Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: The Nurse’s Secret Suitor by Cheryl Wyatt September 30, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:40 am
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Nurse’s Secret Suitor
Love Inspired (October 1, 2013)
Cheryl Wyatt


Not even Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would dream that this sweet, shy intercessor plots mayhem during announcements at church. She is a Registered Nurse turned stay-at-home-mom, wife and writer who loves Jesus with all of her heart.

Joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She is convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentines Day destined her to write Inspirational Military Romance.

Cheryl loves to laugh and to make others laugh, so she often plans comedic moments for her defenseless characters in spite of their grumbling. She says it’s payback for when they refuse to obey the plots she’s set out before them.

Prior to publication, six of Cheryl’s manuscripts placed in ten RWA Contests. Two of Cheryl’s stories also placed First in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest 2005 (Contemporary Romance Category), as well as ACFW‘s Genesis Contest 2006 (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Category).

She currently writes for Love Inspired. Her Wings of Refuge Series, about a team of USAF Pararescue Jumpers and the ladies who capture their hearts, can be purchased anywhere books are sold.


A Strong-Willed Heart
Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge—except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won’t take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend’s brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she’s always hoped to unmask?
Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives—and losing their hearts— in a small Illinois town

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Nurse’s Secret Suitor, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I always enjoy reading Love Inspired Romance stories. They are a quick read and always well done.

The Nurse’s Secret Suitor was no exception.

The first chapter brings you into the drama as Kate is hit with the news that her parents are getting divorced. This happens in the middle of a wedding reception.

As she is being washed away in the emotion of this news a masked stranger comes a long and comforts her.

Throughout the book this benevolent bandit continues to bring Kate hope just when she needs it most.

Your heart will be drawn to Caleb (the masked man) who definitely cares for Kate even though she doesn’t see who he really is.

The questions in my mind kept me flipping pages: When will Kate find out about Caleb? What will she do when she finds out? Can they find a compromise and meet in the middle so they can have a life together?

You will have to read the book to find out 🙂

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, or Books-A-Million.

Visit Cheryl’s website here.

Leave a comment by October 6th for your chance to win this book. (U.S. residents only)

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


Grass September 27, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:05 am
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vectorbeastcom-grass-sunDo you see God in the grass?  Can you find him in the lush green colors?  Can you sense Him in the smell of the fresh mown grass?

Take some time to notice the grass today. Touch it, run your hands through it, feel its coolness, dryness, wetness, warmth-all depending on your climate and time of year of course.

Pick a piece and examine it, slide you fingers down the length  of it, smell it, look closely. What does the grass teach us about our Creator?

The grass must be cared for, it must be cut or it will become overgrown, it must be watered or it will become dry and die. The grass must not be neglected.

 Isn’t the grass like our lives, our spiritual lives?

Sometimes God has to work in our lives like we have to mow on a hot summer day. 

Getting our lives “cut” isn’t  pleasant. It can be painful at times. But if we don’t allow ourselves to be trimmed and manicured we will become over grown with weeds and things that will choke and ultimately kill us spiritually.

What is God trying to trim out of your life? What are you fighting Him on? What are you trying to hold on to? 

 Do you love the smell grass after it’s been cut? I love the smell of freshly mowed grass. But if you have allergies you might be miserable after the grass has been mowed.

 The same can be said after God trims our lives. We might feel a bit miserable, we throw a fit, we run and hide, we refuse to embrace this trimming. But isn’t the grass so much more pretty after it has been cut? Don’t the blades just glisten in the sunlight?

 That can be you. Allow God to trim out the unwanted things in your life, it might be painful at times.

 I believe true growth only happens through our pain. That is when we learn to cling to God or run away. What will your response be? 

You will need a good trimming, there is no getting around it. Are you going to let yourself shine and dance in the sunlight, will you let the aroma of God’s presence take over? Or will you fight Him and let the weeds of destruction over take you? 

 Notice the grass and learn a lesson, the grass doesn’t fight back, it just takes the trimming and shines.

