Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels June 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:55 pm
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Journey now to Mackinac Island where…
A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds.

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

My thoughts:

You can never go wrong with setting when a book is set on Mackinac Island. This is my all time favorite place in the world. I have been there many times.

The book opens with a great scene that will draw you in right away. Maude’s heartache and disappointment grabbed me.

The copy I read was an advance reader copy so  I am not sure if this mistake was corrected but it says something about looking out at Lake Michigan from the island. Mackinac Island is surrounded by Lake Huron. This might have been corrected in the final draft.

I was really torn with this book. At times I was pulled into the story other times I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t always understand the character motivation for some things, and some things and misunderstandings seemed force or cleared up too soon.

I wanted to love this book but I didn’t. I liked it, no doubt about it, just not as much as I had hoped.

Visit Carrie 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. 

 

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury June 8, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:21 pm
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a new book featuring everyone’s favorite family—the Baxters.

Decades ago, John and Elizabeth Baxter lived a love story that is still playing out in the lives of their adult children and grandchildren. But few of them know the exact details of that story or the heartbreak that brought the two together.

Now in high school, Ashley Baxter Blake’s oldest son, Cole, must write a family history paper for a freshman English class. He decides to interview his grandfather about that long ago love story.

John is hesitant, not sure if he can take the sorrow of reliving his love story with Elizabeth—especially now that he is remarried. But he agrees and allows his heart to go places it hasn’t gone in decades.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try or is it time for them to say goodbye, for good?

As school ends, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the generational impact of love and the eternal bond of family.

My thoughts:

I read the first and second series of the Baxters and LOVED it. I don’t think I ever cried so much while reading books. I kind of lost interest after that and haven’t read much more. But when I saw this book I had to hear John and Elizabeth’s story.

The cool thing Karen did in this book was interweave another love story into it as well. One full of disappointment and heartache as well.

I soon found myself full of emotion and holding back tears and of being deeply engrossed in this story.

There is no doubt that Karen Kingsbury is a very talented author and knows how to put together a story that is not only emotionally moving but spiritually as well. I love the faith of these characters. They have had trails like all of us but that hasn’t stopped them leaning on Jesus.

Even if you haven’t read the Baxter series you could read this one anyway, but for those of you who have read their story this is a MUST read.

Visit Karen 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. 

 

Building Faith Block by Block by Michael Ross and Christopher Ross June 7, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:53 pm
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Improve Your Game, Build Your Faith

Decisions, decisions. In both the virtual world and the real world, you have to make a bunch of choices. Mess up in the virtual world and you can always start over. But in the real world, where the decisions you make have real consequences (both good and bad), it’s not that simple.

Where can you go for help? Is there a gamer’s guide for living? Yes, it’s called the Bible—and God created it to help you win!

Join gamer Dragee90 as he shares daily devotions packed with awesome ideas for success in three key areas of your life:

Gameplay—Learn A-to-Z tips and tricks for successful virtual world-building and secrets for online survival.

Real Life—Dragee90 reveals some of his daily struggles and shows how you can overcome your own everyday challenges with God’s help.

Real Faith—Get powerful Scripture verses from the Bible, “cheat codes” you can use to overcome life’s biggest obstacles.

Building faith block by block is easy once you have the right foundation!

My thoughts:

This is a neat book for children who are addicted to Minecraft (my son) and you want them to also build their relationship with Jesus.

I think the authors did a great job of engaging the young reader by bringing them into the Minecraft world and then applying it to the scriptures.

I wanted to read this book hoping my son might want to read it. I think this is something he would enjoy if he will give it a chance. I would encourage parents out there whose children love Minecraft to give this book as a gift and maybe even read it with them.

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. 

 

A Fierce Love: One Woman’s Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage by Shauna Shanks May 24, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:29 pm
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Love is easy to give when you are getting it back. Are we still called to God’s plan of how to love when we are getting none in return? Shauna Shanks’s brave journey through obedience reveals the outcome of when we dare to follow God’s ludicrous outline for love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Wrecked with news of her husband’s affair and his request for a divorce, Shauna finds herself urgently faced with a decision. Does she give up and divorce her husband and move on, or does she try to fight for her marriage? The former choice seems to contradict God’s plan for how to love, such as “love never gives up,” “love is patient,” and “love is kind.”

Taking God at His word and assuming the love chapter was really meant to be followed literally word by word, she not only finds herself falling in love with her spouse again, but also falling in love with Jesus, which changes everything.

First Corinthians 13 presents an audacious, illogical, and irrational context of how to love, meant to be applied to every marital context not just the fairytale marriage. If God’s instructions seem illogical and audacious, you might just expect the same kind of results in return!

This book is not air-brushed. It was written in the midst of the author’s deepest trauma, and she purposefully did not edit out her mistakes and failures during that season. This book will resonate with women who do not feel like the picture-perfect Christian woman with the fairytale life and marriage.

A Fierce Love is the story of a train wreck and reaching out to God not in the calm but in the chaos and finding hope for the future.

My thoughts:

Crazy stuff. This book could have been written by my husband about me. This is totally our story but written from the wife’s perspective.

It’s very interesting to read this and fee like I am in my husbands head and what he was going through while he fought to save me and my marriage. It has made me remember so much. At first it was a bit uncomfortable to read but then I turned it around to my life now and God reminding me that I need to be loving my husband like this.

Shauna references 1 Corinthians 13 a lot in this book. At first I dismissed her thoughts as this is such a familiar verse, it doesn’t do anything for me. How crazy. It’s the word of God, it can do anything.

So I read it and was brought to tears as I saw this as a reflection of the love I am supposed to have for my husband and I stink at it. I have been praying parts of this verse into my life and over my husband. I can’t remember it all so I chose to remember the things I really need to focus on right now, like love is patient and kind, it is not easily irritable or resentful.

If you have ever thought your marriage is over, or maybe you do think it is over, be inspired and challenged by this book and remember that God can restore.

Visit Shauna 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. 

 

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray May 22, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:08 pm
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Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.

But when cattle start dying and the squatters damage a barn, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero who’s survived a terrible past. He needs more than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.

My thoughts:

What an intriguing story. The tension between the two characters is tight. There is an initial attraction that they both try to fight but you know they will give in eventually. The question is when and how will it happen?

This is the second book in this series but you will be able to read this as a stand-alone if you choose and not feel lost at all.

It was great to meet with Thomas and be reminded of characters from the previous book. I couldn’t help but wonder whose story we would get to hear next.

I loved the romance, the post-war ear and the mystery surrounding this book. There is something on every page that will keep you turning until the end.

Visit Shelley 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. 

 

The Lifestyle of a Watchman by James W. Goll May 17, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:32 pm
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Unique, Powerful Call to the Front Lines of Prayer

From bestselling author James W. Goll, a strategic prophetic leader in global intercessory prayer, comes an in-depth journey into the heart of what it means to be a “watchman on the wall.” Designed for serious worshipers and intercessors, this unique 21-day journey will help you move to the front lines of prayer–becoming more alert to the presence of God and praying his will with confidence.

With reflection questions, devotional prayers, and practical application, this book will help you
· discern the specific spiritual atmosphere around you
· discover the strategies of God for certain times
· pray more effectively for others
· understand how to intercede for current events

Walking in the lifestyle of a watchman means that you can be the sentinel that God is calling his mature intercessors to be. Learn to partner with the strategies of heaven and step boldly into your calling.

My thoughts:

Do you feel called to pray for more. Maybe for things you aren’t even sure what exactly?

This book will challenge you to take that next step. I always find James books inspiring and pushing me to hunger for  more of God. This book stays true to that.

I love how he uses Biblical examples of people who had a life of prayer, starting with Abraham. Not only does he uses Biblical examples but he also uses examples of people who aren’t in the Bible.

Each chapter is a short (not super short) read that you can easily do in about 10 minutes or less.

If you are looking for more in your prayer life and are feeling a call to be in prayer then I recommend this book.

Visit James here.

Grab your copy at 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. 

 

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron April 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:31 pm
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Boston, 1926— Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

My thoughts:

I have read all of Kristy’s books. She is so talented. Her style is unique. She writes books that I believe only she could give life to. She’s take history and breathes life into it. Parts of our history that I never thought I would find interesting and I become enthralled.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice takes you backstage in the world of magic or illusion. What is real and what isn’t? Who is telling the truth and who is hiding something?

From the beginning we learn that Wren Lockhart is hiding and hiding something. Her story is slowly revealed and you can’t help but love her.

Elliot is easy to like, he is a strong protector and has an instinct to protect, but not really trust, Wren.

If you are looking for a book that is a bit different but very well written I would say look for further. This book is highly engaging.

Visit Kristy 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.