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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
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At the King's Pleasure
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Posted by on March 26, 2017

Happy Sunday to all who see this and a VERY Happy Mother’s day to those in England who are celebrating today. It always makes me smile a bit when I post a Mother’s day message in March and some of my readers or Facebook friends are very confused and say I am off.

Different countries have different Mother’s Day’s. Just like Thanksgiving in Canada is in October if I remember off the top of my head without checking my calendar. I don’t claim to know all the different Holiday’s but with English connections I try to be aware of their different days. You never know how much it can mean to an expat to hear a Happy Mother’s Day on the day they are used to celebrating it on.

What a week it has been in the world eh? Attacks in London and Ohio, I am sure I am missing another one ,but it just hurts my heart to think about all the senseless violence. I wish we lived in a more Utopian world. I know that the world that H.G Wells had hoped for is never likely. We are human and we will always have those among us who think violence prevails. Beyond that we have seen imaginations of what can happen when we want a peaceful never speaks out against anything society. It doesn’t work well either, not without violating a lot of personal freedoms and rights. We can and should do better though.

Love is going to be what will fix the hurts of the world. Not so much violence and hate. Maybe I am an idealist, but I hope someday for a world which is not so violent. I truly hope that we will not have to see daily accounts of mass shootings and attacks anywhere in the world. It is so heart breaking to think this is where we are.

Having a conversation with a dear friend made me happen upon a phrasing that I feel fits. Many people today think we are more civilized than we used to be. That ancient times and even the more recent Renaissance times were so much more savage than we are today. Were they really though? The biggest difference is that we now have access to the savagery almost immediately. We are a society that has a 24 hour at your fingertips news cycle. Very little happens in the world that isn’t seen, uploaded and then spread across the world. Back in ancient times and say, the time of the wars of the roses or the Tudors it took time for news to spread. Things were not as connected as they are today.

Yes, we have come a long way in certain areas, medicine, science and rights for many people. But are we really any less savage? Honestly, I think the age of the internet has allowed some to become more savage. When you look at the way people who in regular life would never raise a bad word, then attack and bully others on the internet. It is astounding. So, maybe we need a little bit more of the age of chivalry put back into our lives. Heck, at least when the Roman’s came in they took over, built roads, let people live their lives. Yes, I know that is simplistic, but early Roman’s expanded for the sake of expansion and Empire. The conquered people generally still got to keep their religion, and were absorbed into the society of Rome. If you look at how many different religions and Gods were present in Ancient Rome before Christianity the number is astounding. Alexandria was also a huge melting pot of religion and culture in its day. While the Knights of old would often (not always I am WELL AWARE) leave women and children alive.

Anyways, sorry for all the random rambling and heavy talk on a Sunday Salon post. I really set out just to say Happy Mother’s day and I look forward to the week to come. I guess I needed to get some things off my chest.

Or I could blame the nyquil for the nasty flu I have been battling.

Either way. I hope you have a good Sunday and pardon my deep ramblings on topics and the world today.



Posted by on March 19, 2017


Oh, what a week it has been. There have been ups and there have been downs, but it has been an interesting week to be sure. For once I am ahead on my reading challenge for the year so that is something to be excited about. I won’t get to braggy about it though ,because I know how easily I can fall behind again *LOL*

Beauty and the Beast was the big talk of the week and who can blame me or anyone else right? As a kid Belle was the Disney Princess I understood the most, well, okay Jasmine for having the pet tiger, but Belle loved to read and everyone in her town thought she was odd. She was also a brunette (hey that made a difference to me) and so while I loved so many of the Disney animations I grew up with if you forced me to pick the one Princess when I was younger that I felt was most be it would be Belle. I still understand Belle a great deal though I feel I have moved a bit into an Elsa and Belle mix, but you don’t need me to babble on about that.

 

So Beauty and the Beast.. stunning production value’s and it stayed true to the Disney classic that we all know and love while also fixing a few things that as kid’s you might not notice as much but as an adult. Make you go well… now don’t get me wrong, I don’t try and nit pick animations because sometimes you should just be able to sit back and enjoy a movie for what it is. I mean it has singing objects and a rose that glows, you shouldn’t have to nitpick every little thing. Alas, it is human nature to pick at a few things right? So attempting to not give any major spoilers (but really it is very, very close to the original animation story) I am going to take my Sunday to happily applaud the things that were my nit picking moments as an adult that this beautiful live action version has adjusted. The most beautiful thing about it for me is that these changes were just soft, subtle and executed so well it felt natural as it should.

