Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson January 14, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:07 pm
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Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it.

England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom.

Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the sense, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work.

Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda?

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a tender retelling of “The Wild Swans,” where the virtues of loyalty and love face a harrowing showdown with power and fear.

My thoughts:

I have loved Melanie’s books so I never hesitate to read her newest releases.

This book had a great message, a questions many of us struggle with, where is God when bad things happen to us? Delia struggled with this throughout the book, wondering why this horrible thing had happened to her brothers as she fought for them.

But, honestly, I almost felt like someone else had written this book. It just didn’t have the same character depth and likeability that Melanie’s others books have. I had to force myself to keep reading because I really didn’t connect with the book. It felt a bit immature. Technically this is YA novel so maybe a middle school or high school student would like this more. This one wasn’t for me though.

Visit Melanie here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Providence by John Piper January 13, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:35 pm
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New from Best-Selling Author John Piper

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation. Pastor and author John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history. Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.

My thoughts:

This is a meaty book, meaning it is extremlly long but John writes in such an engaging way that I didn’t mind plowing through and reading his insights.

So much good stuff in here and a wonderful reminder of God’s providence. I highlighted so many thoughts but honestly I can’t share them all, that would be its own book.

One thing I remember reading that really stuck with me due to our current political climate, no matter what side you voted for, is that God puts kings on thrones and removes them. I think we can apply that to presidents as well. God is in control and His providence will prevail whether we like the outcome or not. It’s all about His glory, not man’s.

If you are looking for a deeper insight into God’s providence I highly recommend this book. It is worth the time it will take to get through.

Visit John here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Year of Thorns and Honey by Amy Willoughby-Burle January 11, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:06 pm
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Nina is a photographer who really likes control. She likes to set up just the right shot with the perfect composition, but life is not always as pretty as her pictures. The lighting is off, the timing is wrong, and the subjects just won’t do what she wants them to. 

She’s engaged to her ex-husband, her teenage daughter is testing all the boundaries, and her childhood memories have a for sale sign on them. She’s also keeping a secret about the chance of a lifetime, but what she’ll have to give up to get it, might not be worth it. Just when she thinks she’s got it all figured out, a blast from her past resurfaces and forces her to take a hard look at what she really wants and why.

Will Nina be able to let go of the perfect picture she had in her head and let her heart find the sweetness that life has to offer?

My thoughts:

I am always a bit hesitant when I begin a book by an author i have never heard of. I get worried I won’t like the book and have to give a bad review.

That was NOT the case with this book. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. It made me want to read the first one, however, I felt completely engaged and I understood the characters fine without reading the first book.

There are quirky characters that will have you laughing and teenagers that any mother will understand.

Nina made me so mad and frustrated. I knew everything would eventually blow up in her face but I kept hoping she would just tell Jack everything before it was too late.

The ending was completely satisfying and well done.

Visit Amy here.

Grab your copy Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own.

 

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White January 8, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:49 pm
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Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful story around anything and has long since won the hearts of Savannah’s society with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and changed. The beliefs he once held about slavery and the entire war have been upended, and he’s all too sure that he is not the hero Delia seems determined to make him.

When the Confederacy deems Savannah a lost cause and the future wavers, Phin and Delia must both decide where the dreams of a new America will take them–and if they will go there together.

My thoughts:

I LOVED this book. So many reasons I can’t list them all, but I will list some.

First, I love Roseanna’s books in general but I have to say I don’t think I have read one I enjoyed this much in quite awhile.

Second, it was set during the Civil War and I am Gone with the Wind fan and the first chapter has that kind of flare to it, I was smitten from the first page.

Phin and Delia’s journey is wonderful. Their eyes are gradually opened in different ways, at different time, to the complete atrocity that slavery is. Their love is so strong, they never (or hardly ever) wavered from them steadfastness.

There is even a moment that I had to blink back tears at the beauty that unfolded on the page.

