Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: When Mercy Rains and Kim Vogel Sawyer November 28, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:40 pm
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love undone

About This Book

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.

Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.

Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.

Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.

Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

My thoughts and giveaway:

This a great story with more secrets than first meet the eye. My jaw nearly dropped when about eighty pages in a new secret was revealed. I did not see it coming.

I love the different point-of-views (POV) that Kim uses in the book. Very affective. Every character is struggling with something and their own thoughts reveal this.

Suzanne frustrated me because I just wanted her to be honest and tell the truth, to tell Paul about their child.

We soon learn that Abigail, Suzanne’s mom, isn’t as grumpy as we first think her to be and actually just wants what is best for her daughter. But what she thinks is best might not be what the Lord thinks is best.

I think this story especially touched me because it reminded me of my sister when she came home to the family after living in Las Vegas. The longer she was home the more secrets were uncovered and the more she was set free. The same is true with Suzanne.

This is a great start to a trilogy that Kim is writing. I can’t wait to read more.

Visit Kim here.

See Kim’s bio here.

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

Leave a comment by December 10th at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

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Write to the Point with H.L. Wegley November 26, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:50 am
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HLWegley_P13_pp2crop2small

Today we get write to the point with H.L. Wegley. He has visited us several times before. You can read his previous interviews here, here and here.

Today we thought we would have a little fun and I asked H.L. to interview one of his characters from his newest release. Read on to learn more about Katie Brandt.

For the June 11th edition of Who’s Who in Seattle, we have with us Katie Brandt, a graduate student and the University of Washington. Katie, it seems like just yesterday you were in the local and national news for several months, mostly related to your role in breaking up an international human trafficking syndicate.

Actually, that was five years ago. A long time ago for me, considering all that’s happened since then. Both my mom, Jennifer, and I were captured twice by the traffickers. Both times we escaped unharmed. I think God was watching out for us.

You say a lot has happened since then. Give us some highlights from the life of Katie Brandt over the past five years.

Well, Jennifer and Lee, now Mom and Dad, married and adopted me. Then using the Running Start Program, and some special testing, I squeezed high school and college into 4 1/2 years so I could start my PhD program this past year. My 21st birthday is coming in a few days and, if all goes well, I’ll have my PhD in Computer Science before the end of the year.

That’s an amazing accomplishment. But, didn’t you also play on the women’s fast pitch softball team at UW?

Yes, but my schedule was so packed academically, that I only played softball one year. Fortunately, it was the right year, the year we won the NCAA championship.

We’ve heard that you have quite an arm. You played shortstop, right?

Yes, I did. Our coach wondered why all our ladies playing first base were complaining of bruised hands, some sitting out games. I tend to throw a natural sinker. It moves from the webbing down into the palm of the first baseman’s mitt. Well, the coach brought out the radar gun, put a men’s baseball in my hand, and had me throw all out a few times. On a couple of those throws, I hit 90 mph.

 Are the Mariners interested in you?

I hope that was tongue-in-cheek. I can’t maintain 90 mph for 1 inning, let alone a whole game. Seriously, you would not want to see me on the mound at the Safe.

 You are beautiful, athletic, one of the brightest students ever to graduate from UW, so what’s next for Katie Brandt?

My mom, Jennifer, dropped out of her doctoral program to work for NSA. I’m carrying her research forward.

Would you please summarize this research for us, in layman’s terms?

Sure. Some big-data analysis problems, like analyzing raw Internet traffic to isolate interesting patterns of communication, were thought to be not computable, at least not in a workable time frame. But, using our knowledge of the way the Internet works, things like routing and the structure of the backbone, I am defining special cases that are computable.

And why do we want to do these types of analyses, Katie?

Compared to the current state-of-the-art, my techniques are an order of magnitude more efficient at identifying bad guys, like terrorists, collaborating on the Internet. I’m already getting some contract work with the FBI, NSA, and a couple of other organizations. But finding the bad guys is so interesting and so much fun that I haven’t stopped long enough to write my dissertation. Also, this area of research is so big, it really should be split into two parts. There’s plenty of room for two dissertations here, and I think I found just the right person to work with me.

Would this happen to be a male student by the name of Joshua West?

Yes. But who told you about him?

Agent Peterson at the FBI’s Seattle field office.

Uh … he didn’t tell you about our little disagreement, did he?

Whose little disagreement? You and Agent Peterson, or you and Joshua West?

