Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Heavenly Storehouses December 30, 2016

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:57 pm
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 By Arto Marttinen

By Arto Marttinen

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?” Job 38:22 NIV

I’m currently reading through a daily devotional (which I will be reviewing soon) that talked about the verse above. The author said she believed not only are there storehouses of snow and hail but also good things, like love and grace.

I entered into a time of prayer after reading that and had a beautiful encounter with Jesus.  Below is what I saw and wrote down after the encounter:

Papa has storehouses, massive warehouses for each and every person!! They are labeled: LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, HOPE, FAITH, BLESSINGS, GIFTS. 

At first I thought the storehouses He showed me were to be shared with the world but He said every person has their own set of storehouses. (How cool is that???) He said mine have barely been touched, as is the case with most people. 

So, my question is what is keeping us from allowing those storehouses to fall on us? I think we get too busy, or we don’t think we are worthy so when we see them starting to open up we dodge them. Why? I have no idea, we are a messy bunch down here on earth.

I don’t know about you but I want those storehouses to fall down on me daily. I don’t want to get to Heaven someday and see my storehouses loaded up and I never got to enjoy those things that I could only have here on earth.

In 2017 I challenge each and ever one of us to open our hearts and minds and eyes to receive from Heaven. Let the storehouses open and fall on you.

Who’s with me?

 

 

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson December 29, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:15 pm
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About:

Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal—until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

My thoughts:

I have loved every book in this series. Melanie knows how to take a classic fairy tale in turn it into a new story. This book is compared to “The Little Mermaid” but Evangeline is not a mermaid at all 🙂

Immediately we are thrown into Evangeline’s issues with marrying Lord Shiveley and as soon as we meet him we can clearly see that she shouldn’t have to marry him.

She makes her escape and happens to be with Westley, a handsome nobleman, not a peasant. She begins working for his father but she isn’t cut out for it at all. One horrible thing after another happens to her and once her secret is revealed how will people react? Will the forgive her?

Not only is this a great story but a message of faith is woven in beautifully. Evangeline worries so much about what others think, she worries about being selfish. Also, I clearly saw a message of forgiveness and mercy in this story.

If you adore fairy tales but want the grown up kind then this is a must read.

Visit Melanie here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Getaway with God by Letitia Suk December 28, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:09 pm
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About:

Overworked and overwhelmed, many of today’s Christian women live their lives at an exhausting pace–without any margin for refueling. Even in their strongest spiritual seasons, most long for more intimacy and time with their heavenly Father. But with the demands of modern life, simply getting up earlier in the day to fit in a devotion is no longer a viable–or fulfilling–option.

What if there was a way to plug in and recharge your soul, not just your smartphone? What if a simple day away could transform your life? Getaway with God invites readers to step away from the incessant pressure of deadlines and demands to spend time with God. More to the point, it walks women through each step of designing their own retreat–whatever kind is needed.

 

Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman to plan an extended time away on any budget. Part one offers detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and templates for how to use each hour. Part two focuses on designing a five-day life-review retreat, including guided questions and ways to bring the retreat home. The practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide a checklist for what to bring.

Suk’s warm, mentoring voice will assure readers that, no matter what their season in life, the time for retreat is now.

My thoughts:

This book was a bit different then I expected. I guess I was thinking it would be more about how you can getaway with God daily during your quiet time and this book is really an outline for anyone who wants to actually take a day or more and getaway from the hustle and bustle of your regular routine.

With that new mindset this book does what it sets out to do. Letitia gives you real ways you can have your own spiritual retreat on any type of budget. She makes an excellent point when saying we make time and money for those things we really want to do. If you really want to make it happen you will find a way.

She shares about her own personal journey and how she has done retreats and gives several ideas for how you can make your own happen.

If you are wanting to getaway with God and have some quiet time away from your own home Letitia will walk you through that in this book.

Visit Letitia here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

O Little Town of Bethany by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay December 27, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:45 pm
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About:

Holly left her unhappy life behind, hoping for a Christmas miracle…

Everything about Holly Truesdale’s existence is, well…forgettable. The only good memory of her childhood is their family Christmas in the quaint town of Bethany. Tired of the high society life, Holly leaves the big city, longing to recover the sense of belonging she felt in the Victorian town. She opens a scrapbooking store, ready to help others preserve the important moments she missed as a child.

