Monday, November 2, 2015

Isle of Hope : Unfailing Love

GIVEAWAY

LESSMAN, JULIE
ISLE OF HOPE

She stole his heart.
He stole her peace.
Can hope steal their pain?

At the age of eighteen, Lacey Carmichael was a wild girl bent on fun, promised to Jack O`Bryen, a straight-and-narrow pastor’s kid bent on the seminary. When her father kicks her out of the house, she runs away from Isle of Hope, turning her back on everything she loves. Now, eight years later, she’s back as a woman of faith, hoping to make amends to the father she defied, the boyfriend she deserted, and the best friend she denied. Only the bridges she’s burned are still smoldering, kindled by an adulterous affair by Jack’s pastor father that damaged his son’s faith. But can a turning of tables—and hearts—lead the way back to “hope” for them all?

My Review:

Necessary supplies to gather before reading this book:

Fainting couch
Chocolate (to revive you from a swoon)
Kleenex
More Kleenex
Standby Kleenex (in case you use up all the above mentioned boxes -- and you likely will)

I read Isle of Hope : Unfailing Love with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes and half the time I didn`t know whether to laugh or cry so I did both. Copiously. Yes, my emotions were fully engaged and I was a blubbering mess through most of the book. And that`s because this story is real in that raw, gritty, all too life-like way that this author is famous for.

Two memorable families and a host of unforgettable characters have taken up permanent residence in my heart. I`m bereft now that it`s over and I`ve had to say goodbye to the O`Bryens and the Carmichaels.

God bless Julie Lessman for weaving faith into the very fibre of this story. Intense dialogue that proclaims the truth without seeming stilted or forced bears testimony to the miracle of forgiveness and God`s saving grace. The author doesn`t preach the gospel, she lives it through the lives of her characters. Flaws and all.

And speaking of flaws, the hero has plenty. I`ll admit to having a hard time liking him at the beginning of the book. Sulky, sarcastic, moody, angry. He lets Lacey have it at every turn. But she`s buoyed by her new found faith and bears his jibes rather well. After all, he`s one of the people she`s come home to make amends with.

And here`s where I got my wake-up call. A life lesson I will never forget. I found it easy to like Lacey despite her past because, well, it was her past. She`s chosen a new life in Christ and she shows remarkable courage in facing the people she has wronged. She`s doing the right thing and it was easy to apply forgiveness to this heroine. But Jack -- well, he really got my ire up. I became impatient and frustrated with him. I wanted to reach through the computer and slap some sense into him until I realized that the author was figuratively slapping some sense into me. Because it`s much easier to forgive a repentant sinner than one still mired in his gnarly mess. But isn`t the latter individual the one who needs my forgiveness even more? And who I am to deny him empathy or pass judgment for that matter? Talk about a sucker punch of spirituality.

Lessman has created a masterful tale of love and redemption. There`s plenty of drama, enough romantical scenes to require the aforementioned fainting couch and plenty of jaw-dropping twists guaranteed to keep a reader up late at night.  Add in the author`s eloquent turn of phrase (I`m partial to `bullheaded baboon` myself) and, well, all I can say is clear your calendar and be prepared for an emotional ride of a lifetime.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:
Available in ebook format only

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Isle of Hope please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday November 8 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

68 comments:

  1. I have never "met" a Julie Lessman story that I did not like, so I am excited about reading this one. Wouldn't it be wonderful to win a copy?

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    1. Agreed, Rebecca. She's a talented writer. Good luck.

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    2. WOW, Rebecca, that's high praise, my friend, so THANK YOU!!

      And if you don't win here, check my website calendar for other blog-giveaway opportunities, okay?

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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  2. I LOVE JULIE LESSMAN and I LOVE Julie´s books!!! Very much needed voice in Christian fiction! I love her passion for love and her understanding of flaws. True lady and exceptional author!!!

    Count me in, please.,

    janka(dot)halcinova(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Amen and amen. I totally agree. Good luck, Janka.

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    2. JANKA!!! It is soooo great to see you here, my friend, and THANK YOU for your kind words, my friend. I would love to send you a copy of IOH, so here's to a win!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  3. I enjoy her books. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Hey, Kim, thank you for coming by AND for reading by books in the first place, so here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  4. I like your necessary supply list. I always enjoy Julie's books and I'm looking forward to reading this new one.
    karenskrayons(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. She's a favourite of some many readers. Good luck, Karen.

