Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller June 5, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:08 pm
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About:

After a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, Hope Irvine is ready for a new adventure. When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she’s thrilled at the chance to accompany him. While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn’t be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father. But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn’t always offer steady work. When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him–and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope’s desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtatious young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealousy. But when he begins to suspect the manager’s motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t had the chance to read anything by Judith until now. I was intrigued by the plot and setting of this book.

I have to say I will definitely be reading her books in the future. This book is rich in character development and the unique setting of a chapel train car.

I also appreciated that this story is so much centered around spreading the God News of Jesus Christ. That is difficult to do and still maintain an interesting plot and love story. But Judith managed to do it.

Hope is a determined young woman who won’t let anything stand in her way when it comes to sharing the good news. Luke is a wonderful hero who shows up always just in time.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you like historical romance I think you will like this one.

Visit Judith here.

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

Leave a comment by June 19th for your chance to win a copy. 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 me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer June 1, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:21 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Sailing out of Darkness

Author: Normandie Fischer

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 25, 2017 (2nd Edition)

Click to purchase

Love conquers all? Maybe for some people.

 

When Samantha flies to Italy to gain distance from a disastrous affair with her childhood best friend, the last thing on her mind is romance. But Teo Anderson is nothing like her philandering ex-husband or her sailing buddy, Jack, who, despite his live-in girlfriend, caught her off guard with his flashing black eyes.

Teo has his own scars, both physical and emotional, that he represses by writing mysteries—until one strange and compelling vision comes to life in the person of Sam. Seeking answers, he offers friendship to this obviously hurting woman, a friendship that threatens to upend his fragile peace of mind.

But not even sailing the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean can assuage Sam’s guilt for destroying Jack’s relationship and hurting another woman. Soon the consequences of her behavior escalate, and the fallout threatens them all.

Sailing out of Darkness is the haunting story of mistakes and loss…and the grace that abounds through forgiveness.

Awarded: Aspen Gold, Selah, and Maggie Finalist 2014 (1st edition)

 

About the Author

Normandie Fischer is a sailor who writes and a writer who sails. After studying sculpture in Italy, she returned to the States, graduated suma cum laude, and went to work in the publishing field as an editor. She and her husband retired from cruising Pacific Mexico on their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, to care of her aging mother and enjoy her two grown children and her grandchildren. She is the author of six books: Becalmed (2013), Heavy Weather (2015), Twilight Christmas (2016), Two from Isaac’s House (2015), From Fire into Fire (2016), and Sailing out of Darkness (2013 and 2017).

 

 

 

Guest Post from Normandie Fischer

In Sailing out of Darkness, the female protagonist longs for something, anything that will validate her after her husband leaves. She’s propelled into such an emotional wasteland that she becomes vulnerable to what seems a safe friendship.

It isn’t. And so she flees to Italy, but the repercussions of her actions continue to affect her and others—as consequences are wont to do.

After my divorce, hurting women seemed to flock to my vicinity. (Either that, or suddenly husbands in the church were leaving in droves.) These were abandoned women, angry women, women searching for love in the wrong places. I wasn’t in any shape to minister to them as I too was struggling at the cross, but that period helped me understand how woefully ignorant and unprepared many church goers are when it comes to hearing the cries of the hurting. I know of two women (to whom I dedicated the book) who actually killed themselves because no one listened or reached out a hand when they needed it.

The process of divorce and healing taught me about grace in a way that I’d never fully internalized. I’d ministered and counseled for years about the Love of God. I’d preached and written about it, but part of me, the part that needed healing, still held on to the idea that I had to be perfect to be loved by God and by man. I knew better, but the heart and the head weren’t working well together, especially during my years of living with an alcoholic husband and during divorce recovery after he left. As I wrote about Sam’s guilt and helped her find peace, I think new pieces slid into place for me as well. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God. And that’s probably the most powerful message we have to share with this hurting world.

Blog Stops

May 30: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

May 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

June 1: Genesis 5020

June 1: Fiction Aficionado

June 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

June 3: Moments Dipped in Ink

June 4: Zerina Blossom’s Books

June 5: Pause for Tales

June 5: By The Book

June 6: Book by Book

June 7: Carpe Diem

June 8: JosephineAnneWrites

June 9: Edits & Reviews by Leslie

June 9: Cafinated Reads

June 10: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

June 11: Bigreadersite

June 11: The Power of Words (spotlight)

June 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Normandie is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b630

My thoughts:

I appreciated the real struggle that Sam had. She gave into temptation and had trouble forgiving herself and moving past it, I definitely can understand that and I think many others can as well.

I was curious about Teo, as his story isn’t revealed super early in the book but I knew he would become a source of hope of Sam.

Jack made me cringe and I wanted Sam to get as far away from him as she could.

Teo and Sam’s paths don’t cross for quit a few chapters, I would have like to see them meet sooner but I understand that the author was laying the ground work for that.

Overall, a good book with a fantastic setting.

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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Deep Extractions by DiAnn Mills May 30, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:27 pm
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About: 

A SUSPICIOUS DEATH, A SECRET PLOT, A BUDDING ROMANCE. A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a perfect means of execution. Special Agent Tori Templeton teams up with US Marshall Cole Jeffers to investigate Nathan’s murder and whether it’s connected to a recent bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs. The closer they get to finding the killer, and to each other, the more intent someone is in silencing them for good.

My thoughts:

DiAnn Mills is great at coming up with plots and characters that are very interesting. This one opens with a scene that will definitely grab you.

I loved how faith and questioning faith was woven into this book. Tori really questions whether there is any validity to Christianity, I like it when I character is real with their struggle.

I also liked the question of who was behind the murder. Things didn’t add up and there was so many possibilities that my mind kept going back and forth, never sure.

Although I found the plot interesting there was a lot in the book I did struggle with. Some things didn’t make sense and the reasoning behind the characters actions didn’t always add up for me. Some of the dialogue felt really strange, I think because it was sometimes scattered, more like real life but reading real life dialogue isn’t easy to do and made me confused and had me rereading somethings over again.

But, aside from some of the chunkiness of thoughts and dialogue it was a very entertaining read.

Visit DiAnn here.

Watch the trailer here.

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

Leave a comment by June 13th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

Review and Giveaway: What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander May 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:48 pm
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About:

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home

When Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the things she’s done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her–especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it’s difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have loved this series. It is the third and each one has held me captive and I didn’t want to stop reading.

I wasn’t sure if I would like this book because Amy is not very likable at all in the previous books, although we do get to see her soften slightly at the end of the 2nd. She still isn’t overly likable at first in this book but as we get to know her and her brokenness we begin to sympathize with her and understand why she does the things she does.

Gabe is a great hero but with a past of his own that he isn’t proud of. He is drawn to Amy and I sensed a protectiveness in him early on. He would take care of her if she would let him.

I also enjoyed meeting up with the characters from previous books and seeing what was going on in their lives.

If you love a good romance I think you will enjoy this one.

Visit Johnnie here.

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

Leave a comment by June 8 for your chance to win a copy. 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 me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Fierce Love: One Woman’s Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage by Shauna Shanks May 24, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:29 pm
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About:

Love is easy to give when you are getting it back. Are we still called to God’s plan of how to love when we are getting none in return? Shauna Shanks’s brave journey through obedience reveals the outcome of when we dare to follow God’s ludicrous outline for love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Wrecked with news of her husband’s affair and his request for a divorce, Shauna finds herself urgently faced with a decision. Does she give up and divorce her husband and move on, or does she try to fight for her marriage? The former choice seems to contradict God’s plan for how to love, such as “love never gives up,” “love is patient,” and “love is kind.”

