Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: After You by Sunshine Rodgers December 10, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:13 pm
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About the Book

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Book: After You

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Christian fiction, thriller, suspense (PG-13 Dark Fiction)

Release Date: April 27, 2018

Oh, that’s right, we talk about your love life. We sit with you in class. We know all about that thing you did last night. How do we know? We watch you. We go to those dance clubs with you. We scheme hideous outcomes for you. We know exactly what it is that will get you to our side. We create those wrong friendships you wished you never had. We invite you into those relationships that break your heart. We give you the life you never wanted, but it came at such a sweet price. We promised you the world and you took it like a kid wanting candy. All. Too. Easy. All I can say is, please, don’t let me get in the way of the worst ending of your life. I’m right behind you. I’ll open that door to frustration, nonsense and destruction.

***A Modern day twist on the classic Novel, “The Screwtape Letters” By C.S. Lewis***

 

Purchase your copy here!

 

About the Author

author-pic-225x300Sunshine Rodgers has been writing professionally for over three years. She is the author of four faith-based book all unique ranging from fiction, nonfiction, and a children’s book. Graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Communications, Sunshine took a more on-screen approach to storytelling by working as a technical director and part of the production crew to television, movies, and the entertainment industry for over ten years. She always had a heart for the written word, and once she decided to share her literary talent, her writing career just took off. She has signed with two different publishers, worked with editors and cover artists and has seen her books in retail stores and online bookstores. She now spends her days traveling, appearing in signings, festivals, and speaking engagements. Sunshine is married to her best friend, Travis, who is also the unofficial editor to her manuscripts.

 

Guest Post from Sunshine

Hello Everyone! Thank you so much for being a part of the Celebrate Lit’s Blog Tour of my book “After You: A Demon is Always Lurking Nearby.” This book is a modern day twist on the classic novel “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. My book is a PG-13 novel told from a demon’s point of view on the many temptations and distractions the Enemy of our soul uses to deviate us from God’s plan. The demon in the story is after a girl in high school, so if you can imagine all the playground of resources the demons can play with around an insecure teenager just trying to survive peer pressure, boys and school! I invite you in to explore another realm outside of this one, as this story takes place in Hades and on Earth!
Now, I write Faith-based books and all of them are surrounded by biblical truth and accuracy (as much as I can for Christian fiction!). My other works include: “God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend,” “This is My Heaven” and “Last Night, When I Prayed.” In all of my books – even this dark one – I write about God’s pursuit of us, His personal and deep love and His sovereignty that He remains in control no matter what is happening around us!
I pray “After You, A Demon is Always Lurking Nearby” will open your eyes to the spiritual activity taking place around you. I hope you will begin to observe that following God and doing things His way causes the devil to get scared! And anything you do that impacts the Kingdom of God will attract demonic activity. But at the end of the day, God has the final word and we are saved and delivered under His amazing grace!
I would love to hear from you! Connect with me on social media! And I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on my book! Much love! – Sunshine

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 8

Multifarious, December 8

Real World Bible Study, December 9

Genesis 5020, December 10

Inklings and notions, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 12

Godly Book Reviews, December 13

One Emergent Life, December 14

Bigreadersite, December 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Bibliophile Reviews, December 17

Janices book reviews, December 18

Carpe Diem, December 19

A Baker’s Perspective, December 20

Midnight bookaholic, December 21

Reading is my Super Power, December 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away a grand prize of a “Last Night, When I Prayed” coffee mug, a bookmark, scripture, little bible pamphlets on the subjects matters such as integrity, finances and miracles, a CD sermon message entitled “God’s Plan for your Life” by Dr. Creflo Dollar and a $10 Amazon gift card!!

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/d6d2/after-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This was a super quick and interesting read.

Although, I think it was a great story is was very interesting the writing style left me wanting more. But it was such a quick read I breezed right through it.

I loved how Sunshine showed the power of prayer and how it can effect the spiritual world. I definitely believe there is truth in that and we have no idea, but this book gives a peek into the possibilities.

There were sections that were prayers sent to Heaven that the enemy intercepted and I couldn’t read them. The font on my iPad didn’t should up very well and I ended up skipping those parts or trying to skim it for the general idea.

Overall, an interesting story with a powerful message.

Grab your copy at 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. 

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Right On Time Christmas Chapters 7 and 8 December 7, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:15 pm
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Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

Here is your next installment of Right On Time Christmas. If you don’t like romantic, kiss-y stuff you might want to skip these chapters 🙂

Chapter 7

Christmas shopping, so not what Stephen wanted to be doing right now. But it needed to be done and he needed to do it when Josie wouldn’t be home to insist on going with him.The mall gave him a headache, the blasting Christmas carols,  the lights, the people.

Yeah, the people.

Stephen tried to move out of the way when another person bumped into him without an apology. It was supposed to be the season of peace but making his way through the stores was anything but peaceful.

