Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese May 31, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:23 pm
Tags: ,

About:

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

My thoughts:

This book felt different then previous books I have read by Nicole, but still good and interesting. Val isn’t some perfect character, she has things she is struggling with and I love that Miles overlooks those things.

I also appreciated Nicole’s real look at the inner workings of a church, especially a big church. It’s not all perfect and sometimes church leaders loose their way.

This wasn’t my favorite book by Nicole, but I did enjoy it.

Visit Nicole 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. All opinions are my own.

 

The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan May 27, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:28 pm
Tags: ,

About:

No matter how you might try to hide in a war to escape your past, it is always close at hand.

Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turing’s Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Now, as part of Simon Barre’s covert team in post-war Vienna, she uses her inimitable charm and code name Starling to infiltrate the world of relics: uncovering vital information that could tilt the stakes of the mounting Cold War. When several influential men charge her with finding the death mask of Mozart, Sophie wonders if there is more than the composer’s legacy at stake and finds herself drawn to potential answers in Prague.

Simon Barrington, the illegitimate heir of one of Sussex’s oldest estates, used the previous war to hide his insecurities about his past. Now, he uses his high breeding to gain access to all four allied quarters of the ruined city in an attempt to slow the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has been in love with Sophie Villiers since the moment he met her, and a marriage of convenience to save Simon’s estate has always kept her close. Until now, when Sophie’s mysterious client in Prague forces him to wonder if her allegiance to him—and their cause—is in question. Torn between his loyalty to his cause and his heart, Simon seeks answers about Sophie only to learn that everything he thought he knew about his involvement in both wars is based on a lie.

My thoughts:

This book has an interesting plot and some interesting characters. However, this story didn’t engage me. I had a lot of trouble getting into it. I don’t know why? Maybe just too much going on. I think a lot of people would like this book, it just wasn’t for me.

Visit Rachel 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. All opinions are my own.

 

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright May 23, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:27 pm
Tags: ,

About:

To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses’ cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger’s ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter’s Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava’s secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.

My thoughts:

Jaime knows how to write an excellent book and this is one of those. I don’t think I have ever read a Jaime Jo Wright book I didn’t love.

What in the world is going on? I want to believe Ava is innocent but so much points against her. And what is happening in Wren’s world? It’s seems like there are supernatural occurrences but Jaime always comes around to a logical reason it seems that way, but I couldn’t figure it out until all was revealed.

If you like books in the spookier side you will love anything written by Jaime.

Visit Jaime 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. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Night Songs by Jennifer Sienes May 19, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:15 pm
Tags: ,
Night Songs

About the Book

Book: Night Songs

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction/ Romance

Release date: April 12, 2022

Night-Songs-663x1024

What’s a girl to do when her life sounds ripped from the lyrics of a country music song?

Charlotte Van Cleave’s hissy-fit reaction to her husband’s infidelity sours her world like a pot of boiled chitlins. She’s left with no husband, no job, and no home—well, besides the dilapidated farmhouse inherited from her nana.

But Charlie learned early that southern girls dig deep when things go sideways. She’d climbed out of the mire when her missionary parents were killed in Congo, endured two late-term miscarriages, and survived the death of her nana and papaw. Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash, Charlie follows a new path with her interior design skills.

Derek Daniels spent his life serving his country until a helicopter accident ended his military career. Now back home on the family farm, he’s stuck between his philandering brother, Nicky, and the only girl he’s ever loved—sweet Charlie Van Cleave. Unwilling to cross a line, he vows to keep his feelings to himself. Easier said than done when Charlie discovers a mystery surrounding her parents’ death and asks him to help investigate.

What’ll Charlie and Derek have to do to turn those lyrics into a country hit?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer-Siennes

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

I love everything about the South. The seasons are more vibrant, the pace is slower, and the hospitality warmer than what I’ve previously experienced. I wasn’t born and raised here, but I’ve always felt an affinity for it. When my husband and I relocated from Northern California to middle Tennessee over three years ago, I was happier than ol’ Blue layin’ on the porch chewin’ on a big ol’ catfish head. Yes, there are times we need a translator, but we’re quick studies.

Setting is an important element of storytelling, whether it’s fictional or true. I will be the first person to tell you, I don’t have much imagination. I don’t read or write fantasy or sci-fi because I can’t picture myself in the story. I am in awe of writers who are able to create an alternate world in their minds and then share it in a story. Me? I need to see it to write it.

For that reason, I was very excited about how this move from the only place I’ve ever known to one I’d dreamt about most of my life would impact my novels and novellas. We landed here in the middle of July to magnolia trees with waxy leaves as big as my head and sweet-smelling white blossoms I couldn’t enclose in both hands. Mockingbirds chattering all hours of the day (and a lone guy at night), bright red cardinals flitting from tree to tree, and even an armadillo or two lumbering across our yard.

The character of Charlotte Van Cleave (Charlie) was born out of my imagination. Why I can create fake people but not fake settings is anyone’s guess. Her nana and pawpaw’s dilapidated farmhouse is a real home that had been abandoned outside the city limits of Shelbyville, Tennessee—in Bedford County, which is also the title of the series. I saw the house through a real estate website, and fortunately for me, it was empty. My husband and I snuck around the perimeter looking through broken widows to get a feel for the place. It didn’t hurt that there were several photos on the website, as well.

The rest of the story came in fits and starts. I first decided on Charlie’s personality, because if I know that, it’s easier to trip her up with all manner of chaos. If you’re familiar with the enneagram personality indicator, she’s a three—the Achiever. The other main character, Derek Daniels, is a six—the Loyalist. Throw in missionary parents, sibling rivalry, and southern culture and a story was born.

While I was working on Night Songs the mockingbirds were particularly active. They’re the Tennessee state bird, so they’re always around, but it’s only during the mating season they are vocal. I was lying awake in the middle of the night, and I heard one of them singing. I’d only ever heard them during the day, so I was surprised. Why would a lone mockingbird be singing at night? What I learned after a little research is that only those who are mate-less will do this. It made me sad to hear the little guy over the next several nights, pouring out his heart. Not unlike Charlie Van Cleave. Thus, a title was born.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 17

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Genesis 5020, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 20

Inklings and notions, May 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, May 22 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 22

deb’s Book Review, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 25

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 26

Miriam Jacob, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28

Back Porch Reads, May 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1db53/night-songs-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

I have read several books by Jennifer and this might be my favorite. I love the real issues she deals with in her books and the faith aspect of them as well.

From the beginning I wondered how Charlie ended up with Nicky and not Derek but that becomes more clear as you read. It becomes even more clear that she definitely should end up with Derek. But Jennifer does a great job of placing doubt in the readers mind and making you wonder if things will work out the way the reader hopes.

Jennifer also developed a wonderful cast of characters that you are sure to adore.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

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

 

Turn to Me by Becky Wade May 16, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:16 pm
Tags: ,

About:

His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?

My thoughts:

This was a very interesting story and I enjoyed the mystery involved and wondered who was following Finley and Luke.

That first kiss was a good one too, but Becky always knows how to write a wonderful romantic scene.

We also get another romance in this book too, which I was so happy to see play out because Ben deserves a happily ever after as well.

Overall, a good romance with an overall good message.

Visit Becky 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 throught Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Summer We Forgot by Caroline Goerge May 12, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:18 pm
Tags: ,

About:

Caroline George once again transports readers with lush, evocative prose, leading them to ask the question: what happens when we can’t even trust ourselves?

Some memories are better left forgotten.

Darby and Morgan haven’t spoken for two years, and their friend group has splintered. But when the body of their former science teacher is found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, they realize they have more questions than answers . . . and even fewer memories.

No one remembers—or no one is talking.

The group of reunited friends suspects that a murderer is stalking the coastal highway 30A, and they are desperate to recover their memories as quickly as possible . . . before their history they can’t remember repeats itself.

Everyone has a secret.

As tensions rise and time runs out, Darby and Morgan begin to wonder if they can believe one another . . . or if they can even trust themselves.

My thoughts:

This is a YA novel, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. What in the world happened to these kids that made them forget everything that happened? Plus other misunderstanding and general teen-age drama.

From beginning to end this is a book you will not want to put down. I definitely understood Darby, always trying to be the good kid, even being told she is the “good one.” That is a lot of pressure on a kid and what happens when we want to make a poor choice? Are we now the “bad kid”? I appreciated her struggle with that.

Visit Caroline 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. All opinions are my own.

 

What Is Saving Faith? by John Piper May 11, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:53 pm
Tags:

About:

In this Bible-saturated meditation on the nature of saving faith, John Piper argues that the spiritual affection of treasuring Christ belongs to the very essence of saving faith. If Christ is not embraced as our supreme treasure, he is not embraced for who he is.

My thoughts:

I typically like John Piper and his books. I don’t know if this was too over my head or what but I did not connect with it at all. I felt like he was talking in circles and I couldn’t find a solid ground to absorb what he was writing.

I honestly can’t put my finger on what bothered me but something did. However, that is my opinion only and someone else may love it and get a lot out of it. If it sounds like something you would like give it a try.

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. All opinions are my own.

 

The Catch by Lisa Harris May 10, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:03 pm
Tags: ,

About:

Everything hidden is eventually found

After a harrowing attempt on a judge’s life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge’s wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is not who they think she is.

Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the people who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.

My thoughts:

Wow, what a fast-paced book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

It seemed like there were two, and even three, plot lines going on at the same time. I was wondering what was going on and how did all of this connect, if they did? It was really interesting and a new way to put a book together.

If you like romantic suspense, with heavy of the suspense, I am sure you will enjoy this book. I recommend you read the whole series so you can fully enjoy Madison’s storyline but you can read this one its own.

Visit Lisa 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 publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

What Remains True by Nancy Naigle May 5, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:28 pm
Tags: ,

About:

An uplifting novel about three months that may change three lives—and lead to love—from USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle

Working at a little shop on Main Street in a small town is exactly the break that executive Merry Anna Foster needs following her divorce. She’s made a bet with her ex-husband that she can live on the amount of money she’s giving him in alimony. If she can do it, then Kevin will have to stop complaining and leave her alone. But after three months of this new life, will she even want to leave Antler Creek? 

Adam Locklear, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan—the daughter Adam didn’t know he had—in his care. 

Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love—not just for each other but for Zan too.

My thoughts:

Nancy creates a wonderful story world, one I would love to live in and be a part of.

I enjoyed the many interesting characters in this book. Merry Anna is trying to find her way after her divorce and Adam has his goals that seem to conflict with a relationship. So I wondered how these two would find their way into each others hearts.

Again, Nancy did a great job making that happen and bringing these two opposites together. A wonderful, feel good read.

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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: A Rose for the Resistance by Angela K. Couch May 2, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:39 pm
Tags: ,
A Rose for the REsistance

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

9781636092072 (4)

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

AngelaCouch

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you.

Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

What a great read. The tension is high throughout which keeps the reader reading. So many questions, who can Rosalie trust? How could a relationship ever work between her and Franz? I even started to wonder if she could really trust the British soldier? Her and her family were really living on the edge and seemed like there was a chance at any moment they could be found out.

Just reading about how Germany took over France was so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine living that way yet people really did. What a scary time and Angela did a great job bringing this story to life.

If you like WWII stories I am sure you will enjoy this one.

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 Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.