Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Excelling at the Craft of Writing: 101 Ideas to Move Your Prose to the Next Level August 31, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:02 am



Looking to elevate your craft? Since 2011, the WordServe Water Cooler—the official blog of the WordServe Literary Agency—has allowed writers to encourage, engage, and enrich each other on their writing journeys. Now, the best of the Water Cooler’s writing on craft has been compiled in one place. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, have been working on a novel for decades or are just dipping your toes into the world of publishing, the tips and tricks offered here will take your craft to the next level. The easy-to-read, engaging essays cover a range of topics, from organizing and outlining your work to creating powerful characters and dialogue to fine-tuning your language, style, and voice. With proven advice from more than thirty published authors, Excelling at the Craft of Writing moves from the first seeds of starting your writing project up to the last stages of creating a proposal and pitching your work to agents. For any writer hoping to reinvigorate their writing, this is the place to start.

My thoughts:

No matter what your interest in writing, fiction, non-fiction, devotionals, you will find value in this book.

Each chapter is super short, which makes if very easy to pick up, read a nugget and put it down and pick back up when you have a minute. I really appreciated that as I seem to only have a few minutes at a time most days.

What is exciting about this book is that this is the first in a series full of wonderful advice for the aspiring writer.

I am mostly interested in writing fiction but I found value in reading the chapters on non-fiction as well, because you never know and it could even help with writing a blog or an article for a magazine.

If you are a writer and looking for something to spark your brain this is a book you will want to have ready to read.

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

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


The Things We Knew by Catherine West August 29, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:58 pm
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the things


When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

My thoughts:

I read a lot of other reviews on this book and they were all so good. I just had to see for myself and I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Let’s just say, I was nowhere near disappointed. I was sucked in and didn’t want to leave this story-world.

I have never read anything by Catherine before but she has my attention now. She has written this beautiful story that is part romance, part women’s fiction and it has so much meat to it.

I really like Lynette, I loved her spunk and determination, her faith and her honesty with struggling with that.

Nick is a dream hero and so perfect for Lynette, he made me sigh a few times.

Lynette’s whole family is a mess and I loved them, they were so real, so like many of our families.

If you are looking for a book that has a lot of depth and a great romance this is the book for you.

Visit Catherine here. 

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

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


Home to Chapel Springs by Ane Mulligan August 25, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:44 pm
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home to chapel


A homeless author, a heartbroken daughter, and a theatre ghost. There’s trouble in Chapel Springs. There’s always someone new in Chapel Springs someone who is either coming home or stirring up trouble. A best-selling author’s latest book is a flop. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband walks out on her and she’s evicted, because he hasn’t paid the lease on their condo for the last three months. Then she discovers he also he drained their bank accounts. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life.

Howie Newlander is back in town. After the residents thwarted his plans for a Miami-style resort on Chapel Lake, he’s running for mayor and stirring up the farmers by spreading rumors about diverted water and misused taxes. The Lakeside Players want to remodel the town’s old theater, named for Claire’s late great-aunt. Empty and boarded up for the last forty years, the theatre is rumored to be haunted. When Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head, Claire gets caught in the middle.

Claire’s youngest daughter is in love with a non-believer whose daddy is Claire’s nemesis, the mayor. Having him part of her family isn’t in her plan. The years of heartache before her husband became a Christian should warn her daughter off this boy. So far, her daughter’s heart isn’t hearing the warnings.

With hearts pulled in all directions, will they find a home in Chapel Springs?


While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane Mulligan has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and multi-published novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, chef son, and a wooly mammoth…uh, English mastiff. You can find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Ane. Let me just say that by the end of chapter two I was looking up the first two books in this series. I wanted more of Chapel Springs and the wonderful characters there.

It was a bit confusing at first because the first chapter introduced so many characters but as I kept reading I was able to keep them straight.

I was immediately drawn to Carin and her story. How horrible. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen once the people in Chapel Springs got a hold of her.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to dive into this series I highly recommend it, I am sure you will enjoy Chapel Springs as much as I did.

Visit Ane 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. 