Nitpick #1: In the animation the curse has been in effect for 10 years by the time we come into the story and the Prince must find true love by his 21st birthday or that’s it for everyone. Think about that for a second. Yeah the enchantress essentially dropped a big curse on a kid for being a bit of a snot. Given the time period, well aristocratic kids could be snots. That has been one of the things that bugged me as I became an adult who loves history. Like come on Lady. The simple correction? The Prince is an adult when he is cursed and oh, he deserves it too, sure does and they simply remove any mention of the exact timeline. Simple, nice and still keeps things essentially the same.

Nit pick #2: The rose. I love roses and I have always loved the rose ( loved ones have often called me Irish rose over my lifetime) but I never really understood as an adult why a rose. Why not a lily or any other flower there is? The rose is give more significance in the live action film and I appreciate that. Sure, it is a small thing, but I have always felt as if the rose was a character in its own right. The tie in’s that have been made just kind of make it all fit together nicer and gives the Rose true significance and importance to Belle, her Father and the Beast. Yay!

Nitpick #3: How could an entire town forget about a Prince? Even as a kid, this one bothered me a bit. Even more so as an adult, especially given the time period this is supposed to be in. The likelihood of an entire province forgetting about their Prince is like.. just not going to happen. Yes, I know talking teapots don’t really happen either, but I have acknowledge I am being nit picky. Another simple, subtle touch, however, explained it perfectly. As the curse befell the Prince, his castle, his loyal servants and the general area around the castle it also touched the people in town. It took their memory of the Castle, The Prince and the Servants away. Easy and goes in perfectly with what a curse really should do.

Nitpick #4: Education or lack of. So I know again a kids movie they couldn’t go into all the big details and what not, but why was the beast so…..well completely ill mannered and not always so smart in the animation? I know nobility doesn’t mean smart, but at the time a boy of his standing would have had some serious education. The table manners aside (hey look at the hands he can be forgiven and its cute anyways) it is nice to see the Prince using his brain like a Prince. Sure, he can be beastly with it (the point I believe is a commentary on how nobility of the time could be very beastly) but he has a princely bearing about him even as a beast. Moreover, the library he has read many of the books and that is how he and Belle really begin to bond. That one gets two happy thumbs up from me.

Nitpick #5: How the heck did Belle get the Beast onto the horse?! Yeah, even my younger brain was curious about that one. Not that women can’t be strong, but come on he would have been massive dead weight and to hoist him up on a horse?!! Yeah….the most simple fix of them all. Belle simply asks him to help her and stand up. Well, there ya go, one line and all fixed.

So there are my nit picks and happy feelings if you ever wanted to know over Beauty and the Beast, lol. I know this one isn’t the most book related of my Sunday Salon’s but Beauty and the Beast was taken from the fairy tale book  La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve so it counts right?

I am just going to go and spin around and sing some songs again as I get ready for the week ahead. Sometimes it is fun to take a moment to feel like a kid again right?

 



Posted by on March 5, 2017

Sunday again already, the first Sunday of March at that. Is it just me or does the year seem to be flying by already? I have not gotten as much reading as I wanted to do this week, my brain has been a little bit “squirrel” feeling this last week, but I am learning to not be so hard on myself for the weeks like that. What I did read quite a bit of this week was preparations to make sure I am caught up on my Read it first personal challenge. There are so many good movies coming out in the future or that have recently come out based on books. TV is starting to get a little bit more into that as well. Two examples that are coming up this year are the Hulu original series The Handmaids tale and the ABC series Time after Time.

I am a little conflicted over The handmaids tale, I know for many it is a classic and one that they really enjoyed, but for me the book has always just been a little bit, meh. Among just my friends on Goodreads I know I am in the minority as most of my friends gave it a much better rating than I did. Yes, I only gave it 1 gem/star if anyone remembers my review of it. If not here is the link and you can see it for yourself, at least there is a Doctor who reference in my review right? I want to give the show a chance though and I am sitting here laughing at myself and asking why? I clearly did not like the book. Well the short and simple answer is because I wanted to like the book and sometimes I am actually upset at myself for not liking the book. There is so much there that in general I like, but I guess it is one of those things that for me it never came together. I am going to give the show a chance though, I really hope I like it better than the book. Stranger things have happened, right? I mean I liked True Blood as a whole much better than I liked The Southern Vampire mysteries (lets not go down that rabbit hole with how much I hated the “last” installment).

