Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Hand-Me-Down Princess by Carol Moncado November 16, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:17 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hand Me Down Princess
CANDID Publications (August 31, 2015)
by
Carol Moncado

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When she’s not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle, or Girl Meets World with her kids. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching American Government at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count – including his fidelity to his wife.

Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life.

No sooner than Prince Malachi and Jessabelle return from their honeymoon, they find themselves dealing with both private trauma and the very public drama of groundless accusations from the press. Just as they begin to weave their fragile trust back together, a ghost from the king’s past arrives and threatens everything they’ve ever held dear.

Secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country in their leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hand Me Down Princess, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Wow. I totally adored this story. It reminded me a lot of some of Rachel Hauck’s princess stories.

The whole concept of this plot I found intriguing and was hooked from the beginning.

Malachi is wonderful and very patient. Honestly, I wondered when or if he would ever grow impatient with Jessabelle because I would have.

I felt bad for Jessabelle, but there were times I wanted to tell her to suck it up and make the best of her situation and embrace this wonderful man who is trying to help her. But she is shy person and that obviously has an effect on how she will handle everything that is taking place around her.

Also, you just knew something bad was going to happen to try to tear any trust away from these two and I cringed as I waited to see what would happen.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Carol did a wonderful job ending every chapter with a bit of a cliff-hanger, which you don’t often see in romance novels, but she made me want to keep reading late into the night. I highly recommend this one.

Visit Carol here. 

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

Leave a comment by November 30th 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 through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review. 

 

A Father’s Second Chance by Mindy Obenhaus November 9, 2015

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Father’s Second Chance
Love Inspired (July 21, 2015)
by
Mindy Oberhaus

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the Author: To steal a line from Donny and Marie, I’m a little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll. I’m trapped in the city, but prefer the country or the mountains.

I love Jesus, my family, and just about anything sweet.

I believe Jesus died for my sins, rose three days later, and will one day return. He has carried me through some of my darkest hours. Without faith in Him, I would be nowhere.

I have a penchant for chocolate, clothes, and shoes. When I’m not penning romance novels, I enjoy cooking, decorating and shopping.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Businesswoman Celeste Thompson has one goal: to make her restaurant and hotel a success. She doesn’t need any distractions, even from handsome contractor Gage Purcell and his two adorable little girls. Besides, single dad Gage is just biding his time before a big job at the mines comes through. But as Celeste’s project springs to life, their arguments transform into attraction. Gage isn’t looking for romance, especially not with another career-driven woman like his ex-wife. But openhearted Celeste is more than just another work-consumed client. She might just be his happily-ever-after.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Father’s Second Chance, go HERE.

My thoughts:

I loved this story. The story world was so rich and real and that is true of most Love Inspired books.

Celeste is not what she appears at Gage’s first glance. She is kind and carries wounds that help her to see the world differently.

Gage’s vow to stay away from women crumbles pretty easily around Celeste.

Then we have Gage’s sweet daughters. They will melt your heart.

The romance is a slow build and wonderfully done between these two. If you like a good romance you will adore this book.

Visit Mindy here.

Grab your copy at your local book story, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

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

 

The Thornbearer by Pepper Basham November 2, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:38 am
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thornbearer
Vinspire Publishing, LLC (May 7, 2015)
by
Pepper Basham

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, and has already garnered its first award with Readers’ Favorites International Awards. Pepper’s second and third books in the series arrive in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in April.

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all. When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman? In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion. As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Thornbearer, go HERE.

Visit Pepper here.

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

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Firefly Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo October 5, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:23 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Firefly Summer
Redbud Press (June 23, 2015)
by
Kathleen Y’Barbo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A new cowboy romance from award-winning author Kathleen Y’Barbo.

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart!

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own…

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch.

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firefly Summer, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This book drew me in right away. The writing is excellent and the story line just grabbed me. I had to see how things would turn out.

Kathleen did a great job of creating two very likable characters in a short book.

Sessa falls in love with her little grand-daughter after she tries to talk herself out of it. She is strong women, especially considering the pain she has faced having a wayward son, which many people I am sure can relate to.

Trey sounds like a great guy, and handsome. I could very much picture this doctor/cowboy and the pain of trying to get over what he did to Sessa’s son.

When these two come together the chemistry sparks and it’s such an odd combination but it works.

I also enjoyed the small town feel and how the ladies had their noses in everyone else’s business.

The overall theme of true forgiveness is one we can all learn from. A wonderful romance 🙂

Leave a comment by October 14th 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 through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review. 

 

London Tides by Carla Laureano June 8, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:15 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
London Tides

David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
by
Carla Laureano

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to my work for corporate clients, I wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization.

