Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Isaiah’s Legacy by Mesu Andrews February 18, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:04 pm
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At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.
Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.

My thoughts:

This book was sooo good. I forget how much I enjoy a good Biblical fiction, but Mesu knows how to write it. She does her research and brings Bible stories to life.

I have read the scripture about King Hezekiah but never remember what happened after he died.

This is a truly beautiful story of redemption and hope. The evil that slowly permeated Menasseh’s life is so sad and even bothered me at times, but I had to keep in mind there was hope on the other side and there was.

If you enjoy Biblical fiction I am sure you will want to pick this book up.

Visit Mesu 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. 

 

The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For by Jo Saxton March 8, 2018

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About The Dream of You

Let’s be honest, the life you lead isn’t what you’ve always dreamt. And maybe the person you’ve become isn’t who you’ve always imagined. Sure, you can clean it up. You can work longer, love harder, and eat better. You can scrub the surface of your life until it gleams and still never address the fact that somehow you lost sight of who you really are and what you’re living for.

Is this the life you were meant to live?

As the child of Nigerian immigrants in the UK, author and speaker Jo Saxton knows firsthand how quickly the world can cause us to doubt our dreams and question who we are. She understands how easily we can exchange our true child-of-God selves for an identity built on lies, guilt, and brokenness.
In this powerful book, Jo examines Biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the One who knows you intimately and loves you deeply. He sees all you’ve struggled to hide. He hears the voice inside you that others have silenced. He knows the potential and purpose that no one valued. He longs to redeem the story of your life and set you on the path to reclaim The Dream of You. Are you ready?

My thoughts:
This book speaks so much truth and is a message we need to hear and allow to sink into our hearts. I believe a big problem a lot of us have is not knowing who we really are, our identities have been tainted by this world.
Jo does a great job between sharing her personal story and the Bible. I was highly engaged in this book and looked forward to picking it up each morning during my quiet time. She really got me thinking about my identity and who does God say I am, not who I think I am.
 Overall, a very good read and I highly recommend it.
Visit Jo 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. 
 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky December 18, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:31 pm
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My thoughts:
This was a very interesting book. I loved getting a look at aviation in the beginning. We take it for granted now but it wasn’t always a common thing.
I adored Bella’s spunk and drive to break the mold of what woman should do and be.
James was a strong character too with this drive to be the first to cross the English Channel. He found himself attracted to Bella but the reality of their stations in life held him back. There was also the mystery surrounding his birth and how his parents were.
Overall, an entertaining read that I enjoyed.
Visit Carrie here.
Pre-order your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer (this book doesn’t release until Feb. 20th).
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
 

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall August 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:43 pm
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Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,
Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—
or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

My thoughts:

This series has been a journey. So many of the characters have undergone major changes, things that will never be the same again.

Ariana is by far my favorite character, although Quill is a close second. Ariana broke my heart with not knowing really where she belonged anymore. I’ll be honest I wanted her to leave the Amish community. It just seemed so stifling, too many rules. But something seemed really amiss in her community and she sensed it too. That added a bit of mystery to this book.

Skylar was a bit harder to like but I could see the goodness in her, there was hope for her.

This was a wonderful ending to the series. You could read this as a stand-alone but honestly because of all the history and everything that has happened I believe it’s important to read the first two books to fully grasp all that is taking place in this one.

Visit Cindy here.

Grab  you 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. 

 

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett July 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:26 pm
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An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

My thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I had never read anything by Karen before and the cover is a bit different.

I have to say I adored this book. Margie is such a sweetie. At first you might think she is simple, but she is anything but. She loves the Lord and is even willing to walk away from a man she loves for Him, this girl has her priorities straight. She will do whatever it takes to preserve the things she loves.

Ford is a tough guy, he doesn’t think he needs God and isn’t even sure he beliefs in Him. I couldn’t wait to see how God would open his eyes to Him and if God would use Margie to do that.

By the end they both must face their greatest fear head on and the tension is high.

The setting itself is beautiful, I want to visit Mount Rainer. It sounds wonderful.

I can’t wait to read more in this series, this is truly a great read and I highly recommend it.

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 me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Life After by Katie Ganshert April 8, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:28 pm
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It could have been me.
Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.
Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.
In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

My thoughts:

I have missed reading Katie’s books. I have never been disappointed by anything I have read of hers. This book was no exception.

This book starts with any opening scene that is full of mystery and wonder. I went back to read it after I got into the book a little because I needed to read those moments again.

Autumn is a character who just can’t move on but there are glimpses of hope. Her family is there for her and a bit crazy, very realistic.

Paul is trying to move on as well, but he has a secret of his own, one I didn’t see coming at first After it is revealed to the reader I wanted him to tell someone. It would make it so much easier for people to understand what is going on with him.

I really enjoyed Reese, Paul’s daughter. She is a typical teenager, rebelling a bit and dealing with her heartache.

I kept wondering if Autumn and Paul would fall for each other and how could that work? I won’t tell you if they do or not, you will just have to read for yourself and see how Katie has crafted this beautiful story.

This is an amazing read that will touch your heart and mind.

Visit Katie 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. 

 

Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund December 9, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:23 pm
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Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

My thoughts:

I have loved every book I have read by Jody Hedlund. At first I wasn’t sure if I would love this one as much as the others, it did take me until about chapter four before I was hooked and didn’t want to put the book down.

Jody can write romance like no other, the tension she builds is so real and I feel it in my heart.

This is a beautiful story of how Polly and John Newton could’ve fallen in love. I enjoyed thinking about the path they could have taken that lead to John writing beautiful hymn “Amazing Grace” and the meaning behind the words.

It was not an easy journey, as every good love story goes. But love does prevail and God’s amazing grace.

If you enjoy a good historical romance this is a great one to read.

Visit Jody 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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall October 20, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:46 pm
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About Fraying at the Edge

Family, community, faith, and love.
These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life.
When they are pulled to pieces,
will anything familiar remain?The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?
 
Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.My thoughts and giveaway:

I loved this book. What a wonderful story full of heartache and confusion. This is the second book and you could read this one without reading the first but honestly, reading the first gives this book so much more depth.

My heart just broke throughout this book. I can’t even imagine all you know being ripped from you. I loved when Ariana went off on her step-sister! That was priceless and unexpected.

Skylar needs a wake up call and I kept hoping she would get one and embrace this family that wants to love her.

All of it was so confusing for the hearts of those involved in this story. But it is masterfully written and I so enjoyed picking up with these characters again and seeing what happened to them.

Visit Cindy here.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.
Leave a comment by October 28th 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 by the publisher. All opinions are my own.  
 

Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury December 4, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:21 pm
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Review: Wishing On Willows February 18, 2013

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Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert

Wishing on Willows is Katie’s second book and a spin-off from her first book Wildflowers from Winter.

I read Wildflowers from Winter and enjoyed it very much. I talked about that book here. So I was very excited to get a peek at Katie’s second book.

Isn’t the cover beautiful? It just draws you in with the light colors. The willow tree reminds me of a willow that once stood in my grandma’s yard.

Katie did not disappoint with her second book. Wishing on Willows was wonderful, I loved this book. The only downside is that it doesn’t release until March 19th, so you’ll have to wait a month to get it, but you can pre-order it, you won’t be sorry.

Honestly, I think I liked Wishing on Willows even more than Wildflowers from Winter and that’s saying a lot. I really liked the first book. But the story of Robin and Ian had my heart in knots.

This book has Genesis 5020 all over it. If you read Katie’s first book you know one of the characters was Bethany’s friend Robin. Robin’s husband dies while she’s pregnant. Wishing on Willows picks up on Robin’s story and how she copes with life four years after her husband’s death. She is using her experience from loosing her husband to help others who have lost a spouse, at the same time rasing her son and running the café she dreamed of building.

Ian McKay comes into town and plans on building some condos and wants to build them right where Robin has her café. Needless to say this adds a lot of tension between these two individuals who are both dealing with heartache and sometimes question God, like so many of us.

If you have ever raised a boy you will also appreciate Caleb, Robin’s son, and how Katie describes his boy-ness, down to an extra pair of Spiderman underwear in her purse — that made this mom laugh:)

Even if you haven’t read the first book you won’t be lost if you read this one first — although I recommend reading the first one as well 🙂

Click here to read the back cover blurb.

Click here to check out Katie’s website.

Click here to read Katie’s bio.

Click here to read the first chapter.

Reminder: the book releases March 19th.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.