Monday, December 1, 2014

Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Julie Lessman


Readers, it is an extreme honor to welcome Julie Lessman to The Power of Words this week! One of the best things about review blogging is occasionally getting to know an author personally, and Julie has truly become special to me. We often think of the term "passion" when it comes to her stories, but that is true of Julie herself - with her passion for family, writing, and God that is reflected in her writing. Also, I doubt there's another author out there who is as responsive to her readers. I hope you will enjoy every word of Julie's interview, and be led to pick up one of her novels if you haven't discovered them already.

Julie is graciously giving away either her newest book, Surprised by Love, or one of her others, winner's choice. This giveaway is open internationally, although outside the US would be ebook only. Entry details are at the end of Julie's interview.

Now please enjoy a visit with Julie. With the Thanksgiving season still fresh on our minds, I wondered what this precious holiday was like for Julie . . .


Q.  What was Thanksgiving like for the Lessman family? Is there one tradition, past or present, that you especially find meaningful?

        Well, let me just say Thanksgiving at the Lessman’s is only marginally less crowded and crazy than Black Friday. ;) Okay, not that nuts, I suppose, but definitely busy from 1:00 to 7:00 PM or thereabouts.
        You see, it’s my designated holiday to have my husband’s family over, so we usually have about 30 people or more. This year we had three babies to pass around and six bigger kids tearing up and down the stairs playing hide and seek or what have you, not unlike an O’Connor family holiday! And my grandbabies weren’t even in town!
        Part of the afternoon, the guys all congregate in the family room to play cards while the girls hover in the kitchen close to the food, which is a sumptuous display of appetizers, dips and chips until the meal is served at 4:00 PM. We always cook two turkeys (approximately 45 lbs.), mine in the oven and my husband’s on the grill, accompanied by endless side dishes, of course, some of which are provided by family members.
        The most meaningful tradition for me, however, is saying grace. Since there are so many people spread out at a number of tables throughout the house, everybody congregates in the kitchen where the food is laid out on my island counter. It’s that moment of togetherness that I always cherish—a cohesive family unit crowding my kitchen while my husband or I say a heartfelt prayer, thanking God for our families and our many blessings along with the food. And then … just like the gunshot that kick-starts a race, pandemonium ensues while everyone fills their plates.


Q.  With the trend we're seeing of some Christian fiction writers turning to the secular market, please share your thoughts about how God directs or convicts you when it comes to the purpose in your writing.

        You know, Carole, just last year I went on a month-long fast to seek God as to the direction of my career (i.e. whether I should stay in the Christian market or move to the secular market). You see, it was right after I received a very hurtful review that attacked me, my husband, and my marriage, asking people to pray for me because I obviously needed it. Trust me, I’m no stranger to nasty one-star reviews, some of which have called my writing “scum reading” and “smut,” but I’ve learned to let go and just pray for the reviewer. But I’ll be honest with you—this last review wounded me to the core, so much so that I actually considered leaving the CBA.
        And then, after a month of seeking God through prayer and fasting, the following Scripture popped up in one of my final readings of the month in my Message Bible:


Wait passionately for God,
don’t leave the path.
He’ll give you your place in the sun …
Psalm 37:34, Message Bible

        Now, I have to admit, this Scripture hit me between the eyes. Of course, with a tagline of “Passion with a Purpose,” anything with the word “passion” in it is a bulls-eye for me, so God really got my attention. Particularly when one more readily associates the word “patience” with waiting on God rather than "passion." I've been told to “patiently wait for God,” yes, but “passionately wait for God? A new concept to me, for sure, and one I didn’t think was possible, but God’s Word says it is.
        In actuality, all three phrases in this Scripture spoke to me deeply—to wait on God with the same passion with which I long to write books that glorify Him; to not leave the path He has set me on, which is to write stories of passion, both romantically and spiritually; and finally, the promise of my place in the sun. As a gal whose greatest pastime used to be lying in the sun, listening to oldies, this spoke to me. Not as someone seeking the spotlight, mind you, because that’s not how I took it. But a person lying down in God’s “green pastures” (His will) with eyes closed, soaking up the warmth of the “Son” while I listen to oldies but goodies (the Holy Spirit).
        That Scripture crystallized for me what my true purpose in writing is: to convey deep spiritual truths through fiction that God taught me through real life. I cannot do that in the secular market, so despite the prayers of a few fervent one-star reviewers, I’m here to stay in the CBA.



Q.  Tell us about the novel we're featuring today, Surprised by Love, and how it fits into The Heart of San Francisco series.

        Surprised by Love is the third and final book in the Heart of San Francisco series about the Nob Hill McClares, a wealthy political family in 1902 San Francisco. This series not only highlights the struggles of faith and heart of three cousins, but of the widowed matriarch of the family, Caitlyn McClare, as well. Cait’s love story with her handsome brother-in-law, Logan McClare—the former fiance who cheated on her 27 years prior, before she broke the engagement and married his brother—is the glue that girds all three books together.
        This will be the third cousin’s story, Megan McClare, a love triangle between her mentor and best friend Bram Hughes and her school nemesis, Devin Caldwell. Here’s the jacket blurb:


From ugly duckling to swimming with the swans …
But is she over her head when it comes to love?

Brilliant, shy, and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the District Attorney’s office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school—and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram’s vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?


Q.  We all love a "swoon-worthy" romance and I have to say that your heroes are unforgettable, Julie. Of the three leading characters in The Heart of San Francisco series - Jamie, Nick, and Bram - which one would you most like to have for a son-in-law?

        LOL … what a GREAT question, Carole, and one I have never been asked, which is saying something after answering over 2,000 questions!
        Mmmm … let me see … that could be a hard one since I write heroes the way that I like them anyway, so naturally there are particular things I love about each of the HOSF heroes. Jamie is just flat-out fun to be around, so he and Blake liven things up. Nick is the tall, gruff, and grumpy type that I’m so fond of (i.e. Mitch Dennehy), a no-nonsense bottom-liner, which I love. And then, of course, Bram is the spiritual one, so he pulls at my spiritual heartstrings in a big way. So if I could pick one, I guess it would be Bram because in the end, spirituality is really the most important thing in relationships.


