Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt January 30, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:00 pm
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To Be Silent Would Be to Deny Their God, To Defy Would Bring the Wrath of the King.

Seeking quiet and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she’ll have peace. But the very nation Judah was named for has been conquered by a cruel king, who decrees that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws or risk death for following the laws of Moses.

Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands Judah to pick up his sword and continue the fight–or bear responsibility for the obliteration of Israel. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision–what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long?

The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’s wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice.

My thoughts:

Angela Hunt is fast becoming one of my favorite Biblical fiction authors. She knows how to weave in a beautiful story with characters you can easily sympathize with a come to care about.

Leah and Judah are such characters. Their love story starts out innocently but quickly they find themselves married and discovering what love really is.

The story of Jewish persecution is so sad and to know that is goes on for years makes it even more so. Overall, a wonderfully written story that you will enjoy.

Visit Angela 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 my by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Their Daring Hearts by Sharlene MacLaren January 25, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:55 am
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About the Book

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre: Christian Historical Romance (Civil War)

Release Date: Jan 9, 2018

Levi Albright rebelled against his Quaker roots to fight for abolition in the Union army in the first year of the Civil War. Two years later, 19-year-old destitute orphan Josephine Winters, with her chopped hair, boy’s clothes, and new name, “Snipp,” enlists in the Union army out of desperation.

Just over five feet tall and barely weighing as much as a newborn calf, Snipp seems to Levi to be barely old enough to hold “his” gun. But despite being teased by the regiment, Snipp quickly earns admiration for skill with a musket and unequaled bravery. When Levi explains one night that he is a Quaker leading a regiment, it leads to a late-night discussion of faith and a developing friendship.

But Snipp’s secret can only be hidden for so long. After an injury forces Josie to reveal her real identity, Levi is angered by her deception. Worse, Josie is marched out of the company without a chance to explain—or even say goodbye. Will their friendship survive? Or will the hatred saturating the war-torn nation affect even the heart of a peace-loving Quaker?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren graduated from Spring Arbor University then traveled nationally with a contemporary Christian vocal ensemble. She married Cecil, with whom she’d grown up in Spring Arbor, and the couple had two daughters. Shar embarked on a teaching career that would span over 30 years. As she contemplated retirement, Shar sought God’s guidance, praying for a vocation that would provide the kind of fulfillment and joy she experienced as a teacher and mother. A lifelong gifted story teller, she began to write Christian romance novels. Her first book, Through Every Storm, published in 2007, was met with critical acclaim and brisk sales. The rest, as they say, is history. Whitaker House’s bestselling fiction author, she’s subsequently published 18 books, mostly historical romances. Shar enjoys reading, singing in her church choir and worship team, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She’s very interactive on Facebook and Twitter. For more: www.sharlenemaclaren.comwww.facebook.com/sharmaclaren, Twitter @ sharzy_lu.

Blog Stops

History, Mystery & Faith, January 25

Genesis 5020, January 25

Inspiration Clothesline, January 25

ASC Book Reviews, January 26

Multifarious, January 26

Christian Bookaholic, January 27

Remembrancy, January 27

Carpe Diem, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 28

Blossoms and Blessings, January 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 29

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 30

Moments Dipped in Ink, January 31

Mary Hake, January 31

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 31

Daysong Reflections, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 1

A Baker’s Perspective, February 1

Pause for Tales, February 2

Have A Wonderful Day, February 2

Connie’s History Classroom, February 3

Cafinated Reads, February 3

proud to be an autism mom, February 4

Bibliophile Reviews, February 4

Red Headed Book Lady, February 5

My Wrtier’s Life, February 5

Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houg)

Pursuing Stacie, February 6

A Greater Yes, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Bigreadersite, February 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

Janices book reviews, February 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize Package: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom Series #1) signed by the author, Sharlene MacLaren, Abba Jerusalem Hyssop 6” Pillar Candle.
1st Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1) by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.
2nd Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c602

My thoughts:

I was so happy to read this book. I was on a string of reading books that hadn’t captured me but this book broke that.

