Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery March 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:21 pm
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Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she’s also working on restoring something—herself.

As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common—a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other.

Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

My thoughts:

Jennifer has done it again, written another heart-gripping book. Her books are different because there is a spiritual depth to them that is often missing in other books.

The characters are well-developed, dealing with their own pasts and current situation. Jennifer slowly unveils each character’s story with perfect timing to keep the reader hanging on to see what is going to happen next.

I highly recommend any of Jennifer’s book if you are looking for something to really grab you where you are at.

Visit Jennifer here.

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

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


Breaking Free by Jennifer Slattery January 24, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:12 pm
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Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife Alice Goddard appears to have it all. But when her credit and debit cards are denied, she begins an investigation into the family’s finances—and discovers her husband trapped in a downward spiral of lies. Can they break free from his deception in time to save their marriage?

My thoughts:

Jennifer is such a talented writer, she is a hidden gem among so many authors. If you have not read anything by her I really recommend you do. Her books are so true to life and deal with issues we face or someone we know has faced.

I really appreciate how she writes about people close to my age. Honestly, most books I read the characters are in their twenties. But this book deals with a couple with teen-age boys so I’m thinking they have to be in their forties, at least, and they are dealing with marital issues.

How true is it that we can go to church and talk about being real and authentic but when we have things we are dealing with we hide it, we don’t follow through because we don’t trust that people will still like us. Alice is going through this very thing.

Trent has an addiction and it is ruining his life. He keeps telling himself he won’t do it, or he’ll stop before it gets too bad but he gets sucked in time and  time again and is hiding it from his wife. But things aren’t okay and everyone can see it.

This is a beautifully woven story that drew me in from page one and didn’t let me go, highly recommended.

Visit Jennifer here.

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

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


Write to the Point with Jennifer Slattery October 7, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:03 am
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Intertwined_N154121 (1)Today we get write to the point with Jennifer Slattery. Read on to learn about her newest release.

Tell us about your newest book.

I’d love to! It’s about a medical professional who’s forced into single parenting when her husband abandons her for another woman. It’s also about the man, an old flame, she encounters late one night in the hospital cafeteria who’s fighting to hold on to his boys when a fire threatens to destroy his restaurant and tragedy threatens to destroy him. These two find much needed support in one another and begin to wonder if God might have had an additional purpose—the romantic kind—in reuniting them.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a recent empty nester who’s been enjoying the special time with my husband. It’s almost like we’re on an extended vacation. We’ve been going to small towns near us to peruse antique stores, out to dinner, visiting art shoes and festivals. The other weekend our daughter came home for a visit and said, “You guys have become so social. You know, you could’ve done all that when I was home.”

Which is true, and we did, but perhaps less frequently. I’m not sure why our outings have increased since our princess left for college. She says it’s because she left a void that we’re trying to fill with events and daytrips. Maybe. Though I think it could be more that I’ve had a bit more breathing room, writing-wise, and want to take advantage of this extra time before my next deadline hits.

Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes from listening to and interacting with others. Sometimes ideas come from things I’ve experienced. Sometimes a storyline just flows through my brain. And other times, an idea is triggered by an off-the-cuff Facebook comment left by a friend. That’s how Intertwined was born.

One day I posted a question on Facebook. I don’t remember what it was, and a friend responded, “Write about organ donation.”

I found her answer strange and completely off-topic. I’m not sure if I responded to her but in my mind I thought, “Um… no!” I knew nothing about organ donation or the medical field, expect what I’d seen on television, and we all know how accurate Hollywood is, right?

But a short time later, I awoke with my heroine Tammy Kuhn’s story playing through my mind. I knew her struggles; her fears; how, when and why her husband left her. (I was absolutely livid at him for doing this, by the way!) I also knew the emotional struggle she needed to overcome in order to experience the joy—and love—Christ had waiting for her.

I’ve been writing with Christ long enough to know when a story unfolds this clearly, it must come from Him, so, I sighed and said to Him, “Okay. I’ll write this, but I’m going to need A LOT of help.”

