Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Vain Empires by Brandilyn Collins June 30, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:30 pm
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vain empire



They were stuck on this remote island, all of them. Trapped in this reality show. No way to stop whatever came next. No way at all.

Six people arrive on a remote island–contestants in the “reality show of the century,” Dream Prize. The winner will be the person who learns the most facts about the others and gains the most viewer votes. Sounds simple. But the three men and three women soon discover nothing is as expected.

They are alone on the island. Cameras surround them, filming twenty-four hours a day. And their challenge? Discover which of the Seven Deadly Sins each contestant, including themselves, represents.Turns out each person has a damning secret–one that could ruin his or her life. Those secrets are about to be revealed on live television.

And this is only the beginning of the twists in the game.

My thoughts:
I love Brandilyn Collins and that is why I bought this book to read. I don’t know how she comes up with her stories but I have loved and devoured every book I have read by her. This book is one I couldn’t wait to keep reading. I had to find out what was going on.
There were parts of the book that were a little scary, just the unknown factor and then there were other parts that were disturbing.
And oh, the twist at the end, I never saw it coming and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I want to go back and re-read the book to pick up on the clues now that I know what I know. This is definitely a book that will keep you thinking after you finish it.
Even though this is a book written by a Christian author and one of the characters does have a relationship with Jesus I think an unbeliever could read this book and not be offended or feel like they are getting preached at.
I highly recommend this one:)
Visit Brandilyn here.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman June 29, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:59 pm
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love languages


The secret to great relationships—just for teens

#1 New York Times bestselling book The 5 Love Languages® has sold over 10 million copies, helping countless relationships thrive. Simply put, it works. But do the five love languages work for teens, for their relationships with parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, and significant others? Yes!

Introducing A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages, the first-ever edition written just to teens, for teens, and with a teen’s world in mind. It guides emerging adults in discovering and understanding their own love languages as well as how to best express love to others.

This highly practical book will help teens answer questions like:

What motivates and inspires me?What does it mean to be a caring friend?What communicates love to my family?What is the best way to get along with the opposite sex?

Features include:

A straight-forward overview of the 5 love languagesA profile/assessment instrument specifically geared to teensPractical examples/tips for how to apply each language in a teen’s contextGraphics that drive home key concepts

Teens’ relationships matter, and these simple ideas will help them thrive.

My Thoughts:

What a great book for teens. This could really change they way teens interact with each other.

It’s funny because I have been having conversations with my daughter about making sure she is asking her friends about themselves, not always talking about herself. And as she is enter the stage of liking boys and boys liking her I can see how this book can help her navigate some areas.

This book also addresses how to interact with moms and dads, brothers and sisters. I really think every teen should read this book. If they did I can see them developing much healthier relationships then I ever had.

Can you imagine having this knowledge going from a young age, I think I would be a much better wife if I had gained this insight early on in life instead of after I got married.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or your favorite retailer.

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


Review and Giveaway: No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer June 27, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:55 pm
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no other will do


A Ladies of Harper Station Novel

She Trusts Him for the Job,
But Can She Trust Him With Her Heart?

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper’s Station, a women’s colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he’s always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper’s Station must choose safety or whether to risk everything to fight for their future.

My Thoughts and Review:

I am continually impressed with Karen’s books. She does a wonderful job with every book she writes. This newest one holds true to that.

I will be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about all this not needing a man stuff that our heroine believes in (not that I think we should be overly dependent on men, but I don’t totally agree with the where feminism as taken us). But Karen managed to write about it without it being offending. And Emma obviously isn’t opposed to needing Malachi.

There attraction is so sweet and Malachi completely respects Emma and loves her for who she is.

I loved seeing Emma seeking God’s will and even questioning if she chose the right path in life. We often feel this way when we come against obstacles.

There are many wonderful characters introduced in this book and it sounds like this is the start to new series, so I am very excited to visit Harper Station again.

Visit Karen here. 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by July 5th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace book lost or damaged in the mail.)

