Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Then Sings My Soul by Amy K. Sorrells March 2, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:38 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Then Sings My Soul
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
Amy Sorrells


An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.

When Nel Stewart returns home due to the sudden death of her mother, she realizes her beloved father, Jakob, is struggling with dementia.

With the reappearance of a high-school sweetheart, deliveries from Ukraine addressed to her, and the discovery of a mysterious, vintage aquamarine gemstone, Nel senses God is pulling her into the past to restore their faith and their futures. Told partially through Jakob’s flashbacks of fleeing genocide-ridden eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel combines elements of mystery, history, faith and romance to reveal how God redeems the broken years … and our future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Then Sings My Soul, go HERE.


My thoughts and giveaway:

What I enjoyed about this book was going back in time with Jakob. I was struck by the fact that what happens, the choices we make, has such a significant impact on our futures and our families futures.

I also was sad to see how Jakob’s mind was going. It is a slow fade that Amy portrayed nicely.

I have to be honest, initially I didn’t care for Nel. Her relationship with the Lord is very superficial and she still is really living how she wants to. I also struggled with getting a good picture of her. I wanted to make her younger than she really was and had to keep reminding myself that she is probably closer to my age or a bit older.

That being said, as the book went on I warmed up to Nel and couldn’t wait to see her open her heart up to God’s amazing grace and receive the love He wants to lavish on her.

Amy writes a book with many layers and each one is peeled back slowly and with great care. She has a way of writing that touches the heart and many issues in our broken world.

One of my favorite things about this book was part of it takes place in South Haven, Michigan. I love how Amy described Michigan in the fall and the leaves changing, the sunset over the lake. So true to this great state.

Visit Amy here.

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

Leave a comment by March 9th to be entered for your chance to win a copy of this book. (U.S. residents only. I am not responsible for books that get lost on the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


Sky Zone by Creston Mapes July 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:43 pm
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sky zone


A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions. 
Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn’t making matters any easier.
With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives–and the lives of thousands of innocent people.This third book in The Crittendon Files reminds us of the power of family, friendships and faith–and why we are never in as much control as we think.
My thoughts:
Creston Mapes is one amazing writer. I absolutely loved the first two books and wasn’t sure how I could love this one more, but I think I might. This is a book that had me up way too late but I couldn’t put it down.
Creston does an outstanding job of making the terror and chaos feel so real. He throws new twists and ramps up the tension with each chapter, adding another element that makes things more nail-biting.
Jack and Pam are in a tough spot financially at this point in the third book. The weight of paying bills weighs heavy on Jack and Pam is overwhelmed with working outside the home now and being pregnant. All of these facts play into the situation that plays out at the arena. I love how Creston ties everything together, even the things you think won’t contribute to the overall story, they do.
This is not a  cozy read, so if you like that sort of book and you don’t like violence you won’t care for this book. But you like fast-paced adventure and never knowing what’s around the corner then this is a book I highly recommend
Visit Creston here.
Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.
An ecopy of this book was given to me by the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

Review and Giveaway: Death Takes a Ride July 21, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:13 pm
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death takes a ride



It’s official. This case is above her pay grade–and Cate’s in over her head.

Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there–this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.

My thoughts and giveaway:

What a fun cozy mystery. This is the third in a series, I haven’t read any of the others but from my reading of this one I think you can jump in at any point and not feel lost. I didn’t at all.

Cate Kinkaid is a spunky character who I enjoyed reading about and getting to know. Lorena did a great job with all of the characters in this book giving them each their own distinct personality. Especially the cat and dog, loved them!!

This is not a grip-the-pages-because-I-am-so-scared kind of book, which from what I understand of cozy mysteries they’re not supposed to be that way, hence the word “cozy”. But Lorena has definitely written a book you will want to keep reading so you can figure out whodunit.

If you like a light mystery with murder thrown in, an ex-wife who seems too eager for insurance money, a little suspense and a dash of romance, then this is a book you will want to grab and probably an author you should really check out.

Visit Lorena here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Leave a comment by July 27th at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win a copy for yourself. (U.S. residents only)

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


The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner April 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:09 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
Mindy Starns Clark
Susan Meissner


Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website:, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at


the amish groomNew from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him.
When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Amish Groom, go HERE.

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by either of these authors but I have heard great things about both of them.

The thing I have to remember about Amish fiction is that it isn’t always as fast-paced as I might like it to be, and that’s okay. I think it goes with the Amish way of life and that’s the way you should read Amish fiction, savoring every detail and word.

The authors do a great job of setting the stage for Tyler’s Amish life in the beginning. It gives the reader a great picture of where he is right now and this internal struggle he is going through.

The book is in Tyler’s point-of-view but a woman reader can easily relate to him. He’s struggling with his identity. Raise your hand if you have had this same struggle. I can pretty much guarantee that every single person has had this same issue at some point in their lives.

If we don’t know who we are in Christ it’s hard to live a satisfying life. Actually, it’s impossible. Tyler is on a mission to discover who God says he is and not who other people tell him he must be. I love that.

I also loved how after Tyler had been praying for God to make things clear and an opportunity arises he totally questions God, thinking this isn’t what he had in mind. Yikes! Isn’t that so relatable? Another example of how God’s ways are not ours and His thoughts are higher than ours.

If you enjoy Amish fiction I think this is one you will want to pick up.

A copy of this book given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson April 21, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:40 am
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Book Description:

In this new fairy tale reimagining from award-winning YA author Melanie Dickerson, Gisela’s life consists of cooking and cleaning for her stepmother and stepsisters, with little time for daydreams. When she discovers the duke’s son, Valten-the boy she has daydreamed about for years-is in search of a wife, she is determined to get an invitation to his upcoming ball. But once she meets her Prince Charming, other forces are determined to halt her happily ever after, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined. Consistent seller and award-winning author Melanie Dickerson’s previous books-The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter-have sold well across multiple channels. She is looking to continue her momentum, as fairy tale retellings continue to be a strong trend among readers, providing a historical romance that puts a new twist on the classic story of Cinderella.

My thoughts:

This might be a young adult book but any woman who loves a good fairytale, or historical romance will adore this book.

This is the first book I have read by Melanie but I am planning on reading more. If the others are as good as this I may have found another author I need to keep my eye out for.

If you know the story of Cinderella then you get the general idea for this book but it is different. Gisela and Valten meet before the ball and Valten is smitten by Gisela. Valten is a strong hero who will do what it takes to protect Gisela, he does this even before he knows her. Sigh.

You will see Gisela emerge from a scared young woman into a woman who blossoms under the love of a hero. Just as we do under the love of our Savior.

I had a feeling of anticipation the whole time I read this book. I couldn’t wait to see how Melanie would handle the storyline and the love between the two main characters is heart-twisting.

This is a must-read for any historical romance lover and a great read for your teen who enjoys reading as well.

Visit Melanie’s website here.

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

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