Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

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

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:54 pm
Tags: ,

About the Book

Name of book: Devil in the Dust

Author: Cara Luecht

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 3, 2017

June 1933

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

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

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

And then he comes.

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

Click here to purchase your copy.

 
 

About the Author

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

 

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 11

Connie’s History Classroom, October 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

A Reader’s Brain, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Bukwurmzzz, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

Books n Baubles, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Mary Hake, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 20

Bigreadersite, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 21

Karen Sue Hadley, October 21

Daysong Reflections, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Giveaway

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements
 

The Master’s Mind: The Art of Reshaping Your Thoughts by Lance Hahn October 11, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:27 pm
Tags: ,

About:

God Wants to Help You Overcome Your Greatest Battle of All

What we think and believe determines who we are. If that’s so, then why are we so insecure, defensive, lonely, empty, fearful, depressed, self-absorbed, dysfunctional, angry and confused? We are a mess. But that’s not what God has in mind for us.

In fact, the Master has hope, strength, beauty, joy, love, creativity, freedom, power, peace, patience, goodness, laughter, organization, effectiveness and purpose for us. So, what went wrong?

We lost our identity in our sin. We’ve become unanchored, tossed about on the sea of a million influences, none of which is our Master’s heart or mind. Between the world, the flesh and the devil, we don’t know what to think and therefore our lives are filled with hurt, pain and regret. Someone is running the show in our minds and it’s not us, at least not the real us, nor the real owner.

Jesus is not okay with this. He died to save us from our sins and set us free. He made a way for our souls to be rescued from our enemies. He bought the territory of our minds and planted His flag of holy ground.

It’s time for us to get angry enough to take back control of our minds, to master them and bring them back in alignment with the Master’s will. It’s time to return to The Master’s Mind.

My thoughts:

Yes. Yes. Yes. We need this book. I know I did. So powerful and so true.

If you  have read Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind then you will love this book. I so needed this book, it came into my life at the perfect time. The way Lance talks about shaping our mind to the mind of Christ just really struck me and took me deeper. This was a non-fiction book I made time to read because I need my mind reshaped.

If you struggle with your thought life in any way, if you know you aren’t thinking how Christ designed you to think you must read this book. It’s like taking a breath of fresh air over your thoughts.

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. 

 

Uncharted Hope by Keely Brooke Keith October 9, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:05 pm
Tags:

About:

Sophia Ashton’s new medical assistant job comes with the perks of living on the Colburn property, which include being surrounded by a loving family—something she’s never known. Sophia is determined to discover new uses for the gray leaf medicine, but when a patient gets personal, she must prove her professionalism or lose her job.

Nicholas Vestal is working on the Foster farm to earn a starter flock, but before his contract is up, he inherits a house in the village. While fixing up the old house he pursues Sophia Ashton, believing she is the woman God wants him to marry. But when her past blocks his plan, he must win her heart.
Meanwhile, outside the Land…

When plant biologist Bailey Colburn is offered a research job, she knows Justin Mercer is playing her somehow. Working for the former naval flight officer sounds better than her other options in post-war Norfolk, even though he says he has met her long lost relatives. But when Justin introduces Bailey to the mysterious gray leaf tree, his unbelievable claims change her world.

My thoughts:

I have really enjoyed everything I have read by Keely. She does such a great job bring her characters to life. This book was no exception.

I have not read the other books in the series (however, I have read Uncharted Beginnings, which leads up to this series, I believe), but I have them all. I really want to make it a point to get to them because this is such an interesting concept. If you have ever seen The Village you have a bit of an idea of what this book is kind of like. But it also has a sort of Amish feel to it as these people are set apart for everyone else.

The great thing was I could read this book after the series has already been going but could totally enjoy it and get into it. I didn’t feel lost, just frustrated that I hadn’t read the other books because they intrigue me.

If you are looking for something a bit different I highly recommend this book and the series.

Visit Keely 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. 

 

The Delusion by Laura Gallier October 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:52 am
Tags: , , ,

About:

By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded―until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil―everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

My thoughts:

Wow. What a powerful book for anyone but especially of the target audience of high schoolers. This is a book I will recommend my daughter read. I am sure there is more truth in this book then we want to admit.

Laura did a great job of hooking the reader from the beginning and never letting up. I couldn’t wait the moment when Owen would see things around him and how he would react. I think his reaction was true to how most of us would react if we saw the spiritual warfare that is actually taking place all around us.

This is a well-written book with a powerful and eye-opening message.

Visit Linda here.

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

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

 

Review and Giveaway:Buried Justice by Patricia Bradley October 2, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:36 pm
Tags: ,

About:

“Pat Bradley’s Justice Buried takes readers on a wild ride with twists and turns. If you love a gripping romantic suspense, this is one not to miss.”Robin Caroll, bestselling author of the Bayou series and the Evil series

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep you guessing–and looking over your shoulder.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This book’s heroine has a very unique job that leaves her in a tough spot and under a lot of suspicion. This alone provided a lot of tension but then you add some murders and romance you have the perfect recipe for a good book.

I will say at first I as a bit confused with Kelsey’s job and what she was doing but the more I read the better I got an understanding of what was going on and what her role was.