Time after Time however, oh boy it has all of the elements to be fantastic. You have a great plot, fun history to work with and a little eye candy never hurts right? This is not the first adaptation of the book by Karl Alexander of course, there was the movie with the same name done in 1979 (same year as the book and funny enough the movie screenplay was written up before the book was finished) which was touted as being filmed in Panavision ooo! In a world of reboots (I am not a fan of all of them trust me. Footloose not cool and now Dirty Dancing SERIOUSLY?) I feel this is one that actually is worth visiting again and playing around with more.

Despite my slow reading progress this week I am actually slowly starting to feel like I am getting my book mojo back, which I take as a good sign overall. I went on a spree this morning of adding a whole slew of Historical fictions that I have missed over the last few years to my want to read list. I had to say sorry to my Facebook friends since my Goodreads activity posts there, LOL. Reading mojo may be waking up like a slow bear after hibernation, but I am so happy to see it again. I find that it also makes me want to get back to writing for myself, instead of just doing it for freelance work. There is the inspired feeling of wanting to sink my teeth into writing something historical, maybe even an alternative history. Beyond that, I have a feeling that I am going to end up feeling very inspired to make creations for my shop once I dig into a bunch of books again. I often get teased by loved ones who say I could find inspiration is a puddle, but seriously as stimulating as movies and TV shows can be for creativity (I want to make ALL the things from Outlander and the Tudors? So many pretty things!) I find books are fantastic for that as well, mostly because you can completely build the vision yourself. You get the context and of course the description from the writer, but it is your mind that can see it come to life without someone else putting their stamp on it, beyond the writer of course.

So I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Sunday and that the week you have coming ahead is enjoyable as well. I’ll be back for Musing Monday for now it’s time to go poke around my kindle a bit and line up a short list TBR for the upcoming weeks.



Posted by on February 26, 2017

 

Here we are again on Sunday, the last Sunday in Feb it is hard to think that March is already nearly here! There has been so much going on this year for me already sometimes I am surprised when I look up and see what day it is. The good news is that in March we will be seeing Beauty and the Beast pop up in theaters. Very excited about it! I mean what book lover hasn’t been a fan of Belle at one point or another?

I have not gotten as much reading done as I wanted to this week, but I am still having fidgeting issues so I hope that at some point I will be able to shake out of that. At any rate I am getting the itch that I often find myself getting every so often. What is that itch you ask? It is the undeniable itch to read a specific time period. Lately I have managed to find some balance in what I am reading. I have even really stayed pretty well into the modern stuff (hey for me that is an accomplishment lol) but I am straying out of that now. I am finding that it is time to dive into the Tudor court again.

The good news is that this is an era which is pretty popular and there are several very good authors who write within it. I mean when I get stuck in a mood to read oh say the Revolutionary war time frame I find there is not as much to choose from. That is changing as more authors seem to be wanting to write in that era but I digress. The problem I have come on in this instance is that I have so many books on hand to choose from I have no idea where to start.

So, friends any suggestions? LOL

 



Posted by on February 19, 2017

I used to be able to curl up with a good book in the same place for hours on end and simply get lost in the world that was being given to me though the pages. I have not been able to do that recently. This is not because of any lack in the books it is because of me and how I have been the last 4 years or so. A lot of it I think is because that is when my anxiety really got worse. My mind just refuses to be still, no matter how much I try. I am sure that some of you reading this will understand the issue. I do hope at some point to be able to make my mind relax enough so that I can curl up for hours at a time again.

Of course, just because I can’t spend hours at once reading doesn’t mean I don’t read. I have learned to smile and not just laugh outright at some of the mistakes the kindle reader makes. When I pick up a hard copy book I can read for an hour at most before the brain starts running again and demands that I do something else. That is the biggest issue for me, there just are not enough hours in the day to do every single thing that my mind comes up with. From writing ideas to, crochet ideas too, make up ideas, to clothing ideas and so on and so forth you get the drift. So many wonderful ideas I want to bring to life and I can’t make time stop so that I can do them all and then write a book. There are also the regular duties we all have in life, mothering, cleaning, working. Oh right and every once in a blue moon I manage to get some sleep. I guess one benefit of being a chronic insomniac is that you do tend to get more time in the day than many others, but that is going to be a completely different kind of post.

