Friday, April 5, 2013

Interview with Julie Lessman

Welcome Julie Lessman to My Favorite Pastime! I am absolutely thrilled to be able to share this interview with all of my readers! Julie has become one of my favorite authors. Not only is she a great writer, but she is also a sweet person whom I have enjoyed getting to know through her books and through her personal interaction with all of her reader friends. 

JULIE'S BIO:
Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was ACFW’s 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, #1 Historical Fiction Author, #3 Author, #4 Novel, #3 Series, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and recipient of 14 RWA awards. Contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com.


INTERVIEW:


Julie at My Favorite Pastime(JMFP): As a writer do you manage to make time to read? If so who is/are your favorite authors? And what is your favorite genre to read?(I'm going out on a limb here and thinking romance! LOL)

Julie Lessman: Yes, yes, a thousand times YES—I love to read and am actually able to read about 6-8 books a month. I manage this by carrying a book around in my purse when I’m out so I can read in the car or at doctors’ appointments. I also leave a book in the powder room on days that I’m home, stealing wonderful moments here and there in another world. One of my favorite times of the day is at bedtime, when I can snuggle in with my hubby for twenty minutes or so and read while he watches TV—ahhhh, sheer bliss!

Favorite genre? HA! No need to crawl on limbs, Jules, I am a die-hard, card-carrying romance reader who only occasionally strays into genres like suspense, women’s fiction, fantasy or YA. And my favorite authors? Well, it’s no secret I LOVE Laura Frantz and MaryLu Tyndall—two of my favorites because our hearts beat the same way about passionate romance and they are dear, dear friends besides. Other Inspirational favorites are Francine Rivers, particularly her Mark of the Lion series—awesome! I absolutely love Liz Curtis Higgs’ historicals as well, especially her Scottish trilogy, Fair is the Rose, Thorn in My Heart and Whence Comes a Prince.

Of course, I LOVE and read all of the Seeker books when I can—Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Deb Giusti, Audra Harders, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Cara Lynn James, Myra Johnson, Glynna Kaye, Sandra Leesmith, Tina Radcliffe and Missy Tippens—and am truly astounded at the talent in this group.

Newer historical authors I really enjoy reading include Sharlene MacLaren, Tamera Alexander, Julie Klassen, Deanne Gist, Jamie Carie and Lisa Bergren, to name only a few. And if you’re talking Women’s Fiction, Patty Lacy, Cathy Gohlke and Nikki Arana are absolutely outstanding. I don’t read a lot of YA, but both Melanie Dickerson and Michelle Hutchison’s “Second Glance” series are wonderful!

JMFP: Do you have a favorite among the books that you have written and if so why?

Julie Lessman:I actually have two, one for each of the O’Connor series. For The Daughters of Boston series, it’s book 2, A Passion Redeemed, because it was the most fun to write of any book I’ve ever written. I actually wrote it (almost 500 pages) in two months, and that was working part-time at my day job! It just seemed to flow from me, I guess because Charity is so much like I used to be before Christ that it felt natural to be writing her story. I had to laugh at my husband while he was reading Redeemed because he couldn’t stand Charity. Poor guy, I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’s been married to her (without the incredible physical beauty) for over 30 years!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Faith O’Connor, but in all honesty, she is more like the woman I am today—heavily dependant on God, emotionally involved with Him and a person who prays at the drop of a hat, so I almost feel one with her. But Charity—goodness, my heart goes out to her and the woman I used to be—selfish, manipulative, lost. I think that’s why she fascinates me so much, because I look at her (and women like her) in the same way I suspect God looked at me back then—with eyes full of love and hope that we all can become new creatures in Christ. And quite frankly, I think she is just downright funny and quirky and such a hoot that she makes me laugh.

My favorite book in the Winds of Change series? Oh my, that would be A Hope Undaunted, my tip-top favorite book of all those I’ve written. Not only do I love, love, LOVE all the head-butting between the hero and heroine Luke McGee and Katie O’Connor, but this book is so well rounded, I think, with so much to offer the reader. Not only do you have an explosive love story between the hero and heroine, but several dramatic subplots, a family trauma that unites the entire family, incredible history during the Roaring 20s and Great Depression, and a story where three types of love come together with a powerful message—romantic love, brotherly love and Agape love.

