Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Hobbit Devotional

"Drama... Humor... Insight...
What More Could You Ask from a Book?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Storyline - Discover God's message and truth infussed in the beloved classic, The Hobbit, as Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarfs on their journey to reclame their treasure. Filled with humor and relevent lessons from the Bible, A Hobbit Devotional takes readers on a journey of faith while Bilbo goes on his adventure and discovers his own strength and faces his fears. With Bilbo and company as examples, readers get a chance to see how fantasy reflects their ralities as they learn important values from the Bible.

Author - Ed Strauss

Publisher - Barbour Books

Age Group - 14 or 15 and up

Personal Opinion - One insightful, enjoyable, fun read. This was such a great devotional. Each one was filled with truth, as well as some ocasional humor, and great conections to the Bible. Loved, and really appreciated, how it covered what was happening in The Hobbit after the introductory quote so it didn't require me going back and reading the book to understand everything. The Biblical conections were thought out, clear, and soul lifting as well as challenging me to think about my own life. I enjoyed each minute of the book and will have to pass it along to friends and family. Only one denominational difference but it was wonderful and it will sit proudly on my shelf.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read this and other reviews or to share your thoughts, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saint Francis and the Nativity

"At that Moment
Brother Francis Laid a Figure of 
Baby Jesus in the Manger Bed."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Mario is a shepherd and loves animals which builds a friendship with Brother Francis. One day, Brother Francis tells Mario about how Jesus was born. Wishing to tell others about the great deed of Jesus being born in a stable, Brother Francis and Mario recreate that night in a cave with live animals for others to come and see, creating one of the most beloved decorations of today.

Author - Myrna A. Strasser

Illustrator -  Fausto Bianchi

Publisher - Zonderkids

Age Group - 6 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Mario comes to learn about Jesus through Brother Francis and comparing things he does for his sheep to what Jesus does for him. Brother Francis wants others to understand God's love.

Personal Opinion - What a great depiction of the beginning of one of the most popular traditions/decorations for Christmas, The Nativity Scene. The pictures were like stained glass and eye catching. Coming to know Jesus's love as Mario learned it and sharing it while assisting St. Francis was beautiful. St. Francis is one of my favorite saints so I love the fact that he started this tradition. This is a book I will have to share with my nephews soon. Suggestions at the end of the book to do with the family to acknowledge and understand the nativity scene were great and there are at least two I want to try. Would recommend this highly and it will sit on my shelf and be shared in years to come.

Video -

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Special Notes - There is also a book by the same author about the song Silent Night.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Late Post... Again :(

Welcome to Bookworm,

So sorry that my review is late once again. Finals and Christmas are catching up with me and keeping me from being very faithful to my reviews at the moment. But, finals are over and will have bit of a break until it starts up again so I should be able to prepare some reviews during this time.

At least one other Christmas review is coming up, one that was fun and I hope you like it. It is a children's book and depicts the creation of the nativity scene.

Still working on giveaways. I believe I have one planned for January (need to double check) and am thinking about hosting another at the same time. Still making decisions so any suggestions are welcome.

Anyways, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
and here is to receiving a good read this holiday
while celebrating the
birth of Jesus.

A Winter Dream

"The #1 Bestselling Master
Of the Holiday Novel 
Reimagines the Classic Story of
Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors,
Presenting An Inspiring Modern Story 
Of Family and Forgiveness."
Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms

Storyline - Joseph is one of twelve brothers, is the favorite of his father, and doing well in the family's advertising agency. Unfortunately, this doesn't sit well with his brother and the first chance they get they coerce him into leaving home and never coming back. Joseph is heart broken but tries to make the best of it. Soon he is rising up in his new job and falling for a beautiful and kind waitress, April. But she hides a past and his boss's fiance is a bit flirtatious. When things begin to fall apart, Joseph is left reeling and it seems he is about to sink to the bottom. But his dreams are yet to be realized. Based of the Bible story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.

