Friday, December 2, 2016

Interview & #Giveaway with Author Julie Lessman

And we have the illustrious and energetic Julie Lessman with us today! She has soooo many fans and great readers and we're thrilled to sit down over coffee and tea to chat with Julie and give you some insights into her latest novella collection that's just in time for the holidays!

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Thank you so much for visiting us today here at the CCC blog! Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?

My pleasure! My latest release is “Last Chance Christmas,” part of Gilead Publishing’s Cowboy Christmas Homecoming historical collection that includes novellas by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, and Anna Schmidt. Think cozy Christmas tales on the prairie with hunky cowboys! ;)

My inspiration for “Last Chance Christmas” is a bit of a rabbit trail, I’m afraid, but it begins with one word: Bonanza. Yep, I’m talking about the Western TV show that aired fom1959 to 1973 set in 1800s Virginia City, Nevada with Pa, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe. You guys and most of your younger readers may have never heard of it, but it was a very popular TV series at the time that had a huge impact on me as a little girl. So much so that I decided to write a historical trilogy set in Virginia City, Nevada during the same time period, and my novella, “Last Chance Christmas,” is a spin-off from this Western series. It’s about a klutzy saloon girl who flees Virginia City for one last chance at happiness in Last Chance, California (a real place back then), promptly turning a widowed pastor’s family—and his life—upside down.

Here are the blurbs for each of the novellas in the collection, beginning with “Last Chance Christmas”:

Accidents Happen and Then There’s Grace …

Pastor Cole McCabe isn’t sure he’ll survive the holidays with his new housekeeper and nanny, ex-saloon girl Grace O'Malley. She’s dyed his long johns pink, taught his daughters poker, and scorched both his food and his kitchen—pert near torching his home. But he’s desperate, and she’s as destitute as they come.

Though she’s no good with her hands, Grace sure has a way with her heart. She’s brought a warmth into Cole’s house, added color to his daughters’ lives, and broken down the wall he’s built up since his beloved wife died.  When Grace’s past threatens his family, they have one last chance to celebrate Christmas together at home . . . if Grace hasn’t burned it down by then.

Glad Tidings, Hearts Binding.

“A Cowboy for Christmas” by Ruth Logan Herne:
They’ve weathered a lot worse than winter. For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She’d call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can’t help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart.

“Longhorn Christmas” by Mary Connealy:
Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. Some hired help over the holidays doesn’t change that. And even if Roy does take care of her, that doesn’t mean he cares for her or that he’ll stay past Christmas.

“Connie’s Christmas Prayer” by Anna Schmidt:
And no one longs for a home more than Connie Lancaster. She’s determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she’s been waiting for isn’t to a place but a person.


Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Oh, without question, my heroine, Grace O’Malley, because she’s such a dichotomy—an accident-prone saloon girl with a tainted past who becomes the temporary housekeeper/cook for a widowed pastor and his four daughters. The woman can sing, dance, play poker, and musical instruments, but she’s a disaster as a housekeeper, scorching food, clothing, and almost the house. But what Grace lacks in homemaking skills, she more than makes up for in love, laughter, and lessons of what’s truly important—both in life and in celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.


Can you tell us about a scene that you wrote and eventually deleted? It’s always fun to know of the little details that didn’t make the cut J

Well … not a deleted scene, per se, but deleted kisses. You see, my tagline is “Passion with a Purpose,” and in some circles I’ve been known as “The Kissing Queen,” so I just assumed I could write love scenes the way I usually do—with a wee bit more passion than the norm in the CBA. But due to the sweet Christmas nature of CCH, new guidelines were implemented after I wrote my novella, which stated no kisses between unmarried couples. YIKES! So I had to cut a lot of the romantic scenes to reflect that, which was, needless to say, somewhat painful for this author to do ;)


What made you pick these specific names of your main two characters?

Well, Grace was easy because the original title of my novel was “The Gift of Grace,” which had double symbolism for me: the gift of Grace O’Malley to a family that desperately needed her laughter and love, and then, of course, the gift of God’s grace in sending His Son to the world.