JMFP: Having described yourself as a CDQ(caffeinated drama queen) what do you find is the lure (or is it allure?) in drama for you?

Julie Lessman: Wow … that’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question, Jules, and I’ve answered over 1,600 questions in over 200 interviews, so good job!

I’ll give you a hint: When I was little, my brothers and sisters used to call me “Walking Nervous Breakdown.” Okay, so I’m a bit wired … there’s no harm in that, is there? I mean I do everything fast (except interviews!). I walk fast, I talk fast and I eat fast—a natural byproduct of being #12 in a family of 13, I guess. Imagine 15 people at a Last Supper-style Formica table with long red vinyl benches on either side. Like a school of sharks waiting for meat to hit the water. If you didn’t grab for the grub, chances are there wouldn’t be anything left. Can you say “plague of locusts”? To this day, buffets put a twitch in my eye because I feel like the food will run out. 

And, yes, I am dramatic … okay, “melo”-dramatic, but in my opinion that makes for a good storyteller. I like drama and passion— LOTS of it—especially in my reading material, which is why my books are not sweet, easy reads. But the flip side is that ALL that PASSION and ENERGY are also channeled into my love affair with God, which is a very good thing!

JMFP: You started writing after reading Gone With The Wind and have compared your character Charity O'Connor(A Passion Redeemed) to Scarlet O'Hara. What would be the difference in the two?

Julie Lessman:Although I see a lot of similarities between Scarlett and Charity—beauty, selfishness, indifference to people’s opinions, confidence, a hard veneer, etc. — the differences between the two are pronounced. Charity is hard because she was emotionally wounded as a child while Scarlett’s hardness appears to be from being spoiled rather than from a hurtful past. Both women appear hard, but Charity is a frightened little girl inside while Scarlett seems tough all the way through. Charity is quirky and has a wonderful sense of humor, but I don’t ever remember Scarlett joking or laughing in GWTW. Charity is also far more passionate romantically than Scarlett ever was, driven by her need for a man’s love while Scarlett was driven by her need to save Tara. And finally, Charity is redeemed by God in book 2 of the series, but you never really see any “spiritual” redemption for Scarlett, either in GWTW or in the sequel, Scarlett.

JMFP: What do you hope readers take away from reading your books?

Julie Lessman:The MOST important thing I pray readers take away from my books is the reality of how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. These books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. Believe me, I KNOW this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!” He’s been the love of my life ever since.

JMFP:Tell us about upcoming releases and works in progress.

Julie Lessman:Well, the “Heart of San Francisco” series, which launches April 15, 2013, is kind of a poor-man, rich-man scenario among three cousins during the Irish-political landscape of 1902 San Francisco. Think Little Women meets Dynasty And for those too young to remember the TV show Dynasty, think family wealth and poverty in a political setting.


This series is a bit of a departure for me because it’s a lot lighter and I hope a lot more fun than the angst and high drama of my two prior series.  It will be shorter and less complicated than the O’Connor saga, which means the books will be about 400 pages rather than my usual 500+, and the plots will be two-tier instead of three- and four-tier.

You’ll have the romance between the hero and heroine front and center, of course, but also a second-tier love story between the older couple in the series, just like there was with Patrick and Marcy O’Connor. Only instead of a happily married mother and father such as we had in the O’Connor saga, Caitlyn McClare is a godly widowed matriarch who butts heads (and hearts) with her rogue brother-in-law Logan McClare, with whom she was once in love. Engaged to Logan at a very young age, Cait broke the engagement when she discovered Logan’s infidelity, resulting in her marrying Logan’s brother instead. Now, twenty-seven years down the road, Cait is a widow and Logan is determined to win her back, so the romantic tension between these two undergirds the romantic tension between our heroine, Cait’s niece Cassie McClare, and the hero, Jamie MacKenna.

The one-line premise for Book 1, Love at Any Cost is: “A spunky Texas heiress without a fortune falls in love with a handsome pauper looking to marry well.” And here’s the jacket blurb:
Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him.
Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me.

