Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

The Local Church by Edward W. Klink III January 19, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:36 pm

About:

How God Ministers to His People and the World through the Local Church

The church is more than coffee with friends—it’s a meaningful gathering of Christians that involves fellowship and growing in biblical truth. Given the rise of the internet and the availability of streaming church services, many ministry leaders and church members are asking questions about the purpose and mission of the local church: What is the church? Why does the church exist? How does the church function? What is the connection between the Christian and the church?

Pastor and trusted scholar Edward Klink III addresses these questions and more with a thoughtful assessment of what the Bible has to say about God’s intention for the local church body. Klink stresses its importance as God’s way of revealing his presence, displaying his power, fulfilling his purposes, and manifesting his activity in the world. In today’s hyperindividualized culture, this book not only demonstrates why it’s vital for individuals to connect to a local church, but also reveals why it’s vital to God’s work in the world.

My thoughts:

The timing of me reading this book was perfect as my husband and I recently stepped down from leading worship at our church and are now seeking a new church home. It really gave me some things to think about as we visit other churches. Things that weren’t on my raider twenty-two years ago when we found our first church home but should have been.

Did everything in this book hold my interest? No. At times my mind wandered but it did always get pulled back.

One quote that still resonates with me I want to share with you. I think it is so important as we have moved into this world of virtual church or no church at all: “any separation between the Christian and the local church is not simply unbiblical but detrimental to the life of every Christian and to the message and work of Christianity in the world. ”

If you call yourself a Christian you should be attending a face to face church, it is so important to our growth. But be discerning in the church you pick. It not about being the cool church it’s about being a gospel driven church that proudly proclaims the truth.

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.

 

Life Flight by Lynette Eason January 17, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:22 pm
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About:

EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton is used to high-stress situations, but being forced to land on a mountain in a raging storm with a critical patient–and a serial killer on the loose–tests her skills and her nerve to the limit. She survives with FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield’s help. But she’s not out of the woods yet.

In the ensuing days, Penny finds herself under attack. And when news reaches Holt that he may not have gotten his man after all, it will take all he and Penny have to catch a killer–before the killer catches one of them.

My thoughts:

What a great start to a new series. Lynette has knocked another one out of the park. From the first page until the last you will be on the edge of your seat.

I enjoyed Penny and Holt’s story and they both have stuff to deal with. I will say I didn’t really buy Holt’s hesitation on telling Penny about his sister. It seemed like a “fake” way to add tension because after what Penny shared with him it wasn’t a big deal, at least I didn’t think so. But as always, it’s my opinion only. Other than that I fully embraced and enjoyed this fast-paced book and recommend it if you like romantic suspense.

Visit Lynette 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.

 

Never Leave Me by Jody Hedlund January 14, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:39 pm
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About:

Facing death takes courage. Facing life takes even more.

In the last stages of a genetic disease, Ellen Creighton has decided to live out her remaining days at the estate of her longtime friend Harrison Burlington. Though he’s never allowed himself to get serious in a relationship due to his paralysis, Harrison cares deeply for Ellen and is desperately trying to save her life by finding the holy water that is believed to heal any disease–the same substance Ellen suspects is responsible for the deaths of her father and sister.

But Harrison is not the only one seeking the holy water. Dangerous criminals are mere steps behind, and Ellen soon learns they will go to any lengths to get the powerful drug–including sending her back into the past to locate it for them.

Bestselling and award-winning author Jody Hedlund plunges you into the swiftly flowing river of history in this second breathtaking Waters of Time story.

My thoughts:

I am a Jody Hedlund fan. I really enjoyed this first book in this series and I couldn’t wait to read this one. I will say, this book took me a lot longer to get into. I was about forty percent of the way in before I really started getting into it.

I was curious how everything would work out. How would Ellen get back to the present and what would happen to her while she was in the past.

As always and in true Hedlund style, she writes some great romance scenes.

Overall, I did enjoy this book.

Visit Jody 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.

 

Her Darling Mr. Day by Grace Hitchcock January 10, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:37 pm
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New Orleans’ most eligible bachelor insists he’s not on the market . . . but he couldn’t be more wrong.

Jilted in front of all New York, Theodore Day decides to lose himself in his family’s luxury riverboat business in New Orleans and compete against his brother to become the next company head. The brother with the most sales by summer’s end will win the position. Thanks to Theodore’s fame as a suitor in a socialite’s outlandish competition to find a husband, he has become very desirable royalty in Southern society and thus has an advantage.

It took Flora Wingfield’s best work to convince her family to summer in New Orleans, but with Teddy Day a bachelor once again, she’s leaving nothing to chance. Desperate to stand out from all the clamoring belles, Flora attempts a bold move that goes completely awry, only to find it’s her interior design skills that finally catch his notice.

But when Flora’s father’s matchmaking schemes come in the way of her plans, Teddy will have to decide where his happiness truly lies and what he is willing to sacrifice for it.