He finally got to the perfume counter that Mom loved. Every year she always asked for the same thing. But it made her happy. He slid down the counter looking for the exact one when he ran into someone. Now he was the rude person. Except he would apologize.

“I am so sorry…” His words died in his lips when he looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes he ever saw. “Caylee.”

“I was wondering who was being so pushy. Should have known it was you.” Caylee laughed. What a great laugh.

He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her since the Wassail festival. Who was he kidding. He hadn’t stopped thinking about her since she landed in his yard a week and a half ago. Had it only been that long? It felt like forever since that happened. Since he almost kissed her.

“Sorry. Looking for perfume for my mom.” Stephen finally found the ability to speak again.

“Me too. I think they wear the same kind.” Caylee pointed down at pink bottle.

“Yep. That’s what I need too.”

A sales clerk came and checked both of them out.

“Well, it was good to see you.” Her gaze seemed to search his face. He didn’t want her to go, maybe she didn’t want to go either.

“Hey, if you don’t have any place else to be maybe you could help me.” Stephen thought fast. “I have to get something for Josie and she is so picky I usually get her a gift card to American Eagle but it would be way more fun to watch her open an actual gift, could you help me find something for her?”

Something flickered in Caylee’s eyes. Did she not want to spend more time with him?

“Sure, I have some time.” Caylee flashed her perfect smile and made his heart kick up a notch.

They spent the next half hour laughing and joking over different outfits for Josie, imitating her response to some of the crazy stuff they picked out. They finally settled on a pair of skinny jeans and and top that Caylee thought would go well together. Stephen really didn’t care. All he cared about was the great time he was having with Caylee.

“Starbucks?” Stephen wasn’t ready to say good-bye.

“You like Starbucks?” Caylee raised her eyebrows.

“I don’t get the fancy-shmancy stuff. Regular coffee for me. But you look like the type who might like a latte of something like that. Plus, after all your help it’s the least I can do.” Stephen hoped he didn’t sound as desperate as he felt. When had his feelings changed from trying to stay away from this girl who broke his heart over and over to wanting to spend all the time he could with her?

“I’d love a latte.”

They made their way to the crowded food court and found Starbucks. Stephen ordered a Venti Cafe Verona and Caylee ordered a Tall Peppermint Mocha. Miraculously they found a small table among the crowd. They sat in silence for a few minutes sipping their hot drinks.

“So, tell me about this girlfriend of yours.” Caylee looked at him over her steaming cup.

Really? She wanted to talk about Sarah?

What was wrong with him? He was going to marry her, of course he should want to talk about her.

“Well, her name is Sarah. We met at school, we’ve been dating for about two years. She’s great.” Wow, that sounded rehearsed and unfeeling.

“I’m really happy for you. I meant what I said the other night. You deserve to be happy. I hope she will make you happy.” Caylee looked down at her cup. Did she mean that or did she think that was what she was supposed to say?

“Are you seeing anyone?” He really didn’t want to know the answer to that but he figured he should ask.

“I was.” She took a deep breath. “We broke up the day I landed in your yard. It wasn’t what I was expecting.”

So she got her heart broken. About time. No, that wasn’t right. She didn’t deserve to be hurt, no one did.

“I’m sorry to hear that.  I’m sure God has someone out there for you.” How Christian of him. He wanted to be that someone for so long but it couldn’t be. As much as he did like her now and missed her he couldn’t risk his heart again. She had trampled on it one too many times. The damage was done.

Chapter 8

“Yes, mom. I’m doing fine.” Caylee reassured Mom for the tenth time in the a ten minute phone conversation.

“We are leaving Florida on  Tuesday and should be back in Michigan by Thursday evening. We are so excited to see you.” Mom had to be smiling, it came through her words.

“I’m excited to see you too.”

“Are you going to the parade of lights tonight?”

Ah, yes. Another tradition in Holly. The Saturday after the Wassail Festival was the parade of lights. This time the town would be lit up with vehicles decked out with Christmas lights.

“Probably not.” Caylee had no desire to go alone and even though the thought of calling Josie, a.k.a. Stephen, crossed her mind she couldn’t do it to herself or him.

“You should give Stephen a call. I’m sure he’d be glad to take you.” Mom, she was always a Stephen fan. Truth was, Caylee was a Stephen fan, but Stephen was no longer a Caylee fan.

“I don’t want to bother him. You know he is asking his girlfriend to marry him.” Caylee needed to make that clear.

“Yes, his mother mentioned that. But she didn’t seem too convinced it would work out.” Was there something Mom wasn’t telling her. Did Mrs. Meyer say something to give Mom hope. To give Caylee hope?

No, Caylee would not hope in that.

A knock sounded at the front door. “I gotta go Mom, I’ll see you Thursday. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Caylee peeked out the window before she opened the door. Her heart jumped in a way it had no right to jump. Excitement flooded through her like a new string of Christmas lights.

He came.

