Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar August 28, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:10 am
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First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption-the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future-and very lives-hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This one took me a little bit to get into. The first chapter definitely hooked me but I waned a little bit for a few chapters and then found myself fully invested.

The thing that really struck me about this book was what it must have been like to hear about Jesus for the first time. I think we take that for granted. We know about Jesus, we can read His Word.

But the people in this story had never heard about Jesus, it was all fresh and new, this idea of unconditional love.

This is another wonderful story by Tessa, she did not disappoint.

Visit Tessa here.

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

Leave a comment by September 10th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (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: A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith March 5, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:51 am
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Can one woman’s prayers change the world?

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Will God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I don’t think about Hannah’s story much but this book was a great reminder of her story and what was going at the time in history.

I always enjoy Jill’s stories, how she brings these Biblical people to live and gives them depth, this is exactly what happened with Hannah.

The corruption that was taking place with Eli’s sons was horrible, I guess I never really thought about what they might have been doing but if this book is even close to being true it was terrible.

Obviously, while reading this I knew how things would turn out and that added so much hope as I read. Knowing Hannah would have a child eventually and she would give him to the Lord.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and if you like Biblical fiction I am sure you will enjoy it as well.

Visit Jill here.

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

Leave a comment by March 19th for you chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost of damaged in the mail.)

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


Alone by Golden Keyes Parsons December 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:20 pm
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Marah’s life has been difficult. Orphaned and left in the care of a cold step-father, she thought she found escape in marriage…but when tragedy leaves her alone again, with a house full of children to tend, harsh reality sets in. Will Marah ever know joy, or is she destined to live up to her name and be bitter forever?

Then one day a stranger visits the well and asks her for a drink of water, a stranger who knows everything she has ever done. And suddenly Marah is given a taste of everything she ever thirsted for.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t sure how Golden would play this out but it is nicely done. You actually start with Marah’s encounter with Jesus and that story is slow revealed as we read about Marah’s backstory.

This was a fully engaging story and a quick read as well. Of course this is Golden’s idea of what could have happened and how Marah could have ended up with five husbands but it is definitely an interesting perspective.

If you enjoy Biblical fiction I’m sure you would like this one.

Visit Golden here.

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

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


Review and Giveaway: Mary Chosen of God by Diana Wallis Taylor September 22, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:07 pm
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“Blessed are you, Mary, chosen of God.”Mary is ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores, she daydreams about a handsome carpenter’s son named Joseph, and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates at the stars. But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news; and her life is changed forever. Experience the life of the Messiah from the perspective of his mother, who must place her trust and obedience in Adonai, the Most High, as he fulfills centuries of anticipation in the middle of her daily life. Walk with Mary as she witnesses Yeshua grow, mature, minister, and even crucified; and then raised again, to the kindling of her new faith.


I’m a grandmother with six grown children and 10 grandchildren. I had my first poem published when I was twelve and got hooked on writing. Then life got in the way. Now I’m enjoying writing Biblical Fiction and Christian Fiction AND being published by Revell! Mary Magdalene will be out June 2012, and my present project, a book on the wife of Pontius Pilate, June 2013.

My thoughts and giveaway:

How can you breathe fresh life into a story you know so well? Well, Diana has managed to do just that.

Even though I knew what would happen in this story I couldn’t wait to read and see how Diana would spin it and bring it to life. I really enjoyed her take.

So many times we think, oh, how sweet, Mary was pregnant with the Son of God. We forget about the shame and judgement that followed her because of what people didn’t know. She had this wonderful news yet who would believe her?

And then how would she feel when this child went to the cross? Definitely gives you a great perspective in this book and brings familiar story, new life.

Biblical fiction readers will love this, or anyone who loves the story of Jesus!!

Visit Diana here.

