Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron February 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:20 pm

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About:

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is an amazing book. I have read all of Kristy’s book and enjoy each and every one of them. She has a unique voice and her style is this back and forth between present and past. This one even had another past.

I loved how each story links in some way. Because of the three stories going on it made it a fast read. Kristy hooked you at the end of each chapter, but of course the next chapter wasn’t that story so you had to keep reading to see what would happen next,, every time.

Simply put this is a beautifully crafted story and I loved visiting France in these three different time periods and meeting each of these strong women who drove the stories.

Visit Kristy here.

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

Leave a comment by March 5th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

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Long Road Out of Ur by Joel Thimell February 15, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:23 pm
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About:

Something is rotten in Mesopotamia. A troublesome priest has been murdered; the pagan New Year’s rites defiled; a royal tomb is robbed; and a would-be grifter, Lot, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His father, grandfather and cousin are each likely suspects and Lot doesn’t know who he can trust. Everyone thinks Lot knows where the loot is hidden and someone wants it all–even if it’s over Lot’s dead body.

“Long Road Out of Ur” retells the familiar story of the calling of Abraham and Sarah to the Promised Land through the voice of Lot. Yes, that Lot–the one who barely escaped the destruction of Sodom with his daughters–his wife wasn’t so fortunate.This is not a Sunday school version of their lives, and they are not alabaster saints. Instead, it’s a lively coming-of-age adventure tale crossed with a murder mystery and a heaping helping of social satire. Think of it as something like “Huckleberry Finn” combined with “North by Northwest” but set in the Bronze Age.

Lot’s comical attempts to con his way out of danger only entangle him deeper and deeper in a web of greed, betrayal and murder. From the fashionable society of Susa through the murky waters of the Great Swamp to the stone huts of Elam, Lot tries to run but he can’t hide. Searching for any way out, he battles evil giants, fake princesses and blood-thirsty pirates but his greatest struggle is finding himself.

Can a two-bit con man change his spots? Or will his past destroy him?

Can a prodigal son and his prodigal father ever forgive one another? Or are some wounds just too deep to heal?

My thoughts:

I  have never read a story about Lot, he’s never been overly likable. But this book puts him in a new light, and even Abram (Abraham) for that matter.

The writing is well done, engaging narration and rich detail. I could easily see the people and things around Lot and what was happening.

My only draw back was I felt there was a lot of bunny trails, we followed every thought that Lot had and explored its back story. I felt that slowed the story down a bit. This wasn’t a quick read for me, and that’s okay.

But overall, very rich in story and well researched.

Grab your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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

 

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers February 13, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:33 pm

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About:

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

My thoughts:

Wow. What can I say? This book is a masterpiece.

I honestly, haven’t read very many books by Francine, but I have read a few. So when I saw this one my jaw dropped. I could review Francine’s newest book? Uh, yes please.

Francine’s writing is real, even raw at times. When we are in the point of view of a non-believer she writes how a non-believer would think and it isn’t very nice, but it is very real. Roman is a tough one. He isn’t even very likable at first but as we start to see his brokenness things become much more clear.

Grace is a sweetie, but with a broken past of her own. We are let in on some of that early on but other parts are slowly revealed.

Even though this book is (very) long it is never boring. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and see what would happen next. Francine Rivers fans will be overjoyed with this newest release and if you haven’t read anything by Francine why wait any longer?

Visit Francine 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 by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse February 9, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:47 pm
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About:

Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

My thoughts:

This is a brand new series, every book will be written by a different author. I haven’t read a lot of books based on the travel to America so I thought I would read this one.

This is definitely a series I will continue to follow.

Mary Elizabeth is a sweet girl who has never considered herself brave but finds she has to be to survive her travels on the Mayflower.

William has never really known what a family is but finds himself wanting one and also wondering about the faith he sees in Mary Elizabeth.

I will be honest, I was never really sucked into this book. I guess nothing reached out and grabbed me. The premise is good and like I said, I will be reading the next book in this series (I already have it). As always, this is my opinions only.

Visit Kimberley 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.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Do Greater Things by Robby Dawkins February 7, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
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About:

How to Heal the Sick, Cast Out Demons, Raise the Dead–and More!

The Bible says that if you belong to Jesus, you have the power to:
· heal the sick
· cast out demons
· bring deliverance to those trapped in spiritual darkness
· prophesy in his name
· call forth creative miracles
· receive supernatural words of wisdom and knowledge
· even raise the dead

So why do so many Christians live powerless lives? Why do they operate with so little faith?

Having gone through his own journey from doubt to belief, Chicagoland pastor Robby Dawkins now ministers and speaks internationally, and where he goes, miracles happen. In these pages he shares incredible stories of God using ordinary people to do the impossible. And he shows that, when you begin to have faith in the power of God, take him at his Word, and understand his love for you, you will see his power released in healings, financial blessings, and miracles of all kinds.

My thoughts:

I read a previous book by Robby called Do What Jesus Did. I really liked it so when I saw this book come out I had to read it.

The title of this book is based on what Jesus told His disciples, that they would do even great things then He did. I still am amazed by this verse and I am fully aware that I am not living in that truth.

Anyway, this book is full of Robby’s own ministry and how he has done great things for the Kingdom. I admit as I read it I could feel less-than because I don’t go out and live as boldly. But Robby’s intention isn’t to shame us but to encourage us to live like Jesus and do even greater things.

I appreciate the chapter that talks about how the enemy will try to attack us as we live out the Kingdom on earth. So much truth. I also liked the chapter on discernment and hearing and knowing God’s voice.

If you want to be encouraged in your faith this book will definitely do that.

Visit Robby here.

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

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

 

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano February 5, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:11 pm
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About:

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life–and love–outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

My thoughts:

I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by Carla. Her books just come to life and the characters seem so real to me. I can feel their emotions. This book was no exception.

Rachel is thrown into a situation she never asked for. Alex threw her into the situation without really meaning to and he will do whatever it takes to make it up to her. He didn’t mean to fall for her in the process.

Overall, this is a very well written book that I highly recommend if you are looking for a good contemporary romance.

Visit Carla 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 my through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Restore To Me February 2, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:08 pm
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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12 NIV

I have shared over the last few months how I have struggled to find joy. If I’m being honest I never really found it, I mean I know it comes from Jesus, but I wasn’t feeling it.

On Monday I was dreading another week of teaching and musical rehearsals. I wasn’t enjoying my job at all and I have a good one. So I just prayed, “Lord, restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”

That was it, my simple prayer.

My Monday ended really horribly with a voicemail from an angry parent who said somethings that I perceived as threatening. To the point I forwarded it to my principle and recorded it on my phone for proof of this ominous message.

This normally would have ruined my day and week. But something shifted on Tuesday.

I felt this overwhelming joy and peace as I taught all day. I talked to the girl whose mother called me and cleared up some things and felt peace. I had the best day I have had all year, taught with energy and purpose and the rest of my week followed suit. Even when my keyboard died in the middle of teaching a choir class . . . yeah, not good.

Oh well, I shrugged, I can still teach. And I did.

I saw that voicemail for the evil it was. the enemy did  not want the joy of the Lord to sustain me, but it did. The voicemail dripped with the enemy’s voice and threats. I laugh now because it is so obvious to me.

This week the joy of the Lord’s salvation has been restored to me, at long last. If you find yourself dreading your days make this verse your simple prayer. Just keep saying it all day, week, month, year long until you feel His joy fill you and sustain you. He will answer.