Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin August 11, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:31 pm
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in perfect time

About:

Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have been wanting to read this series and I am glad I finally got around to with this book.

Once again we have a WWII book but this time we are seeing it from the perspective of pilots and nurses. Sarah did a great job of bringing this book to life. I could easily picture what was taking place. But she didn’t over describe, she did just enough to give you a picture what the area looked like and then moved on to push the plot forward.

The book alternates between character development and moving the plot. I thought Sarah did a wonderful job with this as well, peppering each throughout the book.

What I also liked was how Sarah took a potentially difficult character, like Kay, one we might not normally like and made her likeable. Even though she uses men we see her brokenness. This softened me towards her and had me rooting for her redemption.

Roger is a torn hero with a sad past himself. He has had his own struggles with women and is afraid of crossing the line now that has found Jesus. He also struggles with his self-worth, just like Kay. Roger is a drummer, which made me like him even more since my husband is a drummer, plus I like anything musical in a character.

What I probably loved most about this book was that is was saturated in God’s grace. The message in here is one we all need and often struggle to grasp. Sarah did a fabulous job of weaving the gospel in this book without overpowering the reader.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance and some WWII history. And even though this is the third book in the series it really is a stand alone novel, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first two (I haven’t).

Leave a comment by August 17th at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

Visit Sarah here.

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

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

 

 

How Mackinac Island is Like our Spiritual Lives (Part 1) August 8, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:42 pm
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This is Mackinac Island from the shore of Mackinaw City. It's pretty hard to make anything out but the white lines are the Grand Hotel and the Fort.

This is Mackinac Island from the shore of Mackinaw City. It’s pretty hard to make anything out but the white lines are the Grand Hotel and the Fort.

This is a series of articles or devotions I’ve wanted to write for a few years. I don’t know why I kept putting it off but I am writing them now. Over the next few weeks I will share how I believe Mackinac Island, Michigan is like our spiritual lives. Hope you enjoy it.

Mackinac Island, Michigan is my all time favorite place in the world. My husband and I go every year. I went as a child several times as well but it wasn’t until I explored the island with my husband that I discovered this unique place has much more to offer then meets the eye.

This week I will talk about seeing the island from a distance.

If you visit Mackinaw City you can see the island from the shore. The Grand Hotel  and the Fort are prominent white figures that are easily spotted.

Standing on the shore of the city one might look upon the island and wish to visit that seemingly isolated spot. Maybe the onlooker has heard about the island, its beauty, serenity and longed to visit but just haven’t made the trek or time to do it. They see other people boarding the ferry and heading over. Everyone is smiling and looks so excited to go.

This is the visitor at our church. What do they see when they see you, someone who calls themselves a believer? Do they see someone who is excited to be at church or do they see grumpy faces, hear grumbles about the pastor or the music? Are you making Christianity look appealing? Are they longing for what you have?

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This is the Grand Hotel. I never grow tired of looking at it as we cross Lake Huron and head to the island.

Someone who doesn’t know the Lord should be seeing something in us that they want, just like the onlooker wants to visit Mackinac Island. If people didn’t look excited to go, if they didn’t hear great things about this place, they wouldn’t want to visit.

Are we saying great things about Jesus? Or are we just like everyone else in the world? Looking out for ourselves, complaining about everything that doesn’t go our way?

Definitely some things we need to think about, I know I do. Even when we are just getting groceries, are we sharing a smile or so focused on our list we don’t look up to see the hurting around us? Yikes, I do this.

Next week we’ll make the trip to Mackinac Island, hope you’ll join me.

What drew you to Jesus? Did you see something in someone else that made you seek Him out? Was there a church that embraced you? We’d love to hear your stories, share in the comments.

 

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Veil of Secrets August 7, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:09 pm
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veil of secrets

Book Description

Can a mother face the secrets of her past in order to protect her daughter from the same mistakes?

Melanie and Will Connors seem like the perfect couple, but their marriage only looks good on the outside, having withered inside from a lack of intimacy.

The barriers Melanie faces to intimacy are hidden in her past—a misguided tryst with a trusted friend of her father’s, a pattern of promiscuity as a teen, empty relationships in early adulthood. The only way Melanie sees to save herself from herself is to turn off her desires—even in her marriage.

Will insists they either work on the marriage—or work on the divorce. Their attempt at restoration occurs in the midst of a New Hampshire presidential primary that is rocked by violent protests and razor-sharp character assassinations. For the first time, their marriage begins to feel like a safe place.

As Melanie tries to sort through her own past, she sees her 16-year-old daughter’s head turned by a charismatic older man on Will’s campaign team. Can Melanie sift through her own rubble and find the voice to help guide her daughter—and possibly find the joy that God intended for her marriage?

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is a book I really I  have mixed feelings about. I liked it, really I did, but there are some things I didn’t care for.

So let’s start with the good.

The back cover blurb doesn’t really do the story justice. There is so much more going on in this book then just the storyline of Melanie and Will. I would say Will’s sister, Carrie, has just as much of a part in the book at Melanie and Will.

There’s a lot going on this book and a lot of bouncing back and forth between view points. For that reason I did feel it was difficult to get a good grasp on the characters. But the plot kept me reading. I wanted to see what would happen with each of the characters and there really is never a dull moment.

It was interesting to be in the throes of a political campaign. The authors did a great job of making you feel like you never had a moment to yourself.