Q.  After your eight-month sabbatical, where do you feel God is leading you with your writing?

        I truly believe God is leading me back to the passion and excitement I had while writing A Passion Most Pure, and what I mean by that is I’m returning to my trademark family sagas with multiple point of views and subplots like I did with the O’Connors. I deviated somewhat with the Heart of San Fran series because my husband wanted me to write more for the market, meaning shorter, less complicated, and less passionate (both romantically and spiritually) novels, which I tried to do. And don’t get me wrong—I thoroughly enjoyed writing about the McClares and have grown to love them. But … my CDQ heart longs for in-depth drama, angst and passion that both glorifies God and teaches his precepts, so I’m going back to the deep where I belong. J
        That said, I am almost done with book 1 in my Isle of Hope series, working title Unfailing Love, a contemporary novel that I actually started before I ever got published. I’m hoping it will be the contemporary book of my heart like A Passion Most Pure was the historical book of my heart. I haven’t pitched it yet, so I don’t know if my publisher will pick it up or if I will go indie, but either way, I’m returning to my roots on this one, which means not only will it be an intricate family saga like A Passion Most Pure, but it will be a wee bit biographical as well.
        Isle of Hope, Georgia is a real place and the perfect setting for my story because it’s a charming little community with a rich history. They actually filmed part of Forrest Gump there and other movies because it’s so pretty. The Isle of Hope series is all about hope restored — so how appropriate is that? Loosely based on my own life, it’s about woman who has recently come to Christ and the first thing God tells her to do is to heal her relationship with her estranged father. In her teens, she was a wild girl engaged to a pastor’s son who was planning to be a minister … until she runs away, leaving him high and dry. Eight years later, she’s back to make amends to the father she defied, the fiancĂ© she jilted, and the best friend she turned her back on. Only this time, the tables are turned because now she’s the Christian and her ex-fiancĂ© is the bad boy.
        As far as beyond Isle of Hope, I am part of a Seeker anthology called Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection, which not only features a Christmas novella about Mitch and Charity from my O’Connor saga, but contemporary and historical Christmas stories of hope by Seeker authors Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Myra Johnson, Sandra Leesmith, Ruth Logan Herne, Tina Radcliffe, and Missy Tippens as well.
        Then next spring, I will be part of another Seeker anthology with a novella about Blake “The Rake” McClare, the lovable but wayward brother from the Heart of San Francisco series.
        And, finally, I hope to begin a trilogy in the future for each of the O’Connor couples, beginning with Mitch and Charity. These will be novels that highlight each of the O’Connor cousins beginning with Gabe, Henry, and Hope during WWII, and moving on down the line.


Q.  How can we support and/or pray for you, Julie?

        Honestly, Carole, prayer for God’s wisdom, grace, and anointing on my writing is paramount to me, so thank you for asking this question—you are such a sweetheart, my friend!
        I love to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me and read excerpts from my books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter. I also have a blog called "Journal Jots," which is a very laid-back journal to my reader friends, or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the "Excerpts" tab of my website. In addition, I can be found daily at The Seekers, a group blog of 13 published authors that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well.
        Finally, I have the following freebie/sales/low-cost novellas going on now:



  • FREE DOWNLOAD on my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year with 595 five-star reviews.
  • My Irish Christmas love story, A Light in the Window—winner of three awards—is currently FREE on Kindle Unlimited and only $3.99 on Amazon, so here’s the video to give you a peek—ALITW Video.
  • Only $2.99 each for two brand new Christmas novella collections from the Seekers called Hope for the Holidays.  The historical collection features novellas from Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Myra Johnson, and Ruth Logan Herne, while the contemporary collection features novellas from Marcy Connealy, Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Sandra Leesmith, Ruth Logan Herne, Tina Radcliffe, and Missy Tippens.
  • Calling All Writers!! Julie’s writer’s workbook entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets is on sale for $2.99.













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GIVEAWAY

        To enter the drawing for one of Julie's books, simply leave a comment or question for her. For instance . . . What do you enjoy about her writing? Do you have a favorite book or series? Favorite character? Are you new to Julie's books?
        E-mail address are required for the drawing and be sure to leave them in a safe format - [at] and [dot]. If you're willing, it's also helpful to share about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter.
        "Likes" on my Facebook page, ThePowerofWordsBookReviews, are greatly appreciated, as are followers on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and this blog.

  • E-mail required, one entry per person. Odds of winning are based on number of entries.
  • Contest ends at midnight PST on Sunday, December 7. No purchase necessary.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
  • Eligibility: US (paper or ebook) and International (ebook), 18 and older

164 comments:

  1. It's so wonderful to hear about your process of seeking God's will for your writing. Thanksgiving at your place sounds just like ours! Happy holidays!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Heidi, so glad you're my first visitor!! With my daughter living in Germany, our Thanksgiving was pretty quiet and simple, but no less meaningful. Hope you enjoy this beautiful holiday season!

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    2. Thanks, HEIDI, for taking the time to come by and read it, and here's hoping it nets you a win, my friend! :)

      If your house is like mine at Thxgiving, then you must be tired too, although I have quite a few years on you, girlfriend! ;)

      Hugs and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season.

      Julie

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  2. Julie, I think it's great that you encourage other writers to hang in there!

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    1. Hey, GAIL ... are you kidding?? Writers are some of the people most desperate for encouragement, and being one of the more "desperate" ones out there, I'm compelled to give it as much as I crave it. :)

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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    2. I'm with you on that, Gail. Thanks for being here - and please leave your e-mail if you want to enter the drawing.

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  3. Hi Julie!
    I am so sorry to hear that you had such an awful review from someone. I personally am so very thankful that you won't be going to the secular market, although I love your books so much I'd still read your books either way. I would never consider your books as smut or inappropriate and it makes me sad that people view it that way. I pray that in the weak moments that you can hear God's reminders that your books are meaningful and wonderful and glorifying to God. I always see the Gospel in your stories and ways characters are growing in their walk with the Lord. Which is probably my favorite part of your books! I am very sensitive so I can understand how harsh reviews can greatly discourage you but I pray in those moments that God pressed upon someone's heart to give you encouraging words. And that in your weakness God makes you strong and you may rely on Christ.
    Also I can't wait to read more of the O'Connor family! I loved those wild rides and the characters and definitely the time period. I can't wait to read more of your books! Thanks for yet another giveaway. I love how generous you are. :)
    mjbrown629 at gmail dot com

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    1. Marisa, thank you for your supportive words to Julie - and I totally agree. When it comes to reviews, there's a fine line between constructive criticism and just being abusive to an author - and in a world where anyone can post comments, many cross that line. I just hope that Julie can feel the love, support and prayers of those who are impacted by her writing.

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    2. Aw, MARISA, what a beautiful comment, my friend, and VERY encouraging, so THANK YOU!!

      You said: "And that in your weakness God makes you strong and you may rely on Christ."

      Oh, AMEN AND AMEN!! That was the lesson I learned along with John Brady in A Passion Denied -- that weakness is a good thing because it simply means I cling to HIM all the more!!

      And, yes, Marisa and Carole, I CAN feel the love,l support, and prayers of those who are impacted by my writing, and it's that and God's grace that are two of the biggest things that keep me going. :)

      Thanks and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  4. I love Julie Lessman's books. I'm excited to hear about all the other books she plans to write. Merry Christmas!
    kbridgewater81@gmail.com

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    1. Same here, Kelly! Thank you for visiting today.

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    2. Hey, KEL, thanks SO much, you sweet thing, and here's hoping I get to send you a signed book, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  6. Julie, I love your writing! Keep it up, please! Thanks for your heart for God and willingness to share!
    kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Well said, Kate. Thank you for dropping by.

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    2. KATE, I will, I promise!! It's readers like you that spur me on and bless me to no end, so THANK YOU!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

      Julie

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  7. It's hard to pick just one of my favorite books of Julie's but I love the O'Connor Family. I enjoyed Emma and Sean's romance and all the twists and turns along the way. I also enjoyed reading about the beginnings of the O'Connor Family in A Light in the Window. I have enjoyed every single one of her books.
    courtpitts@juno.com

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    1. Courtney, I've got a few of Julie's earlier books yet to read. I love the families she creates, and maybe even envy them a little because I'm an only child.