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?


I guarantee you there’s a lot of sass and fun in this new series, so I’m really looking forward to introducing my readers to this lighter style and the San Francisco McClares!

CHECK OUT JULIE'S VIDEO:


 As far as other projects, current and otherwise, I just released my own e-book last November called A Light in the Window, which is the prequel love story of Marcy and Patrick O’Connor, the parents in my Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series.

I’m also toying with the idea of a trilogy set in Charleston, South Carolina involving a plantation widow and her daughters, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.

And without question, I fully intend to continue the saga someday with those precocious cousins and, of course, Gabe, the O’Connor’s tomboy foster child for whom I have gotten no less than fifteen e-mails from readers asking the very same thing!! I hope to begin with a trilogy for Faith’s girls, then a trilogy for Charity’s twins Henry and Hope AND Gabe and on down the line, each series taking place during the WWII period. But with all the queries on Gabe, maybe I will begin with that trilogy first ... ;) Of course, each trilogy will include a 2nd-tier love story for the parents because I simply cannot let Faith and Collin, Charity and Mitch and the rest of the former hero/heroine couples go!

JMFP: Where readers can connect with you.

Julie Lessman:Thanks, Jules, for this wonderful opportunity! I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me through my website at http://www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/.

Also, I have a cool blog feature on my website called “Journal Jots” at http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/, which is a very laid-back Friday journal to my reader friends that will give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website at http://www.julielessman.com/excerpts/. Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

And just as an FYI for your readers:

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS/SALES GOING ON RIGHT NOW: For those interested in reading my books, I have a number of fun things going on, so I hope they’ll take advantage of these opportunities:

SALE!! My Irish love story, A Light in the Window is almost half price at $3.99 at Amazon and B&N.

FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Hope Undaunted, book 1 in Julie's "Winds of Change" series is currently available for FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon, B&N or CBD.

5 GIVEAWAYS ON GOODREADS: “Sweet Thunderation," my publisher Revell is giving away five free copies of my upcoming release, Love at Any Cost, book 1 in my brand-new “Heart of San Francisco” series. All you have to do is click on the Goodreads link below and enter—it’s that’s easy! Good luck and here’s to a win!


Hugs,
Julie

AUTHOR GIVE AWAY!!

Julie Lessman is giving away to one winner their choice of any one of her books. US residents only please. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway will run from April 5, 2013 through April 8, 2013. Winner will be notified in a blog post and with an email. Leave your email address in the comments section of this post.

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  Thank you once again Julie Lessman for allowing me the privilege of interviewing you! I am looking forward to reading LOVE AT ANY COST soon.

NOTE**Comments are being moderated. I will post them as quickly as possible throughout the contest.

81 comments:

  1. WOO Hoo, great Friday...great interview with Julie.....love her and love her books!!
    I have read all her books so far....can't wait to read LAAC.
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Jackie, I too am looking forward to LAAC! And yes! A thousand times YES on loving Julie AND her books!

      Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest and commenting!

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    2. Hey, JACKIE .... SO great to see you here, and here's hoping we can get a signed copy of LAAC in your hot, little hands, okay??

      GOOD LUCK, my friend!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  2. I am in the middle of 'A light in the Window' right now on my Kindle! After that I will have read them all...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty I just loved A Light in the Window! In fact it is almost a tie of which one is my favorite ALITW or A Love Surrendered. I think ALITW edges ALS out just a tad...but not much ;) I'm so looking forward to Love at any Cost!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. PATTY, thanks SO much for reading my books, and it thrills me that I have opportunity to pray for you because I have your name on my prayer hit list for a godly mate, so I've not forgotten, you see!! :)

      Here's to a win in this contest and a man who will love you like Christ loves the Church!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  3. I have read all of Julies books that are out right now, except for Love at any Cost. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all her books!!
    I would love to read the series about the plantation owner and her daughters if you ever write it Julie. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be!

    Thank you for this chance to win!
    dymesich at juno dot com

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    1. Leah, I answered your post in the one below ;)

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    2. Hey, LEAH, it blesses me to no end to see your name pop up because you have always been such an encouragement to me and I think you for that, you sweet thing!!