 Picture yourself laying on the grass.  It is cool and soft beneath you.  Close your eyes and see yourself there.  Now picture Jesus laying beside you.  You are both peaceful and at rest.  He pulls you into his arms, you rest your head on his chest.  You can hear His heart beating.  He gently strokes your hair.  Yes, it is okay to think of Jesus this way.  He asks you to tell you what is on your heart.  Tell Him, rest in Him.  Then listen for His voice, what does He want to tell you today?  Listen, focus on Him.

I want to encourage you to be like the grass, allow for the trimmings when they are needed, allow for a little rain to fall, you will grow so much more beautiful in the end.  Allow God to be God, He longs to take care of you, you will not be neglected.

Psalm 23:2 (New International Version) He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

Okay, how many of you out there like to mow the grass? I am curious. I have mowed once since I have been married, that’s how much I don’t like doing it.


Write to the Point with Carole Brown September 25, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:01 am
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Today we get write to the point with Carole Brown. Read until the end, she has a giveaway for you 🙂

Carole Brown’s debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, was a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest. Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled across the country. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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

Thank you for having me visit, Melissa! I so appreciate authors and readers who encourage and bless writers by inviting them to visit!

I’m from SE Ohio, live in the country and enjoy the rewards of living there–except for slow internet! We enjoy a little gardening, our garden pond, hot tub, walks, traveling, reading, good food and many other things. I enjoy collecting unique music boxes and elephants. My husband and I have two sons–one of which is married, and three grandsons, who are the light of our eyes! We’ve have been involved in ministry all our married lives and have traveled extensively across the United States and a few foreign countries.

I’ve written forever it seems: first a week long journal as a fifth grade assignment, then romantic and poignant poems in high school, articles, children stories, and at last novels. It’s been a long journey, but wonderful in learning so much.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

From middle grade up I was taken to church. I was always tender and never very rebellious against God, so it was easy to surrender my heart to him as I learned more and realized I needed a Savior. It was the best decision I ever made.

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

My debut novel: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, deals with heavy abuse. It’s a tough subject and perhaps a rough one to read, but abuse is real in our world. I can’t shutCaroleBrown_CaralynneHayman my eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. My husband and I have seen too much. So I would hope readers would be stirred to action, to stay alert to those who may need an encouraging word to get out of an abusive situation and most of all, to pray for those caught in these undesirable situations. Here’s the preorder link where it’s on sale now:

I’ll also have another book releasing in October. A mystery called Hog Insane, and it’s not about pigs. J   It’s a novel about a middle-aged protagonist and his wife and pet dog who arrive in Tennessee and a murder at the same time.

Read about the book here:

How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?


The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest. Release date is September 30, 2013 from the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an ACFW approved publisher.

 I love the cover, it’s beautiful.

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

I blog normally three times a week with an extra day thrown in if needed.

Ÿ  Sunday mornings are for very simple devotional types of posts. A quote, scripture or thought along with a picture.

Ÿ  Mondays, I list a group of things I’m thankful for, and I never run out of things to list!

Ÿ  Wednesdays are my interview days, reviews, and promotional type of material for myself and others. I also once or so a month post a small article–very short and to the point–on passionate writing. It’s just a fun thing I like to do now and then.

Ÿ  If I need another day to cover something for someone, I do it on Fridays. Occasionally I’ll post a funny or encouraging story, etc., on this day too.

It’s time consuming, but I’ve learned to do several posts at one time. Then I have other blogs I participate in too. J

What are you reading right now?

Friend Me by John Faubion

UnEmbraceable by Precarious Yates

The Maze by Jason Brannon

And hope to begin Lorilyn Roberts’ Homeschooling Cookbook soon.


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

I’d like to share this with everyone, but especially those who are pre-published authors or those who are going through a discouraging time.

In 2011 I was ready to quit writing. Totally and completely. I felt like my desire to write had left me and there was no reason to keep fighting toward publication. It wasn’t going to happen to me.