Holly is drawn to Liam, the widower who runs the B&B next door, but doesn’t fully trust herself in a new relationship. As Holly and Liam grow closer, Holly becomes concerned for the town matriarch, Miss Bethany. But even as Yuletide celebrations are in full swing, Holly and Liam can’t help but notice that Miss Bethany harbors a secret. One that could change Christmas in Bethany forever…

My thoughts:

I have always enjoyed these quick reads by this publisher and this book is no exception.

Go visit the sweet town of Bethany that has a way of healing a person’s soul and bringing life.

If you want to hold on to your Christmas spirit this week this would be a great book to pick up and read in a day (or two).

I admired Holly as she took a leap of faith and went to the town that help fond memories for her. I really loved when she stood up to her parents and didn’t give into their prodding.

Miss Bethany is tough around the edges but a sweetheart that cares deeply for her town.

My one and only issue with this book was a music reference that was very wrong. It mentioned hitting a “C minor”. There is no such thing as a C minor note, there is a C minor scale or chord (but no one can sing a chord as it’s three notes played at the same time). Unless it was meant to be funny and I missed it? Because I am a music person stuff like that irks me but the average reader would probably gloss right over it.

Other than that I really did enjoy this book and the Christmas feelings it evoked.

Visit Rene here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer (it’s only $2.99).

A copy of this book was given to my by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

After September by Stephanie Smith December 26, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:40 pm
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the outside, Rose Davis had the perfect life: a long marriage to a successful politician, two grown children away at college, and respect within her community. When she suddenly finds herself divorced, she turns her back on God. In an effort to reclaim her life and pride, she spends the summer in the Caribbean. Her plan does not include meeting Patrick, the charismatic local doctor with a tragic past who ignites a passion both unexpected and thrilling.
As she begins to open up to love, doubt and fear creep in. Once again she finds herself broken hearted, left on her own to pick up the pieces. It’s only when she experiences the unmistakable love and grace from the very One she turned away from that Rose realizes what she needed most was there waiting for her all along.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephanie’s love of the written word began long before she could read. As a child she would hold a newspaper in hand and move her fingers along the page, pretending to read along. By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of writing stories that would touch people’s lives, much like hers had been by so many authors. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys listening to Christian rock music while she writes, spending time with her family, watching British television, or reading YA fantasy novels.

My thoughts:

First, don’t you just love the cover? So peaceful. It makes me want to go there. It reminds me of my favorite place, Mackinac Island.

The opening scene is a great one and sets the tone for Roses struggles. I love her determination to get a fresh start and where she chooses to do so (Saint Croix) is a beautiful setting.

I enjoyed Roses journey back to her faith even though when we begin it is very weak, and for good reason her world has been shaken and unfortunately gets shaken again while on the island.

With all that being said I have to be honest and I always feel bad when I check other reviews and it looks like I’m the only one that had any issues, but it’s my opinion and you can take it or leave it 🙂

Part of my problem when I read a book is not only do I read books as I reader but I also read them as a writer. There were many things as I writer I struggled with. For example I felt there was a lot of telling me how someone felt or the point of view character making an assumption about how someone said something (ex. matter-of-factly) instead of showing me how they felt by a facial expression, or a drop in their tone of voice. I never got a deep emotion for the characters because I felt I was told too much.

There was dialogue that seemed forced and didn’t make much sense to me at times, I found myself rereading things to put it together.

I don’t want to belabor the point because obviously if you look at other reviews people really enjoyed the book. As always this is my opinion only and if the book sounds interesting to you I would encourage you to form your own opinion.

Visit Stephanie here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Reminder Of What Christmas Is About December 23, 2016

Filed under: Cool videos — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:17 pm
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christmas-1468260234wk8Here is a quick reminder of what Christmas really is about. Hope you all have a blessed day. Jesus came for you 🙂

Click here.

 

Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer December 21, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:15 pm
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alive-in-the-spirit

About:

Is the Holy Spirit Active in Your Life?

Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

In never-before-published material taken from A.W. Tozer’s sermons, Alive in the Spirit answers these questions and, in a balanced perspective, explores what the Spirit’s involvement in your life should look like.