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

Leave a comment by Sept. 29th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace book lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network, Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 


Review and Giveaway: Delilah by Angela Hunt July 14, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:24 pm
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A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Most Notorious Women

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

My thoughts and giveaway:

When I have thought of Delilah before I always thought of a sneaky, tricky woman. But after reading this version of the story I have a little more understanding for her and what she might have been going through.

Angela Hunt has done a wonderful job of bringing this story to life and making Samson and Delilah very real.

In this story Delilah is an abused young woman left with a child she doesn’t want. She is very hard-hearted toward men and doesn’t really trust them. But something draws her to Samson.

Samson seems to not want to be the man God created him to be. He is struggling with his identity and almost doesn’t want the responsiblity put on him.

One thing I think we need to remember was that Samson was human like the rest of us. He made mistakes. He liked women a bit too much and chose them over God. He did pay a price for that.

I struggled with reading about Samson and Delilah living together, as I disagree with that practice but Delilah definitely didn’t know the Lord.

I also struggled a little with Delilah’s motivation for turning on Samson, I just had trouble believing it to some extent. However, I can’t say too much because I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.

I loved how Angela reminded us that faith comes from the inside not the outside. As long as we hold on to faith in our hearts no one can take it away.

The ending was beautiful and satisfying and Samson finally sees his errors in thinking and repents. Oh, and I especially enjoyed Rei, another character in the book that gave me a bit of surprise.

Overall, an enjoyable read and that most Biblical Fiction readers will enjoy.

Visit Angela here.

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

Leave a comment by July 21st for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (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 in exchange for an honest review. 


Review and Giveaway: Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar April 18, 2016

land of silence


Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

My thoughts:

Tessa is a wonderful author. She brings something special to Biblical fiction and the same is true with her newest release.

Have you ever wondered about the story of the woman the reached out to touch Jesus’ robe? I have. I always loved her faith. Now Tessa brings this woman to life for us and gives her a story. It is a story full of heartache and wounds. Wounds only Jesus can heal.

I think what kept this story moving along for me was the fact that you knew Elianna was going to meet Jesus. I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

This story is also about not being defined by your past and letting go of things and accepting love from others.

This is a beautiful story that I am sure anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction will love.

Visit Tessa here.

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

Leave a comment by April 25th for you chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (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 in exchange for an honest review. 


Miriam by Mesu Andrews March 11, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:52 pm
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The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith February 26, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:56 pm
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the prophet


Canaan has ravaged Israel. The people are in hiding. All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman.

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord’s tabernacle–or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates. The memories of Canaan’s cruelty haunt her and all of Israel. Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him.

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God’s people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it. Can her family ever understand? Will her people believe God’s calling on her life? And can the Canaanite menace be stopped?

With her trademark impeccable research and imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel’s most powerful woman in this intriguing and inspiring novel.

My thoughts: 

I love Jill’s books. I don’t know how she does it but she always manages to bring her stories to life in a very powerful way.

This book is no exception.

The Prophetess brings us Deborah, honestly someone I have never given a lot of thought of in the Bible. But her story is amazing when you think about it. A woman stepping into a leadership role in her day was unheard of, yet men found themselves going to her seeking her wisdom.

The way Jill portrays Deborah’s encounters with the Lord are astounding, But here’s the thing, we can have those encounters today, they aren’t just for those long ago. God wants us to desire to have those moments in His presence. Why don’t we seek them out? I think we would be surprised the way He would meet us if we took the time to seek Him more.

Another great book, I highly recommend.

Visit Jill here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 


Bathsheba by Angela Hunt September 7, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:51 pm
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A Vivid and Moving Portrait of a Reluctant Queen

After sending his army to besiege another king’s capital, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier’s wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king’s household.

Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, Angela Hunt paints a realistic portrait of the beautiful woman who struggled to survive the dire results of divine judgment on a king with a divided heart.

My thoughts:

The story of Bathsheba and David has always fascinated me. Maybe due to my own past and the knowledge that David did these horrible things yet God says he is a man after His own heart.