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    2. Hey, COURT ... thanks, girlfriend, for your sweet comment and just for reading my books in the first place! I have to admit, the O'Connors hold a special place in my heart since I've lived with them from the age of 12 on, so the McClares have some catchup to do. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Julie

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  8. Winds of Change, Book 1 ~ A Hope Undaunted would be my definite pick! My question is: Will you be following up on these earlier characters in their future years down the road of life? Thanks. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. Oh, absolutely, KATHLEEN!! After all, I'm a Baby Boomer, so I always have to have an older couple to wreak havoc on, so I can't wait to dig in to the middle-age years of the whole gang -- Mitch and Charity, Faith and Collin, Lizzie and Brady, etc. It will be fun to take a sweet character like Lizzie and turn her world upside down with menopause, don't you think? ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Kathleen, storylines involving middle-aged/senior couples is one of the many things I enjoy about Julie's writing. Whenever other authors include an older couple, they don't usually receive the amount of attention that Julie gives, which I absolutely adore! Thanks for supporting Julie, Kathleen.

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  9. Hey Julie! Here are some questions that have nothing to do with writing.
    • Casual or dressed up?
    • Pizza or Chinese?
    • Cats or dogs?
    • Secret hobby?
    • Do you have a weird quirk?

    Answer which ever ones you would like to! And back to writing, do you have a dream setting that you would like to write about but lack the other ideas that make completing the novel difficult? If so, what is it?

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    1. LOL, SALYNA ... have I ever told you how adorable I think you are? Both looks-wise and personality-wise, my friend, so you always make me smile.

      Definitely casual -- I wear jeans EVERYWHERE, including showers, parties, church, fine restaurants, and conferences. The only exceptions are weddings and funerals. :)

      Oh, PIZZA, PIZZA, PIZZA!!! And run it through the garden twice, please. :)

      HA!! I've had two golden retrievers and was traumatized by a cat when I was younger, so what do you think???

      Secret hobby? Well, I don't know how secret it is since I'm sure I've said it in several interviews including this one, but I LOVE to lay out in the sun listening to oldies, although I do that less and less as I get older, and I KILL to watch old movies like Susan Slept Here, all Doris Day movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Pillow to Post, even though those movies are hard to find anymore, except for the occasional Doris Day movie, Tiffany's. Oh, and if A Walk to Remember is EVER on the TV, I immediately stop everything I'm doing and sit down and watch. LOVE that movie!!

      Do I have a "weird quirk"?? HA! Does my personality count??? Yeah, ONE of my weird quirks is straightening chairs, items on tables, etc. and I also save bags. Oh, and I am SO nuts about bows that both my family and one of my friends gave me bags of bows for Christmas different years, and I went crazy and LOVED it!!! I save ALL the bows from every present, and when we do Christmas with my husband's family, they all automatically throw every single one to me. :) Now that's what you call "trained." :)

      No, no dream setting other than Ireland, so I may revisit that one day, but I have to say that Isle of Hope comes pretty close to being a dream setting for me. :)

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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    2. Salyna, I love your questions!! But Julie, if you see this . . . I'm a cat person and have to ask how you were traumatized by one when you were younger. I do like dogs, though. I just prefer them to be other people's dogs!

      Salyna, you are delightful and I hope you'll visit here again.

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    3. Lol, thanks Carole! I plan to! :)

      Julie! Awh! Thank you! :)

      OMGoodness YES! A Walk to Remember has been my FAVORITE romance movie for years! It's so cute! I have a friend that refused to watch it with me because she knew the ending was sad. HA! Well in October me, her, and a group of friends were having a sleep over after a wedding and guess what came on TV? We all got her to watch it with us, and whenever something sad happened we had to pile up on her and hold her down!!! It was so funny!

      I am a dog person too! We have never owned cats because me, my Mom, and my Dad are all allergic. Plus my Dad had a bad experience with one that my Grandparents had years ago... Although one of my friends has a really fat cat named Fatty and I love it because she acts just like a dog does. She's so lovable!

      BOWS?? That's awesome! Kinda reminds me of how I am obsessed with Ketchup. SO I got a big gallon tube for Christmas one year plus little tiny things of it in my Stocking! Families are awesome like that right?

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  10. I enjoyed every word in this post. Very carefully chosen questions and such heartfelt answers. The second one sadden me deeply. I am so sorry that someone would wound you like that. Love your heart for God, Julie ; thank you for keeping your eyes on Him despite all the trials and difficulties.( May I also say that it is also exciting to hear about your future writing projects? :-)

    I just wanted had to say hi to Julie! Merry Christmas to you and yours! (To Julie and everyone.) x

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    1. GANISE!!! Hey, girl, how are you doing, my friend? I think of you often and hope all is going well.

      Merry Christmas to you as well, and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season! :)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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    2. Ganise, I appreciate your comment about our questions and answers. I just don't understand a reviewer's desire to hurt someone in a public venue like that, and often comments like that will overshadow 100 good comments. Thank you for your encouragement to Julie, Ganise. And please come back!

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  11. Oops... and btw, my email is ladysalxd(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. LOL, SALYNA ... no worries ... I know where you are. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  12. I couldn't agree with you more re: your comments about Julie, Carole!! Thank you for featuring Julie and "Surprised By Love" on your blog!!

    Julie does everything with a passion - including her blog posts, I love seeing Julie bare her soul - she's just as passionate in her personal life as she is in her books (whether it's cooking that Thanksgiving meal and entertaining or her prayer life) and the things that drew me to her, before even reading any of her books, were her passion for her readers and even more importantly - her passion for God. She has a writing style all her own that touches me in a way that no one else does - her friendship is a treasure and blessing from God, I could go on for hours about how Julie, personally, has enriched my life and the way she and her writing have inspired me (LOL, she met her match in me when it comes to being long-winded).

    I loved "Surprised By Love" - but then, I've loved every one of Julie's books. It's hard to pick a fave - Julie puts so much of herself in each one, each one has spoken to me and I know that each future book will also - no matter the setting, plot/subject or genre - as each word is inspired by Him!!

    I'm honored and blessed to pray for Julie and her writing and have her as a prayer partner, in return!!

    Please don't enter me for the giveaway, Carole - I have each one of Julie's books in both paperback and eBook!! Shared post!!



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    1. Julie, you know I love your books. I have read all of them except Surprised By Love, and it would be great to win it!!!

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    2. BONNIE!!! You are as faithful as the sun, my friend, and just as bright and warm, always shining encouragement and blessing into my life!

      You said, "It's hard to pick a fave - Julie puts so much of herself in each one, each one has spoken to me and I know that each future book will also - no matter the setting."

      See? This is only one of the MANY reasons I love you, my friend, because you get me. I do pour myself into every book, just short of cutting a vein and bleeding on the keyboard, which is why nasty reviews can wound me so much, because shred my book, and you're shredding me. I know I shouldn't be that way, and I'm working on it, truly, but I think writers in general pour their heart and soul in their writing, so if someone slams their book, it's like telling them their baby is ugly. :)

      Thanks for coming by, my sweet friend, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for me, through prayer, and promotion, and your precious friendship.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. Bonnie, if God ever makes it okay to envy, then I'll envy you for knowing Julie personally! LOL! Seriously, your thoughts mean so much to us both, Bonnie.

