Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck June 21, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:03 pm
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About the Book

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Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Rachel-Hauck-200x300Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

 

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

“Really? So why did you do that?”

“Have you sought help?”

“Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

 

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

 

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

 

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

 

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version ofPoldark.

 

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

 

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

 

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

 

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

 

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

 

“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

 

“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

 

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

 

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

 

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

 

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

 

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

 

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

 

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

 

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

 

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

 

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

 

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

 

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

The Avid Reader, June 21

Genesis 5020, June 21

ansel book blog, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23

The Power of Words, June 23

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 23

C Jane Read, June 24

Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Faithfully Bookish, June 25

By The Book, June 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25

Kat’s Corner Books, June 26

Maureen’s Musings, June 26

Ladybug Chronicles, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27

Mommynificent , June 27

Godly Book Reviews, June 27

God’s Little Bookworm, June 28

Radiant Light, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Have A Wonderful Day, June 28

Novels corner, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

Bibliophile Reviews, June 30

Splashes of Joy, June 30

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

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1

A Baker’s Perspective, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

amandainpa, July 2

To Everything A Season, July 2

proud to be an autism mom, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

Rachel Hauck is a brilliant author. I haven’t read anything by her in a while and I ask myself: why? Her stories pull the reader in with her true to life dialogue and real situations and human brokenness.

Chloe has this romantic idea of romance and nothing in her life has lived up to it, who can relate??

I honestly think I enjoyed the historical romance more then the contemporary one. Hamilton and Ester’s romance and tension was high. The struggle they are both going through so real.

I love the surprise  encounters with what seems like Heavenly Beings. That is something Rachel is so good at, writing a romance but taking the reader deeper into their own spiritual journey.

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. 

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Poverty, Riches and Wealth by Kris Vallotton June 20, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:48 pm

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About:

Overcoming the Never-Enough Mentality to Experience True Kingdom Abundance

Prosperity. It’s one of the most dividing words in the church. Some pastors use it to tell their congregations that God will make them all rich, rich, rich! Others spurn the word and insist that true Christlikeness is found in forsaking all worldly riches and possessions.

The truth is, both are right–and both are wrong.

With refreshing honesty, humor, and keen insight, bestselling author and pastor Kris Vallotton mines the Scriptures in an eye-opening study of what the Bible really says about money, poverty, riches, and wealth. And what he finds is sure to shake up what you thought you knew–including these surprising truths:
· Jesus was not poor and homeless
· Heaven is described in the language of wealth
· Poverty is a mindset that holds us back from true wealth
· You determine your wealth based on how much, and how well, you love yourself
· God wants all his children to be wealthy, though not everyone should be rich

Kingdom prosperity begins from the inside out. When you learn to cultivate a mindset of abundance, no matter your circumstances, you will begin to experience the wealth of heaven in every area of your life.

My thoughts:

So this book was actually different then I thought it would be. I thought it would be more about thinking with a poverty mindset with spiritual gifts. That is not the case. This book really talks about how God does want to bless us with physical gifts as well.

Kris did a great job explaining somethings I had a weak understanding of in the past. His personal stories add a touch I appreciate that kept me engaged.

Even though this wasn’t what I expected I still enjoyed the book very much.

Visit Kris 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.com. All opinions are my own.

 

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley June 18, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:51 am
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About:

It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic’s home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend’s killer? When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?

My thoughts:

From the beginning of this book you the reader is drawn into a twisted plot of brokenness and deceit.

We know early on who the murderer is, but we also know the brokenness that lead to this way of thinking. It’s quite interesting.

Patricia Bradley knows how to write a good romantic suspense. I  have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by her.

The romance and the tense was well done and added to the plot of the story.

If you haven’t read anything by Patricia yet I highly recommend you give her a try.

Visit Patricia 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. 

 

 

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert June 15, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:24 pm
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About:

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?

My thoughts:

Katie is an excellent author. If you have never read anything by her I highly recommend you do. She touches on tough topics and dives deep into the heart of humanity.

This newest book is no exception.

There were parts that made me chuckle as I rode in the car with Camille and her sixteen-year-old daughter. I wondered if Katie had been in the car with me and my daughter and that is why she could write the tension so realistically.

But that is not the point of this story. There are so many prejudices we all still carry and this book takes a raw, honest look at that.

These women’s lives are messy, as are ours. I wondered how in the world this could get cleaned up.

I loved this book and couldn’t wait to return to it. I highly recommend it.

Visit Katie 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.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Girl’s Guide to Conquering Life June 13, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:15 pm
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About:

As you grow up and make your mark on the world, you’re going to run into plenty of situations that require you to be confident and capable. But it’s hard to be either when you don’t know what you’re doing! If you want to have it all together, The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Life is your go-to resource. With great illustrations and step-by-step instructions for almost everything a young woman needs to know, this book shows you how to

· introduce yourself
· change a flat tire
· respectfully break up with a guy
· leave a tip
· apply for a job
· ask for a promotion
· behave during a traffic stop
· create a personal budget
· wash your face
· clear a clogged drain
· iron a shirt
· wear a scarf
· shoot a basketball
· and much more

The world needs women of character who don’t wait for others to do what needs to be done. With The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Life, you’ll be well on your way to impressing everyone around you with your skill, confidence, and grace under pressure.

Erica Catherman has spent more than twenty years mentoring young women as a coach to middle school, high school, and college students. Committed to raising up the next generation to be kind, confident, and capable, Erica has served as a youth group leader, community volunteer, and advocate for gender equality in sports. She is a certified Yoga Alliance and Group Fitness instructor.

Jonathan Catherman is the author of the bestselling The Manual to Manhood and The Manual to Middle School and speaks worldwide about the principles and strengths that empower greatness in children, teens, and young adults.