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    2. Oh, me too, Karen -- looking forward to you reading this one, too, so GOOD LUCK in the contest, girl!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  5. I am so excited about this new series from Julie Lessman! I am grateful for authors that handle tough subjects and bring hope. :)

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    1. It's a series to get excited about, Caryl. Good luck.

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    2. Thanks, Caryl, it was a tough subject for me, not only because I wrote it, but because I lived it, too, the extreme bitterness and rebellion towards my father -- both my earthly one and my Heavenly One. But it's an important subject for today's Church, so I expect some flack on this one, but bring it on! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  6. Your reviews are always beautiful, Kav - this one is exceptional!! Thank you!! No need to put my name in the drawing, just wanted to comment on your review. As one of the very first readers of 'Isle of Hope', it touched me so deeply - I felt it would do the same for other readers, I'm thrilled at the reviews it's drawing. I feel God will use it to heal other's relationships & draw them closer to Him. Some of the issues in 'Isle of Hope' resonate with my own past, an added reason I become emotional when talking about this beautiful book. There is so much of Julie's own experiences in the book, I'm sure that's another reason why it is so touching & realistic - in addition to God's anointing on it.

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    1. Beautifully said, Bonnie. I don't think anyone can walk away after reading this book without being changed. It's a powerful testimony of forgiveness that I've ever read.

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    2. Bonnie, I don't think I've had a more stalwart and encouraging supporter throughout this book than you, my friend, and words cannot express my boundless gratitude to you and to God for blessing me with your friendship!

      Kav said: " I don't think anyone can walk away after reading this book without being changed."

      Oh, gosh, Kav -- there's another fabulous quote I can use!!! ;) Talk about a gift for writing heartfelt quotes in just a few words -- WOW!! I would love that to be true, of course, because that was the main reason I wrote this book -- to maybe ... just maybe ... bring a glimmer of the change that God wrought in my life, to others.

      So THANK YOU to both you and Bonnie for your incredible gift with words!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. I think Kav writes the most amazing reviews. She gives me all the "feels" as if I'm reading the book itself.

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  7. I have loved and been totally drawn in to all of Julie Lessman's books. This one sounds just as amazing as all the others that I have read. Can't wait to get me hands on it!
    reneerachoyolsenATgmailDOTcom

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    1. She pours her heart into her stories and it shows. Good luck, Heather.

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    2. Hey, Heather, thanks SO much, you sweet thing, and here's hoping I can send you a winner's copy of IOH, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  8. It doesn't get any better than Julie Lessman. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks Kav - very beautiful review!
    cregnier(at)twinvalley(dot)net

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. Good luck.

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    2. WOW, Cindy, thank you SOOO much -- that pretty much blessed the socks off of me, which is good since it's in the 70s today ... ;)

      I agree -- Kav's review blew me away ... and made me cry like a baby, which I suppose is fair turnaround ... ;)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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  9. Kav, your reviews always shine a light on a perfect thought.....your point that the characters who are hardest to like point to our own inability to forgive. Ben was that stumbling point for me.

    I have my ideas about who the future couples will be....hoping. :) Thankfully, we'll be enjoying more visits to Isle of Hope!

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    1. Well, the twins have to find their happily ever and that pastor....blissful sigh. LOL Lots to look forward to. Thanks for the kind words, Sherida.

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    2. LOL, Sherida, my agent said the same thing, so believe it or not, I softened Ben up A LOT!! You should have seen him before ... ;)

      And book 2 -- Love Everlasting -- will be about Shannon, and here's the blurb:

      A shy romance writer wounded by a man who used her befriends a handsome player who seeks her advice on love—and eventually her heart.

      Thanks again, Sherida, for all of YOUR amazing support on IOH as well -- I am forever grateful, my friend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. Oh -- oh -- I think I know who the handsome player might be. :-)

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    4. Julie, I'm so pleased Shannon will get her story. Loved her sweet quiet spirit. Love Everlasting...great title.

      Kav and I are both anticipating a story featuring Chase. :)

      My feelings were extremely conflicted about Ben. Liked and understood some things about him....but hard to forgive. Great to have complex characters to think about! :)

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  10. All of Julie's books are excellent. I'm looking forward to reading this one just because it's one of her books, but also because it is contemporary (her others are all historical). You are so right about needing lots of Kleenex when reading her books!

