Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton September 11, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:26 pm
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feast

About:

Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Sometimes I request and book to review and then worry that I might regret it. That happened with this book BEFORE I read it.

However, once I opened the book I didn’t want to put it down. It. Was. So. Good.

From the first page you are thrown in to the wild world of Rowdy Slater and each page after brings a new twist and turn. Sometimes fun twists, sometimes tense twist. You just never know. But there is never a dull moment in this book.

Rowdy is such a likeable character in a very odd way. He isn’t really a nice guy at first but Marcus did a fabulous job of making me care about this rough and tumble man, who seems to be trying to find out where he fits in the world now that the war is over.

Sometimes I just wished he would keep his mouth shut, it seems to get him into a lot of trouble. I couldn’t wait to see how or if God would get a hold of this man.

Marcus has written a wonderful story and I say that coming from the fact that this is not my typical read. Men and women and alike would enjoy this book.  I can’t wait to read more about Rowdy and his adventures.

Visit Marcus here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  or Christianbook.com.

The publisher is giving away a copy of this book to one commentator. Leave a comment by Sept. 17th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win.  (U.S. and Canada only)

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

 

Write to the Point with H.L. Wegley September 10, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:32 pm
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HLWegley_P13_pp2crop2smallToday we get write to the point with H.L. Wegley. He has visited us a couple of times before and will be visiting us again in a couple of months. You can read his first two interviews here and here. Read on to see what he is up to now and he has a giveaway for you.

Tell us about your newest book.

The title is Moon over Maalaea Bay and the story is set completely in Maui. Shortly after her wedding and, as her Maui honeymoon begins, an international trafficking syndicate vengefully abducts beautiful Jennifer Brandt, a brilliant NSA scientist. Immediately, a frightening array of bidders arrive on Maui for the auction. Some want her for what she looks like, some for what she knows, and others for revenge. Uncle Sam just wants to keep Jennifer from falling into the wrong hands, and Lee, the groom, thinks anyone’s hands but his are the wrong hands. Lee puts together a team of 3 geniuses who love Jennifer, a team whose members will go to far greater lengths to save her than the FBI, NSA, the Maui Police, or even the US military. But the clock is ticking out the last few hours before the auction.

The whole story unfolds in one furious, 24-hour time interval.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

I had planned for this story to end my three-book series and wanted to send my hero and heroine, Lee and Jennifer, on a romantic Maui honeymoon. After what I had done to them in Hide and Seek and On the Pineapple Express, they deserved some time in Maui. perf5.500x8.500.inddThat’s how I came to write the story, but a big part of the inspiration was the wonderful 6 weeks my wife and I spent on the island to wind down from our stressful jobs, right after we retired. After shooting 18 GB of digital photos of the island, I knew this was where I wanted to set a novel. So, unlike my first two books, which had a strong spiritual component to the inspiration, Moon over Maalaea Bay was inspired more by the physical beauty of this part of God’s creation.

 

What was your favorite part to write?

In book 2, I created a young lady whose POV was removed during editing. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make beautiful, brilliant, 15-year-old Katie Lloyd a POV character in book 3. This girl, soon to be adopted by Jennifer and Lee, is fiercely loyal, an incredibly gifted athlete, young enough in years (and in her faith) to make big mistakes, yet fearless enough to give international criminals more than they can handle. By the way, she earned the leading role in book 4, Triple Threat, set 6 years later.

 

What was the hardest part to write?

It may sound silly, but after I’ve come to know and love my characters, I don’t want to do bad things to them. Don’t want them to feel sad. Consequently, that dark moment, when you take the last flicker of hope they have and blow out the candle, forcing them to change or die, hurts. That probably sounds silly too. But I almost ruined the plot of one of my novels by resolving the heroine’s problems too soon. It took major therapy for the book to recover.

 

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Besides spending 6 weeks on Maui 2 1/2 years before I wrote the book, my wife and I spent 10 days of targeted research in 2011, focusing on the settings for scenes in the book (when we weren’t snorkeling J). I also read 2 books on the history and anthropology of the Hawaiian people which, by the way, has an intriguing spiritual component. You can read about that in my post called, The Aloha People.

