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Julie Lessman ~ A Hope Undaunted ~ Book Giveaway

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”
She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1), A Passion Redeemed (The Daughters of Boston, Book 2) (Bk. 2), and A Passion Denied (The Daughters of Boston, Book 3).
Q. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Probably more than I should!  There’s definitely a part of my personality in each of the three sisters in “The Daughters of Boston” series. Faith, the sister heroine of A Passion Most Pure, is my spiritual self. Faith has an intimate relationship with God—she talks and prays to Him as naturally as if He is her best friend, but she gets angry with Him too. You might say she (and I) are emotionally engaged with the God of the Universe—we laugh with Him, tear up at His goodness to us, and worship Him with all of our hearts.
Charity, the sister heroine of Book 2 A Passion Redeemed, is my rebellious and “passionate” self, before I came to the Lord. I was a wild child of the seventies, you know, like so many of us. Thank heavens that Jesus got a hold of me (as he does Charity in Book 2)!
Lizzie (or Beth), the sister heroine of Book 3 A Passion Denied, is my dreamer self. Lizzie is a bookworm bent on fairytale romance, just like I used to be as a little girl, sneaking downstairs to watch romantic movies after my parents went to bed. In her story, Lizzie has to learn (just like I did) that true romance, the kind that really satisfies, comes from following God’s precepts, not the world’s.
In book 1 of my new “Winds of Change” series, A Hope Undaunted, Katie O’Connor is actually based on my 22-year-old daughter Amy rather than myself. In the book, Katie is in law school just like my Amy, both have sharp and witty tongues, and Katie is very list-oriented to the point of having a “list” for what she wants in a husband, just like my Amy!
There are, however, a number of my own personal experiences in A Hope Undaunted. For instance, Katie O’Connor broke out with a skin rash in kindergarten and was totally mortified when a crotchety, old nun asks her if she has leprosy in front of the whole class. She then wore knee socks and sweaters to school even when it was hot outside, just to hide the rash. Of course all the kids in the class made fun of her, which is exactly what happened to me in the 2nd grade. It’s this incident that makes Katie a champion for the underdog, just like it did for me. Also, there’s a memory scene where Cluny McGee teases an 11-year-old Katie with the phrase, “What’s new in the dog world?” Again, that happened to my best friend while we were walking to school one day and that memory has always stayed with me.
Q. What led you to the career choice of becoming a writer?
Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 pages of a story that became the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. The final version of that novel actually began some forty years later when I was sitting in a beauty shop reading a Newsweek magazine cover article about Christian entertainment. It said Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. My heart jumped, and something in my spirit said, “Now is the time to finish your book.” I started a month later, finally selling it to Revell 4-1/2 years and 45 rejections later.
Q.What were some of the steps you took along the publication road?
Since I get asked that a lot, here is a list I compiled of the things I did to get published:
1.) Join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), FHL (Faith, Hope & Love) and RWA (Romance Writers of America), both to get connected with other like-minded writers and to learn a lot about your craft.
2.) Take a fiction-writing class or attend a writing seminar or conference.
3.) Join a critique group (you can do that through ACFW).
4.) Purchase and study writing books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King or Writing the Breakout Novelby Donald Maas, AND invest in a great thesaurus such as The Synonym Finder by Rodale Press (my writer’s bible!!).
5.) Enter contests for invaluable feedback, growth, confidence, networking opportunities and to get your name out there.
6.) Frequent websites/blogs that deal with writing, such as The Seekers, a group blog that I belong to whose theme is “On the road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.”

