Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

What’s Your Genesis 5020? June 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:01 pm
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So what’s your Genesis 5020?

I don’t have any story to share with you this week. Is that because it’s your story I am supposed to be sharing?

If God has been nudging you then He probably wants you to share. People love reading these stories, yours could be the next one to touch someone’s heart or bring them closer to Jesus.

It’s time….share your story for God’s glory. Don’t believe the lie that your story doesn’t matter. Your story matters because God wrote it.

Email your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

On another note, I have some exciting news to share with you next week. I’ll give you a hint….below is the blurb for an upcoming book, one that I contributed to 🙂 You’ll hear more about that next Wednesday. I’m very excited.

In these pages you will read stories of people held in bondage by fears, bitterness, and deep emotional wounds, set free by their loving, compassionate, all powerful Savior. The same Savior that longs to free you. For when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. This Fourth of July, may you grab hold of the freedom that penetrates to your very core. A freedom only Christ can give you.
I would love to hear how you are all doing. Feel free to leave a comment with a praise or something I can be praying about for you.

Review: Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum June 27, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:40 pm
Tags: ,

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Paige Torn
Think (May 1, 2013)

Erynn Mangum


A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!


Everyone knows they can count on Paige Alder. But between volunteering at church, putting in overtime at work, and helping her best friend plan an anniversary party, she’s lucky to grab a cheese stick for dinner. Paige can’t even remember the last time she had a few minutes to relax or dig into God’s Word. Then she meets laid-back Tyler, an attractive, Jesus-loving guy. Will he be able to help Paige get her priorities on track?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paige Torn, go HERE.
My Thoughts:

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It sounded like a fun, light read.

Unfortunately, I had trouble connecting with the main character and finding the point to the story. I felt like there was just so much going on, which might be the point, that I couldn’t focus on the story.

Paige is an extremely busy young lady, as many of us can relate to. She seems to be a people pleaser, which does resonate with me. But still I just couldn’t connect with this story.

It could be because she is very young, but that hasn’t been a problem for me in other books. There were also some writing style things that kind of distracted me. Lots of conversations happened that someone would say something and then another person would ask a question misunderstanding what was being said. This happened often. I can understand that being one character’s quirk but not every character’s.

That being said, I do think a lot of people would enjoy this book, but this wasn’t the book for me. With as many books that I read there are bound to be some I don’t connect with and this was just one of them.

You can grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or

You can visit Erynn’s website here.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


Write to the Point with Max Elliot Anderson June 26, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:57 am
Tags: , , ,

Today we get write to the point with Max Elliot Anderson. He writes middle grade fiction especailly geared toward boys and I am so excited to share his interview with you. If you have a pre-teen reader you will want to look into Max’s books.

Publicityphoto2011 aTell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I grew up hating to read, in the home of a father who published over 70 books during his lifetime. I’m trying to remedy that by writing action-adventures & mysteries I would have liked, as a boy, for young readers today. I spent two years in the army after being drafted, graduated from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and have shot movies all over the world. My wife and I have been married for nearly 40 years. We have two adult children and two granddaughters. I’ve lived in Michigan, Indiana, and now in Rockford, Illinois. I began writing in late 2001 just after 9/11 caused most of my video production clients to pull back.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home. It was common, because of my father’s work in writing, magazine editing, and film production, to have a lot of well-known Christian workers, missionaries, pastors, and others come to visit. But my parents were careful to explain that God has no grandchildren. Each of us has to decide for ourselves when it comes to believing that Jesus is who He said He is. At my parent’s leading, I accepted Jesus around the age of six.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

That’s a tough question to answer because several have come out recently and more are on the way. If I had to pick a most recent title, it’d be River Rampage. This is book #3 in the Sam Cooper adventure series. Lost Island Smugglers is #1 and Captain Jack’s Treasure is #2 in the series. This Property is Condemned is in production, will be out soon, and is #4. But the central themes of my books for middle grade readers include responsibility, accountability, courage, honesty, spiritual principles, character issues, and more.

Here’s what the publisher has written about River Rampage. “Sam Cooper and his friends have the chance of a lifetime to go rafting down the mighty Colorado River. The rains have been heavy this season, making the raging river even more treacherous. The boys become separated from the main group, their rubber raft is going flat, and now they’re on their own. They have their hands full with a crusty prospector, his gold mine, a gang of outlaw bikers, and a desperate river escape on their makeshift wooden raft. Think that’s the worst that could happen? Well, it isn’t. “Sam Cooper Adventures are like good, family movies . . . as an ordinary kid finds himself in exciting and extra-ordinary adventures!” Bill Myers – Author, McGee & Me.