I was pulled in immediately to the characters and their stories. It was such an interesting premise with Josie being a boy and the reader knowing her attraction to Levi. But she had to play it off. I also wondered how Levi didn’t pick up on any of that, or think she was weird.

I couldn’t wait to get to the part where Josie’s real identity would be revealed and how that would all play at.

Overall, a very good book that I enjoyed.

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 Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Gospel According to Star Wars, Second Ed. by John C. McDowell

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:54 am
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In a new and updated version of this best-selling book, John McDowell explores the many spiritual themes that weave throughout the Star Wars films. From the Force to the dark side, the issues discussed in the films have a moral and spiritual complexity that, if paid attention to, can help us better understand our place in the world and our relation to others and to God. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, did not intend for his films to be mere entertainment, McDowell argues. Rather, he hoped his films would be used as a vehicle for moral education.

This new version has been thoroughly revised to include discussion of The Force Awakens and other new developments in the Star Wars universe.

My thoughts:

I love Star Wars. I didn’t become a fan until  a few years ago. Having a son will open your world up a bit. I never watched the original series as a kid, it did not look interesting.

But when I finally watched the original series and then the prequels I was hooked. I haven’t watched all of the new ones so I won’t give an opinion.

When I saw these movies I easily could make connection to my faith and the enemy so when I saw this book I was really excited to read it and see someone else’s preservative.

This is book is for die-hard fans. I am not that. This book was really over my head with Star Wars facts and history and I was bored. I just wanted to get to the Jesus stuff and those connections. I felt like it was weighted down with Star Wars facts.

So this book wasn’t for me. However, if you are a die-hard fan you might really enjoy this book, it just wasn’t for me.

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 Empowered by Craig Parshall January 22, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:34 pm
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Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.

He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.

My thoughts:

I loved the premise of this book, it definitely pulled me in and made me want to read it. I like things that are a little different.

This book did deliver on the something different and supernatural aspect, even a bit graphic at times. However, that doesn’t that bother me, I can handle that.

As much as I wanted to like this book I just didn’t. I think it might have simply been the style of writing, it didn’t grab me and make me want to keep reading. So even though this has an interesting premise, for me the story didn’t hold up and make me want to keep reading. As always, this is my opinion only.

Visit Craig 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 my by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Worth Living For — Twice! January 19, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:04 pm
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Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

As little girls we all long to be noticed. We twirl, we dance, we look our best. We long for our daddies to notice his little princess and to let us know he sees us. We thrive on this and sadly, it becomes part of our identity as adults. If we didn’t find that affirmation from our daddies we go looking at it from someone else, usually other men. But our quest to get noticed is never satisfied, we are always lefts wondering, “Am I noticed? Am I worth living for?”

My answer to those questions was “no.” My father told me many times that he had “no reason to live.”

This broke my heart. I wanted to ask him, “Aren’t I enough reason to live daddy?” But I never did and I lived my life trying to find someone who thought I was worth living for. As you can imagine I was never satisfied with any answer I received.

Then, one day, as I was mulling over the comment my father made to me over 20 years ago, I heard my Heavenly Father whisper my long-awaited answer. This is what He said, “Melissa, not only are you worth living for, but you are worth dieing for and living for again.” My heartbeat quickened as this truth sunk in. All this time the truth was right before me. What my earthly father could not confirm in my heart my Heavenly Father confirmed in me twice over.

This truth is not just for me but also for all of you who have ever questioned if you are worth living for. Think about your Heavenly Father and you will get your answer. You are so worth living for He lived for you twice, and even further than that He died for you so he could live with you forever.

That is the truth each us needs to embrace and live with. You are worth living for — twice!

 

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay January 18, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:28 pm
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About:

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues – particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by the other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

My thoughts:

I have heard a lot of good things about Katherine’s books but I haven’t read them yet so I thought I would give this one a shot. I was really looking forward to it because I do enjoy some Austen.

I was disappointed. I didn’t really get into this for whatever reason. I really don’t know why exactly. I didn’t find the characters overly likable. I really struggled with the main characters best friend, Isabel. I didn’t like her much at all and couldn’t get a feel for what was going on with her. She was too moody for me. I also feel too much was told. There were times I didn’t know Isabel was in a bad mood except for Mary telling me she was, but I wanted to see it through facial express or the way Mary felt inside about it.