I’ve never given a lot of thought to how Bathsheba might have felt. I didn’t want to think of King David as raping her. I have to admit I didn’t like reading how selfish David was in taking Bathsheba, giving no thought to her or her husband but taking what he wanted. Of course, this is one authors interpretation of the events but in reality, it’s very likely Bathsheba was forced and wouldn’t dare say no to the King.

I never thought about how Bathsheba might have really loved her husband and the heartbreak that would follow his death.

The author made me think of all of these things and much more.

The book covers much more than the encounter between David and Bathsheba. It also weaves in the curse on David’s family after this sin and how it impacted his kingdom. I loved being reminded of these other events, it made me want to crack open my Bible and refresh my memory.

I really enjoyed the take on this story and how the author handled the situation and the overall love that can come from even horrible things. I also loved how Bathsheba was reminded of her past many times throughout her life but believed God can redeem all things. So true 🙂

Visit Angela here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

A e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


Write to the Point with Caryl McAdoo (Part 4) August 12, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
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carylToday we get write to the point with Caryl McAdoo. She has been on here a few times before. You can click here to see her other posts and find links to connect with her. Today she is sharing about writing Biblical Fiction. Enjoy!

Biblical Fiction – Truth & Imagination Merge

I’ve always had a love hate with Biblical fiction. My first exposure was as a child with such classic as Ten Commandments, Exodus, and Ben Hur, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Daddy took me and a girlfriend to El Chico and to see the The Greatest Story Ever Told for my fifteenth birthday! My introduction to reading the genre came much later, but I fell in love with the way fictional stories brought the familiar characters to life.

The first book I wrote for publication was in the ’80s IN THE BEGINNING, a 380 page hand-written manuscript I paid to be transcribed so I could submit it to New York publishers. (Now think of that ’64 Terry Stafford song ‘Suspicion’, to that tune:) Rejection! Woe filled my mailbox! Rejection! Kept us apart! Rejection! Why don’t you leave me alone! Sorry, everything reminds me of a song. Point is, no one brought sacks of money to my door.

The Lord led me to a writers’ workshop where I learned right off I’d made every conceivable mistake a new writer could, so I studied, read, and paid close attention to my mentors and learned my craft.

I loved writing Christian fiction for my historical Texas Romance and contemporary Red River Romance series, but didn’t get back to Biblical fiction until 2014 when I went back to rework A Little Lower Than the Angels written roughly off the first 80 pages of that original handwritten, multi-rejected manuscript.

During the ’90s and ’00s (my 40s and 50s), I came to know God’s Word much more intimately. I suddenly realized every little wrong jot and tittle in the movies. I’d anticipated all the new Bible-based movies. But I HATE it when the writers, producers, and/or directors change God’s story! If they want to create Biblical fiction, do they really think mortal man can improve what The Creator wrote?

A reviewer gave Then the Deluge Comes a one-star rating because ‘the author [I] totally left out how Noah preached to the multitudes while they mocked him…and the people clamoring trying to get into the ark.’ But that isn’t scriptural, it’s Hollywood. And she’s taken it as “Truth” not because she read it, but because she saw it. It’s so important for movies to be accurate.

By its genre’s very name, The Generations series is presented as untrue, not real—the definition of fiction is a story concocted purely from a writer’s imagination. On the other hand, Biblical—from the Bible—indicates Truth and nothing but the Truth! Every Word in the Bible is true. So no question about that; absolutely set in stone far as I’m concerned.

Jesus is the Truth. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6.

Jesus is the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1; and again, And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13.

So Biblical Fiction is an untrue, imagined story based on absolute truth. We could assume a writer of Christian Fiction is a Christ follower, so why don’t they all adhere perfectly to the facts? I mean facts are the facts, after all.

Personally, I get very frustrated with writers of Biblical Fiction who stray from the truth of the Word. Fiction gives them the right through imagination to flesh out the story, bring characters we know so well to life, but why do they need to rewrite the story? Change truth, you only have a lie.