7.) Go for an agent first, publisher second.
8.) Then pray your heart out and put it in God’s hands.
Q. What three things do you know now about the publishing world that you wish you knew when you first started?
First, I wish I had known to go for an agent first, publisher second. I wasted two years and a ton of rejections on unagented queries to publishers, some of which took as long as three years to reply. In fact, within six months of signing with my agent, I sold to a publisher who … are you ready for this?? … STILL had the original unagented proposal she requested from me at a conference two years prior, only it was buried somewhere in a very deep slush pile in the corner of her office!
Secondly, I wish I’d known what an emotional roller-coaster it was going to be AFTER I got published. Like a lot of unpublished writers, I thought all the anxiety and self-doubt would dissipate after I signed on the dotted line. I mean that would validate me, right? Give me confidence as a writer? But I discovered (AGAIN!) that true confidence is not in accolades from your editor or a really good review, but instead in where your heart is with God. HE is my confidence when my sales rankings on Amazon.com are high or low, which is why I CLING to the following Scripture from 2 Corinthians ll:3, praying it almost every day: Do not let my mind “be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
Thirdly, I wish I had known to establish more of a database a year before my book was released. My agent says you only have one shot at a debut novel, so you have to give it your all—via a loaded Web site, blogs, newsletters, etc., none of which I had until about three months prior to my launch. I attended an ACFW seminar where the teacher said you need to work on this at least 1-1/2 to 2 years prior to a book launch, which, of course, I didn’t!
Q. What has been the hardest part of writing your latest book and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part about writing A Hope Undaunted was the turmoil I encountered after I spent nine months writing the book only to discover that my editor wanted to delete most of the subplots and change my main plot point, possibly necessitating a total rewrite. Let me tell you, there were some MAJOR stress and tears in the Lessman household that week, for sure!
But, I did what I always do when I encounter ANY problem whatsoever, be it a traffic jam on the highway or a total rewrite—I threw myself into God’s arms, crying out for His help. And as I say in A Hope Undaunted when Katie’s father hugs her after a particularly nasty confrontation—“as always, his arms did not disappoint.” As a result, through some very fancy footwork on both my and my editor’s part, the revisions ended up being pretty minimal and we ended up publishing a much stronger book.
Q. What do you write besides books?
Grin … not a lot because I’m really a pretty boring girl!  Actually, I am part of The Seekers blog, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers. We started out about three years ago as 15 contest divas who kept butting heads in contests. We knew each other’s names, but not each other, so we decided to join forces to help ourselves and others on the writing and publication journey. When we started, only one of us had a contract, now 14 of us are published and the 15th is very close, so we must be doing something right!
The only other writing I do is a feature on my website I call “Journal Jots” (http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots/), which basically takes the place of a blog for me and is a kind of short daily journal to my reader friends that keeps them in the loop on me and my books, on giveaways or even a devotional that impacted me that day. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope to incorporate an “open mic” day once a month for reader friends to ask questions, make comments or just talk about whatever they want and maybe win a signed book, critique or gift card in the process.
Q. What movie most impacted you as a kid? Why?
Are you kidding??? Gone With the Wind! In fact, I was so hooked on romance after reading GWTW, that when I was in high school, I actually dressed up as a nun to go to a free showing of GWTW for the local religious and clergy. One of my friends had a sister in the convent, so she loaned us novice habits and off we went! I sat there mesmerized, shoving free popcorn into my mouth as I watched the tug-o-war between Rhett and Scarlett. It was one of the most fun times of my teens … until we ran into the nuns from our high school! Whew, we got into trouble … but it was soooo worth it (at least at the time!). Today, I like to think that not only are Margaret Mitchell’s fingerprints are all over me in my religious devotion to passion, but God’s as well—merging my passion for romance with my passion for Him.
