Teaser Tuesday 5/28/19

Teaser Tuesday Time

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. We make it very easy to play along, it is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1: Grab your current read
2: Open to a random page
3: 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.

Ambrosia’s little note:

I hope that everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend. I spent a lot of time reflecting on the men and women who have given their lives in honor of our freedom. Because of this reflection I was reminded, freedom has a very high cost that is not always acknowledged. So I want to give a heart felt thank you to all of our armed forces. Besides that fact, my dad is a retired Marine so I learned to respect our armed forces at an early age. I know the climate is all over the place these days about armed forces and police etc. and I won’t preach here about it.

I just want to say one thing. Whether you agree with a war or not, support them men and women who are sent to fight it. They aren’t the ones who make the choice to go to war, they are following orders. They make the choice to sign up to protect the rest of us and lay down their life for us if they have to. Above All that is something noble and they should be thanked for it.

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Book Review: The Secret Healer (Die heimliche Heilerin #1) by Ellin Carsta, Terry Laster (Translator)

In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited to the home. But spirited young Madlen finds her calling as assistant to the city’s trusted midwife, Clara. Working alongside Clara, Madlen develops a surprisingly soothing technique and quickly becomes a talented healer.

After Clara’s tragic death, Madlen alone rushes to assist the birth of a local nobleman’s child. But rather than the joy of birth, Madlen walks into an accusation of murder and witchcraft because of her extraordinary gifts. Forced to flee her own town, she establishes a new identity in the home of her aunt. Yet even though it endangers her life, she cannot resist the urge to help the sick patients who seek out her miraculous treatment. When she meets handsome Johannes—an investigator hired by the Church to bring her to justice for sacrilegious acts—she becomes drawn to the very man who could destroy her.

Will Madlen’s gifts bring about her downfall? Or can love and reason prevail in a time of fearful superstition?

I love a good historical fiction that has a healer in it. This was a fun and fast paced read. The only thing that kept it from being a full 5 gemstone rating for me was that a few of the characters could have used a little more rounding, they were a little bit flat. Overall, however, this was a great read and that flatness could just be something lost in translation.

You can’t help but feel sorry for a wonderful woman like Madlen, especially as things like this did actually happen often back in these times. A woman who knew how herbal medicines worked, how to help calm people while sick and bring them through a bad fever among other things. They were the ones who could help the most and yet they were treated the worst, so many of them killed purely for having knowledge. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but Madlen certainly goes through the ringer. Each and every time that she thinks she has finally found a way she can enjoy life, be happy for a while things turn terrible for her. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I think this book is certainly worth your time to read it.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

There are some books that you read in your life and they stay with you. There are some books that you read in your life and they change your life. For me one of those books was The Color Purple. Although I Have read it many times I have ever done a real review about it, I think now is the time. I first read this book when I was only in Junior High and perhaps that was a little early, but oh, it gave me such a view on the world. I hated that these characters and of course real people of this time had to go through these things. This is one of the books that really, truly turned me on to studying history, I wanted to learn more about the past so I could try and help and keep the past from repeating.

This book is emotional and it rips at your heart and there is a reason that it is a book that truly did change the world. It is full of fantastic colorful characters. I often find myself at a loss for words when saying how I feel about this book. I also enjoy the movie, I felt the movie really did justice to the book. However, the book itself just truly I have found it hard to say the right words. It changed me when I first read it and at times where I feel disconnected I often come back to it. I read it and I remind myself of the feeling that I had when I first read the book. Most of the time it can center me again, that is why I read it again this year in 2016.

The writing style is unique and I like the way that Alice Walker used poor grammar and short phrases among other things, to truly bring the characters to life. There are times that you feel as if they could leap off the page and you could talk directly to them. If you have not read this classic book I suggest that you do. It is life changing. However, although I read it when I was very young I would not recommend it be read before High School personally. I can look back now as an adult and see that I read a few very graphic books that I likely should not have at a young age. Luckily for me those books galvanized me into the person I am today, but it could have very easily traumatized me. Before anyone reading this thinks my parents were not supervising me enough, they watched over me carefully, but like any kid sometimes I was sneaky and naughty. Not only that but my parents tried not to stifle my reading choices because they encouraged me to read and to learn about these things. Events like what happened in The color Purple are events that happened in the world you can’t rosy color history sometimes. Much like being allowed to read Trinity by Leon Uris long before I should have (another very graphic and violent book) and yet today it is also one of my favorites and a book I feel had an impact on my life. History and event books were generally approved, romances, though well, tsk tsk none of those until I was of proper age!

I realize this review has turned into a bit of a ramble and a little off topic. I am sorry about that. The long and short of it, The Color Purple is, was and always will be to me a fantastic book. It is a book that I feel everyone should read before they die.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: The King’s Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court #5) by Kate Emerson

In the fifth novel in Kate Emerson’s highly acclaimed Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a young gentlewoman catches King Henry the Eighth’s roving eye.In 1533 and again in 1534, Henry the Eighth reportedly kept a mistress while he was married to Anne Boleyn. Now, that mistress comes to vivid life in Kate Emerson’s The King’s Damsel.
A real-life letter from Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, written on September 27, 1534, reported that the king had “renewed and increased the love he formerly bore to another very handsome young lady of the Court” and that the queen had tried “to dismiss the damsel from her service.” Other letters from Eustace reveal that the mystery woman was a “true friend” of the Princess (later Queen) Mary, Henry’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon. Though no one knows who “the king’s damsel” really was, here Kate Emerson presents her as young gentlewoman Thomasine Lodge, a lady-in-waiting to King Henry’s daughter, Princess Mary. Thomasine becomes the Princess’s confidante, especially as Henry’s marriage to Catherine dissolves and tensions run high. When the king procures a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn, who is suspicious and distrustful of Mary, Mary has Thomasine placed in Anne’s service to be her eyes and ears. And that’s when she gets the attention of the king…
Rich in historical detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King’s Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for more in the exciting series!

