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review 2016-08-13 01:10
I have computer gremlins...
Night Wars Collection (The Night Wars) - Sophia Beaumont,Missouri Dalton

Ok, truth is I'm on vacation and the internet service here sucks but I'm trying folks. I am seriously trying...ask my husband I have probably tried his patience to the max and he's a pretty patient fella' and it's courtesy of him that I'm going to be able to get this one done. I'm pretty sure it's took me longer to be actually get this review written than it did to read the book which really is sad because I enjoyed the hell out of this book.

 

'The Night Wars Collection' is a compilation of short stories from the Night Wars series by Missouri Dalton and Sophie Beaumont. While it's been a while since I read this series the one thing I definitely remember is that I loved it. I first stumbled across the Night Wars series back in 2013, I read the blurbs and promptly bought the books without hesitation I jumped in and devoured them one right after the other. So reading this was a no brainer and if I had the time I'd would happily re-read the whole damned series.

 

If you've read the Night Wars series than you've probably read a few of these stories already and if you haven't then you might want to check out this book out before going into the series. While the characters are from the series the events of these stories don't seem to be directly connected to the main books even though some events are eluded to it's done without involving any real spoilers from the series so I'd say all in all this is a nice little intro to the series and it's characters as well as the authors.

 

While I still have a couple of Ms Dalton's books to read, I have to admit I haven't read 'The Spider's Web' which seems to be Ms Beaumont's contribution to the Night Wars series so far but her story L'lle des Saeurs, which features the characters from her book definitely has me giving strong consideration to remedying that over sight.

 

By the time I was done reading this collection of stories I was definitely wanting more Night Wars, so needless to say I am hoping that after nearly 2 years of nothing 'The Night Wars Collection' is Missouri Dalton's way if saying she's back and has brought the world of The Night Wars with her.

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review 2016-02-25 14:26
Love Finds You in Branson, Missouri (Love Finds You Series)
Love Finds You in Branson, Missouri - Gwen Ford Faulkenberry

I have enjoyed a good bit of the Love Finds You series, and was totally bummed out when I found out that they decided to discontinue them. I made it a mission to read all of the series, and hopefully owning the ones I really enjoyed. I started purchasing them when they came on sale, without having read them beforehand, simply because I knew the price would go up the rarer they became. This is one I'm really wishing I had read before purchasing.

I thought much of the plot was way too coincidental. Ellie gets a job in Branson, yet it seems that her grandfather has anticipated this and has somehow has bought, furnished and gifted Ellie with a luxury condo on the lake. Complete with everything her little heart desires except groceries, but that's covered in a lovely note from “Opa”, giving her $1000 for groceries. That's totally unrealistic! For me, that's like 3 months worth of groceries!

In addition, I couldn’t connect with these characters at all. Ellie was very whiny about her situation and seemed to want to be handed everything, rather than actually work for it. She was uninspired, shopping and eating at chain stores, rather than think for herself and create a unique style and food preference. Will felt like a very bland hero, and I just didn't care if he got the girl or not.

I thought that this book had a lot of telling the reader about everything, rather than showing them, which made the book not very engaging, and largely uninteresting. I didn't feel like I was seeing the real Branson in this story, like I felt I had with some of the other locations visited in the Love Finds You books and I was greatly disappointed overall.

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review 2016-01-16 00:00
The Time Before Now
The Time Before Now - Missouri Vaun The Time Before Now - Missouri Vaun The Time Before Now is labeled as a FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal -- I had to Google that :)) so I spent most of the book waiting for the FF&P stuff...that never actually happens. :( Which also means good news for lesbian romance lovers cause what this book really is, is a standard, slow-burn romance set amidst a road trip in the wild, wild (mid)west :).

Sometime in the 22nd century, Earth was hit by a triple whammy of the worst catastrophes: exhaustion of fossil fuels, an unfortunate tilt of the earth's axis that threw off weather patterns causing widespread famine and drought, and a killer flu epidemic that literally "wiped out whole communities". Amid the chaos, the elite of mankind ("the richest 1%") have snuck away to floating cities suspended high up in the sky, leaving the rest of the less fortunate folk stranded on poor old energy-depleted and mostly-barren earth. All that drama was covered in just a couple of paragraphs-worth of text though. And that's pretty much all the FF&P there is in the book.

The book's version of post-apocalyptic America is actually rather idyllic and not the dusty, chaotic Mad Max version. Probably because it's been a while since everything went to hell and things have simmered down? Or maybe because so many people died that there's now more resources to go around? cause there doesn't seem to be a mad scramble for that all-important water, or other life-sustaining resources. Anyway...

