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Blades of Valor by Sigmund Brouwer

Posted by on Mar 24th, 2014 in Novel Teen | 0 comments

Blades of ValorThomas and Katherine are in the Holy Land, and they’re both looking for answers. They also both still don’t know if they can trust the other. They set off in search of an ancient treasure. But they are travelling through a dangerous place with bandits, Druids, and the desert sun. Can they find the treasure? And can Thomas discover the truth once and for all?

This was the final book in the Merlin’s Immortals series, and overall, I enjoyed this tale. But there was a place in this book where I was just annoyed with the continual “Who can we trust?” thing. Katherine and Sir William put Thomas through a test that is completely unfair and by no means foolproof. Yet the result makes them certain that Thomas is a Druid after all. I, the reader, was annoyed. This “Can we trust him?” thing went on for four books, and this time, it was too much. Just have a conversation, please!

Once we got past all that, the story rolled on to an excellent and entertaining conclusion. So, all in all, I enjoyed this series. The narrative style in which point of view characters knows things but won’t tell the reader has never been my favorite, but I cared enough about the characters and the mysterious plot that I kept with it. I also think these four books would do better as one 500-page novel than four short ones. Overall, an enjoyable series.

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: historical fiction (medieval)
Part of a Series: book four in the Merlin’s Immortals series
Pages: 216
Publisher: Waterbrook
Released: 2014

  

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

Martyr’s Fire by Sigmund Brouwer

Posted by on Feb 25th, 2014 in Novel Teen | 1 comment

Martry's fireReview by Jill Williamson

When Priests of the Holy Grail show up in Magnus, Thomas flees the castle and sets out on a journey to the Holy Land in search of answers. He runs into Katherine along the way and is convinced that she is a Druid. Katherine, however, is convinced that Thomas is the Druid. And so they reluctantly partner up, even though they cannot trust the other.

This in book three in the series, and while I enjoyed the continuing story, this book was filled with traveling and waiting for the next big thing to happen. So that felt a bit anti-climactic in the end. But I still enjoyed the characters and the unfolding mystery. These books are very well written and so short that I can read them in a day. Perhaps they’ll publish them all in one volume at some point. Looking forward to the final installment.

Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: historical fiction (medieval)
Part of a Series: book three in the Merlin’s Immortals series
Pages: 216
Publisher: Waterbrook
Released: 2013

  

 

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

 

 

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.

 

Merry Christmas!

Posted by on Dec 25th, 2013 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen, Onyx Eyes, Podcasts | 1 comment

DasherChase2013

 

And enjoy this video. It’s adorable.

 

YouTube Preview Image

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet – Review & Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 13th, 2013 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 15 comments

Book two is out! I LOVED book one. Read my review here. And I loved book two, as well. So much so that I’m giving away a paperback copy. But first, a little about the book, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet.
 
Ellie2Back Cover Blurb:
For once, Ellie Sweet has it all together. Her hair now curls instead of fuzzes, she’s tamed the former bad-boy, Chase Cervantes (she has, right?), and her debut novel will hit shelves in less than a year. Even her ex-friends are leaving her alone. Well, except for Palmer Davis, but it can’t be helped that he works at her grandmother’s nursing home.
 
Life should feel perfect. And yet, it’s not that easy. Ellie’s editor loves her, but the rest of the publishing biz? Not so much. And they’re not shy about sharing their distrust over Ellie’s unlikely debut.
 
Ellie has always been able to escape reality in the pages of her novel, but with the stress of major edits and rocky relationships, her words dry up. In fiction, everything always comes together, but in real life, it seems to Ellie that hard work isn’t always enough, the people you love can’t always be trusted…and the dream-come-true of publishing her book could be the biggest mistake she’s made yet.
 
My review: 
I loved book one, and I love book two as well! Ellie is such a fun character to read. And her life is never boring. I enjoyed reading about her editing process as she got ready for the release of her first book. And it was so much fun how everything came together in the end. While this book held some disappointments for Ellie, she learned that some people can change and some can’t. That resonated with me, because I’ve experienced that in my own life. And though it was a hard lesson for Ellie to learn, it all worked out okay. Live goes on. And sometimes, it’s for the better, even if we never would have thought so from the start. I highly recommend both books! Fun, fun, fun.
 
About Stephanie:
The-Revised-Life-of-Ellie-SStephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately she discovered a passion for young adult novels and has been writing them ever since.

Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, and the award-winningGo Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, www.GoTeenWriters.com. You can also find her online at www.StephanieMorrill.com

 
Follow Stephanie:
Twitter: @StephMorrill https://twitter.com/stephmorrill
 
 
Find the books!
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Paperback
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Kindle
The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet- Paperback
The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet- Kindle
 

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Christmas Ebook Sale: Jill’s Novels

Posted by on Dec 2nd, 2013 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Christmas LongMLP Books

All of my Marcher Lord Press ebooks are on sale for .99 this week as well as the Go Teen Writers ebook. So if you haven’t grabbed them yet, now is a great time.

Here’s where you can find them:

By Darkness Hid

To Darkness Fled

From Darkness Won

The New Recruit

Chokepoint

Project Gemini

 

The Go Teen Writers Christmas Ebook Sale

Posted by on Dec 1st, 2013 in Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

Print

For the week of December 1 through December 7, the Go Teen Writers ebook is on sale for .99! If you haven’t grabbed this handy little book, now is your chance. The Go Teen Writers ebook is available in the Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Amazon online stores. It would also make a great Christmas gift for any young writers you know.

Here’s where you can find it:

Barnes and Noble Nook

Kobo

Amazon Kindle