Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter October 30, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:24 pm
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About:

After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt’s apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.

She’s also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn’t sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs–dead and buried.

My thoughts:

So it’s kind of funny. When I first started this book I didn’t think I was going to connect with it. I just wasn’t feeling it. But I kept going. And guess what? I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book.

This story has so much going on, so many layers to unwrap. By half way through I didn’t want to put it down because I had to see what would happen next.

I love stories with small towns that try to take care of things on their own. I don’t agree with this, of course, but it sure makes for an interesting read. Now I can’t wait to read more by Lisa.

Visit Lisa here.

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

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

 

Review and Giveaway: The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez by Buck Storm July 23, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:35 pm
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About:

Literary Americana fiction filled with humor and heart

When his wife, Angel, is killed in a head-on collision, Gomez Gomez feels he can’t go on–so he doesn’t. He spends his days in the bushes next to the crash site drinking Thunderbird wine, and his nights cradling a coffee can full of Angel’s ashes. Slow, sure suicide, with no one for company but the snakes, Elvis’s ghost, and a strange kid named Bones.

Across town, Father Jake Morales plays it safe, haunted by memories of the woman he left behind, hiding his guilt, loss, and love behind a thick wall of cassock and ritual. Then a shady business deal threatens the town–and his good friend Gomez Gomez–and Father Jake can’t just stand by and watch. But what happens when the rescuer is the one in need of saving?

The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is quirky, heartfelt, and deeply human. Lives and hopes collide in the town of Paradise, stretching across decades and continents in this epic story of forgiveness, redemption, and love.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here.

About the Author:

Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed author and musician whose stories have found mail (1)friends around the world. His nonfiction work includes Finding Jesus in Israel and Through the Holy Land on the Road Less Traveled. Storm’s novels include The List, The LightTruck Stop Jesus, and The Miracle Man. The latest, The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez, launches his new series, Ballads of Paradise.

Storm and his wife, Michelle, make their home in North Idaho and have two married children.

Learn more about Buck Storm, as well as his writing and music, at buckstorm.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@buckstormauthor)Twitter (@buckstormauthor), and Instagram (@buckstorm).

Giveaway:

Enter giveaway here

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more in the series. Buck has created a cast of characters that are sure to engage any reader, no matter man or woman.

The tension between Jake and Honey was so interesting and I kept wondering who they, if they, could move past it.

Gomez Gomez pulls at the heart and it like so many of us that struggle to move forward after we have been hurt in some way. I even enjoyed the snarky snake he talked to.

If you like a fun read with deep underlying truths this is a book for you.

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

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

 

Chasing Dreams by Deborah Raney November 30, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:17 pm
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Joanna Chandler always dreamed of becoming an attorney. But when she left law school to help care for her dying mother, stepping away from her single-minded pursuit gave her space to reconsider. The only question is, if not law, what should she do with her life?

To keep her mind off an uncertain future, Joanna helps her older sister, Phylicia, throw an amazing outdoor wedding on the charming Missouri property the three Chandler sisters own together. That’s when she realizes wedding planning could be a thriving business of its own. And Lukas Blaine, the handsome wedding DJ, opens her mind to the possibility of love on the horizon.

But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. The young boy he’s been mentoring has lost his mother and become Luke’s ward. Mateo is sullen and angry and needs constant attention. How can Luke possibly find the time to start a new relationship or saddle someone else with a wounded child? He may have to let go of the woman of his dreams–and crush her dreams at the same time.

My thoughts:

What a great book. I think this might be the second in the series, I didn’t read the first one and I found that I didn’t feel like I  missed anything, other than Phylicia and Quinn’s story, which does sound interesting.

But I loved Joanna’s story, although her lack of concert for Mateo at first bothered me. Luke did acknowledge it in his thoughts so there were some red flags. You’ll have to read the book to see if that changes.

I was curious how it would all work out. I also enjoyed the setting for this book, a beautiful place I would love to visit.

Visit Deborah here.

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

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

 

A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff November 8, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:24 pm
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About:

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God’s calling. He’s not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf–an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow–even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he’s learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer . . .

Andrew Huff’s thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it’s also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

My thoughts:

This book starts with a bang and just when I thought it might get boring another bang happens.

This book started raising questions for me, like what would happen to John’s small church if the people that were after him got a hold of the church?

I loved the contrast of this war guy to the small town pastor, it really added an unexpected layer to the book.

I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like this book but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and looked forward to coming back to this book.

Visit Andrew here.

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

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

 

Review and Giveaway: A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller April 6, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:07 am
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About:

Can a very proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society—and she’s always followed them precisely. It’s simply the way things are done in her world. When she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. She is suddenly confronted by questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith—and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance.

Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged by both his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness is becoming more desperate and her care grows more demanding. Adding a proper Viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected—especially since he has a secret that demands he stays far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister.

When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret is set to be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have managed to build be strong enough to overcome their differences—or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other end up tearing three lives apart?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have enjoyed every book by Carolyn. I will say it took me awhile to get into this book. It wasn’t until around page fifty that I found myself not wanting to stop reading.

Carolyn is a master at creating a story world that seems very believable. I enjoyed the overlap from a previous series that Carolyn wrote. I gives the reader a new perspective on the scene.

I will say Caroline is a bit hard to like at first. She seems a bit selfish. But once we see her around Gideon and Emma the reader gets to see her in a new light and she seems much more likable.

Overall, another great book by Carolyn.

Visit Carolyn here.

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

Leave a comment by April 19th for your chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by random.org. U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail. 

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

 

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller December 27, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:28 pm
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Marry in haste, repent in leisure—Mrs. Hale is about to find out how painful that repentance can truly be.

Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn’t turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn’t know where—or if he’s ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they’ll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage.

Carolyn Miller’s clean and wholesome Regency romances continue with The Making of Mrs. Hale, following familiar characters as they learn how restoration can occur by finding hope and healing through a deep relationship with God. Full of rich historical details and witty banter, this series continues to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

My thoughts:

I think I say this with every book I have read by Carolyn Miller (and I’ve read them all) but she keeps getting better and better.

The tension and drama and lies this book begins with are sure to capture the reader and propel them forward to keep reading more.

The reader knows Julia is hiding something from the beginning but we don’t get the full story for quite some time.

The reader knows what Thomas will have to hide when he returns to his bride but we can’t help but wonder how long that will last and what will happen when Julia finds out.

If you are a regency romance lover I have no doubt you will adore this book.

Visit Carolyn here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Miss Serena’s Secret by Carolyn Miller August 1, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:07 am
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How can a wounded young woman ever trust a too-flirtatious earl with her heart?

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He’s gambled with plenty of ladies’ hearts as easily as he has with their husbands’ money. But lately he’s wondered if there’s more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.

When Serena’s guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.

Then the lady’s art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena’s secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy, and familiar characters make appearances here. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

My thoughts:

I’m pretty sure Carolyn gets better with each book. I think this one has been my favorite yet, and I have read all of her books.

The tension and romance between Serena and Harry had my heart aching for them, literally.

My heart was so sad for Serena in the beginning when she hid away her talent but I loved when she began to bloom again in her gifts.

I loved the story of redemption and forgiveness in this book. It is a strong theme, one we must remember. God can redeem anyone and we need to keep praying for them.

Visit Carolyn here.

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

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

 

Winning Miss Winthrop by Carolyn Miller April 5, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:15 pm
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About:

Years ago, the man who stole Catherine Winthrop’s heart rejected her—and she’s never recovered from the grief. Now tragedy has brought him back into her life. This time it isn’t her heart he’s taking, it’s her home and her family’s good name.

Jonathan Carlew’s serious demeanor and connection to trade, not to mention the rumors surrounding his birth, have kept him from being a favorite of the ladies, or their parents. Now, suddenly landed and titled, he finds himself with plenty of prospects. But his demanding society responsibilities keep pressing him into service to the one woman who captured his heart long ago—and then ran off with it.

These two broken hearts must decide whether their painful past and bitter present will be all they can share, or if forgiveness can provide a path to freedom for the future.

Set in the sumptuous salons of Bath, Regency England’s royal breeding ground for gossip, Winning Miss Winthrop is the first volume in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series. Fans of the wholesome and richly drawn first series won’t want to miss this new set of characters—or appearances by their old favorites.

My thoughts:

I read Carolyn’s series before this one and loved it. So I couldn’t wait to read this book.

Wow. I think I was drawn into this story more quickly than any other one I have read by her. The characters we fast endeared themselves to me, or irritated me, depending on the character.

You will be swept away into the story of Catherine and Jonathan. It’s funny because for about the first quarter of the book I don’t think they even really spoke to each other and we don’t find out what happen between them for much longer than that.

I highly recommend this one for regency romance lovers, you will not be disappointed in Carolyn’s latest installment.

Visit Carolyn here.

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

A copy of this book was given to my through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage January 17, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:48 am
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About:

Extramarital affairs are certainly not the social taboo that they once were, and may be more prevalent now than ever. Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt. With the anonymity of the Internet and the privacy of personal mobile phones, the temptation to cheat on one’s spouse has fertile ground to grow.

After straying to the other side of this marital fence–and returning to find forgiveness and restoration–Anderson brings this practical book about predicting and preventing an extramarital affair. Based on the principle that the grass is always greener when it’s watered, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndromefocuses on how to grow a beautiful marriage by establishing six protective hedges around it.

This second edition includes a new chapter on repairing marriage following infidelity, as well as an appendix considering the Andersons’ own marriage before and after the affair from Ron’s point of view.

My thoughts:

This is a very helpful and practical book. This book could be read before or after an affair, although I think reading it before would be best to keep you from jumping onto the “greener grass.”

The book starts with Nancy’s story. No one should compare their own story to hers. She was able to break away from her affair quickly. She made all the right choices. I had no desire to do that immediately, not that she had the desire, but she had the strength. It took me a few weeks before I was really ready to say, “Okay, I’m going to focus on my marriage.” But Nancy made that commitment almost immediately after her confession. And that might have made the difference. She confessed, I got caught. She had control, I didn’t. That probably plays a huge factor in how you handle it afterwards.

The HEDGES advice is great and every marriage should be following it to build a strong marriage. I also enjoyed hearing from Ron at the end and his preservative on things. Their marriage is definitely a Genesis 5020.

Visit Nancy here.

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

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

 

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner January 12, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:52 pm
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Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

My thoughts:

Yeah. I really liked this one.

Susie has a very unique voice and I love it. The way she takes everyday things and turns them into something beautiful is truly artistic.

I did not read the first book in this series, but I did read the second and now this one. I loved picking back up with Pearl and the changes she was going through, her struggles with loving Mama, yet not liking what she did or even who she was at time. There is a surprise in there that I didn’t see coming either. Things I could relate to in repairing a marriage that has been torn apart.

I did find out the setting of this book is based on the town in which I live and grew up. I couldn’t help trying to picture my little town so many years ago. Thinking Pearl lived here when my grandparents where young adults. Obviously, this story is fiction but it was nice to imagine.

This book is truly a piece of art and the words paint a beautiful, heartbreaking picture.

Visit Susie here.

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

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