Great Gift for Teen Writers

14 03 2013
Click Here

Do you know any teens who dream of being writers? Many teens want to write or are already writing a novel. They ask for tips on how to improve their writing and how to get published.

Writers Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill have heard this question many times and decided that it was too broad a topic to cover on their blog, so they paired up to write a book with the same title as their popular website: Go Teen Writers.

Here’s the blurb:

Whether you’re just starting to write your first story or you’ve
finished and are wondering how to edit, this book will help you learn
how to perfect your craft and get your project ready for publication. Click to learn more.


Includes tips for:


-Getting published, finding
the right agent, book surgery, thicker plots, deeper characters, richer
settings, weaving in theme, dealing with people who don’t get your
writing


Find this book at your local bookstore, or…

In ebook at: Amazon.com • BarnesandNoble.com • Kobo

But this book isn’t just for teens. Any writer can benefit from their sage advice. They have some great ideas for dealing with saggy middles and deepening your characters. The authors go beyond the usual advice of giving the character a goal and an inner desire. They suggest creating a lie for the character to believe and a reason for him or her to believe it. As they point out, “And just like the lie can be a point of weakness for your main character, it can be the downfall of your antagonists.”

Pick up a copy of the book to find out more tips for improving your writing. And be sure to give a copy to your favorite teen author.

Also one of Stephanie’s books is free. Take advantage of the offer while it lasts.

MJD-Cover-194x300





New Thriller Releases

13 10 2012

New Recruit book coverIt’s always fun to read books by friends, even more so when they’re YAs. I confess, I’m a YA addict. Maybe because I’m still a teen at heart. Or maybe I love them because YAs are usually better written, more tightly plotted, and faster paced than adult books. I prefer stories that move along rather than meander along. I’m big on action and characters, not too interested in getting bogged down with description and setting.

So I found Jill Williamson’s YA thriller, The New Recruit, a rapid rollercoaster ride that met all my requirements.

Here’s the book blurb:

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.

These guys mean business.

Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

For more about the series, go to the Mission League. Jill is also offering an undercover scavenger hunt with some terrific prizes.

The book trailer:

This isn’t the only book of Jill’s that I’ve enjoyed. She has an award-winning fantasy/speculative fiction trilogy, The Blood of Kings, and the recent YA sci-fi release, Replication. Coming  in 2013 is the first of a dystopian YA trilogy, Captives.

And this must be thriller release month for my friends, because one of my CPs, Don Helin, just released Devil’s Den (Headline Books), a fast-moving adult suspense that moves from a ghostly disappearance on the Gettysburg battlefield to a plot involving an Irish mob. The hero, with his post traumatic stress syndrome, becomes the prime suspect in a ghost-related crime.devil's den book cover





Free and Bargain E-books

30 03 2012

Pass it on… Some great bargains for lovers of YA books are available this month:

FREE, yep, that’s right, FREE for the next few days (for Amazon prime members). It will be only 99 cents from April 1 to May 1:

Island Sting Check out Island Sting at Amazon.

Spirited Anthology by Maria V. Snyder

Anthology by authors Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Linda Joy Singleton, and others...

Spirited available on Amazon for 99 cents!! It has augmented reality by Karl Gee.

Under My Skin

Under My Skin regularly $4.99, available for 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time.

And for adults, check out Dancing with the Devil, by Cate Masters, FREE on Amazon for a limited time. For other great bargains, check out the Leap Books site on April 1, 2012, for some great bargains.

And for a blog about FREE and BARGAIN BOOKS, see Downtown YA.





What If You Were Cloned?

15 01 2012

Replication by Jill WilliamsonWhoot!! So excited! Got a copy of Jill Williamson‘s latest book from Zondervan. It came when I had stacks of work to do, including major writing deadlines, so my plan was to read the first page or two, then save it for later. OK, so I read the first chapter, and the second, and… I’m sure you get the picture. Several hours later I’d read the whole book and still can’t get it out of my mind.

I’ve included a synopsis below, but that doesn’t do the book justice. So much of the heart-pounding excitement is left out. And it doesn’t capture the humor or the poignancy. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, but suppose you were a clone who had been isolated in an underground facility and had never experienced life? And what if you escaped for a brief time? Wouldn’t you have a lot of questions? So does Martyr (or J:3:3). And his naïveté leads to many humorous situations.