Both of them. I mean, either one?

 No, but he did insinuate you were involved in locating active terrorist groups and that you take too many risks. How do you feel about that?

I think you’re probing into areas we should not get into.

 But, do you consider yourself a risk taker?

Look, Agent Peterson is like a second father to me, as well as my mentor. Like a father, he worries too much. Josh and I can take care of ourselves.

 Well, you heard it, folks Katie Brandt and Joshua West don’t need the FBI to take care of them.

Are we off the air now?

Yes.

You said you wouldn’t talk about the fake honeymoon or Joshua West.

No. That’s not quite what I said. And … oops. I guess we aren’t off yet. It’s time for a commercial break, listeners.

Triple Threat blurb:

Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. perf5.500x8.500.inddSuspecting it’s only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot. Damaged by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks Josh’s life, an agnostic, who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences for Josh, a mistake that could break Katie’s heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.

Will Katie and Josh survive the investigation? If they do, can they ever span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?

Triple Threat, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow’s paper, but pray you never will.

Bio:

H.L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life he performed research in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked 20+ years in systems development at Boeing before retiring near Seattle, where he and his wife of 48 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, snorkeling Maui whenever possible, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian-thriller-series with Pelican Book Group. He is currently finishing his 8th novel.

Grab a copy of this book at one of the retailers below:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23437490-triple-threat

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Triple-Threat-Pure-Genius-Book-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7UY/

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/triple-threat-hl-wegley/1120629453?ean=9781611163827

Christianbook.com:

http://www.christianbook.com/triple-threat-ebook-h-l-wegley/9781611163810/pd/73287EB?event=ESRCN

Pelican Book Group:

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_47&products_id=613

Thanks so much for visiting us Katie…I mean H.L. It’s always great to have you here on Genesis 5020 🙂

 

 

 

Look and Live by Matt Papa November 25, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:39 pm
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look and live

About:

Only One Addiction Can Set You Free

Matt Papa was a “professional Christian” in full-time ministry, ready and determined to change the world. All the while he was depressed, addicted to the approval of others, and enslaved to sin. But then everything changed. He encountered the glory of God.

All of us live in the tension between where we are and where we ought to be. We try our best to bully our desires into submission. And we all know, this is exhausting.

Are you tired? Stuck? Still fighting the same sin you’ve been fighting for years? The call in these pages is not to work or to strive, but to lift your eyes. You don’t need more willpower. You need a vision of greatness that sweeps you off your feet. You need to see glory.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Look and Live.

My thoughts:

Where to begin?

This book has rocked my world. There are non-fiction books that you gain some new thoughts from and then there are non-fiction books that change your perspective all together.

I am always nervous when I begin a non-fiction book and I love the first chapter. Often times I find all the good stuff is in the first chapter and I am let down after that.

Not the case with this book.

Page after page I was highlighting, underlining, taking notes, praying.

It’s funny, I requested this book after I requested another book so I was frustrated when I received this one first. But I have to tell you this book came at a perfect time in my life, as God knew it would. I needed to be rocked, re-awakened in my spirit, reminded of God’s awesomeness.

I could quote many things from this book, but I’d rather you read it for yourself. On page 20-21 Matt writes: “The more you taste and see the magnificence of God in the now, the more you wonder if you were even a Christian five years ago.” Yes, that is so true. I am in such a different place than I was five years ago. I know I was a Christian then but I am in such a different place now, a better place, moved by the greatness of God.

On page 30 Matt reminds us that “We never begin worship. We aim it.” Wow, that one got me. We are constantly worshiping something, if not God we are worshiping something else in that moment. We choose where we aim it.

And that all is only in the first chapter, it only gets better from there.

If you don’t want your world rocked then don’t read this book but if you are looking for something to awaken your spirit grab this book and open your mind and heart to what the Spirit is communicating through these words.

Visit Matt here.

Grab your 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.

 

In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey November 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:29 pm
Tags: ,

dark woods

About:

A motherless girl hungry for hope . . . and the dream that could be leading her astray.

Almost two years have passed since twelve year-old Allie Granderson’s beloved mother Mary disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found. God may have spilled out his vengeance on all of Mattingly that day—but it was Allie’s momma who got swept away.

Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene assembled in Allie’s front yard, and to her best friend, Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass tied to her wrist, and the Nativity characters just a glimpse out the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.