I love the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of my work. I also enjoy incorporating my background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of my stories.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was selected as a finalist in ACFW’s 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. My debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013 and went on to win RWA’s 2014 RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. My three book young adult fantasy series, SONG OF SEARE, is being released from NavPress in 2014 and 2015.

I live with my husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?

If you would like to read the first chapter of London Tides, go HERE.

 

My thoughts:

I loved Carla’s first book, Five Days in Skye. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her newest release. But I have to be honest I am very torn in some ways about this book.

The story is great, the writing is fabulous, the story world is so real and the characters well-developed.

Carla did a wonderful job drawing these two characters together yet I continually felt like something bad was going to happen to tear them about again, like this relationship was too fragile.

I loved going on Grace and Ian’s dates, they are fun and creative. I also enjoyed visiting Skye again and meeting up with characters in the first book. However, if you haven’t read the first book you can read this one as a stand-alone and not feel lost.

The passion between the two characters is hot. If you don’t like a lot of passionate kissing and coming too close then this probably won’t be your cup of tea.

And this is where I become torn because honestly, if I didn’t know this was Christian fiction I don’t think I would have known.

There are vague references to God, a quick prayer here and there but I think we could find that in a secular novel. With that being said that is what makes the characters real. There are a lot of people out there with a bit of faith and only call on God when they need something.

I also struggled with the casual references to living together in the past and not really hearing any regret or how that was wrong. Grace does talk about how she wants to do things differently this time but she doesn’t have, or at least voice, that Jesus is the reason she wants to do things differently. She talks about that she made a promise to God but she doesn’t go too deeply into that.

Honestly, I would have probably given this book five stars if there was more of a faith thread but it really rubbed me wrong without seeing more Jesus in the book so I give it four stars. The story itself is excellent I was just missing Jesus 🙂

Visit Carla here.

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

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

 

Justified by Varina Denman June 1, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:25 pm
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This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Justified David C. Cook (June 1, 2015) by Varina Denman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on the three-book Mended Heart Series. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance. Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature. Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers. ABOUT THE BOOK

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect. Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope. If you would like to read the first chapter of Justified, go HERE.   My thoughts: I loved the first book in this series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one.  I was so excited when it released so close to the first. What do I love about this series? I’m not even sure. It could be Varina’s writing style. She makes everything come alive. It could be the characters. They are all so developed. I can picture each one and they are all so different. Even Ruthie (who was the main characters in Jaded) still had her quirky personality in Justified.  The characters are all flawed none of them are perfect and I love that because that is true to life. It could be the small town setting. Varina does a great job giving the town of Trapp its own personality and developing the story world in that town. With all that being said I thoroughly enjoyed Justified. We meet Fawn in the first book and she isn’t very likeable at first in that book. She gets pregnant and her world turns upside down. Now she is humbled because she is forced to live much differently then she is used to. She is a young girl trying to find her own identity and others are trying to take that right away from her. Her ex-boyfriend is up to no good and I cringed every time she thought about taking him back. I so wanted JohnScott and Fawn to speak up sooner about their feelings. But Verina developed that relationship beautifully. If you have ever dealt with insecurity I think we will relate to Fawn a lot and her many struggles. Another great one by Varina. Today Jaded is free. Click here to grab a copy. Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Double Cross by DiAnn Mills April 20, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:38 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Double Cross
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2015)
by
Diann Mills

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling
author who believes her readers
should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with
unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two
Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier,
Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library
Journal
presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction
award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction
Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith,
Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers
Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various
groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her
husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and
would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms
listed at her website.

ABOUT THE BOOK

FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead.

Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon.

As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Double Cross, go HERE.

 

My thoughts:

This is the third book by DiAnn I have read. I really loved the other two. Although I ended up enjoying this one it took me a while.

I took note that it was at page seventy-seven that I felt like the book finally hooked me. I loved the situation that Laurel ended up in with having to work with the man she once put in prison, Morton. I also hoped that his Christianity was real and that he would use his story of redemption to reach into Laurel and Daniel’s lives.

Morton himself was an interesting character and definitely had a great Genesis 5020 story.

The beginning was a bit slow for me and for some reason I felt like some situations didn’t happen naturally. When Daniel asked Laurel out the first time I was kind of like “That came out of no where.” And I guess I felt like that happened a lot. Characters said or did things but it seemed to lack a natural motivation.

With that being said, once I got into the story I really did enjoy it and wanted to know more about the characters wounds and back story. DiAnn did a great job dropping hints but not giving too much away too soon.

In the end I did enjoy this book and think if you like DiAnn Mills you will enjoy this one as well. This can be read as a stand-alone novel even though it is the second book in the series.

Visit DiAnn here.

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

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