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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
tagged: currently-reading
At the King's Pleasure
tagged: currently-reading

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Don't Bother

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2017 Reading Challenge

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Posted by on January 23, 2017

 

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: What is your preferred reading format?

I am fairly sure that this has been asked before but it is on my mind today so it seemed to be all I could come up with, blame my one track mind perhaps. When the Kindle first came out on the market I admit I dug my heels in and I refused to get one. I wanted to stick with my hard copy books and only my hard copy books. I love the smell of books, the feel of them in your hands as you read. I still do tend to prefer the hard copy, but I am of course as seen by my whine about my broken kindle not so hard nosed about it anymore. The kindle has it’s place, it is more environmentally friendly of course, fantastic for vacation because you can have as many books as you want in the palm of your hand and for me of course there is the fact that I can have text to speech going while I am working on a crochet project. Of course it is hard to overlook all the fantastic deals that you can often find on kindle books. I think I will always prefer hard copy books as a matter of the memories they can bring forward and you can’t beat that great smell, but I do enjoy my kindle as well. So which do you prefer?



Posted by on January 22, 2017

 

We have another Sunday upon us and it has been an up and down week for me. Down as one might suspect because of my previous post about the kindle being broken. Up because there is a new little light among those in the household. Perhaps not book related exactly but I noticed some time ago that cats and book people seem to go hand in hand. More of my bookish friends enjoy cats and or have cats then don’t. As I announced at the start of the month sadly we lost our sweet boy Pasha. His soul came along and directed the next life into our family.

 

 

This is Misha Castiel Pasha, the newest little fellow in our life. He looks similar to our sweet departed Pasha but also different. The only white he has on him is there in his muzzle and he has white stripes that go along with his black stripes. Pasha had white mittens and Misha has black mittens and little black jelly bean toes. All of my kitties have either mixed color or pinkies never had a boy with just black ones (or a girl). He is fitting into the house rather well so far. There have been no major blow ups he just seems to have slipped into that puzzle piece where Pasha was. Cubby was the first one to greet him and decided to call himself the little guys mentor. He climbed right into the carrier that Misha was sitting in while the little guy hissed and fussed and then laid down. Misha noticed he wasn’t trying to do anything mean or anything so he settled down and there was napping.

I am sure we have a fair amount of adjusting and other things coming in the next weeks. I know how this goes. We are seeing his lovely and fun little guy so far, but I know he will start to come out of his shell more as he gets more comfortable. No doubt he will end up doing as little guys do and start making some mischief. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of that it is part of the fun after all. Thus far he is a purring machine a wonderful sweet little guy who has a curious tail and seems to take in everything.

One of his favorite spots to settle in and watch the world from so far is of course one of my bookshelves. You won’t see me complain about that. I rather adore when my kitties like to spend time with me and read. He hasn’t discovered the yarn yet, that will be an interesting time.



Posted by on January 20, 2017

So in November I decided to treat myself to a newer Kindle. I had not upgraded for a while and thought it would be a nice treat. There was nothing wrong with my current kindle, it is just a bit older and if I am honest, I wanted to be able to pick a different voice for when I use the text to speech as I crochet. I know a little bit shallow, but hey, we all have our moments right?

Alas through a no fault of my own accident the screen has a nice long crack in it. Upsetting as that is I figured there wouldn’t be to much of a problem sorting it out seeing as I put the kindle away safely when I was done with it and it is a just a hair over 2 months old. It should be covered under warranty, right?

Wrong.

I won’t have a huge fit about it, I am sure that is now probably industry standard for all touch devices. Which I always think is a bit of bunk. Of course the screen is the most expensive part of the device if I recall correctly and lets face it some of them are made cheaply.

This post comes along because while they did finally decide to agree to replace my new kindle as a “one time just for you thoughtful thing to do.” I couldn’t help but just want to sigh a bit. I was made very much to feel as if I should be kissing a ring or something because they were willing to do this. I do appreciate that they did offer and I should have verified the darn warranty before hand so my fault there but can’t help the pet peeve. Don’t make the customer feel like they should be worshiping the ground you walk on because you are going to replace the device (I suspect I am going to get a refurb for my less than 3 month old Kindle but I could be wrong).

Of course, this whole post is being made because I am grumpy about having to wait for the workable one to show up after I send back the old one. So feel free to dismiss this post while I mourn my having to wait on the kindle.



Posted by on January 18, 2017

The world is changing.

For thousands of years, witch song has controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons. But not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by the dark Witch, Espen.

As the last echoes of witch song fade, Espen grows stronger as winter and summer come within the space of a day. Now she’s coming for the one she missed—a shy, untrained girl of fifteen named Brusenna.

Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find Espen. Fight her. Defeat her.

Or there won’t be anything left to save.