She pulled open the door. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to get you out of the house, again.” Stephen gave her a smile that made her believe he cared.

“No Josie this time?” Caylee leaned against the door.

“Nope. She’s already there. But she did mention that you would probably be moping around tonight.”

“She’s was right. Give me five minutes. Come on in.” Caylee stepped back and let Stephen in.

“I haven’t been in here since I picked you up for our senior prom.” Stephen’s face paled immediately.

Yeah, the night she ruined their friendship. But they were making amends. She wished she had known then what she knew now. They didn’t come any better than Stephen Meyer.

Guilt flooded Caylee and she was at a loss for words. What could she say? An apology too late, did it still count?

“Go get ready. The parade starts in twenty minutes.” Stephen must not want to talk about it either. Good.

Caylee made fast work of changing into something more presentable for public viewing. Soon they were parked and made their way to the mass of people.

“Follow me. I have a secret place where I  like to watch.” Stephen reached for her hand and electricity seemed to shoot up her arm. Her hand fit perfectly inside of his, as if they were always supposed to be together. How silly. If that were true they would have been together a long time ago.

But wonder if that wasn’t their time, wonder if now was the right time?

———

Stephen pulled Caylee to his favorite spot to watch the parade. He discovered it when he was a kid, no else had managed to find it in all these years.

He tried to focus on the activity around him but that proved to be an issue. All he could think about was the warmth of her hand. Why weren’t they wearing gloves? At the moment he didn’t even care. He was holding Caylee’s hand and taking her to his secret place.

They ducked under a small bridge and came around to the other side. And the crowd was gone. The parade would pass over this bridge but for some reason no one ever bothered to cross over to this side of it. Often times the river was too high from the rain and snow, but not this year.

“What do you think?” Stephen looked down into Caylee’s eyes, his heart lurched and ached. He loved her. . . still. What was he going to do?

“It’s perfect.” She gave him a smiled that stole his breath and it took every ounce of control to keep from pulling her close.

He could stop holding her hand now, but he had no desire and since she didn’t pull away he kept holding on.

Soon decorated tractors and trucks drove by. Trailers pulling carolers singing festive music. It wasn’t a lengthy parade, unfortunately, and before long it was time to leave. He still didn’t let go of her hand.

His girlfriend was coming to town in four days and he just admitted he was in love with someone else, someone who didn’t love him. Granted, he only admitted it to himself, so it didn’t count. Right? He would get over this once Sarah was around.  

He opened the car door for her and finally let her go. That’s what he needed to do in his heart too, let her go. But wonder if . . . no, he bought an engagement ring for Sarah.

“So you think you’ll stick around Holly?” Stephen asked as they made their way back to her house.

“I hope so. I just need to find a job.” Caylee shrugged and stared out the window.

“You okay?” Had Stephen crossed the line holding her hand so long?

“Fine.” She drew in a deep breath and looked over at him. “I missed this stuff.”

“Me too. Holly is small but it is charming. Like you.” He couldn’t help joking with her.

“Looks who’s talking. I was bigger than you through most of high school.” Caylee shoved his arm.

“Don’t remind me.” Stephen hated that it took him so long to put on weight and actually start looking like a man. “I’ll walk you up.” He said once they pulled in her driveway.

Stephen climbed out knowing full well that walking her to the door was extremely dangerous. He would say goodnight and be on his way.

“Thanks for dragging me out again. I needed that.” Caylee stepped onto the porch, her gaze cast to her feet.  

“You’re not okay. What’s wrong?” Not thinking Stephen lifted her her chin and searched her face for a sign for what was going on. “Did I do something?”

“No.” Caylee shook her head and tried to look down again but he held tight. “When I said I missed this stuff I meant our friendship. I missed you.”

Did she still think of him as a friend because every desire in him was not friendly. “I missed  you too.” His words came out choked.

They stood there and stared at each other, Stephen fought the urge to kiss her. He was tired of always doing the right thing. He always did and looked what it got him. Nothing. Not the woman he loved.

Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers, giving her time to back away if she wanted. She didn’t. He still held her chin and softly, tentatively, placed his lips on hers and pulled away a centimeter, savoring the feel of her lips. Soft and smooth.  Lips he had dreamed of kissing for as long as he could remember.

He could see the frost from the their breath mingling, becoming one. He leaned in again, still tentative, searching for her consent. He started to pull away again but this time her hands wrapped around his neck and that was all the encouragement he needed. His hands found her waist and brought her closer to him. He hungered for her in a way he never hungered for any other woman. The woman he thought about for years was in his arms and kissing him back.

He could sense the kiss becoming more than he could handle, more than what was right, he needed to stop, hold back, even though he didn’t want to.

“Wow.” He breathed but kept holding her.

She rested her head in her his chest, her breathing heavy. “What was amazing.”

“Yeah.” Stephen smiled. Amazing indeed.

She looked up at him. “So, now what?”

He had no idea.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have encouraged you to kiss me. It was wrong, you have a girlfriend.” Caylee stepped out of this arms and he immediately felt the emptiness.

“Um, I’m pretty sure I kissed you.” Stephen raked his fingers through his hair. “I guess I need to break up with Sarah.”

Caylee’s eyes widened. “No.”

“Wait, what? Why not?” After that kiss she didn’t want to be with him?

“Think about it first. This was impulsive. You bought an engagement ring for this girl. You can’t decide after one kiss you should break up with her. I just got out of a relationship. I think we both need to think so we don’t ruin anything.” Caylee looked so serious. But she was right. Maybe this was a curiosity thing and his feelings would go away after a couple of days.

“Okay, you’re right.” But his heart wouldn’t be changing, it never had. He had settled for Sarah, never believing this moment with Caylee would transpire. He didn’t want to push her, not this time because this time was the right time.

 

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection December 6, 2018

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

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

Anna’s Tower by Pegg Thomas
1883—Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse
Anna Wilson’s plan to be the next lighthouse keeper is endangered when Maksim Ivanov is shipwrecked on Thunder Bay Island. Handsome and capable, he could steal her dream. Or provide a new one.

Beneath a Michigan Moon by Candice Sue Patterson
1885—New Presque Isle Lighthouse
Ava Ryan’s father has passed, leaving her alone, and ill, to tend the light with nowhere else to go. Logging foreman Benjamin Colfax needs the height of the lighthouse to determine the best cutting route, but he senses something amiss in Ava and her determination to remain reclusive. Can he get her to open up, or will she keep herself locked away?

Safe Haven by Rebecca Jepson
1892—Old Mission Point Lighthouse
Rose Miller was found on the lighthouse doorstep as an infant, and now she must hide her quest to find the child who left her there from Captain Nathan Perry, the man she loves to hate.

Love’s Beacon by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1898—Round Island Lighthouse
Valerie Fillman’s best hope for a future lies on the tiny island that holds her worst memories. Can Paul Sholtus, the new lightkeeper, and his daughter help bring healing? And love?

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser
1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

The Disappearing Ship by Lena Nelson Dooley
1902—Whitefish Point Lighthouse
Romance and mystery collide at Whitefish Point Lighthouse when unemployed doctor Norma Kimbell and Drake Logan, owner of a steamship line, search for evidence of a supposed shipwreck.

The Wrong Survivor by Marilyn Turk
1911—Au Sable Lighthouse
Lydia Palmer’s dream for happiness as a lighthouse keeper’s wife shatters when her fiancé Nathan Drake drowned in a shipwreck, but his brother Jesse survived.

My thoughts:

I was very excited to read this collection. I live in Michigan so I have seen all of the Great Lakes.

Each story is unique, yet there is the common thread of the lighthouse. I find these types of stories fascinating.

I especially was drawn the Round Island Lighthouse since I have seen that one many times when I have visited Mackinac Island (my favorite place and got to visit in this story).

Overall, I lovely collection of stories.

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

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

 

Grace: Uncovered. Unfiltered. Undeserved. by Rod Parsley December 5, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:52 am
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About:

SEEK TRUTH IN A GENERATION GIVEN TO EXTREMES

TODAY’S CHURCH IS TORN in their understanding of God’s grace. Some churches measure holiness by the length of hems, cuffs, and other manmade regulations. Other churches use God’s grace as a license to disregard the Bible’s teachings on holy living and, consequently, live a life of rebellion. Neither extreme is biblical.

It’s true that Christians are freed from the rule of law. Yet it is also true that the law is a revelation of God’s will. How can we lead godly lives and also avoid turning moral absolutes into a legalistic system for salvation? In Grace, Rod Parsley uncovers the tension surrounding conversations about grace so that you can:

  • Gain a biblical foundation of God’s true intention for law and grace
  • Live more powerfully by avoiding destructive extremes
  • Adopt principles for Christian living that come from Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart
  • Understand moments in church history when these issues threatened to destroy the faith, formed new doctrines and denominations, and more
We aren’t trying to win a debate. We aren’t talking about what we are free to do and what we are free not to do. We are all undeserving. Uncovering the truth about grace means preparing yourself for the presence of God around you. Learn how to govern your ways so the glory of God may reside within you.
My thoughts:
This was actually a pretty quick read but full of wisdom.
I appreciated that authors balanced look at grace, something we all probably need to get a better grasp on, I know I do.
I like how he shared his personal story of one extreme of legalistic grace and then gave examples of the other spectrum.
I also enjoyed the Biblical examples the he shared through the book.
If you want to dive deeper into the grace of God this is an excellent resource.
Visit Rod 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. All opinions are my own. 
 

Review and Giveaway: My Brother’s Bride by Rachel Anderson December 4, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:06 pm
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My Brother’s Bride by Rachael Anderson

Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s39284466 business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams.

But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments.

Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.

Get your copy from Amazon

Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt

When Brigston entered the kitchen, Abby’s back was partially to him, so she didn’t immediately see him. Her brow was furrowed in concentration as she whipped something in a bowl. She paused to lift the spoon, only to frown at the white liquid dripping from it.

“Are you certain this will thicken into a cream?” she asked.

A flash of irritation crossed Monsieur Roch’s face until he spotted Morgan and seemed to think better of it. He managed a patient tone in his accented French. “It takes time, my lady.”

Morgan stifled a chuckle as Abby examined another spoonful of the liquid. “I’ve been whipping it for several minutes, but it doesn’t seem even a little thicker to me. Have I forgotten to add something?”

“No,” said the cook in clipped tones.

Morgan stepped forward and leaned in close. “If your arm is tired—”

Abby jumped, and what liquid remained on the spoon splattered across Morgan’s face. She spun around, her eyes growing wide with horror when she saw what she’d done.

He wiped a dab from his nose and tasted it. “A little more sugar, perhaps?”

“Brigston! I’m so dreadfully sorry.” She dropped the spoon into the bowl and grabbed a rag from a nearby wash basin, dabbing it across his face.

“Not that rag!” cried the cook. “It was only just used to mop the floors.”

Abby dropped it as though it had burned her, and Morgan tried not to cringe at the thought of filthy water coating his face.

Monsieur Roch retrieved a clean rag and held it out to him, appearing apologetic. He flicked another irritated glance at Abby before returning to his work.

As Morgan wiped the cream from his face, he wondered what Abby would do or say next. Offer another fumbled apology? Make her excuses and flee? Pretend the incident never happened and return to her labors? He never knew what to expect from her.

Her face scarlet, she cleared her throat and lifted her adorably determined chin. “You are most welcome, my lord.”

He raised a brow. “For what, my lady?”

“I have heard that cream does wonders for one’s complexion, and it seems the rumors are correct. Your skin appears much . . . creamier.”

Praise for My Brother’s Bride

I haven’t read a book by Rachael Anderson that I didn’t absolutely love and this awesome book didn’t fail to meet that grade. ~Vicki

Enjoyed reading this book. The characters, dialogue, and plotline kept me entertained. Highly recommend this book to those who enjoy clean romances. ~Michele

This is the first full-length novel I’ve read by Rachael Anderson, but it definitely won’t be the last. I really enjoyed the story–the writing was really good with no annoying parts or awkwardness, the plot was interesting, the characters were endearing (I loved the banter between Brigtson and Abby!), and this book was just really good. Highly enjoyable. Great choice for those who like clean, well-written Regency romances. ~AE2

This forbidden Regency romance was excellent! Once I started, it was hard—almost impossible—to put down. The characters—Abigail and Brigston—were super well done. I became invested in their lives, their troubles, their hearts really fast, and the author did a superb job of not letting me go. The plot twist was unique. ~Charissa

A lovely, well-written story. Highly recommended. ~Linda

I always enjoy Ms. Anderson’s books! This one is wonderful, filled with great story and characters. Beautiful story of love, family and forgiveness. ~Nichee

I can not praise this author’s books enough. I have loved every single one. I love the characters! I love the development of the romance! I love the story line. I love the fun dialogue. I know when I start one of her books I will have a hard time putting it down until I am done and then I am sad the book is over. I love that each story is unique. ~Nari

Author Rachael Anderson

RachaelA USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

BookBub * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page

Rachaels-books

Giveaway Details

25-Blog-Tour-giveaway$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/1/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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My thoughts:

I have never read anything by Rachel Anderson, but I will definitely be looking for more of her books. Aren’t the covers just beautiful?

This book has a unique plot that captured my interest from the beginning. I found it interesting that we don’t get to hear Abby’s perspective for a few chapters. I wondered what was going on with her. But that added to tension in the beginning of the book and kept me reading.

Once we do get to see Abby’s perspective only more questions are raised. The good news is that we do get to find out Abby’s secret pretty early on.

But now what? You’ll just have to read it to find out!

Visit Rachel here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

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

 

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble December 3, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:02 pm
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About:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble explores the mystery and the romance of the Revolutionary War.

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves.

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

My thoughts:

Wow, what a fantastic read.

I will say at first I wasn’t so sure I would like it but then a few chapters in I realized I was completely absorbed in the story and I had stop make myself stop reading so I could go to sleep.

Colleen has crafted a highly engaging story full of secrets, flawed characters and hope.

Hannah was such a strong young woman. I kept forgetting she was only eighteen. Birch was a great hero but he definitely needed to learn to let things go.

Lydia, Hannah’s sister irritated me-which I think was the point, but I hoped she would wake up and see the truth.

Visit Colleen 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.

 

Right On Time Christmas: Chapters 5 and 6 November 30, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:03 pm
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Photo by erin walker on Unsplash

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is your next installment of Right On Time Christmas. I hope you are enjoying Caylee and Stephen’s story.

If you missed the first four chapters you can catch me here and here.

Have a blessed weekend!

Chapter Five

“Oh, please stay one more day.” Josie leaned over and pulled on Caylee’s arm. They had finished lunch and were starting to clean up the dishes.

Stephen shook his head and headed for the kitchen with hands full of dishes. His sister had a way of getting whatever she wanted. And she wanted Caylee to spend one more day and help put up the tree.

“I really should go home.” Caylee’s gaze darted around, never landing on him, but he could tell she wanted to stay. Was she lonely? She always had someone to fill her time.

“To what? An empty house?” Mom joined Josie. “Stay and put the tree up with us. You can go home tomorrow.”

“If you’re sure.” Caylee looked at him now. For approval again? What was going on with her?

“Yes, we’re sure.” Dad chimed in.

“It’s all set. And tonight we can have a slumber party and you tell me all about your life in Columbus.” Josie jumped.

“There’s not much to tell.” Caylee looked at the floor. Something happened in Columbus. Must be the reason she was back.

Soon they were dragging boxes down stairs and playing Christmas music. It took hours to decorated the tree and the house, Mom had a place for everything.  

They ordered pizza for supper and laughed and sang while they ate. It was ten o’clock before they were finished and everyone was tired and ready for bed.

“You have school tomorrow young lady. You need to get to bed.” Mom kissed Josie’s head.

“Okay. Let’s go Caylee.” Josie pulled on her arms and dragged her up the stairs. Stephen hardly talked to her all day. Which was probably for the best. She would leave tomorrow and they could go on living their lives as they had before.

Everyone dispersed and Stephen went up to his room. He slipped on a pair of athletic pants and t-shirt and laid in bed. His mind kept going back to Caylee crying in church. What was up with that? What was really going on with her? His mind made up all kinds of stories.

Finally, he gave up. He headed downstairs to watch t.v. and hope that would put him to sleep. His heart dropped when he saw Caylee sitting in front of the lighted Christmas tree, her knees drawn up to her chin. She almost looked like an angel sitting there.

He stopped and studied her for a minute. He studied her a lot when no one was looking and sometimes he studied her when someone was looking, it was only bad when it was Caylee who caught him looking. Like this morning when he took her in wearing that sweater that hugged her in all the right places.

So many times he had  thought she was the woman for him, the girl he would marry. They seemed perfect together. But it never happened. She never returned those feelings.

Her blond hair hung long down her back, almost to her waist. He needed to stop starting.

“Hey.” He cleared his throat and walked toward her and sat down.

“Hey.” She jumped and gave a little smile.

“Can’t sleep?”

“Nope. You either?” She looked over at him.

“Nope.” Because all he could do was think about her.

They sat side by side staring at the tree, mesmerized by the lights.

“What ya thinking about?” The question slipped out before he could think about the consequences of asking her.

“Hope.”

“Hope? What about it?” It was then Stephen noticed the trail of tears on Caylee’s cheeks. His arms ached to pull her close and comfort her.

“I lost mine somewhere along the way. But I think I found it today.” Her voice was a whisper, she sounded so fragile.

“I’m glad to hear it. Mom always says things happen for a reason, maybe you crashed here so you could go to church today and hear that message.” It wasn’t so they would find their way back to each other.

“Maybe you’re right.” She turned toward him and their gazes collided, crashed and something shifted in the atmosphere. Heat seemed to radiate between the two of them. She was beautiful, everything he always wanted and still did.

“I should try to go to sleep.” He  had to get out of there before he lost all control and kissed her. Kissed her like he always dreamed about. The way the light from the trees danced in her eyes made her even more attractive.

“Me too.” She pushed herself up and he followed. Caylee lost her balance and he reached for her.

“Woah. You okay?” Stephen wrapped his fingers around her upper arms and made the mistake of looking right into her eyes again, he could get lost there.

“Yes.” The word came out breathy and sent  heat rushing through his body.

Silence hung in the air and they stood there, neither one of them moved. But wanted to. Oh, yeah, he wanted to. He wanted to move right onto her lips and end the agonizing mystery of what they taste like. Did she want him too? 

“Good night.” And just like that it all ended. She stepped away and ran up the stairs.

Fine. He had a girlfriend. A serious one at that. He cleared his throat and headed for the bathroom. Time for a cold shower.

——-

Caylee fell into bed. What was that? Why didn’t Stephen kiss her? Why did she want him to? What was wrong with her? She needed to get out of this house, the sooner the better.

Yes, first thing tomorrow she would go home. No one would talk her into staying any longer.

She almost lost herself in his blue eyes and that couldn’t happen again.

Caylee pulled the covers over her head and waited for sleep to sweep her away before her thoughts did.

 

———

Caylee quickly dressed and headed down stairs. Hopefully, no one else was awake yet and she could get out of the house without talking to anyway, especially Stephan. The feelings he stirred in her were totally out of line. He was dating someone, he obviously wasn’t interested in her. If he was he would’ve kissed her last night and he made no move to do so.

