Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt January 27, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:33 pm
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About the Book

Book: High-Wire Heartbreak

Author: Anna Schmidt

Genre: Christian/Romance/History

Release date: January 1, 2022

In 1936–A party at the Ringling mansion Ca d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, leads to a robbery–and possibly death.

A successful historical mystery writer, Chloe Whitfield comes to Ca’ d’Zan to research her next novel. Chloe’s fascination with the circus is rooted in family stories of her great-grandmother Lucinda Conroy, who reportedly was a trapeze artist of some renown. She’s heard hints of scandal—and perhaps larceny, but no details.

Chloe’s grandmother—rumored to be Lucinda’s only offspring—was raised in an orphanage and never knew her mother. Intrigued as she is, Chloe has no intent of writing about Lucinda until she sees a poster featuring Lucinda as the star performer for a 70th birthday gala for John Ringling in May of 1936. From there the trail goes cold.

Who was Lucinda and what happened to her?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Anna Schmidt is the author of over twenty works of fiction. Among her many honors, Anna is the recipient of Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award and a finalist for the RITA award for romantic fiction. She enjoys gardening and collecting seashells at her winter home in Florida.

More from Anna

It’s hard to split time living between Wisconsin and Sarasota Florida and NOT get caught up in the circus world! The Ringlings are icons in Sarasota where a LOT of things are named for them! But the five circus brothers got their start right here in Wisconsin. So, when the opportunity to create a story for DOORS TO THE PAST came my way, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I would go with John and Mable Ringling’s incredible home, Ca ‘d Zan as the setting. Then somehow, I stumbled on this picture:

and I knew she was my character of Lucinda, the trapeze artist whose story would drive my novel. I hope you fall in love with her—and Chloe—as I did, and most of all I hope you’ll be in touch to let me know what you thought at

HAPPY READING and all best wishes, Anna

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Remembrancy, January 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 25 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 26

For the Love of Literature, January 26

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 26

Genesis 5020, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 27

Inklings and notions, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, January 28

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 29

Rebecca Tews, January 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 30

deb’s Book Review, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 31

Wishful Endings, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Bizwings Blog, February 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, February 1

Older & Smarter?, February 2

Connie’s History Classroom, February 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 3 (Spotlight)

Bigreadersite, February 3

Blogging with Carol, February 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 4

Life of Literature, February 4

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Joannabair, February 5

Blossoms and Blessings, February 6

Pause for Tales, February 6

Labor Not in Vain, February 6

Splashes of Joy, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 7


To celebrate her tour, Anna is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and paper copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I don’t think I have read anything by Anna before. She had me so concerned about Lucy and what would happen to her. I will say I like the historical part of the book more then the the contemporary part, but I did enjoy that as well.

I was so curious how and if Chloe would discover what really happened to her great-grandma. We as the reader know but would Chloe find out? I really wanted her to.

Overall, a great addition to this time-split series.

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 Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.


The Girl Who Could Breath Under Water by Erin Bartels January 24, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:04 pm
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The best fiction simply tells the truth.
But the truth is never simple.

When novelist Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather’s old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend’s brother–and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book. If she can prove that she told the truth about what happened during those long-ago summers, perhaps she can put the letter’s claims to rest and meet the swiftly approaching deadline for her next book.

But what she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. While facing Tyler isn’t easy, facing the consequences of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.

Plumb the depths of the human heart with this emotional exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgivable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

My thoughts:

Erin Bartels has such a unique voice. I love her writing and easily fall into her books and the story becomes wrapped around me, this held true for this book. I also love that her books are placed in Michigan. This one was in northern Michigan but not the U.P. A cottage around a lake. I had visions of a cottage my family stayed at so I could easily see this setting and I loved it.

This book deals with some very tough topics and if you are a sensitive reader some of the content might bother you. I don’t want to give away what it is because it isn’t revealed immediately so I suggest doing your own research if you are sensitive to certain content.

I will say I am struggling with the label of Christian fiction on most “Christian” books these days. This wasn’t a Christian book, it was clean (mostly) but I don’t think Jesus’ name was uttered once (I could be wrong). I also didn’t appreciate the off handed comment about someone who died, who clearly did not live a life for Christ and showed evidence of salvation, that they were in Heaven. Huh? That’s what unbelievers say to make others feel better but in a Christian book I was disappointed to see a character so off-handedly make the comment.

I loved this book, I really did, I just think it should have the label of a clean read with some warnings of sensitive content, not Christian.

Visit Erin 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.