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Yes -- contemporary is a switch for Julie Lessman, but it's a good one, but do stock up on the Kleenex. LOL Good luck, Pam.

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    2. LOL, Pam, yeah I'm a weepy CDQ, so if I have to cry while writing my books, then by gum, you guys are going to cry reading them (I hope!). ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  11. I would love to win a Julie Lessman book! ddotbrookmyeratyahoodotcom

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    1. LOL, Donna, and I would "love" to have you win one, girl, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  12. From everything I've read this is a wonderful book! Can't wait to get a chance to read it! Thanks for the opportunity!!
    grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome, Brenda. Good luck.

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    2. Hey, Brenda, can't wait for you to read it either, my friend, so here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  13. LOVE Julie's novels...thanks for the chance to read her latest Kav. :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. What's not to love, right? Good luck, Karen.

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    2. Hey, Karen, good to see you here, darlin', and here's hoping it nets you a win, my friend.

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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  14. Julie's novels insist you come in and live, as as opposed to inviting you in. A great review, Kav. I'd love to wi the book. Thanks for the opportunity

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    1. More like grab you by the throat and drag you in. LOL Good luck, Marianne.

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  15. I've been looking forward to your review of Julie's latest! I wasn't sure what I thought of the idea of a contemporary novel from an author I love for her historical novels. I would love to win a copy, but if not, maybe when the paperback comes out I will have to use some of the Amazon credit I have been hoarding=)

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. This is the O'Connors fast forward a century. You'll love it, Patty. Good luck.

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    2. Yes, Patty, if you don't win here (or at any of the other blog giveaways on my website calendar), then maybe you could use some of those credits ... OR ... put IOH on your Christmas list, eh??

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie

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  16. Your supply list was fun to read! I always enjoy Julie's books and I know this looks like one I would love to read.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. The right supplies make the reading experience all the better. LOL Good luck, rubynreba.

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    2. RubynReba, I agree -- Kav's supply list was a hoot and perfect for setting me up for the fall when she made me cry like a little girl!! ;)

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie

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  17. I LOVED your review of one of my favorite author's. My heart is already stirred, I love how Julie takes the emotions of the characters and works them straight through our hearts.

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Thanks, Melody. Good luck.

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    2. MELODY!!! Aw, you are soooo sweet -- it's a blessing to be "one of your favorite authors," so THANK YOU!!

      And fingers crossed for a win, girl, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  18. Love all of Julie's books! Thanks for the chance to win!
    candicervaldez at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Candice. Good luck.

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    2. Hey, Candice, thanks SO much for coming by, girl, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  19. I just finished reading a book that left me a blubbering emotional mess, so to say the least, I love these kind of stories. Ones that make you reflect on your own life, as messy as they sometimes can be. Two words come to mind....But God! Only He can make sense of the senseless, put those raw emotional moments in perspective, and take said moments & teach us something new. I have no doubt this story will do just that for me as well!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. TRIXI!! LOL ... here you are again, my friend -- you get around more than I do! ;)

      And you become a "blubbering emotional mess" over some stories??? HA! I knew I liked you, girl, because that's me to a T as well, so we should be a fine pair if/when you read Isle of Hope! ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. You'll definitely love this book, then, Trixi. Be prepared to blubber away. Good luck!

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  20. I go through phases and as much as I enjoy a good regency or "swoony" cowboy western, I am really enjoying contemporary romances. Add Julie Lessman to the mix and, undoubtedly, I will love it!
    tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Aw, Terrill, what an incredibly sweet comment, my friend, THANK YOU!! Here's hoping we can net you a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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    2. Yes -- definitely one to add to your library. Good luck, Terrill.

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  21. I'm so excited about Julie's contemporary romance. I'd love to be in your drawing. Thanks. joyfuljelatgmaildotcom

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    1. And you should be excited. It's an amazing story. Good luck, Jackie.

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    2. Jackie!!! Trust me, girlfriend, I would LOVE to send you a winning copy, so you go, girl!!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  22. Congrats on your new release, Julie! Can't wait to read it, I know it will be awesome like all of your books!!

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