Author - Richard Paul Evans

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - *Contains Spoilers* Joseph is angry at the situation but is willing to sacrifice for the ones he loves and keeps to his convictions even in the face of adversity (aka being tempted by another man's fiance). Joseph ultimately forgives and loves his family. April is from a polygamist colony and was treated unfairly. She is also very loving and sacrificial. About 2-3 swear words but this is better than some books I have read. The woman who tempted him tore open her dress and it mentions that he saw her under garments.

Personal Opinion - A pretty enjoyable read. I kept going back to it, wanting to know what would happen next even though I know the Bible story like the back of my hand. It is pretty accurate to the Biblical tale and how the author played with the names in keeping them accurate to the Bible story but believable for modern day was a fun, creative aspect to the story. They were quite fun actually, such as Timothy Ishmael, the names of the 12 sons (some the same, some different yet very similar), and Joseph Jacobson. It does require some knowledge of the original story but fun non the less. I also liked how the dreams where made for modern day and yet were accurate to the dreams Joseph had in the Bible. A couple of things don't sit well with me, though. First, very little to almost no mention of God throughout the entire book even though it is based of a Biblical story. The majority of God was a picture of Jesus hung in a girl's house as well as she once was mentioned as consulting her Bible and Joseph's father once mentioned "God's time." There were a couple of things I didn't completely understand after I finished as well so I'm still working through them. Might have to reread it but will save it for next year. The book does deliver what it advertises on the back, "An inspiring modern story of family and forgiveness" and I would like to add love and good coming from bad. Good in those aspects and fairly clean, just wish it had incorporated more of God in the story like in the Bible.

Video - This isn't a trailer but of the author talking about his book. Quite interesting.


Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Links - Learn more about the book and author here.

Special Notes - The author has written multiple Christmas novels based off Biblical stories.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paper Angels

 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Thomas's Christmas is looking bleak. Dealing with leaving his abuse father a year ago and bullies at his new school, Thomas tries to be positive and help his struggling family. But his mother signs him and his sister up for the Angel Tree program by the Salvation Army to receive gifts from complete strangers for Christmas because she can't even afford gifts and the issues with the bully escalate. What can one 16 year old do?

Kevin is watching the company he built coming down around him and the bills piling up. Not feeling much hope and not understanding why God is doing this to him, his wife insists on taking Angels from an Angel Tree but Kevin isn't so sure that is a good idea. As the days advance toward Christmas, will Kevin find the truth of what God is trying to tell him?

Author - Jimmy Wayne with Travis Thrasher

Publisher - Howard Books; A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc

Age Group - 14-15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Thomas struggles with a bully at school and his family not having money, yet he is able to over come that and see others who need as well. Kevin doesn't understand why God is letting his business fail but finds the truth God is trying to share.

Personal Opinion - I was first interested in this book because I was familiar with the song of the same name by artist who is also the writer of this book. Beautiful song, highly recommend listening to it. Anyways, this book was beautifully told of what was really important, not only during Christmas, but all year around. God was a big character throughout and the characters were developed realistically as well as having believable stories of heart ache but ending with hope. Both the main characters went on a journey with God, seeing things for what they were and handling their situations honorably. They both made positive difference in their lives and other's. I enjoyed it and was engaged when I reading but part of me thought it could have gone a bit deeper into the characters. It could also be a bit slow at times. But it was still good, filled with reality yet hope as well as reminding what was really important and to trust in God.

Video - This is the music video "Paper Angels" performed by Jimmy Wayne.


Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Links - Learn more about the book and author here.

Special Notes - The book is based off Jimmy Wayne's experience with the Angel Tree Program through the Salvation Army. I bet the song is too.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Some Great Books Being Released in 2013

Welcome to Bookworm,

Another week where there isn't a review. This is just not my month. School is nuts and I just haven't been reading like I usually do. I have been reading a devotional which I'm making good progress in and I have the next book ordered for a coming up giveaway, more on that in a week maybe.

So, instead of a review, I thought I would post some covers of some upcoming books that I'm excited about. A couple weeks ago, I shared what I believed was the next CHAOS book by Jon S. Lewis. Now it is stated that it is book 3 and has a synopsis on its Amazon Page! Yay! Wonderful series and can't wait to see how it all come together. Found cover on Amazon along with a projected release date; April 16, 2013.