      You're exactly right when you say that Julie has a writing style all her own, and that is what draws me to her books. They always speak to me through their rawness and honesty, always showing how God works in the lives of flawed humans who are open to Him.

      And Julie, although I'm not an author, I can understand the depth of your hurt. This might be a poor analogy, but music is my art. When I play piano solos at church, I pour my heart into the playing and they become my testimony. Imagine if, after putting hours of practice into a song like It Is Well with My Soul, I played my heart out and then read a negative review the next day that slammed my performance. Not quite the same, but it still gives me a feel for your hurt.

      Bonnie, it is a joy to have met you online and I appreciate your friendship.

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    4. Voneice, you've read all of Julie's books?! That's great! Thanks for coming by today and be sure to leave your e-mail so you can be entered in the drawing.

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    5. Carole, I completely relate to your comments about music - I hope I am never forced to choose between music and books as I keep Christian music playing most of the time (including right now) - one of the things that keep me closer to Him. Having sang in numerous groups and playing the piano and organ in church years ago - music has "spoken" to my heart and soul since I was very young.

      Re: Julie, saying a prayer you will have the opportunity to meet her one day, if so - I can guarantee you it will be a wonderful unforgettable experience as she has an unforgettable personality and passion for everything/everyone. But for now - we can both enjoy her personality/passion via those beautiful books of hers!!

      And thank you - it's been my pleasure to meet you online also. I love your blog and gracious spirit, and likewise - appreciate your friendship!! If we ever meet face-to-face we will have at least 3 huge subjects, in common, to discuss: God, books and music, LOL!!

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  13. A wonderful interview. Thank you Julie for giving us a glimpse of your writing process. I love authors who write about true dynamics that could occur in real life families or romance. I love all your male characters and how they show different facets of their personalities. Please keep writing and taking your readers on adventures. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to all.
    eppersonkatrina@yahoo.com

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    1. Aw, thanks, KATRINA -- I appreciate your sweet comment, my friend, AND you reading my books in the first place.

      And, YES, give me real family dynamics, and I'm a happy camper, although my characters aren't always thrilled about it. ;)

      Hugs and blessings right back!
      Julie

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    2. Katrina, I think you and I have similar tastes when it comes to reading, and I always love reading your thoughts. I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. Did your daughter get to come home? Mine "came home" via Skype, for which I am very thankful!

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    3. Carole, we do have similar tastes. We had a wonderful holiday. My dad showed up as a surprise and I almost cried. Megan did come home with all her dirty laundry.lol I am so glad you were able to visit with your daughter via Skype. I know that was very special for you.

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  14. I was thinking about that nasty review - thanks for sharing that - so hard to take! Unfortunately, it's part of the risk we take getting our voices out there, and you handled it well.

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    1. Hey, GAIL, yeah, it is hard to take, but anybody in the creative fields suffer the same attacks and if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, I suppose. But that doesn't mean I don't sweat. :)

      And I contacted Carole about all the emails you're getting to see what we can do. Will let you know.

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  15. That was a great interview. It is always awesome to see what goes into the writing of books :)

    I absolutely love all of Julie's books that I have read and my personal favourites are the San Francisco books :) Thanks for sharing this giveaway.

    My email is: starlight059@gmail.com

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    1. STARLIGHT!! Thanks sooooo much, my friend, and do you know that you are the FIRST person who has ever told me that the San Fran series books are your favorites?? Most of my readers like them well enough, but their hearts belong to the O'Connors. :)

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  16. What a great interview, Julie! I'm so sorry to hear about the attack on your writing but at least some good has come out of it, in that you've returned to your joy and your passion! So glad God used this to all of our benefits! I'm so glad you stayed in the Christian market because quite honestly the spiritual content of your books is by far above and beyond of most books. I've received some of the most amazing messages through your writing - and well, your romantic passion is superb!
    I am SO looking forward to your new contemporary series. Will be praying for you!
    Hugs,
    Sue

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    Replies
    1. SUE!!! Thank you SO much, my friend -- your words me more to me than I can possibly express because the spiritual content is the MAIN thing I'm reallllly trying to drive home in a deep and applicable manner, so the fact that you said that blesses the socks off of me. :)

      Thanks for coming by, and I covet your prayers!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  17. Do you have to have extreme quiet when you write or the every day noises of life?

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Whoops, MELANIE ... I put my response to you in the wrong box, so see it below.

      Hugs!
      Julie

      Delete
  18. Hey, MELANIE, I'm one of those crazy EXTREME QUIET types, so much so that when I write outside on my lower deck, sometimes I wear ear plugs because of a bird in a nearby tree singing so loud. :)

    When my hubby and I used to share an office (he's a designer/artist with his own biz who likes to work with a radio on), he was kind enough to wear headphones so he wouldn't disturb me. Only problem is, he would tap his fingers on the desk in time to the music, and that would drive me CRAZY!! So now I work on my lower deck 3/4 of the year (spring/summer/fall), then in my hearthroom with my remote-control fireplace in the winter, which makes for a much happier environment in the Lessman household, trust me! :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm so glad you decided to stay in the Inspirational genre. I love your books and almost always put them down feeling closer to God than when I picked them up. That is a gift that many writers do not have. Keep up the good work and don't let the naysayers get you down, Julie! :)

    writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    Replies
    1. Aw, ANNA, thank you SO much for the encouragement!

      And, WOW, what a compliment, my friend! It's my greatest desire to draw people closer to God through my writing, so you couldn't have said anything better than that.

      A gift? LOL ... maybe ... if you call being a weepy CDQ who likes to make people cry through heart-wrenching spiritual scenes "a gift." ;) I just finished writing a scene not ten minutes ago that cost me seven Kleenex and a congested nasal passages. ;)

      Hugs!!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Anna, I used to read primarily from the general market, with a little Christian fiction thrown in - and now that is reversed. The fact that you "almost always put them down feeling closer to God than when I picked them up" has been my experience also. Thanks for coming by, Anna.

      Delete
  20. Sounds like Julie has writing/ideas lined up for many years to come! Yipee for us=)

    I look forward to reading something contemporary from Julie... and living in SC, a Georgia island will be at least a bit familiar.

    I have liked your FB page.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hey, PATTY, YES, I do!! And MEGA THX for liking Carole's FB page, sweetie -- we need all the LIKES we can get in this world, don't we? ;)

      Yes, Isle of Hope, GA has been reallllly fun to write about, and my hubby and I are hoping to do a bike trip down that way come spring, so I can't wait. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

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    2. Patty, thank you for liking my FB page. We're almost neighbors because I live in Georgia, and the coastal Ga setting has great appeal to me also. Best wishes in the drawing!

      Delete
  21. Everytime I think I have a favorite book of Julie's - I love the next one just as much. Julie - with several books under your belt... how do you come up with new characters, new personalities, new quirks? Are all you traits in hats and you say... Lulu - and start pulling from the different hats, to define her?