Q. What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Focus on the three “P”s—pray, practice and persevere!! Anyone who attended the 2005 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference will remember me as the poor slob who waved her hands wildly in the back of the room when Brandilyn Collins asked who had the most rejections in a year. I won hands-down with 19 (at that time) and went on to garner 45 (both agent and publisher rejections, including three received AFTER I signed a 3-book contract with Revell Publishing!). Even my fabulous agent Natasha Kern blanched a bit when she first signed me, realizing after the ink was dry just how many times I’d been rejected. I believe the word she used was “daunting.” But apparently not too daunting for her amazing skills as an agent because she landed a 3-book contract for me within six months. And you know what? I’d say the title of my latest book pretty much sums it up: A Hope Undaunted!
Q. If you could recommend only one ‘How To Writing Book’ what would it be?
That’s easy—Donald Maas’s Writing the Breakout Novel, which in my opinion, helped to take my manuscript for A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1) up to the next level.
Q. Tell us about your story. Give us, first, the best thirty-word description, then the longer paragraph version.
Well, how about I give you the jacket blurb, which has the “30-word description” in the header followed by a longer paragraph version. Here we go:
What happens when the boy she loved to hate ... becomes the man she hates to love?
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman—smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband—smart, good-looking, well-connected, wealthy … and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?
Q. Introduce your story with the first page.
Gladly! Now keep in mind that this is the first page of my galleys, which always have more copy than the final printed page.
A Hope Undaunted
By
Julie Lessman
Boston, Massachusetts, May 1929
Now this is how love should be—nice and neat. Katie O’Connor sucked the last of her Coca-Cola through a straw in Robinson’s Diner and studied her steady beau Jack Worthington with a secret smile. No, siree, no dime-novel notions of love for her. Love requires a focused plan, she thought to herself with certainty. Cool, calm, rational thinking, not a moment in time where one lovesick glance seals your fate. With a loud, hollow noise, she drained her soda and pushed the glass away, assessing Jack through approving eyes. Her lips slanted. Love at first sight, my foot.
She noted the dimple that deepened on his chiseled face as he delivered a punch line with a boyish grin, and a satisfied smile tilted the corners of her mouth. Falling in love was for fools—blind fools, she reflected with all the mature assurance of her eighteen years. Let other girls “fall” in love with their eyes closed, but not her. No, she preferred to be in control and walk—not fall, thank you very much—into true love. And if she had her way—which she fully intended to have—it would be with a man who was everything on her carefully crafted list.
Laughter disrupted her thoughts, and she found herself grinning along with the two couples sharing their booth as they roared at the finish of Jack’s joke. As usual, Jack’s buddies made a ruckus whooping and pounding their fists on the table in glee, and Katie couldn’t help but sigh with contentment. Good sense of humor. She mentally checked a box on her list and quickly scanned the cozy shop with its black-and-white-checked décor, grateful they had it to themselves at this late hour. Jack and his friends tended to get a bit rowdy, but they certainly knew how to have a good time. She settled back against the red-leather, high-backed booth and shot a glance at the marble counter where a lone soda jerk polished chrome mixers to a gleam.
“For crying out loud, Katydid, you inhaled that soda! And I bet I’ll have to buy you another, won’t I? I’m not made of money, you know.” Jack draped a sturdy arm across her shoulder and pulled her close to his handsome face. The glimmer in his dark eyes matched that of his deep brown hair, stylishly slicked back with Brilliantine. “Or maybe I am,” he teased.
Wealthy and attractive. Check, check. She drew in a deep breath and gave him a patient smile. “Nobody likes a braggart, Jack, but if you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is, I believe I’d like a hamburger. I’m starved.”
“No, you can’t be!” Genevieve Townsend said with a moan. “How can you possibly be hungry? We just had dinner before the picture show.”
Katie shrugged her shoulders. “That was over two hours ago, Gen.” She wrinkled her nose and teased with a ghost of a smile. “Besides, Valentino makes me hungry.”
Jack leaned in to plant a kiss at the nape of her neck. “Mmm … not only for food, I hope.”
Thank you, A.J., for hosting me on your blog. It’s been fun! And I LOVE to hear from readers, so they can contact me through my Web site at www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways. Also, I invite your readers to visit The Seekers, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication as I previously mentioned, so drop by. Thanks again, A.J., and God bless!