I’m not one to be easily discouraged–at least not for long. I’m a fighter for what I believe in or believe is the right thing. I’ve written all my life, but particularly in the last few years when I knew God placed his hand on me, whispering to me, “It’s time.”

If ever I was going to write seriously, now was the right time. It was my season. I pursued it with all my heart: studied, went to conferences, joined writing and critique groups, gained an agent, wrote and wrote and wrote. And still nothing happened.

Like so many I listened to the enemy of my soul and let the floods of discouragement overtake me. I was drowning in it!


An elderly lady (with whom I’d poured my lamentation upon) set me down (figuratively) and talked to me. After that talk I agreed to pick up my writing mantle again and believe God. That meant when I didn’t see any faith in my heart: I believed anyway. When I harbored thoughts of doubt, I’d read the words scrolled across my computer: Help my Unbelief, and cling to them like the life-ring they were.  

I really truly turned it all–my writing, my success or failure–over to God, to use or not to use. Writing was a talent he’d given me. It was up to him to produce the results if I produced the labor.

In April, 2012, I spoke to an editor who asked me to have my agent send his company the manuscript. In December of that year I signed my first contract for that book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. September 30, 2013, is it’s release date and is now up for preorder on Amazon. The link is:

Whatever means the enemy uses to harm us, God is faithful who will not allow the temptation–the harm!–to be more than we can bear. He is the one who has the victory and wins the battle.


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

One of my favorites that speaks to me and encourages me whether I’m going through a hard place or attempting a new project or before publication days, is this one:

Romans 8:37: No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

I love seeing how God will work in our lives. Sometimes it’s difficult to wait as I like things to happen yesterday (lol), but I do know God’s timing is perfect. I’ve experienced and know that for a fact. No matter what, he can give us victory! Lovely. J


Where can we find you on the web?

Sunnybank Secrets:




I also participate at these blogs:

The Barn Door Book Loft:

Geezers Guys and Gals blog:

Stitches in Time:


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

I love to connect with readers and hope all of you will join me as I share promotional contests and events with you throughout October, November and December. I’ll be offering some unique ways to win some very special gifts.  And of course, I’d love everyone to check out my book on sale now for preorder at:

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers, Carole.

Readers, Carole is giving a copy of her book to one commentator. Leave a comment by October 1st at 5:00 pm to be entered.


Review: Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis September 23, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:03 am
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forver friday 2

Forever Friday


Timothy Lewis

From the back cover:

Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years.
Adam Colby is just doing his job, sorting through the unsold Alexander belongings after the estate sale. He is unprepared for what he finds in an old photo album, overlooked by the bargain hounds and treasure hunters—six decades of postcards and poems from Gabe Alexander to his wife, Pearl. The mystery of the Alexanders’ love entices Adam, a man unhinged by divorce and puzzled by the depth of commitment that he finds in the unabashedly romantic cards.
Forever Friday invites you to travel back in time to the early twentieth century Texas Coastal Bend where a young couple—Gabe and Pearl Alexander—are swept up in a miraculous love. As the heartwarming, pulse-quickening story of their relationship develops through Gabe’s poems, the Alexanders reveal a new way to consider what it means to be truly devoted to each other. Could the secrets of their love affair, laid to rest twenty years ago, hold the key to one man’s future?

My thoughts:

When I read the back cover of this book I was really excited to read it.  It sounds Nicholas Sparks-like and used to enjoy Nicholas Sparks but I stopped reading him because of too many steamy love scenes. So I was hoping for something similar but cleaner.

I hate to write about a book when I am disappointed but I need to be honest. I didn’t connect with this book at all. This is my opinion only and I am sure many other readers will love this book. Actually, this book as a lot of great reviews.

I felt like I never got a chance to connect with any of the characters. There was a lot of hopping around and I couldn’t get a grasp on who the characters really were.

There was a lot of narration in the beginning, just the character taking in the surrounds but not really moving the story forward. The dialogue that was there felt forced to me.