Pastor Cole McCabe was originally supposed to be Joshua McCabe because I thought Joshua sounded like a preacher’s name. But because of a story twist at the end of the novella, I decided to change it accordingly, so he became Cole McCabe, something that our brilliant Gilead copywriters—Katelyn Bolds and Nichole Parks—had a lot of fun with in teasers like: Grace has been good all year, but she’s still getting Cole for Christmas.


Moving on from your story, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What’s your least favorite household chore and why?

Oh, wow, GROCERY SHOPPING! But then, I pretty much hate shopping of any kind, so my sweet, amazing hubs handles all that for me. Much safer that way—for everyone!


What are your hobbies outside of writing?

Dinners with friends, movies, and READING!


Fall is upon us, and full of events. What is a special holiday tradition you celebrate with your family?

One of our favorite Christmas traditions over the years from the time my hubby and I started dating was to go to a movie matinee on Christmas Eve. Once the babies came, however, we had to forego until the kids were older. But then we picked right up again despite the challenge of finding a decent movie we all could enjoy.


We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing?

Well, let’s put it this way, without God, there would be no books—period. God is not only my reason to write, He is my inspiration, my motivation, my confidence, and my talent. Like Michael W. Smith sings in his incredible song, “Breathe,” God is “the air I breathe.” I love romance, make no mistake, but without God in the middle, it is flat, empty, and pointless. So I guess you could say that although I write books heavily laced with romantic passion, they are also intensely spiritually passionate as well, with God always firmly anchored in the middle.

To be honest, my debut book A Passion Most Pure was my love letter to God, and my agent said there weren’t many books like it in the Christian market at that time. She said that with most Christian fiction, you might have a church scene or a salvation scene and the characters might pray and attend church, but with my books, “God is an actual character” who permeates the book. And I would have to say that’s true. Without Him, there would be no passion to motivate me because without Him, romance is empty and unsatisfying. But WITH Him at the center, WOW, everything heats up—my marriage, my job, my writing! He makes it all worthwhile and oh, so exciting!

So, how has my faith affected my writing? It has allowed me to take my passion for God and put it into stories that hopefully will convey how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. My books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the living, breathing God of the Universe. So when I got the following e-mail from a precious woman who had read A Passion Most Pure, I was brought to tears. She wrote:

“I just wanted to write to let you know that in all my life, I've never before read a book that has inspired me to change my life as much as this one has! The desire to turn my life over to God has never been this strong. Thank you for making such a strong impact on both me and my family!”

Sigh. Trust me—for a Christian author, it just doesn’t get any better than that.


Tell us a little about a day in the life of you?

HA! It’s WAY less interesting than my books, I assure you! I usually get up at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m., suck down hazelnut coffee while I watch a bit of news with my hubby and plow through email. Next, it’s oatmeal with walnuts and bananas (new kick due to higher cholesterol at last physical) while reading Seeker blog (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/). We live on a lake, so if weather is nice, I sit/talk/pray on the dock with hubby prior to tackling the treadmill with prayer/worship followed by Bible/devotional time. After that, I finish e-mails, blog/FB comments, and minor household chores before I dive into writing till dinnertime. The day rounds out with an evening Hallmark movie, Person of Interest, or Bluebloods. See? Boring! Which is why I have to put all that angst and drama in my books, right?

We have a bit of a war going on here at the CCC blog. Anne and Jaime LOVE coffee and Erica and Gabriella enjoy a joyful cup of tea. What is your preference? Help us break this tie…

LOL … don’t count on me to be the tiebreaker because I wake up with coffee, switch to iced tea all day till late afternoon when I treat myself to a K-cup flavored decaf. ;)
  
And a few fun and quirky questions always reveal of lot from our authors who visit. So, first, if you were to take a boat down the Amazon river, what would you be most interested in seeing?

Parrots, macaws, and other colored birds.

If you had a choice of living in any era other than the present, what would you choose and why?