Waging Prophetic War by Jennifer LeClaire August 24, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 pm
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waging prophetic


All Christians have the authority to defeat the enemy—but many just don’t know how. Jennifer LeClaire goes beyond the basic teachings of spiritual warfare and incorporates prophetic intercession as the unknown key to successful prayers.
Waging Prophetic Warfare will help readers engage in powerful prayer and receive clear direction from the Holy Spirit to defeat persistent difficulties in life.

My thoughts:

This book starts off nice and easy. If this type of praying is new to you the author does a great job of introducing the subject and easy ways to get started.

Some things I read were so timely for where I was at during the reading. I was feeling defeated and a bit depressed after a meeting and questioned myself and everything I said. Then I started reading this book and I realized instead of fretting over it maybe I needed to pray, and more to the point, pray in the Spirit. I don’t give that enough time. It is something I neglect and I think I would be so much stronger if I took time to pray in the Spirit more often.

Overall, this book is very timely for any of us, as I believe now is a time in our world were we need to be waging war through our prayers.

If this subject interests you this might be a book you want to pick up.

Visit Jennifer 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. 


Without Warning by Lynette Eason August 23, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:37 pm
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Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he’s not convinced that a bodyguard–and a female one at that–is necessary. A new attack and his niece’s urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who’s behind the intimidation and threats–before a would-be killer strikes again.

My thoughts:

This is another book I couldn’t wait to get back to and finish.

Lynette has crafted a story with many layers and full of great characters.

Katie has some brokenness to deal with from her past, and I loved how Lynette resolved that and worked that into the story line.

Daniel has his own issues with God, and not trusting him because of past disappointments.

I also really enjoyed Riley, Daniel’s teen-age niece and Lynette did a great job portraying her and making her a very real character.

I will say I had it figured out very earlier on who was behind the attacks, at least I was pretty sure. But even knowing that I still wanted to keep reading to see why this character was doing this to Daniel.

Overall, another great read from Lynette 🙂

Visit Lynette here.

Grab your copy at 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. 


Realm of Darkness by C.F. Dunn August 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:56 pm
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Emma and Matthew are finally free to marry, but Matthew’s secret continues to haunt them.

Emma D’Eresby can look forward to a future with Matthew Lynes. She at last reveals to Matthew the nature of her relationship with Guy Hilliard—her supervisor at Cambridge—and the reason she has found it difficult to forgive him or to trust any other.

Their joy at marrying is short-lived as, to her disgust, Emma discovers that Guy is visiting the United States to attend the history conference at which she is the keynote speaker. Although everyone seems charmed by him, Emma doesn’t trust Guy. Worse still, she discovers that Ellie is dating Guy, bringing him within the family fold.

Long-held grudges and wounds surface and it is clear that Guy poses a threat to everything Emma loves.

My thoughts:

This is the fourth book in this series. I have really been enjoying it, as it is very different from most things I read.

This one kind of gets off to a slow start but yet C.F. has a way with her words that keeps dragging me along and making me want to pick up the book again. Things did pick up and turn into a deeply moving story.

As I read I kept thinking of all Emma had to give up to be with Matthew. To know that the man you love will never grow old but you will. What would their relationship look like in thirty years?

The whole family line-up is a bit confusing but if you have read the other books you will be fine. The author does have a little synopsis in the beginning for readers who haven’t read the first three books. I highly recommend reading them first, it will give a better understanding of what is going on.

One thing to keep in mine is that the publisher is not Christian. There isn’t anything horrible in the book but it’s also a bit more risky than you would find in Christian fiction.

Visit C.F. 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. 


Fashioned to Reign by Kris Vallotton August 17, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:48 pm
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It’s Time for a Revolution
In the Garden, woman was taken out of man to stand by his side and co-reign with him. But Satan’s schemes have robbed women and men of their rightful identities, marring and disempowering them. The world aches for God’s original partnership to be brought into balance once more–and it can be.

Join Kris Vallotton for an extraordinary journey of eye-opening insight, including
· God’s true plan and purpose for women
· Jesus’ radical teachings and care for women
· Men’s important role in restoring women
· The true interpretation of difficult Bible passages about women
· Examples of women in leadership as God intended

God fashioned women to reign alongside men. Jesus set us free to be our true selves. It’s time for all of us, as daughters and sons of the King, to rule together.

Will you join the revolution?