So often Martyr’s innocent questions leave you torn between wanting to laugh and cry. Williamson is a master at defusing sadness with deft touches of humor. But the humor never detracted from the more serious message: Do clones have souls?

Kudos to Zondervan for being willing to tackle the cloning issue from a totally different point of view. Not whether cloning is right or wrong, but what would happen in the future if cloning humans becomes a reality. Williamson has dealt with this topic in a fun-to-read thriller that raises many thought-provoking questions. Questions that are sure to haunt you–the same way her carefully drawn characters will–long after the book covers are closed.

If you aren’t already a Williamson fan, after reading Replication, dip into her award-winning Blood of Kings trilogy (Marcher Lord Press), which has been compared to Tolkien. She also has stories in the anthologies, Spirited (Leap Books) and Ether Ore (MLP). All well worth reading!

BOOK BLURB

Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to ‘expire’ in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.

LINK TO SAMPLE CHAPTER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. Growing up in Alaska led to a love of books, and in 2010 her first novel, By Darkness Hid, won the Christy Award. She loves working with teenagers and gives writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. Visit Jill online at www.jillwilliamson.com.





It’s Official

3 07 2010

Wow!! The winners of the Christy award have been announced and, yes, Jill Williamson won in the Visionary category! How exciting is that??

If you weren’t able to attend the awards ceremony in St. Louis, check out the live blog feed on the Christy Awards website.

Here’s the press release for the event with the official winners list:

2010 CHRISTY AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The 2010 Christy Awards presentation was held Saturday evening, June 26, 2010, at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand in advance of the International Christian Retail Show. The dessert reception featured a keynote address entitled “Be That Well” by best-selling author and entrepreneur Lisa Samson and was emceed by editor Lonnie Hull DuPont, Baker Publishing Group. To involve Christian fiction fans not able to attend the event in person, a liveblog of the event was provided online, and an archive of the event can be accessed online at www.ChristyAwards.com.

The Christy Awards honor the best in Christian fiction in nine categories. The Christy Awards Advisory Board is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2010 Christy Awards.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills • Tyndale House Publishers

Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare—a covert mission gone terribly wrong…a betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust. Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered. He is coming after her again, and this time, he intends to silence her for good.

CONTEMPORARY SERIES

Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson • Thomas Nelson

Gabrielle Fairbanks knew her husband was upset with her, but she never expected him to change the locks on their Chicago penthouse, cancel her credit cards, and disappear with their two boys. Now she’s literally on the streets with her elderly mother, her mom’s dog…and $220 to her name. As her fragile plans fall apart, Gabby hits on a possibility so wild and wonderful it has to be one of those “God things,” something she’s only seen happen to other Christians until now.

CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson • Thomas Nelson

When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper’s son, she was studying at convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude—rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.

As Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows, Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus’ sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?

FIRST NOVEL

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent • Tyndale House Publisher

Jessilyn Lassiter never knew hatred could lurk in the human heart until her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire during the summer of 1932. Jessilyn’s father vows to care for Gemma as one of his own, despite the fact that she is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands.

HISTORICAL

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin • Bethany House Publishers

When Harriet Sherwood finds herself in jail, she spends the night contemplating the series of events that resulted in her imprisonment. Coming from a long line of women active in social justice, she weighs her values against her ancestors’, searching for where she belongs in that strong and thrilling heritage.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen • Bethany House Publishers

Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret; she never intended to overhear Lord Bradley’s. Now he has given her a job and confined her to his estate, for if his secret were to be revealed, he would lose his reputation, his inheritance, and his very home.

SUSPENSE

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson • Howard Books: a Division of Simon &
Schuster

Athol Dickson’s latest novel, Lost Mission, weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles. As the ruins of a Spanish Mission are disturbed twelve generations after it collapsed atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime, one community’s understanding of morality, sin, and faith is challenged by that haunting secret.

VISIONARY

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson • Marcher Lord Press

Young Achan Cham dreams of serving in the Kingsguard Knights, but he is a stray—worse than a slave—and such aspirations are out of his reach. Worse, Achan is beginning to hear strange voices in his head.