Julie, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of A Hope Undaunted leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). Giveaway closes Sunday, October 19, 2010 at midnight (CST). Only US postal codes.

A special treat awaits you at Julie's web site, the chance to win a Kindle! (9/20-10/6)

If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.

71 comments:

cynthia said...

Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us. Thanks for all the good advice of pursuing the writing journey.
I look forward to reading A Hope Undaunted. Thank you for the book drawing.
cynthiakchow(at)earthlink(dot)net

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, CYNTHIA, thanks SO much for coming by -- you are one determined girl!! Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

Hugs,
Julie

Wendy said...

Wow - I can't imagine having to totally rewrite your book! I would of cried and crawled under the bed.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

LuLu said...

Hello there! Once again a great interview with Julie..every time I read an interview I learn something new!

Thanks for the chance to win!
~Lauri (lulu)
http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

lotus82 said...

Great interview! Wow, a complete rewrite, now that's dedication!! I personally like it that you add parts of yourself into your characters.

~Steph
soklad[at]hotmail[dot]com

Holly said...

I loved Katie in the Daughters of Boston series, and from what little I've read, she sounds like a complete spitfire that will be amazing fun to read!

Holly
oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

Helga Marie said...

Julie is by far one of my most favorite authors... I have really enjoyed the Daughter of Boston series and passed it onto anyone and everyone that asks me for a recommendation of a new book!!
I am loving Hope Undauted and hope to have it finished soon.

Thank you for such a great interview!
QallieQ at gmail dot com

Molly said...

I am a new Julie Lessman fan and can't wait to read more work by her!!!

Blessings,
Molly
Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Jackie S. said...

Hi Julie, I am back on a blog...loving your interviews, love learning more about you, and trying to win your book!! Thanks for counting me in.
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

Carole said...

Thank you for all that you share with us, Julie. I'm just a reader and I often think that readers have no idea of all that goes into getting published. You have given me a greater appreciation for authors.

I also checked out the Journal Jots on your website. That's a great idea and I now have it bookmarked.

I look forward to this new series and appreciate the chance to win A Hope Undaunted.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Ann Lee Miller said...

Julie, thanks for sharing about your rejections. I'm encouraged!
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Julie Lessman said...

WENDY SAID: "I would of cried and crawled under the bed." What makes you think I didn't??? :) I gotta tell you, I lost it for about a day (black hole), then repented and threw myself at the feet of God, begging for mercy. And as always, He did not disappoint!

Thanks, LAURI! Yeah, I'm a constant surprise ... just ask my husband! He tells me all the time that life with me is NEVER boring ... challenging, but never boring. :)

Gosh, STEPH, I wouldn't know what to write about (or how to feel it) if I didn't use situations/feelings from my own life! Of course, my husband isn't always real thrilled with that ... :)

HOLLY ... thanks, sweetie, I always liked Katie too, which is why this book was SO fun to write. She was such a pistol, that you can't help but have fun with her.

Thank you, HELGA, and it's SOOO fun to see you here, my friend -- I've missed you!! But I know that little boy keeps you hopping ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MOLLY ... you are SOOO diligent and pit-bull determined to win a book, so I sure hope you do. Thank you, sweetie, for making the rounds on the blogs -- MUCH appreciated!

JACKIE!!! Good for you, my friend, I sure hope I can make it worth you while. Good luck in the contest!

CAROLE ... thanks so much for checking out "Journal Jots." It was originally supposed to be little jots of communication between my readers and me, but anybody who writes 500-page books can't be expected to write anything short, right???

ANN!!! You're back! What ... two wins are not enough??? :) And I'm glad I could encourage you -- publication is coming for you one of these days, girl, I just know it, and I will SOOO rejoice with you when it does! Good luck in the contest ... although I think you've already proven you don't need anymore of that ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

karenk said...

Julie, I am always learning another piece of your life story...thanks for sharing!

AJ, thanks for sponsoring such a fabulous giveaway.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

A J Hawke said...

Hi folks,

Great comments.
Thanks, Julie, for stopping by and adding to the discussion.
Appreciate you for taking the time.

Cindy W. said...

I have heard such wonderful things about A Hope Undaunted as well as Julie's writing that I have added AHU to my must read list. Would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

I'm a fan of Julie's books, read all the Daughters of Boston series and enjoyed them so much. I'd love to read A Hope Undaunted...please enter me in your giveaway. Love the cover of this book. Thank you!

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Michelle said...

Hi Julie! It's me again! :D

AJ, thank you for the opportunity to win one of Julie's incredible novels! I appreciate it. : )

Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Thanks for the great interview and excerpt . . . though it's sort of weird for me to see seven-year old Katie all grown up (as you can tell, I've only read the first book). =) I'd love to win one of Mrs. Lessman's books --thanks for the opportunity to win!

kristia4 said...

Thank you for the chance to win! And also for the Kindle giveaway info . . . I wonder if there's a chance I can convince my parents to let me get a FB account by Oct. 7th? LOL. Good luck everyone!

kristia4(at)hawaii(dot)edu

Julie Lessman said...

KAREN, you and my hubby!! :) Oh, yeah, I'm a surprise a minute, let me tell you. :) Good luck in the contest, sweetie ... you're about due for a win, aren't you???

AJ ... it's my absolute pleasure, my friend, and thank YOU for hosting me on your blog!

CINDY W ... Am I reading your comment correctly -- you've never read any of my books??? Oh, girl, we have to hook you up and SOON!!

