Friday, April 19, 2024

K.M. Shea

Curse of Magic

I am absolutely loving reading "behind the scenes" of the Timeless Fairytale series.  Angelique is a unique character and I love how K.M. Shea has written her.  Highly recommend.

I feel like this year is so crazy busy and so challenging - I feel like I am constantly running behind, trying desperately to "catch up".  I may have to amend my book challenge goal on good reads, because I am just not squeezing in much reading time each week.  

Hope you had a great week this week and that the weekend brings joy and rejuvenation.  💖

Saturday, April 13, 2024

What I read this week :

Apprentice of Magic by K.M. Shea

I finished this and LOVED it!  I LOVE Angelique's story.  I cannot wait to read book two.  I do recommend you read K.M. Shea's Timeless Fairytale series first because this contains quite a bit backstory from several of the fairytales.  It was SO neat to learn what was happening in the background - brought depth and perspective to some of the choices characters made in the other stories - for example Roland from Puss 'n' Boots.  Had NO idea how he connected to Angelique.

Expectation Corner by Emily Steele Elliott

This is a re-read.  It is such a small book, but packed FULL of such beautiful truth.  I first heard about this book while reading Waiting on God by Andrew Murray in 2020 and I HIGHLY recommend both books!!!

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

OH MY GOODNESS.  I heard about this book from Hayley Solano (I absolutely adore Haley Solano - she is a classic book aficionado and her inst*gr*m channel is one of my absolute favorite accounts).  This book is absolutely beautiful.  SO beautifully written.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

What I (did NOT) read this week

So, in terms of the reading challenge, this week was an abysmal failure.

I started The Story by Randy Frazee and did NOT like it.  I got to chapter sixteen and just could NOT finish it.  It is a re-telling/paraphrase/overview of the Bible...but I just did NOT like his take on a lot of passages and ultimately could not finish it, no matter how much I encouraged myself just to keep going so I could check a box...I could not do it.  

I started Apprentice of Magic by K.M. Shea.  This is a book about Angelique, a side character that is woven throughout the Timeless Fairytale series.  It is her backstory.  I am enjoying it, but started it too late to finish it for the week's challenge.  I am not a big magic/fantasy person - but this one is light and easy and I love K.M. Shea so I am enjoying it.

I paused my Bible reading to tackle The Story, so I did not even do that this week.  I have missed my mornings spent tucked into God's Word.

Welp, that's about it.  It was another crazy busy week (unfortunately it also marked the end of the Bible study we have been attending and I am sad about that.  Fall is a looooong way off right now.  *sigh*)

Here is to a beautiful weekend  💖 and a better week ahead!

Saturday, March 30, 2024

This week

Another crazy busy (& hard week) - so did a re-listen and another audio book for the challenge this week :

Hotel Flamingo (book one) by Alex Milway

Last year, on one of our many doctor appointment commutes we listened to one of the Hotel Flamingo series (cannot remember which one, but it was not book one) well this week we finally went back so I could hear book one.  SUPER cute!!!!

Sacrifice (Snow Queen book two) by K.M. Shea 

This was, of course, my re-listen.

This week I also spent time listening to David Suchet's reading of Mark and I have read the book of John the past two mornings.  I am always totally blown away by what Jesus did for us on the cross, what He willingly suffered so that we, as sinners, had a chance to be reconciled to God.  I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of eternal life that God gives me through Jesus.  It is hard to imagine what the level of His suffering was yesterday as He was beaten and scourged and hung on a cross, all the while bearing the sin of the entire world (can you imagine the collective sin being laid upon Him).  Because of what He did, we have the offer to trust and believe in Him unto eternal life.  

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Unicorn Quest

by Kamilla Benko


A Dandelion Wish by Kiki Thorpe

This was a week of pre-reading (which I am really, really behind on) and I was delighted by these two cute reads.

I did find Unicorn Quest a bit melancholy in parts, but the adventure that the two sisters (Sophie and Claire) embark on, thankfully overshadows the sad parts.

A Dandelion Wish was super cute.  This is the third book in the Never Girls series and although not my favorite, was still super cute.  

This was a crazy week - so I almost forgot the review altogether.  This year has not been an easy reading year like the past two - this year I am finding it way more difficult to find time to read, let alone record what I read.  Hoping things calm down soon - have a good week.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Murder in an Irish Cottage

by Carlene O'Connor

Since the action (murder) takes place on summer solstice and summer is mentioned several times...I am logging this as one of my June mystery picks.

I LOVE the Irish cozy mystery series by Carlene O'Connor, I especially love to read during the day and listen to it as I fall asleep at night.  The narrator does a FABULOUS job.  With that said, this one took me forever to get in to.  In fact I started to read it three separate times before I was able to stick it out.

I am so glad that I kept trying.

Once you reach chapter ten or so, the story really takes off and the mystery draws you in.  There are little clues dropped throughout the entire book, so in one chapter I thought it was one person and a few chapters later I was asking myself, 'why in the world did I think it was ____, because clearly it is _________?!? Only to once again bounce back to the original suspect 😊.