Jerusalem during Jesus’ ministry, especially on the day that Jesus died because if His death has radically changed my life for the better through mere faith, I can’t even imagine the impact of seeing Him carry that cross for me in person.


We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:

Okay, this is a scene where the family learns that although Grace is a disaster in the kitchen, she excels in music as she sings and plays the harmonica for them after dinner.

“How ’bout we liven things up?” The children’s cheers launched her into a lively rendition of Old Susanna that had everyone singing along, except for baby Abby, who dozed on her daddy’s lap.
“Daddy, dance with me!” Sarah shouted, tugging on his arm.
Lumbering to his feet, he put a finger to his lips and carried the baby to bed, quietly closing the door behind. He returned to spin Sarah around and around, unleashing a cascade of giggles as Grace finished the song.
“My turn, my turn!” Becca shouted, jumping up and down like Grace had fed her Mexican jumping beans for dinner. Cole whirled her to another tune, his laughter rich and low as it rumbled through the parlor, causing an odd flutter in Grace’s stomach. When he put her back down, Becca staggered to and fro, dizzy and whooping like a drunken cowboy.
But when Ruthy scampered off Millie’s lap and held hands up to her daddy, Grace’s heart turned over. A slow, easy grin slid across his handsome face, and the strait-laced preacher gave way to a man wild and free. Dark curls askew and a shadow of beard that lent a rakish air, he scooped Ruthy up with a snuggle growl to her neck, eliciting a rare squeal of delight from the little girl who seldom smiled.
“Daddy, can you dance with us like we’re ladies?” Sarah asked when he and Ruthy sat back down. “You know, like they do at the town social?”
“Uh . . .” He cuffed the back of his neck. “I . . . don’t really know how to dance like that.”
Grace glanced up, jaw dangling. “What? Didn’t you dance at your own wedding?”
“Humph. Not well,” Aunt Millie volunteered, smile flat as her knitting needles clicked away. “Poor Eileen limped for a week.”
A ruddy blush validated his aunt’s jibe. “I’m afraid she’s right, so perhaps it’s best to limit my dancing to just spinning you girls around.”
“Horse feathers!” Grace laid the harmonica aside and extended her hand, ignoring the stunned look on his face.
“W-What are you d-doing?” he stammered.
“Teaching you and your daughters to dance, Pastor McCabe,” she said with an impish smile, too caught up in the tease to consider the close proximity they’d share.
He was shaking his head before she finished her sentence. “Oh, no, I’m afraid some things are better left undone.”
“Daddy, please?” The older girls begged in unison while Sarah heaved Ruthy off his lap.
Grace bit back a grin when Becca yanked on his hand without mercy, tugging him up to do her bidding like he was Sassafras at the end of a rope.
“Ten minutes,” he threatened, jaw clamped despite a tight smile. “And then it’s time for bed, understood?”
Their squeals rose to the rafters as Grace stood in front of Cole, hesitating with a sprint of her pulse she hadn’t expected. Swallowing hard, she peered up beneath half-lidded lashes, suddenly overwhelmed by his height. Barely coming to his shoulders, she gave him a shaky smile, certain she’d get a crick in her neck.
“All right, girls,” she said, voice annoyingly breathless as she took Cole’s hands in hers, “the boy positions one hand on the girl’s shoulder blade like this, then holds her other at eye level like this.” She forced a bright smile, the touch of Cole’s work-roughened hands causing her stomach to churn. Heart thumping, she guided him through each step, her gaze fused to his feet to avoid the intensity of those piercing gray eyes. “It’s basically a box pattern to a count of three,” she explained, counting loudly to drown out the ruckus in her tummy. “One-two-three, one-two-three. . .” She peeked up with a shy smile. “See? Not too hard, right?”
“Till I step on your toes,” he said with a shuttered gaze, his husky tease almost buckling her knees.
“Which,” she said, jerking away with a flash of heat, “is why you will now practice with the girls while I provide the music.”
“Coward,” he said softly, as if for her ears alone, the glint in his eyes almost roguish as he swept Sarah into his arms, leaving Grace trembling as she began to play.
“All right, girls,” he said when he’d danced with them all, “it’s time for bed.”
“But I’m too excited to sleep!” Sarah said with a pout.
“Just one more song, please?” Becca’s face puckered in a plea.
Grace met Cole’s gaze with a tug of her lip. “A lullaby might help them sleep,” she suggested meekly.
He pinned her with a probing gaze that tumbled her stomach, his sobriety barely tempered by a shadow of a smile. “One. Last. Song.” He emphasized each word before reclaiming his rocker.
Closing her eyes, Grace began to play Amazing Grace, grateful for the one hymn that never failed to soothe her spirit. And she needed soothing right now—desperately. Like the girls, she was too keyed up to sleep, but for entirely different reasons. What in heaven’s name had she been thinking, attempting to teach Cole to dance? One touch of his hand, one look into his eyes, had stirred such turmoil within she feared their comfortable friendship would never be the same. Even now her heart drummed out a traitorous beat despite the sweet and soulful sound of her favorite hymn, painfully aware he was watching, mere feet away.
When her hands began to quiver, she lowered the harmonica to sing, only to stutter on the lyrics. She felt her face flame and unbidden, her lashes lifted, gaze colliding with his. The connection lingered with such intensity, the very air seemed to crackle and hum. Cheeks ablaze, she swiftly looked away, terrified he’d sense the unsettled feelings that had taken her by surprise. Dangerous, impossible feelings, unwanted, and most certainly uninvited. Feelings that at that exact moment made her want to flee both this house and the unexpected attraction that now burned in her soul.
The plan had been for her to stay past Thanksgiving, only two weeks away, when Millie could take over again. But because of her own ineptitude with the fire, Millie’s recovery was now slated for mid-December, and Grace only hoped she could bear it till then. Another month of his easy smiles, his teasing laughter, and his tenderness toward a family who adored him and deserved so much more than she could ever give. And something she could never have. She gripped the harmonica in her lap.
Lord, help me! What am I going to do?
And then the answer came so softly, simple and pure in the lyrics she sang, imparting a tender peace to her soul.
The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, as long as life endures.
Tears stung as hope sprang anew. Because of His amazing Grace.
And, oh . . . how sweet the sound!