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.

My thoughts:

I love A.W. Tozer. He just tells it like it is, he doesn’t sugarcoat the truth to make it easier to swallow and I think we need more of that in our teaching today.

What I loved too, was that he wrote this things long before 2016 but now more than ever we need to hear it and live it. He also had a passion for the church and wanted the church to get it.

I do believe the Holy Spirit is highly neglected in the church today and that is why we lack power. It isn’t that it’s not available we just don’t tap into it.

This is book is truly for everyone because we all need to a wake up call to the Spirit

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

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury December 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:39 pm
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About:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes A Baxter Family Christmas, a life-changing story of love and hope featuring the Baxter family.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time, or finding them all over again…A Baxter Family Christmas will leave fingerprints on your heart forever.

Two years have passed since the terrible car accident that took the life of John Baxter’s daughter, Erin, her husband and three of their four daughters. Prompted by grief, and missing his daughter, John has invited a stranger for Christmas Eve dinner—Kendra Bryant, the transplant recipient who now has Erin’s heart.

In light of their father’s idea, Ashley and her brother Luke don’t think it’s right. They want to protect their ten-year-old niece, Amy—the only surviving member of the accident. But John is determined and believes meeting this woman is something his deceased daughter would want.

At the same time, Maddie West, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Brooke Baxter West, is praying for meaning this Christmas. Could she find it in a newfound friendship with a boy she never expected to see again? Maddie believes in miracles, especially at Christmastime, but this is a stretch even she can’t imagine.

Meanwhile, Kendra Bryant has been struggling these past few years to find purpose in the tragedy that gave her a second chance. She believes the invitation to see the Baxters and witness their unwavering faith in God can instill peace and happiness back into her life.

Heartwarming and touching, filled with love and redemption, A Baxter Family Christmas brings together two families in the aftermath of loss and in the midst of an unfolding love story, all with the help of one very special child.

My thoughts:

I loved meeting up with the Baxters again. I didn’t read every series about them but I read at least two. It was great seeing where they were now.

True to Karen’s form I was crying as I read this book. She has a way of pulling on the heart-strings and bringing emotion to life.

This is truly a beautiful Christmas story, that has everything one would look for in a good book. Redemption, romance, traditions. The power of God is woven throughout this book. If made me question how little I expect miracles to happen, but God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He still does do supernatural things.

If you are looking for a quick Christmas read I highly recommend this one.

Visit Karen here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me by Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck December 15, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:53 pm
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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the book

Click to purchase
Click to purchase

Genre: Christian Romance/Christmas

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Book Format: Paperback & Ebook

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

About the Author

rachel-hauck-hr-1Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

 

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I don’t think we can ever get enough of royals or Christmas, do you? The two just seem to go together.

 

The Bible tells us eternity is written on our hearts. (Ecc. 3:11) I wonder if it’s also written on our hearts to be princesses in a grand, beautiful, perfect kingdom.

 

That being said, welcome to The Royal Christmas Wedding blog tour. My deepest thanks to all the bloggers, reviewers, and readers for hosting and visiting this tour. I’m excited to share this story with you all.

 

The hero and heroine, Prince Colin and Avery Truitt, first met in Once Upon A Prince at King Nathaniel’s coronation.

 

I hadn’t planned to write a spinoff story with the two of them. In fact, I didn’t even know Prince Colin existed until Avery walked into the abbey for the coronation and glanced across the sanctuary into his eyes.

 

Here’s his introduction:

Lean, aristocratic with an outdoorsman ruddiness, he nearly made Susanna swoon when he winked at Avery.

 

I liked Colin immediately. So did Avery. As well as a lot of you.

 

When my publisher asked me to write their story, it would be two years before the book would release. Plenty of time, right?

 

But “time crunch” is the name of the game with most writers. Between life, rewrites, edits, and promotional activity, we often find ourselves hurrying toward a deadline. Well, at least I do.

In the fall of 2015 I was writing The Wedding Shop and A Royal Christmas Wedding at the same time.

 

I’d also dealt with a physical issue that left me shaky. Could I write two books in five months? Did I want to even make the attempt?

If I said no, publication dates would be pushed out, causing a year delay on A Royal Christmas Wedding. And I knew that was something I did not want to do.