The Cathermans live in North Carolina, where they work together to raise their family, which includes teenagers and a couple of big dogs. Learn more at http://www.TheCathermans.com.

My thoughts:

As soon as I opened the package this book came in my daughter snatched it out of my hands. A day later she said this book is already helping me.

Okay, good enough for me.

But I figured I should read it to so I can honestly give my opinion.

For a young girl I think this book will be extremely helpful. It covers many topics.

I was only disappointed in the fact that it didn’t cover sex or faith.

Even though this is a book from a Christian publisher there really wasn’t anything about being a Christian in it. Not that there is anything wrong with it. The purpose of the book is to guide girls and that it does and give some good advice.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, 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: The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep June 11, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:50 am
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About the Book

Title: The Captured Bride

Author: Michelle GriepThe-captured-bride-197x300

Release Date: June 1, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

A war-torn countryside is no place for a lady—but Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause . . . to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

unnamed-225x300Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

 

Guest Post from Michelle

A Visit to Fort Niagara

 

The Captured bride guest post pictureWhether you’re a history buff or don’t have a clue what the French and Indian War was about, there’s a destination in upstate New York that’s fun to visit for the whole family . . .

My husband and I made the trek to this living history site last summer. I had no idea what to expect, other than what was advertised as a “reenactment camp.” For those who don’t know, this is when volunteers who adore history come together to present a particular event, such as a battle. These people usually choose a real person from the era upon whom they fashion their modern day persona. They dress, speak, eat and live as that person might have. Here I am with some of my new friends:

Generally around the 4th of July, the 1759 Battle of Fort Niagara is recreated in a 3-day extravaganza of soldiers, muskets, canons and an entire market place to peruse selling period-related items.

Some of the things that surprised me about stepping back into the mid-eighteenth century were:

  • How much smoke muskets kick out
  • Once the battle begins, it’s hard to see who is your enemy or ally
  • Canons are really loud
  • Everything wasn’t as black and white as it seems in pictures—gowns and uniforms were very colorful

What makes this event so spectacular is that they take the entire 20 day siege and condense it into 3 days. If you visit every day, you’ll see and experience exactly what happened. You’ll be there to see the British, Colonial regulars and Iroquois allies sneak out of the tree line to shoot at some French soldiers who were pigeon hunting just outside the fort. You’ll hear the war whoops and barrage of angry French epithets roaring on the air. You’ll even get a chance to taste some of their food as you wander around inside the French Encampment set up inside the fort walls.

To experience a bit of the danger, sights and sounds of what Mercy and Elias lived through in The Captured Bride, Fort Niagara really is a fantastic place to visit.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, June 9

Fiction Aficionado, June 9

Blossoms and Blessings, June 9

A Baker’s Perspective, June 9

History, Mystery & Faith, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 10

Just the Write Escape, June 10

Faithfully Bookish, June 11

The Power of Words, June 11

Genesis 5020, June 11

Bakerkella, June 11

My Writer’s Life, June 12

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 12

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 12

Among the Reads, June 13

Book by Book, June 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 14

Splashes of Joy, June 14

Artistic Nobody, June 14 (Spotlight)

Bibliophile Reviews, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

Bigreadersite, June 15

Connie’s History Classroom, June 16

Simple Harvest Reads, June 16 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, June 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 17

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Novels corner, June 17

Kathleen Denly, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 18

Remembrancy, June 18

proud to be an autism mom, June 19

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 20

Red Headed Book Lady, June 20

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 20

Mommynificent, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Janices book reviews, June 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 21

With a Joyful Noise, June 22

Pink Granny’s Journey, June 22

Carpe Diem, June 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Captured Bride and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d06e/the-captured-bride-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This is an action packed book from the first page. Never a dull moment.

Mercy is such a strong and brave young woman. I never doubted her abilities to survive the situations she was put in. Yet, we caught glimpses of her vulnerability and her need for help at times.

In the form of Elias.

Another, strong character and I wondered at who he really was. His story is kept hidden and slowly revealed throughout the book.

I loved this early look at America and the things going on in our country so long ago. If you like historical romance 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 the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Adamant by Lisa Bevere June 8, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:04 am
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About:

Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions

What is truth?

This has become the defining question of our time. But while everyone has an opinion, truth, it seems, is getting harder and harder to find. Perhaps that’s because we are searching for something when we should be looking for someone.

Truth has a name.

More ancient than time and more present than this moment, truth is not a river that changes with the cultural currents, but a rock—immovable, invincible, unshakeable—and the cornerstone of all we are and ever dream to be.

Theologically deep yet intimately accessible. Adamant will be an anchor for your soul in a raging sea of opinions, giving you a clear sense of direction in a wandering world.

My thoughts:

This book shook me, rocked me, made me mad, awakened me.

This book reminded me of how far I have come from being intimate with Jesus. I’m not anymore and it make me said.

As Lisa wrote her words penetrated my heart and awakened things that have been asleep for years now. I was mad because I didn’t like the reflection I saw in the mirror but I know it was necessary. I needed to see all I am forgotten.

So much truth in this book, I will share a bit with you.

Page 131: “We are so afraid of being accused of being judgmental that we have gone mute.” Uh, yes!!

Page 132: “Love without truth is a lie.” Oh my, I could write a whole separate post on this thought.

On page 135 Lisa quotes G.K. Chesterton: “G.K. Chesterton said, ‘Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.’ I fear we’ve chosen to tolerate things that will one day threaten to overwhelm us. We must always be kind and respectful, but the silence of tolerance can quickly morph into endorsement.”

If you want more I highly recommend this book. Wake up with me. Remember the great love our Father has for us and let’s step into the truth that is ours to rise up from.

Visit Lisa here.

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

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