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, MEL ... that's a good sign that each new book becomes your favorite, so THANK YOU, sweetie! :)

      I'm not sure -- it seems like all these characters already live in my mind, so I just flesh them out. The O'Connor saga was easy because I had most of that family in my head since I was 12, when I wrote 150 single-spaced pages of APMP after reading GWTW. Then characters just spawn off of the other ones -- like Emma as Charity's friend in Dublin or Cluny McGee as Brady's charge in APD, who becomes Luke in AHU.

      And as far as quirks??? A lot of them are variations on my quirks or from a list I composed on a Seeker Blog called The Queen of Quirk (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2012/07/queen-of-quirk-and-giveaway.html). And frankly, I get so close to my characters, that I can almost see them doing the things they do. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, Mel ... you're due!!

      Julie

      Delete
  22. Oh, I am so excited about Julie's books in GA.....where I have lived all my life!
    I am also excited by this book and the giveaway.....count me in!!
    So many have shared their deep feelings for Julie......adding mine....she's the best!!! jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BLESS YOU, JACKIE, for always being such an encourager, my friend -- I appreciate you!!

      YES, GA excites me, too, because of my love for GWTW AND because the largest contingent of my reader friends live there, so you guys must have the highest percentage of drama queens in the county. ;)

      Fingers crossed for a win, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Another Georgia girl, Jackie! I live on the south side of Atlanta and have been in this area all my life.

      Julie, if your largest group of reader friends lives here, I'm in good company. And by the way, my little town loves to claim that it's the home of Tara!

      Delete
  23. Still getting through the stack of books I have to read. Yes I love to read and will get to one of your books soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY, KIM ... THANK YOU for putting me on your TBR list, girl, and IF you like it and post a review, I have a little incentive going on right now with a newsletter contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy. There will be three winners in all and all it takes to enter is a positive review IF you like it. But if you don't ... well, uh, never mind. ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Kim, it seems like every time I read one book, two more take its place! Be sure to leave your e-mail address so you can be entered. So glad you dropped by today!

      Delete
  24. I'm always bemused by reviewers who give poor reviews because "it's too Christian" and yet they received the book from the publisher to review. What are they doing on the list for something they wouldn't like?
    Blessed are the persecuted! tlw131 [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Agreed, TERRI, but the Christians who are giving me the nasty reviews aren't doing so because it's "too Christian," but because they don't think it's Christian, meaning they think there's too much romantic passion it. YIKES ... hope they never read Song of Solomon or they might give God a one-star ... ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but for me, it was the way that person expressed their thoughts. I mean, what happened to expressing opinions in love? The tongue or written word is so powerful and can either build up or tear down. Well, enough said. Thank you for being here today, Terri.

      Delete
  25. I recently won one of your books from www.bookfun.org and I loved it. I can't imagine anyone giving you a bad review. When I read your book I knew I had found another author to add to my favorite's list. Thanks to you & Nora St. Laurent for making it possible to read your book. I've bought some for my kindle since then. I quit reading historicals for awhile and through several of wonderful Christian authors I'm reading them again. I've learned to pace myself in the genres. Now I read a historical, Amish, suspense, mystery, or just a heart warming book. Praying for God to keep giving you wonderful story ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, PAT ... talk about "well-read," my friend -- you all over the map on genres, aren't you!! I'm impressed, because I tend to stick with one genre mostly (historical romance).

      Thank you for your sweet comment AND for your prayers! Soooo glad you won on Book Fun and let's hope you can win here too!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Pat, I enjoy reading a variety like you mentioned, but historical seems to be predominant among my choices. Maybe I'm just drawn to what seemed like a more simple time. Thanks for coming by today, Pat.

      Delete
  26. I enjoyed this post. I actually read it twice. I'm new to your reading and look forward to reading a book by you soon.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What a treat you have in store, Susan! Thank you for coming by today.

      Delete
    2. Oh, SUSANLULU ... you are JUST the type of reader I love ... a NEW one!! ;) It's soooo much fun to introduce new readers to my Irish family saga, ESPECIALLY when the first book in that saga is available for FREE DOWNLOAD right now everywhere!

      A Passion Most Pure, book 1 in my Daughters of Boston series, won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 596 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And the prequel to APMP, A Light in the Window, just happens to be a Christmas-themed novel on sale right now for $3.99 as well. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  27. Hi Julie,
    Well, you know very well that I LOVE all of the books of yours that I have read. (And yes I still have a few to go ;-) ) I have adored this last series...but I have to say that I am so excited about your upcoming series, especially now that I find out that it will be full of the same depth of turmoil, angst, and turning to God that was in your first series.

    I am so, so, so sorry to know that there was such a hurtful review out there last year. I, for one, have trouble understanding why someone would seek to cause such hurt. If they did not enjoy the story, then stop reading it and move on! Goodness! :-)

    Anyway, your stories are uplifting and definitely full of amazing passion. And one of the best things about them is the major change in the lives of the people I am reading about. If that does not show the power of God in a person's life, then I don't know what does!

    Keep up the wonderful writing and thanks for the encouraging and kind attitude you have for all of your readers. Getting to know you over the past year through your blog, books, emails, etc. has been a blast!

    (And, Carole, that was a fabulous review! One of the best I have read).

    Blessings,
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. Brittany, you don't know how much I appreciate your thoughtful words, because you write the kind of reviews I love to read and I learned a lot from you when I first got started. Thank you so much.

      I love your comment about the life change that takes place in Julie's books. Julie shines at showing transformation and that's one reason why her books minister to so many.

      Delete
    2. Carole, that makes me smile!

      Delete
    3. Goodness, BRITTANY, the first answer I wrote to you apparently didn't take, so here we go again ... :)

      I'm with you -- I really don't understand hateful reviews in the secular, much less the Christian market, so it makes me sad on all counts. But ... good DOES come out of it because I have prayed extensively for each 1-star reviewer, that God will bless them and heal any sore spot in their lives that my book triggered.

      And, trust me, my friend, getting to know YOU this year has been a blast for me as well, so THANK YOU for your incredible encouragement and support. :)

      Hugs and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
      Julie

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    4. Smiles again over here! Wishing you and yours a wonderful upcoming Christmas season!
      Brittany

      Delete
  28. It boggles my mind that someone would leave Julie a hateful review, especially one that was a personal attack. I've read all of Julie's books except the last two in the San Francisco series (but I should have #3 by then so I can read them on my Christmas break). I LOVE Julie's books! I'm quite thankful that God has confirmed to Julie to continue to write Christian fiction. I'm looking forward to reading many more Julie Lessman books.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Pam, I'm also thankful for God's confirmation in the direction of Julie's writing. Not everyone is strong in their faith, and I think Julie's stories especially minister to those who might the on the fence in certain areas. Thank you so much for supporting Julie, Pam.

      Delete
    2. Pam, I quite agree with you about anyone leaving a hateful review of any of Julie's books. So ungodly! Even if you have a real concern; there should be a loving way to say it and never hateful. But I don't get it either! I agree about being so thankful that the Lord confirmed she should continue writing Christian fiction. Amen

      Delete
    3. Aw, PAM, thanks SO much for your ongoing support, my friend -- I appreciate it more than I can say.

