Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Jingling Our Change by Kelli Otting

Jingling Our Change


Kelli Otting





Amazon Description 


For over 40 years, Bloom’s been kicked around by the hard knocks of life. Events cascade into chaos as she tries to help her friends survive the infrastructure collapse. Polite society experiences a massive correction. Struggling through violent clashes and heartbreaking decisions, the small group grows strong bonds as they work together to hold on to their food, guns and property as the government reaches in to take what they want by granting themselves ever-increasing authority. Individuals quickly reprioritize their loyalties, as the political elite focus on micromanaging the population. While some people look toward liberty for the future, others decide to take full advantage of the anarchy by feeding off people’s adversity. Either way, only the strong can survive. There are no handouts left.



I received this book and its sequel as a Christmas present from a family member. I read a lot of dystopian novels and the giver thought I would enjoy this story that was geared more towards adults rather than teens.

He was right. I was immediately shocked by the first sentence, "The president assassinated another American family last night."

Full Warning: Otting does nothing to try to cover her political views in this book. The pages are packed with secret government plans and worst case scenarios. All of that aside, no matter where you stand on this country's current situation, the author makes sure to present her opinions with a suspenseful, well written story.

The main character, Bloom, is a refreshing female protagonist with just enough grit and vulnerability to make her compelling and worth your time. Otting introduces her in a way that shows off both her thought provoking writing and well crafted story telling. Bloom's tragic back story will tug at your heartstrings and keep you reading to see how her life turns out. The other main characters are just as fleshed out, but the story focuses mostly on Bloom handling all of the sudden changes.

I wish the same could be said for the antagonists in this book. The main villain of this story is the faceless government, which is falling apart at the seams and desperate to keep control of the population. In the span of just three weeks, they pass and enforce outrageous, privacy invading laws, and leave citizens no choice but to hand over their freedoms in order to survive. The entire country is in a panic, fighting tooth and nail for a half gallon of milk. I'm sure the scenario is meant as a "what could happen if we are not careful" warning, but at times the drama seemed over the top and unlikely. The villains that did have faces made quick appearances and came across as outlandishly evil and flat. I would have liked to have seen at least a glimmer of humanity in them.

That said, Jingling Our Change is intriguing, thought provoking, and action packed. (once you get to the second half of the book) Politically charged, this drama will have you questioning your convenient lifestyle and scrambling to stock food storage in your basement. The book ends leaving a dastardly situation for the characters to climb out of in the sequel, Nanny State Nightmare. Difficult to put down, Jingling Our Change is well deserving of 4 stars.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

***Limited Time***

In honor of my Birthday,
the Onyx Moon ebook will be on sale this weekend for 

*****only $1.99 *****

*****Limited Time*****

Sale starts Friday, February 20th
and ends Monday February 23rd



Amazon Description

 "High fantasy Christian fiction immersed in a detailed world. A valiant breakout from a new author." - Megan Linski, author of Alora

What if you were forced to live a double life while you sleep, and pursued by Demons while you were awake?

City girl Ora Gondry has spent all of her nights in a dreamless sleep, until one night she finds herself awake in a foreign realm. Through the help of long forgotten heroes: a legendary swordsman and a former witch, Ora learns her soul teleports to a separate twin body while she slumbers.

In Alethia, a land plagued by demonic legions, she must awaken her true power before the world falls to dark forces. While in the city, she struggles to pass exams and keep her best friend from joining a wannabe vampire cult. Oblivious to just how connected these two worlds are, Ora must wager which new friends are true allies, and which are Demons in disguise. But after a crushing betrayal, she is left questioning everything.

Armed with only faith and unseen Angels, Ora learns to fight for beliefs and a courageous power she never knew she possessed. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Review: Creatures of the Lands - Kiatana's Journey by Natalie Erin





Dragons fly, animals can speak and fairies rule over all in the realm they call the Lands, a place that is both beautiful and dangerous. Only one myth remains...Changers, beasts who can morph into any creature at will, and their Accompanies, the mysterious riders who command them. 

Chaos begins when a Changer called Ionan and his Accompany Keota crash down from the sky. They are found by two orphan wolf pups searching for their mother, and the fairy Kiatana, owner of the Verinian Forest. Kiatana refuses to trust the handsome stranger, or believe the story about his troubled past, but she soon finds she has bigger problems as a plague begins to spread throughout her land, killing all in sight. With no option Kiatana heads out on a quest with Keota, Ionan, the two wolves and her trusty pegasus to find a cure before the forest is destroyed forever. But danger has a way of finding her, and Kiatana isn’t sure if she’ll survive the road ahead...

Natalie Erin is the pen name for the writing team of Megan Linski and Krisen Lison (also known as Krystyl Lisoh). They completed the first draft of Kiatana's Journey in 2008 when they were freshmen in high school, and released the book online in their graduating year of 2011. After some revisions the girls decided that they would find representation for the novel, but this was disrupted by Miss Lison's untimely death in 2013. She was 20 years old.

One year after Lison's passing Linski created her own company, Gryfyn Publishing, and released the updated version of Kiatana's Journey as the company's breakout novel on November 1st, 2014. Miss Linski is currently working on publishing the rest of the Creatures of the Lands series in Lison's honor.



This book was given to me by Gryfyn Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

It was my pleasure to read Kiatana's Journey, the first installment in the Creatures of the Lands series by Natalie Erin. Upon the very first page, the reader is immersed in a well thought out world with a wide variety of compelling characters. The story opens with two orphaned wolf pups, who snagged my heart from the beginning. Although the book centers around Kiatana, a sassy, independent fairy readers will appreciate, I found the wolf pups were the most crafted of all the characters. And there are a lot of them, from the main antagonists to suspected villains, to talking birds, shape shifting dragons, intricately designed unicorns and heroes in disguise. But in my humble opinion, the wolf pups outshine all of them and steal the show. I'm very happy they tagged along on Kiatana's Journey.

The world of Creatures of the Lands brought back a lot of nostalgia as it is a place I could have day dreamed about as a child. Riding off over the mysterious forest on the back of a Pegasus, being in the reverent presence of a mighty dragon...Natalie Erin gives us some very enjoyable twists on fairy tale lore and I got caught up in the mysterious world. I savored the names of the settings the author presented in her story, but I found myself grasping for more. The band of quirky characters never stayed in one place too long, and perhaps that is why I was dissatisfied with the lack of details for each part of the world. I always enjoy a well planned love story, but I felt the relationship between Kia and Keota was rushed and a bit predictable.

Action, magic, and adventure pack this story to the edges. The pages kept turning with a new mystery or element always adding to the crisis. A few twists keeps things interesting and keeps the reader guessing. You will cheer for Kia and her team as they struggle to save their home, find closure from a dark past, and find unexpected love.

During the entire book, I felt like I was watching an anime series, and I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps one day it will be adapted into such. I look forward to the next book in the Creatures of the Lands series coming soon, Vera's Song.

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