When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard one morning, Allie’s bewilderment is checked only by the sudden movement of her mother’s compass. Yet the compass isn’t pointing north but east . . . into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly.

Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city pavement behind and push into the line of trees edging on the Virginia hill country. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lost—and finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the darkest woods she’s ever seen.

Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, In the Heart of the Dark Wood illustrates the steep transition we all must undergo—the moment we shed our child-like selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.

My thoughts:

This is a story that slowly unravels and once you are in the “heart” of it you won’t want to turn back.

Allie is like so many students I see come into my classroom everyday. She is lost but wants hope. She clings to hope that might not be real and walks away from the One hope the can save her.

I loved how real Allie felt. The book begins with a very real situation that every woman has experienced and Allie must deal with without a mother. I can’t even imagine how hard that would be.

Then there is the fear of how grown men are looking at her. The feeling is a like snake curled up in my belly.

Once Allie decides to go after her missing Mary things get very interesting and scary. I could feel the woods wrapped around me, the cold in my toes and nose.

Billy did a great job of making this story feel real even though there is some very supernatural stuff going on.

This is the second book and I did not read the first one. I felt like I could understand what was going on but I also felt like I wanted to know what happened before, like I was missing something. But I don’t think you need to read the first book to appreciate and enjoy this one.

Visit Billy here.

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

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson November 20, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

christmas cat

About:

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he’d thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly–especially since he is severely allergic to cats–his grandmother’s instructions don’t allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

My thoughts:

What a fun story. I’m not really a cat person but this book had me loving Harry the cat.

This is a super quick Christmas read.

I love Garrison’s heart for reaching out to others, his heart for missions.

He has the tough job of placing six cats into a new home following his grandmother’s requests. And they are picky.

I couldn’t wait to see how Melody would work out the last cat left and if Garrison would change his mind about his feelings for cats.

This is a fun Christmas read that I recommend to get you in the holiday spirit.

Visit Melody here.

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

A copy has been given to be me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Write to the Point with Laura Hilton November 19, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:18 pm
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laura

Laura Hilton is back with us today. You can read her first two interviews here and here. Read on to see what she is up to now.

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Tell us about your newest book.  

The Snow Globe

Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization.snow globe cover 2 Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?

What inspired you to write this book? 

I was going through treatments for breast cancer and one of the other ladies worked on the Mississippi River as a cook. I asked her a bunch of questions about it and thought what would be like if an Amish man ran away to work on the River?

What was your favorite part to write? 

I loved this whole story. I couldn’t wait to get into it.  Viktor and Esther were just special – and their love story so… palatable.  

What was the hardest part to write? 

Her beau, Henry.

 What kind of research did you do for this book? 

I researched more about working on the Mississippi River and about Jamesport, Missouri.

 What’s the best thing about being an author? 

I love writing stories and being able to express myself in this way. I love that God chose me to do it.

 What’s the hardest thing about being an author? 

Marketing.

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

Write. Read. Learn.

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

Ha. I wouldn’t write about my life.  No one would want to read it.  I’m an ordinary person, with the same insecurities as the rest of the world. I’m nobody special.  Maybe that’s what I’d call it. “I’m Nobody. Who are you?”  Oh wait. That’s already been done.

Anything you would like add? 

Thanks for having me on your blog.

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

Purchase my books:

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

Thanks so much for visiting us today, Laura. It’s always great to hear what you are working on. God bless 🙂

 

 

An August Bride by Debra Clopton November 18, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:16 pm
Tags: , ,

august bride

About:

 

As far as Kelsey Wilcox is concerned, her last cowboy was the last cowboy.

Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach.  Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo.

When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her.

So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous groomsman . . . in soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks.

Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet.

My thoughts:

I adored this story. Debra took me to August on the beach. I could feel the wind whipping through my hair, feel the sand between my toes. Truly wonderful.

Kelsey is so torn. She has sworn off cowboys but she is having trouble keeping Brent out of her mind. I loved the internal struggle of both characters. Brent tried so hard to stay away from Kelsey because he didn’t want to push her away.

My heart was aching for them. I could so see them and the their romance blooming.

Even more, I loved the lesson in this book. Sometimes we get wounded in our past and sometimes we can few the rest of our lives out of the lens of that wound. But that isn’t what Jesus wants. He wants us to give our wounds to Him and allow Him to give us His lens to look through and see who we really are.

Visit Debra here.

Grab you copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.