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


The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim June 23, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:32 pm
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the alliance


When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

My thoughts:

This is a very different book. And I’m going to be totally honest, it reminded me a lot of “Walking Dead” without the zombies. Yes, I admit, I watch “Walking Dead.” But seriously, it was very much like what the characters in the show have to do to survive because really the show is more about what life it like when everything shuts down and how people will treat each other.

The same is true for this book. When everything stops working what will people do to survive? Especially Mennonite people who are don’t believe in using guns, will they compromise and how much are they willing to compromise?

Then there is the relationship aspect between Leora and Moses and Leora and Jabil and who will she choose? Will she choose? This is a series so maybe it won’t be resolved by the end?

Another layer is Leora’s sister and when Leora finds her wandering around covered in blood. What happened, is someone lurking about waiting to hurt them or is it someone in their midst?

There are many, many layers to this book. It isn’t overly fast-paced but it wasn’t boring either. It moved along and was a quick, easy read.

If you’re looking for something a little different then your typical Mennonite book this will be right up your alley.

Visit Jolina here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

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


Prophetic Activation by John Eckhardt June 22, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:30 pm
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prophetic activation


Our God speaks!
God is always challenging us to expand our spiritual growth.  The prophetic must never become boring and routine, but it should always be exciting and new. The value of prophetic activations is that they will break limitations and give readers the ability to operate in different techniques in their spiritual walk.

Prophetic Activation offers practical teaching from best-selling author John Eckhardt on how to activate the prophetic by guiding readers through steps such as:

  • Reading a scripture and then releasing a prophetic Word to someone
  • Receiving just one word from God and then releasing a full prophecy
  • Praying in the Spirit (tongues) and then releasing an interpretation

My thoughts:

If you are interested in the prophetic and would like to release prophetic words yourself this is a book that will give you many different ways to explore that.

I believe to some extent we can all move in the prophetic, we probably have at one time or another and never even realized it. I know I have had a word for someone and given that to them and later realized that was probably considered prophetic.

I especially enjoyed that chapter on prophetic worship and song. I really want to move in this area as a worship leader. I will tell you I honestly get nervous about stepping into that but I do want to take that step and do it.

I love this quote from the chapter on singing prophetically: “Prophetic worship is a weapon of warfare because it flows out of the manifest presence of God.”

Bethel worship does a great job of this. When I have attended their concerts they definitely do a lot of prophetic singing.

If you this is something that interests you you might want to explore this book. Did I love it? No. But I did find it interesting.

Visit John here. 

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

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


A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God by Bill Johnson June 21, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:54 am
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Your Daily Access to Heaven’s Wisdom, Creativity, Purpose, and Power

When people are in love they dream together. The same is true for your relationship with God. He wants to share the secrets of His heart—His thoughts, plans and purposes—with you. The Maker of Heaven and Earth wants to dream with you!

Pastor Bill Johnson shares transformational quotes and profound thoughts that will fuel your day with a greater sense of purpose,vision, and destiny. Take five minutes each day to create a sacred  space for you to dream with God, and receive encouragement on how you can bring the love, power, and creativity of Heaven to Earth. ***Material adapted from Dreaming with God


Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. Bill and his wife, Beni, are senior pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and serve a growing number of churches that cross denominational lines, demonstrate power, and partner for revival. Bill’s vision is for all believers to experience God’s presence and operate in the miraculous—as expressed in his bestselling books When Heaven Invades Earth and Hosting the Presence. The Johnsons have three children and nine grandchildren.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy Bill Johnson very much. If you have never read any of his books or listened to any of sermons I highly recommend any and all. He is on fire for the Lord and it is contagious.

So I was very excited to get my hands on this little book. This book will give you a little bit of Bill Johnson wisdom every day. He challenges the reader to truly rely on God for all things, to co-labor with Him, to be creative and not afraid of a challenge.

You will be reminded daily of the inviation God offers us to partner with Him, I pray you will take that challenge.

