Tag Archives: Jill Williamson

Top 10 Tuesday — First 10 Reviews

23 Apr

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge, First 10 Reviews, kind of made me cringe. I started blogging almost 10 years ago, and those early reviews . . . . Well, I’m not sure I want them anywhere but buried deep in my archives. LOL! I wrestled with how to put this post together. Should I do the first 10 of 2019 instead? Nope! I’m going to share the reviews of my favorite books from my first year of blogging. Hopefully you’ll see I have grown! 😉 Looking back I see that I was offered outstanding books to review. Maybe you will discover an oldie but goodie to read!

To discover other bloggers first reviews, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 First Reviews

Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry  — Almost Heaven sings to the soul like none other I have read this year.

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson — Whew! What a great adventure!

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin — This book, set at the beginning of America’s entrance into the war, is a novel of hope in the bleakest times.

For Time And Eternity by Allison Pittman For Time And Eternity is a fast-paced read that you just can’t put down.

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs  — Here Burns My Candle is a timeless, can’t-put-it-down novel you’ll love.

Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos — If you want a glimpse of who the real Jesus is, pick up Matt’s book. When you’re done, get quiet and get to know Him.

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias —  The story of God’s love transcends events, making this book a testament to God’s power in individuals’ lives.

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead — I found Lawhead’s newest offering an exciting and thought-provoking read.

Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren — Warren delivers a message of God’s love and grace in a quiet way that speaks louder than the evil and violence of the world.

The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher — I found even in the tragic events and clashes and conflicts presented in this novel, an expression of peace — the peace you can only find in God.

2018 Inspy Shortlists!

2 May

The Inspy Awards, the blogger-based awards program for inspirational books, has announced their 2018 shortlists. Whew! What a great bunch of books! Now it’s in the judges hands, and what a tough job they have. Congrats to all the authors! For more info, check out inspy.com.

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

A New Shade of Summer (Waterfall Press) by Nicole Deese

Then There Was You (Bellbird Press) by Kara Isaac

Jane of Austin (Waterbrook) by Hillary Manton Lodge

True to You (Bethany House) by Becky Wade

Just Look Up (Tyndale) by Courtney Walsh

 

Debut Fiction

 Still Waters (Firefly Southern Fiction) by Lindsey P. Brackett

Freedom’s Ring (Tyndale) by Heidi Chiavaroli

Count Me In (I21 Publishing House) by Mikal Dawn

Lady Jayne Disappears (Revell) by Joanna Davidson Politano

Stars in the Grass (Shiloh Run Press) by Ann Marie Stewart

 

General Fiction

Perennials (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell

A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (Kregel) by Susie Finkbeiner

Life After (Waterbrook) by Katie Ganshert

The Space Between Words (Thomas Nelson) by Michele Phoenix

The Austen Escape (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay

 

Historical Romance

A Note Yet Unsung (Bethany House) by Tamera Alexander

The Road to Paradise (Waterbrook) by Karen Barnett

Many Sparrows (Waterbrook) by Lori Benton

A Lady in Disguise (Howard) by Sandra Byrd

A Moonbow Night (Revell) by Laura Frantz

 

Literature for Young Adults

The Returning (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker

Unraveling (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella

For Love and Honor (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund

The Lost Girl of Astor Street (Blink) by Stephanie Morrill

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber

 

Mystery/Thriller

The Enoch Effect (Waterfall Press) by Rick Acker

Death at Thorburn Hall (Bethany House) by Julianna Deering

Crown of Souls (Bethany House) by Ronie Kendig

A Portrait of Vengeance (Thomas Nelson) by Carrie Stuart Parks

Imperfect Justice (Thomas Nelson) by Cara Putman

 

Speculative Fiction

Raging Storm (Harvest House) by Vannetta Chapman

The Divide (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim

The Beast of Talesend (Indie) by Kyle Robert Schultz

The Girl Who Could See (Indie) by Kara Swanson

King’s Blood (Bethany House) by Jill Williamson

 

2017 Christy Award Finalists

21 Sep

Congratulations to all the finalists of the 2017 Christy Awards. The winners will be announced November 8, 2017.

 

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Her One And Only by Becky Wade

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

FIRST NOVEL

Counted with The Stars by Connilyn Cossette

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

GENERAL FICTION

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore

HISTORICAL

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

The Mark of The King by Jocelyn Green

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

The Lady And The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

MURDER/SUSPENSE/THILLER

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Without Warning by Joel C. Rosenberg

SHORT FORM

Looking Into You by Chris Fabry

Mirror Image by Laura Scott

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

VISIONARY

The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim

King’s Folly by Jill Williamson

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James Rubart

YOUNG ADULT

If You’re Gone by Brittany Goodwin

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

Unblemished by Sara Ella

 

 

 

CSFF Blog Tour Day 3 – Review of Rebels

1 Oct

RebelsThe remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten yet.