To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M. White January 21, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:34 pm
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Beth Tremayne has always been drawn to adventure. During her childhood, she fed that desire by exploring every inch of the Isles of Scilly. Now, after stumbling across an old collection of letters and a map buried on her family’s property, she’s found more adventure than she ever anticipated in the hunt for pirate treasure. But in order to discover where the clues lead, she must search alongside Lord Sheridan, a man she finds insufferable.

Sheridan has spent years pursuing whatever archaeological interests pique his imagination. And when he discovers that Beth’s search connects with one of his far-removed pirate ancestors, he can’t help getting involved. Plus, he finds her irresistible, even though she insists he stole a prized possession of hers.

As they work together following different clues and drawing closer to danger, they start to piece together a story of tragic love and piratical adventure. But which treasure will bring the greatest surprise–the one they find in each other or the one just out of their reach?

My thoughts:

This was the second book in the series, I enjoyed the first and this one was interesting as well. However I will say I found myself easily distracted while reading this book which almost never happens to me.

Roseanna held true to her style, good character development and interesting characters and setting. I think it was just me and a busy week that had me distracted.

If you are a Roseanna M. White fan I am sure you will enjoy this read.

Visit Roseanna here.

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

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


The Local Church by Edward W. Klink III January 19, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:36 pm


How God Ministers to His People and the World through the Local Church

The church is more than coffee with friends—it’s a meaningful gathering of Christians that involves fellowship and growing in biblical truth. Given the rise of the internet and the availability of streaming church services, many ministry leaders and church members are asking questions about the purpose and mission of the local church: What is the church? Why does the church exist? How does the church function? What is the connection between the Christian and the church?

Pastor and trusted scholar Edward Klink III addresses these questions and more with a thoughtful assessment of what the Bible has to say about God’s intention for the local church body. Klink stresses its importance as God’s way of revealing his presence, displaying his power, fulfilling his purposes, and manifesting his activity in the world. In today’s hyperindividualized culture, this book not only demonstrates why it’s vital for individuals to connect to a local church, but also reveals why it’s vital to God’s work in the world.

My thoughts:

The timing of me reading this book was perfect as my husband and I recently stepped down from leading worship at our church and are now seeking a new church home. It really gave me some things to think about as we visit other churches. Things that weren’t on my raider twenty-two years ago when we found our first church home but should have been.

Did everything in this book hold my interest? No. At times my mind wandered but it did always get pulled back.

One quote that still resonates with me I want to share with you. I think it is so important as we have moved into this world of virtual church or no church at all: “any separation between the Christian and the local church is not simply unbiblical but detrimental to the life of every Christian and to the message and work of Christianity in the world. ”

If you call yourself a Christian you should be attending a face to face church, it is so important to our growth. But be discerning in the church you pick. It not about being the cool church it’s about being a gospel driven church that proudly proclaims the truth.

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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Life Flight by Lynette Eason January 17, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:22 pm
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EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton is used to high-stress situations, but being forced to land on a mountain in a raging storm with a critical patient–and a serial killer on the loose–tests her skills and her nerve to the limit. She survives with FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield’s help. But she’s not out of the woods yet.

In the ensuing days, Penny finds herself under attack. And when news reaches Holt that he may not have gotten his man after all, it will take all he and Penny have to catch a killer–before the killer catches one of them.

My thoughts:

What a great start to a new series. Lynette has knocked another one out of the park. From the first page until the last you will be on the edge of your seat.

I enjoyed Penny and Holt’s story and they both have stuff to deal with. I will say I didn’t really buy Holt’s hesitation on telling Penny about his sister. It seemed like a “fake” way to add tension because after what Penny shared with him it wasn’t a big deal, at least I didn’t think so. But as always, it’s my opinion only. Other than that I fully embraced and enjoyed this fast-paced book and recommend it if you like romantic suspense.

Visit Lynette 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.


Never Leave Me by Jody Hedlund January 14, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:39 pm
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Facing death takes courage. Facing life takes even more.

In the last stages of a genetic disease, Ellen Creighton has decided to live out her remaining days at the estate of her longtime friend Harrison Burlington. Though he’s never allowed himself to get serious in a relationship due to his paralysis, Harrison cares deeply for Ellen and is desperately trying to save her life by finding the holy water that is believed to heal any disease–the same substance Ellen suspects is responsible for the deaths of her father and sister.

But Harrison is not the only one seeking the holy water. Dangerous criminals are mere steps behind, and Ellen soon learns they will go to any lengths to get the powerful drug–including sending her back into the past to locate it for them.

Bestselling and award-winning author Jody Hedlund plunges you into the swiftly flowing river of history in this second breathtaking Waters of Time story.

