Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett July 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:26 pm
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An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

My thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I had never read anything by Karen before and the cover is a bit different.

I have to say I adored this book. Margie is such a sweetie. At first you might think she is simple, but she is anything but. She loves the Lord and is even willing to walk away from a man she loves for Him, this girl has her priorities straight. She will do whatever it takes to preserve the things she loves.

Ford is a tough guy, he doesn’t think he needs God and isn’t even sure he beliefs in Him. I couldn’t wait to see how God would open his eyes to Him and if God would use Margie to do that.

By the end they both must face their greatest fear head on and the tension is high.

The setting itself is beautiful, I want to visit Mount Rainer. It sounds wonderful.

I can’t wait to read more in this series, this is truly a great read and I highly recommend it.

Visit Karen 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. All opinions are my own. 


Enjoy Your Journey: Find the Treasure Hidden in Everyday by Joyce Meyer July 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:14 pm
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer offers a powerful, concise abridgment of Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going. 

Are you enjoying every day of your life? Or do you tell yourself and others that you will find happiness once you have achieved a specific goal or position? Jesus came so that you might have and enjoy life (John 10:10). In this compact abridgment, Joyce Meyer combines biblical principles with personal experiences to explain how you can enjoy every day on your journey through life. You will learn such lessons as how to make the decision to enjoy life, how to rid yourself of regret, how to experience simplicity in life, how to find joy during times of waiting, and much more! Enjoying life is an attitude of the heart, and you can learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.

My thoughts:

Joyce is always so good at reminding me of the truth of what the Bible says.

Do you enjoy life? I know many days I let little things get me down, for no reason. I need a change of heart and mind and this book is a great reminder of that.

A few quotes from the book that stood out of me:

From Chapter 2: “As believers, you and I have available to us the same quality of life that God has. His life is not filled with fear, stress, worry, anxiety or depression. God is not impatient, and He is in no hurry. He takes time to enjoy His creation, the works of His hands.”

How true is that. It didn’t have to take God six days to create everything. He is God, He could have done it in an instant, but he sat back and said, “It is good.” Lesson learned.

Another quote from Chapter 7: ” Believers in Christ should be bubbling over with life. It should be vibrant, alive, active, energized, peaceful and joy-filled.”

Does that sound like most believers you know? Does it even sound like you? That isn’t me most of the time. Truly sad.

Another one from Chapter 11 I am still pondering on: “Ishmael could not be heir with Isaac. The work of the flesh could not share in the work of the Lord.”

If you are looking for a book to give you a little kick in the backside this book will do it for ya!

Visit Joyce 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 All opinions are my own. 


Review and Giveaway: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer July 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:07 pm
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When Danger Arrives, It’s More Than Just Her Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t read a book by Karen that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and this book is no exception.

I was delighted to visit Harper Station again and see what these strong women were up to.

Grace doesn’t appear overly strong as first but as we get to know her she is full of strength and she knows it comes from the Lord. I love how she used scripture to come against her enemy, just like our Savior.

Amos is not your typical hero and he knows it, but he becomes the hero we all long for and he even surprised me with his passion, which I loved.

There is even another romance in the story that we get to enjoy which adds to all that is happening and doesn’t take away at all from the main romance.

Overall, another great one by Karen that I recommend.

Visit Karen here.

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

Leave a comment by August 1st for your chance to win a copy of this book. 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. All opinions are my own. 


I’ve Decided To Get Healthy July 21, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:24 pm

by Steve Halama

I’m going to come clean with you all.

I don’t exercise. I hate the time it takes in my day, I would rather read or write or just sit.

Lucky for me I have pretty good genes and technically I’m not overweight (yet). I am 5’7″ so I can carry a bit more but still…no excuse. I also carry my weight in such a way that I can dress to cover up what I want to hide and no one is the wiser.

But I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday and she told me by good cholesterol is very high (this is good) but my bad cholesterol is also very high (this is bad). She said if she puts me on medication it will also bring down my good cholesterol. Then she said if I exercised it would probably take down the bad cholesterol.

The next day I get an email from a place I review books for that has a company that is offering a free one year membership for workouts, meal plans and faith. Yeah, I wanted to ignore that, make excuses but I was pretty sure God was telling me to take care of my body and He was giving me a very obvious and easy way to make it happen.

So I’m doing it.

I’m sharing this with you because I will be reviewing the program on this blog. It is called Faithful Workouts. My ultimate goal would be to lose about thirty pounds but really my goal should be to get healthy and that is what is most important.

I may not do all the meals they say, because my family has to like them too and I’m not making two different meals, I don’t have time for that. But I will be making better choices even if I don’t always follow the meal plan.

I will start the exercise portion next week and the meal portion the following week (I don’t get groceries again until then and I plan my meals out two weeks in advance).

So, I begin. If you decide to take the journey with me let me know. Accountability is a great thing! (Right???)