Also, Huck (the heroine), gets so angry at one point she cuts some of her hair off in the middle of a restaurant. Even though I didn’t have a good grasp in her personality I still felt that was a bit impulsive.

Like I said, I am sure many other people will like this book but it wasn’t for me.

Watch the book trailer here.

More info. here.

Read chapter one here.

Read Timothy’s bio here.

Visit Timothy’s website here.

A copy of this book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.


Fog September 20, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 am
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hazy-treesI drove to work one morning surrounded by fog. I could see, maybe, a forth of a mile in front of me. It can be pretty scary driving in the fog.

If a car is driving fast you might not see it in time at an intersection and you could have an accident. Or if you are driving too fast you could come up to a car too quickly and not be able to stop in time.

About fifteen minutes into my drive the fog was suddenly gone. I could see clearly and the sun was shining. A feeling of relief and relaxation flooded my body.

As I settled into my drive I realized I felt this way when I became a believer in Christ.

The first twenty-five years of my life I lived in a complete fog. I didn’t know where I was going, sometimes I would go too fast and crash, sometimes I couldn’t see other things racing toward me and I got hurt.

When I accepted Christ as my Savior the fog was lifted and my soul was at rest. I saw things much more clearly and peace washed over me. I’m sure I missed out on many blessings because I raced right by them, going my own way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, just because I’m a believer doesn’t mean I don’t have days when I wake up with a fog delay.

There are those times, days, weeks, years, that I have chosen to walk in the fog again. Why would I choose that? I have no answer, except the enemy is tricky.

I didn’t even realize I was headed into the fog until I was there and lost once again. But God doesn’t give up on His children and I finally did find my way out and the joy that filled my soul was and is, so sweet. His light shines back into my heart and I settle down into my love relationship with Him once again.

If you are in the fog right now, don’t lose hope. Jesus is in the fog. He is trying to guide you out, but He will not force you. He is using His gentle loving ways to bring you into His light. Let Him lead you, the fog is about to lift, can you see it clearing up?

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

Close your eyes and picture yourself sitting somewhere surrounded by fog. You are alone but then you feel a tap on your shoulder and Jesus comes to sit beside you. What does He want to tell you? What do you want to tell Him? Listen.

Let me encourage you. If you are in the fog and you feel like you shouldn’t be because you are a believer, do not lose heart. You are in a battle for your soul. Fight! Fight your way out of the fog and into your Saviors arms. Pray as often as possible for God to lead you out and into the light, He is there, He is waiting for you.

Did God speak to you through the fog today? Share with us.


Write to the Point with Melissa Tagg September 18, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:01 am
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Tagg6Readers, I am so excited to introduce to you Melissa Tagg. I have been following her blog for a long time, before she even had an agent. I will never forget the day I read on her blog that she signed with an agent. I was so happy for her. But I was even more excited when she shared she signed a contract for Made to Last. And then came the day I actually held her book in my hand. Even though I have never meet Melissa I felt such joy for her and hope to know that dreams do come true. At the end of the interview I will share my review of Made to Last and we have a giveaway 🙂
Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

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

I’m a former reporter turned nonprofit communications girl by day, author by night. I’m the oldest of four siblings, and have the best parents in the world. I’m from Iowa (the place with more cornstalks than people), and have been writing, uh well, pretty much forever. But I got serious about actually pursuing a writing career in late 2009.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

You know those best parents in the world I mentioned above? They modeled Christ to me all growing up. I “prayed the prayer” as a very young kid, yes, but I would say getting to know Christ has been an ongoing journey ever since.

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

My debut novel, Made to Last, is a story of figuring out who we are underneath the trappings of success…or lack thereof. 🙂 It’s about a homebuilding TV show host out to saveNew_Made to Last2 her show while juggling a fake spouse and former fiancé…and the cute reporter who is chronicling her story and digging into her secrets.