Jaime, Anne, Erica, & Gabrielle—thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog—it’s been fun! I love to hear from readers, so they can find and contact me at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter or my Journal Jots blog. I am also part of a group blog called Seekerville that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well. Oh, and readers can also check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website.

Finally, I have the following FREEBIE/SALE currently going on:
l  99-CENT SALE (almost 90% off!) on my award-winning, five-star contemporary novel, ISLE OF HOPE, Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015!
l  FREE DOWNLOAD ON THE NOVELLA PREQUEL TO ISLE OF HOPE!
YES, there IS a prequel to my latest novel, Isle of Hope, and it’s called A Glimmer of Hope, so take advantage of this free ebook HERE!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

75 comments:

  1. I love how Julie makes sure God is the central character in her books!
    And Julie, little Evie is so adorable!! So glad her heart surgery was successful.

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    1. GAIL, thank you SO much, my sweet friend, for your kind comment and your prayers for Evie -- MUCH appreciated. She had a rough night because she still has a chest tube, but hopefully she'll get that out today.

      And, yes, Gail, God is DEFINITELY the central character in my books, so I appreciate your confirmation on that. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  2. They are realistic, and I love the characters

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    1. Hey, ROZ, thanks SO much, my friend, and here's to a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  3. Julie, I am so excited to read the new book! Praying for your family and especially little Evie.