The problems between Melanie and Will seemed pretty real. Melanie closes off sexually to her husband and her thoughts are thoughts I could very much relate to.

What I didn’t care for so much was all the touching and kissing. Not anything passionate, but it seemed like Carrie was kissing every guy she came in contact with and I didn’t know who she really cared for. I suppose this was done to show the intimacy that is gained during a campaign but she even did this with a guy who wasn’t part of her campaign.

My other issue with Carrie was she was portrayed as a Christian, as almost everyone else in the book was, but  I had trouble finding anyone with strong faith. I think it might’ve been more affective to have Carrie seeking, or falling away, but it doesn’t seem as if she had a falling out with God or was angry at Him, just that she hoped He wouldn’t see her sin as she was about to do it. As someone who did choose sin over Jesus I can say I never prayed during that time, I never asked Him not to see what I was doing. I just didn’t talk to Him. That seems more realistic to me than praying that He wouldn’t see what I was doing.

I understand that many of us struggle with our faith but I would’ve like to see more stability. I felt like everyone used God instead of relied on Him.

I was also confused by Melanie and Will’s hot and cold relationship. One minute they are yelling at each other the next they are holding each other, and this would happen several times in one conversation.

With all that being said, I did like reading this book and seeing how the characters would work out their difficulties. I was rooting for them to make the right choice and gain a deeper faith in Jesus.

As always, these are my thoughts only and I encourage to you form your own opinion and see what you think. Enter to win the copy I’m giving away and let me know what you think.

Visit Shannon here.

Visit Kathryn here.

Leave a comment by August 13th for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review.

 

Write to the Point with Bonnie Doran August 6, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:02 pm
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dora43Today we get write to the point with Bonnie Doran. I love exploring new genres and Dark Biology is in a new genre for me but sounds so interesting. Bonnie has a giveaway for you so read until the end and learn more about this author.

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

I’m a Mad Scientist’s wife, which means I hang out with a bunch of technically inclined people. My husband and I are also members of the Denver Area Science Fiction Association. Besides writing, I enjoy cooking, reading, and solving Sudoku puzzles.

John and I have been married for 31 years and are owned by two Siamese cats. We live in Denver.

I lived in Pasadena for the first 23 years of my life, worked as a short-term missionary on Okinawa for two years, and lived on the Central Coast of California for six and a half years before moving to Denver in 1983.

How long have I been writing? Unless you count the poem I wrote in fifth grade, over forty years. That includes newspaper columns, magazine articles, devotions, and currently novels.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I grew up in an unchurched family. My sister and I started attending church when I was 13. I learned that Jesus is real and became a Christian shortly thereafter.

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

My debut novel, Dark Biology, was published by Harbourlight (imprint of Pelican Book Group) in October 2013. It’s a science thriller, kind of DarkBiology2Apollo 13 with a deadly virus. It has a strong theme of forgiveness. I hope readers will understand that forgiveness is possible between friends, siblings, and God, and that they’ll seek it themselves.

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

I’ve had blogs in the past but now have discontinued them because of lack of followers. I recently updated my website and plan to start a newsletter about my writing.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Do I really have to narrow it down to one book? I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction. At the moment, I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series.

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

I worked on Okinawa as a short-term missionary with the Far East Broadcasting Company. At the end of two years, I was depressed and homesick. The field director of the radio station reduced my duties, which included what I loved most: hosting a two-hour program live on radio. That afternoon, I prayed, “God, I feel like Job. You’ve taken everything away.” Later that evening, I sensed God telling me, “You’ve learned everything I had for you here. Now let’s go home.” That reassurance of God’s presence helped me through depression and reverse culture shock as I returned home and entered the secular work force.

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

I love Zephaniah 3:17:

“‘The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.’”

Where can we find you on the web?

Here are some links:

Website: http://www.bonniedoranbooks.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bonniedoranbooks

Twitter: @bonniedoran

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

While writing Dark Biology, I especially worried about getting my facts straight regarding the space program. Through the ACFW’s email loop, I got in touch with a former astronaut candidate, Austin Boyd. He checked my novel for errors regarding NASA. Whew!

Thanks, Melissa, for hosting me on your blog.

You’re welcome. Thanks for sharing with my readers.

Readers, Bonnie is giving away a copy of her book to one commentator. Leave a comment by August 12th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered.

 

A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter August 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:48 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart to Heal
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
by
Allie Pleiter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom’s Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he’s felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max’s bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon’s self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather’s heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.

My thoughts:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am consistently impressed with Love Inspired authors. They seem to pack the same punch as full length novels but in only about a 50,000 word count.

It did take me a couple of chapters to really get cozy with this book but once I did I was reading it very fast.

This is a unique story as both the hero and heroine have been physically injured. You don’t usually see too many books with physically imperfect characters. I love that Allie took the brave step to write this book and addressed some tough issues that a person in a wheelchair has to face.

I’ve never given a lot of though to what it might be like for someone in a wheelchair to date some who’s not, there are so many obstacles to overcome. Not to mention the trust issues regarding if the other person really cares about them or if they just pity them.

Max was probably my favorite character as he struggles with his anger toward God. Gradually he begins to soften but it takes a lot of time, he is quite stubborn. He reminded me of myself and many others I know 🙂

If you are looking for a short jolt of romance with some unique characters I recommend this book.

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