This week I also needed a spot of comfort and familiarity (rough week!) in my reading, so I re-listened to Snow Queen by K.M. Shea.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day (tomorrow)!  🍀

Saturday, March 9, 2024

What I have learned so far Judges - 1 Kings 16

Judges : in chapter two when God asks this after reminding Israel that He brought them out of Egypt with the promise never to break covenant with them and the command not to make a covenant with the people and to tear down the altars : "Yet you have disobeyed Me.  Why have you done this?" (chpt. 2 vs 1-3) I feel like this sums up the entire book - they are told to do one thing and in the end (after the Godly leader they have at the moment dies) they do the opposite.  The book of Judges ends with 21:25 : "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit." And God specifically warned them NOT to do this!  Deuteronomy 12:8.

Since I am reading the Bible chronologically, I am using an app and it placed the book of Ruth after Judges chapter 9.  I realize other plans and Bibles do not necessarily place Ruth here...but I went ahead and read Ruth between chapters 9 and 10.  We LOVE the book of Ruth in our family.  One year, one of my girls was obsessed with this book of the Bible.  We have read it so many times, I have lost count.  Still, this time through I saw things I had not noticed before and made new connections.  Like in chapter 2 - verse 2 - this connects to the command/promises of Leviticus 19:9 and Deuteronomy 24:19.  And chapter 3 verse 9 connects with Leviticus 25:25.  

1 & 2 Samuel:  Samuel is one of my favorite, favorite people in the Bible.  This time through I reveled in Hannah's prayer noting what she notes about God : There is NO one holy like the LORD, there is NO One besides Him, NO Rock like God.  The LORD is a God who knows, by HIM deeds are weighed, He brings death and makes alive, He brings down to the grave and raises up.  The LORD sends poverty and wealth - He humbles and exalts, He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.  FOR THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH ARE THE LORD'S AND ON THEM HE HAS SET THE WORLD.  (read it in its entirety chapter 2:1 - 10)
Realizing how wicked Eli's sons were by connecting 2:12 - 17 to Exodus 29:27 and Leviticus 7:22 and Leviticus 21).  Then in chapter 8 how Samuel warned Israel what asking for a human king really meant, then connecting it to Ecclesiastes 5:9.

And then comes 1 Samuel 13 and 15 and all the far reaching effects of Saul's sin here.  see Deuteronomy 25:17-19, Exodus 17, and then Esther noting Mordecai and Haman's ancestry (chpt. 2, 3 respectively)

King David - it was REALLY amazing to read about King David in 1 and 2 Samuel and then read the Psalms he composed during that time of his life.  Especially as he clung to God while evading Saul's crazy anger (one example : 1 Samuel 15-16 - Psalm 8 and 23) and then when David grieves his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11 & 12 and then Psalms 6, 20, 21, 32, 38-40, and of course Psalm 51).

1 Kings - It was AMAZING to read 1 Kings 1 - 4 and then immediately dive into the book of Proverbs.  I wrote this verse at the top of the book of Proverbs : 1 Kings 4:29 "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore."

After the book of Proverbs came the Song of Solomon before the plan resumed in 1 Kings 5.

But after reading Proverbs and every word of Solomon's beautiful prayers in 1 Kings 8...I was blown away by Solomon's story and what all he forfeited by loving many foreign wives.  The most heartbreaking verse in 1 Kings 11 is : "Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.  See Exodus 34:15&16, 2 Samuel 7, and Ecclesiastes 7:26. 

What drove home the depth and consequence of his sin was in reading Ecclesiastes in its entirety between 1 Kings 11 and 12.  Wow.  I LOVE how Solomon ends the book of Ecclesiastes though - 12:13&14 : "Now all has been heard; here in the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." 

Chapter 13 in 1 Kings has long confounded me.  This story blows my mind every single time I read it and leaves me asking : WHY?!?!  Why did the Man of God go back and eat, why did the prophet lie and trick him????

Another moment where I wanted to just stand up and shout WHY was with Jeroboam.  Here is this guy who God sends His prophet to &  God makes this guy an AMAZING promise.  The promise is this : God will take him and make him ruler over all his heart desires and God will give him the people of Israel to be king over.  All Jeroboam has to do is walk in obedience to God.  God would build this guy a dynasty as enduring as the one He built for David.  (1 Kings 11:29-39)

BUT then Jeroboam chooses fear instead of faith.  1 Kings 12:26-33.  The irony of all of this is that in building the two idols in Dan and Bethel (because Jerusalem was "too far" to travel) they went further to reach the idols than they would have if they had simply obeyed God.
Over and over and over again God mentions the obedience of David.  It is amazing to see how far into the future the blessings stretched because David followed God.  And yet, He also mentions Jeroboam.  And how the sin of Jeroboam continually plagues Israel as king after king after king follows in his footsteps (until you get to Ahab and the Word actually points out that Ahab considered it trivial to commit the sins of the house of Jeroboam (1 Kings 16:29-33).

This time through I did something my mom mentioned that helped her, I marked the kings that followed God with green and the kings that did evil the sight of the LORD with red.  I also wrote out beside the chapters the name of the king and whether he was king of Israel or Judah.  This has been VERY helpful.

Next post will be about Ahab, Jezebel, Elijah, and Elisha and the faithfulness of God through it all.