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    1. Oh, ASH, trust me, I'm SO excited for you to read it too, my friend, because you're one of my favorite reader friends and I'm anxious to see what you think!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  4. As always since the Day I met Julie, she's been a wonderful Christian sister and great inspiration ! Her enthusiasm and perky fun self are what makes me smile !!! Even if I am the bad girl in her book !
    Hugs
    Linda Marie Finn
    faithfulacresbodysoulspirit@gmail.com

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    1. LOL, LINDA, yes you ARE a "bad girl" in my book, so maybe I'll have to write a novella to redeem you! ;)

      Thank you for your kind words and your support, my friend, and good luck! ALTHOUGH heaven knows you don't need any more luck because nobody has won more of my books than you over the years, including a Kindle, as I recall, so Randomizer must love you, kiddo! ;)

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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  5. They are REAL! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL, JOAN, yes, they are, my friend, because their author is a little too real, I'm afraid, inflicting her poor characters with the same life lessons she's had to learn the hard way! Talk about misery loves company ... ;)

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  6. Not goin' lie...I love how Julie writes kissing scenes. Oh.My.Goodness. She can definitely bring the heat! She writes them with all the passion God has created within us without being vulgar. Sad to hear she had to cut the kissing scenes out of this novella, but since she's a "can't miss" author to me - I'll still read it. Like I said kissing scenes are my favorite things she writes, but she's so gifted with a story I'll soak it up any way I can.

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    1. AMY!!! Thank you SO much, you sweet thing -- SO appreciate your kind comment AND just coming by! And you are definitely MY kind of reader friend, girl, since we obviously have a thing for kisses ... ;)

      Which means you'll DEFINITELY want to check out my interview on Beth Erin's Faithfully Bookish blog on December 14th because I list five of my favorite kissing scenes I've written along with a giveaway, so here's the link and hope to see you there!

      FAITHFULLY BOOKISH BLOG

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  7. Haven't read any of your books so excited to read this one. I've read reviews that God is central theme in your books and that is important to me.

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    1. LINDA!!! You're JUST the type of reader I'm looking for, girlfriend -- fresh blood!! ;)

      And if you haven't read my books yet, then I encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :) AND ... IOH is my most spiritual book to date, so I encourage you to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. ALSO ... you can find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes on many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE


      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      JULIE'S FAVORITE SPIRITUAL AND ROMANTIC SCENES:
      JULIE’S EXCERPTS

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  8. I love how a relationship with Christ is such a huge part of the charcter's lives. It's highly encouraging and sometimes the swift kick in the pants I need to press on in my own walk with Christ.

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    1. LOL, KLKFROG ... I hear you, girl! Trust me -- I have to get those same "swift kicks in the pants" before I can write those books, infusing lessons I've had to learn the hard way! ;)

      Thanks for reading my books, my friend, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  9. I love Julie's book because they make me feel all the emotions of the characters as if I were the characters myself. I love that!

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    1. YEP, J DENNIS, I am nothing if not a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) who is COMPELLED to pour all those feelings and emotions into my books rather than my relationship with my hubs in order to save my marriage! ;)

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  10. I love everything about Julie's books - the warm family scenes, realism, unexpected twists, humor, flawed characters redeemed by a loving God, passion, etc.. But my favorite is that she is guided by Him in every word she writes and does make God a character in her books - He always gets all the glory for the redemption of those flawed characters which creates the happy ending of each book. The fact she pours so much of her personal experiences into her writing makes her books even more realistic.

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    1. BONNIE SAID: "She does make God a character in her books - He always gets all the glory for the redemption of those flawed characters which creates the happy ending of each book. The fact she pours so much of her personal experiences into her writing makes her books even more realistic."

      Thanks, my sweet friend -- nobody knows that better than you, that's for sure!

      Love you!
      Julie

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  11. I haven't had the chance to read one of Julie's books yet, but I can say for certain that my world changed as a reader once I found christian romances. You connect more with the characters, and in a way, the stories connect with you spiritually. It's a beautiful thing! :)

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    1. CHARII, YES, YES, YES!! I'm with you, my friend. I used to be a secular reader way back when, but I wanted God in the CENTER of my romance where He belongs PLUS more romantic passion than I was able to find in the Christian market at the time. So ... I decided to write my own with romantic passion that matched the intense spiritual passion I saw in God's Word (i.e. Song of Solomon). Thus my tagline -- "Passion with a Purpose."