My thoughts:

I don’t think I have read anything by Grace before and I have no idea why. I LOVED this book. I even thought about it when I wasn’t reading it.

Flora was funny. She kept getting herself in situations and I even chuckled a few times because of her circumstances. But she would get back up and keep moving forward.

Teddy was frustrating because he kept sending Flore mixed signals and that messed everything up.

There was also a mystery going on as I wondered what Mr. Grayson was up to.

If you like historical romance I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Visit Grace 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 Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig January 6, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:16 pm
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I, unfortunately, forgot to put this book on my calendar and missed the day I was supposed to post it, but I still really wanted to read it and review it. So here you. The giveaway has expired.

The Nutcracker's Suite

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

Nutcracker

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

What an interesting book. I really enjoyed this spin on the Nutcracker. Chautona did a great job creating characters and bringing them to life and throwing in many twists and turns a long the way.

I had my suspicions who might be behind the murder but wasn’t sure if I was correct because other things would happen that would make me questions my thoughts. I had to keep reading to see if I was right or not. Then there was also the question, of why? Why did this happen?

I won’t tell if I was, you’ll just have to give this book a read to see “who done it”.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

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

 

Truth Unshaken by Kristina Hall January 3, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:16 pm
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About:

Whom can they trust?

After losing her parents, Carla Belardi discovers her life was a lie. Now, she must flee unless she wants her parents’ fate to be her own.

Frank Ashton lost the use of his legs—and his desire to live—in the Great War. When Carla is brought to his home injured, he gains a friend. But despite the attraction growing between them, he can never burden her with a cripple.

Alberto Moretti thought he could do good working for the Prohibition Unit—until he finds out his new employer isn’t much better than the criminals he once served. Now, he has to fight both sides—the Prohibition Unit and the crooked Belardis.

When danger surrounds Carla, Frank, and Alberto from too many angles, will they put their trust in the Truth that will never be shaken?

My thoughts:

This is a non-stop action packed story. There really never seemed to be a dull moment from the first page until the last. I loved the whole “mob” lifestyle that Kristina brought to life. It seems there isn’t anyone you can trust and when you think you can they turn on you.

At first I struggled with Frank. I wanted him to stop being a whiner but then I realized he sounds a lot like me. I can focus on the negative things in this world and forget how good God has been to me. Honestly, he was a great reflection of myself, maybe that was why I didn’t like him at first.

This is the third book in the series but you can easily read it without reading the others but I do know the book before this one is very good as well. If you haven’t given Kristina a try I say do it!

Visit Kristina 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.

 

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen January 1, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:26 pm
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About:

Agatha Christie meets Jane Austenin this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother’s desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.

The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey’s cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past–including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick–magistrate, widower, and former neighbor–who long ago broke her heart.

When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something. . . .

My thoughts:

I love Julie Klassen. One thing I love about her is that each of her books are so unique and honestly I never know what to expect. This book was more of a murder mystery with some romance thrown in there. It actually reminded me a lot of the game Clue.

Julie also did a great job of keeping me guessing about who did what. Even up until all was revealed I hadn’t fully figured it out but I wasn’t surprised. I had thought of something along those lines but didn’t see how it could have happened.

I highly recommend this read!

Visit Julie 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 to me though Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Wish Upon a Star by Jennifer Sienes December 30, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:00 pm
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wish upon a star

About the Book

Book: Wish Upon a Star

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christmas Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: November 9, 2021

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Fairy tales and wishing upon stars are for those who still believe in romance.

Sometimes misplaced trust injures more than ourselves, and doesn’t Elaina Hensley know it. When her oldest daughter is left suffering the consequences, Elaina vows to protect her girls at any cost. Nothing, not even her own happiness, will sway her again.

Or will it?

She’s got this protective self-denial down pat–right up to the moment her best friend’s brother arrives on the scene like a fairytale knight, vowing to slay all her dragons. She must—she will resist.

However, when her worst nightmare comes back to haunt her, Elaina has to admit she needs that white knight on her side.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

Do you remember what Christmas was like as a child? I do. Some of my fondest memories come that holiday when I was growing up. There was a deep sense of family and tradition that I desperately wanted to instill in my own children. No small part of that was the innocence that came from being protected by the harsh realities of life. I envisioned growing old with the grands and great-grands gathered around a Christmas tree bursting with ornaments and sharing the customary Christmas dinner.

My future didn’t quite pan out the way I’d envisioned it. What was it John Lennon said? “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Or if you want to keep with the Biblical viewpoint: In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9)

Although my innocence went by the wayside as I became an adult, I held onto that dream until the Christmas morning my first husband announced he was leaving me. It was then I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. He anchored me in the following months along with my full-time teaching job, two teenage children, and a mother who was dying of leukemia. It wasn’t until October rolled around when my then seventeen-year-old son burst into my bedroom early one morning and said, “I just realized, Christmas will never be the same” that it hit me. I wasn’t the only one affected. For him, the dream died much too early. He was right—when splitting time between divorced parents, things get rather disjointed and complicated. Christmas was never the same for any of us.