YOUNG ADULT

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson • WaterBrook Multnomah
Publishing Group

In Book Two of the WINGFEATHER SAGA, escape with Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby as they flee north, to the Ice Prairies, where they will be safe from the cruel Fangs of Dang. But first they have to survive the dangers along the way—and the dangers within themselves. Andrew Peterson delivers more breathtaking adventure in this tale for all ages.

The Christy Awards are proud to honor both Catherine Marshall and her novel through the annual presentation of the Christy Awards, which recognize novels of excellence. The Christy Awards were established in 1999 to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and
publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview; to bring a new awareness of the breadth and depth of fiction choices available, helping to broaden the readership; and, to provide an opportunity to recognize novelists whose work may not have reached bestseller status.

The Christy Awards are online at: www.ChristyAwards.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChristyAward
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChristyAward





And the Line Up Is…

25 05 2010

Last post about the Christy award. I promise. (Well, at least until the winners are announced.) It’s just that when I get excited about something, I have a tendency to go overboard.

So I mentioned that Jill Williamson is up for the award, but lots of other exciting books are in the running in various categories. If you’re a fan of Christian fiction, this would make the perfect reading list:

Contemporary Romance

Breach of Trust

by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)

How Sweet It Is

by Alice J. Wisler (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Stand-In Groom

by Kaye Dacus (Barbour Publishing)

Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas

Who Do I Talk To?

by Neta Jackson (Thomas Nelson)

The Hope of Refuge

by Cindy Woodsmall (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Daisy Chain

by Mary DeMuth (Zondervan)

Contemporary Standalone

June Bug

by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

The Passion of Mary-Margaret

by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)

Veiled Freedom

by Jeanette Windle (Tyndale House Publishers)

First Novel

The Familiar Stranger

by Christina Berry (Moody Publishers)

Fireflies in December

by Jennifer Erin Valent (Tyndale House Publishers)

Scared

by Tom Davis (David C. Cook)

Historical

A Flickering Light

by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Though Waters Roar

by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Swiss Courier

by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Revell Books: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance*

Beyond This Moment

by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Bride in the Bargain

by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Inheritance

by Tamera Alexander (Thomas Nelson)

The Silent Governess

by Julie Klassen (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Suspense

Intervention

by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)

Lost Mission

by Athol Dickson (Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster)

The Night Watchman

by Mark Mynheir (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Visionary

By Darkness Hid

by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press)

The Enclave

by Karen Hancock (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Valley of the Shadow

by Tom Pawlik (Tyndale House Publishers)

Young Adult

Beautiful

by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma (Thomas Nelson)

The Blue Umbrella

by Mike Mason (David C. Cook)

North! Or Be Eaten

by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Isn’t that a stellar lineup? Happy reading!! Do you have any favorites on the list? Drop me a comment!





More About Jill…

24 05 2010

So yesterday I posted about Jill Williamson being up for the Christy Award.

You can find out more about Jill at her website or her Amazon page, where I lifted the opening sentences of her bio to whet your appetite:

“Jill was raised in rural Alaska. Alone with her thoughts and the moose, daydreaming was a favorite pastime. As was reading…”

And now she’s turned her passion for reading into a passion for writing, and a fine job she’s done of it. Here’s her latest book cover from Marcher Lord Press:

You can get a copy at Amazon or at the Marcher Lord site.

And if you’re wondering just how good this book is, here’s a review about Book One:

“This thoroughly entertaining and smart tale will appeal to fans of Donita K. Paul and J.R.R. Tolkien. Highly recommended for CF and fantasy collections.” —Library Journal

And the praise continues for Book Two:

The second installment of the Blood of Kings series will thrill, surprise, and delight readers just as much as the first. With stellar craftsmanship, the author continues to thrust her characters into a myriad of plot-driven obstacles that will have readers biting their nails late into the night.”

Christian Miles (Amazon review)

With her first book up for a Christy and her second garnering well-deserved praise, you’ll want to grab a copy quickly before they all sell out. And if you want to get an autographed copy, you can get one at Jill’s website.