      Here's to a win, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      P.S. Extra chances to win books, a Kindle and a character named after you on my Journal Jots blog, so check it out at JULIE'S JOURNAL JOTS BLOG

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  4. Ok, I hit publish and everything disappeared, so I don't know if my previous comment went through or not. I'm sorry if there will be two comments now.

    Anyway, I have read all of Julies books that are out except for Love at any Cost.
    I LOVE all of Julies books. They are SO utterly wonderful!!

    Julie- I would love to read the series about the plantation owner and her daughters if you ever write it.
    It sounds like it would be an amazing series!

    Thanks for this chance to win!
    dymesich (at) juno (dot) com

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    1. Leah D I have moderation on so nothing posts until I okay it. Sorry for the inconvenience but Spammers have been really hammering me lately so I have to keep it on.

      I too have read all of Julie's books except for Love at any Cost. I'm so looking forward to it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    2. LOL ... it went through, but this is twice as nice, my friend. And it's nice to know that I already a few readers lined up for the plantation owner series ... :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  5. That was a wonderful interview - saw an additional side of Julie!

    I've read the first 2 of the Boston's series (I hated Charity also & told Julie) + have Hope Undaunted & Light in a Window in line to read!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh Melody I too had a problem with Charity, but she is one of those characters that eventually grows on you. One can't help rolling their eyes though when she starts in with her shenanigans! Julie is a wonderful person to get to know don't you think?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. LOL, Melody, I wish you would read the book after A Hope Undaunted, A Heart Revealed because Charity is SUCH a hoot in that that I have a gut feeling you will love her. In some ways, you remind me of me (and thereby, Charity, too, except the good Charity in later books), so I do hope you will give her a chance. :)

      GOOD LUCK, my friend!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  6. I don't think I have read any of Julie's books. I'm busy with two boys and school right now but I have Undaunted waiting on my kindle for this summer. :)

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    1. You're in for a treat Tiff when you read Julie's books! And I have to say I'm pretty partial to those two little great nephews of mine!! Give them hugs and kisses from me ;) and tell them Auntie can't wait to see them again!

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    2. Hey, TIFF, I am soooo excited you got the free download of A Hope Undaunted because it is my FAVE of all my books and was listed on Booklist's Top Ten Inspirational Fiction list in its release year of 2010.

      BUT ... although it is the 1st book in my 2nd series, it is actually the 4th book in this passionate family saga and because this is a saga best read in order due to a number of BIG surprises in book 1, I'm going to recommend you read A Passion Most Pure first, okay? APMP won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year, so it's not a dog! ;)

      Anyway, I'm going to tell you a little secret. In a month or two, APMP will be available for free download, so keep your eye out for it, okay?

      And maybe ... just maybe ... you'll win a signed copy here this week, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  7. I've read ALITW, ALS, AHU, APMP, and LAAC. Thanks for sharing all these questions/answers! Very interesting :).
    Callie
    genuinegagirl(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Callie! Julie Lessman always does such a great interview doesn't she? It was my privilege to share with everyone!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

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    2. OH, CALLIE ... you read Love at Any Cost already??? WOW ... you could be the VERY first one to post a review on Amazon because there are none yet ... and if you ARE, I will give you an extra point in my newsletter contest, okay??

      Good luck in that contest AND this one, my friend!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  8. I am so excited to read about the new series that you will be working on! Can't wait to read "Love at any Cost" Keep up the good work and God bless!!

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    1. Jessica, hope you stop back by and leave your email address :)

      Thanks for commenting and entering the contest!

      Blessings!

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    2. Hey, JESS, thank you SO much, my friend, and I'm pretty excited for you to read LAAC too -- it's a wee bit of a departure for me in that it's shorter, lighter and funnier than my other books, so I hope you like it!!