No sounds emanated from the kitchen. Good. She could slip out undetected.

“Going somewhere?”

Caylee’s heart jumped to her throat and she froze in the kitchen doorway.

“Um, home.” Why did she feel guilty?

“Why not some breakfast first?” Mr. Meyer smiled over his mug.

“I really need to get home. I’ve been imposing long enough.” Caylee relaxed a little, her shoulders sagged.

“You aren’t an imposition. You’re like family.” He put his mug on the table.

“Well, thank you for that, for everything. You all have been so kind. But I really need to get home.” She stepped closer to the door.

“Okay. If you think it’s best.” Something lay hidden in his words.

“I do. Thank everyone for me and I’m sure I’ll see you around.” She forced a smiled and slipped out the door into the the cold November wind. Freedom. So why didn’t she really feel free? Why did she feel like she was running away?

Caylee made her way through the slushy, barely there, snow that had gotten her into the mess in the first place. She climbed into her car and it started without trouble. Before long she puled into her driveway.

Home.

Chapter Six

Stephen clutched the steering wheel of his Chevy Malibu. Four days. Four days since Caylee left. Left without saying a word. He missed her and he hated that truth. He had no business missing her.

He made a right into downtown Clearwater, a larger neighboring town next to Holly. After he almost kissed her she hightailed it out of there. Sure, she had called to thank Mom but that was it. Not a word to him.

She didn’t owe him anything. He had a girlfriend. Who would be coming to visit in just over two weeks. Hence, the reason for the trip to the jewelers. He had finally decided it was time to ask Sarah to marry him and he would do it while she visited for Christmas. It would be perfect. His final declaration that he was free from Caylee.

He pulled into the parking lot, shut off the engine and took a big breath. His heart pounded in his chest. Nerves. This was the right move.

He nodded to make himself feel better, it didn’t work, and climbed out of the car. Christmas music filled the air of the small shop. The place was decked out with decorations, Christmas spirit filled the atmosphere.

Glass cases lined the walls. He walked over to one and started looking.

“May I help you?” An older man stood behind the case.

Stephan stood up and cleared his throat. “Yes. I want to buy an engagement ring.”

“Wonderful. A Christmas proposal?” He smiled and wrinkles deepened around the man’s mouth.

“Yes. Do you have recommendations?” Stephen sure hoped so. He had no idea where to start.

“Oh, well, that all depends on the one receiving the ring. Tell me about the young woman you are in love with.” The man’s eyes softened.

“Well, we’ve known each other since before we could walk. I’ve always known I would marry her, even though she didn’t know it. She’s much more special then she realizes and deserves to be the happiest woman I know.” Wait, what? That wasn’t Sarah.

“Then you need something very special. Something unique that will show her how truly one of a kind she is.” The man slide down the case and motioned for Stephen to follow. No way he could admit that he just described the wrong woman.

The man brought out a beautiful princess cut diamond surrounded by several smaller stones. It would look perfect on her long, slender finger.

“What do you think?” The man smiled again and leaned forward.

Stephen turned it every which way, the light caught the diamond and shimmered. “Yes, I’ll take it.”

The words left his mouth without thought. He had  just agreed to buy the perfect engagement ring for Caylee.

——-

Saturday night and Caylee sat at home alone. So pathetic. The annual Wassail festival would be in full swing soon. She sat curled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and staring at a Christmas tree she decorated by herself. Every time she looked at it she couldn’t help but think about the kiss Stephen almost gave her and how badly she wanted it. In all the years she had known him she never wanted him to kiss her. Wanting him to now wasn’t fair to him and how shallow of her. Because he was better looking, more filled out? Was it because she was lonely? Or could there be something deeper behind her desire? Could now was the right time for them?

That couldn’t be, he was dating someone and he deserved to be happy and she couldn’t do that for him. She only caused him pain.

The doorbell rang and pulled Caylee out of her pathetic thoughts. She tossed the blanket aside and dragged her sad self to the door and swung it open, not sure who could be visiting her.

“I’m mad at you.” Josie’s smile betrayed her words. What a breath of fresh air.

“I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye.” Caylee did feel bad about leaving so abruptly but she couldn’t risk seeing Stephen, her feelings for him where freaking her out.

“Well, I came to find you and take you to the Wassail festival. So go get bundled up and let’s go.” Josie pushed her way into the house.

“That sounds like fun.” Caylee smiled and hurried to throw on a sweater and thicker socks. She gave her face a quick perusal. Eh, good enough, she didn’t have anyone to impress and Stephen obviously wasn’t with Josie. Or was he? “Hey, you can’t drive yet so how did you get here?”

“How do you think? My sad excuse for a brother was sitting around just like you so I made him bring me. He’s waiting in the car and not very patient, so hurry.”