 
The next is from an author I discovered this year. I read Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel and that was it. Great read, fabulous storyline and character. So when I saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. This book does have a synopsis on its Amazon Page and I felt that this time I would have to read Elisha's Bones (kinda book 1 of this group) before this one. I haven't so what do I do? Order the book along with a recent order and will hopefully read it before July 1, 2013 (the projected release date as stated on Amazon).







Last week, I reviewed Tracy Higley's Isle of Shadows which was a great ancient mystery, coming of faith, and love story. I have also read her book Petra: City in Stone which is also a high recommendation. So here is the cover of her next book, So Shines the Night, which I found on its Amazon Page along with a synopsis. Another one I am sure to fall for and will impatiently waiting to read. Projected release date is March 12, 2013.

 
If you have been reading R. J Larson's Books of the Infinite, book 1 being Prophet and book 2, Judge, just out, you will probably be excited to see book 3's, King, cover! What I like so far is that it is fantasy yet reminds me of Old Testament prophets. Good series so far. Projected release; July 1, 2013.
 
 
And, of course, I have tell of Jill Williamson's new book, a dystopia, coming out next year on February 19! She is one of my favorite authors so this is definitely a book to get. Read the synopsis on its Amazon Page. 
 



For a final book reveal, how about an author who is making his debut on April 16, 2013? This takes place during King Aurthur's time and is a take on the Merlin stories! Everyone, Robert Treskillard and his book, Merlin's Blade, book 1 in the Merlin Spiral!
 
 Aren't all these just wonderful covers?! Next year is bring out some great books announced here and not. There are others I am anticipating but I just haven't heard too much about them yet. If you know of any that wasn't mentioned here, feel free to leave a comment, I'm always looking for good reads no matter how much my 'To-Read' shelf is over flowing. :) Hope this brightens your day a bit. Have a good day and chew on a good book!

Disclaimer - All covers and release dates were gathered from Amazon.
 
UPDATE - 12-03

Found a couple more good covers. Here is the last of the young adult dystopia, book 1 and 2 Swipe and Sneak, by Evan Angler. Storm's cover is great, and purple (nice color) and looks very exciting which was promised from the last book. The projected release date is May 7, 2013.
What list is complete without the third book in The Quest of Truth series by Brock Eastman, Unleash, releasing on June 14, 2013. The previous two books, Taken and Risk, were great and full of adventure. Book three looks just as wonderful and action filled, can't wait to see what else happens and how the story grows in its mystery of man's origins.












Just found this one today. The next book in the Helium-3 books, Crescent, by Homer Hickam, Jr. This series is like a dystopia but takes place on the moon. The first book, Crater, was pretty good and this one sounds interesting and the cover is cool. The book is scheduled to come out June 4, 2013.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Was surprised with this one. I whole heartily enjoyed Krista McGee's book, First Date, and so when I found this one I was excited. Anomaly sounds like a dystopia dealing with some genetics. Her books are usually contemporary but this sounds great and I am falling in love with dystopia. July 9, 2013 is the projected release date.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Awe. More books to get excited about. Can't wait for all of them. Will have to get each and every one of them and will review all of them (hopefully also a couple of giveaways containing these books). Anyways, hope you enjoyed the updated list and are excited as I am. Have a good day and chew on a good book.





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Isle of Shadows

"Enslaved in a World
of Money and Power,
Tessa Dares to be Free."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
Storyline - Tessa is a hetaera, a woman who is allowed and trained to accompany men to parties and entertain. But Tessa knows she is truly a slave to her master, Glaucas, and sees her only chance at freedom is through her death at the feet of Helios, the statue of the god in the harbor. But, when an accident causes Glaucas's death, she sees a chance to live and gain her freedom from men's uses of her. With the help of a Jewish servant, Simeon, and a mysterious man, Nikos, who is not like any man she has ever met, Tessa sets out to hid the death and escape Rhodes. But, a member of the government, Spiro, has a mind to over throw Rhodes democratic system and become king, even if it means taking a few lives to achieve it. His plan puts Tessa's arrangements in jeopardy and could seal her fate to continue in her painful life. The ground is shifting and things are about to fall in ways no one foresaw.