      And since you haven't read my books yet, then I encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

      AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      JULIE'S FAVORITE SPIRITUAL AND ROMANTIC SCENES:
      JULIE’S EXCERPTS

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  12. My favorite part of Julie's books is the passion! They are never boring, that's for sure ;)

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    1. LOL, HEIDI, that is certainly true! In fact, that's what my husband always says about me -- "One thing for sure, Julie, life with you is never boring!" I loved his line so much, I had Mitch say it about Charity in book 3 of the DOB series because Charity and I actually had a lot in common before I came to the Lord (uh, except in the beauty dept., that is!). :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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    1. Oh, SHIRLEY, GOD BLESS YOU, my friend -- appreciate it more than I can say! She's out of ICU now and gets her chest tube out this afternoon, so YAY, GOD!!

      Thanks again for your prayers, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  14. Like others have said, I enjoy the fact that her stories are so realistic. I also like that she is quite prolific and you don't have to wait too long for a new story!

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    1. Oh, WOW, PATTY, do I wish!! I am only able to crank out one novel and a novella a year, it seems, and sometimes two novels or two novellas, but thank you for your faith in me, my friend -- MUCH appreciated!! Any and all prayers ALSO appreciated for productivity, I assure you! ;)

      And as far as realism in my stories? What you read is definitely what you get with me, so, YES, all of the spiritual lessons in my books are as real as they get since I went through every single one in one way or another. Only the names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. ;)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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  15. New to me! Want to start reading the books. Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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    1. DONAMAE!!! I remember your name from my FB Flash Giveaway with Denise Hunter, so did you not download my FREE prequel novella, A Glimmer of Hope yet??? Girl, you have to do that because book 1 in the Isle of Hope series, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love, is 90% off right now in a 99-cent e-sale, so PLEASE take advantage!

      IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :) And neither is the free prequel, A Glimmer of Hope, although Isle of Hope is definitely the book to read.

      HUGS and good luck!
      Julie

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  16. I like the way Julie weaves faith into her books, as natural as breathing. I never feel like it's forced. She also has some really good kissing scenes!

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    1. LOL, PAM, THANK YOU, my friend!! That's because faith and romance are two of the things I am MOST passionate about, so mission accomplished! ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  17. Thank you so much for having Julie Lessman on the CCC blog and for this fun interview! The kind,loving person she is always shows through. Already have these two books,but just had to put in my two cents about Julie! Absolutely love her books! Her great skill as an author always shows in that her stories of romance and spirituality are never dull!

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    1. Aw, LYNNE, you never fail to bless me, my sweet friend, so THANK YOU for coming by to lend your support and your ongoing encouragement.

      Hugs and more hugs, then more on top of that!
      Julie

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    1. Aw, thanks, VIRGINIA! And trust me, I LOVE reader friends like YOU too!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      JULIE

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  19. I like the whole idea of Grace O'Malley, the Bonanza inspiration and the amazing book cover of Light in the Window!

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    1. Thanks, Janice, sure hope I can send you winning copies, so GOOD LUCK!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  20. Julie, i havent read your books yet , but i just got the dowload for Glimmer of Hope and bought Isle of Hope. I am looking forward to curling up ( we are fetting tons of rain) and reading them. Bonanza was my favorite show next to Little House On The Prairie as a child and i still watch it on tv. I am always looking for authors who implement God into their writing. Without Him we are nothing. I love your strong faith. I am continuing to pray for sweet precious Evie and all of you as you go through this chapter in your life. Stay strong in faith!! Much love to you. I am going to seek out the book A Passion Most Pure to read.

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    1. DEBRA!!! God bless you, you sweet thing -- SO appreciate your willingness to give me a shot!

      You said:" I am always looking for authors who implement God into their writing. Without Him we are nothing."