That changed everything. Quickly Caylee changed into a more flattering sweater, which was silly since she would be wearing a winter coat, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. She threw on some mascara and slid some lip gloss on. She stood back from the mirror. Not great, but better. It would have to do. Josie would know she was trying if she did too much.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Caylee stepped out of the bedroom.

A slow grin pulled across Josie’s lips. “Hm. Interesting.”

“What?” Caylee tried really hard to school her features.

“Nothing.” Josie wove her arm through Caylee’s and pulled her out the door. “Let’s go Wassailing. Whatever the means.”

Stephen gave a little wave as they headed to the car, Caylee waved back, mouth dry, heart pounding. She didn’t want to like him but she did.  

“You can ride shotgun.” Josie skipped away and when around the back door.

Okay, could she be more obvious?

Caylee climbed into the front seat and immediately took in the woodsy scent of Stephen that hung in the car. It took all her strength not to take a big whiff.  

“Hey.” Stephen gave a small smile. “Sorry, she insisted.”

“I’m glad. I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself.”

“Same.” Stephen laughed and put the car into reverse.

Josie made excited chatter as they headed downtown. It was dark already, and Christmas lights hung from the lampposts, with wreaths dotting the doors of storefronts. Parking wasn’t easy but they eventually found a spot. People lined the sidewalks. Sanata always made his grand entrance the night of the Wassail festival. Children bounced up and down on their heels in anticipation. Many sat on their parents shoulders waiting for the man in the red suit.

“I forgot how much I loved this.” Caylee let the words slip from her thoughts.

“Me too.” Stephen wore a big, silly grin.

“See, aren’t you two losers glad I dragged you out?” Josie slipped between them and put her arm through the crook of both of theirs.

“Yes, dear sister,” Stephen laughed.

Caylee stared up at him, with his cheeks rosey from the cold his blue eyes danced even more under the Christmas lights. He took her breath away. An ache started in her chest and spread to her throat. She blinked back tears. Why? What was wrong with her?

“Hey, you okay?” Josie shook Caylee.

“Oh, yeah. Just cold.” Oh my, how long had she been staring at him?

“Well, after Santa comes by we can go get some wassail.” Josie smiled like she didn’t believe Caylee for a minute.

“Sounds good.” Caylee nodded and focused on the street.

Soon Santa came by throwing candy and waving at the crowd. Christmas carols filled the air sung by the local high school choir. Memories stirred in Caylee’s heart. She truly did love this town.

“I see some of my friends. I’ll catch up with you guys later.” Josie ran off before Stephen or Caylee could protest.

Now they were alone. Again.

“Should we get some wassail?” Stephen lifted one side of his mouth.

“Sure.” Caylee had never been tongue-tied around Stephen, she was always in control around him, he never had any effect on her and now she couldn’t think of a clever thing to say.

They followed the crowd to the large pots of the hot cider. They each got a cup and gathered around the large bonfire. The spiced cider warmed her insides, even though brushing Stephen’s arm through her heavy coat was having the same, if not more, effect on her.

Several students from the high school choir lead the group in Christmas carols. Soon Caylee found herself joining in and even heard Stephen sing a few off-pitch notes.

They laughed with the group of carolers as they came together in song. Music could do that to people.

After about a half-hour people started heading home. Stephen sent Josie a text asking where she was. She told him she would meet him at the car so they headed back to their parking spot.

Silence hung heavy between them while the walked. The last time they had been together they almost kissed. Where do you go from there?

“Why did you leave without saying goodbye?” Stephen shattered the void with the worse question possible.

Did he really need to ask? Didn’t he know?

“I just thought it would be easier.” Caylee tried to keep the answer generic.

“Easier for who?”

Caylee swallowed hard, heat rushed to her face despite the cold. “For everyone.” For me, I was afraid if I saw you again I would throw myself into your arms and beg you to give me another chance.

“Well, Mom was kind of upset by it. She thought I said something to make you run off.” Stephen turned toward her slightly. “It wasn’t anything I did was it?”

“No, of course not.” Of course it was. He almost kissed her.

“Good. I’m sorry I got so close that last night. I was wrong. I do have a girlfriend.” Stephen’s voice softened.

“Yeah, Joise told me.” Caylee’s throat ached again. What would have happen between them if he didn’t have a girlfriend? Yeah, because her track record with men was so great. She would ruin any hope of a friendship with Stephen. She couldn’t allow that to happen. It was better to be friends then not to have him in her life at all. She needed to remember that. Stephen was a great friend. Always had been. And that’s all he ever would be. “It is serious?”

“Yeah, I guess. I think I’ll marry her.” Boom. A weight fell on her chest. That was it.

“That’s great.” She managed to choke out.

“I bought a ring.”

“Then I guess you are serious.” Caylee bit her lip to keep from crying. “You deserve to be happy.” Her words sounded forced even to her her ears.

“Thanks. So do you.” Stephen bumped her arm

Did she deserve to be happy? She wasn’t so sure.