I present The Generations series labeled Biblical Fiction, praying imagination enhances the Word’s stories and searching for clues to flesh-out the facts. I include a section called ‘Search the Scriptures’ in every book to show where I got some of my clues. I purposely examine the Word to find a new perspective.

In Mark, 7th chapter, in red letters: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! …Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down…” I now consider all those Sunday School stories taught as a child to be suspect. They are nothing more than traditions of men. Some  may be spot on, others—like three wise men traveling to the manger—are not true according to the Word, yet we believe them.

I invite you, should you perceive by the Word that any part of any of my stories are contrary to God’s Holy Book, to let me know where and how. I stand ready to alter my opinion any time it is shown not to line up to the Word.


  • 01FrontCov low-resVolume One A Little Lower Than the Angels follows Adam and Eve in Adam’s Valley, Cain after he kills his brother and flees to Nod, and Abel in Paradise with a wise old cherub as a teacher and companion.

5-Star Review: “Well done, good and faithful servant of God, Caryl McAdoo: my first thought after reading A Little Lower Than The Angels. This Biblical Fiction fleshes out the creation stories we all know so well and brings God’s beloved first couple and their sons to life. A Little Lower than the Angels does not take away from the truth of the Scripture, or add to them (as it is Biblical Fiction), yet it fills in blanks with what could be a possibility.

Like Caryl’s other works, A little Lower than the Angels is very well written. What this book did for me: Revelations of what could be stirred my soul. My heart soared from its reminders of how the Father loves us, and I raised my heart in praise to The Creator. It refreshes my knowledge and love of Scripture and of angels, too. The only other book that has done that for me on such a level is the Holy Bible, and like the Holy Bible, this small book is one that you will want to pick up again and again. I especially appreciated the end of the book, Search the Scriptures, where Caryl lists a few of the Biblical clues (from the King James Version) that guided her work of fiction.                –Holly Michael, Author of Crooked Lines and others, Kansas City, Missouri


  • Volume Two Then the Deluge Comes begins with Adam and Eve’s deaths and the first couple’s reunion in 000Front Cover2 Paradise with Abel. It continues through to the 8th Generation of Noah and his sons, ending the day it starts raining for the first time on earth.

5-Star Review: Then The Deluge Comes by Caryl McAdoo is beautifully written. This novel concentrates on the story of Noah, leading up to the flood. She takes nothing away from the biblical story, but enhances it. The characters are fully developed, becoming more three dimensional than in the Bible.

As with book one, not only does the reader see the earthly version of the story, but there are glimpses of the heavenly one too. This helps to remind the reader that all of life is a spiritual battle against the forces of darkness. One must always be ready and wearing the full armour of God.

Then The Deluge Comes can actually help to understand the original Bible story. Parts of the Old Testament that can be confusing, are made much clearer. There is so much beauty in Caryl McAdoo’s retelling of the traditional story that the reader just revels in the language. It will leave you feeling calm and peaceful, and you will be glad that you picked it up.                                –Julia Wilson, teacher and reader, United Kingdom


  • 001 FRONT ReplenishVolume Three Replenish the Earth opens right where Volume Two leaves off. God closes the door and the eight souls are lifted from the surface of the earth by the fountains of the deep and forty days and nights of rain. Spend the year aboard the ark with them, working alongside them as they tackle daily chores. Feel their elation when it’s finally time to leave the ark.

5-Star Review: Caryl McAdoo has retold the familiar Genesis flood account with clarity and sensitivity. While remaining faithful to the King James Version, the human story beneath the print page comes alive drawing the reader into the pathos and joys of real breathing people faced with the most devastating natural disaster ever known in human history, one which survives in the mythology of every culture and race, but which is most fully and literally told in the pages of the Bible. This reviewer loved this segment of The Generations Series and heartily recommends the whole work.

–Cass Wessel, multi-published author of devotionals

Thanks so much for sharing with us again, Caryl. Can’t to see what you are to next month 🙂