Jill Williamson’s Blog

New Release! Ambushed: Mini-Mission 2.5

Posted by on Mar 19th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Ambushed

Ambushed, Spencer’s latest story, is now available in paperback and ebook formats.

Ambushed starts at the end of the year following Spencer’s trip to Japan. He’s worried about Grace and the dreams he keeps having about her, and he’s trying to navigate the confusing path of a potential NCAA athlete. He also gets to attend a Hollywood movie premiere.

Here is a little more info about the story:

All Spencer wants in life is an NCAA scholarship to play D-I college basketball. He visits universities when he can and works hard at his goal of taking his team to the state basketball championship.

When disaster strikes, Spencer’s desperation sends him to the one person he was determined to ignore: his father.

 

To find a copy of Ambushed, click on the links below. 

PAPERBACK

Amazon.com

Barnes&Noble.com

 

EBOOKS 

Ambushed on Kindle

Ambushed on Nook

Ambushed on Kobo

 

And click here to add Ambushed to your Goodreads To-Read list.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST OF MISSION LEAGUE BOOKS

 

 

CSFF Blog Tour – A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

Posted by on Mar 17th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 2 comments

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring the adult fantasy novel A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr, the third and final book in The Staff and The Sword trilogy. 

I had the pleasure of reading A Cast of Stones, the first book in this trilogy, before it was released. You can read my thoughts here. I read the second book before reading the third so that I could get all caught up for the final installment of this epic adventure. I was not disappointed! I really enjoyed this series. If you haven’t read them, you should. Here are all three in order. Such gorgeous covers!

CarrStaffandSwordTrilogy 


And here is my review of book three.

DrawofKings

After completing his quest to Merakh, Errol and his companions return to Erinon. But things are not as they were. The king has died, and Duke Weir has taken over the realm. Duke Weir has them all arrested. He plans to force Errol to work as his omne, to marry Adora, and crown himself king.

It is not long before they escape and foil Duke Weir’s plans. But the kingdom is still in terrible danger. The barrier has fallen and ferrals are making their way toward Erinon, killing everything in their path. And they still don’t know who should be the next king. Adora sets off on a diplomatic mission to the shadow lands to sign the promised treaty with the banished people (whose name I forgot). Errol sets off for Ongol to bring back the holy book. Both journeys are perilous but necessary to the survival of Erinon. And so Errol and Adora part ways again. Will they accomplish their missions? Will they see each other again?

These books are wonderful! Patrick Carr did a great job of writing an epic tale with tons at stake and creating heroes worthy of saving the day. I really enjoyed his main characters. They were my favorite part of the stories. I loved Errol. I loved Rokha. Other favorites were Merodach, Rale, Cruk, and Martin. I liked the mystery of each character’s backstory. And I thought it was cool how the church couldn’t argue with the book once they’d read it. And I also have to mention the cool magic of casting lots. Very neat.

This was a fabulous ending to a great trilogy. I found the storyworld fascinating. I did NOT enjoy that there was no map! Why??? Maps are cool. Why do publishers continue to thwart my dreams of maps in books? I really wanted a map for this series. I wanted it badly! It would have helped me keep track of where everything was a little better. This book also could have used a couple of pages in the front that listed the characters. While I easily remembered the main characters, on some of the minor characters I found myself paging back through the books, trying to remember who was who. Though to be fair, my fantasy novels have this same problem.

A couple things that gave me pause… Errol using swords. He rocks at the staff. Swords seemed unnecessary. And I also felt like the other nationalities were very similar to middle eastern people and native Americans. Though, again, to be fair, in my books I used Native Alaskan traits for my Berland people. So, perhaps I’m picking on Patrick for things I would have done differently in my own books… 

All-in-all, I loved this series, and I think that if you enjoy fantasy novels, you will too. So if you haven’t read them yet, get over to your local bookstore and pick up book one! Or, if you’re an ebook reader, book one is FREE in all formats. Go to B&N or Amazon or CBD  to download yours right now! 

Age Range: 16 and up
Genre: fantasy
Part of a Series: book three in The Staff & The Sword trilogy
Pages: 457
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: 2014
**In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

 

You can read the beginning of A Draw of Kings in the Scribd box below. And if you’d like to find out what other bloggers are saying about this series, check out these links. 