Review and Giveaway: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White July 20, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:55 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: A Name Unknown

Author: Roseanna M. White

Release date: July 4, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance


She’s Out to Steal His Name.

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?


Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.


About the Author

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.


I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.


Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)




100 grams butter, cold and diced

225 grams all-purpose flour

¼ heaping teaspoon salt

2 heaping teaspoons baking powder

2 heaping teaspoons baking soda

1 heaping teaspoon ginger

2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice

100 grams superfine (caster) sugar

4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup


Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.


Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.


In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.


Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

July 18: Faithfully Bookish

July 18: These Splendid Sentences

July 18: Bibliophile Reviews

July 18: Neverending Stories

July 19: Bookworm Mama

July 19: Seasons of Opportunities

July 19: Blogging With Carol

July 20: A Reader’s Brain

July 20: Genesis 5020

July 20: Just the Write Escape

July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun

July 21: Pause for Tales

July 21: Connie’s History Classroom

July 22: Bigreadersite

July 22: Fiction Aficionado

July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews


July 23: Vicky Sluiter

July 23: Inklings and notions

July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

July 24: Pursuing Stacie

July 24: Cordially Barbara

July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves

July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 25: God’s Little Bookworm

July 25: Blossoms and Blessings

July 25: Live.Love.Read.

July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak

July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 26: Carpe Diem

July 27: cherylbbookblog

July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

July 27: Splashes of Joy

July 28: With a Joyful Noise

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 28: Christian Bookaholic

July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street

July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses

July 29: Karen Sue Hadley

July 29: Faery Tales Are Real

July 30: His Grace is Sufficient

July 30: History, Mystery & Faith

July 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 31: Reader’s cozy corner

July 31: Cafinated Reads

July 31: Red Headed Book Lady

July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate


To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

My thoughts:

I loved Roseanna’s previous series, was amazed by it so I hoped this new one could live up to my expectations.

No worries.

This book is every bit as wonderful as her others, yet so different.

She’s very good at having a mystery involved in her books yet also keeping the balance between the romance, and faith.

She did a great job of weaving faith into the book as Rosemary struggles with a God she believes doesn’t listen to people like her.

Peter struggles with talking to others and therefore other people think he is stand-offish. I have had that same struggle, not because of any speech impairments, but just that I am a quieter person and therefore people can think I am stuck up.

I had no idea how Roseanna was going to work out Peter and Rosemary’s relationship once it came to light that Rosemary was a thief? How could they ever overcome that? How could the people she’s become friends with every forgive her? And would she ever be able to leave her family if she fell in love?

The significance of a name was woven throughout this book as well and I loved that. A reminder that God knows us, He knows who we really are regardless of what others see. As a teacher I have to learn many names and I realize the importance of calling a student by name, they get very testy if you call them by the wrong name too 🙂

If you love historical romance I highly recommend this latest book by Roseanna.

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 Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 


Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery July 18, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:10 pm
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A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

My thoughts (this book releases on July 20th):

Um. Yeah. I loved this book.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of this book at the beginning. I have never been on a mission trip and was wondering how you could make an interesting story of someone going on one. I was silly to worry. Jennifer managed to do it.

And that is what I love about all of Jennifer’s books. She writes about missions in some way and weaves a wonderful plot and characters into that. She definitely has a unique style unlike any I have ever read and she does it well.

It’s funny, much of the story takes place with the two main characters not even together but in the short amount of time they are you know they belong together.

Fatima and Dinora captured my heart and I wanted them so desperately to see who they really were through Christ’s eyes. Their story alone is heart breaking and unfortunately all too true of what is actually happening today in the world.

Our main characters are wonderful too, both dealing with their own struggles, finding who they are as well.

I just have to mention Aubrey, Brooke’s sister, Jennifer did a great job depicting a teen-age girl (I know I live with one). Her attitude, she thinks knows everything. Great job.

By the end I was crying and that is the mark of a great book. Jennifer managed to touch my emotions with this one.

Visit Jennifer here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, pre-order (only $2.99) @ Amazon  or your favorite retailer.

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


As High As The Heavens by Katie Breslin July 13, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:24 pm
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Page-Turning Intrigue and Romance from an Up-and-Coming Historical Romance Talent

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

My thoughts:

I loved Katie’s first too books so I was very excited when this book came out. Honestly, it didn’t’ even matter to me what it was about because it was by Kate.

Eve is a woman with great strength and takes risks to do what she believes is right and help those who need it.

Simon is equally determined but finds himself in situations where he can’t do much.

I really wanted to love this book. I told myself to keep reading, keep reading, something will grab you. And sometimes things did grab me but I never really connected with this story and I really wanted to. I’m not even sure what is was. There is a lot going on, there’s never a dull moment but I never fell into the story to the point where I was unable to put the book down.

There are a lot of good things in this book but for some reason this one didn’t connect with me. As always, this is my opinion only.

Visit Kate 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 All opinions are my own.