His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman + excerpt + giveaway

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His Steadfast Love SLB tour

Hi, y’all! Today, we welcome back our author friend, Julie Lessman and her newest release.

About the Book

Series: Isle of Hope
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: August 1, 2017

His Steadfast Love by Julie LessmanShe’s bent on fun. He’s bent on faith. Till true love bridges the gap.

Cat O’Bryen is the prodigal daughter unhappy with God. First, the father with whom she reconciled dies of cancer and now her twin sister and best friend marries, leaving Cat at home with a newlywed mother, her new husband, and a little brother. But when Cat moves in with a roommate of questionable morals, her family is worried, certain she’s on a path that could damage her faith forever.

Reluctant to get involved with a woman like the one who destroyed his life, ex-Navy SEAL Pastor Chase Griffin steers clear of the attraction he feels for Cat O’Bryen. Until her family begs him to take her under his wing, hoping he can draw her back into the fold. But when the draw she has on him proves too strong to resist, he must rely on the strength of God to offer a friendship as steady and strong as the God whose love is wooing her home.

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Isle of Hope series


prequel reviewbook 1 review | book 2 review
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#dealalert Isle of Hope is currently sale priced at $0.99

 

My Thoughts

In true Julie Lessman style, the Isle of Hope series packs a punch in both the faith and passion departments. His Steadfast Love is a delightfully satisfying conclusion for this Christian romance series. Readers will find a sweet increase of kisses in this story thanks to the multiple pairs of happy newlywed characters from previous books.

Cat O’Bryen is an outspoken, flirtatious, and a self-proclaimed rebel with a weakness for chocolate and ice cream. Despite her outward sass and spunk, Cat is understandably feeling lonely in the shadows of her family’s newlywed glow. Her affection for desserts is so contagious, I cannot be held responsible for my actions the next time I’m near a Stone Cold Creamery!

Chase Griffin has been friend-zoned twice already within this series and while those ladies ultimately ended up with the right men for them, it has to sting the pastor’s confidence a bit anyway. My favorite part of this story is the cozy lake community that Chase lives in. I couldn’t get enough of his grandmotherly landlord, exuberant dog, and imagined views of a crystal clear spring fed lake.

His Steadfast Love is a meat and potatoes read with plenty of desserts! Heavy topics like forgiveness, abuse, purity, family, and faith are seasoned with a work hard, play hard attitude and a healthy serving of “friendly” competitions.

I requested the opportunity to read this book through the author.
The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Excerpt