Gillian Adams  Jennifer Bogart  Keanan Brand  Beckie Burnham  Mike Coville  Pauline Creeden  Vicky DealSharingAunt  Carol Gehringer  Victor Gentile  Rebekah Gyger  Nikole Hahn  Jason Joyner  Carol Keen  Krystine Kercher  Jennette Mbewe  Amber McCallister  Shannon McDermott  Shannon McNear  Meagan @ Blooming with Books  Rebecca LuElla Miller  Joan Nienhuis  Nissa  Writer Rani  Nathan Reimer  Audrey Sauble  James Somers  Jojo Sutis  Steve Trower  Shane Werlinger  Phyllis Wheeler  Nicole White  Jill Williamson

 

A Draw of Kings by Bethany House Publishers

Cover reveal! Ambushed: Mini-Mission 2.5

Posted by on Mar 6th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 2 comments

Ambushed

Coming in just a few weeks!

All Spencer wants in life is an NCAA scholarship to play D-I college basketball. He visits universities when he can and works hard at his goal of taking his team to the state basketball championship. When disaster strikes, Spencer’s desperation sends him to the one person he was determined to ignore: his father.

One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, Book Review

Posted by on Feb 18th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 5 comments

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring the young adult fantasy novel One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, the first book in a new young adult fantasy series. Today I’m posting my book review.

 


Review by Jill Williamson

ORB

Cantor has trained his whole life to be a realm walker. He sets off through a portal on his first solo journey and is immediately caught up in an adventure. And while he makes new friends with another realm walker and two dragons—including one who likes to shop—he also discovers that the world is corrupt. Even the members of the Realm Walkers Guild cannot be trusted. There are few heroes left in all the realms, and Cantor and his new friends step up to the challenge.

This book was delightful. Donita K. Paul has crafted a complex and whimsical storyworld. I loved how her realms sat on different planes and were shifting dangerously. I loved the portals that enabled realm walkers to travel between the planes. And, most of all, I loved the shape-shifting dragons, especially Bridger and his cat. Just mentioning some of these fun facts to my children got them excited to read the book for themselves. (My daughter is especially intrigued about the dragon’s pet cat.)

This is a story about characters. The plot unravels slowly, building the storyworld and setting up the rest of the series, but the characters each grew in this story. And I look forward to seeing what happens to them next. This is a wonderful new series for readers, both young and old. Give it a try.

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: fantasy
Part of a Series: book one in the Realm Walkers series
Pages: 414
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: 2014

 

You can read the first few chapters of One Realm Beyond in the Scribd box below. And if you’d like to find out what other bloggers are saying about this new fantasy series, check out these links.

Julie Bihn  Keanan Brand  Beckie Burnham  Mike Coville  Pauline Creeden  Vicky DealSharingAunt ● Carol Gehringer ● Rebekah Gyger ● Janeen Ippolito ● Jason Joyner ● Carol Keen ● Krystine Kercher ● Emileigh Latham ● Jennette Mbewe ● Shannon McDermott ● Meagan @ Blooming with Books ● Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews ● Rebecca LuElla Miller ● Joan Nienhuis ● Nissa ● Donita K. Paul ● Audrey Sauble  Chawna Schroeder ● James Somers ● Jojo Sutis ● Jessica Thomas ● Steve Trower ● Shane Werlinger ● Jill Williamson ● Deborah Wilson

 

One Realm Beyond by Zondervan

 

 

CSFF Blog Tour – One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, Storyworld Fun

Posted by on Feb 17th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 10 comments

It’s been a while since I participated in one of the CSFF Blog Tours, but now that I’ve taken a break from my Novel Teen blog, I thought I’d get involved again. This month they are featuring One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, the first book in a new young adult fantasy series. 

ORB

Great cover, huh? I’ll post my book review tomorrow, but today I wanted to take a look at the storyworld. I’m a storyworld-first writer, so storyworlds always intrigue me. And this one was really clever. I’d try to explain, but better to let the author do that.

Here is an excerpt from the book that describes how the storyworld is set up.


 

Between the two old realm walkers, objects from the room floated. Cantor recognized the loose configuration of the nine planes represented by spoons, a couple of knotted napkins, a saltshaker, a ball of string, and woodchips from the kindling box. Of course, in reality, the planes looked more like floating pancakes, suspended over one another in a lopsided, shifting column.

Every planetary system in the galaxy was grouped in individual stacks. At times, columns came within pitching distance of one another. Well, not really. When Cantor was younger, he believed everything Odem told him, but he soon learned to discern when the man stretched a fact out of shape for a bit of fun.

The tales of two columns of planes being shuffled together like two halves of a deck of cards were just legends based on imagination, not truth. The ancient myth of one plane sliding out of its column, traveling through space, and integrating with another was also suspect. The only reason anyone lent these tales credence was Primen. Everyone knew Primen could do impossible things. If He were involved, then mountains might pick up their skirts and dance to the seashore.

Some facts stood on their own: Each plane held a realm. Each realm operated independently of its neighbors. Gravity kept them from floating away from each other, but didn’t keep them at a predictable, precise distance.

Many years before, Cantor had seen the plane of Alius when his realm and the other had drifted dangerously close. The other realm looked like a pale, mottled yellow disk float-ing high in the blue sky.

Odem told him that once, in ancient times, Alius and Dairine had collided. They’d bounced, and each floated out of the other’s domain.

Odem had cleared his throat and looked Cantor in the eye, the signal that what he was about to say held great importance. “The terror in the minds of the people far outreached the authentic threat of the situation. Some of our people ran to the other side of the plane and jumped off.”

 

[And a bit farther down in the scene . . .]

 

So here he [Cantor] stood, reduced to eavesdropping to glean information. Odem gestured at the model floating over the table. “Ahma, you can see, can you not, that Richra and Derson are edging too close?”

Ahma nodded.

Cantor watched, enrapt, as two spoons lost their bearings, slid sideways, and crashed together. They fell, knocking the saltshaker out of the way. Before the three planes stabilized, the woodchip representing Alius began to spin. Slowly, then with more speed, the plane tilted one way and then to the opposite side.

Ahma gasped. “The worst I’ve ever seen, Odem. Can we alter the course of Richra and Derson?”

“Perhaps.” Odem allowed his replica of the planes to col-lapse. The items clattered as they fell onto the table.

 


So we’ve got multiple realms that float on planes that have grown unstable. And there are portals between them, through which realm walkers can travel. And only the realm walkers–the good ones, not the corrupt ones–can stop these realms from destruction.

How cool is that?

Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t grouch over the fact that there is no map in the front of this book. It’s no secret that I’m a bit obsessed with maps in fantasy novels. It would be AMAZING to see a map of the realms and then a map of each world the realm walkers went to. But I’ll just have to dream about it. Or draw my own. Or wait for a fan to draw one.  

I Googled to find a similar type of storyworld, and the closest thing I could find to compare it to was the Great Wheel cosmology from Dungeons and Dragons. I never played, so I can’t make any comparison beyond these maps I found. They are so intriguing to look at, I think I could have easily been swept into the Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon and never found again. So maybe it’s a good thing I played basketball in high school and never discovered all this . . .

I imagine the maps for the Realm Walkers books might look somewhat similar to some of these images. Elysium is my favorite.

GreatWheelMap 

 elysium

 

Intrigued? You can read the first few chapters of One Realm Beyond in the Scribd box below. And if you’d like to find out what other bloggers are saying about this new fantasy series, check out these links.

 Julie Bihn  Keanan Brand  Beckie Burnham  Mike Coville  Pauline Creeden  Vicky DealSharingAunt ● Carol Gehringer ● Rebekah Gyger ● Janeen Ippolito ● Jason Joyner ● Carol Keen ● Krystine Kercher ● Emileigh Latham ● Jennette Mbewe ● Shannon McDermott ● Meagan @ Blooming with Books ● Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews ● Rebecca LuElla Miller ● Joan Nienhuis ● Nissa ● Donita K. Paul ● Audrey Sauble  Chawna Schroeder ● James Somers ● Jojo Sutis ● Jessica Thomas ● Steve Trower ● Shane Werlinger ● Jill Williamson ● Deborah Wilson

 

One Realm Beyond by Zondervan

 

 

Free Ebook for Subscribers

Posted by on Jan 23rd, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 5 comments

By now all my Sanctum ezine subscribers should have gotten the link to download an ebook version of my short story The Senet Box, which was originally published in the Spirited anthology by Leap Books.

If you did not get the latest ezine, check your spam folder. If it’s not there, you might not be subscribed to The Sanctum. Click here to learn more.

And here is the final cover and description for The Senet Box

Enjoy!

 JillSignature 


TheSenetBoxSmall

The Senet Box

It’s the year 1283. Prince John of Cypress and Jerusalem, at eighteen years of age, is about to take the throne. But a mysterious senet box he found in an Egyptian treasure hoard had John’s full attention. It calls to him. Some say he is obsessed. But he must solve the mystery of the box, if only to know he is not insane.

 

“Among the standouts … Jill Williamson brings a fascinating era to life in her tale of a 13th-century crusader king obsessed with an Egyptian box and the secret it contains.”
          – Kirkus Review of the Spirited anthology

 

Zondervan’s Safe Lands Ebook Sale

Posted by on Jan 17th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 3 comments

Zondervan/Blink has put the ebook of Captives on sale to celebrate the release of Outcasts. Click on the image below to see the interactive ad, as mine is just a copy of their image. Or you can click on these links to find the ebooks.