Author - Tracy L. Higley

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Tessa is a hetaera and is often lusted after by man. Life has disappointed so much, Tessa wishes to feel nothing at all but learns of God's love and forgiveness. Nikos is an honorable man who respects women and does everything in his power to protect Tessa. Simeon is just awesome. Some men are creepy, lusting after women and others but nothing is detailed.

Personal Opinion - One of the most engaging books I have read this year. Isle of Shadows is a re-publication of Shadow of Colossus which completely took me back in time to Rhodes just before the earthquake that would topple the statue of Helios. Each character was wonderfully developed and grown throughout the novel (in the note at the end, the author mentions that she did a lot of editing before re-releasing this book and she did a fabulous job). Action, romance, suspense, and an engaging story filled these pages. One thing that I wish had been done differently was more of a build up before Tessa found God. It just seemed to quick for how few times she had been introduced to Him during the novel. But, loved the Seder Meal incorporated in the story. It made me think of the times I participated in them at my church. The stuff about redemption was great too. Highly recommend this book if you like ancient history, Christian fiction, and action/romance novels with wonderful storylines and terrific characters.

Read the "Story Behind the Story... And Beyond" at the end of the book, too. It has some great and quick facts of Rhodes and the statue as well as how Tracy Higley came to write the story.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Links - Tracy Higley's website
             Petra: City in Stone - Review

Special Notes - Previously published as Shadow of Colossus

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extra! Extra!

Hey Bookwormers,

Was just wondering around on Amazon and guess what I saw... A new CHAOS Novel cover!


I know! This is so cool. I have enjoyed the first two books of this series and can't wait to read this. I am assuming it is book three because I haven't seen it before (and I have looked) and it doesn't say "Book 3" on amazon. Hope to learn more but it might be a while if amazon's projected release date it true (April 16, 2012). Anyway, wanted to share the cover and what have I have learned about it so far. If you want to take a look, here is the amazon page and, to tied you over, here are the reviews of the first two books, Invasion and Alienation. Commence drooling.

Behind but Planning :)

Welcome to Bookworm,
 


Unfortunately, no review will be published today because I'm behind in my reading with school keeping me busy as well as other life stuff. But, some good stuff is being worked on.

Currently, I am reading Isle of Shadows by Tracy Higley and A Hobbit Devotional by Ed Strauss as well as a few others (take a look at the side bar for a list of books I'm in the middle of, a few I am reading more dedicatedly than others at the moment). The month of December will host primarily Christmas books to celebrate the season more. I am also planning another giveaway so stay tuned!

So, if there is anything you would like to see on here or think of a genre that you want reviewed more on here, post a comment and let me know.

Have a lovely Sunday and chew on a good book!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giveaway WINNER!

Welcome to Bookworm,

It is that time again to name a winner of the most recent giveaway, The New Recruit by Jill Williamson. And the winner is.........................................................................................................

MEGAN!
 
Congrats! In answer to the question posted "When talking to someone who is "on the fence" on God, what would be the most important thing to do when talking to them about this topic in your opinion?", Megan answered, "I think if I was talking to someone who was on the fence about Christianity, I would emphasize why it even matters what you believe. I would explain how your worldview affects your decisions, interactions with others, and outlook on life, and what a Christian worldview is. I don't know if that would be too dry and logical for most people, but I think it's important to understand worldviews."
 
Very cool and thanks for entering.
 
A new giveaway will be held again as soon as possible so continue to follow this blog by either email, facebook, twitter, or GFC. Make sure to chew on a good book today! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halfling Series: Guardian

"They Chose to Protect Her
But Forgot to Guard Their Hearts."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Nikki is struggling with the loss of her parents, her feelings for Mace and Raven, and the fact her life has turned upside down. But the Throne is now calling for the group to head overseas, creating even more tension and change. As her feelings grow deeper for the boys which puts their eternity in jeopardy and Mace and Raven keep opening their arms to her, Nikki begins to wonder if she is in the right place and tries to make choices for herself. But that starts her down a dangerous road, one she might not be able to come back from and will change everything, Nikki and the Halflings alike, as they know it.