I felt that Brad was somewhat of a stand-offish character but I still liked him. I also enjoyed the added elements of romance from Brad’s past that made things even more interesting.

Overall, a good read that will keep you guessing.

Visit Patricia here.

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

Leave a comment by October 16th for your chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan September 28, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:51 am
Tags: ,

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Deadly Proof

Author: Rachel Dylan

Release date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He’s still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything–even commit murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve–but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?

 

About the Author

Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She is active on social media, and you can visit her website at www.racheldylan.com.

Q & A with Rachel Dylan

  1. The Atlanta Justice series is centered around strong, female lawyers who take on high-stakes cases. What made you want to write their stories?I’d have to say it’s personal! Having been an attorney for eleven years now, I love being able to pour parts of myself into the books. My everyday life as a lawyer isn’t that exciting and is definitely not as dangerous! But I’m able to draw on what I’ve lived through to bring life and authenticity to these characters.
  1. What type of research did you do for Deadly Proof?One of the great things about writing books related to my career is that I know lawyers who practice all different types of law. Deadly Proof focuses on Kate Sullivan, who is a plaintiff’s attorney taking on a big pharmaceutical company. I don’t do this specific type of plaintiff’s work, but I know lawyers who do, and I was able to talk with them. Also, I was able to relate to my characters on the defense side because I’ve done that work for years. It was really fun to write the perspectives of characters on both sides of the case.
  1. Is there a reason you chose Atlanta for this series?Yes! I’m from Georgia and lived in Atlanta, practicing law at a large law firm, for eight years. I wanted to pick a setting I was intimately familiar with to give readers an authentic Atlanta experience—sweet tea and all.
  1. Where do you think Kate’s passion for her work comes from?Kate truly believes that her life’s work is to help those who have been wronged. I believe a lot of her passion stems from her strong faith that has developed over the years. She’s not a lawyer to make big bucks but to change people’s lives for the better.
  1. What is the next book in the Atlanta Justice series about?Book two is about Kate’s friend Sophie Dawson, who we meet in Deadly Proof. Sophie is an Atlanta prosecutor. This story is exciting because it involves a completely different type of legal case than Deadly Proof. But I promise things get just as dangerous!

Blog Stops

September 26: A Baker’s Perspective

September 26: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

September 26: Faithfully Bookish

September 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 27: Fizzy Pop Collection

September 27: Blogging With Carol

September 28: Fiction Aficionado

September 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 28: Genesis 5020

September 29: Just Commonly

September 29: Bukwurmzzz

September 29: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 30: 100 Pages per Hour

September 30: Smiling Book Reviews

October 1: A Reader’s Brain

October 1: Bigreadersite

October 1: Carpe Diem

October 1: Christian Bookaholic

October 2: Karen Sue Hadley

October 2: History, Mystery & Faith

October 2: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

October 3: A Simply Enchanted Life

October 3: Avid Reader Book Reviews

October 3: Just the Write Escape

October 4: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

October 4: Mary Hake

October 4: Through the Open Window

October 5: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

October 5: Inklings and notions

October 5: Ashley’s Bookshelf

October 6: Pause for Tales

October 6: Have A Wonderful Day

October 6: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 7: Just Jo’Anne

October 7: Redeemed Hope Dweller

October 7: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

October 8: Neverending Stories

October 8: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

October 8: Cafinated Reads

October 9: Blossoms and Blessings

October 9: His Grace is Sufficient

October 9: Raining Butterfly Kisses

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away four Suspense Novels and a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04912/

My thoughts:

You never know what to expect when you are reading a new author and especially a debut author. Well, I can tell you what you can expect from this book: amazing story and wonderful writing.

Sometimes when you pick up a book it is like meeting an old friend you fall easily into the story and don’t want to put it down. Such is the case with this book. From the beginning I drawn to these characters and the story-line. It has all the set up early on for betrayal and things to go terribly wrong.

We get the point of view of many characters, which at first I was like why do we need that? But it becomes clear and adds so much tension and depth to the story.

Kate is such a sweet character, too nice to be in her position, she thinks and hopes for the best in everyone and this leads to her being deceived at times. But I so appreciated her heart.

If you like John Girsham books or anything that has a courtroom feel you will love this book. And even if you don’t I think you would like this book. I can’t wait to read more by Rachel.

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

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

 

Straightened by Alana Terry September 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:37 pm
Tags:

About:

A teenage boy begging God to make him straight. An evangelical father refusing to accept his son is gay. A college sophomore who could never predict the dangers about to overtake her and the ones she loves.

An intense and compassionate novel from beloved indie suspense author, Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Readers’ Favorite, and many others.

No matter where you stand, Straightened will challenge you to delve into the controversy with your eyes wide open and extend the grace and empathy too often lacking from all sides of the aisle.

Note: Straightened can be read as a standalone novel or as part of the Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense series. It won second place from the Christian Indie Author Network.

My thoughts:

This book deals with some tough issues, as all of Alana’s books tend to do.

She handles it in ways that represent all thoughts on this subject, although I found myself wanting her to preach what I believe, I had to remember that this is a work of fiction with characters that are supposed to represent the world, and they do.

If you are looking for something to challenge you and see things from different perspectives without changing your own, this would be a great book for that.

Visit Alana 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 author. All opinions are my own.