And being the "nag" that I am, I am going to throw out my usual plea to readers that if they have not read any of my books yet, PLEASE start with the first book in "The Daughters of Boston" series, A Passion Most Pure. Not only was it American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year last year, BUT it sets the groundwork for this very passionate family AND contains a number of big surprises that would be ruined if the books (including A Hope Undaunted, which although it is a brand-new series, is a continuation of the O'Connor saga) are read out of order. So if you haven't read my books and you win, I would be happy to send you A Passion Most Pure if you like. Your call. But good luck, either way.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, SANDEE, I would LOVE to send you a signed copy of AHU, so thanks for coming by and throwing your hat in the ring. Here's to a win, my friend.

MICHELLE!!! I always love seeing your smiling face, girl, you know that! And with your luck, you SHOULD keep on trying because you'll have all four signed books before you're through, no doubt!!

LADY DRAGONKEEPER ... I really tried to keep Katie just as she was as a kid, only grown up, so she's still sassy, quick-witted and a little aloof from her family, and, obviously, STILL a "handful" for her father!! Good luck in the contest, LD ... you should be getting close to a win soon ...

KRISTIA ... so I take it if one of you LDs win, you're going to share the book??? Sounds like a plan to me ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Julie,
I am not a stalker; I am a follower and avid reader of anything you publish, and YES I am praying that you will get the ideas necessary to write that Civil War series which YOU would be "the chosen one" to write!!!
God bless you richly today and every day as you continue to express His love for us through your writing!!!
In Him,
Charlotte

char saltz (at) yahoo (dot) com

Julie Lessman said...

CHARLOTTE ... Blog-giveaway stalkers are some of my favorite people because they go to the trouble of checking out my website and leaving a comment wherever I am. To me, that shows tenacity, loyalty and support that I absolutely ADORE in a reader friend, so have at it, girl, and here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Wendy said...

Great Interview.
Would love to win your book.
Thank you for the chance.
wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

WENDY, trust me -- I would LOVE you to win this book too!! So good luck in the contest, girl!!

Hugs,
Julie

misskallie2000 said...

I love your books and hope that maybe I might win your giveaway. I keep following your blog tour.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, MISS KALLIE!! And you're going about it in the right way, girl, because I am giving away a TON of books!! Hope you get one. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Digging for Pearls said...

Julie,
I keep contemplating your words of going for an agent first. I struggle with knowing where to even look in that area. Any insight?

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe
digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

Doreen said...

Hi Julie, I have your other books and would love to win a copy of your latest, 'A Hope Undaunted'. Thanks! :)

purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

JODIE ... YES!! I would go to a library or bookstore and settle in for an hour or so with Sally Stuart's Christian Writers' Guide. They list all the Christian agents out there as well as all the Christian publishers and what they are looking for. Then I would start querying like crazy.

After I finaled in the Golden Heart (biggest contest out there, so it carries a lot of weight), I queried 25 agents, putting a "Golden Heart Finalist" sticker on the envelope. I only got one positive response out of 25, but it was from Natasha Kern, one of the biggest and best agents in the business. I thought it was hoax at first, that's how big she is. But it wasn't. She signed me almost immediately because she saw something in five pages (her submission requirements) that 24 other agents did not see in three chapters (their submission requirements). So my philosophy is to PRAY for a divine connection, then query like crazy. :) Good luck,
sweetie.

DOREEN ... thanks SO much for reading my other books, and I would LOVE to see you win AHU, girl, so here's to a win!!

Hugs,
Julie

BookWorm8900 said...

Great interview! Julie's one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read Katie's story, I'd love to win a copy. Here's hoping!
God Bless,
Elizabeth

ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

Renee said...

I saw this advertised on Seekerville and came over for a couple of reasons . . . I always like to check out a blog I haven't visited before, so thanks for the interview, A. J.!

And even tho' I bought Julie's book, I decided to try for another one. One of my sisters has my Daughter of Boston books--and won't admit it! (Maybe her friends have them by now!) So if I win, trust me, the book won't stay in my hands for long. I'll try to make someone else into a Julie Lessman reader!

reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Breanna said...

Julie, you are one of my favorite authors. My cousins and I always look forward to reading your newest book and we love how we can relate to your characters. Thanks for all your great stories!

BookWorm8900 said...