Author - Heather Burch

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Nikki, Mace, and Raven tries to deny their feelings and Nikki stays way from Mace and Raven so they wont fall but she can't quite seem to do that. Mace desperately wants to be with her but is willing to do as she wishes even if it breaks his heart. Even though Nikki thought about how the guys looked, this book didn't seem to bring that up their bodies as much as the first. It seemed she was more concerned with heart and feelings stuff but she did ask Mace to take off his shirt once to draw his wings. Nikki becomes filled with hate and revenge and is willing to do what it takes to avenge her parents, no matter what it would mean for her soul.  All the characters are still growing and fighting the darkness and working towards the light.

Personal Opinion - Wow... Give me a minute to find words... Wow. So much happens in book 2 but it all flowed together nicely. Plenty of action, romance, and fighting to discover the truth and light. I was pulled into the story and stuck, reading it every chance I got (good thing book 3 doesn't come out for a little while or school would really suffer). Nikki, Mace, and Raven struggle with their feelings and doing what the Throne wishes. The emotions (anger, love, confusion, etc) that filled some characters was believable so I felt for them and the story. The writing style was nice, original sentences and descriptions which engaged me. There was this one thing about eagles I just loved. Only a couple of things got to me. I didn't even notice until halfway through the book that sometimes description of how people or places look like were lacking. Example: There was this Halfling from book 1 and it wasn't until sometime past the halfway mark that it was reminded that she had a bob hair style. Most of the other Halflings had long hair so that is what I gave her until I read this. ***Spoiler*** Also, Nikki becomes really vengeful at one point and those feelings seemed to lessen too quickly after the climax, but she does consent that the darkness of revenge is still in her. ***End Spoiler*** Still, it was great and I can't wait for book 3 and see how this all comes together.

P.S. A prediction I had from book 1 came true in this book. YAY!

Video -

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Links - Learn more about the books and author here.
            Join the Halfling's Network
            Book 1, Halflings - Review
            Book 3, Avenger - Coming Soon

Special Notes - This is book 2 in the Halfling Series. There are also two corresponding ebooks that can be read along with these books.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Breed Apart: Trinity: Military War Dog

"An Ex-Green Beret and His War Dog
on the Greatest Mission of Their Lives.
And Probably Their Last."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Heath Daniels only ever wanted to follow in his families footsteps and serve his country. But after a mission gone wrong, his dream to continue to serve is shattered by his inability to work in the field and has left him floundering for what God wants him to do. Left only with the one girl he could rely on, Trinity, his military war dog who could not function after he left the service, Heath receives an invitation to become part of the Breed Apart, a program ran by an old friend to inspire others. Soon they head to Afghanistan to speak at bases and troops. But Heath didn't expect to start falling for a beautiful girl, Darci, who he doesn't realize is an United States operative who is undercover. But when her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a man she played and betrayed in one of her missions, it is going to take Heath and Trinity to find and rescue Darci before she is killed or taken out of country. On the way, Heath and Darci are going to have to face God and learn what he wants for their lives.

Author - Ronie Kendig

Publisher - Barbour Publishing

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Heath works on trying to do what God wants but pushes for what he wants, ultimately coming to see that he needs God to lead and not him to lead God. Darci wonders about God after all the tragedies in her life. She also has regrets in her past but wants to help her country and do the right thing. Trinity is loving, caring, and protects the one she loves. Was totally dog ;). The antagonist is one vile man, beating and torturing happens when he is around, nothing is described but is understood.

Personal Opinion - What can I say? I was very pleased with this book. I loved Trinity. Some books have a synopsises that hints at animal involvement but then they are minimally in them. Not so with this book. Trinity was perfect. She had a real character and was completely realistic in her personality. The author would write a behavior and/or the human in the story would give something for the dog to say and each time I would see it in my mind because it was realistic. Just look at that cover for the cuteness. Trinity was the best... But I should probably say something about the people too. They and their struggles were realistic, with Heath trying to find God's path for him now that he is out of the Military and Darci being undercover and dealing with demons of her own past. They were people you could meet on the street. Each and every character, no matter how big their role in book, had a complex back story and were real people. My only complaints would be that there seemed to be scenes that were not needed and the info in them could have been transferred somewhere else. Trinity's personality, also, wasn't as prevalent towards the end. Lastly, maybe one or two too many plot twists for the story. But, Trinity all came together nicely and this is sure to be a book I will be recommending in the future and tossing peoples' way.