She cried her heart out for a solid ten minutes until her heaves thickened and slowed, the front of his shirt near sopping. He rubbed her arms. “Feel better?” His lips tipped when she allowed a few jerky nods against his chest, and fishing out a wad of tissues, he nudged them into her hands. “Here. My shirt is soaking wet, kiddo, and I’m a little worried it’s not all saltwater.”
“It’s not,” she said with a soggy smile, promptly blowing her nose several times. She blotted a handful of fresh tissues against the wet spot on his shirt. “One of the pitfalls of being a pastor, I suppose.”
“Or a good friend,” he said softly, wondering if she had any inkling how attracted he was to her. He hoped not because Cat was the type of woman who would use that to her advantage, and he couldn’t afford that. He’d worked too hard at keeping his distance.
His Steadfast Love by Julie LessmanA lesson learned the hard way.
“Hey,” he said with a duck of his head, compassion warm in his eyes, “wanna talk about it?”
With a soft moan, she flopped back against the console seat like a ragdoll. Resting her head, she stared up at a section of the headliner that was just beginning to buckle on the roof of his car, arms limp at her sides. “What’s there to talk about? My lifeline is gone, so I have to learn to go it alone, I guess, without Shannon there every minute of every day.”
“Hey, you still have Davey and your mom and Ben, with Jack and Lacey right next door,” he said, hoping to remind her how lucky she was to have the family she had.
A groan ground from her lips. “Oh, super. A twenty-six-year-old spinster in the same house with mommy, daddy, and little brother. One, I might add, who has to wear earplugs at night so she can’t hear what’s going on in her newlywed mother’s room.” A shiver rumbled her shoulders. “No, thanks.
And Jack and Lacey are just as bad when they come over, always playing kissy-face.” Her nose lifted in a scrunch. “Face it, Rev, I might as well be alone.”
“Not alone,” he said carefully, pausing long enough to make a point. “There is another lifeline, you know.”
A low groan slipped past her lips as one eyelid edged up. “You’re not going to start talking to me about God, are you?”
He grinned as he reached toward the cup holders beneath the dash, handing her coffee over before he took a sip of his own. “I’m a pastor, Catfish, what do you think?”
She sat up and snatched the cup with a stubborn bent to her chin. “Well, I’m not on speaking terms with God right now, so you can just shelve the sermon till Sunday.”
His smile faded as he studied a profile that could have been etched in stone. “How ’bout shouting terms then? He’ll take whatever He can get, Catherine,” he said quietly, “because His love for you never changes no matter what you say or how you say it.”
“Ha! Sure not willing to test a lightning bolt on that one, Rev, not with a God who’s burned me before.” She took a quick glug of her coffee, gaze hard and fixed straight ahead.
“How?”
She swiveled to face him, mouth gaping. “How? A God who allows my father—a man devoted to Him, no less—to abandon his family, then turns right around and does it all over again with cancer?” She issued a grunt. “Sorry, but that doesn’t inspire a whole lot of trust in me.”
“The affair was your father’s choice, Cat, not God’s,” he said quietly.
She scorched him with a glare. “But He didn’t stop him!” she screamed, the cup quivering in her hand. “Anymore than He stopped Lacey from stabbing me in the back when she’d been my best friend, or Kyle from dumping me in college because I was too blinkin’ pure. I did nothing wrong!” she shouted, “and He’s supposed to be God, all powerful, all loving! He could have stopped Dad, but He didn’t! Yes, the burden of sin was on Dad’s shoulders, but tell me, Chase, what did Mom, Jack, Shan, and I do to deserve having our hearts and lives ripped apart at the seams? All we ever did was honor God, loving Him and trusting Him like Dad always taught us to do.”
She straightened slowly, shoulders squaring almost imperceptibly while that formidable chin rose, as defiant as the gleam of anger in her eyes. “But your so-called loving God did nothing, so tell me, Chase, please, because I really want to know. What good is a God who hangs His own out to dry?”
Turning away, she held the cup with both hands, body trembling while rivulets of tears slithered her face.
So that was the crux of her pain, then. Chase exhaled a quiet sigh. He thought so. It had been Jack’s beef with God when Chase had confronted him last year and now apparently Cat’s too. The root of rebellion shackled to their greatest fear.
That God didn’t really love them at all.

Faithfully Bookish

About the Author

Julie LessmanJulie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.

Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books on her website.

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Behind the Scenes Facts about the Book

1.) Book 1, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is loosely based on how God healed my own dysfunctional relationship with my father.

2.) Like IOH’s secondary hero, Ben Carmichael, my father was also a surgeon and a recluse.

3.) My dad, like Ben, had a dog named Beau that he took fishing with him.

4.) Like the heroine, Lacey, I also took meals over to my father’s house to try and make amends.

5.) And like Lacey’s situation, my father seldom talked to me when I did bring meals and never hugged me or indicated any love.

6.) Like the series’ secondary heroine, Tess, I was insanely jealous of boyfriends I dated and made a fool of myself many a time.

7.) The peach crumble pie Mamaw made was my favorite pie I made when I was young.

8.) When I originally wrote Isle of Hope, the O’Bryen’s and Carmichael’s docks were in their back yards, which I had facing the Skidaway River until I discovered during research that all the homes on Bluff Drive (where the O’Bryen’s and Carmichael’s live) face the river from the front of the houses, necessitating a walk across the street to get to each neighbor’s docks.