The Safe Lands have long kept secret from their people what it means to be liberated. Mason and Omar are about to discover the truth.

Levi doesn’t want to give up on his brothers, but when Jemma is captured and becomes the Safe Lands new queen, Levi’s best option is to take up the role of The Owl that Omar began, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government.

But will The Owl be enough to safe Jemma? Will Ciddah be able to deliver Shaylinn’s babies safely underground without the help of a surgeon? And will Mason be able to keep Omar from dying as they search for a way back?

If only they could unite their efforts, together they could expose the Safe Lands lies to the people. But if they fail, they will surely die.

 

My Impressions: 

Rebels by Jill Williamson is the third and final book in The Safe Lands series. You really have to read the whole series to get the full effect — Rebels is not a standalone novel. That being said, I didn’t read book 2, Outcasts, although I did read book 1, Captives. (You can read my review of Captives HERE and my friend Stephanie’s review of Outcasts HERE.) Because of this, I am not sure I can give a full and accurate review of Rebels. But I will give you my thoughts on the novel.

**Please be aware there are Spoilers ahead!**

Rebels continues the story first told in Captives and continued in Outcasts. The three brothers, Mason, Levi and Omar are all affected by their time spent in the Safe Lands. The glitz of the nation is soon stripped away and the secret behind Liberation is revealed. I found the upside-down nature of the Safe Lands’ economy a statement on our own. Youth and leisure are touted — until your time is up at age 40. Liberation really means a life filled with brutality and degradation and forced labor until you die. In our own society, people are encouraged to live it up while young. Restraint and hard work are becoming things of the past. And while older members of our society are not being forced into labor, it is the wealth of older adults that is being eyed more and more to finance our government and the programs people are becoming dependent upon. While I was reading Rebels I was reminded of the future described in James Dobson’s book, Fatherless (review HERE). Are we becoming a society in which pleasure and selfishness trumps people? The lack of relationships among those of the Safelanders is also a growing trend described again by James Dobson. Rebels and Fatherless are very different books, but have striking similarities.

One of the rebel groups lives underground. The Kindred seeks to keep out the contamination of the Safe Lands, protecting itself from immorality and the plague that is rampant in the nation. But they are also dogmatic in their beliefs, not allowing for compassion and mercy. But some of the characters, namely Mason, Shaylinn and even Omar, live a life of light in a dark world. Instead of becoming insulated, they seek to show hope and love to those who need it. This is a good lesson for Christians today who want to be in the world but not of it.

Complex plot lines, complex characters and complex themes mark The Safe Land series. Though a  little rushed at the end, I think Williamson did a good job in portraying a future world that has big lessons for us today.

Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to the CSFF Blog Tour and Blink for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

 

Be sure to check out the other tour participants.
Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Jeremy Harder
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Elizabeth Williams

CSFF Blog Tour Day 2 — Outcasts by Jill Williamson

30 Sep

The CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Jill Williamson‘s YA dsytopian novel Rebels, final book in The Safe Lands series, this month. Yesterday I gave you an overview of each book in the series, some info on Jill and a link to my review of book 1, Captives. (Click HERE for yesterday’s post.) I didn’t read book 2 of the series, but my friend Stephanie did — and loved it! Here are her thoughts on Outcasts:

 

9780310724254Outcasts, the second installment in The Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson, not only continues to plunge the reader into a “fantasy” world of the future, but picks up speed in exciting plot development and further unveiling of the mysteries behind the Safe Lands society and the plague that infects its people. With mounting danger met with equaled bravery, Mason, Levi, and even Omar each began to find a way to impact not only their family and friends, but the Safelanders as well. As Mason continues to search for a cure for the Thin Plague, he begins to uncover not only clues to the mysterious illness, but a realization of his feelings for the beautiful Ciddah. Omar, desperate to atone for his betrayals, creates a vigilante superhero that becomes an unexpected symbol for hope. Levi continues to lead the scattered remnant of Glenrock and orchestrates a daring and dangerous rescue of the children still held by the Safelanders. This book certainly exceeded my already high expectations and left me eager to read the next Safe Lands book!

I believe The Safe Lands series should appeal to a wide variety of sci-fi & fantasy fans like me. Good science fiction helps us to have a clear picture of the impact of our moral and societal choices and to stand by those choices. Like classics such as A Brave New World and 1984, The Safe Lands series forces the reader to look at a world where the pursuit of selfish pleasures has resulted in a corrupt, plagued, and immoral society characterized by the unhappiness and emptiness of its people. Such a shocking glimpse of a world-that-could-be forces us to ask ourselves how our choices might make this possibility our reality. Ultimately, the reader must conclude that morality does impact society, a stance constantly under attack in our world today. Fortunately, the glimpse provided by The Safe Lands series equips us to stand firm on our views.