My thoughts:

I am a Jody Hedlund fan. I really enjoyed this first book in this series and I couldn’t wait to read this one. I will say, this book took me a lot longer to get into. I was about forty percent of the way in before I really started getting into it.

I was curious how everything would work out. How would Ellen get back to the present and what would happen to her while she was in the past.

As always and in true Hedlund style, she writes some great romance scenes.

Overall, I did enjoy this book.

Visit Jody 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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Her Darling Mr. Day by Grace Hitchcock January 10, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:37 pm
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New Orleans’ most eligible bachelor insists he’s not on the market . . . but he couldn’t be more wrong.

Jilted in front of all New York, Theodore Day decides to lose himself in his family’s luxury riverboat business in New Orleans and compete against his brother to become the next company head. The brother with the most sales by summer’s end will win the position. Thanks to Theodore’s fame as a suitor in a socialite’s outlandish competition to find a husband, he has become very desirable royalty in Southern society and thus has an advantage.

It took Flora Wingfield’s best work to convince her family to summer in New Orleans, but with Teddy Day a bachelor once again, she’s leaving nothing to chance. Desperate to stand out from all the clamoring belles, Flora attempts a bold move that goes completely awry, only to find it’s her interior design skills that finally catch his notice.

But when Flora’s father’s matchmaking schemes come in the way of her plans, Teddy will have to decide where his happiness truly lies and what he is willing to sacrifice for it.

My thoughts:

I don’t think I have read anything by Grace before and I have no idea why. I LOVED this book. I even thought about it when I wasn’t reading it.

Flora was funny. She kept getting herself in situations and I even chuckled a few times because of her circumstances. But she would get back up and keep moving forward.

Teddy was frustrating because he kept sending Flore mixed signals and that messed everything up.

There was also a mystery going on as I wondered what Mr. Grayson was up to.

If you like historical romance I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Visit Grace 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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


The Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig January 6, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:16 pm
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I, unfortunately, forgot to put this book on my calendar and missed the day I was supposed to post it, but I still really wanted to read it and review it. So here you. The giveaway has expired.

The Nutcracker's Suite

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021


“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My thoughts:

What an interesting book. I really enjoyed this spin on the Nutcracker. Chautona did a great job creating characters and bringing them to life and throwing in many twists and turns a long the way.

I had my suspicions who might be behind the murder but wasn’t sure if I was correct because other things would happen that would make me questions my thoughts. I had to keep reading to see if I was right or not. Then there was also the question, of why? Why did this happen?

I won’t tell if I was, you’ll just have to give this book a read to see “who done it”.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

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


Truth Unshaken by Kristina Hall January 3, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:16 pm


Whom can they trust?

After losing her parents, Carla Belardi discovers her life was a lie. Now, she must flee unless she wants her parents’ fate to be her own.

Frank Ashton lost the use of his legs—and his desire to live—in the Great War. When Carla is brought to his home injured, he gains a friend. But despite the attraction growing between them, he can never burden her with a cripple.

Alberto Moretti thought he could do good working for the Prohibition Unit—until he finds out his new employer isn’t much better than the criminals he once served. Now, he has to fight both sides—the Prohibition Unit and the crooked Belardis.

When danger surrounds Carla, Frank, and Alberto from too many angles, will they put their trust in the Truth that will never be shaken?

My thoughts:

This is a non-stop action packed story. There really never seemed to be a dull moment from the first page until the last. I loved the whole “mob” lifestyle that Kristina brought to life. It seems there isn’t anyone you can trust and when you think you can they turn on you.

At first I struggled with Frank. I wanted him to stop being a whiner but then I realized he sounds a lot like me. I can focus on the negative things in this world and forget how good God has been to me. Honestly, he was a great reflection of myself, maybe that was why I didn’t like him at first.

This is the third book in the series but you can easily read it without reading the others but I do know the book before this one is very good as well. If you haven’t given Kristina a try I say do it!

Visit Kristina here.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

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


Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen January 1, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:26 pm
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Agatha Christie meets Jane Austenin this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother’s desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.

The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey’s cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past–including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick–magistrate, widower, and former neighbor–who long ago broke her heart.

When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something. . . .

My thoughts:

I love Julie Klassen. One thing I love about her is that each of her books are so unique and honestly I never know what to expect. This book was more of a murder mystery with some romance thrown in there. It actually reminded me a lot of the game Clue.

Julie also did a great job of keeping me guessing about who did what. Even up until all was revealed I hadn’t fully figured it out but I wasn’t surprised. I had thought of something along those lines but didn’t see how it could have happened.

I highly recommend this read!

Visit Julie here.

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

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