      And the way I look at "hateful" reviews is God is calling me to pray for that person or He wouldn't have put them in my path in such an "in-your-face" way. In fact, I believe this so much that I put it in a book when I have Charity tell her grandmother the following in A Passion Redeemed:

      Brady’s convinced that if two people are praying for the same person, and one’s been hurt by them and the other hasn’t, well Brady thinks the prayers of the person who’s been hurt are more powerful.”

      Bridget nodded slowly. “Because they’re attached to obedience—saying no to your flesh and yes to God. I think I would agree with that.”

      “He claims it has something to do with two Scriptures, in particular—‘pray for those who persecute you’ and ‘the prayers of the righteous availeth much.’”

      Thanks for coming by, Pam, and here's to a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    4. FAITH said: "Even if you have a real concern; there should be a loving way to say it and never hateful. I agree about being so thankful that the Lord confirmed she should continue writing Christian fiction."

      BLESS YOU, Faith, for your sweet comment and encouragement -- it means SO very much to me, truly!

      God bless and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

      Delete
  29. I absolutely love Julie's books! Thank you for keeping me up into the wee hours! Love it when a book is so good I can't even sleep without reading "one more page..."
    Would love to have a copy of A Light in the Window...especially since Christmas is nearly upon us :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    my email is bookworm9404(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, MICAELA ... that's the first time anyone has ever thanked me for loss of sleep, but you are MORE than welcome, my friend. ;)

      Here's hoping I can send you a paperback copy of ALITW if you win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. I often have that same problem with Julie's books, Micaela! Thank you for coming by and best wishes in the drawing.

      Delete
  30. Any time we do something to further God's kingdom, there will always be opposition, and you can bet it will be directed where it hurts most. (Encouraging, right?) And if the devil can twist scripture to speak lies, how easily can he use christians, who should be representing Christ and yet are all too human? But if God is giving you permission to keep writing as you have, then don't stop! If your words can speak truth into one person's life so that they can be set free from a lie, then I'd say it's well worth it. Thanks for all your good work! God bless!

    rachaeldalquist(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks RACHAEL, SO MUCH for your kind comment and support. And I TOTALLY agree that if words can speak truth into just one person's life to change the course of a lie, it is SO worth it!!

      Hugs and here's to a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!
      Julie

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    2. For young people to see that God's way offers pleasure without guilt, in contrast to what the world offers . . . Like you said, that's not what Satan wants and he will certainly work to stop it. Your words of encouragement are very much appreciated, Rachael.

      Delete
  31. I love, love, love Julie and her books! Always unique, inspiring and entertaining just like Julie herself! They lift you up and touch the very heart of the reader. This is my favorite book thus far. I can't recommend the author or her books enough! Thank you for sharing, Carole! Love you, my friend! And Love you to pieces, Miss Julie!! Don't enter me in the giveaway, Carole. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. WANDA!!! Always LOVE seeing your sweet face pop up, my sweet friend -- you make me smile!!

      Thank you SO much for taking the time to come by and encourage both Carole and me when you're not even entering the contest -- you ROCK!!

      Hugs and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Wanda, I can only say that I echo your thoughts of encouragement for Julie. You've been a support and source of encouragement to me from the beginning - another example of how two people can meet online, become good friends, and pray for each other. I love you!

      Delete
  32. Julie, peeking in again, I just have to comment that your practice of praying for those reviewers is so powerful. Who knows how needy they are, and the wonders those prayers may work. Way to go, girl!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. GAIL ... thanks, sweetie, you don't get to be as old as me and not pick up a few tricks ... uh, especially when God's the teacher! ;)

      Gosh, hope this comment doesn't start another spurt of emails ... YIKES!! ;)

      HUGS,
      Julie

      Delete
  33. Rachel, I loved your take on Julie's situation - so encouraging to think how God can use the work of our hands (and hearts.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, me too, GAIL ... now THAT'S the way Christians are SUPPOSED to think ... ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  34. Great interview! I always love reading Julie's interviews because I learn something new about her. I'm a stalker, I admit it. :)
    Julie, thank you for sharing your heart about your writing. I love the verse that caught your attention and will definitely be keeping you in my prayers!
    I'm also super excited about the new books you have in the works! I wish I could read over your shoulder as you write them, but I guess I'll have to wait until they're done and buy my own copy like everyone else (dramatic sigh). ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, SARAH, thank you SO much, you sweet thing -- both for "stalking" and reading my books in the first place! And you had me at the "dramatic sigh" -- TOO CUTE!! You sound like my kind of gal. :)

      Hugs and sure hope I get to send you a book, you sweet thing!

      Julie

      Delete
    2. It's always good to see you here, Sarah! Like you, Julie captured my attention (and heart) from interviews when she first burst on the scene. I can't imagine how much time all this interaction with readers takes, but it certainly means a lot to us.

      Delete
  35. What a wonderful interview. Thank you!

    My question for Julie is what does your family think about your books? Are they often your first readers or people whom give you advice on plots and characters?

    My email address is thejorns(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, JESS, thank you SO much for coming by!

      What does my family think about my books? Well, would you believe that my husband is the only one who reads them? Oh, they're all really proud of me and tell their friends about me, but neither my daughter or son are readers AT ALL, so my son has never read them for sure. With my very first book, A Passion Most Pure, I paid my daughter $20 to read the first chapter and I'm happy to say that the rest of the book or the next two didn't cost me a dime. :) But she is still not a reader and couldn't get into the Twilight series all that much and not at all with Harry Potter, which was going crazy at the time. I am happy to report, however, that most of my daughter's friends DO read my books, so go figure.

      My husband LOVES reading my books and is my first reader whose advice is usually spot on. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Great question, Jessica, and I loved Julie's response! You just gave me an idea for a future interview question . . .

      Delete
  36. Julie I have enjoyed your books greatly. Please be encouraged that there are those of us who truly appreciate your work and your dedication to writing for the Lord.
    Thank you both for taking the time to do the interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, SHIRLEY, I AM encouraged, my friend, especially by your sweet note -- THANK YOU!!

      There's no question that my five-star reviews far FAR outweigh any negative ones, but it's funny how those few nasty ones get all your attention.

      Once when I was bemoaning this to God, He pointed out to me that I was doing a disservice to all those reader friends who love my books and support me with comments and letters and emails, basically acting like they were not as important as that one nasty reviewer who was getting all my time, attention, and emotion. WOW ... that really pulled me up short, and I decided right then and there to change my thinking and truly appreciate and focus on those dear reader friends who support me like YOU!! Just another example of how much holier gratitude is than self-pity. One is of God and the other hails from MUCH warmer climes ... ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Shirley, I'm so glad that you have enjoyed Julie's books already, and thank you for your words of encouragement for Julie. If you happen to see this, be sure to leave your e-mail address for the drawing!

      Delete
  37. I'm not new to Julie's books. I've been a fan since day one I think. ;P I love that Julie writes clean Christian romances for us to indulge in . She rocks as a writer.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, ABS, I think you ROCK as a reader friend, too, girl, so here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Hey, ABS already posted a comment yesterday, but I guess it didn't take. Thanks for coming by AND for reading my books in the first place.