      GOOD LUCK IN THIS CONTEST, sweetie, and I have a Kindle giveaway and having a character named after you giveaway going on at my blog, so I hope you check it out at JULIE'S JOURNAL JOTS BLOG.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  9. *waves happily*
    Hallo Ms. Lessman!! :)

    And, how are you today, this lovely April day!? I had to take a hiatus from walking in nature throughout March {too much oak pollen!}, yet, guess what happily greeted me yesterday!? A little baby marsh rabbit {eek! exciting to see the 'next' generation! you have no idea how you get attached to families of rabbits!} and a turtle with his head tilted up towards the sky and a little bit of light green moss on his shell! Cutest turtle EVER! :)

    Ooh, and before I forget: guess what arrived!!? Ohh yes, the Daughters of Boston!!! Eek. Seriously beyond elated!!

    Ooh boy!! Your promo video for Love At Any Cost is brilliantly smashing! I loved every inch of it! Especially the vintage touch! Rock on!!

    Most of the authors you mentioned are 'newly becoming acquainted with me' as I pick up their novels, but Deeanne Gist is one I surely love myself! She sets the stage for psychological suspense in Beguiled!! And, who wouldn't want to get lost in the pages of A Bride in the Bargain!? Her latest looks keenly promising too! I love the little extras she gives her newsletter readers!! :)

    I nearly snorted into a coughing laugh! Too young for Dynasty!? I'm a pence short of 35 soon, even I know of Dynasty! My parents are happily introducing it to me, but only the first two or three years, which are they're favourites! If its a cross-over between the series & my beloved Little Women, I think I've found a new reason to enjoy that trilogy! :) You always give us such hearty reasons to dig into your books! Love it!

    I'd love to see where you take the Charleston plantation series,... as since I've been blog hopping with you since November last, I've picked up a few kernals of what the story could shape into and I think you are on to something rather keen!! :) :)

    *waves again*
    Have a super awesome Springy weekend!! The greens are alive and well out there! I love how the desolately bare branches are now plum and full of leaves and greenery! I think its the first time I've experienced an honest to goodness display of "spring has sprung!"

    Blessings always,
    Jorie

    inkand-blogaways(at)usa.net
    //Florida

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    1. Hi Jorie! How funny, I just responded to your email and then your comment popped up! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an enthusiastic comment for Julie! And Yay for spring for sure!!

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    2. Hallo again! :)

      Ooh, yes, that is wicked isn't it, on the timing of it!? :) I just read your reply & dropped by here to see if the comment went live! Laughs. Oh your welcome! She's such a dear heart, that I always enjoy leaving her uplifting messages!! Now, if only it would rain a heap, so the pollen would leave! :)

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    3. JORIE!!! Talk about "spring"!! Your notes are always like a touch of spring to me -- fresh and uplifting, so THANK YOU!!

      And although it goes against my nature to pray for rain .... I will, just for you ... AND those spring flowers, of course!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  10. I still have only read APMP-I know, pathetic! I have up through AHR available for me to read I've just had other books that need to be read. I have been trying to read through most if not all of my TBR pile so since I didn't own any of the books they just would slip by the wayside. But now I own AHR so that means I have to read the other books so I can read that one! (Is it sad that I'm finding ways of cheating my own system?!)
    The part of the interview about talking, walking, and eating fast cracked me up! I guess it really does have something to do with being part of a large family since I'm one of 9 and my parents always tell me to talk slower, my sisters ask me to slow down, and I'm pretty much always the first person done eating!

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    1. Abby, I feel your pain on trying to get through that TBR pile. It seems that so many books get in the way of that shelf.

      Thanks for commenting. Come back and leave your email address for the contest.

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    2. sorry completely forgot!
      gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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    3. Hey, ABBI ... one of nine??? Boy, that's rare today, my friend. Hope it's a loud, noisy, happy family!!

      Uh-oh ... I have a feeling you stopped at APMP because of Charity, that you didn't like her. Most people want to see her "maimed or killed" (God's truth -- I did have a few readers write that to me), but to be honest, I love Charity the most because she grows the most, and by book 5 -- A Heart Revealed -- she's a royal hoot, making me laugh on almost every page, so I hope you will give her book a shot. It's my fave of the Daughters of Boston series. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    4. Haha yeah loud, noisy, and happy just scratch the surface! We are all a bit goofy so once we get started it's really hard to stop the laughter!

