Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

A New Chapter by Kristin Eckhardt October 30, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:48 pm
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About:

Mary Fisher’s dream has come true. She’s about to open Mary’s Mystery Bookshop in her beloved hometown of Ivy Bay on beautiful Cape Cod. But weeks before the grand opening, her shop is broken into and torn apart. Mary is stunned to discover that the only thing missing was an old, dusty photograph of the storefront. Who would have taken it, and why? With the help of her sister, a childhood friend, and decades of reading mystery novels, Mary searches for answers

My thoughts:

I love the small town, small community feel this book gives us. The mystery in this book definitely keeps things interesting and the reader guessing. Kristin did an excellent job of feeding the reader little bits of information at a time. Just when I thought I might get bored something new happened.

Mary’s faith is shown throughout the book. She actually was a great example of just praying when you need it, not having to set aside a certain time to do that.

This book might have moved a bit slower than I typically like but overall I really did enjoy this book.

 

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Has It Really Been Fourteen Weeks? October 27, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:58 pm
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So I went back to my last post I did on my health journey and I can’t believe I am finishing week fourteen. Wow.

I shouldn’t be surprised, the results have shown themselves for me. Faithful Workouts works, no doubt about it.

The crazy part is I weigh only about five pounds less than I did a couple of years ago but I am down 2-3 sizes (depending on the style). That has to be because of working out and how it is reshaping my body. I haven’t been this size since early in my marriage.

The thing I am still loving about Faithful Workouts is the fact that I have a daily reminder to keep this focused on God and Him getting the glory, not me.

Here is the thing I am discovering: this isn’t just something I’m doing until I get to a certain weight, I am about where I want to be. No. This is about a new lifestyle. When people ask about a diet I say, “This isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” My husband makes fun of me for this…all in love, of course.

If it isn’t something I can maintain for the rest of my life then I will slowly put the weight back on. What I am doing I can do forever. I don’t feel deprived, I feel revived. I am putting good things into my body and it feels good. Things God created for us to enjoy. Yes, it takes A LOT more time and effort to cook and there are days I wish I could open a box of something frozen and throw it in the oven, but in the long run it is worth it.

And yes, I still eat bad once in a while. I would say once a week I eat a meal or a snack that is totally bad for me. But I don’t care because I know the rest of the days of the week I am making wise choices.

If you haven’t taken a look at the website yet I encourage you to do so. Click here.

A free membership was given to me by Faithful Workouts. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner October 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:45 pm
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About:

Becoming a Christian is the best–and worst–thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck.

Up to now, Sarah Hollenbeck made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now she’s trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s discovering that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor . . . well, let’s just say that doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of humor, novelist Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a witty debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

My thoughts:

I love this book. It was so fun, so rich, so much to it. I loved Sarah’s sassy attitude and her journey to find herself and what to do when you realize your identity in Christ.

So many of us can relate. I know I can. I was a different person before I knew Christ and even after I knew Him my relationship changed and I changed once I went even deeper. I am still on a journey and I think that is what we read with Sarah. She is on a journey discovering what it looks like to be a writer after you ask Jesus into your heart.

Brenda did a great job not preaching at the reader but getting the point across clearly. This is definitely an author I will be looking for in the future. I love her writing voice. I highly recommend this one.

Visit Bethany 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 Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Dishonorable Miss Delancey by Carolyn Miller October 23, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:49 pm
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About:

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller’s fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you’ll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

My thoughts:

I have loved this series. Each book brings to life a new cast of characters.

Clare was introduced in the first and was not very likable. In the second book we saw her becoming a bit more humble. In this book she is definitely more likable but still struggles with who she used to be and who her parents want her to be.

Benjamin is a strong hero with his own flaws but he is a hero from the start. His sisters are so sweet too, they have an important place in this book.

Overall, a wonderful addition to this series. If you have read any of the book I highly recommend that you do.

Visit Carolyn 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 opinions are my own. 

 

 

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano October 19, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:32 pm
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About:

Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family–who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father’s family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift–the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother’s mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she’ll have to extract clues from relatives–and one enigmatic houseguest–who often seem reluctant to give them up.

My thoughts:

Wow. What a great debut novel. I was a fan of Jessica Dotta, another author, and this book really reminded me of her work.

From the beginning we are thrust into the world of Aurelie and her imagination. I found it very interesting to see things as she did, as a writer.

Things can be a bit confusing at time, but the author does a great job of feeding you little bites and making you want more and slowly things are revealed.

The whole book just had this mysterious feel to it that I adored. A great cast of characters and wonderful plot.

Visit Joanna 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 Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter October 18, 2017

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

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes–as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?

My thoughts and review:

Kristi is a wonderful author. I have enjoyed this series so much and was very excited to finally read Griffith’s story. Griffith has been a strong character in all of the books, looking after others and doing what is best for his family.

The same is true in this book, but in this book we get to see a slightly softer side, but it doesn’t come easily. There are some situations in this book that even made me laugh out loud.

Isabella is a wonderful character as well. She is beautiful but not proud. She finds herself in a very tough situation that I was sure could only end in disaster. To see if I was right you will have to read the book. You won’t be sorry.

Visit Kristi here.

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

Leave a comment by November 1st for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Devil in the Dust by Cara Luecht October 12, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:54 pm
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About the Book

Name of book: Devil in the Dust

Author: Cara Luecht

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 3, 2017

June 1933

Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.

Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.

Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.

And then he comes.

His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?

Click here to purchase your copy.

 
 

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

 

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.

One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.

On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care.

I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.

Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.

While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.

Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.

I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.

Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?

I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.

I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.

I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.

Blog Stops

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 11

Connie’s History Classroom, October 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

A Reader’s Brain, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Bukwurmzzz, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

Books n Baubles, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Mary Hake, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 20

Bigreadersite, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 21

Karen Sue Hadley, October 21

Daysong Reflections, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c201

My Thoughts:

Cara really paints a picture of this time. I could feel the dirt in my mouth as I read this book. So well done.

The stories and perspective of these women are unique to what is going on. Hope, hopelessness, shame, confusion. So much what we go through in our daily walks.

If you have ever been in a desert spiritually (and who hasn’t?) you will appreciate this book and find the deeper meaning behind the words.

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.