Video -

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Links - Learn more about this book and author here.
            Book 2, Talon - Review, Coming Soon
            Book 3, Beowulf - Review, Coming Soon

Special Notes - Book one in the A Breed Apart Series.
To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mech Mice: Genesis Strike

"Ears Up, Mice!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Ziro has dreamed of nothing else but being part of the Elite, mice charged with protecting the shards that give them their intelligence, and move out of his half-brother's shadow. But, his misfit crew isn't exactly up to Elite standards. Yet, a chance comes to prove themselves with a routine mission up in the Liwa region. Shortly after departure, it becomes clear that this mission is anything but routine and will take everything they have to rescue a colony, over come a deadly plot, and come home alive.

Author - The Miller Brothers, based off an idea by Lance Priebe

Publisher - Spearhead Books

Age Group - 12 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The mice are determined to do the right thing and protect the colonies and each other, even at the cost of themselves. There is some rivalry between two mice and they hate each other but one starts to see things in a new light.

Personal Opinion - A fun, light read. The mice go on a crazy adventure and fight evil and try to do good as well as defend the innocent. There was even something of a conspiracy idea going on in the book which was interesting. There was also a scene that hinted at a higher being and it was done in such a way that it reminded me of something that happened and was said in a Star Wars movie. The characters were nicely developed but I feel they could have been deeper. I am interested in where this story goes from here and will check out the accompanying video game when it comes out.

Buy - Amazon, Spearhead, Authors (autograph option)

Links - Learn more about the books and authors here.

Special Notes - First book in a series. There is also a video game in development which the story is originally based off. The book is created based off an idea by Lance Priebe, the creator of Club Penguin.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Bookworm. Today is the first ever author interview and we are featuring the fabulous Jill Williamson! A quick introduction of Jill, she is the author of five books, the newest of which is The New Recruit, reviewed today as well. She has won two Christy Awards for her Blood of Kings Trilogy. Her books are By Darkness Hid,  To Darkness Fled,  From DarknessWon, and Replication: The Jason Experiment. She is here today to talk a little bit about her new book, The Mission League: The New Recruit.

BW: Hi, Jill. Great to have you here and thanks so much for the interview.

What inspired you to write this book?
 
JW: This is the first book I wrote. I was trying to write a story about teens going out into the world like missionaries, but since teen fiction books about missionaries weren't getting the attention of agents and editors, I tweaked the story and turned them into undercover agents. I was also trying to copy the format of Harry Potter. My goal was to get some teens away from their parents where they could receive some kind of training. At the time, I thought this was sneaky and brilliant, but it created so many problems! I've never written a book that way since. It’s not a good idea to copy what’s already successful—because the world already has that book. And human were created unique for a reason. There’s already one J. K. Rowling. And I need to be Jill Williamson. All that to say, even though I've rewritten The New Recruit from that first, horrible, draft, this book is not my strongest, but it’s still a whole lot of fun.
 
It is fun. I enjoyed it. And I like you as Jill Williamson so I'm glad you decided to be her.
BW: What was your favorite portion to write about/research?

 
JW: I had a lot of fun re-researching Moscow. The first time I did it, back in 2005, it was by asking a missionary questions over email. This time, the internet was a huge help! I was able to use Google maps to get on Arbat street and I even found the website for Cafe MooMoo and was able to copy and past the Cyrillic descriptions into Google Translate. I had a blast. Technology is amazing!
 
Oo, technology. That does sounds like a great way to do research. And Russia did seem believable in the book so your research was well done.
BW: Who is your favorite character (in this book) and why? Are any of them based off real people?
 