      Oh, AMEN AND AMEN!! And I promise you, my friend, as a bonafide CDQ (caffeinated drama queen), the spirituality in my books is INTENSELY real, ESPECIALLY in the Daughters of Boston series, of which A Passion Most Pure is the first book. WHICH ... just happens to be on esale right now for only 1.99 cents (it was on sale for 99 cents till yesterday or the day before, so I hope you got it then if you bought it).

      Thank you SO much for downloading both AGOH and IOH -- I hope you enjoy them. IOH is the contemporary book of my heart, loosely based on my own dysfunctional relationship with my estranged father as mentioned above, so the spiritual lessons are very real and very true. I'm happy to say IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so I hope you like it too. Let me know if you do, okay? And if not ... uh, well ... never mind! ;)

      Hugs and Happy Reading!
      Julie

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  21. I am a fan! Julie writes with reality. It's hope and heartbreak. You want to be a part of the families she creates in her books.

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    1. LOL, MISS PIPPI ... "hope and heartbreak" ... I like it! ;)

      Thanks for your kind comment, my friend, and for your support.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  22. What do I love about Julie's books? Everything! I have to say the sweet romance and the hero

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    1. DANA, THANK YOU!! I'm pretty fond of my heroes too, I have to say, and my faves? Luke McGee and Mitch Dennehy, oh and Logan McClare. Sigh. I guess I like a hero who's in control. ;)

      My hubby is a sweet, kind, gentle man who pretty much shocked me when I discovered HE was in control in our relationship. WOW! God blessed me with the man of my dreams. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  23. I love the Christian aspect of her books and it pleases me how she writes her stories.

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    1. ROBYNL, thank you SO much, my friend. The "Christian aspect" of my books is what my books are all about because without that, there would be no books. ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  24. What do I love most about Your stories Jules !!! Let see.... I guess it would be the characters and how they relate to each other and how touching each part they play is in the grand scheme of things ! LOL, the fact I can read parts of them to Mark and he says " Um Lin where are you going with this ? " LOL
    I really love that Jesus Love for us is shown in your stories.
    Love You
    Linda Marie Finn

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    Replies
    1. LOL, Linda, that's a hoot about Mark!

      Believe it or not, I actually received an email once from an editor I didn't know who was with another publishing house, and she wanted to thank me for spicing up her marriage. She didn't realize she'd been neglecting the romantic side of her relationship until she read A Passion Most Pure, and that lit the match, apparently. Isn't that SO cool???

      And that "Jesus Love" you mentioned? I'd be absolutely LOST without it!!

      Love you back, my friend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  25. I haven't read a book by Julie yet so I can't answer the question. I have one on my TBR list!

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    Replies
    1. ABLST NLKI!!! Well, girlfriend, sounds like we definitely need to get one of my books in your hot, little hands!!

      I highly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

      AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE 99-CENT DOWNLOAD:
      ISLE OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  26. I love her books because they reach into my soul and pull my emotions out . They give me hope, understanding and show me that God is always there.

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    1. Oh, DEANA, I just LOVE THAT!!! "They reach into my soul and pull my emotions out"!! Soooooo appreciate that cool description, my friend, and I'm glad they do, because they sure rip my emotions out when I write them, so I'm glad I'm not the only one. ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  27. Love your books,thanks for a chance to win

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    1. Thanks, ANONYMOUS -- SO appreciate your support and would love to send you a winning copy, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  28. I don't have to worry about Julie's books being full of the garbage that I can't stand to read. She knows how to write a beautiful story without it!

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    1. Aw, CHERYL, thank you SOOO much, my friend -- realllly appreciate your kind words!

      Here's to a win, you sweet thing!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  29. I'm excited to read one of your books. It sounds fantastic!

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    1. MARLEEN!!! Well, girlfriend, like I told a commenter above, it sounds like we definitely need to get one of my books in your hot, little hands!!

      I highly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

      AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE 99-CENT DOWNLOAD:
      ISLE OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  30. I love that God is an important element and the way her writing grabs my heart. So happy your granddaughter is doing well. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Aw, LUCY, thank you SO much for your prayers for Evie -- I appreciate it more than I can say!