I definitely hope readers laugh at the humor and swoon at the romance. But even more than that, I hope it leaves them thinking about their own identity—and realizing that underneath all the labels we give ourselves, we’re loved and cherished by an amazing God.

A great message and one that seems to take us awhile to truly grasp.

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

Currently, I blog three times a week. I consider my blog a place to connect with readers and have fun. So topics vary from writing to everyday life to silliness in general. Once a week, I also try to post an encouraging or devotional blog as well.

I thoroughly enjoy your blog, it makes me smile and think all at the same time 🙂

What are you reading right now?

Ooh, ooh, I recently finished Carla Laureano’s Five Days in Skye. LOVED it. I’m also going to be reading Joanne Bischof’s third book in her Cadence of Grace series. Cannot wait. Same with Anne Mateer’s new book!

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

Right after college, I had a hard year. I’m not going to go into the specifics, but basically it boils down to the plans I had for myself completely falling through. It was an emotional roller coaster of a year—the kind of ride I really never want to take again. J BUT…I recently came across a prayer journal that I’d kept during that year. I started reading some of my entries…and it hit me, I think I grew closer to God during that sooo-not-fun season than I’d ever been before. And I realized for about the thousandth time since that year that what felt like such a miserable thing was actually a divine bend in the road meant for my good. I love how God does that!

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

I’ve always heard people talk about life verses, and have often felt I have “seasonal” verses rather than one life verse. Haha! But then last summer I came across this verse in The Message paraphrase and thought, hmm, if ever there was a verse I wanted to sum up the way I want to live life, it’s this:

Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. ~2 Thess. 1:11

Where can we find you on the web?

Here are all my online hangouts:



Twitter: @Melissa_Tagg



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

I think the one thing I’d add is simply to say how much I appreciate readers. During this whole process of getting ready for Made to Last to release, it’s struck me over and over how much fun it is to get to share this story and these characters with other people. It means a ton to me that people take the time to hang out in this storyworld and connect with these characters. So…thank you, readers!

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers. I pray God will continue to bless your writing.

My review and giveaway:

Melissa has written the kind of book I like to read. Contemporary romance is my favorite (maybe because I write that myself). She has created flawed characters we care about and want the best for.

Each chapter revs up the tension for a fast read. This is a book that I found myself reading into the night. I would look at the clock and say, “I have to go to sleep”. But I didn’t want to leave the storyworld Melissa had created.

Miranda Woodruff is a mess due to not letting go of things from her past and her life just keeps getting messier. Isn’t that so true? Until we allow God to come in and heal those broken places we just keep trying to hold it together on our own and it never works.

Matthew is a hero you will adore. He, too, has hurts from his past that continue to an impact on his present. As soon as he meets Miranda he’s saving her. I just kept thinking how can they ever fall in love if he thinks she’s married? What will happen to her show when the world finds out she lied? So many good questions that will keep  you flipping pages.

This has a great plot with plenty of funny moments and romantic encounters. I highly recommend Made to Last. If you read it I think you will be adding Melissa Tagg to your list of favorite authors.

Grab you copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Leave a comment by September 24th at 5:00 pm for your chance to win a copy of Melissa’s book. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Review and Giveaway: Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta September 16, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:00 am
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Born of Persuasion
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2013)

Jessica Dotta


Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.

She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Born of Persuasion, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This book definitely held a Pride and Prejudice flavor for me. I can’t even tell you why but that was that feeling I had the whole time reading it.  And I loved Pride and Prejudice.

This book was very different from what I expected. It was full of mystery and tense love scenes. Women worried about impressing a higher class and catching a husband. It really has all the elements a great book should have.

Julia is a strong heroine who thinks it’s up to her to secure her future. She’s not a Christian, in fact her father was an atheist. This makes for some interesting thoughts as she processes her life.

The dashing Mr. Macy is very charming, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Julia could really trust him. You will have to read the book to see if she can.

There is also her first love, Edward, who seems to have gotten confused along the way, yet he seems to truly understand what it means to help those in need now the is he a vicar. But does he see his own need? Hmmm….