Taking God at His word and assuming the love chapter was really meant to be followed literally word by word, she not only finds herself falling in love with her spouse again, but also falling in love with Jesus, which changes everything.

First Corinthians 13 presents an audacious, illogical, and irrational context of how to love, meant to be applied to every marital context not just the fairytale marriage. If God’s instructions seem illogical and audacious, you might just expect the same kind of results in return!

This book is not air-brushed. It was written in the midst of the author’s deepest trauma, and she purposefully did not edit out her mistakes and failures during that season. This book will resonate with women who do not feel like the picture-perfect Christian woman with the fairytale life and marriage.

A Fierce Love is the story of a train wreck and reaching out to God not in the calm but in the chaos and finding hope for the future.

My thoughts:

Crazy stuff. This book could have been written by my husband about me. This is totally our story but written from the wife’s perspective.

It’s very interesting to read this and fee like I am in my husbands head and what he was going through while he fought to save me and my marriage. It has made me remember so much. At first it was a bit uncomfortable to read but then I turned it around to my life now and God reminding me that I need to be loving my husband like this.

Shauna references 1 Corinthians 13 a lot in this book. At first I dismissed her thoughts as this is such a familiar verse, it doesn’t do anything for me. How crazy. It’s the word of God, it can do anything.

So I read it and was brought to tears as I saw this as a reflection of the love I am supposed to have for my husband and I stink at it. I have been praying parts of this verse into my life and over my husband. I can’t remember it all so I chose to remember the things I really need to focus on right now, like love is patient and kind, it is not easily irritable or resentful.

If you have ever thought your marriage is over, or maybe you do think it is over, be inspired and challenged by this book and remember that God can restore.

Visit Shauna 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. 

 

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray May 22, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:08 pm
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About:

Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.

But when cattle start dying and the squatters damage a barn, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero who’s survived a terrible past. He needs more than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.

My thoughts:

What an intriguing story. The tension between the two characters is tight. There is an initial attraction that they both try to fight but you know they will give in eventually. The question is when and how will it happen?

This is the second book in this series but you will be able to read this as a stand-alone if you choose and not feel lost at all.

It was great to meet with Thomas and be reminded of characters from the previous book. I couldn’t help but wonder whose story we would get to hear next.

I loved the romance, the post-war ear and the mystery surrounding this book. There is something on every page that will keep you turning until the end.

Visit Shelley 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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Step by Step by Candace Calvert May 18, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:56 pm
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stepbystep

ABOUT THE BOOK (400 pages): 

Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point—“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death. While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.
When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Often called the author of “medical hope opera,” Candace Calvert is an ER nurse who landed on the other side of the stethoscope after the equestrian accident that broke her neck and convinced her love, laughter–and faith–are the very best medicines of all. Her popular medical drama series (Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical) offer readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine, along with charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense–and an encouraging prescription for hope. Think “Grey’s Anatomy finds its soul”! A native northern Californian, mother of two and proud grandmother to seven, Candace is a passionate “foodie,” equally at home with a whisk in her hand as she is penning stories. Folks who follow her on Twitter and Facebook will find photo-embellished recipes, funny insights into the writing life, snippets of upcoming work, and a chance at book giveaways. Please visit her website at:www.candacecalvert.com.

My thoughts and giveaway:

If you enjoy stories set in the medical field you will enjoy this book.

We open with a scene that will definitely capture your attention as we are introduced to Taylor and Seth.

What I loved about this beginning of this book was that there really wasn’t any romantic connection between these two to start it off but I knew something would change with this eventually. Taylor really didn’t even seem to like Seth and did not want to be around him.

There is also the mystery of what happened on the day Greg died. Taylor wants answers but isn’t getting any.

I was also intrigued by the storyline of a secondary character, Salone, and what part she played in this book. Something was up with her, the question was what?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

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

Leave a comment by June 1st 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 me through The Book Club Network, Inc. All opinions are my own.