      Well I wasn't the hugest Charity fan but I'm willing to give her a chance I just honestly have had too many review books and books I got that I really wanted to read. But I'm hopefully going to at least get to one of them this month!

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  11. I love, love, love historical romance--thank you for the chance to add to my home collection!
    karen@fallotfam.com

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    1. You will never be disappointed in any of Julie's books!

      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. KAREN ... thanks SO much for coming by, and if you haven't read any of my books before, I highly recommend you read an excerpt or two from the EXCERPTS page of my website where I have listed my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books. If you only have time for one, I suggest scrolling down to the romantic scene for A Hope Undaunted -- it's my fave!! Here's the link:

      JULIE'S EXCERPTS

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      JULIE

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  12. My first book by Julie... I love the story! One of my new favourites! Love historical romance but my favourite is that Gods love and message shines throughout he stories!!! :)

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    1. All of Julie's books become my favorites! Hope you find it the same way with you :)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Come back and leave an email address for the contest.

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    2. LISA!!! Did I send you APMP?? Is that your first book by me, I hope? Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you win another in this contest, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  13. I've read A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, A Passion Denied, A Love Surrendered, and A Light in the Window... and I'll soon be reading Love At Any Cost!! :D

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    Melanie
    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com
    My blog:Christian Bookshelf Reviews

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    1. Hi Melanie! I can't wait for Love at any Cost! Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest and commenting!

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    2. MELANIE NOooooooooo!!! You haven't read A Hope Undaunted or A Heart Revealed yet??? AHU is my FAVORITE of all my books and was listed on Booklist's Top Ten Inspirational Fiction for 2010 and it's available for FREE download right now, so I hope you will read it. Especially since it's the love story of Katie O'Connor and Cluny McGee -- two of my favorite characters. :)

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  14. I've read all of Julie's books, including A Light in the Window, which was one of my favs. All of them are staying on the Keeper Shelf. :)

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Oh I'm glad I'm not the only person with a "keeper" shelf Marissa! Thanks for commenting and participating in the contest.

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    2. MARISSA ... you are SUCH an encouragement to me always, my friend, so THANK YOU for reading all of my books, and I hope you will enjoy Love at Any Cost as much as the others.

      Here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  15. I haven't yet read any of Julie's books, but I intend to start reading her first series soon.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. You are in for a treat Kay! You'll have to let us all know what you think once you have read the first one ;)

      Thanks for commenting and participating in the contest.

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    2. KAY ... BLESS YOU, you sweet thing!! Not only for intending to read my books, but for starting with the first book in the series, A Passion Most Pure, which won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year. It's SO important to read these books in order as this is a family saga best read in order due to a number of big surprises in book 1.

      If you win in this contest, I will be thrilled to send you APMP, okay?

      GOOD LUCK!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  16. I've read all of Julie's books except for this newest one. I read the first one for book club, then had to read all the rest as they released. I really enjoyed reading about the O'Connor family. I'd love to win a copy of Love at Any Cost. Thanks for the chance.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Pam I have to say I am a late-comer to Julie's books so the majority of them were published before I started reading them. Which was a good thing because I don't think I would have had the patience to wait!

      Thanks for commenting and participating in the contest!

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    2. PAM ... I am SO thankful for that book club because it has given me a precious reader friend in you!! I cannot wait to hear what you think of Love at Any Cost, so please let me know after you read it okay? And hopefully you will win it here on Julie's blog, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  17. I have read Julie's book A Hope Undaunted and LOVED it! I'm quite new to her book and am enjoying discovering all of her other books! :D
    hannahpeasha(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Hannah, you need to start at the beginning and read A Passion Most Pure. Or even read A Light in the Window which is the prequel to the O'Connor family. You started where I started with A Hope Undaunted. I read the series backwards! ha! Thanks for stopping by and commenting and entering the contest.

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    2. Hey, HANNAH, Julie's right -- I'd love to see you start at the beginning with A Passion Most Pure, and guess what? A Passion Most Pure will be offered for a free download in a month or so, so keep your eye on my weekly blog Journal Jots at JULIE'S JOURNAL JOTS BLOG for the announcement when it happens, okay?