Thank for the great interview! It's always fun to learn more about your favorite authors. I can't wait to read A Hope Undaunted, sounds REALLY good. I'm so excited about this new series but I'll be so sad to say goodbye to the O'Connors.
God Bless,
Elizabeth

ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

Diane Ashley said...

Hi Julie...Sorry to be so late in commenting. I only discovered this blog today. I love your book covers. Each one is so beautiful the books practically jump off the shelf into my hands. Do you get input with your publisher on how they should look?

Cindy said...

Thanks for hosting such a wonderful interview with Julie. She has been a tremendous encouragement and source of hope to me over the past couple of months.

I am looking forward to reading A Hope Undaunted and continuing on this wonderful journey!

Cindy Martin
thesbgirls(at)comcast(dot)net

diana said...

Here I am again,trying to win A Hope Undaunted...love all your books! This series is great!! dianalflowers@aol.com

Renee Ann said...

I guess I'm now one of the readers who follows Julie around to these contests! I used to own her books, but my sisters borrowed and won't return them. I'd love to win one and then share it with one of my students--it's fun to help make someone else into a new Julie-Lessman-follower!

Elizabeth@In Pursuit of His Excellence said...

Another great interview! Thanks AJ. :) Always fun learning more about you Julie! :)
It was fun to read the excerpt too! I'm so looking forward to receiving my copy of AHU!
Just stopping by - no need to enter me in the draw. I don't know how I missed commenting earlier! I'm rather befuddled by that!
Blessings all!

Edna said...

would love to win, I am trying it one more time LOL


mamat2730 at charter dot net

Julie Lessman said...

ELIZABETH!!! Bless you, girl, those are some of my FAVORITE words: ""Julie's one of my favorite authors"!!! :) And I "can't wait" for you to read Katie's story either, my friend, so if you don't win here, I have about 4 to 5 more blog interview/giveaways left, so check my website calendar for the links, okay? Also, I am running a contest right now through Nov. 30 where you can win signed copies of all four books PLUS a $50 CBD.com or Amazon.com gift card, so check it out on the "Contest" tab of my website and good luck!!

RENEE!!! Honey, look above at what I said to Elizabeth about the contest on my website AND additional blog giveaways I have coming up, okay? Let's go for personalized Christmas presents for as many people as you can, right??? Here's to a win, my friend, and THANK YOU for buying my book!!

BREANNA, you little sweetheart you -- thank YOU for posting those reviews -- MUCH appreciated, ESPECIALLY the 5-star one!! (wink-wink!). Sooo glad you have your cousins reading my books too, so maybe you can win some signed books for Christmas presents the same way I told Elizabeth above. Thanks for coming by and good luck!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ELIZABETH, you're back!! I'm guessing you were trying to make sure your first comment went through because I felt the same way when I posted some comments a while back, but it's always good to hear from you, nonetheless.

And, YES, I am pretty sad about saying good-bye to the O'Connors, but I have ONE MORE BOOK to write about them, so I am savoring it, trust me!! And I will be posting a scene from Sean and Emma's story, A Heart Revealed, on a blog in the next few weeks, so be sure to check my website calendar as to when. ALSO ... I give a sneak peek at the prequel I hope to write about Marcy and Patrick on an interview starting Monday, so be sure to check that out too, okay? Thanks for coming by ... TWICE!! :)

DIANE ... no need for apology, my friend, I'm just thrilled you're here -- THANK YOU!! I have to admit, I love my book covers, too, although I will have to say A Passion Most Pure is my FAV, then A Hope Undaunted. I'm sorry, but Collin is soooo cute that I used to hang the model's head shot (who posed for Collin) over my desk in my cube at work, and when I was having a bad day, all I would need to do is look up and think, he is one good-looking guy!!

And do I get any input on the covers??? Oh, honey, you have NO idea what I have put my poor artist through with the covers!! On A Passion Most Pure, she sent me a cover with a namby-pamby-looking Collin who looked like a milksop. I practically cried and asked her if there were any other pics from the shoot that she could use, and she said, "only one, but Collin looks mad in it," which nobody at Revell thought would work. "Are you kidding???" I said, "Collin is angry that he can't have Faith, so it would probably be perfect." So she sent it to me, and VOILA!! The sexy sullen look of Collin McGuire was born! So, YES, I am blessed to have input on my covers, which I think at times, Revell may regret ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CINDY ... hey, girl, I am SOOO glad I could encourage you, my friend -- that blesses the socks off of me, and don't think you aren't an "encouragement" to me too, because you are!! Can't wait to see what you think of Undaunted ... it's MY favorite so far, so hopefully you will like it as well! Here's to a win!