Covers 9 in 3 rows

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I probably post a new entry at least three times per week. I’ve introduced other middle grade authors’ books, include personal author news, discuss the importance of reading at a young age, and promote my books and articles, along with other things that would be of interest to parents and grandparents who actually make the book buying decisions for kids.

What are you reading right now?

As I said earlier, I hated to read. All the time growing up, I never read anything my father wrote. And some of his books were for kids. Then, in sort of a “bucket list” kind of way, I decided to change that. I’ve read several of his kids’ books and right now I’m reading one for adults called Fog Over Hong Kong. The book was published in 1945, by Zondervan, and I’m enjoying it very much.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

Yes. My Genesis 5020 was 9/11/01. At that time, most of my video production clients were industrial companies in the area where I live. The fallout of that terrible day caused many companies to close, others shut down their marketing departments, sold to other companies, or moved to other locations. My marketing and advertising clients lost their jobs and most of their departments were closed. I was faced with what to do, creatively, from that point.

I can only say that a very strong inner “voice” began asking me, “Why don’t you write The Scarecrow?” And it wouldn’t let up. This had been a screenplay that never materialized, but I clearly understood that it was to be rewritten as a book. After much struggle, I gave in and wrote it. After that, multiple stories literally cascaded through my mind. For the next three years, I wrote until thirty-five manuscripts were completed. I had no agent, no publisher, and no contracts.

At that point I said to myself, “This is ridiculous. I need to stop writing and see if I can get some of these published.” Now I have a great agent in Terry Burns at Hartline, 10 books are published, 10 more are contracted, and several others are under consideration. So, I’d say that a person who started out hating to read, finding himself in the position I’m in now, is truly a Genesis 5020 example.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I do. 1st Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”COVER River Rampage 2

Where can we find you on the web?

Here are a few links:

Books for Boys Blog
Author Web Site
My Youtube Videos
Amazon Author Page
Author Video

Also Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and many others.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

At times, we think we’ve got life all figured out. We might even find it hard to trust God, especially, like in my case, when it seems so far outside the lines of reason. But I’m an example of a person who has seen God take the impossible and make it work. He delights in helping ordinary people to do extraordinary things if they’ll simply trust Him.

I second that. I love how God uses ordinary people to do amazing things. Thanks so much for sharing with my readers and I pray God’s blessings over your writing career.

Readers, Max is giving away a copy of River Rampage to one commentator. Leave a comment for him by July 2nd at 5:00 pm to be entered.


Review and Giveaway: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade June 25, 2013

44dd3-undeniably_yoursAs I stated in a previous post I would have a review for you of Undeniably Yours. Well, it’s finally here. You can read the back cover blurb and Becky’s bio here.

If you are looking for a romance that will have your heart twisting with each turn of the page and a hero who will fight for the woman he loves, then this is the book for you.

I wasn’t sure if I would like the heroine all that much, a rich heiress. But Becky made her so likeable that you can’t help but cheer for her. Meg, the heroine, is like many of us who come to know Christ. We think we don’t deserve all this grace, all the gifts the King lavishes on us and have trouble accepting them. Meg feels the same way when her father dies and leaves her everything.

Meg does something very cool with the gifts she’s been given, but I can’t tell you what, you’ll have to read to find out. It’s a beautiful picture of what our Father wants us to do with the gifts He gives to us.

And I can’t forget about Bo, the hero. Oh my, he is so perfect for Meg but it takes them a while to admit it and there are some bumps along the way. Becky has created a wonderful hero in Bo Porter, the kind of man who will fight for the woman he loves and do whatever it takes to prove his love to her.

Becky creates very real characters. I love how she gave Meg quirks that make her tangible, like chewing the inside of her cheek or twirling her earring when she is nervous and slipping on her glasses to help her see better. Don’t we all have our own habits? These things make characters real to us.

This book is the first in a series and I can’t wait to see what Becky whips up next.

You can grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.

Check out Becky’s website here.

Win your own copy by leaving a comment by July 1st at 5:00 pm (U.S. residents only).

