Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman March 16, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:37 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (March 3, 2015)
Dina L. Sleiman


A word from the author:

Since selling my first book, I have also become an acquisitions editor for the company. I am a member of the Inkwell Inspirations blog, HEWN Marketing, ACFW, and a contributor to Christian Review of Books. I hold publishing credits in poetry and songwriting, and I was the writer and featured teacher in a nationally distributed instructional dance video for children. I have written several songs about the plight of the Islamic people, which have been produced in association with the Christian Broadcast Network. In addition, I have taught college and high school classes in writing and literature, as well as homeschool classes in the fine arts, and now enjoy teaching at writers conferences throughout the nation.


Where Legend and History Collide,

One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron’s daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father’s failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village–a group that becomes known as “The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest.” Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he’s forced to reexamine everything he’s known.

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

My thoughts:

What an intriguing tale Dina has told in this book.

If you aren’t familiar with Dina’s writing you might want to be. I read her first book and loved it, Dance of the Dandelion. I haven’t had the chance to read anything else by her until now and I am very glad I picked up this book.

This is a young adult book, but as is usually the case, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Merry has taken on the role of leader with a band of children she rescued. Her heart is tender and kind toward them and she will do whatever it takes to protect them. She must make tough decisions as time progresses and hiding becomes harder.

Then she catches a glimpse of Timothy, the boy she thought she would marry one day. But now he is out to get her, but he doesn’t know it is her that he is hunting.

Of course to add even more tension to this story another boy has decided he would like Merry to fall in love with him.

If you are captivated by stories like Robin Hood (which is mentioned in this book) then you will adore this novel. It did take me a few chapters to get into it but once I was in I didn’t want to put the book down. Young and old alike will delight in this tale.

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 by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.


Soul Painter by Cara Luecht January 12, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:36 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul Painter
WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)
Cara Luecht


A Word from the Author:

I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?

Chicago – 1890

Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam’s gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn’t match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city…and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have…and find her own along with it.

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


My thoughts:

This is definitely a different read. Kind of dark, mysterious. But I liked it.

Cara has written a book that will have you asking yourself many questions. Why is Mariam afraid of other people? Who is hurting these young women? Will they leave this life of sin? Can they find a way out? And what about John, the soon-to-be priest? Is he attracted to Mariam and if so what can he do about it?

I wanted to know so much more about Mariam’s past, I wanted things to add up quicker than they did but I read patiently and waited for things to come together.

Overall, a very good read. Like I said, this is different but if you are looking for something a little bit out of the norm this just might be the book for you.

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

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


Review and Giveaway: Promise to Cherish by Elizabeth Byler Younts December 15, 2014


I posted about this book here but I didn’t have the book to review. Below is my review and giveaway.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Wow. This booked pulled me into the story world and didn’t let me go.

Elizabeth has written a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking story.

Christine deals with something very traumatic, something too many women have to deal with and end up blaming themselves. Not all of them have the same backlash that Christine has but all have the same wounds.

Eli is trying to be different but people keep seeing him as he once was. He grows frustrated with himself when he slips back to his old ways and wonders if he has really changed at all.

The first half of this book will pull you in and raises so many questions. I kept thinking how can all of this be answered or fixed in the second half?

If you enjoy Amish fiction or maybe you aren’t a big Amish fan this might be a book you want to give a try. It is intense not laid back like a lot of Amish fiction.

This is the second book in the series but it can be read as a stand-alone. There are references to the first book but I only know that because I read the first book. If you didn’t you won’t be lost.

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

Leave a comment by December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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


Promise to Cherish by Elizabeth Byler Younts November 17, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:22 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Cherish
Howard Books (October 7, 2014)
Elizabeth Yount


Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.


As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

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

I have not received this book to review as of this posting. I am hoping to get it soon and will post a review in December.


Review and Giveaway: Finding Mercy October 20, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Finding Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley


Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson.


Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house.


When Mercy abandons Captain Elijah Hale to search for her true identity, he goes after her. With the threat that bounty hunters might be hot on her trail, Mercy does all she can to stay ahead of the danger, frustrating both the bad men who are after her—and Captain Hale who wants to find her and escort her safely home. But when she stumbles upon clues that help her learn who she is and where she’s from, the danger escalates and she has to learn to keep her friends close and her enemies even closer—if she can determine which is which!

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Finding Mercy, go HERE.



My Thoughts:

I have been waiting a year to read this book. I absolutely loved the first book. You can read my review here. But, sometimes second books can be disappointing.

I am very happy to say that was not true of Finding Mercy. I. Love. This. Book.

The writing is so good and the constant plot twists are unexpected. Mercy and Elijah are great characters. I remember in the first book how I adored the romance between Mercy and Rand…but as this book moved along I wondered what would happen if Mercy fell for Elijah? Hmmmm?

Again, we are dealing with the issue of Mercy’s identify and I loved the lessons I learned from this. Mercy still doesn’t remember her past but people are telling her who she used to be and want her to be that way again. Some things aren’t very nice.

I realize I have dealt with this myself. I am made new in Christ but there are times when my past tries to remind me of who I used to be. I have a choice, I can either move forward in my new identify or I can go back to my past and my old, lost self, who I didn’t like all that much.

Mercy has the same choice to make. Who will she choose?

Now, this is the second book in the series and I kept asking myself could you read this as a stand-alone? Yes, you could but I think the book is so much richer for what I learned in the first book. I think some things will be confusing if you don’t read the first one and you might find yourself frustrated. I recommend reading the first book, you won’t be sorry. It was amazing.