      And God is the pivotal element in my books because He's the pivotal element in my life and yours, so that's why we like writing/reading romance with Him in the center. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  31. I would have to win this book to read it, so I could tell you what I like best about her stories. New author to me.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, JJ ... do I have a deal for you, girlfriend!!

      I highly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

      AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE 99-CENT DOWNLOAD:
      ISLE OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  32. I love that Julie shares her faith through her writing. She writes with a spirit of excellence!

    JULIE, I'm praising the Lord with you for Miss Evie's healing! (((((HUGS)))))

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    1. CARYL!!! Thank you sooooooo much, Caryl, for your prayers and concern for Evie. I AM praising God, I assure you, day and night, for that precious little girl! :)

      And as far as sharing my faith through my writing, the faith element in Isle of Hope is my strongest yet, my friend, so I can't wait to see what you think of that book AND the sequel in which you appear as a character. ;)

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

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  33. What do you love most about Julie Lessman stories? Well... let's just say Julie brings her characters to life (they just become so real!!) and shares plenty of "raw" emotion (emotion that readers understand and relate to). I LOVE that.

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    1. Ooooo, SYDNEY ... "raw emotion" ... I like that!! ;)

      What can I say? When God handed out emotions, I was at the head of the line, and I gotta put 'em somewhere instead of wreaking havoc with my marriage, right???

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and I miss you!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  34. It's been a little since I read one of Julie's books, but I know I enjoyed the humor and sass of the main characters! 😉😁

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    Replies
    1. Well now, LEE ... we're going to have to remedy that, aren't we?

      As far as humor and sass, Charity O'Connor in my Daughters of Boston (A Passion Denied, mostly) and Winds of Change series is the Queen of Sass in my books, and the Heart of San Francisco series have a little more humor too, so I hope you check them out.

      I also highly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

      AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

      A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
      A GLIMMER OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE 99-CENT DOWNLOAD:
      ISLE OF HOPE

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
      ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

      Delete
  35. I can't remember the last book I read of yours but I do remember laughing and crying and feeling the feels while reading. Thank you for sharing your talent!!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, TERRESSA, THANK YOU!! That's SO good to hear that I made you laugh and cry in the same book because believe -- I do the same!! ;)

      Would LOVE to send you a winning copy of both books, so GOOD LUCK!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  36. I haven't read any of your books but have read several reviews and excerpts. They all look like great books that are God centered, which I really love about Christian fiction!

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  37. Hey, Donna, it sounds like it's time for you to read the real thing, so I highly encourage you to take advantage of the FREE DOWNLOAD I have going on now on my prequel novella to my award-winning Isle of Hope novel, A Glimmer of Hope. And just FYI, Isle of Hope is currently 90% off in a 99-cent sale till 12/16, so I hope you take advantage of that too. IOH has a five-star rating on Amazon with 171 reviews and was listed on Family Fiction magazine's Top 15 Novels of 2015, so it's not a dog, I promise. :)

    AND ... you may want to check out the IOH page on my website to read some of the endorsements and reviews citing the spiritual content. Then you can also find my favorite spiritual scenes and romantic scenes for many of my books on the EXCERPTS tab of my website as well, so here are some links for you:

    A GLIMMER OF HOPE FREE DOWNLOAD:
    A GLIMMER OF HOPE

    ISLE OF HOPE 99-CENT DOWNLOAD:
    ISLE OF HOPE

    ISLE OF HOPE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE:
    ISLE OF HOPE WEB PAGE

    HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  38. I haven't had a chance to read her books yet. But I'm going to because I have some of them in my TBR lost. Can't wait!

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    1. Whoops, Brenda ... I responded to you in a new comment below. These reply boxes always trip me up! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  39. YAY, BRENDA! Which ones, sweetie? I can tell you which one to read first. Plus, check out the links in the comment above to Donna for a free download I have right now, okay?

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete

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