DIANA ... good for you, girl -- this is the way to win a signed free book, tracking down these blog giveaways and leaving comments!! Good luck, my friend, and I hope you like the new series as much as the old!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RENEE ... you did the same thing "BookWorm8900" Elizabeth and I did -- reposted because you didn't think it took, but like I told Elizabeth, I don't mind the duplications because I just appreciate your perseverance!! Besides, I forgot to THANK YOU for trying to turn other people into "Julie-Lessman-follower"s!! :)

ELIZABETH!!! Thank you for posting here today, my friend, and I'm just as excited for you to receive AHU as you are!! You know, I write these books from my heart and these characters are like blood to me, so when someone like you takes that seriously and loves this family as much as I do, I cannot express just HOW much that blesses me!! It's like we're all related, you know? One big, happy family, sis ... :)

EDNA ... I can't believe you have not won a book yet, girl -- we have to get this show on the road!! Please check out my website calendar here and there because I will always have one or two giveaways posted. For instance, I have one giveaway on my Seeker blog each month, then another on my Journal Jot open-comments day on the first of each month, so you will have at least two opportunities to win in addition to any other blog interview/giveaways I post, okay? Good luck!!

Hugs,
Julie

CarolM said...

Ah a girl will dream!

I'm in to win!

Er... yeah...

carol at carolmoncado dot com

Julie Lessman said...

CAROL!!! We're nothing without a dream, right??? So dream on, my friend, and may all your dreams come true!!

Hugs,
Julie

diana said...

Love,love,love your books! Put my name in the hat again!

diana said...

I do this all the time,not on purpose. Email for above comment is:dianalflowers@aol.com

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Please don't enter me I already have all of Julie's books. I just HAD to stop by and say whoever wins this is in for a real treat! Take it from me you should savor the book, I read it in about a day and now have to wait A WHOLE YEAR for the next one! REMEMBER, TAKE IT SLOWLY!!

Happy Reading!

XOXO~ Renee

Julie Lessman said...

DIANA!!! And I "love, love, LOVE" that you love my books -- THANK YOU!!! :) Thanks for your enthusiasm, too, and here's to a win!

RENEE!!! What a sweetheart you are, my friend, to stop by and plug my books. Where do I send the check??? Seriously, THANK YOU for your ongoing support and ESPECIALLY your friendship.

Hugs,
Julie

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

@ Julie No check needed I'm just here for the friendship! :-)

XOXO~ Renee

diana said...

There are so many comments on here the odds of winning are very slim. Any chance of giving away like 20 signed copies instead of one? lol dianalflowers@aol.com

Janet said...

I've not yet had the priviledge of reading Julie's work. Looking forward to getting the chance real soon! Thanks!
janet(at)janetstreasures(dot)com

diana said...

Janet,you need to start with book one in The Daughters Of Boston series called A Passion Most Pure. You will fall in love with this family and Julie's writing. She writes about some serious subject mattter,and then mixes just enough humor to keep you from becoming too sad about what her characters are going through. She also has more than one plot going on with her characters and their lives intertwine. I hope you win(or me haha)but you are in for a treat should you decide to go buy book one if you don't win. Blessings~ dianalflowers@aol.com

April said...

Congrats Julie, on what seems to be another successful and VERY popular book. I'm a big fan of all Julie's books. I have read the Daughters of Boston series and enjoyed them so much. I'd love to read A Hope Undaunted...please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks!

april41981@gmail.com

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, Renee, you ALWAYS bless the socks off me, girl -- THANK YOU!!

DIANA ... Uh, I could give 20 copies away I guess, but then my husband would divorce me, and I like him WAY too much to risk that, sweetie.

But seriously, your odds are really pretty good because in the almost 50 giveaways I've run so far, there are TONS of winners who have won 2, 3, 4 and 5 books from me in a short period of time, so the odds are really pretty good for those that follow these giveaways like YOU are doing, so good luck!!

