Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Elusive Hope by MaryLu Tyndall October 30, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:03 am
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elusive hope

Elusive Hope by MaryLu Tyndall

From the back cover:

Falling in Love Was Never Part of Their Plans

On the shores of Brazil, their Confederate friends are seeking a Southern utopia. But Hayden Gale and Magnolia Scott have different plans. Hayden is out for revenge and vows to keep pursuing his father—at any cost—whom he blames for his mother’s death. Magnolia is looking for a way out. . .and a way back home after her father insists their family escape the South following the Civil War. As the fledgling colony of New Hope struggles to survive, they both seek to use the other for their own purposes. Falling in love was never part of their plans.

My thoughts:

MaryLu Tyndall (insert sigh here)….she knows how to write a good book.

Elusive Hope is the second book in a series. I did read the first one which lays some ground work for this book. However, I think you could read the second book and still catch up quickly with what’s going on.

MaryLu’s attention to detail as she describes Brazil, the jungle, bugs and smells makes you feel like you are sitting there with the characters. It brings back memories of Gilligan’s Island, but without all the comic relief.

Our heroine in this story is a tough one to have a lot of sympathy for but you do find it, especially if you have ever struggled with being good enough for a parent. Magnolia is a bit of a snot and wants what she wants when she wants it. Yet, underneath of all that you know she is a broken little girl who needs to know the love of Jesus.

Hayden, the hero, is hard to trust. He, too, has his issues that he needs to overcome. He seems self-centered and uncaring but beneath his tough exterior is a boy with a broken relationship with his father who needs to come to his Heavenly Father for redemption.

Can these two find love, will they find grace in Jesus? You’ll just have to read the book to find out 🙂

Grab your copy at your local bookstore (this book releases November 1st), Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Check out the book trailer here. If this doesn’t make you want to read it don’t know what will.

Visit MaryLu’s website here.

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


Born Of Persuasion only $1.99 October 29, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:00 am
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46d06-born_of_persuasionI just wanted to share that a book I reviewed a while back is only $1.99 for Kindle: Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta. I highly recommend this book if you like historical romance with a bit of gothic twist. I REALLY liked this book.

You can read my review here.

You can order the book here.


Review and Giveaway: Heart of the Country October 28, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:56 am
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heart of the country

Heart of the Country


Rene Gutteridge and John Ward

From the back cover:

Faith and Luke Carraday have it all. Faith is a beautiful singer turned socialite while Luke is an up-and-coming businessman. After taking his inheritance from his father’s stable, lucrative business to invest in a successful hedge fund with the Michov Brothers, he’s on the fast track as a rising young executive, and Faith is settling comfortably into her role as his wife.

When rumors of the Michovs’ involvement in a Ponzi scheme reach Faith, she turns to Luke for confirmation, and he assures her that all is well. But when Luke is arrested, Faith can’t understand why he would lie to her, and she runs home to the farm and the family she turned her back on years ago. Meanwhile, Luke is forced to turn to his own family for help as he desperately tries to untangle himself from his mistakes. Can two prodigals return to families they abandoned, and will those families find the grace to forgive and forget? Will a marriage survive betrayal when there is nowhere to run but home?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I glanced at the movie for this book before I started reading and I will be honest, I was worried I might not like the book. But I had to remind myself that books are almost always better than movies and that was the case for Heart of the Country.

I really enjoyed this modern telling of the prodigal. I liked being in the head of the older sister (Olivia) who stayed with her dad while her younger sister (Faith)  left –something I can relate to personally — and watching her heart soften and their relationship heal.

There is a very moving moment that brought me to tears (always a good sign that I like a book) when Luke’s dad stands up for his son. A beautiful picture of what Christ does for us. It reminded me of how God uses me and my story, as messy as it is, to help others. I know He has my back and He’s not ashamed of me because I am His daughter.

There are a few twists and turns in the plot that will having you flipping pages to find out what happens next and how God will heal Faith and Luke’s marriage. This is a great Genesis 5020 story.

After reading the book I think I can appreciate the movie more and plan on giving it another chance now that I have a better understanding of the characters.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a great reminder of Christ’s amazing love for us all.

Watch the trailer for the movie here.

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

Leave a comment by November 3rd at 5:00 PM to be entered in the drawing to win your own copy. (U.S. residents only)

Visit Rene’s website here.

A copy of this book was given to me by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.


Jesus is Enough October 25, 2013

Filed under: Cool videos — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:52 am
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feet-in-chainsIs Jesus really enough? Do you really believe it? Deep down in your very being, is He enough to heal your wounds, your marriage, take away your shame, set you free from addictions?

If you said yes, do you live like that is true or do you live a defeated lifestyle?

I was sent a video a couple of weeks ago and I sat there and wept as I watched. I realized I often live like Jesus isn’t enough. I often live like I have to hold onto my chains, like I am afraid to let them go because I might go back.

I thought I would share this video with you. I hope you will be as touched by it as I was and know that Jesus is enough.

Check the video out here.

In what way do you need Jesus to be enough today?


Write to the Point with Diane Dean White October 23, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:58 am
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Diane1[1]I am very excited to introduce you to Diane Dean White. We met on the AFCW (American Fiction Christian Writers) critique loop and started critiquing each others work. It was also fun to find out she is originally from Michigan. I hope you will take some time and enjoy her interview.

