today’s book: The Promise of Hope
Welcome to another post in my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads! (Over 50 this year – And I’m SO EXCITED about it!)
Christmas is only THREE DAYS away – and only one day left of the Christmas Reads Giveaway after today. I hope y’all have enjoyed this year’s book spotlights and guest posts! And we’re not quite done yet! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s next book is a swoonilicious historical romance involving the fan favorite O’Connor family – and author Julie Lessman shares how she included in the story a spiritual lesson God personally taught her.
THE PROMISE OF HOPE
SERIES: An O’Connor Family Christmas Novella
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2020
(PLEASE NOTE!! THIS BOOK IS A SWEET INSPIRATIONAL WITH A STRONGER LEVEL OF ROMANTIC PASSION.)
She’s a woman of deep faith,
Till one careless comment steals it away.
He’s a man of deep joy,
Till his wife’s pain takes it away.
Fortunately they serve a God of deep love,
Whose promise of hope brings blessings to stay.
Emma O’Connor’s gratitude knows no bounds. God has healed her painful past with a wonderful marriage, three beautiful adopted children, and a close-knit extended family to call her own. But when one careless comment sows the seeds of discontent over her infertility, both her joy—and her faith—begin to unravel.
Sean O’Connor has never met a woman of deeper faith honed by pain than his precious wife, Emma, which is why he vowed to give her a life of love and joy no matter the cost. But when her spirits dive along with her faith, he’s at a loss how to heal the woman he loves. Until the God of Hope intervenes with the promise of hope.
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
As with most of my books, my latest O’Connor Christmas novella, A Promise of Hope, is about a spiritual lesson God taught me in my own life – ahem, the hard way. (Looks both ways then leans in to whisper.) It’s called … infertility … and here’s the lesson in a nutshell followed by a brief excerpt from the book:
Clean Heart, Dirty Diapers
by Julie Lessman, author of The Promise of Hope
As number 12 of 13 kids, the last thing I worried about was infertility. I mean, come on—I was an aunt 45 times, so obviously fertility wasn’t an issue, right? My husband and I followed God’s precepts by remaining celibate till our honeymoon, and the Bible says “He honors those who honor Him,” does it not? And let’s not forget I’m an Inspy author whose tagline is “Passion with a Purpose,” so “passion” sure doesn’t hurt either. All in all, a slam-dunk, right?
Well, a slam, anyway. Within a year there were progesterone/Clomid treatments, monthly ultrasounds, temperature charts, bicycles in the air, husband in boxers, and mumbles of Psalm 113:9 in my sleep (i.e. He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children). Yet, nothing—nada, zero, zilch.
Oh, wait—something did happen.
Suddenly I couldn’t walk into a McDonalds or church without weeping, heart twisting at the sight of babies, kids, or moms-to-be. Trust me, it got real ugly—anger at God, anger at pregos, and anger at myself for being angry. I felt awful, but not from morning sickness—it was jealousy, anger, bitterness and despair that had me ready to throw up.
So I counseled with a pastor’s wife known for her infertility ministry. Apparently many women she counseled/laid hands on became pregnant soon after, so I thought—why not? Since I’m a big believer in prayer, healing, and last resorts, I gave it a shot. November came and went, December did too, and then January took me down for the count. I still remember sobbing in church, on my knees with a hard, bitter feeling where a baby should have been. “Why won’t you give me a baby, God?” I cried, anger spilling out along with my tears.
Never will I forget the words that drifted in my brain that day, drowning out my sobs, crying babies, the band, and the choir:
Are you going to throw away this year like you did with the last? With bitterness, jealousy and doubt? Or are you going to lay it and the baby down and live in peace, hope and faith?
Ouch. But God got my attention, and I started sobbing again, only this time it was with a repentant and obedient heart. I told God I was sorry and that I would trust Him with the desire of my heart—children—if it meant biological, adopted, or foster. I started praising Him in the face of my infertility because I knew I had the best insurance policy around in Romans 8:28:
And we know that all things (even infertility) work for good for those who love God (love=obedience, John 14:15) and are called according to His purpose (to glorify Him, Isaiah 43:7).
Every time I saw a mother or mother-to-be after that, I’d rebuke jealousy in Jesus’ name and pray, asking God to bless her. A few weeks later my brother waltzed up at a family wedding, cocky as can be, and said, “Guess what—three weeks of trying and we’re pregnant.” Not hello, how are you, or kiss my feet.
Jealousy sprang up like the fountain in the foyer, and I dragged my sister to the bathroom. “Pray with me,” I begged, and we did. That God would bless my sister-in-law with a safe and healthy pregnancy and that God would help me to bless her, some way, somehow.
So, that very night I asked her if I could give her a baby shower, and she said yes. And you know what? So did God—ten months later when my baby was born three months after hers! Go ahead, call it coincidence, but I gotta tell ya right now—this is one mommy who will never buy it!
So … ready for an excerpt? Here you go:
Carrie—thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog—it’s been fun! I love to hear from readers, so they can find and contact me at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter or my Journal Jots blog. Readers can also check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website.
Also, I am currently running three Christmas sales right now:
A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW: A warm, wintery Irish Christmas love story that’s won three awards and is ON SALE for only 99 cents! Think The Bells of St. Mary’s meets The Gift of the Magi, then check out the incredible video/trailer my talented hubby did below using my daughter as the model for this feel-good-about-winter Christmas novel.
A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO:
A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW BOOK ON AMAZON
A WING AND A PRAYER and LOVE’S SILVER BULLET: My two latest novels are on sale for 50%, so check out the cool trailer videos below that my talented hubby put together for me!
Thanks and hugs,
Julie 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, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 21 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017-20, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was 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. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.
Julie Lessman is offering a copy of EACH of her Christmas ebooks – both novels and novellas, including The Promise of Hope, to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Promise of Hope by Julie Lessman?