I did like the setting and enjoy the picture it painted. But for me I just didn’t get into this book.

Visit Katherine 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 Blogger program. All opinions are my own. 

 

Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage January 17, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:48 am
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Extramarital affairs are certainly not the social taboo that they once were, and may be more prevalent now than ever. Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt. With the anonymity of the Internet and the privacy of personal mobile phones, the temptation to cheat on one’s spouse has fertile ground to grow.

After straying to the other side of this marital fence–and returning to find forgiveness and restoration–Anderson brings this practical book about predicting and preventing an extramarital affair. Based on the principle that the grass is always greener when it’s watered, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndromefocuses on how to grow a beautiful marriage by establishing six protective hedges around it.

This second edition includes a new chapter on repairing marriage following infidelity, as well as an appendix considering the Andersons’ own marriage before and after the affair from Ron’s point of view.

My thoughts:

This is a very helpful and practical book. This book could be read before or after an affair, although I think reading it before would be best to keep you from jumping onto the “greener grass.”

The book starts with Nancy’s story. No one should compare their own story to hers. She was able to break away from her affair quickly. She made all the right choices. I had no desire to do that immediately, not that she had the desire, but she had the strength. It took me a few weeks before I was really ready to say, “Okay, I’m going to focus on my marriage.” But Nancy made that commitment almost immediately after her confession. And that might have made the difference. She confessed, I got caught. She had control, I didn’t. That probably plays a huge factor in how you handle it afterwards.

The HEDGES advice is great and every marriage should be following it to build a strong marriage. I also enjoyed hearing from Ron at the end and his preservative on things. Their marriage is definitely a Genesis 5020.

Visit Nancy 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. 

 

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen January 15, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:44 pm
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Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed the first book a lot. I loved the setting and I felt like I was really there. So I liked going to back and visiting again. It took me a while to remember all of the characters and who they were. But once I got there I easily fell back into the story.

We get to catch up with the characters we met in the first book and get a deeper look into there lives.

And there was all these potential romances going on, it kept it very interesting.

I think I liked this book even more than first because of the deeper  aspect into each character and getting to know them even more. I do think you need to read the first book in the series to fully appreciate this one.

Visit Julie 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. 

 

New Blog Announcement and a Song January 13, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:05 pm
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Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

As most of you know I have been on this journey to better health. It’s been on my heart of while to start a blog that focuses on that. I don’t want to muddy Genesis 5020 up with that because that wasn’t the point of this blog. Although, reviewing books wasn’t the point either but it still lines up with my title and tag (My Story for God’s Glory).

So I have started a new blog, a place to share my journey to healthy living, recipes and hopefully review some cookbooks. It is called Eat or Drink and the tag is  For the Glory of God. This comes from the verse 1 Corinthians 10:30: Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. 

I have been to a lot of health blogs but none that keep the focus on Jesus. And for me that’s where it needs to be so I thought I would start one. Obviously, if this doesn’t interest you don’t pop over there but if it does I hope you will join me.

Here is the link.  Eat or Drink.

I also wanted to share a song with you. It’s actually not new, but new to me. It’s been speaking to my heart this week and I hope it will speak to yours as well. Have a blessed weekend.

Click here to listen.

 

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner January 12, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:52 pm
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Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

My thoughts:

Yeah. I really liked this one.

Susie has a very unique voice and I love it. The way she takes everyday things and turns them into something beautiful is truly artistic.

I did not read the first book in this series, but I did read the second and now this one. I loved picking back up with Pearl and the changes she was going through, her struggles with loving Mama, yet not liking what she did or even who she was at time. There is a surprise in there that I didn’t see coming either. Things I could relate to in repairing a marriage that has been torn apart.

I did find out the setting of this book is based on the town in which I live and grew up. I couldn’t help trying to picture my little town so many years ago. Thinking Pearl lived here when my grandparents where young adults. Obviously, this story is fiction but it was nice to imagine.

This book is truly a piece of art and the words paint a beautiful, heartbreaking picture.

Visit Susie 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 my by the publisher. All opinions are my own.