Please join me in welcoming author D.J. Williams to the blog today to chat about his new YA thriller, Secrets of the Highlands!
D. J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, igniting an adventurous spirit as he ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the ancient cities of the Far East. His global travels submerged him in a myriad of cultures, providing a unique perspective that fuels his creativity. Providing a fresh voice in mystery and suspense, his novels have climbed the charts on Amazon Hot New Releases, and his books The Auctioneer and Hunt for Eden’s Star received stellar reviews from Kirkus Reviews. Secrets of the Highlands is book two in his new Beacon Hill series. Williams has also been an executive producer and director on over 500 episodes of broadcast television. Connect with DJ at his website.
SECRETS OF THE HIGHLANDS by DJ Williams
SERIES: Beacon Hill #2
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy Thriller (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2023
He’s uncovered ancient secrets at a great cost. Now he must embrace his destiny to unleash the truth.
Jack Reynolds is the only one who can wield the power of Eden’s Star, but can he control it before it destroys him? Hunted across international cities and secret realms, Jack and his diverse group of boarding school friends are desperate to find the ancient artifacts of the Cherub tribes before it’s too late.
Fighting against her own heartbreak, Emma Bennett struggles to stop the dark forces capturing innocent Cherub and stealing their powers for their own sinister schemes. As the truth of a haunting prophecy is revealed, and an ally turns to the dark side, Jack and Emma must decide together if trusting a narrow path is worth the sacrifice.
Dive into this heart-pounding sequel to Hunt for Eden’s Star.
Hi D.J.! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
D.J.: My superpower would be to time travel and walk alongside great heroes in history. Most important to me would be walking in the footsteps of Jesus and Paul the apostle. Then there’s Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa. Also, Frodo Baggins, Robin Hood, and Harry Potter. I didn’t say they all had to be real-life heroes. And I’d love to walk alongside great heroes who are nameless to the world but who are known in heaven. Now that would be a cool superpower!
Carrie: wouldn’t that be wonderful to do?!?
Q: You have traveled to many places in the world and have based several settings in Secrets of the Highlands on places you’ve visited or lived. What did you learn from living in a variety of different cultures?
D.J.: Perhaps one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that this world is in constant motion, and if we allow our differences to divide us, then our world becomes smaller. If we judge one another based on ethnicity, economies, neighborhoods, and any other aspect of life, then we will miss out on friendships, faith, and family. When I look at my circle of friends, especially those who are as close as family, I’m reminded that each one of us brings value to the other. When you are surrounded by others who are unique from you, you can still find common ground. And when you’re speaking about a common faith, there is only one that bonds us for eternity.
Carrie: yes! After working with internationals in America, I wholeheartedly agree!
Q: In this book, Jack is learning how to steward the gift of Eden’s Star while struggling with his desire for revenge for the death of his sister. How does this conflict impact his character and the themes of Secrets of the Highlands?
D.J.: Gifts can be used for good or evil, depending on the condition of the heart. If one’s heart is filled with revenge, envy, greed, or power, those gifts will change someone from the inside out. If one’s heart is centered on compassion, courage, selflessness, and sacrifice, then those gifts are amplified in moments when one must choose a narrow path. Jack’s imperfections, doubts, and struggles are challenged by Eden’s Star, which pushes him further in faith than he would’ve if he relied on his own abilities.
Carrie: such good points!
Q: What role does faith play in Secrets of the Highlands?
D.J.: Faith is the cornerstone and the evolution of the characters and story arcs in the Beacon Hill series, and perhaps most notably in Secrets of the Highlands. In my storytelling style, I’ve worked diligently to infuse faith as an underlying driver instead of making it the Holy Grail. As an author who writes in the general market and faith-based space, my hope is anyone who picks up one of my books will be captured by the characters and the world, then discover the message along the way.
Carrie: a la Tolkien and Lewis! I love it 🙂
Q: Tell us about some of the core themes explored in Secrets of the Highlands. How do you hope readers might relate these themes to their own lives and real-world experiences?
D.J.: The value of friendship is a thread woven through the entire series, and in Secrets of the Highlands those values are put to the ultimate test. Each character must choose whether they will stand united or whether their own ambition will leave them divided from the rest. Themes of faith planted from Hunt for Eden’s Star grow through Secrets of the Highlands as the challenge of walking out one’s faith amid the mountaintops and valleys leads Jack and his friends to make choices that will determine their destiny. My hope is readers will be inspired to embrace the adventures and challenges of life no matter what they might face to discover a deeper faith than when they turned the first page.
Carrie: amen ♥
Tyndale House is offering a print copy of Secrets of the Highlands by DJ Williams to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Secrets of the Highlands by DJ Williams?