My thoughts:

I’ve had this book for a year and I finally got around to reading it. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was worried I might totally disagree with Kris, but as I read I saw more and more how what he said could be true. Maybe I haven’t given myself enough credit all these years. Maybe my husband and I were more equal than I thought in which case that could change a lot of what I thought I had to wait for him to do.

Kris offers some interesting thoughts, things that will challenge all you have been taught if you have grown up in the church. Whether you agree or disagree with Kris it’s definitely something to think about.

One thing I have always thought and Kris seemed to agree with is the enemy’s envy of women, he is jealous of our beauty and is constantly trying to steal it. I think that is why you see so many women struggle with their weight and self-image. The lies of the enemy.

Anyway, if you’ve been toying with this book it will be worth a read.

Visit Kris here.

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



The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola August 15, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:49 pm
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ABOUT THE BOOK:  The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle. Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.


Born in Romania in 1945, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored six novels, has two grown children, teaches women’s Bible studies, loves gardening and is learning the guitar. 

My thoughts:

I have read a couple of other books by Sylvia and really enjoyed them, they were historical novels so I was curious to see how she would handle something contemporary.

This book had a lot of tension and wondering what was going to happen next. It is also very relevent to that is going on in our world, which I found even more interesting since I’m sure Sylvia started writing this before this events took place in our world.

I appreciated Trisha’s struggle as I have had a similar struggle in my life and I found it very interesting how Sylvia worked that all out.

I really wanted to like Audra but there weren’t many redeeming qualities about her and I think that is true to life, there are just some people who make it difficult.

There are many different characters in this book but they do all end up coming together.

However, if I am being honest (which I am) I didn’t love this book. Something in it felt a bit forced to me, and I didn’t really connect fully. I can’t even put my finger on it, so it might just be me. Maybe is was too technical for me and I didn’t get it. But something didn’t work for me completely.

With that being said, I did want to finish the book to see how it would all turn out because there was so much tension.

Visit Sylvia 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 through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 



Review and Giveaway: An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter August 11, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:17 pm
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an elegant


Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?

My thoughts and giveaway:

Wow. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I didn’t read the first book in the series, but I can safely say you can read this one and fully enjoy it without reading the first. However, reading this has now put A Noble Masquerade on my list to read very soon.

Apparently, the first half of this book is stuff that happened in the first book but from Georgina’s perspective. I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t a big fan of Georgina, she was so calculating and fake. But the truth is she is like most of us. Covering up her wounds so others won’t see them.

There was a such a deep spiritual message hidden within this book. What I took away was the beauty in being fully known. Sharing our hurts with others and allowing them to love us through the pain.

There is a great Genesis 5020 message, which of course I loved.

Obviously, I came to love Georgina and relate to her very well, as I see now I have acted the same way she has, I tried to cover up my shame and craft this wall around me that could never keep me safe. I also appreciated how Kristi showed Georgina’s growing relationship with the Lord.

Colin, I adored. What a great hero. So strong and ready to protect Georgina even when she didn’t know she needed it.

There aren’t too many books that make me want to cry, but let me tell you, if my husband wasn’t sitting next to me as I finished this book I would have been bawling. It was so beautiful and perfect. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Visit Kristi here. 

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

Leave a comment by August 18th for your chance to win a copy. 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. 


Jilted by Varina Denman August 4, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:16 pm
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Book Three in the Mended Hearts series

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

My thoughts:

I have read every book in this series. The first book captured me. Varina’s style of writing just speaks to my heart and her characters are so real.

I loved this series so much I purchased this book to read because I missed the chance to get a review copy, that should say a lot 🙂

So, this book does start a bit slow but even saying that there was something about it that pulled me in.

I really didn’t like Lynda in the first book, I thought she was a horrible mother but as I read the second book I began to like her more and finally getting to this one I was ready to hear her story. It is a bit depressing but Lynda deals with depression so feeling that way while reading it makes sense, we are in her mind.

Clyde is a wonderful, strong hero. I adored him and only wanted the best of him. He is so patient with Lynda.

I love this feeling of hope I found as I read, that Lynda would eventually come to see Jesus loved her and He never left her even though these other men had.

I think if this is the first book in the series you have read you might not enjoy it as much because you don’t know the other characters and what has transpired before, but if you have read the other two you will love meeting up with the people of Trapp, Texas again.

Visit Varina here.

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