Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Under and Open Heaven by John E. Johnson March 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:21 pm
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Tired of failure?

Frustrated by a confined life?

Starving in the midst of plenty?

In the gospel of John, Jesus talks with people whose struggles we can relate to. They aren’t always straightforward chats, yet they are beautifully applicable to the messiness of life, even life today.

The early believers were facing a world in turmoil and needed a theology to strengthen their souls and steady their nerves. In our similar times of turbulence, we too need to know that the abundant life under the opened heaven John describes is not just conceivable—it’s a promise.

My thoughts:

The author of this book brings up some great points and many different things to consider. I like how he walks through the book of John and examines many of the things we have all become very familiar with and gives things a new spin or deeper understanding.

But for me this book didn’t hold my interest. As I have said in previous reviews non-fiction books really have to grab me in order for me to like them and although this book had a lot of great content it did’t grab me. I found myself easily distracted, thinking about other things and not focusing on the book.

As always, this is my opinions only. It is a good book with good content it just wasn’t for me but I am sure for someone else this book will speak deeply to them.

Visit Dr. Johnson here.

Grab your copy at 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. 

 

When Tides Turns by Sarah Sundin March 14, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:46 pm
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In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart.

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy’s newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

My thoughts:

I have read every book in this series and really enjoyed them so I was very excited to read this newest release.

Tessa is trying to create a sort of new identity. She’s tired of being the pretty girl. I appreciate that she is so much more. She truly is a kind person to everyone. I really enjoyed her story-line and couldn’t wait to get back to her.

I will say I found Dan’s story-line a little less exciting. Maybe it was all the U-boat terms but I found myself having trouble paying attention when I was in his point of view.

But even with that it was a great story, with romance and mystery, it just wasn’t my favorite of Sarah’s books.

Visit Sarah here.

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

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

 

Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery March 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:21 pm
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Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she’s also working on restoring something—herself.

As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common—a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other.

Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

My thoughts:

Jennifer has done it again, written another heart-gripping book. Her books are different because there is a spiritual depth to them that is often missing in other books.

The characters are well-developed, dealing with their own pasts and current situation. Jennifer slowly unveils each character’s story with perfect timing to keep the reader hanging on to see what is going to happen next.

I highly recommend any of Jennifer’s book if you are looking for something to really grab you where you are at.

Visit Jennifer 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 author. All opinions in are my own. 

 

Cherish by Gary Thomas March 9, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:04 pm

cherished

About:

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.”

Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book—Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever.

Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Through personal stories and real world examples, Thomas proves what husbands and wives can begin doing today to turn their marriage around—even a marriage marred by neglect and disrespect.

So how do you cherish your spouse? Thomas will show you how going out of your way to notice them, appreciate them, honor them, encourage them, and hold them close to your heart will bring hope, light, and life into your marriage.

My thoughts:

Wow, this book really opened my eyes to several things.

One: I am really cherished by my husband. He does a wonderful job of showing me that.

Two: I’m really bad at cherishing my husband.

A few quotes really grabbed me were: “…but what does it mean to cherish our spouse? Is that word just an add-on? Why do we say it once at the wedding and then rarely even mention it again?”

This one too: “You can honor someone without cherishing them, but you can’t cherish someone with honoring them. When you fail to cherish a spouse, you are essentially dishonoring them.” Yikes!

I never have though much about cherishing my spouse but this book really puts in terms that are relatable and understandable.

Most marriage books I find disappointing but that is not the case with this one. If you are looking for something to challenge you and your marriage I highly recommend this one.

Visit Gary 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. 

 

Unplanned by Alana Terry March 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:15 pm
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About:

When Kennedy Stern’s childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn.

After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.

Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.

Alana Terry has won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest. The ebook version contains discussion questions for personal reflection or group study.

My thoughts:

Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading but this book is one that honestly got better and better with each chapter.

The stakes were raised constantly and Kennedy’s involvement in one young girls life got more in-depth. I had my suspicions about things early on, but I was a bit off.

Kennedy’s struggle with her faith and what she has always known is something we can all relate to at one time or another in our lives. I could relate to her thoughts of what is means to be a “good Christian”.  All the should do’s that we, many times, believe.

I have all the books in this series and I can’t wait to dive into them and see Kennedy’s journey unfold.

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 through The Book Club Network, Inc. All opinions are my own. 