9.) When I wrote book 3, Cat and Chase’s story, I strongly felt it was going to have a huge spiritual impact, but when I came close to the end, I was disappointed in the spiritual takeaway and hit the wall on the last four chapters. So I prayed for God’s anointing and creativity, and BOOM! He reminded me of the 2nd biggest spiritual lesson He ever taught me (the first being about how to forgive as depicted in book 1), so that’s the lesson Cat (and Chase!) learn too in the final chapters of His Steadfast Love, a lesson that literally changed my life.

10.) Lacey’s chocolate chip pie is one of my favorite pies I make today, and here’s the recipe:

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pie (makes one pie), from: Julie Lessman, serves: 8-10
Cooking time: 350 degrees for 45 minutes or longer. Can leave out or refrigerate.

1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter
¾ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 unbaked pie shell
Vanilla ice cream and Magic Shell (optional)

Melt butter, cool in fridge while mixing sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix in butter, then add nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Serve on individual plates and microwave each piece for about 30 seconds or until warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream (I streusel Magic Shell over ice cream and top pie with whipped cream and strawberry).

 

Tour Schedule

July 23 Singing Librarian Books
July 24 Faithfully Bookish
July 25 Remembrancy | Reading Is My SuperPower
July 26 Paulette’s Papers | Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
July 27 Flowers of Quiet Happiness | Faery Tales Are Real
July 28 The Green Mockingbird 
July 29 Radiant Light | Cafinated Reads

 

Giveaway

SLB tour grand prize winner will receive:
a character named after you in an upcoming book
a signed paperback copy of His Steadfast Love OR signed e-book
e-book of Unfailing Love and Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope book 1 & 2)

His Steadfast Love SLB tour giveaway

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SLB Book Tours blogger

 

Let’s chat about the book!
What did y’all think of the excerpt?
Do you have a favorite behind the scenes fact?

18 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I have read several of your previous books, and would love to win a copy of this one. It sounds like another good one.


    1. // Reply

      GOBERS … thank you SO much for reading some of my books, and here’s hoping this nets you a win!

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie


  2. // Reply

    I can’t wait for the conclusion of this amazing series! Love, love, love Julie and her wonderful books!


    1. // Reply

      KELLY!! Thanks SO much for coming by to leave a comment, my sweet friend, and here’s hoping I can send you the winning copy of His Steadfast Love!

      HUGS AND MORE HUGS!
      Julie


  3. // Reply

    This sounds so good. I enjoyed reading the “Behind the scenes” facts. The chocolate chip pie sounds yummy!


    1. // Reply

      Hey, WINNIE, SO good to see you here, my friend, and oh honey, if you have never had chocolate chip pie, you need to try it because it is SUPER EASY and stays a long time in the fridge or freezer. Perfect dessert, really, as long as you have ice cream … 😉

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie


  4. // Reply

    BETH!!! Thank you SO much, not only for the great review, but for all of your support for this series — you have been a true blessing, my friend!

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie


    1. // Reply

      It has been my pleasure, Julie! I’m delighted to tell readers about your stories! HUGS! 😍


    1. // Reply

      Hey, STORYENTHUSIAST, thank you SOOO much for reading my books, my friend, and here’s hoping I can send you a winning copy, yes?

      GOOD LUCK!
      Julie


  5. // Reply

    Thanks for a wonderful review, Beth – I love that you included an excerpt and the Behind the Scenes Facts about the series!! I loved “His Steadfast Love”, it’s truly one of Julie’s very best works!! Her chocolate chip pie is known as Derby pie here in the Ky. Derby area and yes, it’s delicious – and oh so rich!!


    1. // Reply

      Thank you, dear Bonnie! Oh, I really need to try this recipe! It makes my mouth water every time I read it!


    2. // Reply

      BONNIE???? BONNIE ROOF??? I do not recognize your addy, you stinker, you!! And I had NO IDEA that chocolate chip pie was known as Derby Pie in Kentucky — you never told me that, I don’t think.

      Thank you for your kind words, my sweet friend, and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

      Love you!!
      Julie


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