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

Leave a comment to win a copy by October 26th at 5:00 p.m. (U.S. residents only)

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


Review and Giveaway: Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes September 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:12 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Driftwood Tides
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2014)
Gina Holmes


Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.


He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

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


My thoughts and giveaway:

Gina knows how to write a novel. This is the second book I have read by her. I loved the first one I read, Wings of Glass, so I was very excited to get my hands on her newest book. This one did not disappoint.

Gina has an almost poetic way about her writing. It simply flows off the page and into your mind. Her characters and so flawed and real, just like us.

From the beginning page you can feel the heartache that is to come. The great love that Holten has for Adele and then she is taken from him and he blames himself, turning to alchohol instead of facing reality. I think we can all relate on some level. We may not turn to alchohol but we turn to other things that distract us from real life, from our pain. I know I have.

Libby is a strong young woman but she is struggling to find out who she really it. She isn’t really the daugther of a self-absorbed woman but the daugther of woman she never met. I can only imagine how shocking that must be to her.

If you are looking for a beautifully written story of hope this is one you want to grab.

Leave a comment by September 10th at 5:00 p.m. to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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


A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter August 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:48 pm
Tags: , ,

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart to Heal
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
Allie Pleiter


Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom’s Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.

The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he’s felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max’s bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon’s self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather’s heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.

My thoughts:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am consistently impressed with Love Inspired authors. They seem to pack the same punch as full length novels but in only about a 50,000 word count.

It did take me a couple of chapters to really get cozy with this book but once I did I was reading it very fast.

This is a unique story as both the hero and heroine have been physically injured. You don’t usually see too many books with physically imperfect characters. I love that Allie took the brave step to write this book and addressed some tough issues that a person in a wheelchair has to face.

I’ve never given a lot of though to what it might be like for someone in a wheelchair to date some who’s not, there are so many obstacles to overcome. Not to mention the trust issues regarding if the other person really cares about them or if they just pity them.

Max was probably my favorite character as he struggles with his anger toward God. Gradually he begins to soften but it takes a lot of time, he is quite stubborn. He reminded me of myself and many others I know 🙂

If you are looking for a short jolt of romance with some unique characters I recommend this book.

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


Shenandoah Dreams by Lisa Belcastro July 15, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
Tags: , ,

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shenandoah Dreams
OakTara Publishers (July 1, 2014)
Lisa Belcastro


Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.


What if she met the man of her dreams…in another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home…to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.




My thoughts:

I love the premise of this book, I like things that are a bit different,  a little out of the box so I was interested to read this book.

Lisa obviously did a lot of research about the Shenandoah and the time period that Melissa gets taken to. It was interesting to get taken to a time period that we read about in history books in school.

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t connect with the characters in this book or the story as much as I hoped, which was interesting considering I am a teacher and my name is Melissa. It seemed to take a really long time for anything big to happen. Melissa had a couple of dreams but it took awhile to get to the point of no return.

I also had no clue how old Melissa was until quit a ways into the book. I kept picturing her to be my age or younger but I think she must have been a little older, I just never got a good picture of her.

It was fun being on the ship and I could really feel the wind in my hair and see the water, Lisa did a great job with that. And I do like how the book ended, very satisfying.

As always this is only my opinion, this book has gotten good reviews from other people and this might be one you like and just didn’t work for me. If it sounds interesting to you I encourage you to give it a read and see what you think.

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


Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins October 7, 2013

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e . . .”® Brandilyn’s first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn’s awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she’s not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers’ conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

My thoughts:

If you have read Brandilyn Collins do I really need to say more than her name?

This is only the second book I have read by her. I loved the first and hoped I would love the second.

I do.

Brandilyn knows how to write page turning suspense so well, it is A-mazing.

Hannah, your main character, is overwhelmed with taking care of her mother who suffers from dementia. She is headed home from a good weekend with her mom when they come upon an accident. The man they find laying on the side of the road says things that don’t really make sense but Hannah’s mother is convinced they must do what he asked.

Soon strangers are knocking at Hannah’s door claiming to be the FBI but something doesn’t feel right. Before Hannah can get a good nights sleep she is packing her mother up and running from her home.

If you like suspense with strong female characters you will love this book. You really need to grab a copy and getting reading — with the lights on so you don’t get scared 🙂

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

Visit Brandilyn’s website here.

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


Time for a Class Reunion? October 2, 2013

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1)
Bless Her Heart (bk 2)
Tickled Pink (bk 3)
(Abingdon Press March 1, 2007)

Debby Mayne


Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?

Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

My thoughts on Pretty is as Pretty Does:

Have ever met someone and instantly connected with them? Conversation flows smoothly, like you have always known each other? You can’t learn enough about the person? I have only a handful of people who I’ve had that instant connection with.

Well, Pretty is as Pretty Does is full of my new best friends. From the first couple of pages I was hooked by Debby’s writing style and the story world she has created.

I might be a bit bias, since the people on the book graduated high school that same year I did. I could totally remember my ten-year class reunion. I just had my daughter a year earlier and wanted to lose some weight and find the perfect outfit.

This book is written in first person present tense and each chapter you are in a different characters head, although it’s clear Priscilla is the main character. The writing has a lot of telling, which goes against everything I have learned about writing a novel, but it works in this book. A bit deeper emotion would have been good but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

I loved the connection I felt with each character and the struggles that each is facing as they prepare for the reunion. Turns out even the pretty, popular doesn’t have it all together, go figure.

I can’t wait to read the other two books, and I have them so I will be reviewing them for you as well 🙂

I recommend this series if you are looking for a fun, honest read.

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

Visit Debby’s website here.

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