 

What’s the best thing about being an author?

Author’s get to create stories and characters to inhabit them. We get to live through our characters, vicariously. It’s exhilarating and delightful. It’s a bit like playing God, a role we should carry out responsibly. And a manuscript is the probably only place we can do all this without being thrown in to prison or committed to a mental institution. There is one more thing. As C. S. Lewis said, “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under the cover of fiction without their knowing it.”  However, in the end, we want them to know it is theology, the knowledge of God, that we’ve communicated.

 

What’s the hardest thing about being an author?

In a word, marketing. My head tells me it’s necessary, but that does not make it enjoyable or even palatable. If I had to be a used car salesman, I would probably die of starvation.

 

What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring writers?

Don’t let your fear of failure, embarrassment, or looking less than perfect paralyze you. If God gave you dreams, go all out for them. Don’t hold back. If you fear getting off track, trust Him. He can redirect a willing heart. It’s the hearts always seeking to protect themselves, trying to control everything, that cannot be easily directed.

 

If you were writing about your life what would the title be?

How to Win Playing Small Ball. I’m not proud of it, but that’s what I did. If the right fielder played to the left, I’d slap the baseball into the hole down the 1st base line—an easy single that good wheels might stretch into a double. But I wish I had swung for the fence a lot more instead of playing it safe.

 

Anything you would like add?

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Melissa, and helping add another plank to the platform that seems so hard for a new author to build!

Watch the trailer for Moon Over Maalaea Bay here.

Thanks for visiting us again, it’s great to hear what you are up to and we look forward to your visit in November.

Readers, H.L. is giving away a copy of his book to one commentator. Leave a comment by Sept. 16th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win his book.

 

 

 

A Light In the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick September 8, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:27 pm
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a light in the wilderness

About:

Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

My thoughts:

This book definitely gives you something to think about.

Although three women are listed in this book it mostly revolves around Letitia and her journey. So many times my muscles would tense at the unfair treatment she had to undergo, simply because of the color of her skin.

I was constantly on edge because of her marriage to Davey and wondering if something would happen to ruin the love that was blossoming between them.

Another thing that plucked my heart strings was how Letitia had to carry papers around to prove she was free, if those papers were ever lost she would be sent back to slavery. It made me think about Jesus and how we don’t need papers to prove we are free but yet we do need to keep ourselves in His word to remember we are free. Too easily we can forget the freedom He has offered and turn back to our old ways. If we don’t stay in the Word we can become slaves once again.

Truly, this is a beautiful story of hope and love. Of being set free by more than just a piece of paper but by the one who breaks chains by the power of His blood.

Visit Jane here.

Watch book trailer here.

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

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

 

Review and Giveaway: Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes September 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:12 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Driftwood Tides
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2014)
by
Gina Holmes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Driftwood Tides, go HERE.

 

My thoughts and giveaway:

Gina knows how to write a novel. This is the second book I have read by her. I loved the first one I read, Wings of Glass, so I was very excited to get my hands on her newest book. This one did not disappoint.

Gina has an almost poetic way about her writing. It simply flows off the page and into your mind. Her characters and so flawed and real, just like us.

From the beginning page you can feel the heartache that is to come. The great love that Holten has for Adele and then she is taken from him and he blames himself, turning to alchohol instead of facing reality. I think we can all relate on some level. We may not turn to alchohol but we turn to other things that distract us from real life, from our pain. I know I have.

Libby is a strong young woman but she is struggling to find out who she really it. She isn’t really the daugther of a self-absorbed woman but the daugther of woman she never met. I can only imagine how shocking that must be to her.

If you are looking for a beautifully written story of hope this is one you want to grab.

Leave a comment by September 10th at 5:00 p.m. to win a copy. (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.