I can not wait to read what will come next in this series and who will be the main character? I have no doubt it will be just as good.

Visit Roseanna here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Active Defense by Lynette Eason January 5, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:57 pm
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She’s used to life-or-death situations.
She just didn’t expect them to follow her home.

When former field surgeon Heather Fontaine returns from a party to find that someone has broken into her house–and threatened her friends–she assumes it is the stalker who has been creeping her out. She hopes to find safety and peace of mind by leaving the city and hiding out in a small town. But trouble follows her even there.

Luckily, a stalker isn’t the only one observing Heather. Travis Walker has been secretly watching out for her for weeks. As owner of his own security agency, it’s what he does. Together, Travis and Heather must figure out who wants her dead–and why–before it’s too late.

My thoughts:

I don’t know how Lynette continues to pump out these heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat reads but she does it and I am never disappointed.

If you have read the other books in this series you will be happy to finally read Heather’s story and learn what makes her tick. She has quite the past that has left her hurt. Even if you haven’t read the other books you can easily pick this one up and fully enjoy it.

I had a pretty good idea who was behind everything early on but then Lynette threw in another possibility that had me second guessing. I was even thinking about this book when I wasn’t reading it, if that tells you anything.

Visit Lynette here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or y our favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Shepherd’s Wife by Angela Hunt January 4, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:49 pm
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Can she discover the purpose of the life she’s been given?
Yeshua of Nazareth has two sisters: Damaris, married to a wealthy merchant’s son, and Pheodora, wed to a simple shepherd from Bethlehem. Damaris can’t understand why her younger sister settled for such a poor existence, but she does what she can to share her abundance. When her husband is invited to join the Pharisees, she is excited by the opportunity to elevate the family’s status, even though some aspects of the lifestyle seem contrary to what she has always been taught.

Pheodora has long felt inadequate compared to her beautiful sister but has no regrets about the life she chose. When Pheodora’s husband is unexpectedly thrown into debtors’ prison, she is shocked to learn that a loan from her generous sister would jeopardize her brother-in-law’s religious aspirations. Forced to pin her hopes on two she-goats whose spotless white offspring could be sold for an upcoming Yom Kippur sacrifice, Pheodora must struggle to keep the animals–and her family–alive.

When horrific reports about Yeshua reach the sisters in Nazareth, Pheodora and Damaris each grapple with their relationships to God, their radical brother, and their own questioning hearts.

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful story. Of course it’s fiction and only speculation but the saving power of Jesus isn’t fiction, that is very real and it is in this story.

I can’t imagine Jesus being my brother and raised in the same house and then you find out he is the Savior of the world. Crazy.

Pheodora and Damaris’s story is a wonderful picture of forgiveness in the human plain. If you like Biblical fiction I am sure you will enjoy this book.

Visit Angela here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or y our favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Second Chance Christmas by Rula Sinara December 31, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:21 pm
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A beachside Christmas

Brings unexpected gifts!A second chance. That’s what former navy SEAL Damon Woods asks for when Zuri Habib comes to Turtleback Beach with a nephew who looks just like him. After her sister’s death, Zuri believes Caden deserves to know his father—even if he did break her teenage heart. Can Damon and Zuri forgive each other and give a grieving boy the family he needs this Christmas?

My thoughts:

For my blog readers this is NOT a Christian romance, but it is clean. However I do have one complaint, which you will see below.

This is a clean romance with a wonderful Christmas theme with a great setting. Rula is a good writer who developed a great story with interesting characters. She accurately displayed the mind of a twelve year old boy and the struggles he might face.

My one complaint is the pollical statements or issues that were subtly and not so subtly made. When I read book I don’t want to be reminded of the things that divide our country and Rula hit on many things that are hot topics right now and didn’t add more the story, for me it took away because it distracted me from just wanting to relax and enjoy the book.

Overall, I did enjoy the story I just felt the issues she wrote into her story were not necessary.

