Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: With You Always by Jody Hedlund August 28, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:50 pm
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Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t met a Jody Hedlund book I haven’t liked šŸ™‚ This new series starts off with a bang.

First, I love the research Jody books into her books. I learn new things from her writing and if you read the authors notes at the end you can understand even more.

Elisa is a wonderful character. I loved her sarcasm and sometimes snarky attitude. I also appreciated that she was real about her relationship with Jesus. She had pulled away, but the message in the book is that He never pulled away from her. The title has a double meaning which I find beautiful.

Thorton…what’s not to love. What a fantastic hero, most of the time. He has his faults of course but he is a great guy.

I found myself with tears in my eyes a couple of times, a true sign that this book was touching my heart. And most of that came for the other characters in the book and their love for Elise and Thorton.

I am really curious about the upcoming books and who will be featured in them. There was unsolved story lines in this book so I am hoping those will get resolved later in the series.

Visit Jody here.

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

Leave a comment by September 11th for your chance to win a copy of this book. 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.Ā 


The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen January 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:32 am
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the painters


Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists–including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley’s responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host’s daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother’s, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage “in name only” to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn’t come to regret it?

My thoughts:

Oh my, this book is amazing. Ā Julie Klassen has written another fabulous book.

I don’t even know where to begin. The plot is just great and will have you guessing and wondering what will happen. I have to admit, I was so concerned about the characters that I had to peek at the last page. I Ā couldn’t wait to see what would happen (that’s bad, I know).

Then I was up way past my bedtime because I didn’t want to stop reading and had to see what would happen.

Sophie is a wonderful young woman who made a mistake and struggles with feelings from her past. I can definitely relate to that.

Stephen reminded me very much of my husband, strong and willing to do whatever he has to for those he loves.

Truly, one of the best books I have read in a while. If you like Julie’s books, or if you haven’t read anything by her, this is a must read.

Visit Julie here.

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

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


Review and Giveaway: The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz September 14, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:43 am
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the mistress


There can be only one mistress of Tall Acre . . .

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general’s past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal–you will find it all in the rich pages of this newest novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Okay, I have never read anything by Laura before but I have heard great things about her. When I first started this book I wasn’t feeling it and I don’t know why. But around page one hundred I realized I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get back to the story.

This book is so wonderfully written. I can’t even put my finger on what exactly made it so good. The story is engaging, the characters very likeable, especially sweet Lily Cate.

I think the dialogue surprised me most of all. The things the characters said sometimes was so raw my heart ached and I loved that they had the courage to say it!

With each chapter the tension and questions get upped until you are left wondering how things could ever work out.

Laura Frantz is definitely a talented author and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Visit Laura here.

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

Leave a comment by Sept. 21st Ā for your chance to win a copy of this book. 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 my by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Ā 


Review and Giveaway: Love’s Rescue by Christine Johnson June 4, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:03 pm
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Can a girl enamored with the adventurous seas ever be content with the tame life of a Southern belle?

When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O’Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.

As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.

From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws you into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy South.

Christine Johnson is the author of several books for Steeple Hill and Love Inspired and has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God’s majestic creation. She and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. Learn more at

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have read a couple of Christine’s Love Inspired books and really enjoyed them so I was excited to get my hands on a full length novel and get lost in one of her stories.

I wasn’t disappointed.

From the first page I was drawn into the drama of this story. There are so many layers I’m not sure where toĀ  begin.

We start with a hurricane that changes Elizabeth’s course in life. We catch up with her four years later in another storm and finds herself in a mess. But she gets rescued by the one man she loves and the one she can never have.

She finds herself trying to fill her mother’s shoes but finds discouragement aĀ constantĀ companion. She isĀ torn between doing what others expect of her and what her heart tells her to do.

How will this all play out? How can she make everyone happy, including herself? Is it even possible? You will have to read the book to find out šŸ™‚

Visit Christine here.

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

Leave a comment by June 15th for your chance to win a copy. Winner will be chosen by (U.S. residents only. I am not responsible for book 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: Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green March 9, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:34 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spy of Richmond
River North (March 1, 2015)
Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed…Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


Trust none. Risk all.
Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can’t do it alone.
Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie’s home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city’s fortifications.

As Sophie’s spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father’s position as newspaper editor and a suitor’s position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

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

My thoughts and giveaway:

Oh, this has all the things you need for a great Civil War novel. Mystery, secrets, romance, it’s all here.

Novel’s set in the Civil War are one of my favorites and this book wasn’t an exception.

This is Jocelyn’s final book in this series and I have enjoyed them all. However, they can all be read as stand-alone novels, so you won’t feel lost if you haven’t read the others and start with this one.

I adored Sophie’s heart. She wants to do what is right and is willing to risk everything for it. This alone kept me on the edge of my seat. But then Jocelyn adds so many other wonderful characters to round out this story. Each having an important part in this story line.