 

A BIG thank you to Stephanie for her very articulate analysis. Tomorrow, I will be posting my review of Rebels. In the meantime, make sure to visit the other participants on the tour:

Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Jeremy Harder
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Elizabeth Williams

Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour — Rebels by Jill Williamson

29 Sep

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Jill Williamson‘s book, Rebels, the third book in her The Safe Lands series. You really need to start this series with book 1, so I will be featuring each book in the series today through Wednesday. Be sure to check out the info on the Jill and the other participants in this tour.

SLTrilogy

 

jillwilliamsonnewsmallJill Williamson is weird, which is probably why she writes science fiction and fantasy novels for teenagers. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Thankfully it was the land of the midnight sun, and she could stay up and read by the summer daylight that wouldn’t go away. But the winter months left little to do but daydream. Both hobbies set her up to be a writer.

Her debut novel, a medieval fantasy called By Darkness Hid, won an EPIC Award, a Christy Award, and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine. Jill has since published twelve books.
Jill loves working with teenagers and encouraging them to respect their dreams. She speaks and gives writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. Come visit Jill on her Facebook author page or on her website at http://www.jillwilliamson.com, where adventure comes to life.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Jill wrote half a book and tried–and failed–to sell it in 2004
Jill published her first novel, By Darkness Hid, in April 2009
A major theme in most of Jill’s novels is finding your purpose in life and respecting your dreams
Jill joined Stephanie Morrill on http://www.GoTeenWriters.com where they blog for teen writers five days a week
Jill is a popular speaker at writers conferences for YA and speculative fiction workshops
Jill published her first nonfiction work, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book, which she co-authored with Stephanie Morrill in 2013

AWARDS
Family Fiction Magazine 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards: #5 Speculative Fiction Author
Winner: 2011 Christy Award, Visionary category, To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, book 2)
Family Fiction Magazine 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards: #4 Speculative Fiction Author
Family Fiction Magazine 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards: #5 Book Trailer: To Darkness Fled
VOYA magazine’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror 2010: To Darkness Fled
Winner: 2010 Christy Award, Visionary category, By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, book 1)
Winner: 2010 Epic Award, By Darkness Hid
Finalist: 2010 ACFW Carol Award, By Darkness Hid
Finalist: 2010 Clive Staples Award, By Darkness Hid
Finalist: 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award, By Darkness Hid
VOYA magazine’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror 2009: By Darkness Hid

CaptivesSafeLandsCaptivesIn a dystopian future, eighteen-year-old Levi returns from Denver City with his latest scavenged treasures and finds his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many–including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams. Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls. Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late? 

See my review HERE.

 

9780310724254OutcastsUncovering the truth could cost them their lives.

Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity, and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined … and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother Omar decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.

Soon all three brothers are being watched closely—and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.

 

RebelsRebels — The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten yet.

The Safe Lands have long kept secret from their people what it means to be liberated. Mason and Omar are about to discover the truth.

Levi doesn’t want to give up on his brothers, but when Jemma is captured and becomes the Safe Lands new queen, Levi’s best option is to take up the role of The Owl that Omar began, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government.

But will The Owl be enough to safe Jemma? Will Ciddah be able to deliver Shaylinn’s babies safely underground without the help of a surgeon? And will Mason be able to keep Omar from dying as they search for a way back?

If only they could unite their efforts, together they could expose the Safe Lands lies to the people. But if they fail, they will surely die.

CSFF Blog Tour Participants

Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Jeremy Harder
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Elizabeth Williams

Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour — Outcasts by Jill Williamson

20 Jan

The folks at the CSFF Blog Tour are featuring Jill Williamson’s second book in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts. I did not read this book, but wanted everyone to have a chance to check it out, so I am posting the links to all the reviews and posting a summary of the book and info on Jill as well. You can read my review of book 1, Captives, HERE.

724247In Outcasts, the second book in Jill Williamson’s Safe Lands series, Levi finds himself not only the leader of Glenrock’s remaining people but also the head of a new rebel force called the Messengers, intent on unmasking the Safe Lands’ lies. At the same time, Mason uncovers secrets that may be more dangerous than he ever imagined. Meanwhile, Omar decides to take matters into his own hands.

jillwilliamsonnewsmall

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several young adult books including the Blood of Kings trilogy, Replication, the Mission League series, and the Safe Lands trilogy. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. She loves working with teenagers and gives writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches.

Click on the image below to purchase a copy of this book.

Check out all of the CSFF participants links below.

Red Bissell
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Pauline Creeden
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie Bihn
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson