

Second, just because the church nursery, AIDS orphans, the church choir, human trafficking, Samaritan’s Purse, the youth group, the local abortion clinic, or the current mission trip are all powerful ministries, that doesn’t mean you must give time and money to all of them to be a good person. If you have the extra time and money and feel led to give, do so. But we can’t do everything! And we can’t give money to everything! There are just too many wonderful causes out there. And if God has called you to work with the homeless, you can’t do it with all your heart if you’re also helping with eight other ministries. Let your service be worthwhile. Give God 100% in all you do. And learn to say no.

Colossians 3-23

In fact, I give you permission to say no. If it’s not your calling, say no. Because you might be in the way of someone who is called! So trust that you know what God has called you to. And if you don’t know, or you think you’re good at nothing, think again! According to Romans 8:28, all have been called. Talk to your youth pastor or pastor about how you can discover your strengths and consider asking about a spiritual gifts survey to help you figure it out. But be patient. Sometimes God calls but doesn’t give the details for a while (sometimes years) as he waits for us to grow.

How has God gifted you? What are you good at?

Starring Me by Krista McGee

Posted by on Aug 20th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 1 comment

Review by Jill Williamson

Chad Beacon isn’t your average Hollywood heartthrob. Sure, he won the show America’s Next Star, but as he and his parents negotiate his next big contract, a teen skit show that’s similar to Saturday Night Live, his parents want to make sure that his co-star shares his faith. The compromise? A family friend—and a great judge of character—volunteers to play housemother to the top ten finalists, and she will choose Chad’s co-star.

Kara wants to be an actor, so when she gets a callback to audition for a teen skit show, she is thrilled, moving to Orlando to where the competition will be filmed. But how can she stand a chance at winning when she’s the only one without an agent? And why does it seem like everyone around her is talking about God?

Cute story! And another fictional addition that jumps on the reality TV craze. It reads similar to a romance novel, bouncing between Chad and Kara’s points of view. This book is a spin off from First Date, and Chad and Kara are friends with Jonathan and Addy, the main characters from that story. McGree’s characters are have great dialogue and interactions. This story was loosely based on Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship, which makes it all the more fun. If you haven’t discovered Krista McGee yet, I suggest you waste no more time. Fun stuff. 

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: contemporary/romance
Part of a Series: sequel to First Date
Pages: 336
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: 2012

Book Trailer: The New Recruit by Jill Williamson (Mission League, book one)

Posted by on Aug 18th, 2012 in Adventures in Life, Jill Williamson's Blog | 6 comments

A few weeks ago, a group of teens and my husband and kids and I all drove to Baker City to film a book trailer for The New Recruit. This is how it turned out. What do you think?

Thanks to Levi, Wyatt, Daniel, Sam, Janelle, Emily, Heather, and Brad for acting, to Jon Maiocco for sharing his amazing music, and to Logan Kenesis of www.GiveMeFreeArt.com for his super cool Jason Bourne line animation.

YouTube Preview Image


Posted by on Aug 17th, 2012 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Podcasts | 0 comments

CLICK HERE to download To Darkness Fled-Episode 39

When Achan learns that Vrell has left, he confronts Sir Gavin, then Arman.