I had such high hopes for this book. I love powerful books where women go on a journey to find themselves, witchcraft is always a plus for me and just the genre in general. The cover was interesting and yes, I know not to judge a book by its cover, but I was judging it in a positive way. Perhaps I went in having hopes that were too high, because for the most part they fell flat. The first red flag for me should have been on the books good read page where the author herself posted a 5 star review that literally just says, “Well, I think it’s fabulous. But I wrote it . . . ;)”. I know it seems petty to mention that, but it is one of my peeves, but I really was excited about the book so I just chalked it up to a very excited author which is understandable and dug into the book.

The main character of the story, the lovely heroine witch Brusenna is pretty 2 dimensional to me. She has everything you expect to see in a book heroine, all the right basics, but beyond that I myself just did not see much depth. I don’t mind having characters that are built on a template base, it is pretty common after all in the different genres. However, what truly makes a character for me is what comes after that template all the good things you pour into the simple base. Brusenna was just kind of there, the base and with that basic base I just really could not find a connection which never bodes well in my opinion for a book I am reading. When the main male character also comes up to be a bit of a basic base without depth like I felt Joshen was, I know I am going to end up sighing. Honestly, there were a few times even though it is a shorter book I thought I would set it down as a DNF but I try not to do that so once more into the breach my friends once more I soldiered on.

There is a lot of action and obstacles and lots of things that have to be overcome through this story. Some of the witch spells, or songs as they are presented were creative and interesting. Some of them weren’t anything new to me, but they still seemed to be built solidly. The fact that they all had to rhyme, well, I have never been a fan of that kind of spell craft, but since it was about songs it got a little bit of a pass. Did I mention that they then throw seeds with the song? Yes, seeds like the things that grow tree’s and flowers and what have you. There were points where I wondered what would happen to a bird if they came along and ate one of those seeds. That might have been amusing.

So before I ramble on anymore about this, the bottom line is while the book did have some bright spots, I really didn’t enjoy it that much. There are a lot of readers who did enjoy it though according to Goodreads. So I will put this one in the try it if you want, but honestly, you might be better off taking a look for a different witch story. This is, as noted by the title, having a #1 in it a series and I know sometimes it can take a little time to get a series rolling. Unfortunately, I myself am not going to be giving any of the other books in this series a read, unless someone forces me to. Another end of 2016 book, another meh feeling.

Glad I only have one more 2016 books to finish the write up for, people are going to start thinking all I read is books that make me go meh.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 17, 2017

 

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

 

Poor ole Mozart didn’t get any love like I planned this week thanks to work, lol. The good news is I get to share another teaser from this book so that could interest even more people. It really is not the books fault I have been dilly dallying, lol.

 

My sister in law appeared in the glass. She stood in the doorway in  black woolen shawl and a loose black dress that gathered beneath her breasts. Her mouth gaped, and her bright teeth made her look ravenous and despairing. In her hands she held a short jacket she had been unraveling so that the wool might be reused. Pg 23 Mozart’s Last Aria by Matt Rees



Posted by on January 16, 2017

 

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

 

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How do you make time for reading when you are very busy? Or how do you find a better balance between wanting to spend time reading and other commitments?

I have had this particular thought on my mind a lot lately and thought it would be interesting to see what others thought or do. I have been extremely busy the last few weeks with work. I have also had personal stuff but it is the work that has been keeping me from reading. This week especially I was not able to read at all. I feel like I cheated on my book by not reading it, lol. So hit me with you tips,  or just your muse.



Posted by on January 14, 2017

 

Not a whole lot to write about today for the Sunday Salon, sadly it has been a pretty stressful week on my end. I have some very fun color bruises for my trouble, pretty much sums up the week for me.

However, looking on the bright side and ensuring that this post has a little more to it then just saying its been a crap week I want to look at a good point of this week. I get laughed at a lot by other people in my same age group (30’s ) because I adore PBS. I have enjoyed PBS for as long as I can remember I used to watch it with my Great Grandma and not just the kid stuff either. PBS has all the best history shows, and of course is where a lot of the historical shows from the BBC end up. Downton Abbey and Poldark anyone?

Tonight PBS starts showing Victoria, a Queen I rather enjoy despite the mixed feelings of her in general population.

 



Posted by on January 12, 2017

Penniless and disgraced, Adelaide Wentworth is feeling rather desperate. With nothing left to lose, she and her sister, Louisa, flee to Lake Geneva with Adelaide’s lover, the infamous poet Julian Estes. There, Louisa hopes to persuade Bayard Sonnier—celebrated writer and her former lover—to advance Julian’s career. He is their last hope for salvation.

At the Villa Diodati—the place that inspired the writing of Frankenstein sixty years earlier—Louisa plots to rekindle her affair with Bayard, while Adelaide hopes to restore her fading love for Julian by being the muse he needs.

But soon, secrets are revealed, passions ignited, and hidden talents discovered. Adelaide begins to imagine a different life. Confused, she turns to Giovanni Calina—Bayard’s assistant and a man with his own secrets and deep resentments—and the two form a dangerous alliance. No one leaves unscathed in this richly imagined, emotionally nuanced tale of passion, ambition, inspiration, and redemption.