      Good luck in this contest.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  18. Haven't read any of Julie's books yet - but looking forward to doing so & would love to win one of her books! Thanks for the opportunity!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. As I suggested to Hannah in the comment above, you should start with A Light in the Window which is the prequel to the O'Connor family or A Passion Most Pure. What a treat to being new to Julie's books! They are definitely MUST reads ;)

      Thanks for commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. Hey, BONNIE, haven't read any of my books? Well, girl -- we're just going to have to remedy that, now aren't we?? I like to encourage people who have never read me before to check out the "Excerpts" tab of my website at the link below to read samples of my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes for each of my books, because that will give you a good idea of my style of "passion with a purpose" writing. If you only have time for one excerpt, I suggest scrolling down for the romantic scene from A Hope Undaunted because that's my fave!!

      Also, Bonnie, A Light in the Window is on sale for almost half off ($3.99) right now, so I encourage you to check it out.

      THEN ... book 1 in the 2nd series, A Hope Undaunted, is available for free download right now!! Then book 1 in the entire saga, A Passion Most Pure, which won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut book of the year, will be available for free download in the upcoming months. The only problem with that is that this is a saga best read in order due to a number of BIG surprises in the first book, A Passion Most Pure, so I'd read that one or A Light in the Window first, okay? GOOD LUCK!!

      Here's the "Excerpts" link: JULIE'S EXCERPTS

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  19. I actually haven't read any of Julie Lessman's books, but I would like to read them because I've heard and read such good things about her books. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    Rose M.
    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks Rose for stopping by and commenting and joining the contest. You will not be disappointed in any of Julie's books I can guarantee!

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    2. Hey, ROSE, I am thrilled that you are interested in reading my books, and I will tell you what I told Bonnie above. I encourage you to check out the "Excerpts" tab of my website at the link below to read samples of my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes for each of my books, because that will give you a good idea of my style of "passion with a purpose" writing.

      And if you do decide to read my books, please start with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, as this is a family saga best read in order due to a number of big surprises, okay?

      And just FYI, A Light in the Window -- the prequel to my two series -- is now on sale for for almost half off ($3.99), so I encourage you to check it out.

      THEN ... book 1 in the 2nd series, A Hope Undaunted is available for free download right now, so I hope you take advantage.

      Here's the "Excerpts" link I mentioned, so happy reading and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      JULIE'S EXCERPTS

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  20. Hello Julie I love listening to you talk about your books and you. I sure need to win a book of yours. I have tried many times, but haven't struck gold yet. Well, I do have A"A Love Surrendered". I think it is the last in a series tho. But still, I need more. :) Please be nice and draw my name. LOL MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. LOL Maxie, you are right A Love Surrendered is the last in the series! You need to get A Passion Most Pure to read first. Thanks for stopping by and commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. LOL, MAXIE ... yes you do, my friend, and hopefully this is the giveaway that will have me sending you a signed copy of A Passion Most Pure!!

      GOOD LUCK and hugs,
      Julie

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  21. I've read Julie's Daughters of Boston series, books 1 & 2 in Winds of Change series (book 3 is on it's way). Awesome, describes Julie and her books. Thanks for a chance to win her newest!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. I agree Merry! Thanks for commenting and joining the contest!

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    2. Oh, MERRY, BLESS YOU!! I cannot express just how much I appreciate your support, and I would like nothing better than being able to send you a signed copy of Love at Any Cost, so here's to a win, you sweet thing!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  22. Wonderful interview! (Sorry I'm a little late, Julie!) Julie Lessman always has such fun answers. :) That's interesting that A Hope Undaunted is her favorite of all of her books! My favorite is still A Passion Most Pure. :)

    Thanks you, Julie and Julie, for this great post and a chance to win Love At Any Cost!

    ~Amber (Borders Girl)

    amberstokes[at]corban[dot]edu

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    1. Hey, AMBER, AHU is my favorite of the series, but A Passion Redeemed is my favorite of the DOB series, which basically means I love Charity and Mitch and Luke and Katie A LOT, but I have found that it's basically just a personality thing with me and my readers. Those who like Faith and Lizzie the best tend to be more sweet and wholesome types while those of us who lean toward Charity and Katie are the troublemakers who tend to be CDQs ... ;) Thanks for coming by, Amber, and I hope that book is going well ...