 

No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece March 3, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:59 pm
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About:

If you’ve ever been given empty clichés during challenging times, you know how painful it can feel to be misunderstood by well-meaning people. Far too often, it seems the response we get to our hurt and disappointment is to suck it up, or pray it away.

But Scripture reveals a God who meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.

 

No More Faking Fine is your invitation to get gut-level honest with God through the life-giving language of lament. Lament, a practice woven throughout Scripture, is a prayer that God never ignores, never silences, and never wastes. As author Esther Fleece says, “Lament is the unexpected pathway to true intimacy with God, and with those around us.”

Esther learned this the hard way, by believing she could shut down painful emotions that haunted her from a broken past she tried to forget on her fast track to success. But in silencing her pain, she robbed herself of the opportunity to be healed. Maybe you’ve done the same.

No More Faking Fine is your permission to lament—to give voice to the hurt, frustration, and disappointment you’ve kept inside and silenced for too long. Drawing from careful biblical study and hard-won insight, Esther reveals how to use God’s own language to draw closer to Him as He leads us through any darkness into His marvelous light.

My thoughts:

This is an extremely powerful book. It opens with a scene from Esther’s life that will  break your heart.

I so appreciated Esther’s honesty and transparency throughout this book. For me non-fiction books are more powerful when it is linked to personal stories and this book definitely does that.

Something that really resonated with me was from page 30, the first paragraph. Esther writes: “I assumed God had healed my heart, because I couldn’t feel pain anymore. Instead, I had simply mastered suppressing every emotion I ever felt, and I gave God credit for a healing I had never experienced.”

Wow, I have been there and did that for years.

Esther talks about lamenting and the importance of it. I immediately thought of the song Lord, I Need You. I think that is why that song is so powerful, it’s a lament and we don’t have many of those. But that is a song I sing from my gut every time because I do need him.

If you are tired of faking fine and just want to get real with yourself, God and others I highly recommend this one.

Visit Esther 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. 

 

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Tunansky February 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:03 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Bookshinelikethedawnfinal2-199x300

Click to purchase

Book: Shine Like the Dawn

Author: Carrie Turansky

Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

About the Author

cturansky-2-214x300CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

 

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

By Carrie Turansky

 

MaggieinHatOne fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

 

Hats in the Edwa2e59191fde836985dfd98f399afeae46rdian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.6ca0c7f3f38874b8095d6884c2fd52f6

 

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

 

68e75a1cae2f5eb955404bdff990157cMotion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

 

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

 

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

 

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews

February 21: Bookworm Mama

February 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews

February 22: Book by Book

February 22: History, Mystery and Faith

February 23: Bibliophile Reviews

February 23: Smiling Book Reviews

February 23: A Readers Brain

February 23: Faithfully Bookish

February 23: Lane Hill House

February 24: Back Porch Reads

February 24: The Scribbler

February 24: I Hope You Dance

February 25: Stuff & Nonsense

February 25: The Power of Words

February 25: A Greater Yes

February 26: cherylbbookblog

February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 26: Splashes of Joy

February 27: Genesis 5020

February 27: inklings and notions

February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 28: Karen Sue Hadley

February 28: A Simple Life, really?!

February 28: Neverending Stories

March 1: Daysong Reflections

March 1: Connie’s History Classroom

March 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 2: These Splendid Sentences

March 2: Singing Librarian Books

March 2: Blossoms and Blessings

March 3: Pause for Tales

March 3: blogging With Carol

March 3: Mary Hake

March 4: Radiant Light

March 4: For The Love of Books

March 5: Christian Bookaholic

March 5: Rachel Scott McDaniel

March 6: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

March 6: Baker Kella

Giveaway

giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

My thoughts:

I have only read one other book by Carrie and I did enjoy it. So was excited to get the chance to read this one.

I think she has gotten better as she has written more books.

This book opens with a scene that will grab you and then keeps you wanting to read to see what will happen. There is mystery woven in that keeps this book exciting as well.

I adored Maggie, she is such a sweet character but I bit stubborn. I wanted to say to her so many times, “hey, give Nate a chance.”

Nate is a wonderful hero who is strong but also sensitive and dealing with the expectations placed on his life.

Faith is woven seamlessly throughout the book, which of course I love.

This was a book I didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend this one to historical romance lovers.

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.