Friday, December 21, 2012

The New Recruit by Jill Williamson - Team Novel Teen Book Review

Argh.  This post was supposed to go out a long time ago, but due to a bunch of junk, it didn't happen.  But here it is, nevertheless.

The New Recruit (The Mission League, book 1 of 4)
Mission 1: Moscow
by Jill Williamson

Back cover copy:
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.

To start off, I thought it was a nice twist on the traditional teen-kid-becomes-spy cliche.  Okay, maybe it's not so much a cliche, but unless it's done nicely, it's a little bit dull and lifeless.

This book was not that.  By throwing in the whole Bible-club aspect, it made it different. Christian, without stuffing it down your throat.  No one likes having religion stuffed down their throat, and I'm glad to say this book did not do that.  Jill is very good about adding faith to books without making it...preachy...

The plot moved pretty quickly, the main character was quirky and likeable, and I easily read it in a few days.  The one thing I would have liked is a bit more action, but that's probably just me, being an action/adventure fan.

All in all, it was an enjoyable book, perfect for kids or teens.  It's definitely a book my younger brother would enjoy.

I think The New Recruit deserves 4 out of five stars :)

Here is the link to Jill Williamson's website:
Link for The Mission League Series website:

I received this book free from Jill Williamson in exchange for writing a book review and helping promote the book.  However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Snippets of Writing

I wanted to post something today, but I really had no idea what...So I decided on good old writing snippets.

These are from my Nano novel, so it's not fully edited and stuff :)

\\it's a flashback\\

I lay on the grass, gazing up at the starry sky, my father next to me, giving me warmth and security.

“How many stars are in the sky?” me childish voice asks.

“No one has ever counted.  Maybe because there’s too many to count.”


“Yes, Hadyn?”

“Why did those men kill Sari’s entire family today?  She didn’t do anything wrong, and neither did her little brother.  Why did they kill them also?”

“No, Sari didn’t do anything wrong, but her parents did.  Her father broke the law and that’s something we must never do.  Those laws have been put in places to protect us, and we need them.”


He thinks about that for a minute. “Because men in power put them there to keep us safe.  You’re only eight; I don’t expect you to fully understand yet.”

“I get it.  But I have one more question.  What makes those men in power better than us?”

“Nothing, they are just men, like us.  And no man is perfect, no matter how hard they try.  But you, Hadyn, your name means ‘little fire’, and someday you’re going to share that fire with the world in an amazing way.  I don’t know how, but it’s in here.” He gently touchs my heart. “Use it wisely, my sweet angel.  Promise me that.”

My lips curl into a small smile. “I promise.”

I fall asleep there and his strong arms pick me up and carry me to my room.  He sets me down on my bed gently, as if he was setting a thin piece of glass on nails.  He kisses my forehead and brushes the golden strands of hair back from my face.

“Goodnight, my little fire.”

I, having never been truly asleep, open one eye and watch my father leave.  I had never felt so safe in my life.  My dad was there, and he was never leaving me.

Four years later, I stand by the window in my room, my face pressed against the frosty pane.  My mother sits on the front porch, weeping, as Dad rides off in the distance, alone.  The only steady force in my life is leaving and I never had felt so alone.


“What happened to your mother?” I gently ask.

“I don’t want to talk about it.  I'm sorry.  Maybe someday I'll tell you, but not today.  Or soon.  It’s a very fresh wound.”

“Even though it happened years ago.” He looks confused, and I decide to explain. “You know, three years when I met you in the forest.  You were sitting there, crying.  I think our pain on that day was what connected us.”

“I remember.” He gently takes my hand in his, but I don’t pull away.  The attitude has shifted and we’re no longer yelling.  It’s sweeter, kinder. “You weren’t crying, though.”

“I never cry.  It shows weakness.”

“But we’re all naturally weak.”

“I can't be.”

“But we all are.  It’s human.” Damon brings my hand closer to his chest. “It’s natural for us to need someone to rely on.”

“I don’t need anyone.” The words fall out, but they’re all lies.  I can't lie to him anymore.  No one is listening.  I can afford to be vulnerable for once, can't I?

“Hadyn.” He lets go of my hand and gently brushes me cheek, looking into my eyes with warmth and compassion.

All of the emotion bursts out of me.  All the pain I've been dealing with.  My mother’s death.  My father’s betrayal.  I fall into his arms, letting just one tear slip out of my eyes. “I can't do this alone.  You’re my best friend in the entire world.” A knot catches in my throat and I struggle to continue. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Hadyn.” He holds me close and doesn’t let go for a long, long time.


Hopefully tomorrow, I'll actually have something to say. Besides lousy snippets :P