      Here's to a win, my friend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    3. Well said, ABS - I couldn't agree more! Thanks for coming by; it's always good to see you here.

      Delete
  38. I believe writing can be a lonesome occupation at times. What do you do to interact with people to fill that need you have for some people time, Julie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question, Mel. Thanks for coming by - and please be sure to leave your e-mail for the drawing.

      Delete
    2. LOL, MEL ... actually, I lovingly refer to myself as a recluse who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality because my husband literally has to DRAG me out of the house, no joke. Which means, I am never lonely because I like being alone with my computer and characters. But, I'm also from a family of 13 and have a lot of friends from where I used to work and a number of prayer partners, so I keep pretty busy, trust me. :)

      Thanks for coming by and here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  39. Hi Julie -
    I'm thrilled that you are continuing with the O'Connor family! And I can't wait to read your new "Isle of Hope" series. The title alone is perfect - as I'm sure the books will be!
    My e-mail is
    warolyn(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Carolyn! Thanks for dropping by and best wishes in the contest.

      Delete
    2. Hey, CAROLYN, THANK YOU!! I think the title is perfect, too, and what's even more perfect is that I am in the last five scenes of the book, and I do believe this may be my most spiritual book yet, which means I'm crying A LOT because the hope theme is SOOO strong!!

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  40. I haven't read Julie Lessman yet, but I hear about her books so often! They really look like my cup of tea and I can't wait to try one. :) Thank you for the generous giveaway! i_lovenuk(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Anne, and I hope you discover Julie's writing for yourself very soon. Did you notice that her debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, is currently free in ebook format? http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Most-Pure-Daughters-Boston-ebook/dp/B009M6UKKI

      Delete
    2. ANNE!!! Oh, honey, talk about my "cup of tea"!! I LOVE meeting new readers like you, and guess what??

      A Passion Most Pure, book 1 in my Daughters of Boston series, which won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 596 five-star reviews on Amazon, is available for FREE DOWNLOAD right now everywhere, so I hope you take advantage! Here's the link if you want to download it FREE:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And the prequel to APMP, A Light in the Window, just happens to be a Christmas-themed novel on sale right now for $3.99 as well. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  41. It broke my heart to read that a reviewer was so cruel in a review. I am glad that Julie did the best thing for all of us in turning to the Lord. He truly is our strong tower and fortress.
    The first book I read by Julie was "A Passion Most Pure" and I seriously devoured it, but I must say that I read and have re-read "A Hope Undaunted" at least four times.

    Julie I am praying that the Lord will continue to inspire you and open doors for you to use your talents. :)

    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. When an author humbly seeks God like Julie does, you just know her writing is going to minister and bless. So glad you have enjoyed Julie's books, Kelly!

      Delete
    2. Aw, KELLY, thank you SO much, my sweet friend -- I covet your prayers!

      And, YAY, A Hope Undaunted is my VERY favorite book of all I have written, so we are kindred spirits on that one, girlfriend. :)

      Thanks for coming by and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  42. I love the verse you were lead to in Psalms! I have the Hope for the Holidays Historical bundle, so I look forward to reading your book in it.

    dbdempsey98(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, BECKY, I hope you enjoy it -- all the novellas in it are really good and, of course, I love Charity and Mitch's story because they are one of my favorite character couples I've written, so I hope you think so too. :)

      Here's to a win, girl!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  43. Can't wait to see what's in store for you in the future, *Ms.* Julie! I'm glad to hear that your leaning back to the longer saga-style books. I enjoyed the McClares' stories, but I felt like I didn't get to see a whole lot of the characters once "their book" was over compared to the O'Connors. =)

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    1. Oh, me, too, JENN!! You'll see plenty of the characters in Isle of Hope, guaranteed! :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  44. Can't wait to see what's in store for you in the future, *Ms.* Julie! I'm glad to hear that your leaning back to the longer saga-style books. I enjoyed the McClares' stories, but I felt like I didn't get to see a whole lot of the characters once "their book" was over compared to the O'Connors. =)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Ladies, I was on goodreads and saw a comment about Julie being with you talking about books, always want to stop and say hello to this sweet girl, I didn't know you book was done about Isle of Hope, Hubby bought his last boat in that area, we live about hr away from Savannah Ga. It is beautiful there on the water. Hope this book is one of your best sellers....Merry Christmas to both of you and your families...
    Paula O

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    1. PAULA!!! Thank you SO much, my sweet friend, and HOW FUN that you live so close to Savannah, GA. I have to be honest, because of Gone With the Wind, I have always had an attachment to Atlanta, Charleston, and Savannah, and I heard Savannah has one of the most romantic historical districts in the U.S., so I cannot WAIT to go there and to Isle of Hope. I used to work for a travel agency, and Hilton Head was in my territory, so I've been there and in the Savannah airport, but not really in the city itself or Isle of Hope. And THANK YOU -- I hope that this is one of my best sellers, too, because it will certainly be one of my most spiritual books, that's for sure, so I hope it speaks to my readers like it has to me.

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Paula, us "Georgia girls" are especially eager to read this new series, aren't we?! There's just something special about the south, and when that's combined with the spiritual impact Julie mentioned . . . Well, I just can't wait. I've only visited Savannah once, and that was as a teenager, but I fell in love with the historical district.

      I always smile whenever I see you online, Paula, for you do so much to encourage authors and bloggers both. May you and your family have a wonder Christmas season.

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  46. I really loved Julie's "Daughters of Boston" series. So much, in fact, that it is a series that I am keeping in my personal library. That doesn't happen too often because there are just so many books out there for me to read. My personal library keepers are the ones I would gladly read over and over. I really like the "realness" of the characters. Passion and Trials are not just for the secular world. May God bless your future endeavors, Julie. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Aw, LORAINE, what a compliment for the DOB series to be in your personal library, my friend -- THANK YOU!! And, yes, "passion and trials" are the stuff that life is made of, and since God created "passion," it only makes sense that we reflect that same passion -- both spiritual and romantic -- in our Christian literature, right?

      Thank you for coming by AND for reading my books in the first place -- here's hoping it nets you a win!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  47. What a fun interview! The Scripture Julie mentions is SO POWERFUL.....passionately waiting and staying on the path! Great thoughts! Thank you for sharing your plans. Romance-ology 101 is such a helpful tool-book for aspiring romance writers. Ah, yes, PASSION! Sheridastewart at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks SO much, SHERIDA! I appreciate your kind comment on Romance-ology AND for just coming by in the first place. Fingers crossed for a win, my sweet friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  48. I am always looking for new authors to read. You write the kinds of books I enjoy reading. Glad I surfed in from another site.
    jwisley8@me.com

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    1. Hey, JOYE, WOW -- I'm glad, too, my friend, so THANK YOU!!