Ooooo, JANET, you are JUST the type of victim ... uh, I mean "reader," that I am looking for!! :) We'll have to see what we can do about getting one of these books in your hot, little hands. I'm running lots of giveaways on my website calendar, so if you don't win here, try one of those, okay?

DIANA!!! Okay, girl -- I need to put you on the payroll along with Renee!! :) Thanks for the plug, my friend -- you are a blessing!

Hugs,
Julie

ajmcconnell said...

Our family has enjoyed reading all of your books, Julie. Thanks for sharing your "passion" and heart with your readers! Our youngest daughter, Joanna, is 14 years old today; she's sitting here reading the third book, A Passion Denied. She completed the first two books just last week! Yep, we love your books. Blessings, Anita

LuLu said...

Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win!

~Lauri
http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

diana said...

No payroll,the book will be enough! lol dianalflowers@aol.com

Anne Payne said...

Gotta love Gone With the Wind!

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

barbjan10 said...

Well, these giveaways are starting to wind down. I'm just winding up again on taking another chance to win this infamous book! Julie, where do you get all your energy? You are so faithful and kind to write little bits of sweetness to everyone who comments. You make a friend to everyone. If I were your mother, I'd be very proud of you...and maybe I could take some talent off you and give it to me. I'm needing it!! Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win it. Sure hope I do!

Prayers,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie
just wanted to let you know that I loved your new book. You are an amazing writer of this genre, there were times in the book where I felt I was in love with Luke : )
Please get your next book out as fast as you can!!
ps. And please send them to Australia because we like them out here too.
Sophie
Not_a_chick_but_a_hen@hotmail.com

Julie Lessman said...

APRIL -- Thank you SO much for the very kind words AND for reading my books!! Let's hope we can pull AHU out of the hat for you today ... :)

ANITA ... I gotta tell you that nothing blesses me more than a family of "passion" lovers, and I thank you for sharing my books with your girl(s), Anita. I hope you like A Hope Undaunted as well as the DOB series -- it's my favorite so far. :)

LAURI!!! Thanks for coming by, my friend, and lending support! Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

DIANA ... Grin ... now you ARE a die-hard reader friend ... I would have taken the "check." :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ANNE ... AMEN to that, girl!!! But would you believe that a lot of the younger gals today aren't in to GWTW??? I know, I know ... SHOCKING!!

BARB ... Yep, the giveaways are winding down, but I will still have one on my Journal Jots and Seeker blogs most months, so there will still be two chances to win almost every month ... at least for a while! And thank you for your very kind words, my friend, but I'm thinking you have MORE than enough talent of your own, sweetie, and don't need any handouts from me!!

SOPHIE ... WOW, bless you for reading AHU and loving Luke!! He is my favorite of all my heroes (neck and neck with Mitch, the "king" thus far), so I get tickled when my reader friends like him too.

And, Sophie, I don't know if you are prone to posting reviews on CBD.com or Amazon.com, but if you are, you can win a signed set of all four of my books plus a $50 gift card in a contest for just posting a line or two about how you liked the book. The contest info is on my website, so check it out under the "contest" tab and scroll down. BUT ... only if you are prone to that type of thing, okay? Otherwise, THANK YOU for stopping by today and good luck in this contest -- maybe you'll win AHU to give away as a Christmas gift!

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Nah, I think the problem with Mitch was that he was a bit old for me... nor do Irish blokes do it for me either ; )
But I think that Collin was a bit of a spunk
I do like your boys. Please keep them coming : )
Sophie

Julie Lessman said...

SOPHIE ... Mitch "too old"??? Well, that's the difference between you and me, sweetie ... to me, he's VERY young!! :) I guess it all depends on your perspective ... uh, and you age. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Ha HA! I guess thats the difference between a nineteen year old and someone of your experience! : )
Sophie

diana said...

Mitch was definitely the right age,but not quite my type;Collin on the other hand...WHOOWHOO!! LOL dianalflowers@aol.com

Julie Lessman said...

DIANA!!! My husband picked your number, girl, so SUPER CONGRATS on the win!!

THANK YOU TO AJ AND TO ALL WHO COMMENTED FOR ALL THE SUPPORT & FUN!!

HAPPY WEEKEND, ALL!

HUGS,
JULIE

diana said...

Thank you so much Julie and AJ. I still can't believe I won! So excited!!

 

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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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