Overall a very intriguing book and I would say Jessica Dotta is an author to watch. This is the beginning of a new series and I can’t wait to see what happens next in Julia’s life.

Grab your own copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Win a copy by leaving a comment by Sept. 22nd at 5:00 pm. (U.S. residents only)

Visit Jessica’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.


Meredith’s Story Part Two September 13, 2013

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 am
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sad-woman-1347879026vYLThis is the conclusion of Meredith’s story. If you missed the first part click here.

We got married a month after I found out I was pregnant.  Marriage was great at first.  We talked about how it would be once my son was born and about maybe even having another baby a few months after.

Unfortunately, physical and verbal abuse started a few months into what I thought would be a “perfect” marriage.  I found myself fighting for my life and the life of my child.

We ended up getting evicted from our apartment due to my husband’s rampant drug and alcohol use. So we moved into my parent’s house where the abuse continued and got worse.

By now my husband was also having multiple affairs. I sank into a very deep depression. It wasn’t until after Gabriel was born and a couple months old that I decided to file for divorce.

I was terrified because my husband had threatened to kill me and my family if I ever did so.  A few months after filing for divorce my husband moved out and my depression continued to worsen.

Speed ahead to a year after the divorce.  Thirty days after the divorce was finalized my first husband married his mistress and within a few short months they were expecting their first child, a little girl.

I snapped!  I hit rock bottom and from that point felt that God was punishing me for all that I had done in my life.

I let the voices get in and start telling me what a bad mother I was and that I was a horrible person…how I would be better off dead so those around me could lead better lives without having to worry about me.

So one night I borrowed my parent’s car and decided that I was going to drive off the overpass onto the expressway. As I started to drive I was crying and crying out to God “WHY????”.

I don’t remember what happened to me but once I started to drive over the bridge, the next memory I have is of me in the church my mom had introduced me to so long ago, crying and not able to speak.  I sat down in a chair next to a woman but didn’t say a thing.  I listened to the testimony of a man who had a story different, yet similar to mine.  After the sermon, I felt I had to go up and speak to the pastor.

I did, and I let everything that had happened to me spill out as I was crying.  He sat quietly listening and then told me his story which was like mine.  He also told me that God loved me no matter what I had done in this life and that by asking for forgiveness it would all be washed away and I could start a new chapter.

Then he had a group of women come around me and pray and offer words of encouragement and love. That was the first time in a very LONG time I had ever felt love and compassion from other people. They gave me all of their numbers and information for the counseling center at the church. They took me out to dinner and just loved on me.  \

I knew from that moment that I wanted a relationship with Jesus and didn’t want anything else. The next day a counselor called me and I was immediately brought into counseling.

Speed up to present day. It has been 5 years since that night and I am so grateful that God literally saved my life that day as I would have missed out on so many beautiful and wonderful things!

I did get remarried and divorced again but it was nothing like what I went through the first time. I clung to God the whole way through it and he brought me through.   He gave me a new sense of renewal and a purpose to my life. He has introduced me to a whole bunch of loving people who I am honored to call friends, and he has “restored the years the Locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25).

He can Restore yours too!!

Yes He can. You are never too far gone for God to reach you, never doubt that everything can change with Jesus.

What’s your Genesis 5020? Someone needs your story so they know they are not alone. Share your story with us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com


Write to the Point with Mary L. Ball September 11, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:05 am
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pic on book coverToday we get write to the point with Mary L. Ball. She has a giveaway for you so read until the end.

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

I live in the North Carolina. I’m a member of ACFW. When I’m not running around in my latest character’s head I babysit my two grandsons, support my husband’s ministry and enjoy singing gospel as I have time.