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

My hubby and I are empty nesters…our children are grown. Our daughter and her husband and grand gals make their home in China, where his work took them for a few years. Our youngest son and wife are serving in Sochi, Russia presently…which leaves our oldest son, in South Carolina, but still too far away. I was raised in the college town of East Lansing next to the state capitol of Michigan. It was a great place to live! I started writing on an old black manual Royal typewriter in sixth grade. I wrote my first book in eighth grade, which was probably read by my grandmother only, and my friend who did the art work. I had a book of poetry published in my senior year of high school. I started working as a newspaper reporter in the late 70’s, and then took time to raise our family, and was a stay-at-home Mom. My best and favorite job ever! I continued doing stringer work, family history and eventually donor appeal writing for non-profit organizations. In the late 90’s I started to write short stories which were picked up by a number of publications and later two books. I became a weekly columnist for a magazine in Michigan and when we moved from South Carolina to Florida I started my book, On a Summer Night.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I always believed in Jesus and prayed often, but I didn’t realize the steps to salvation; the church I attended didn’t teach that. I was involved in a number of youth activities all my life, and counseled at summer church camp. It was after Steve and I were first married he led me to Christ and I made a personal commitment, and He became Lord of my life.

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

That we can make mistakes in life but there is always forgiveness, when we seek it from Christ. And when others are involved, forgiveness needs to be for them as well. This isSummerNightCoverLarge what sets us free, and unshackles our chains.

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

Oh, this new world of technology! I don’t blog, but I’ve had a website, for a number of years. I presently have a new site called Simple Pleasures with Diane, Favorite Things, and my Facebook page. I don’t tweet or text and I don’t even have a cell phone…love my landline! Some times change is hard. J

What are you reading right now?

When I went to get a pedicure last week I grabbed my Kindle and started to read Sandwich with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips. It looked like a fun read, and it was very humorous. I about laughed out loud and realized I needed to be careful, and not jerk my legs, I might get jabbed with an instrument from the gal doing my toes!

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

I can’t point to anyone time when I feel the enemy was trying to hurt me, but I know my faith has to be strong to keep Satan at a distance. I constantly find myself asking the Lord to keep Satan away and fill me with His undeserving love. After all he knows he has the world and non-Christian folk, so he has to work overtime on those who love Christ.

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

I often autograph my books and under my name write Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thy heart.” I feel he’s done that with my writing.

Where can we find you on the web?

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

I’d like to thank Melissa for having me as her guest. It’s not often I meet a fellow Michigander on the loop, and I’ve enjoyed Melissa’s blogs and sweet spirit. I also hope readers will feel free to ask questions on their comments, or email me.

Thanks for sharing, Diane. I know my readers love meeting new authors. I pray God’s blessing on your writing.


Greetings from the Flipside October 21, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:40 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Greetings from the Flipside
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
Rene Gutteridge


Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old — there’s always a funnier caption. She’s all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can’t write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple’s month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral — everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it’s not that easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization’s humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of >Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.

I just received this book this weekend and I was gone all weekend so I have not had a chance to read it. I will add a review to this post when I have 🙂


Merciful Scar October 16, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:01 am
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The Merciful Scar


Rebecca St.James and Nancy Rue

Book Description

Kirsten has spent her life trying to forget. But mercy begs her to remember.

When she was in high school, a terrible accident fractured her family, and the only relief Kirsten could find was carving tiny lines into her skin, burying her pain in her flesh. The pain she caused herself was neat and manageable compared to the emotional pain that raged inside.

She was coping. Or so she thought.

But then, eight years later, on the night she expects her long-time boyfriend to propose, Kirsten learns he’s been secretly seeing her best friend. Desperate to escape her feelings, she reaches for the one thing that gives her a sense of control in the midst of chaos.

But this time the cut isn’t so tiny, and it lands her in the psych hospital. Within hours of being there she knows she can’t stay—she isn’t crazy, after all. But she can’t go back to the life she knew before either.

So when her pastor mentions a treatment program on a working ranch, Kirsten decides to take him up on the offer and get away from it all. But the one thing she can’t escape is herself—and her shame.

The ranch is home to a motley crew, each with a lesson to teach. Ever so slowly, Kirsten opens herself to embrace healing—even the scarred places that hurt the most. Mercy begs her to remember the past . . . showing her there’s nothing that cannot be redeemed.

My thoughts:

Wow. This book is powerful.

I have never been a cutter and honestly never understood how someone could do that to themselves. But reading about it from Kirsten’s perspective (your main character) gave me a better understanding of the relief it gives to those who are hurting on the inside.

The first part of the book is so griping you will find it hard to put down as you read about the pain and confusion Kirsten suffers from and wonder about the wounds from her past that have led her to this point.

You will want to ring her boyfriend’s neck at the selfishness that is so evident in him.

Once she reaches the ranch that action slows for a bit but it all serves a purpose in a gaining a deeper understanding into Kirsten’s healing.

If you know someone, or are someone, who has suffered from deep emotional wounds (I think we all have) I believe you will be deeply touched by this book. It is laced with the hope and healing of Jesus Christ that is freely given to all.

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

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