JW: Spencer is! I love him, even though he's a punk. He's just a little clueless about what's important in life. But he'll figure things out. And Lukas is another favorite character, but you won't meet him until book two. Lukas is Isabel's little brother. You guys just wait. *grin*

No one in the story is really based on a real person. Some of the things that happened to Spencer are based off my experiences of being a non Christian on a mission trip, though.
Wow, thanks for telling us that. Little brother, oh boy, I wonder how that will go and I want to meet this character now. :)
 
BW: I remember reading somewhere that this was the first book you ever wrote but not the first one to be published. How does it feel to finally see it in print?
 
JW: It's really fun. It's not so much because it was my first book that's exciting, it's my characters. I have known them longer than any of my characters, and I really like them! So I'm thrilled that their stories get to be told in book form. So very thrilled.
BW: Out of all the books you have written, what is your favorite and why?
 
JW: I don't know... It's terribly difficult to choose a favorite. As a mother, I could never choose a favorite child. I love them both. I will say that I was really proud of a book I wrote that was called Seagulls are Plain. It's a middle grade story about an Inupiat girl who leaves her Alaskan bush home to go to school in town. And everyone tries to change her so she fits in. But she doesn't want to change. I love that little book. But it's not speculative, so I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to put it out there. Maybe someday. *shrugs*
 
Sounds like an interesting story. Are you sure you can't pick a favorite child? ;) Just teasing you.
BW: What is the best thing about being a writer? Worst?
 
JW: I get to sit around all day and invent stories! It's a wonderful job. My favorite thing is brainstorming new ideas. I get so excited. The worst? My health. Sitting all day isn't good for the body. And I forget to get up and stretch. I'm trying. But it's hard to remember. But it's also kind of pathetic when I can't open a jar because my hands are sore from typing all day. :-/
I bet you also have a head full of wonderful stories.
 
BW: What can readers look forward too in the future of your writing?
 
JW: There will be three more Mission League books, one for each year Spencer is in high school. And I'm also working on a dystopian trilogy coming out from Zonderkidz in February 2013. The first book is called Captives, and it’s based on Daniel 1 when Jerusalem in conquered by Babylon and the young people are taken into the city. After that, back to fantasy! I've missed writing it. :-)
 
BW: Awesome. I personally can't wait to read the dystopia and the rest of The Mission League. Thanks so much for doing the interview and looking forward to all your future books. :)
 
And now, a giveaway!
Enter below to receive a copy of Jill's new book,
The New Recruit!
Please read the terms and conditions before entering. Also, please read the info on the "leave a comment" entry because it has a question for you to answer. Good luck and enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Mission League: The New Recruit


"Mission 1: Moscow"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Spencer Garmond loves basketball more than anything and is willing to do anything to play. So when he is presented with either going to Military school or joining the Mission League, a group of Christians who think they are spies, he picks the churchers. Caring less about God, he puts up with these crazy Christians and goes on the mission trip to Russia. While in Moscow, Spencer meets Pasha, a boy with a strange tattoo and who is involved with a scary cult. As the summer continues and Arianna, a Mission League girl, tries to convert him and surrounded by other devote Christians, Spencer will have to make a choice about the gift God has given him and if he wants God in his life.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Marcher Lord Press

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Spencer swears but the actual words don't appear in the book but switches to substitute swear words when he can no longer use real ones. He has no interest in God or the Christian thing and thinks/says insults towards the other Mission League members but begins to see them differently and wants to learn about God by the end. There is a cult and it is wondered if demon possession is involved but non of the protagonists like it. A character in her past has had a hard life, there are no details but it is known that she was attacked and has a kid.

Personal Opinion - What first attracted me to this book was 1. Jill Williamson (fantastic author), 2. spies (can rarely go wrong with this kinda plot), and 3. Russia (have a strange fascination and obsession with Russia since the movie Anastasia. Even have a book in Russian yet I can't read a word of it). While reading The New Recruit, I enjoyed the opportunity, like many of my fellow reviews, to see from the point of view of someone who doesn't practice their Christian faith while surrounded by those who do. It gave it gave me, the reader and a practicing Christian, a chance to see my behaviors towards someone who doesn't think, or believe, like I do. Spencer did begin to change before the end of the book and will be digging deeper, I'm sure, in later books into who God is. The action in the story was good and the cult that Spencer and Pasha got mixed up in was realistic. ***SPOILER*** For a literature class, I read an author with similar ideas of looking inside yourself for power and truth as the cult in the book thought (I don't think there are any conection between the two). ***END SPOILER*** The beginning was a little slow to me and I thought I saw a couple of telling situations but that faded as the book went on and I found myself picking the book up when school needed to be done from curiosity as to what would happen next. Looking forward to the next books in this series and all the adventure and character journeys to come.