I have been thinking about the trouble I have keeping still a lot lately. I know I need to work on it so I am going to make an honest effort to do so this year. I was treated to a fidget cube, several days ago and I am wondering if that will help me with this new mission. I love writing and crochet so much that it often feels like if I am just sitting and only reading (vs having kindle read out loud to me (like I am right now lol) or listen to an audio book, my hands want to be crocheting. So maybe the fidget cube, will keep my hands busy while I read. I plan on giving that a try later this week.

Alas, I fear this has become a little bit of a random ramble. I am going to blame that on the lack of sleep again I am afraid. I almost got to sleep at a semi normal hour for once, and then new little boy Misha decided my feet were his fun toys. I wasn’t even moving them! Little stinker and yet I love him for it.

Here is hoping for a good week for everyone reading this.



Posted by on February 12, 2017

The Holiday on steroids is almost upon us, yes I am talking about Valentines day. I know I am sure I sound a little bit like a bahhumbug (no idea what you would call a valentine scrooge so, going with this lol) but it really bothers me on a whole. The holiday is really nothing but one that is designed for people to spend money. Don’t get me wrong I love a good Valentine gift as much as the next girl (although my idea of a good gift might be different from others, ie: jewelry is pretty and all but a stash of yarn will really make me happy!) but no matter where you shop you can’t escape the bombard of pink and red and candy.

Upon further thought maybe it is the Pink that drives me so batty about this holiday, anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike pink. Unless it is the story of the Pink Carnation and then well all systems are go. At any rate I have been a bit on a meh with the oncoming Holiday for many reasons this year. Which means I also haven’t done the one tradition I enjoy doing on this pumped up Holiday. I pick out a historical romance and make my “valentine read” I didn’t do it last year either. There is my overshare for the day 😉

Not to much else going on right now book wise. This week has been full of tidying up some work things and working on a crochet pattern that until I get it done as I see it in my head I just won’t be happy. My creative brain is slowly chugging along and hopefully it will start to pick up some speed soon! I was told I should walk on the wild side a little bit more like I used to. SO here I go I am going to walk on the wild side with Sunday Salon and hit send without proof reading. *Gasp*



Posted by on February 5, 2017

Here we are, another Sunday and I am afraid I do not have much to say this week either. I am sure this is going to change soon and I am sorry to my readers to keep making such silly little posts like this. As you can see it has been a slow week here, I am just working on dealing with grief and also doing a lot of work related stuff. It didn’t help that my laptop decided to blow itself up this last week as well. I mean really it just went kaboom. The good side of that is I got a new one, was able to upgrade and so far I am rather happy with the one I chose to get.

The downside is my kindle has gone walkabout. I almost want to laugh because this is the new kindle that was sent over after the other one had a mysterious crack appear. Now the new one is not where I set it. I am hoping wherever it is that it is okay. I have been moving a lot and such so perhaps it just slid into a little crevices where I have not seen it yet, but boy makes its hard to do my crochet work and listen to a good book.

So that this post does not seem like nothing but a bit of melancholy, I will end on a positive note. Though it has not been long, another family member found her way to us. Sometimes it seems the kitty spirits are in a bit of a hurry. A teeny tiny unique colored little girl who has been dubbed Diana is with us now. She is semi feral and clearly had a very hard start to her little life. She can’t be more then 6 maybe 7 weeks old. I want to just scoop her up and cuddle her and giggle and snuggle, but she is not ready for that. All 1.7lbs of her is fierce and she lets you know when she is not happy. I have to take it easy and slowly with her because she has not been socialized well at all. I Have no doubt that she will come around though, she has already made great bounds sooner than I thought she would.

The first night she spent in the closet, but from that night on she has moved closer and closer. We leave the TV on for her so even when people are sleeping, she can hear their voice. This and being patient and careful and plenty of treats seems to be working. She is playing and romping and having a good old kitten time. She does not want to be held and she gets a little dubious when I watch her play but that is okay. She has stopped hissing at the mere sight of people and she actually purred a little when I was petting her yesterday. I will have some pictures to share soon enough, hopefully the next write up that mentions my sweet Diana will include a cuddly picture.



Posted by on January 29, 2017

 

Sadly I am not going to be making a very long post this Sunday. For the second time in a month I have suffered a blow and a loss to my family. My beloved special little guy Cubby passed on the 27th and right now the best I can do is take life one breath at a time. I haven’t read a thing since he passed, I am sure I will again soon. Right now though all I can think about is my sweet boy. I think losing Pasha broke his heart and he just stopped fighting his thyroid cancer. I miss them both, it just has a feeling at the moment of life is not very fair.



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 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.

 

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