But our God is a God of redemption. He takes our brokenness and disappointments and uses them for our good and His glory. Wish Upon A Star isn’t the traditional Christmas story you might find on the Hallmark channel. It’s about a broken family in need of a merciful Savior, and one woman in need of a white knight.

Just like Elaina Hensley, the main character, God had a more perfect plan for my life, too. Without the brokenness we cannot be made whole through Him to be who He calls us to be. In the years since that fateful Christmas morning, He’s given me my own white knight, a godly husband who loves to serve, and the opportunity to follow another childhood dream—to write the stories He’s laid on my heart.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, December 17

Texas Book-aholic, December 18

Stephanie’s life of Determination, December 18

Inklings and notions, December 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 20

For Him and My Family, December 21

deb’s Book Review, December 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 23

By the Book, December 24

Splashes of Joy, December 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 26

Older & Smarter?, December 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 30

Genesis 5020, December 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/14f20/wish-upon-a-star-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This is a quick read. I almost wrote sweet, which it is, but it deals with a very heavy topic that isn’t often touched on in fiction books, but one I believe should be addressed more, so I appreciate Jennifer’s willingness to tackle the subject and the realities of the consequences of the topic.

Elaina is one stubborn lady, but I can also understand why. Thankfully, Ryan is one persistent man.

I didn’t realize this was actually a Christmas book but I was happy to discover it was. If you purchased it today you could probably have it read before 2022, it’s that quick of a read.

I think you would appreciate it more if you have read the other books in the series but I also think you can read it for what it is and still enjoy the book.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

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

 

Dead Fall by Nancy Mehl December 27, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:05 pm
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About:

He has a deadly endgame in mind–and he’s already chosen each victim . . . including her.

After putting to rest the most personal case of her career, Alex Donovan is ready to move on and focus on her future at the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. When the BAU cofounder is discovered dead in his hotel room, the FBI is called in to work on the strangest case they’ve ever faced. How do you find a killer who murders his victims from a distance?

When it becomes clear that the killer is targeting agents in Alex’s unit, they are ordered into lockdown, sheltered in the dorms at Quantico. Alex bunks with controversial agent Kaely Quinn, and as they work together, Alex discovers in Kaely the role model she’s never had–despite being warned away.

As Alex questions the type of agent she wants to become, things get personal when the brilliant killer strikes close to home. Now Alex will do anything to find the killer–even at the risk of her own life.

My thoughts:

I always enjoy Nancy’s storylines and characters, they are unique. I love watching how the characters unfold who the UNSUB is. This book actually had me guessing until the criminal was revealed. I wondered about that person but I didn’t think it really was. She did a great job of throwing off the reader and keeping us guessing.

There is a strong faith message but unfortunately it’s not really the gospel message. There really isn’t any mention of sin and out need for a Savior because of sin, but more about how God will make our lives better. He does, and can, but not always in the way we want Him to.

I also hate reading about people’s dreams. I find that so boring because I know it’s a dream. This happened a couple of time in this book and I really just skimmed over it. Nancy and I also disagree on theology as hers comes through very clearly in her book. Not that I don’t think some of the things she is writing about can’t happen but it is rare and not something, I believe, Christians should be chasing after. I as there once and I started chasing the gifts instead of the giver and that put me in a very angry place.

With that being said, it is a very interesting story and I did enjoy the plot.

Visit Nancy 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.

 

Do You Believe? by Paul David Tripp December 22, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:19 pm
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Best-Selling Author Paul David Tripp Unpacks 12 Doctrines for Everyday Christian Living

Doctrine―what Christians believe―directly influences how they live. The biblical truths about God, humanity, and the world are not merely about knowing more―they are also about loving God and making sense of this life and the life to come. But what happens when there is disparity between what believers confess and how they live?

In his latest book, Do You Believe?, pastor and best-selling author Paul David Tripp takes a close look at 12 core doctrines and how they engage and transform the human heart and mind. According to Tripp, “true belief is always lived.” To demonstrate, he unpacks each doctrine and presents its relevance for the Christian life. As readers explore topics such as the doctrine of God, the holiness of God, and the doctrine of Scripture, they will be fueled to fall deeper in love with and stand in awe of their Creator and Father―putting the truths of God’s word on display for all the world to see.

My thoughts:

This is an excellent book. Well done and touches on so many important doctrines and breaks them down into easy ways to understand them.

It’s not a quick read, but it’s not overly scholarly either, you just need to take your time and absorb all of the great information.

If you struggle with basic doctrines or just want it easily broken down for you, I highly recommend this book.

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.