The constant question of who Sophie could trust and who was following her and leaving threatening notes was another great aspect of this story.

If you enjoy historical fiction I think this is a book you should pick up.

Visit Jocelyn here.

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

Leave a comment by March 18th for you chance to be entered to win copy. (U.S. residents only. I am not responsible for replacing books that are lost 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.


Review and Giveaway: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund December 22, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:23 pm
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Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Jody Hedlund has written another beautiful book with well-developed characters that have flaws and a back story that she slowly reveals just as you need it.

I love that Jody is a Michigan author and this is another book set in Michigan. It was fun to Google images of the lighthouse in this book and see it with my own eyes.

Emma is a lovely heroine who is just trying to find her way. She has no idea how beautiful she truly is and I love that humbleness in her. She is thrown into being a wife and mother and doesn’t find it easy at all since she has had no preparation as most women her age would’ve have been raised to have a family.

Patrick has embraced the amazing grace of Jesus but still struggles with the demons in his past. He has been running from his past and fears the day it will catch up with him.

Even though Emma and Patrick are married their romance is a slow build filled with tender moments.

If you are a Jody Hedlund fan I think you will be pleased with this book and even if you aren’t but enjoy a good historical romance this is a book I recommend.

Visit Jody here.

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

Leave a comment by January 3rd for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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


A Matter of Heart by Tracie Peterson October 23, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:35 pm
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a matter of heart


Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica’s dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he’s drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

My thoughts:

This wasn’t a book that grabbed me right away and I’m not even sure why. Tracie did everything right but I just had trouble connecting with the story…until about page 100 and then I had to see what would happen.

Jessica is a young women struggling with the person she has been in the past and how people perceive her. She wants to change but change doesn’t come as easy as she thought. Who can’t relate to that? She finds herself falling back into old patterns of thought and gets frustrated at her fall backs.

The two men in Jessica’s life make things much more interesting. I immediately liked Austin and his mysterious, quiet way. Harrison was a bit more boldĀ and I could see why Jessica would be drawn that but something in me didn’t really trust him at first. You’ll have to read the book to see if there was a reason I couldn’t trust him:)

This is a series but I didn’t feel like I had missed out on anything that wouldn’t allow me to enjoy this book, so I think this can be read as a stand-alone, since I haven’t read the other books.

If you enjoy Tracie Peterson and historical romance this might be a book you want to take a look at.

Visit Tracie 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.


Review and Giveaway: Full Steam Ahead June 26, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:53 pm
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full steam



When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole’s father has always focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father’s rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole’s plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy?

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is the second book I have read by Karen. I lovedĀ Stealing the PreacherĀ so I was anxious to read her newest release.

Well,Ā Full Steam AheadĀ did not disappoint.

She has crafted another well written book with characters that are quirky, spunky and charming.

And as the title says, once you pick up this book it is full team ahead with the story. Chapter after chapter adds a new layer or twist to the plot.

Nicole is on a mission to find a husband so she can save her father’s business but there’s danger after her so she takes a little detour. But I think it’s more of a Genesis 5020, if you ask me. This detour leads her to Darius.

At first I wasn’t so sure about him. He seemed a bit too strange, but really he is on a mission of his own. He wants to save peoples lives due to what happens in the prologue of the book. As he gets to know Nicole he becomes more demensional, there’s a softer side to this guy and not only does he find himself wanting to save other people, he also wants to protect Nicole.

Karen is an excellent writer and if you like historical romance this is one you will enjoy.

Visit Karen here.

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

Leave a comment by July 2nd at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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


Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell May 8, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:33 pm
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A girl with the best of intentions.
A heart set on Hollywood.
An empty pocketbook.

That’s all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She’s tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can’t deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she’s not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It’s simple: avoid Griff’s attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call…with her very own Griff as the target.

With an endearing heroine as her lead, Siri Mitchell takes readers on a madcap tale of love and discovering one’s true desires!

My thoughts:

What a fun book and heroine. This is the second book I have by Siri and so far I like this one the best.

For whatever reason Ellis grabbed me and didn’t let me go. I loved her character. But the truth is, if I met her in real life she would drive me crazy. She is so disorganized and unreliable. Siri did a great job of writing her scattered thoughts yet kept the reader from loosing interest.

My heart also broke for Ellis because her family is horrible to her and she doesn’t’ feel worthy of the love of the man she desires. Yet I see this is a beautiful picture of how Jesus pursues each of His children. We aren’t worthy but Jesus makes us worthy. We don’t have to clean ourselves up to be loved by Him, he picks us up in our sin, or brokenness and wipes away the tears and whispers that He alone can make us worthy.

A truly wonderful book and I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a good historical.

Visit Siri’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.