There is no longer any functioning formal government so it's a relative free-for-all. Small pockets of survivors here and there form small self-sufficient communities, farms, travelling merchants or marauding groups. No fossil fuels to burn means a return to a pre-Industrial, pre-electricity society almost exactly (and conveniently) like 17th century America. (Though it does beg the question, why didn't anyone think to use Steam Power? ;) but then of course, that would turn the book into a steampunk romance instead of FF&P. But I digress.) And this is where we find our protagonists Vivien and Ida. Each of them trying to survive the day-to-day hardships and dangers of life in the new world.

Vivien and Ida find themselves heading in the same destination, the Blue Mountains, which Ida calls home and where Vivien's Cherokee ancestors hail from. They travel together for protection and companionship. First attraction, and then deeper feelings start to develop along the way. But Vivien had just come off a really bad relationship and isn't ready to jump into another, especially one where the other party might be expecting more than a road-trip romance.

The slow-burn romance was done well. It'd better be, because the whole book depended on it. I liked how Vivien resolved her internal dilemma. It wasn't rushed (though it was a bit drawn out). A few brushes with danger and death helped out too. What I found wanting was that bit of drama towards the end the accident and it's aftermath was so rushed I didn't feel anything at all for the victims. It felt like just a plot device to get Cole into their hands. Also, despite all the to-do about Vivien's grandpa wanting her to get to the Blue Mountains where her ancestors are, it seems that there really isn't anything there except the Blue Mountains. Or actually, Ida. Hmmm, come to think of it....I think this is the paranormal part that I totally missed. Until now, that is. The wonders you discover about a book when writing reviews, lol.

I would have liked to know more about the other side of this post-apocalyptic world. Like what is it like up there in the cloud cities? How is it powered? How do they sustain it? Don't they even care about what's happening down here? Are they ever coming back? Isn't any technology at all being developed in the cloud cities to take the place of fossil fuels? Maybe there was more info in the first two books of the series, but this is a prequel so I assumed I didn't have to read those first. I suppose if you're not too fastidious about these things, this book is perfectly fine as a stand-alone read.

Vivien and Ida's very distinct butch/femme dynamic and the whole road trip/western vibe reminded me of a popular lesfic favorite, Backwards to Oregon by Jae. If you enjoyed that, then this book is worth a try. The only difference is in the 22nd century, there is no more homophobia.

4 stars

ARC provided by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books

P.S. Is it just me or does the cover make the book look more like a graphic novel than a lesbian romance.
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review 2015-05-17 08:30
All Things Rise - Missouri Vaun
"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." - Albert Einstein

Ruth Coleman George or Cole has lived all her life on the ground with her aunts Ida and Vivian. when a cruiser crashes near their farm, she meets and rescues Ava Wayne, a commercial pilot. while getting used to her new surroundings, Ava witnesses an attack on Cole. Ava takes her immediately to the Cloud City of Easton for emergency surgery where Cole later encounters Dr. Audrey Jameson. the meeting of these three women from two different worlds triggers a series of events that will change their lives forever...
 
the futuristic world that author Missouri Vaun has brought to life is as interesting as it is plausible. the sci-fi aspect, though, is not hard-core which makes for easy reading and understanding of the technology prevalent in the cloud cities. this element served as a backdrop only which was good because the focus was really on the dynamics of the characters especially Cole, Ava and Audrey - whether they were interacting on the ground or above the clouds.
 
from the first page to the last, the writing was just perfect. Cole's insights shine with intelligence no matter how simple her perspectives are. Ava and Audrey's ruminations speak to everyone who has ever fallen in love or is in the process of doing so. another thing i found interesting was the speech made by Meredith, an anarchist. it was brilliant, powerful and intense.
 
aside from the romantic angle, i also loved how the author explored themes of contrast throughout the book - natural versus synthentic, flight or fight, solitude or companionship, love or lust, instant gratification or long-time commitment, tradition versus progress, the masses versus the elite, etc . in light of this, even details - no matter how minor - like colors, lighting, clothing, food, beverages, transportation, textures, crowds and nature are highlighted and given significance.
 
All Things Rise was a surprise read for me. when i grabbed an advanced copy from NetGalley, i thought it was an mm sci-fi romance but it was exactly the opposite. it was about women loving other women.
 
this lesbian romance novel was a first for me. i never imagined i would enjoy and like it so much. it went beyond my expectations and i found it informative and enlightening as well.
 
sometimes mistakes can be good.
Source: aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/05/review-all-things-rise-by-missouri-vaun.html
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text 2015-05-14 04:33
Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 200 pages.
All Things Rise - Missouri Vaun

i grabbed this book from Netgalley by mistake thinking it was an mm sci-fi romance but it was the opposite. it was an ff sci-fi romance! 

 

surprisingly, i enjoyed it considering that this was my first ever lesbian romance novel and what an eye-opener! the things i learned along the way... ;)

 

sometimes mistakes can be a good thing.

 

*full review to follow

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