 

Write to the Point with D.M. Webb September 3, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:47 am
Tags: ,

d.m.Today we get write to the point with D.M. Webb. D.M. visited us awhile ago. You can read her first interview here. Today she shares about her non-fiction book.

Tell us about your newest book.

I won’t say new new since it was published last year; but, it’s a devotional that is geared toward divorcees, widows/widowers, single parents, etc. Of course, anyone can read it and hopefully get an encouraging message from it. Basically, I took blog posts and journal writings from a three span and condensed them into a 30 day reading. Each day touches on what I endured not only during a spiritual journey, but as a widow and single parent. My ups and downs in life were more like the ebb and flow of a tide, pulling me one way and then another. I always prayed for that eddy so I could rest, but God pulled me through some hard times where I learned to take Mark 4:39 to heart. My faith was beaten, smelted, and burnished into it became an armor for me to wear. Then it was laid on my heart to tell my story…of course I tried to ignore it, but within three days I had it compiled. I hate bearing my soul, but I hope that somehow what I wrote will help others.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m either trying to market, or I’m reading, or I’m exploring my new hometown, or I’m antiquing, or I’m playing video games. It all depends. Soon I will start home schooling so that will add to more to my day.

Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes I dream them. Or I can look at something: a truck, a map, a passage from the Bible and think, “Hey, that would make a great story!”. d.m. coverThen I would write down the idea in a journal and file it away for future use.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I use to say, seat-of-the-pants; but, I am discovering that I am starting to outline. Since I am sharing my computer with my son (home schooling needs), I have to outline what my chapters are about, point A to point Q, action 1 leads to action 5, etc. Especially have to do this since my publishers are interested in a follow-up story to Mississippi Nights.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Not really….unless I count my middle grade book. I think I will add some more to it and pitch it later to my publishers once I get a few more books under my belt. Hopefully I can have the middle grade to be a series…a mystery series telling about the misadventures of a crime fighting duo.

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

None of the characters that I have written about are like me; although I do have one book I’m working on sporadically where the character has more of my characteristics. Probably one reason why it’s taking me so long to write the book.

Are you working on a new project now?

I’m actually working on two. One will be an e-book that’s a follow-up to Mississippi Nights. The other is a stand alone based in Alabama. I’m about five chapters or so away from its completion.

Anything you would like to add?

Oh, I love it when someone asks me that. My mind goes…blank. Other than saying that my favorite verse is Mark 4:39 and my favorite book ever written is The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke, I can’t think of anything other than saying, “Thank you for hosting me! It means a lot to me, probably more than you know.”.

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers, it was great to hear from you again.

 

Making Marion: Where’s Robin Hood When You Need Him? September 2, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:23 pm
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making marion

Description:

She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.

Marion came to Nottinghamshire–home of Sherwood Forest–to discover her father’s mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood.

Life on a busy campground challenges Marion’s formerly controlled life–the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.

Yet, Marion’s would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben’s stunning fiancée Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?

Including a large cast of memorable, colorful characters, Making Marion is an outstanding debut romantic comedy that touches on issues of identity and family with a natural ease.

My thoughts:

What a fun book. But honestly, this book is much more than just fun. There are some deep emotional layers as well.

First, what I have found with the publisher of this book is I think they are secular but the authors are Christian. I say this to warn you that there is some language in this book. The “b” word is drop quiet a few times. There are references to living together and some other things you wouldn’t find in Christian fiction. There is a bit of a faith element but not very deep.

So, this book would be for someone who doesn’t mind reading a secular book as long as it is pretty clean.

If you get past that, which I did, this is a great book. This book takes place in England so you have to know some of the spelling and words are different from what we use.

I loved watching Marion find her identity and grab hold of the truth. It was fun to read about life on a campground, since my family loves to camp.

The romance is a slow build but so good. Tons of funny scenes. But like I said earlier, some deep emotional layers. Marion has been deeply wounded in many ways and must learn to overcome the lies she has believed all of her life.

If you are looking for something a bit different this might be a book you want to pick up. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely read more books by this author.

Visit Beth here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com.

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