If you enjoy reading short little devotions to get your day going I recommend this one 🙂

Visit Bill here. 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 



The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton June 20, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:51 pm
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A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she’d never heard about, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help. A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller
is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor–in–training. When local barn fires escalate, everyone suspects arson. And since the Miller family are among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross, at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or extinguish. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.


Laura Hilton graduated with a business degree from Ozarka Technical College in Melbourne, Arkansas. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Web. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at http://lighthouse– 

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Laura. The book captured my interest from the first few pages. You are thrown into Abigail’s trouble right away and hope for a way out for her. I kept hoping she would get a chance to tell her side of the story otherwise she looked very guilty.

But something happened for me after the first initial chapters. I felt like things were kind of being forced to happen to the characters. I wasn’t really feeling this strong attraction between Sam and Abigail. This could just be me, of course, but it wasn’t working for me. I felt like they kept rehashing the same thoughts over and over.

Like I said the first few chapters really sucked me in but then I found myself not too interested in what was happening. As always, this is my opinion only and my perspective.

Visit Laura here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 


The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White June 16, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:38 pm
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the lost heiress


Sweeping Romance and Mystery in the Edwardian Era

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea and the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother?

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession–and those who can save her still aren’t sure whom to trust.

My thoughts:

I purchased this book because I had heard really good things about it and the next book in the series had come out and I was hearing great things about that one as well.

Now I can see what all the fuss is about. I loved this book. I couldn’t help but put some Downton Abbey voices to the characters in this book. Brook often times reminded me of Lady Mary from the Downton. She is very stubborn and not willing to conform to what people think she should be.

Justin was a wonderful hero, kind and strong, trying to do the right thing and loving Brook the whole time.

The rest of the characters where wonderfully developed,as well, which made this book even more rich and interesting to read, never a dull moment.

I have definitely found a new historical romance author that I will continue to be reading. And if you are having Downton Abbey withdrawal this can help feed that need 🙂

Visit Roseanna here. 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.



First and Goal by Jake Byrne June 15, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:24 pm
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first and goal


Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive… but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes.

Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way.

Jake’s journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You’ll feel as if you’re lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you’re about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. You’ll discover…

  • what to do when God calls an audible in your life
  • how to respond when God puts you on special teams
  • why prayer is never an incomplete pass

These quick daily readings will help you press through your own difficulties and experience God’s dream for you.


Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger.

Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons. She enjoys watching football, especially when her two sons are playing—Jake (NFL) and Nick (Rajin’ Cajuns). Visit Holly at and check out her

My thoughts:

This is a great devotional, especially if you have a man in your life who likes football. I think they could really get into this. I know it’s always hard to find good devotionals that men might enjoy but I think this is one my husband would even like.

Honestly, because I am married to a football coach and my son plays I really enjoyed it as well, and I even learned a bit more about terms used in football.

I love the way Jake defined the term and then related it to life and also wove in scripture. Overall, this is a great book for anyone looking for a new way to go deeper into the word.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to be through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 



Review and Giveaway: Her One and Only by Becky Wade June 14, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:21 pm
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her one and only


After ten years in the NFL, superstar Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives–and their hearts–to one another.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is the final book of the Porter series and Becky has done a great job of wrapping everything up. Not only do we get to hear Dru’s story but we meet up with all the other Porter’s who we have met previously and get to see what is going on.

With that being said, have no fear if you haven’t had a chance to read the other books, Becky works everything in so new readers won’t be confused.

Dru is one tough lady and Gray isn’t used to dealing with woman who don’t fall all over him. What I loved about this book was how Becky made this romance a slow burn. With her other books (which I loved) there was a quick burn, a lot of heat from the get-go but  not so with this one. The romance in this one takes more time but it’s never dull.

Gray has some major wounds from his past and these are slowly revealed, just enough to satisfy but not too fast that the suspense is over.

I honestly had to keep reminding myself this was a romance book and not a romantic suspense but it definitely has those elements.

Overall, another great book by Becky Wade.

Visit Becky here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by June 21st for your chance to win a copy of this boo. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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