 

Publishing is a long game. Books are contracted and due 12 to 18, even 24 months, before release dates. Time must be carved out for rewrites and editing, marketing and promotion. Review copies go out at least five months in advance.

 

So I agreed to write both books. I told my editor, “Diamonds come from pressure.”

 

Coming up with Avery and Prince Colin’s story wasn’t as easy as I’d planned. Since they met in Once Upon A Prince as teenagers, I struggled with how to advance their age and relationship, and how to present them as the book opened.

 

Where had their relationship gone “between the books?”

 

When I came up with the idea of the Pembroke Chapel bell, the story magic began to happen. One of the things I love in the royal wedding books is the fairytale aspect. Looking for something out of the ordinary.

 

Even though my writing time was tight, writing Avery and Colin’s story was a joy. Once again I wish I could visit Brighton, eat a puff, and royal watch for the Strattons!

 

I hope you found a few sweet spots in the story, all wrapped in Christmas holiday cheer, and enjoyed your time with me in Brighton Kingdom.

 

Merry Christmas!

Blog Stops

December 8: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

December 8: New Horizon Reviews

December 8: inklings and notions

December 9: Reading Is My SuperPower

December 9: Redeemed Hope Dweller

December 9: Book by Book

December 10: His Grace is Sufficient

December 10: Blossoms and Blessings

December 10: Pause for Tales

December 11: Quiet Quilter

December 11: Ashley’s Bookshelf

December 11: Reviewing Novels Online

December 12: Bibliophile Reviews

December 12: Lights in a Dark World

December 12: Splashes of Joy

December 13: Moments Dipped in Ink

December 13: Neverending Stories

December 13: Through the Open Window

December 14: The Power of Words

December 14: Counting Pinecones

December 14: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

December 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

December 15: Genesis 5020

December 15: CTF Devourer

December 16: Lighthouse Academy

December 16: God’s Little Bookworm

December 16: Christian Bookaholic

December 17: Smiling Book Reviews

December 17: God is Love

December 17: A Simple Life, really?!

December 18: A Holland Reads

December 18: The Scribbler

December 18: Faith * Love * Books

December 19: By The Book

December 19: Karen Sue Hadley

December 19: Southern Chelle

December 20: Faithfully Bookish

December 20: Books. Books. And More Books

December 20: A Baker’s Perspective

December 21: ASC Book Reviews

December 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding and a copy of The Wedding Shop. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/aaeb

 

 

 

 

My thoughts:

I enjoyed the two books preceding this one and I always wondered what happen to Avery? So I was very excited to get the chance to read and review this book.

First, I love all the Christmas traditions that we get to be a part of in this book and the beauty of the Christmas season in Brighton.

I totally appreciated Avery’s love of volleyball, as my daughter loves the sport very much so it was great to read a character that loves the sport as well.

This book has a count down until the big day and honestly it never felt like we where getting too close to something happening. I was like how is Rachel going to make this happen? But the lead up was great and will definitely keep you reading to see how everything works out.

Oh, I loved how God is center in this book and the characters lives and how He had a hand in everything that took place (as he usually does).

You can’t go wrong with a book by Rachel and this one is no exception. You will be carried away in this wonderful Christmas romance.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

The 10 Myths of Teen Dating December 14, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:17 pm
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About:

There’s no greater moment of panic in a parent’s life than when their daughter begins to date. Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today … and tomorrow.

My thoughts:

I picked up this book because, even though we don’t allow my daughter to date yet, she does talk to boys and text with them. Recently a boy stopped talking to her because she couldn’t date and that “made it complicated.” Uhhh, yeah, because teen dating never is complicated (hear my voice dripping with sarcasm).

Anyway, after I laughed a bit I found this book and purchased it. It was well worth it.

Daniel and his daughter, Jacquelyn, keep it real. They don’t shy away from tough subjects and speak the truth. This is honestly probably the best book I have read on the subject of teen dating and how to handle it with your child.

There were some scary statistics when it came to how boys view sex that honestly make me a bit scared for when my son gets older. I need a book for him!

There are great discussion questions at the end of each chapter for you to go through with your daughter, as well.

If you have a teenage daughter I highly recommend this book

Visit the authors here.

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