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  23. Hi Amber! You aren't late at all :) So happy you could stop by and enter the contest and read my interview with Julie. My favorites of Julie's books are A Love Surrendered and A Light in the Window. I'm really looking forward to Love at any Cost. Julie says it is less angst-filled and full of humor. I'm thinking I will like it!

    Thanks again for coming by and commenting and entering the contest!

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  24. I have read ALL of Julie Lessman's books and have LOVED every page... she is the most amazing author ever! I love how it's not just romance, it's about our relationship with God and how our faith in Him is what is so important... keep writing Julie!
    Jo

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    1. Well said Jo! I too love the fact that Julie writes about our relationship with the Lord and how important that is. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. JO!!! It always tickles me when I see your name pop up, my friend -- thanks for coming by!!

      Love you!
      Julie

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  25. Hey, JULES, I apologize it's taken me so long to respond to all these wonderful comments, but I have had my sweet 20-month grandbaby all weekend and have not had much time on the computer except when she naps or goes to bed early. Goodness, I'd forgotten just how busy those little people can be!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. No problem Julie! Grandbabies take priority in my book :) and yes yes yes, they are busy busy! But so stinkin cute!! Enjoy!

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  26. I have yet to read one of your books but I have now added them to my TBR list. I am always looking for new authors to read.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Joye, you are in for a real treat when your read Julie Lessman's books! Start with A Passion Most Pure or A Light in the Window(a prequel to the series). You won't be disappointed I guarantee!!

      Thanks for commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. Hey, JOYE ... thank you for putting me on your TBR list and I strongly encourage you to check out the "Excerpts" tab of my website at the link below to read samples of my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes for each of my books. As a new reader to my work, that will give you a good idea of my style of "passion with a purpose" writing. If you only have time for one excerpt, I suggest scrolling down for the romantic scene from A Hope Undaunted because that's my fave!!

      Also, FYI -- A Light in the Window is now on sale for almost half off ($3.99), so I encourage you to check it out.

      THEN ... book 1 in the 2nd series, A Hope Undaunted, is available for free download RIGHT NOW, so I hope you take advantage!!

      Here's my excerpt link: JULIE'S EXCERPTS

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  27. I have not read any of your books yet, but have one on Kindle I am waiting to read. I have heard such good things about your writing. Can hardly wait to read the one on Kindle, A Light in the Window. Would be great to win this new one.

    Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Janice, I think A Light in the Window is my favorite Julie Lessman book! You are in for a real treat. Read that one or A Passion Most Pure first as ALITW is a prequel to the whole series and APMP kicks it all off :) I envy you being able to start at the very beginning! I didn't pay attention and read The Winds of Change books first and THEN The Daughters of Boston...so I read the series backwards! ha! After you read your first one in the series you'll have to come back to my blog and leave a comment(I've read all of them and you can find reviews under the review tab), I'd love to hear what you think!

      Thanks for commenting and entering the contest!

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    2. JANICE ... I am SO glad you downloaded A Hope Undauted -- it's my fave of all my books and was listed on Booklist's Top Ten Inspirational Fiction list for 2010. I will warn you, however, that this is a family saga best read in order due to a number of big surprises in book 1, A Passion Most Pure, and AHU is actually the 4th book in the saga. That said, I will tell you that APMP will be available for free download in the next month or so, so you may want to keep checking my Journal Jots blog on my website for when that will be, okay?

      In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to check out the "Excerpts" tab of my website at the link below to read samples of my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes for each of my books. As a new reader to my work, that will give you a good idea of my style of "passion with a purpose" writing. If you only have time for one excerpt, I suggest scrolling down for the romantic scene from A Hope Undaunted because that's my fave!! Here's my excerpt link: JULIE'S EXCERPTS

      Also, FYI -- A Light in the Window is now on sale for almost half off ($3.99), so I encourage you to check it out.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. JULES ... thanks SO much for hosting me on your blog -- this has been a lot of fun, my friend!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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