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


Review and Giveaway: Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie Calhoun June 24, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:22 am
Tags: , ,

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Pieces of the Heart

Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)

Bonnie S. Calhoun


Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are:


Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

If you would like to read teh first chapter of Pieces of the Heart, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This book is full of treasures. Nuggets of wisdom, deeper understanding of Christ’s love, it can all be found in this book.

From the first chapter I was pulled into Cordelia’s story and her struggle to trust God, something I can relate to.

Bonnie shows us the racism that existed during World War II not only between caucasian and African America individuals, but also the racism that exists between African Americans themselves. How heartbreaking, but so real.

She doesn’t hold back in speaking truth in this story and showing the reader the raw pain of her characters.

This is a fast paced book. A lot takes place in 219 pages. A fast read if you are looking for something quick.

Of course I enjoyed the story of the quilt and when you read the book you can read more about what the quilt means to Bonnie in her letter to the reader. This is more than just a story for her, it comes from deep places in her heart.

Overall, a touching read that made me want to wrap up in a Pinecone quilt 🙂

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.

Check out Bonnie’s website here.

You can win a copy by leaving a comment by June 30th at 5:00 pm. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


What’s up with the Finnegans? June 21, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:15 am

It’s been a while since I have just written to all you (without it being a book review or introducing someone else) and since I don’t have a current Genesis 5020 story for you (hint, hint) I thought I would give you a brief update on how the Finnegans are doing.

The kids are growing, of course, our oldest will start middle school in the fall…where did the time go? Just the other day she wrote a great song about Jesus. My heart ached, I have never been more proud of that girl. The youngest loves to catch toads and shove them in his pocket, much to his mother’s dismay. God teaches me so much through that child 🙂 They are truly precious.

Patrick and I continue to learn what it means to love each other as Christ loves us. We are challenged to never settle for “good enough” but constantly press forward to all God wants for us, our marriage and our children.

God continues to bring people into our lives who need our story. In a way this unfortunate, people do the same stuff we did, but I am glad we can offer them hope. That they can look at us and know it doesn’t have to be the end.

Some people find that hope sooner than others but regardless, our prayer is always that they could find it. They aren’t alone.

I truly believe we would all be shocked if we had any clue how many people within our church body (not just mine but the church body as a whole) have struggled, or succumbed to the sin of adultery or lust.

Our story is a story that needs to be told because it happening under our noses and if people don’t see there’s hope they may give up and never seek God’s best.

Patrick and I get so sad when we hear of a marriage that is not restored because we know it’s completely possible.

Is it easy? No way. It takes work. Do we still struggle under the effects of my sin? Yes. There are consequences and as much as we would like to forget “the incident” completely we never will. I think if we did we would go back to the way we were. So maybe it’s not a consequences after all, but a blessing, so we can constantly move forward.

It has been just over four years since everything happened with us. This was the first year I dont’ think either of us felt the weight of it. It was good, but we were still both very aware of the dates as they passed.

God is faithful and strengthens us daily. We are not perfect and never will be, but our heart is for each other and for God, for His best. Our heart is for the marriage that looks hopeless and for those broken individuals that come to us.

We are only human but we offer our story and we will continue to offer it as long as God tells us to.

Our story for God’s glory.

Your turn. How have you been? What can I pray for or give praise for  you? I don’t take you for granted 🙂

BTW, what’s your Genesis 5020? Share your story with us (I don’t have any!!!) at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com


Review and Giveaway: Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson June 20, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:10 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel
B&H Publishing Group (April 30, 2013)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


With high hopes, Dorothy Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it’s not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Dorothy only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt’s very specific posthumous terms — personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dot’s cats.

And if Dorothy thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dot’s life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God’s perfect timing.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel, go HERE.

My Thoughts and Giveaway:

I have yet to read a Melody Carlson book I don’t like and this book was no exception.

If you are looking for a light-hearted read with great characters then this is the book for you.

Daphne Ballinger just inherited a bunch of stuff from her Aunt Dee, including her secrets. Because of some stipulations in the will Daphne is thrown in to a whirlwind of decisions.

I could relate to Daphne because she likes to play it safe. That’s me. I like to have some idea before I walk into a restaurant what I will get. I will even go online and look at the menu if I can so I won’t be surprised. Daphne is very much the same way but because of the things happening in her life she is finding she can’t always live life that way. And truly what is the fun (I need to take some lessons)?

In this book you can travel along with Daphne as she discovers what it means to live and enjoy life.

You can grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.

You can visit Melody’s website here.

Or you can win a copy by leaving a comment by June 26th at 5:00. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction  Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.