Something very strange happened to this review. I had it written, scheduled and all ready to go back in 2015! I did not really check on it (my mistake, obviously I should have) and assumed it posted to the blog. When I was doing a clean up after moving over and checking to make sure everything was running smoothly since moving over from Fire & Ice to The Purple Booker, I found part of the post. After doing a search through everything I could not find the rest and saw that this one never actually posted. So, after all that long babble and with no further gilding of the lily here is a review from 2015 that really should have gone up ha ha! I may even have to go back and read the book again now.

Tamsin is a Lady of good family who was used to being tended to herself, her life like many in the upper reaches of Tudor era had the best of things. However, she was tapped to be part of the court of Mary Tudor and then found herself in the servant role. Making matters worse is the fact that after her parents die she becomes the charge of Sir Lionel Daggett, there is no love lost between both of them. No love lost at all.

Like the other books in this series I found this a fast paced and fun read. All the history is there and author Kate Emerson builds upon what we know to add her own twist to things. Of course King Henry is around, but I love that the focus of this series is the smaller people in the court, those players that most often only sit in the background in fiction of this era. It is these players that make up an entire court, though, the King and his family are such a small portion. If you enjoy good historical fiction that has a little bit of love and a lot of other information to enjoy, I highly recommend not only this book but the entire series.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: Doctor Thorne (Chronicles of Barsetshire #3)

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

I feel a bit like a silly girl admitting this, but when I picked this book off my shelf I totally forgot that it was part of a series. The good news is you can read it as a stand alone and still enjoy the book, or at least I did. Also means I can go back and enjoy the first two books in the series, always a win when you have more time with the characters.

This is a spellbinding book that draws you in and makes you love every part about it. The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 rating is because at times it dragged a little, which can be hard when reading such a long book. Beyond that however and I personally really enjoy it. The characters are rich and full of life. You can picture yourself walking along with them as they go through the motions. Anthony Trollope made a beautiful romance that you just have to dive in and reach for yourself to truly understand it. I personally feel that I would fail at finding the right words beyond what I have said just now to properly sum up my feelings on this book. The bottom line is, I recommend it, you should read it and allow yourself to be enveloped by the book.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation #5) by Lauren Willig

A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.

After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer’s identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.

Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.

Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain…and confront their true love.

Another solid installment of the Pink Carnation series with the Night Jasmine and another enjoyable read. While for me this one started off a little bit slow it picked up the pace and became really enjoyable. Robert Duke of Dovedale is the kind of character I could conjure up a true image in my head of. I really liked him and even though some of his actions ticked me off (why couldn’t he just tell Lady Charolotte the truth?!) I also understood why he did them. He thought he was protecting her and that is of course how these books work.

While the spy craft is still around in this book it does focus a little bit more on the love and fairy tale aspect of a historical romance which to me made this one a little bit more light and fun. There is still the spy side and a little bit of danger to keep it spicy. Then there is the modern side of the story as we always have that bit to play with as well and this time we saw Eloise thinking that Miles was a spy. This lead to some very comical situations and then eventually he had to confront her.

Bottom line enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next installment.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: The Lady of Secrets (The Dark Queen Saga #6) by Susan Carroll

The Lady of Secrets (The Dark Queen Saga #6) by Susan Carroll:

Meg Wolfe, The Lady of Faire Isle, is a gifted healer who can find a cure for almost any ailment. But she’s also the daughter of Cassandra Claire, a mad witch and heretic with a notorious history.

Meg’s infamous lineage makes her a target from both those who want to use her extraordinary talents for good and those who want to use them for evil.

One man in particular needs her special skills: to execute his revenge on a king. History and a kingdom hang in the balance as Meg tries to navigate the delicate line between right and wrong. And what she discovers is that she can no longer trust anyone or anything…not even her own heart.

I have long loved reading the stories in the Dark Queen Saga that Susan Carroll has created. The story that delves deeper into the story of Meg the new Lady of the isle is no different. For me the book started out a little bit slow but once it picked up I could not set it down. I am slightly baffled and slightly annoyed by some reviews I have come across on the internet when folks have said this was the first book by this author they have read and rated it down because they did not understand some of the past references, well it clearly states it is part of a series if you haven’t read the rest don’t judge the book because of that (end rant sorry about that!)

Once again we are treated to sweeping landscapes and we get a treat this time for much of the time is spend in England. I love this era and England, and Meg has a lot of things to overcome. Danger meets her at almost every turn and of course where she least expects to find it she finds some love. If you want a solid series with danger, love and a touch of magic this is one that you will enjoy. I am so happy that Meg got her happy ending, she deserved it after the tough childhood she had and then the loss of her Father. Some characters will always touch close to your heart for me Meg is one of them and the fierce Seraphine as well how could I forget her. She is loyal and brash and she finds her happiness again too after a lot of bitter loss. I hope we get another book in this series because I want to spend more time with my old friends.

My Gemstone Rating:

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