      Not sure from your comment if you've read any of my books or not, but if not, I sure hope you download A Passion Most Pure, book 1 in my Daughters of Boston series. It won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 599 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And the prequel to APMP, A Light in the Window, just happens to be a Christmas-themed novel on sale right now for $3.99 as well. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  49. Hi Julie!
    I am a new-ish fan/follower and have not had the pleasure to read one of your books yet. I very much look forward to it! :D May you and yours have a very MErry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :D *hugs* Mippy/Sabrina :)

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    1. MIPPY!!! Yes, I've seen your name out and about, and we need to get a book in your hands, you sweet thing, so here's to a win! And, gosh, girl, to be a "fan/follower" without ever having read any of my books is AMAZING, so all the more reason we need to get you one!!!

      And I'm pretty sure I told you about the free download of APMP, right? And if you don't have an ereader, you can still download it on your computer via a FREE Kindle app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Droid, so I hope you consider that. Just let me know if you want the link to downloading that FREE Kindle app, okay?

      Anyway, hugs to you, sweetie, and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  50. Julie, you are such an encouragement to me. I am so glad you decided to stay in the Christian market. I do hope you will have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. Aw, thanks, LANI -- you're an encouragement to me too, my friend, and you did receive the winner's copy of Surprised by Love I sent you, right? Hope you enjoyed it. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  51. My favorite book was A Hope Undaunted

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    1. Oh, ELMA, YES!!! AHU is my favorite of all the books I've written as well, so that makes me happy. :) Is Luke McGee not THE BEST of my heroes, with Mitch a close second???? ;) Well, that's what I think anyway ... :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      JULIE

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  52. Favorite book is a hope undaunted

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  53. Such a beautiful interview! I'm new to Julie's books and actually just heard about her work about a month ago. I'm looking forward to starting one of her novels in the new year.

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    1. BREE, YES!!!! Soooooo glad to hear that, my friend, and I'm hoping the first one will be A Passion Most Pure, which is the FREE DOWNLOAD going on right now and my very first book in the O'Connor saga. If you like it and post a review, be sure to let me know and I'll enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy, okay? And if you don't like it, well ... uh ... never mind ... ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  54. I have only read 2of Julie's books so far but enjoyed them greatly!!Shelia Hall sheliarha64@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, SHELIA, and girl, you still have eight books to go, so here's hoping you win one here, okay?

      GOOD LUCK and hugs,
      Julie

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  55. I've not read your books so I'd love to win this book to get started. Which leading woman would you want for your daughter?
    sallydav45 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hey, SALLY, GREAT QUESTION, my friend!! And easy to answer, too, because you see, the youngest O'Connor sibling, Katie (the 4th daughter of Boston) was based on my own daughter, so naturally she's the one I would pick, although I absolutely LOVE Charity ... and Faith ... and Emma ... and Lizzie ... Oh, heck, I love 'em all and don't even get me started on the heroes ... ;)

      And, Sally, if you haven't read any of my books yet, are you in luck!! A Passion Most Pure, book 1 in my Daughters of Boston series is currently available as a FREE DOWNLOAD everywhere, so I hope you take advantage. It won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 599 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And the prequel to APMP, A Light in the Window, just happens to be a Christmas-themed novel on sale right now for $3.99 as well. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  56. Enjoy Julie's books! My question: What is your favorite leisure time activity? Do you enjoy sports?

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    1. ANONYMOUS ... whoops ... I answered you in the comment below. :|

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  57. ANONYMOUS, thank you SO much, sweetie!! My favorite leisure-time activity? Why, reading Inspy romance, of course!! :) Second favorite is watching romance on Hallmark Movie Channel or Up TV! ;) I actually read approximately 6-8 books a month, which is pretty amazing for a writer since most authors don't find a lot of time to read. But I LOVE it ... read in the car (while hubby's driving, after talking to him for a while, of course, read before going to bed, read in the powder room, doctor's appts. and have even read at train crossings. :) ALWAYS carry a book or ereader in my purse, of course! :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    Julie

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  58. so excited to read Surprised by Love! Everyone keeps asking what books I'd like for Christmas, and that one always comes to mind. :)

    maidenofemmanuel @ aim . com

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    1. MAIDEN OF EMMANUEL ... thank you SO much, sweetie, and hopefully you won't have to wait for Christmas if you win here, right?? So good luck and here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  59. I loved this interview & review. I feel like I got to know Julie even better and I love her heart. I would love to win another of her books--I have enjoyed the ones I have read before & enjoyed getting to know the O'Conner family..
    I also have enjoyed following Julie on Seekerville and the way she and the other Seekers have encouraged new writers such as myself. Thanks Julie & Carole for the opportunity to win a book written by such a loving & inspired author, such as Julie. (FYI--Julie--I finally finished my first book--my memoir of my BC journey, which you said you wanted to know when I finished. Please check my FB wall and/or, I will send you a PM)
    Vicki

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    1. VICKI!!! SUPER CONGRATS, girlfriend, on finishing your memoir -- that's a HUGE accomplishment, and a much-needed one, too, in a world all too often afflicted with the scourge of cancer. I pray blessing on you and your book, my friend!

      Thanks for coming by AND for your kind words -- MUCH appreciated!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  60. I'm not sure if my msg went through, plus I realized I forgot to include my email, so I'm adding this short post with my info...
    vmarney (at) hot mail (dot) com
    Vicki

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    1. It went through, VICKI, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  61. Love your books, love you Julie Lessman, and am praying for you in all things! Especially for your anointed writing! That's a selfish prayer--so I can read more of your great books!!! XOXOXO

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    1. Aw, CARRIE, do NOT make me cry, my friend -- you know what a weepy CDQ I am, so your kind words bless the socks off me. BUT ... not as much as your friendship!! :)

      Love you!!
      Julie

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  62. And our winner is Rachael Koppendrayer! Congratulations on winning Julie's book, Rachael; your words of encouragement are much appreciated. I'll send you an e-mail shortly.

    Thank you to everyone who entered and left words of support for Julie. Your response is overwhelming!

    But most importantly, a big thank you goes to Julie! It is always an honor to host you and promote your writing - and I don't think I've seen another author who cares about and interacts with her readers like you do. We all appreciate you more than words can express, and I personally look forward to your next visit, Julie.

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  63. Carole, thank you SO much for a wonderful week on your blog, my friend -- you are the hostess with the mostess!! And most importantly, a dear friend I treasure.

    SUPER CONGRATS to Rachael, and we'll connect soon on which book you want, okay?

    I wish each of you a most happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  64. I love authors who are really responsive to their readers! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope your Advent/countdown to Christmas is going well!
    Tina

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  65. TINA AT MOMMYNIFICENT -- LOVE YOUR ADDY, girlfriend!!

    And I love readers who are reallllly "responsive" to authors, so thanks for coming by, my friend.

    You were too late for a win here, but I have another giveaway going on at my blog, so I hope you will check it out here:

    JULIE'S BLOG, JOURNAL JOTS

    http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/2014/12/5/friday-november-28-2014.html

    HUGS!!
    Julie

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    1. Julie, Tina is a wonderful blogger, and she and her family live in Malaysia. Every Thursday she creates a popular blog post called Booknificent Thursday where bloggers can link up their book-related posts. Here's the current link: http://mommynificent.com/2014/12/11/booknificent-thursday-75/

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