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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 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 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.

 



Posted by on January 8, 2017

 

Another Sunday and another week is at a full close, while we get ready to start fresh. A clean slate with a new week ahead that looks like it could be a better one. This week for me has been a tough one, the new year gave me a blow that I have not yet recovered from. I want to say sorry to my Teaser Tuesday participants for airing out my grief in that post, but it felt like the thing I needed to do at the time. I will of course give another apology directly in the next Tuesday Post so I can ensure readers will see it. While I am still dealing with my grief, this week has had some interesting bright spots as well.

It would seem my Pash pash is still overlooking me and sending me things to keep my mind at least a little bit occupied. I have had more orders this week alone in my shop than I had for the entire first 4 months of last year alone. I have been slowly working on building the shop up, taking my time and making sure I do it right, so I give people quality handmade goods and useful tool items. I like to think that hard work is paying off given the amount of orders I have had this week alone. Granted, this week also served me up with my first negative feedback. This was from a client that never even gave me the chance to make things better and her first mention of anything wrong with the item was over a week after she had me ship it to a different address than hers. I don’t like to call people out on things, I don’t like to point fingers, but in this situation, it all seemed a little bit odd to me. I still would have been more than willing to do something to make things better ask any of my friends and family, they will tell me I always do my level best to provide ace customer service even on the, smallest orders. This week, however, also saw me get a firm collaboration order out of the blue and I am very excited about what it means for me and the shop. It really does mean I could see more orders coming in. I wish I could go into more detail about it, but I can’t at least not yet.

Now straying away from that and getting back the relevant things for this blog. The books. I am almost fully caught up on writing my reviews for 2016 which makes me happy. There are some books I decided were so terrible they weren’t even worth writing a review for the blog. One of those man I do not want to dedicate another single second to that book then I need to. One of them was so full of typo’s it was nearly a different language. I will never understand why someone can’t take the time to proof read what they have written, especially for a published book and double especially if it is 5,000 words. I mean, come on just because you are an Indie writer does not mean you shouldn’t put some work into it. I know you can’t catch all the mistakes and I know I myself make plenty of grammar and format mistakes in blog posts and other places as well. But come on. Really?

On the upside, I am on track so far for my challenge this year ha ha ha, I know one week in  is pretty hard NOT to be on track. I am taking it as a win, however, because of everything that has happened. I am very happy to have been given the chance to read A drop of ink as an Arc and so far I am enjoying every word of it! I had planned on reading it myself, you know with my eyeballs from my kindle. Alas, thanks to all the sock orders my fingers need to be working on crochet, even taking the time to type up the Sunday Salon reminds me how much more work I have to do on socks. So when in doubt, hit that text to speech button and let Kindle do the reading for you. What happened to Brian the British man’s voice though? I liked him. I have the British girl reading to me for now, lol. Yes, I know I am an Anglophile.

I have also been pondering some more on the Challenge I want to host next year (and maybe this year as a test) I am pondering doing different royal families as a start. It needs to be fleshed out a lot more, but there are a lot of great books set in specific royal times and moving around those courts. Various ones in Italy, Spain, France and England of course. Clearly the idea is still very lose and need some polishing, but I am open to suggestions about it.

For now I am going to sign off. I hope others had a less mixed bag kind of  week, then I did and I hope this coming week is going to be a good one as well.

 

 



Posted by on January 1, 2017

I used to take part in the Sunday salon long ago when I was new to book blogging. Alas, as things went on I very slowly started to stop doing the Sunday Salon. In fact, that last time I actually took part in this meme was 2014. As one of my goals this year is to get back into the blogging, I enjoy which of course includes my book blog so what better time than to resurrect the Sunday Salon on this New Years day. In all honesty, I have missed this meme.

I have also truly missed my wonderful book blogging. I know if you have just started reading this blog you will say, but what do you mean you have been blogging all the time lately! I can see it right here! That is of course true as in the last few weeks of December I made some big changes and got a jump start on dedicating myself to my 2017 goals. May I also say that I am SO glad we said goodbye to 2016. A dear friend of mine said that most accurate thing about 2016 that I have heard. Because there are some good things that did come in the year, but for the most part it was a year that really stunk. 2016 was like a movie where all the good things about it was in the trailer, lol. That is so very accurate I could not have said it better myself.

2017 however, has all the promise in the world to be a great year. Of course we still have many of the problems that occurred in 2016, it is not like they go away just because the calendar changes over. However, we can embrace the new year. We can do our best to think positive thoughts and we can do our best to effect change in the world and our lives.

On that note, I am going to be striving to effect change in my reading life. I did manage to complete my main challenge of 2016 from good reads and I read 50 books. I did this by the skin of my very teeth. It was very close and I do mean very, hours close! But after being so far behind for so long I did manage it. Not only that, but I managed to complete several other challenges that I had entered. I am very proud of this because I really did not think that I would manage to do it. I thought for sure that I would be behind by over 20 books as I started out. Sure, many of the last books I read were freebies, short and honestly not very good. However, they were books I picked up some time ago, they were on my TBR and I did push my way through them finally. For this simple fact I am very proud of myself. You have to enjoy the small steps along with the big ones after all.

You can check out my challenge page if you would like to see what I am going to be doing this year. I have added a new one with the YA challenge. I find I like to read YA when I am a bit over stressed. Simple, fun plots can be fantastic. I am still working on a plan for a 2018 challenge to host myself that I might start out as a half challenge this year. So you never know.

Happy 2017 everyone here is hoping this is a good one.

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