I want to thank Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to get an ARC of this book. I will admit that it was the cover which drew me in first, but the description kept me interested and the book and the book itself that made me keep reading.

This is one of the most unique books I have had a chance to read in a while and the tapestry of characters is rich and interesting. If you are a reader who is also very interested in writing and the entire process it has you are really going to enjoy a drop of ink because it is all about the process of writing and the characters who are writers while of course also giving you a nice dash of history and romance too. If you are looking for a happily ever after kind of romance this is not the book for you, I am just going to say that now without giving away any major spoilers.

The year is 1876 the place is Lake Geneva in Switzerland, at a Villa where famous writers Lord Byron and Mary & Percy Shelly stayed some 60 years ago. It was this Villa where Frankenstein and his Monster were born. There is a curious collection of characters gathered here this time as well, Bayard the famous writer, Giovanni his assistant who is trying to claw his way up the social ladder, Estes, who is, well, in my opinion a useless poet who likes his drug flask way t0o much and the Sisters Adelaide and the rather insane Louisa.

You get plotting and scheming and controversy and sometimes of course scandal. Overall, I really enjoyed the book it was fun and entertaining and the historical backdrop was nice. Other times I could not help but roll my eyes a little and sigh, some of the drama that Louisa caused was just over the top and Adelaide well she was not much less crazy at times then her sister. The fact that so many people didn’t really seem to notice all the drama was also a bit curious and yet those people had no problem showing up and surrounding the famous writer. The trope of the grumpy ole writer who hated being surrounded like that was probably my least favorite of the bunch. However, when it comes to complaints that is really a small one as far as things go.

This book really was one that I enjoyed a great deal. It had supernatural theories and fun playing along as well as humor, romance and history. I have always adored the idea of writing a book in the old way with a dip or fountain pen on parchment paper. So this one was bound to be a fun, enjoyment for me. The ending really was not overly satisfying for me, but it was realistic and I understand that sometimes realism has to win over the happily ever after.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 11, 2017

There ARE creatures lurking in the dead of night… Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the big city.

This book contains some graphic language, violence, and mild sexual situations.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Another book where I cannot help but giggle that they had to put a little warning disclaimer in the description of the book about adult content. Maybe this is a new trend that I am not aware of? Just last time I checked when you were choosing an Erotica or romance. Now with that said again (sorry about the broken record), time to sink into the review.

This is not the worst book I have ever read, but again like many of the last books I read in 2016 this book just really fell short of what I hoped it would be. This book was so rushed it really felt like perhaps the author was frantic just to get words typed out and shoved into a book. Yes short books are always going to be a little rushed, but with a skilled hand, you can still manage to make them feel less so (I think anyways) and you can deepen the plot and characters.

Nikki is just a one dimensional cut out of hormones that I simply could not connect with. At times I even got flashes of Anita Blake once she started being a bit hyper sexual too (I hope I can bring myself to continue the series after Cerulean Sins), and well that just boded badly. The monsters and other characters of the book all fell pretty flat for me. I rolled my eyes so much when I was reading this one that I was sure they were going to get stuck up there.

The book gets a 2 rating instead of anything lower because there were a few little points that I did enjoy. The idea could be better if it was fleshed out better, if it had not been so rushed awkward and cheesy. Nathan was the character for me that had the most promise, he was a bit better fleshed out for me.

So the short of it is, if you want a fast read that won’t bore you to tears, but is not fully fleshed out you might like this one more then I did. I also find myself once again pleading with Indie/Self published authors, please for the love of all the Gods please stop rushing things. Take the time to make the story longer, to give the characters more life and the plot a bit of time to simmer and truly come together. Instead of making a long series of really short stories just make one or two longer ones. Please. You might take a little bit longer to get it done, but if you spend that extra time on it there is a much bigger chance that you will get loyal readers! That makes the extra time worth it, really it does. Oh, and for the love of Gaia please at least give the story a brief proofread! Please! I beg this on behalf of all readers out there who really do try and support smaller authors. Totally random and not really something that matters this one hurt a little bit extra because the Author is from/in my hometown.



Posted by on January 10, 2017

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

I want to say thank you to everyone who offered me condolences last week over my loss. I am sorry that I did not reply personally to everyone, but I really do appreciate every kind word. I also want to say a huge WELCOME!! To all of the new comers to Teaser Tuesday, so happy to have you taking part. Guarantee you will end up adding to your TBR list, lol I know I always do. So on to the teaser!

So Mozart’s last Aria is a book that has been sitting on my currently reading list for well a year. I meant to read it last year and I started it but then it fell to the wayside, because I have it in hard copy. So going with my new goal of being a little more rounded in things, I am starting the book over a mulligan if you will. It may take a while to read this one as I still need to have my kindle read to me alot at the moment, lol but I am starting this one today at any rate.

 

“The strength of Gieseke’s voice surprised me. When I met him, he had been sneering and shrill. I wondered if an actor speaking lines might be transformed as I was when I sat before the keyboard.” pg 119 Mozart’s Last Aria by Matt Ree’s

 

 

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