Then I called my friend, who worked as an organ procurement coordinator at the time, and reminded her of her comment on Facebook, asking if she’d help me with this novel. She said she would, although I doubt she had any idea just how much help I’d need! Poor Ami Koelliker! That woman is truly amazing and literally spent hours—HOURS, yes, enough to warrant all caps—teaching me the ins and outs of donation, and then reading the novel—three times!—to ensure its accuracy.

There’s no way I could’ve written this story without her.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I’m a big outliner, ever since I got the timeline really, really, I mean really, messed up in one of my stories. It took so much work straightening everything out, I decided it’d be easier to plot the scenes, their order, and the days they occur, before getting too far into the story. I also tend to be an incredibly insecure writer and am always afraid a story might not work or that my idea might not be strong enough to carry a full novel. By plotting it out, I can see holes and saggy middles before I begin to write. Sometimes this requires minor tweaks; other times a major reroute is in order.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

As of yet, no. However, I’m still waiting to hear back from my publisher on one—an orphan story that’s very near to my heart. But hopefully I’ll receive good news soon! (Well, as soon as one can expect in the publishing industry. Haha.)

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

You know, I probably have bits of me in every character. For this one, I really get Tammy’s love for her children, her desire to protect them from emotional harm, and her uncertainty as to how to do that. I also understand her struggle in moving past the bitterness caused by being betrayed. In Tammy’s case, she must learn to forgive her husband before her unforgiveness destroys her. Though my husband’s never betrayed me, I have experienced betrayal from others, and that hurts. I’ve found the deeper the hurt, the harder it can be to forgive, but I’ve also found God’s command to forgive is for our own sakes. Because bitterness is toxic and can blead in to every area of our lives and every relationship we have.

Are you working on a new project now?

I am, thanks for asking! I’m in the rough draft stage for what I hope to be book three in a series I’m tentatively calling the Midwestern Romance series. Beyond I Do was book one, hopefully book two, Freedom to Love  (working title) will follow, then A Different Kind of Love (also a working title).

Here’s an unpolished, unedited, not final blurb for A Different Kind of Love:

Though she stands for everything he’s against, his heart won’t let him walk away.


All Robby wants to do is serve God, grow a godly family, and make a positive impact on the lives of others. But when a pregnant abortionist and a soon-to-be paroled father ignite the pain from his past, his mercy-filled love is overshadowed by a bitterness that threatens to destroy him. At what point can he walk away for good? And what will it cost him if he does?


Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me, Melissa! I always love visiting your blog. I’ve got a question for your readers. I shared how God moved me to say yes to something I’d already said no to. Has He ever done the same to you, and if so, how and when? I’d love to hear your divinely-redirected story!


BCheadshot2013 (1)Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at



Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!


Buy it:




Thanks so much for visiting with us again, Jennifer. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey!




Review and Giveaway: When Dawn Breaks by Jennifer Slattery January 5, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:37 pm
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As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution forces her to head north. North to where her estranged and embittered daughter lives. She needs reconciliation, but can she find it in time? Will her handsome new friend be someone she can lean on during the difficult days ahead or must she relinquish her chance at love again to find peace?
When Dawn Breaks is a contemporary romance novel filled with humor, romance, and intrigue, along with characters overcoming life’s obstacles and embracing hope. When Dawn Breaks provides readers a look at how middle-aged men and women dealing with real-life issues find hope and peace in God’s will for their lives. The characters will inspire readers to look for ways God can turn their greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Be inspired to see how God longs to love and heal His children through other Christians. Written by a Hurricane Katrina survivor, this novel is an excellent choice for book clubs as well as women’s Bible study discussion groups to encourage evaluation of one’s gifts and desires in light of God’s calling.
My thoughts and giveaway:
Jennifer has written a book that will pull you into the story world and when you walk away you will have to remind yourself that these people aren’t real, the situation isn’t real.
After sitting down and starting this book I realized how the rest of the world (the real world) seemed to fall away while I was reading. I was so wrapped up in these characters lives, they seemed so real.
Jacqueline is a flawed character. She has obviously made many mistakes in her life and Jennifer reveals them slowly, she keeps you hanging on and wanting to find out her full story. I love that Jacqueline sees how God has redeemed her and knows that is her identity now but still struggles to fully accept that truth, especially when her daughter keeps throwing out hurtful reminders.
Then we have Jonathan, a great hero dealing with his own issues. I love how Jacqueline and him connect, very unexpected.
Gavin is a young boy trying to make in a world that hasn’t been very kind to him or his little sisters. My heart broke for him as he goes through the hardships he does.
But through it all there is hope and you know these characters will find a way. How they do it I won’t say, you’ll just have to read this book to see for yourself.
Visit Jennifer here.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or
Leave a comment by January 15th for you 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.

Write to the Point with JoAnn, Jennifer and Valerie February 26, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:39 am
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Today I have three authors to share with you. JoAnn Durgin, Jennifer Slattery and Valerie Comer (who has been here a couple of times already and will be here again). Take some time to get to know these lovely women and enter to win JoAnn’s book.

joannCatching Serenity is JoAnn Durgin’s fifth full-length novel. The author of The Lewis Legacy Series and Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and its sequel, Starlight, Star Bright, she’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives in southern Indiana. Visit her at or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Blurb about Catching Serenity:

A woman torn apart by secrets.

A man held prisoner by the truth.

Can the greatest love of all

set them both free?

 Serenity McClaren had it all before her life crumbled around her like the sand castles on her beloved beach, causing her to flee Croisette Shores and the only home she’d ever known. Nearly five years later and living in Atlanta, she receives a mysterious, unsigned note: Come home, Serenity. Things aren’t as they seem. Time to find your answers. Returning to South Carolina, she prepares to face her demons and the ailing father she left behind, hoping to make peace with both.

Child psychologist Jackson Ross is a man with a surprising past. He’s ready for the quiet life and  eager to establish his practice in the quaint, coastal village. After he hires Serenity to decorate his new office, he’s drawn to the beautiful and enigmatic woman yet sees she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Wanting to help her, he begins to suspect one of his young patients may hold the key to unlocking Serenity’s secrets. Jackson follows his instincts and discovers the shocking truth, but how can he tell the woman he’s grown to love what he knows—and set her free—without compromising his professional ethics and losing her forever?

Catching Serenity, a poignant story of faith, hope and love, and discovering the everyday miracles from an all-powerful God

Life doesn’t come with guarantees, and the Lord never promised the journey would be easy. But He did promise to be with us. Serenity has faced many tragedies in her young life, but she’s a fighter, a survivor. As the story of Catching Serenity Front Cover Image (2)what happened in the past unfolds, the everyday miracles—grace, mercy and forgiveness—of an all-powerful God are revealed in an amazing way.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

When you cross that door into the world of publication, you put your work “out there” for the world to accept or reject. My debut novel, Awakening (Book #1 in The Lewis Legacy Series) released in November of 2010. I was an unknown author with a new publisher, and the book took a while to catch on, but I’m blessed to say it has done extremely well. On Mother’s Day (of all days) of 2011, my rating on Barnes & Noble for Awakening dropped from a five-star average (where it had been for well over a year) to a one-star rating. To this day, I don’t know what happened. Although it’s probably best if I don’t know, I suspect it was a targeted attack either against me personally or Christian fiction and/or its authors in general. The good news is that as a result of this incident (combined with other author complaints), Barnes & Noble changed their policy regarding reviews. I’ve had something similar happen just recently on Goodreads.

I always have a strong spiritual thread in all my books (and try not to have that dreaded “preachiness”). I am also unapologetic about it, and I know some will not like it. When I work so hard on my books, I’ll admit to being extremely sensitive to critical reviews, especially if it’s a cowardly rating without a review. However, I have the passion to write Christian fiction and feel called of the Lord to do so. He who is in me is so much stronger than he who is in the world. So, I keep on writing the best stories I can with inspiration from God’s word. I prefer the “take” of a wise Christian friend who said early on, “You must really be an ambassador for the Lord in your books if the enemy is trying so hard to tear you down.”

 Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Matthew 5:16 is my theme verse for my life and in my writing. In my books, it’s my intent to shine the light of God’s hope, joy and love by adding a little “sunshine” in the form of humor, both in conversation and situations. Life is tough enough with its inevitable heartache and sorrow. A bit of levity helps bring the smile, and the light, to our hearts. In my estimation, humor in our lives is every bit as essential as water, oxygen and, of course, love.

Where can we find you on the web?

Readers can find out more about my books and me at or at Author JoAnn Durgin on Facebook. My books are available in paperback and eBook editions except for the novellas (I have author paperback copies if readers contact me). I don’t Twitter, however. I went to Disney recently, and agree with a sentiment on a Donald Duck T-shirt: “I don’t tweet, I quack.”

JenniferheadshotLet’s get write to the point with Jennifer.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I married a railroader, so I’ve moved around quite a bit, but I was born and raised in the beautiful northwest about an hour north of Seattle. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t pursue it as a career and calling until sometime around 2006. Before that it was for fun, venting (i.e. highly depressive teenage poetry) or church ministry events.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I came to Christ through a neighborhood Good News Bible Club at a very young age, floundered in my teen years, then recommitted my life to Christ on a Good Friday about fifteen years ago

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

I write missional romance, which are romance novels about couples who discover and embrace their calling together. My debut, Beyond I Do, releasing from New Hope Publishers this fall, is about a woman whose encounter with a mother, her son, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her wedding engagement. As God grows her passion, she worries: Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiancé or tear them apart. What I want my reader to take away from the novel is a passion to discover their unique calling and role in God’s kingdom and to follow after that with everything they have.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

I’d have to say living with chronic illness. Prior to getting sick, I was very active and loved anything physical from hiking to competing in triathlons. (sprints) I was pretty prideful, and felt invincible. Then I got sick. This caused me to rethink who I was and what I was capable of. There are days, when I’m tired or hurting or just plain not feeling well, when I get discouraged or frustrated, and I can say some angry prayers. But then God reminds me of all He’s grown in me through this process, things like compassion, inner strength, surrender. Satan attempts to harm me by inviting me to throw a pity party, but then God gently draws me to Himself, reminding me of the wonderful gifts He’s given me through my struggles, the greatest of which is His unfaltering presence. My struggle has also drawn me closer to my husband, because, seeing me with my “brave face” off, he’s always quick to help, hug, encourage, and pray. Love that man!

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I have two that go together. The first is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” The second is found in James 3:13-17 “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

Combined, these verses remind me God loves me, has a plan and a purpose for me, and is committed to working out that plan. I don’t have to understand it all. All I need to do is draw near, listen, surrender, and obey.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find all three of us at, along with nearly 30 other Inspirational romance authors, and you can find me at my home site,

Valerie-Comer-300x300Last but not least is Valerie. She will be visiting us again next Wednesday you will hear more about her book and I will be reviewing it as well.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Hi! I’m Valerie Comer. I live on a small farm in southeastern BC, Canada, with my husband. I’m the proud grandmother of three adorable little girls, who keep me from spending too much time with nose in my laptop. I’ve been writing for about 12 years.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I’m so blessed to have been born and raised in a Christian home. I became a believer as a child, which has it’s own challenges at times.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

My second novel, Wild Mint Tea: A Farm Fresh Romance, releases March first. I hope readers will close the cover with a sentimental sigh, reluctant to part with Claire andWild Mint Tea 200x300 Noel and their friends. May their lingering thoughts be of God’s faithfulness to those He calls.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I Thessalonians 4:11: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to share with my readers. I pray God will bless all of your journey’s.

Readers, JoAnn is giving away a copy of her book, Catching Serenity, to one commentator. Leave a comment by March 4th at 5:00 pm to be entered.