Visit Rula here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Prism Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

 

Uncharted Freedom by Keely Brooke Keith December 29, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:30 pm
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When she finds the perfect place to hide from one past, another finds her.

Naomi McIntosh is running from her family’s oppressive expectations and the despicable man her father has demanded she marry. Renaming herself to live incognito, she takes a housekeeping job at the Inn at Falls Creek and promises God this false identity will be her last.

When shepherd James Roberts goes home to the Inn at Falls Creek for his sister’s wedding, he doesn’t expect the woman who once broke his heart to be working there. No matter how much he wants to be with Naomi again, he can’t go along with her charade, especially since he is trying to persuade his father to make him the heir.

Though Naomi yearns for a future with James, if she confesses her deception to everyone, her estranged fiancé will find her. And the longer James goes without telling his family the truth about Naomi—and their growing relationship—the further he jeopardizes the inheritance. But just when their relationship looks promising, the inn proves to be a poor hiding place from Naomi’s past.

Meanwhile, in Good Springs…
Connor Bradshaw wrestles with the overseers’ decision to preserve the Land’s pacifist ways. His desire to build a defense system for the Land keeps him up at night, secretly scanning for radio transmissions from the warring outside world. His training to be a village overseer will require him to lay down his weapons, but a voice over the radio waves ignites his worst fears.

My thoughts:

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I love the uniqueness of it. It reads like a historical yet it is taking place in the future.

Naomi and James’s story is sweet yet I knew things were going to go wrong at the end (of course, all books have to). I enjoyed seeing characters from the past books and how they are doing now. It also took place around Christmas which was perfect to read right now.

The tension of the outside world discovering the Land is always there and makes the reader anxious because we want these characters we have come to love to remain safe and this book ends with some great tension built up.

If you haven’t read this series yet I say what are you waiting for? Give it a try.

Visit Keely here.

Grab you copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own.

 

Eubeltic Descent by Nadine C. Keels December 28, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:49 pm
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our soul will remember…
As a woman who wasn’t born to wealth or privilege, Abigaia has mastered the art of thievery. And she’s come to hate it. Not only is she plagued by guilt, but her shadowed upbringing and silent ways cause most of her town to question her sanity.

Yet, Abigaia’s eccentric father always taught her to be proud of her heritage. Her ancestry lies across the sea, in a prominent realm she’s read about but has never seen.

The man who desires Abigaia’s hand in marriage doesn’t share her hope of seeing the Eubeltic Realm. But disaster erupts in their path, and Abigaia’s dream may have a greater purpose—if that famed domain of her ancestors is now in crucial need of her.

This book is inspirational historical fantasy: fictional history that takes place in a completely fictional world.

My thoughts:

Nadine’s books are always so unique. I never know what to expect but I am always pleasantly surprised by her stories. This book was no exception. Abigaia’s story is actually very beautiful.

This book is also a quick read. Nadine is an excellent writer, creating a story world that you will easily fall into and not want to walk away from.

I loved the characters that we get to meet in this book, Daun and Valerie. Wonderful additions to this story.

Something else I appreciate about Nadine’s books is that her characters are not perfect, that is refreshing to read.

If you are looking for something different that I recommend this read.

Visit Nadine here.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own.

 

Joy to the World, Christmas Collection December 24, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:43 pm
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Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors

In Joy to the World, three popular authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas in one book have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome their obligations and fears to find their way back into each other’s arms?

“Far as the Curse is Found” by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

“Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter with a hidden identity finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he’d fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

My thoughts:

This is one of the best, if not the best, Christmas collections I have read.

One thing I enjoyed was that I have read all of Carolyn’s books and I have read Erica’s current series so I got read about or see again characters from the other books. That was especially true of “Wonders of His Love”.

Each story is well done and didn’t feel rushed at all.

Whether you are looking to extend the Christmas “feels” or looking for a book for next year I highly recommend this one.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.