Video -

 
Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Links - Visit the Mission League here. Visit Jill Williamson's webpage to learn about her other books and read her reviews. Read an author interview and enter the giveaway.

Special Notes - This is book 1 in the Mission League Series. Read about the others on The Mission League

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher/author through Team Novel Teen.


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Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

"The Final Installment!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Katness Everdeen has escaped from the Quarter Quell and has been taken to the rebel's base. But she has no interest in helping their cause, especially with Peeta in the hands of the Capital. Yet they want her to be the symbol of their rebellion and motivate the fighting. As the rebellion escalates and the Capital become fiercer, she will have to make many choices on what she will do as the fighting rages around her, people she loves being threatened, and freedom on the line.

Author - Suzanne Collins

Publisher - Large Print Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning; Published in 2012 by arrangement with Scholastic, Inc (Info from Copyright page)

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Lots of killing. Katniss kills in cold blood once or twice and is unsettled by at least one. She wants to preserve life and doesn't like the idea of treating the Capital people the same way they treated her. Gale is ready to take down the Capital, no matter the cost or way he has to do it. Katniss begins to come to peace and leaves behind the hate and revenge she desperately wanted throughout the book.

Personal Opinion - The final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy and it is a doosy. A lot of killing, not terrible graphic but some of it got to me, and Katniss filled with hatred and revenge. Definitely darker than the first two. I get that people do really feel those things but I wish she had come around to peace for a long time (just within the last few pages) which is what redeemed it a bit for me. I was getting really frustrated with her and even came to a point of not liking her but Katniss seemed to come to a satisfactory conclusion in the end for me. But I did like how, even though they were at war, she believed in a limit to the killing and how where others were going far and willing to act how the Capital acted to over come them. Katniss's respect for life was something I really appreciated, not just for this book but for the whole series. The thing I disliked for the series was how Katniss turned to the idea of suicide as a good means to a problem on multiple occasions. Something about this book didn't grab me like the last two and I wish I had a chance to see Katniss a bit more healed before the book ended.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Awards - Click here for a list of awards.

Links - Learn more about the series and author here.

Special Notes - Book 3 in The Hunger Games Series
                          The Hunger Games, Review
                          Catching Fire, Review
                          The Hunger Games, Movie Review

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Imagination Station: Peril in the Palace

"Danger Reaches New Heights!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Cousins Beth and Patrick are off on another adventure to help Mr. Whittaker save a family member in the middle ages. This time they must obtain a golden tablet from Kublai Kahn, emperor of China. As they face Mongols, a Chinese Emperor, Shamans, and meet Marco Polo, the must not be afraid to tell of their God and use their wit and knowledge to achieve their goal and get out of there. Before they are stuck for good.

Authors - Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker

Publisher - Tyndale Publishers

Age Group - 8 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The cousins are met with challenges of their faith and mission but they don't let it daunt them or keep them from what they need to do. They do not shy away from their faith but speak honestly.

Personal Opinion - Since this book isn't meant for my age group (which I was aware of before starting it), I was able to read it within 45 minutes - 1 hour, but it was a good hour. Well developed in all aspects, this book is great for elementary kids who want to have a little history, adventure, and Jesus in their books. My only complaint is that a couple of parts could have been developed a little more but considering the age range appropriate for this book it might have only confused or lost the reader. Still, I'm completely happy with this book and would love to share it with someone in the correct age group for the book.
Buy -Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher, Focus on the Family,
Links - Learn more about the books and authors here. There are also so extra stuff on the site such as a devotional.

Special Notes - This is Book 3 in The Imagination Station books.

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