I cannot thank you all enough for your prayers for my 2-month-old granddaughter, Genevieve, because they carried her (and me and her family) through an emergency heart surgery that has given her the chance to be a normal little girl with a normal life expectancy! Despite a few little hiccups in the process, our girl is now on her way home, where the doctor says she should be treated like a normal baby because she is! So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and friendship. Love you guys!
"Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.”
—Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman
My first contemporary novel, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love, is very special to me because as many of you know, it's loosely based on my own dysfunctional relationship with my estranged father. It was the very first directive God gave me after I became a new Christian, telling me to forgive and love the father who beat me, demoralized me, and kicked me out of the house. It was the first time I actually applied God's precepts to my life, following Matthew 5:44 to the letter:
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies,bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." — Matthew 5:44
And it was the very first time God did a miracle in my life.
You see, after my father kicked me out of the house in a very ugly and violent manner late one night, I didn't see him for two years. Not until my dear friend and mentor, Joy, introduced me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That was when I got my marching orders from the Holy Spirit to reach out to my dad, forgive him, and love him.
Yeah, right. How was I supposed to do that? Take him a meal, the thought came, and so I did. I made a big pot of beef stew—one of his favorites—and took it to him one night, asking him to forgive me for any grief I may have caused. I didn't eat with him, mind you, just stayed and visited for a while, which basically consisted of watching TV and talking only during the commercials. Before I left, I hugged him and told him I loved him, but of course he never hugged me back or responded. That was the beginning of many, many such visits with my dad, each and every one strongly girded with prayer for God to heal my heart and my dad's.
I will never, ever forget the night everything changed many months later as I went to hug him goodbye as usual. "I love you, Daddy," I whispered, then instantly froze when I felt his halting arms slowly embrace me back for the first time in my life. "I love you, too," his gruff response came, and tears stung in my eyes.
That was the beginning of a close relationship with my father that healed many emotional wounds from my past. When he died not too long after, I wept for a man whom I'd resented most of my life.
That, my friends, is a miracle. And that is the story of Isle of Hope. A love story of forgiveness and hope that I "hope" you will have a chance to read.
And guess what? Now you have the perfect opportunity to do so!
99-Cent Sale on Isle of Hope e-Book!
Yes, it's true, book 1 in my Isle of Hope Series is now on sale for 99 cents for a very limited time, which is almost 90% off, so if you haven't read it yet, I hope you take advantage. I'm happy to say that Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is an award-winning novel with a solid five-star rating on Amazon out of 167 reviews and made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015 list! Here's the link:
If you don't have a Kindle, did you know you can download a free Kindle app to read e-books on iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, PC, Mac, and Droid? I never thought I would like reading e-books on my iPhone, but I absolutely love it now while I'm waiting in doctors' offices, in the car with Keith, or whenever I have down time when I'm out and about. And not only will you be able to read Isle of Hope for only 99 cents, but you may never have to buy another book again!
You see, Amazon lists the top 100 free lists in every genre available, fiction and nonfiction, inspirational and secular. Plus there are wonderful inspirational freebie/sale sights like Inspired Reads that you can sign up for that will send you an email every day with the latest freebies/sale Christian books. So get your free Kindle app HERE!
Or, you can watch for Kindle sales over the holidays. The least expensive Kindle is $79.99, but they often go on sale for $49.99, so that would make a great Christmas present for you or a loved one.
And, of course, the prequel novella to Isle of Hope, A Glimmer of Hope is still available as a free download, so here's the link for that:
Several opportunities have come up for some fun interviews and giveaways, so I hope you check them out.
ALL OF DECEMBER -- FAMILY FICTION MAGAZINE INTERVIEW:
I'm thrilled to say that I have an interview in the December issue (out November 30th) of one of my favorite Christian magazines, Family Fiction. Subscriptions are FREE, so be sure to subscribe for some great articles on the top authors in the CBA, including Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, and Liz Curtis Higgs.
Here's the link, and you'll find the "subscribe" button at the top right-hand of the page. And BONUS! I also am part of a Christmas recipe article where I feature my own award-winning Christmas recipe for a to-die-for dessert called Apple-Cranberry Crisp Cheesecake Pie!
GOING ON NOW -- FREE DOWNLOAD ON CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL BY FAVORITE CHRISTIAN AUTHORS!
I was privileged to be a part of a very unique Christmas devotional that is going on now and available for free download, so I hope you join me and authors, Mary Connealy, Mesu Andrews, Sandie Bricker, Lenora Worth, Barbara Scott along with a host of others as we explore Christmas through the viewpoints of characters from the Christmas Story as told by Matthew and Luke. I promise you you'll walk into Christmas with a greater understanding of the importance of this incredible season. Check it out on All Mom Does Blog and be sure to download the free devotional.
GIVEAWAY ON WEEKEND EDITION OF SEEKERVILLE, SAT. & SUN., DEC. 10 & 11:
Come by Seekerville this weekend for a chance to win one of two signed paperback copies of my latest release, Love Everlasting, OR four e-book copies! All it takes is a comment and you're in the draw, so GOOD LUCK! Here's the link and hope to see you there!
WED., DEC. 14TH -- BLOG INTERVIEW/GIVEAWAY:
Join me on Beth Erin's Faithfully Bookish blog for a really fun interview where I list brief excerpts of my five favorite kisses I've written and my five favorite spiritual moments I've written as well. The giveaway will be a signed paperback or e-book copy of my latest release, book 2 in the Isle of Hope series, Love Everlasting, so hope to see you there. Here's the link:
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14TH -- SEEKER BLOG WITH SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAYS:
Come on by for my final Seeker blog of the year and toss your hat in the ring for a signed paperback copy of my latest Christmas release, Cowboy Christmas Homecoming OR A Light in the Window PLUS your choice of Love Everlasting or Isle of Hope e-book. Here's the link:
Whew! And that's it for a while, I hope! Goodness, if I'd known God had this many promo opps for me after I laid personal promotion on the altar, I might have done it sooner! ;)
Have a great week!