Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

When Tides Turns by Sarah Sundin March 14, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , ,



In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart.

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy’s newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

My thoughts:

I have read every book in this series and really enjoyed them so I was very excited to read this newest release.

Tessa is trying to create a sort of new identity. She’s tired of being the pretty girl. I appreciate that she is so much more. She truly is a kind person to everyone. I really enjoyed her story-line and couldn’t wait to get back to her.

I will say I found Dan’s story-line a little less exciting. Maybe it was all the U-boat terms but I found myself having trouble paying attention when I was in his point of view.

But even with that it was a great story, with romance and mystery, it just wasn’t my favorite of Sarah’s books.

Visit Sarah here.

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

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


Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart July 11, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Like a River from


An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope 

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.


Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.


Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.


Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.


Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.
Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.
My thoughts:
This book is AMAZING. I absolutely loved it.
You will be immediately drawn into each characters life and each story is unique, yet somehow tied.
What amazes me is that this could have really happened. Although these characters are fictional, Kelli based yet one off of true events and stories. How heartbreaking.
This is a book you will not easily put down and will want to pick back up and wish you could continue in the lives of these characters.
Faith is beautifully woven in, but it isn’t used as an easy, quick fix to the problems going on.
I had tears flowing at the end, happy tears and sad tears. As I thought about what each character had lived through and realized because of that their lives would never be the same, they would always carry around these memories, good and bad.
The book as also a good reminder that not every German was evil, not every German soldier wanted to be there. Some new perspectives to consider for sure.
If you love WWII stories this is absolutely a MUST read. I cannot recommend it enough.
Visit Kelli 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 publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Review and Giveaway: Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin August 10, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

through deep waters


War is coming. Can love carry them through the rough waters that lie ahead?

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.

When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I loved this book. It took me a couple of chapters to really get sucked in but once I was there I didn’t want to leave and devoured the book.

Mary and Jim are wonderful characters who have things from their past that have held them back.

I could very much relate to Mary and her shyness and not wanting attention, yet she has gifts that do bring attention, she just needs to make sure she is focusing them on bringing glory to God.

Jim is figuring out it’s okay to make bold decisions, he doesn’t need to be afraid if he is walking with Jesus through the deep waters.

I loved how Sarah wove in the scripture reference from the title into the book, beautifully done.

The romance had me on pins and needles. Even though I could guess what was going to happen I still hated it when it did and had to keep reading to see how Sarah would resolve the issue.

The mystery in the book was also well-developed and interesting.

Overall, a wonderful book that has everything I look for in a good read.

Visit Sarah here.

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

Leave a comment by August 20th for you chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses 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. 



Write to the Point with Liz Tolsma October 15, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:40 am
Tags: , ,

lizToday we get write to the point with Liz Tolsma. I love Liz’s writing and I reviewed one of her books here. She is even giving away a copy to one reader. So read until the end and leave a comment for Liz.

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

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Doug, and we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year. We have three children – a 19 year old son, a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old daughter. We live in SE Wisconsin. I’ve been writing for about 12 years.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know or love the Lord. There were times in my life when I stood at a crossroads and could have chosen a different path, but the Lord was gracious and kept me walking in His ways.

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

Daisies Are Forever is, in part, my aunt’s story. She was born in the US, but her German parents returned to their homeland in 1936. She came of age in Berlin during the war. I never thought much about WWII from a German civilian’s perspective until I heard her story. It really gripped me. It’s a story of hope, redemption and restoration.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I don’t blog as often as I should LOL! My readers have told me they like to know me as a person, so my blog is really my life as a wife, mother and author. I share our joys, ourdaisies are forever trials, and the behind-the-scenes of writing.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

I’ve been reading a bunch of WWII fiction lately, trying to keep up with my genre. There’s Cara Putman’s Shadowed by Grace, Cathy Gohlke’s Saving Amelie, and Kristy Cambron’s The Butterfly and the Violin.

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

My Genesis 5020 was certainly my experience with infertility. I thought I knew what was good for me – carrying a baby – and I told God just that. Over and over, for many years, he denied my request. I couldn’t see how this was good for me. He worked a work in me, and my husband and I decided to adopt. The moment the young woman from the orphanage laid my son in my arms, I saw what His good and perfect plan was. He worked it out better than I could have ever imagined.

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

Romans 8:28, because God does work ALL things together for the good of those that love Him. ALL things. That was a difficult lesson for me to learn, but I have found it to be true over and over.

Where can we find you on the web?



Barn Door blog

Good Reads


Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thanks so much for having me! I’ve enjoyed it!

Thank you for spending time with my readers. I can’t wait to read your next book 🙂

Readers, Liz is giving away a copy of Daisies are Forever. Leave a comment for her by October 21st at 5:00 p.m. to be entered.


The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron September 25, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:04 pm
Tags: , ,

the butterfly

Book Description:

And then came war . . .

Today. Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world’s elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.

Vienna, 1942. Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna’s vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family’s tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.

The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele’s barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshiping God with her gift?

As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait—Adele—they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God’s faithfulness never falters.

My thoughts:

Wow, what an amazing book. This story is so beautifully woven, it’s seamless. Two stories woven into one outstanding book.

First we have Sera’s story that is taking place now. I love how Kristy feeds you just enough of her back story to keep you interested. Just was I was thinking, I don’t know much about Sera’s history or her wounds Kristy gave it to me…perfect. I loved the romance between Sera and William, I could feel the tension and the passion that would build between them.

Adele’s story is heartbreaking. She is caught in WWII, trying to save Jews. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but Kristy paints this aching picture of what is happening in Adele’s life, I could feel it and see it. Lost love, hopelessness, it’s all there.

The book bounces back and forth between the two stories. At one point, pretty early on Sera reveals something about Adele but I kept having hope that maybe it wasn’t true and I couldn’t wait to see how Kristy worked that out in the story.

If you enjoy WWII stories this is a must read. I can’t wait to read more from this author 🙂

Visit Kristy here.

Grab a 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 through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.


Review and Giveaway: In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin August 11, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:31 pm
Tags: , ,

in perfect time


Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have been wanting to read this series and I am glad I finally got around to with this book.

Once again we have a WWII book but this time we are seeing it from the perspective of pilots and nurses. Sarah did a great job of bringing this book to life. I could easily picture what was taking place. But she didn’t over describe, she did just enough to give you a picture what the area looked like and then moved on to push the plot forward.

The book alternates between character development and moving the plot. I thought Sarah did a wonderful job with this as well, peppering each throughout the book.

What I also liked was how Sarah took a potentially difficult character, like Kay, one we might not normally like and made her likeable. Even though she uses men we see her brokenness. This softened me towards her and had me rooting for her redemption.

Roger is a torn hero with a sad past himself. He has had his own struggles with women and is afraid of crossing the line now that has found Jesus. He also struggles with his self-worth, just like Kay. Roger is a drummer, which made me like him even more since my husband is a drummer, plus I like anything musical in a character.

What I probably loved most about this book was that is was saturated in God’s grace. The message in here is one we all need and often struggle to grasp. Sarah did a fabulous job of weaving the gospel in this book without overpowering the reader.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance and some WWII history. And even though this is the third book in the series it really is a stand alone novel, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first two (I haven’t).

Leave a comment by August 17th at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

Visit Sarah here.

Grab a 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.



Defy the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn May 1, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:26 pm
Tags: ,

defy the night


In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference

If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.

In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives.

Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.

Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.

The authors share the history behind the book, I thought you might find ithis nteresting:

There are two parts to the historical story behind this book: the story of the town, and the story of the internment camps and the aid workers.

In the novel Magali lives in a town called Tanieux, which is based on a real town in France called La Chambon-sur-Lignon, which–along with the plateau region around it–sheltered and saved many Jewish people during World War II. This was a region of France that was traditionally Protestant; because of their faith but also because Protestants have a history of persecution in France (it happened during the Middle Ages, but memories are long there), the people of this place saw the growing persecution of the Jews for what it was, and were ready to help. A network of pastors and other willing people throughout the area found safe homes for Jewish refugees; the town of Le Chambon, under the leadership of pastor Andre Trocme, was a particularly safe place. Aid agencies started children’s homes there, where Jewish children were sent, given new, false identities, and mixed in with non-Jewish children to hide them. Les Chenes, the children’s home in the novel, was based on these. And that’s why when aid workers like Paquerette start bringing children out of internment camps, Magali finds them bringing them to her town.

France had been conquered by Germany, and the north was occupied by German troops, but the south where Magali lives was known as the “free” zone or Vichy France, where the French were still allowed to govern themselves. However, the French Vichy government, as it was called, had taken a page out of the Nazis’ book; they were racist and believed that foreign Jews, Gypsies, and other foreigners were bad for France. They arrested many of these people and shut them up in internment camps. These weren’t death camps or work camps but they were very bad, with inhuman conditions, because Vichy just didn’t care about these people. They did, however, allow aid agencies who were becoming concerned about the internees to send workers into the camps, and they sometimes released people into their care–especially children, who were very much at risk due to malnutrition and disease. Defy the Night tells the story of the young women who worked for these aid groups, taking children to their new homes. This work was legal but it was risky; they were seen as subversive and what with giving children false identities, etc, they had secrets it wasn’t safe to have. Later in the war, when the Nazis encroached more and it became downright illegal to hide Jews, these young women went underground to continue to save children, risking their freedom and even their lives. They were true heroes. It was their story that inspired Mom and me to write this book.

My thoughts:

What a heart-wrenching story. When I have thought of the camps in WWII I always thought of Jewish people and some children but I never defy the nightgave much thought to the babies.

Until I read this book.

As Magali goes and rescues her first baby my heart twisted in pain. What would it be like to hold your baby and know that if you don’t let it go it will die? That if you do let it go you may never see it again? I just can’t imagine making that choice. But I am sure there were women who had to do that. And I wonder, did they ever see their children again?

This book explores issues that maybe you have never considered much and make for a great story but a terrifying life.

Magali is a strong young woman and she just wants to help. She is a bit rough around the edges at first but how can not like a character that gives all she has to help rescue children?

This is not a light read at all but definitely thought-provoking. If you enjoy a good WWII story that explores tough issues I think you will enjoy this book.

Learn more about the authors:

LydiaHeadshotThe mother:

Growing up in the savannahs of northern Brazil as a missionary kid, Lydia Munn did five years of homeschooling because there was no school where her family lived. There were no public libraries either, but she read every book she could get her hands on. As she grew up this led naturally to her choice of an English major at Wheaton College. Her original plan to teach English to high school students went through some changes along the way, becoming in the end a lifelong love of teaching the Bible to both adults and young people as a missionary in France. She and her husband Jim have two children, their son Robin and their daughter Heather.

The daughter:

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland of American parents and grew up in the south of France. She decided to be a writer at the age of SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAfive when her mother read her Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, but worried that she couldn’t write about her childhood since she didn’t remember it. She went to French school until her teens, and grew up hearing the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, only an hour’s drive away. She now lives in rural Illinois with her husband Paul, where they offer free spiritual retreats to people coming out of homelessness and addiction. She enjoys splitting wood.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-A-Million.

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