As a retired secretary I have always wrote correspondence, but it wasn’t until years later I started scribing devotionals and short stories. From there, I evolved to fiction writing. After almost two years of writing and editing, I received a contract from Prism Book group. My debut novel Escape to Big Fork Lake released in March 2012 and is available on Amazon and most online retailers.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I asked for God’s forgiving grace when I was a young lady in my twenties.  After taking a turn and traveling down the wrong roads, I rededicated my life to the Lord eighteen years later. I’m smarter now and understand the tricks of the devil. I praise Jesus Christ each day for his salvation.

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

I hope that readers will see that sometimes God plans are best and if we trust in the Lord, we can receive our hearts desires.

Stone of Destiny

The sapphire symbolizes s mental clarity, faithfulness and truth. For centuries, the legion of the Harrison family revolved StoneofDestiny_Ebook  orginalaround a ring. The family stone believed to have divine favors that transform lives-sometimes forever.

Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete. That is until her grandmother asks her to oversee renovations at the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.

First contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange dreams. Feelings surface; she doesn’t understand; mere thoughts that should remain unspoken, are voiced.

Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself-forcing her to question everything she believes.

Is this a fairy-tale or her soul, reaching out for a different world, a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

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

My life is extremely busy, so I only blog once a week. I often struggled with what to blog about so lately I’ve devoted my blog to highlighting other authors. It’s my hope to give back to some of the authors who graciously host me on their blogs.

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

Yes, more than one I hope you don’t mind my sharing them all. Each of these verses has a special meaning in my life.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Colossians 3:23

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Mark 11:23

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” Philippians 4:13

Where can we find you on the web?

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

Certainly, Melissa I want to thank you for having me on your lovely blog. I think your ministry is great.

Thanks Mary and thanks for taking time to share with my readers.

Readers, leave a comment for Mary by September 17th to be entered to win her book. She is giving away an ebook copy of her book for Nook or Kindle.


Wounded Women of the Bible by Dena Dyer and Tina Samples September 10, 2013


Wounded Women of the Bible:

Finding Hope When Life Hurts


Dena Dyer and Tina Samples

From the back cover:

Imploding relationships, incapacitating losses, injurious personal mistakes, or spiritual failures—whatever the issue, the wounds are the same.

Whether it’s a lapse in judgment by Bathsheba or the moral failure of the women’s ministry leader in your local church; the spiritual insensitivity of Martha or the compulsive obsessions of your church’s care circle chairwoman; the terror of an abandoned single mother like Hagar or the struggling single mother in your prayer group—the time and circumstances are different, but the wounds are equally deep and spiritually devastating.

Dena Dyer and Tina Samples get it. They have their own stories of pain before healing—along with similar experiences of their families and friends. Offering more than pat affirmations or vicarious shoulders to cry on, Dena and Tina delve deep into the shared emotions and injuries that women of all ages have in common—and move readers toward the recovery and healing that only God can provide.

No matter what hurts you’ve experienced, Wounded Women of the Bible proves that God understands and that healing is not only His intention but His delight!

This is a book not to be missed!

My thoughts:

As I have stated before, I am very hard on non-fiction books since I enjoy fiction so much. So I never know what to expect when I open up a non-fiction book.

Well, I can say this is a book I highly recommend. I don’t think there’s a women out there that won’t relate to one, of not many, of the women from the Bible featured in this book.

Tina and Dena’s raw honesty is so refreshing. This is truly a Genesis 5020 book to its core.

Chapter after chapter is about how God used the brokenness of a woman and then turned it around for His glory.

I lead a group called Wounded and I think this book would be a fabulous follow-up for my ladies and I plan on recommending it to every group I facilitate.

It truly covers almost every wound we could possibly experience and it gives the reader hope. God can heal.

There are discussion questions at the end so you can do this in a group setting. And again, I was impressed with the questions. I find, often times, discussion questions can be a bit cheesy, but I didn’t find that at all in this book. They are very thought-provoking and will spur on the topics covered.

If you are hurting, or know someone who is I suggest grabbing a copy of this book and reading it.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-a-Million.

You can visit Dena’s website here. Visit Tina’s here.

A copy of this book was given to me by Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.