Captives on Kindle

Captives on Nook

Captives on iTunes

Outcasts on Kindle

Outcasts on Nook

Outcasts on iTunes

CaptivesEbookAd

Click on the ad to make the links active.

 

Vote for the Cover of The Senet Box

Posted by on Jan 13th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 8 comments

What is The Senet Box, Jill?

The Senet Box is the short story I wrote as a contribution to the Spirited anthology. I’ve decided to release the story as a gift whenever someone signs up for my Sanctum Newsletter. Here is a blurb:

It’s the year 1283. Prince John of Cypress and Jerusalem, at eighteen years of age, is about to take the throne. But a mysterious senet box he found in an Egyptian treasure hoard had John’s full attention. It calls to him. Some say he is obsessed. But he must solve the mystery of the box, if only to know he is not insane.

But I’m already subscribed to your Sanctum Newsletter. How do I get the free story?

After the cover is selected, the link to the ebook will come to you in the next newsletter mailing.

These four covers were designed by Chris Kolmorgen, who has recently started a cover design business. You can learn more about Chris on his author Facebook page and email him there if you want to learn more.

How to vote?

Simply choose which cover you like best in the poll under the images. If the poll won’t take your vote, please write it in the comments.

Thanks for your help in choosing which cover is best.

Voting Pic 2

Which cover do you like best?

  • #1 (38%, 8 Votes)
  • #3 (33%, 7 Votes)
  • #2 (14%, 3 Votes)
  • #4 (15%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 21

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Fight Club: General Otley vs. The Owl

Posted by on Jan 7th, 2014 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 18 comments

OutcastsToday is the official release day for Outcasts, book two in the Safe Lands series. I’m really proud of this book. I think it’s better than Captives. I hope you all like it. Click on the links below to view the books in various places. And if you read it, please consider posting an online book review.

Goodreads

Amazon Kindle

Amazon paperback

B&N Nook and paperback

ChristianBook.com

 

Two things.

1. I’m having a release party here on my blog. I’ve got a nifty chat plugin I’ve been dying to test drive. I’m giving away various prizes to attendees, including a Kindle Fire. So pencil the party on your calendar for this Friday, January 10, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Pacific time. Hope to see you all there. My husband will be assisting again, so know that there will be lots of zany humor.

 

2. I have a present for you!

I told you all I’d write a short story, one that went through Omar’s head as he “drew” the two sketches that I had Carlo Garde draw. Well, I did this. But I did it Omar style.

It’s a comic book.

Before you get too excited, I’m telling you plainly, I am not an artist. This comic book thing seemed like a good idea at the time. But it was hard work for me. So have mercy on the non-Carlo pages, okay? I totally cheated, too, buy flipping through my husband’s old comic books and mimicking poses. 

Artists: You amaze me. Seriously.

So here it is. Click on the link below to view the comic book online. And if you want to download it so you can read it on your computer or tablet, click the right mouse button and select “Save link as.”

Fight Club by Omar Strong 

Enjoy!

And if you’d like the second Carlo Garde page to color, click here to download that.

Tell me what you think in the comments. Hope to see you all on Friday! 

 

Hoo is the Owl? + a giveaway!

Posted by on Dec 31st, 2013 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 12 comments

TheOwl2

This is only a peek. Click to see the full picture.

One more week until Outcast releases!

And tonight is New Year’s Eve.

I think this calls for a special gift. 

But first, I must choose the winner from last week’s ARC giveaway.

And the winner is . . . Katherine Vinson!

*standing ovation*

Congrats to you, Katherine! And now for the gift.

Since Omar (from Captives and Outcasts) is an artist . . . and since I mentioned in Captives that he drew some caricatures of General Otley as a boar and Lawten Renzor as a vulture . . . and since he loves comic books and drew himself as the Owl in Outcasts, I thought it would be fun to show you some of his work. So I commissioned two drawings by the talented Carlos Garde. Carlo is the same artist who did the drawings for John Otte’s Failstate covers. 

Today I share one of those drawings with you. Click here to see it.

Is that cool, or what?

Also, here is a link to the original, in case you’d like to print it and color it. I know, I’m a grown up. But I still like to color.

Which brings me to a confession. The drawings were black and white. I colored them myself, which is why they aren’t quite as cool as John Otte’s Failstate covers.

Next week—on release day—I will not only show you drawing number two, I will give you all a free short story of the daydream Omar had while working on drawing number two. Oh yes. It’s so Omar. Levi would roll his eyes. And Shaylinn would giggle, tell Omar he’s very creative, and ask him to draw a cartoon Shaylinn next.

I’m giving away another ARC this week. Enter below. And happy New Year! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway