Friday, July 9, 2010

"A Hot Summer Day" with Julie Lessman

I hope everyone brought some lemonade, sunglasses, and sunscreen--along with a warm welcome for author Julie Lessman!

It is my great pleasure to have Julie join us today! I "met" Julie a little over a year ago, when she was visiting various blogs and promoting her books. We ended up becoming friends after I told her my story about reading her first book, A Passion Most Pure, little by little when I would go to Borders. Eventually, my dad bought me the book, which I finished (not in Borders!) and absolutely enjoyed! I ended up earning the nickname "Borders Girl" from Julie. =)

This just goes to show you how sweet Julie is! We recently discussed A Passion Most Pure on this blog, and I was once again blown away by Julie's kindness. She took the time to address each one of us who commented personally, and she contributed to our discussion in great ways!

All this to say that Julie is not only a fabulous author, but also a fantastic friend! Here's some more information about her:

"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' at http://www.borders.com/online/store/ListView_best2009favefiction. 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, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com."

And now, here's Julie!

Amber: What is your favorite summer activity?

Julie: Gosh, Amber, there are SO many—boating, biking, the Muny Opera outdoor theatre or just sitting on my back deck in the woods writing books. BUT … I would have to say my “favorite” summer activity would be laying out in the sun. I love the smell of Hawaiian Tropics coconut suntan lotion while sprawling in a chaise lounge and reading a book or listening to oldies. Of course, this would be ideal by a pool or a beach, but since we live in the woods without either, I have to drag my chaise to the only spot with sun—my driveway! Rest assured that because I am an “oldie,” I have the good sense to strategically park our cars so that neither the neighbors nor passing vehicles are seriously traumatized. =)

Amber: In A Hope Undaunted, Katie must spend a summer with her childhood nemesis. Could you share a summer scene with them that will make us swoon?

Julie: Well, I don’t know if it’s a bonafide “swoon” scene since there is no kissing involved, but here’s part of a summer scene where the gang from the Boston Childen’s Aid Society are celebrating Betty Galetti’s birthday. Keep in mind it’s the era of prohibition, so alcohol is illegal, but women often wore flasks of alcohol strapped to their thighs, which is the case with Bobbie Sue, Betty’s friend. Luke orders “near beer” for everyone, a nonalcoholic beer, but unbeknownst to him, Bobbie Sue secretly pours alcohol in Katie’s drink, making her tipsy. This starts out in Katie’s point of view, then switches to Luke’s:

“Katie, wait up!”

“Oh-oh,” Betty said with a quick glance over her shoulder. “We got trouble.” She pressed her lips to Katie’s ear. “Let me do the talking, you hear?”

Luke huffed to a stop, hands on his knees while Parker trailed behind with a grim look in his eyes. “Betty, Bobbie Sue—Parker’s going to walk you back to the house while I take Katie home. I need to speak with her father.”

Betty and Parker exchanged glances. Pursing her lips, Betty tightened her hold on Katie’s arm. “Her parents are at a wedding tonight, Luke, so no need. Besides, Katie wants to show me something, so we’ll walk her home.”

Luke tucked an arm around Betty’s shoulder. “Sorry, Galetti, I promised her father I’d get her home safe and sound.” He patted her cheek, then tugged on Katie’s arm. “Come on, Katie Rose.”

Katie stumbled against him, nose flat against his rock-hard chest. The smell of musk and soap teased her senses, forcing the blood to warm beneath her skin. She closed her eyes and emitted a soft, little moan, wishing she could stay there forever.

He clutched her with a chuckle. “The near beer set you on your ear, Katie Rose?”

“Luke, I told you, we can walk her home,” Betty attempted to peel her from Luke’s chest, but Katie only released a languid sigh, curling her arms around his waist.

Instantly, his muscles tensed beneath her hold. “Katie?”

She slowly lifted her head and blinked, lost in the hard chiseled line of his jaw, the dangerous cleft in his chin and those blue eyes that always pierced right through her.

Like now.

He held her at arm’s length, scanning her face with fatal accuracy. His eyes darkened to pewter in the lamplight. “Are you drunk?”

“She’s just feeling the effects of that one drink,” Betty said quickly. She tugged her from Luke’s hold, causing Katie to wobble on her heels. “I’m taking her home, now.”

Luke yanked her back. “Get your hands off her. I want to see her walk.”

He let go of her arm, and Katie swore the group of them were running in circles. She closed her eyes, but the spinning got worse, forcing the food in her stomach to rise.

“Katie!” Her eyes popped open at Luke’s command. “Walk to me—now!

She stared, incensed at his order and wishing he’d just stand still, for pity’s sake. Her chin jutted up as she propped hands to her hips, ignoring the fact she was swaying as much as he was. “I don like your attitude, Mcgee. Why don you walk ta me?”

Bobbie Sue snorted.

Luke’s jaw hardened, defying his gentle tone. “Katie, will you please walk over here?”

“Musch better,” she said with satisfaction and proceeded to sashay to where he stood, focusing hard on each step she took. A smile sprouted on her lips as she approached … until a ridiculous cobblestone tripped her up and sent her flying into his arms. Inhaling deeply, she was intoxicated by the scent of him and looked up with a silly grin. “They really need to fix that.”

Suddenly she was airborne, swooped up in his arms with cheek pressed hard to his chest. She sighed and let her head drop back in contentment. “Mmm … this is nice.”

A swear word sizzled the air.


“So help me, somebody’s going to pay for this.” Luke seared Betty with a glare. “Did you give her more booze?”

Betty hunched her shoulders. “Not all that much. She’s just a lightweight.”

He swore again. “She’s eighteen, Galetti, and my responsibility. For pity’s sake, she can barely walk.” He seared Parker with a look. “And you? You let them do this?”

Parker shoved his hands in his pockets, the slump of his shoulders clear evidence of his guilt. “I wasn’t there, Luke, because I left to pay the bill. But the bottom line is she did it to herself. Nobody forced her to drink it, unless it was you with all your bullying.” He sighed. “You should know by now you can’t tell Katie what to do.”

“Nope.” A soft giggle bubbled from Katie’s throat, followed by a hiccup.

Luke hoisted her roughly to his chest, blistering all of them with a look that signaled his good humor was long since spent. “You better start praying right now, Parker, that I beat her parents home, or you and I, ol’ buddy, will be licking Carmichael’s boots for a long time to come. That is, if he doesn’t give us the boot first.” He spun on his heel and started to jog toward Donovan Street, grateful he was in shape from the gym. He glanced down at Katie with her eyes closed and a dreamy smile on her lips, and he was tempted to dump her sorry, little carcass on the front porch where her father would find her. Confinement for the next three years—that’s what the little brat needed.

“Luke, we’re sorry!” Betty called, but he ignored it, too furious at himself for talking Patrick O’Connor into allowing Katie to come along. The man had clearly been hesitant, unwilling to break with his daughter’s confinement, but Luke had convinced him she’d earned it. He swore under his breath. He had no one to blame but himself.

A wobbly giggle floated up and he glanced down, his heart softening at the look of innocence on her face as she bounced in his arms. And suddenly, he couldn’t help it—a smile pulled at his lips when she spoke, her words disrupted by every stride he took. “Ar-re … y-you … swe-aring … un-der … y-your … bre-ath, … Lu-ke Mc-Gee?”

“You bet I am. You have that effect on me,” he said, breathing hard and fast.

Her sweet face bunched in a frown. “O-oh, … tha-at’s n-not … g-good, … is it?”

He grinned. “No, ma’am, it’s not.” He slowed as he rounded the corner of Donovan Street, squinting hard to see if her father’s Model T was parked at the curb.

Thank you, God! The street was empty in front of their house, and all was dark except for their porch light. He reached their front walk, huffing like he’d just run the Boston Marathon, then butted Katie with his knee and opened the gate. Her soft giggle rose like a caress. He glanced down, and her eyes met his with a gentle smile. “Thanks,” she whispered, drawing his gaze to her mouth. He swallowed hard, suddenly painfully aware of her body in his arms. With a nervous exhale, he propped her next to the door.

Get her inside, McGee, and into her bed.

The thought took his mind in the wrong direction, unleashing a throb of heat so strong, shame crawled up the back of his neck. “Do you have a key?” he asked hoarsely, his voice little more than a croak.


Amber: Wow! What a scene! I am definitely quite eager to get my hands on this book! To get a better idea of Katie's character, could you tell us what her favorite part about summer would be?

Julie: Going out with her boyfriend Jack and her friends to picture shows, Robinson’s for a soda or just attending a women’s rights rally.

Amber: My rating system on this blog is a seasonal one--with "Summer" being the highest rating. Do you have any advice on writing a savory, "Summer" rating-worthy book?

Julie: My number one piece of advice would be that whatever you write, make sure it’s from the heart and a true passion. If you love women’s fiction, write women’s fiction. If you love mysteries, write mysteries. If you like literary novels, write literary novels.

For years, I was a businesswoman and professional writer who looked down my nose at romance books because I didn’t consider them “literature.” I wouldn’t allow myself to even read a romance, much less write one, but after I turned 50, I felt like God set me free from my snobbery. It’s as if he said, “Julie, romance is your passion—write it for me.” So I did.

As far as more practical advice for writing a “rating-worthy” book for the Christian market and getting it published, here is the list of things that I did, which I think is pretty consistent with a lot of published writers:

1.) Join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers at http://www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com/), FHL (Faith, Hope & Love at http://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/) and RWA (Romance Writers of America at http://www.rwanational.org/), 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 Novel by 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 (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), 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.

Thanks, Amber, for this wonderful opportunity to visit with you and your readers! Anybody who leaves a comment will be entered in a giveaway to receive a signed copy of the book of their choice from “The Daughters of Boston” series OR my latest release, A Hope Undaunted, due out September 1st. God bless!

Hugs,

Julie

Amber: Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Julie! What a wonderful way to spend a summer day! Don't you agree, readers?

Be sure and leave a comment with your valid e-mail address for a chance to win one of Julie's books! The drawing will be open from July 9 through July 23, with a winner announced on July 24. Here's to a hot summer day!

127 comments:

Donna K. said...

Awesome interview! I love her books! :)
djkeoppel(at)yahoo(dot)com

G.R.I.T.S. said...

This sounds like a great book!!!! Please enter me!!!

rae byuel
raebyuel(@)gmail(.)com

Jo said...

Loved the interview. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Cara Lynn James said...

Great interview, Julie! I hope your books and I'd love to win your newest one. caralynnjames at yahoo dot com

Holly said...

Oh my word! Hot-cha-cha, I almost need to stop reading these scenes because they're making me VERY impatient for the book to come out! I know once I get my hands on it, I'll end up devouring it in a day or so.

Holly
oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I've devoured Julie's first three books, and I'd love, love, LOVE to win the fourth. :)

Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Amber! Hi, Julie! That is a sizzling scene, girlfriend! I love it! LOL

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, AMBER, thanks SO much for hosting me on your blog, sweetie -- some of my favorite people hang out here, I know ... :)

DONNA K ... Sooo appreciate your kind words, and gosh, what an adorable picture with an adorable little guy!! Bet he keeps you busy ... but hopefully not too busy to read books!! :)

RAE ... thanks for your vote of confidence and at the risk of sounding like a bore, A Hope Undaunted is book 1 of my new "Winds of Change" series, but in all actuality, it is a continuation of the O'Connor saga that began in my first series, "The Daughters of Boston." So if you have not read book 1 of that series, A Passion Most Pure, and you win this contest, I will be happy to send you APMP instead of Undaunted, if you like because there are a number of big surprises you would miss out on if you read the books out of order. Although, they can be read as stand-alones, it's just a more satisfying read if they're read in order. And APMP won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers' Debut Book of the Year, so hopefully you will start with that one. Thanks again for your comment and good luck!

JO!!! I just LOVE seeing familiar names in the comments section because it's like seeing old friends. Thanks for stopping by, and here's to a win. But if you don't win here, I'm having a giveaway for TWO signed copies of A Hope Undaunted AND a critique next Wednesday, 7/14, at Seekerville at http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/. Just check my website calendar for links and additional opportunities throughout the summer.

CARA!!! Girlfriend, you don't need to win Undaunted here because all the Seekers receive a complimentary copy, remember? But thanks SO much for stopping by -- it means a lot when a Seeker name shows up in the comments.

HOLLY ... "Hot cha-cha"??? Grin ... I LOVE that!! And trust me, there are some scenes in Undaunted that that definitely applies to, although it is a bit toned down from A Passion Denied. I sure hope you like it as much as I do, but time will tell, right? Thanks for your support, my friend.

ANN!!!! Gosh, it's great to see you here, my friend, and I can't wait till I can "devour" your books, too! Gotta feeling you are right up my alley ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Amanda said...

JULIE!!!!!!! OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! Even though there was no "kissing" in this excerpt I nearly "swooned" right out of my chair!! The fact that you can inject such CRAZY PASSION into a scene without a single smooch, well, it is a testament to your INCREDIBLE skills, my friend ;) Oh MERCY, I do believe my Colin will be bumped out of his number 1 spot in my heart VERY soon (like August soon)!!

Just from the few excerpts I've read I know Luke is the kind of man who will protect and take care of his woman- all that are in his care really. He's a handsome, powerful, selfless hero. He's honest, responsible and honorable, treating her with love and respect- I can see Brady's influence on him :) I would feel safe in his powerful arms, too ;) I love the fact that we knew him as a kid and will get to see his transformation into a man, into a man of God, that is, who has experienced life and wants to protect Katie from its dangers (maybe even from himself at times? I think his love for her rattles him with its intensity). LOL, all this is gathered just from excerpts, again, another testament to your CRAZY skills!!

And I can't wait to see our Katie all grownup, too! And when her heart FINALLY realizes she's in love with Luke!! I know she is still (and probably will always be) a spitfire, but I'm sure you have a reality check in store for her in this book ;) Can't wait to see what God will do in her heart and life! I think I read an excerpt to that end, but don't want to spoil it here. All these excerpts make me feel like a kid with puzzle pieces, all giggles and excitement to see the finished masterpiece! And the surprise that when it is complete it will be even better than I could have hoped or dreamed! And you know I can't wait to read your sub-story for Colin and Faith, too!! Oh Julie, the suspense just might kill me!!!

And AMBER!!! THANK YOU for this AMAZING post my friend!!!!! GREAT questions, as usual ;) But please don't add me to the drawing. I have all 3 DOB books and I won AHU a few weeks back on another blog :D August better hurry up already!!!!!!!!!

Praying you girls have a BEAUTIFUL day!!!!!!!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

lizz said...

wonderful interview from my favorite author of all time! :)

melissawald@hotmail.com

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Hey Amber and Julie!
I hope you don't mind that I brought a pitcher of my super sweet ice tea along with me. A southern gal has got to have her tea, you know.:D

LOVED that scene, Julie. It showed that even as a fiery 18 yr.old, Katie definitely is still a little mischievous and careless at times. Though, I wouldn't mind being a little tipsy myself, if I knew there would be a Cluny Mcgee there to carry me home. *sigh* So sorry, Colin but, I think Cluny just stole your spot as #1.
Now, the wait for Undaunted is near to making me go crazy. Lord, help my family put up with me till september.
Only 53 days left till it comes out right?

Anyways, love the interview, Amber!
And I hope we will get to see more soon.
Love Ya,
Ashley

Laura Frantz said...

Oh, it's wonderful to see Julie here, there or anywhere!! I had the privilege of reading A Hope Undaunted way ahead of time for an endorsement and believe me, I couldn't read or write a word of my own stuff while doing it! Julie has a way of SWEEPING you into a scene and keeping you there emotionally till THE END! I'm so glad she writes big fat historicals as they're my favorite and she crafts them so very, very well!! The romance in this one is superb ~ I think it's her best yet and I don't say that lightly (or to many). Julie is also as engaging in person as on paper:)
Please don't enter me in the drawing as I'm already a very happy reader of all Julie's amazing books. Now back to that deadline...

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

A new excerpt and I LOVED it! I think it might be my favorite one yet even though there's no kissing. ;-) You gotta love a guy who's worried about protecting his "friend."

Isn't Julie the sweetest Amber? She's one of the very few who goes out of her way to reply to everyone's comments and emails!

And Julie I personally know Donna K from the first comment and her little brother is a doll, don't let her tell you he's a handful LOL!

Please enter me Amber! I would love to add a signed copy to my shelf!

XOXO~ Renee
steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Julie is a favorite of mine....please enter me in the drawing. I have Books 1 and 3 in DOB and plan to read them all when I get #2.
Thanks!!
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

bluerose_shelnut said...

I've been trying to stretch out my Daughters of Boston books, so the wait for A Hope Undaunted won't seem so long. I should have A Passion Denied finished within a few days, and then I have to wait! :(
After the excerpt, it's going to seem even longer! It looks just as amazing as the others!!
Please enter me. :)
bluerose_shelnut(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kav said...

There's nothing like a purposeful male with noble intent to put me into a swoon! What a fantastic sneak preview. Thank you, Julie and Amber for making it possible. The summer (and the heat) can't fly away fast enough so I can get my hands on 'A Hope Undaunted'.

Wendy said...

I love Julie's books! Thanks for offering this contest.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

Casey said...

Julie! You didn't like romance?? What was the matter with you? Obviously that fever does not claim your brain anymore. :)

LOVE the new excerpt and GUESS WHAT?? I AM GETTING YOUR BOOK TO REVIEW. I just found out and I don't have to worry anymore about being gone when the offer wings its way to my inbox. God is good!

So, Amber don't enter me, but this was a great interview.

Love seeing you here, Julie!! :)

Merry said...

What a fun scene sizzling with life and humor! I can't wait for A Hope Undaunted, it really sounds wonderful, Julie. Please toss my name in the hat.
worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Amber S. said...

Wow! Use the word "giveaway" and they all flock to your blog! ;) It's so neat to see all of you here!

DONNA: Glad you enjoyed the interview! And aren't Julie's books great? Good luck in the drawing! :)

RAE: It sounds amazing, doesn't it?! I'm very excited to read it! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

JO: Happy to hear you loved the interview! Julie is so great! Thanks for visiting, and good luck in the drawing!

CARA: How fun to have another author and a Seeker visit my blog! :D And that's great that you'll already be getting a copy of Julie's latest book! It was great to have you stop by!

HOLLY: Oh, I know what you mean! This scene was spectacular, and I am "eager McBeaver" over here--desperate to get my hands on this book! ;) Good luck in the drawing!

ANNA: I think "devoured" is a good way to put it when it comes to reading Julie's books! ;) Good luck in the drawing!

MELANIE: Hi right back at you! Thanks so much for visiting, and isn't that scene fabulous? :)

JULIE: Have I told you yet how thrilled I am to host you here? Well, thank you, thank you, thank you for the fantastic interview!!! And yet again you astound me by your responses to everyone--you have quite a loyal readership, let me assure you! :D

AMANDA: Wow! You got quite a bit from that scene! ;) And I so agree that Julie's skill shines through by making this scene so passionate without any kissing! I'm certainly too young for menopause, right? 'Cause boy it sure feels like I'm having hot flashes after reading this scene... Just kidding! ;)

I'm so glad you liked the interview, and thanks for the compliment on the questions, too. :) As you can see, I'm loving these themes!

That's great that you already have all three in the first series, and that you won A Hope Undaunted!!! I hope you get to read it soon! :D Thanks for visiting today!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Oh no, not again! Apparently my comment was too long to be processed correctly... :( So I apologize to those of you who left comments early on--I'll have to reply to them soon!

LIZZ: So glad to hear you liked the interview, and isn't Julie an amazing author?! Thanks for visiting, and good luck in the drawing!

ASHLEY: Great to see you here today! I confess I'm not much of a cold tea drinker, but you go right ahead. ;) I'm sure there are many others here who would love some tea, too!

I know what you mean--oh! for a man like Luke, right? ;) And boy, how much longer must we wait for this book to come out?!

Glad you enjoyed the interview and good luck in the drawing! (I should have your e-mail somewhere, so I'll still count your entry.) ;)

LAURA: Yay! Another fabulous author! :D How fun to have you stop by today!

Now you've got me even more excited about the book!!! So glad to hear you loved it, and is it even possible for it to have more romance than her first three books?!

May God bless you as you get back to your deadline! :)

RENEE: I know! Isn't it great that Julie shared a new excerpt with us? I know I'm happy. ;) Thanks for your entry, and good luck in the drawing!

JACKIE: Julie is a splendid author--I agree! Thanks for stopping by today, and good luck in the drawing! (And I hope you get to finish your collection of the first series soon!)

BLUEROSE: It's hard to make her books stretch, huh? It's more like what Anna said--you "devour" them! ;) Great to see you here, and good luck in the drawing!

KAV: I love the way you put it! "There's nothing like a purposeful male with noble intent to put me into a swoon!" You said it!!! I loved this preview, too, and I can't wait to read this book!

Did you want to be entered in this drawing? If so, could you leave another comment with your e-mail address? Thanks, and good to see you here today! :)

WENDY: You're welcome--I am more than happy to host Julie anytime! And wasn't that sweet of her to do a giveaway? Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

EVERYONE: Well, enough play! I should get to working now. ;) But I'm sure I'll be back soon--I think this might just be the biggest turnout this blog has seen yet! ;) We'll see how it goes!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Never mind! It actually worked!!! Yay for blogger--even though it had to go confusing me like that! ;)

CASEY: Thanks so much for visiting! I know the feeling--I'm going to review Julie's book, too! (Thank you, Julie, for setting that up!!!) It is a comfort to know that someday soon it will be on its way to me. ;)

Glad you enjoyed the interview!

MERRY: I love the way you said it: "What a fun scene sizzling with life and humor!" So true! Thanks for visiting and good luck in the drawing!

EVERYONE: OK, now that I know that comments worked, I really do need to skedaddle! ;)

~Amber

Vickie McDonough said...

Can't wait to read Katie's story. I've read all the others and am looking forward to the new book.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Amber and Casey you all are so lucky! I'm hoping it comes up for review with Revell soon! If not I'm SOOOOO going out to buy it! Wouldn't want to miss it! :-)

Thanks again Amber for hosting such a great author and having such a beautiful blog.

XOXO~ Renee

Michelle said...

I cannot begin to say how much I loved that scene. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to read the book!

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

ForstRose said...

Wow Julie there no kissing but with you writing it nearly any encounter of your hero and heroine in a story sizzles even if they just see each other from across the room. Since book 1 I have loved how you put us right into their heads as if we were actually right there hearing every thought.

Oh and Amber please add my name to the drawing.

forest_rose [at] yahoo [dot] com

ForstRose said...

oops i goofed that first sentence should have been ...there may be no kissing but ...

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, MEL, great to see you here, my friend, and trust me, I'm looking forward to some "sizzling" scenes from your new book The Healer's Apprentice due out in September as well!!!

AMANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally ... somebody who uses more ellipses than me -- I LOVE IT!!! And "CRAZY PASSION"??? Mmmm ... I just may coin that phrase, girlfriend, because that's fun too! And oh my, Luke is "a handsome, powerful, selfless hero," if I have to say so myself -- I absolutely LOVE him, and Katie, too, because she is SUCH a pistol. She has the dry wit of Charity but is a lot nicer person than Charity used to be, so she was really fun to write. In fact, I love both Katie and Luke SOOO much that I was really excited to be able to do a sub story on them in the next book, A Heart Revealed, which is Sean and Emma's story. TALK ABOUT FIREWORKS IN A MARRIAGE -- LOOK OUT!!! :) Anyway, thanks, Amanda, for your fabulous support. You are a doll!

LIZZ ... WHOA!! "Your favorite author of all time"???? Gosh, that's a pretty amazing compliment unless, of course, you're not much of a reader and I'm the ONLY author you've ever read ... :) Thanks, sweetie, and good luck in the contest. :)

Oh-oh, ASHLEY, let's not spread that tipsy remark around, girl, or your mother will be hunting me down! :) Just kidding ... I know what you mean. Luke has a way of making you sigh with just a look. Earlier in the scene above, there are just a few lines that he says to Katie that give me goose bumps every time. Oh, heck, why don't I just post them here??? The waitress at the restaurant where they ate (Shirl) has been fawning all over Luke, who is teasing that he won't have enough money to pay for the bill and Katie responds as follows:

Katie placed a hand on Luke’s arm, her face the picture of innocence. “Don’t worry, McGee, something tells me ol’Shirl will take something other than cash.”

His gaze flitted to the hand on his arm before it rose to settle on her face with a lazy smile. “You think?” he asked in a husky tone.

Blood rushed to her cheeks. She jerked her hand away and placed it in her lap. “I meant washing dishes, McGee. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

He grinned and leaned back against the booth. “Can’t. It’s where I was born, remember?”

Gosh, I better stop giving you guys all these excerpts from the book or you won't have to read it ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hahaha you can just keep going with these excerpts Julie I don't mind :-P

XOXO~ Renee

Julie Lessman said...

Goodness,LAURA, I don't know what to say except maybe ... ARE YOU KIDDING?????!!!!! You couldn't read or write your own stuff when you were reading Undaunted??? That is HUGE, my friend, coming from one of my FAVORITE authors!! And thank you again for your kind endorsement. Your new book, Courting Morrow Little is the #1 book I am hot to read right now, but I am saving it for a 9- to 10-hour road trip I have coming up in August because I want to FOCUS on your book and nothing else, which is something I seldom get to do. Cannot WAIT to see you at ACFW, my friend!

RENEE ... talk about "sweet"!! You and all my favorite bloggers who hang out together are beyond "sweet" and supportive when it comes to new authors!! I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement and support you have given me.

And, whew ... glad that's Donna K's brother ... I thought she looked a wee bit young to have a son ... but I bet he still runs her ragged!

And thanks, Renee, for your kind comment about that scene. I love the way it ends too, so I hope you do as well ... once you get your hands on Undaunted, that is! :)

JACKIE ... well, it's a mutual admiration society, then, sweetie, 'cause you're a favorite of mine too! Let's just see if we can't get A Passion Redeemed in your hot little mitts through this contest, okay? It is actually my favorite of all three books in the DOB series. :)

BLUEROSE!!! I admire your restraint, my friend, in reading books s-l-o-w-l-y ... I write books the way I want to read them, so I tend to plow through them pretty quickly ... :) Thanks for your sweet comment, Bluerose, and good luck in the contest.

Hugs,
Julie

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Julie,

Wonderful interview, Amber. It's great to see so many JULIE FANS here!

Luke sounds like my kind of guy. Can't wait to read this one - I've re-read all your other three books a few times, and it's still taking forever for the next book. (Sigh).

Julie, can't believe you didn't start writing romance until after age 50! Wow! I started when I turned 40 and am still plugging along. It's so much fun.

Thank you for your wonderful stories, your sunny disposition and inspirational attitude. May God keep blessing you!

(Please enter me in the draw!)

Cheers,

Sue
sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Susan Anne Mason said...

PS. Amber this is a lovely blog. I'm glad I found it!

Nicole said...

I was an instant Julie Lessman fan after reading A Passion Most Pure!

I'm anxiously waiting the release of A Hope Undaunted. I'd love to be entered in the drawing!

Excellent interview!

Sincerely,
Nicole M. Miller
nicolemillerbooks[at]gmail[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

KAV ... "a purposeful male with noble intent" ... yep, that's Luke to a T! Very nicely put, my friend, and thank you for your kind words. I can't wait for the summer heat to pass as well, so we can get into "heat" of another kind -- that between Katie and Luke! :)

Hey, WENDY, thanks for stopping by to lend support and enter the contest. Hope you enjoy Undaunted as much as you enjoyed the others! Good luck.

CASEY SAID: "Julie! You didn't like romance?? What was the matter with you?"

Well, actually, Case, I stopped reading anything but the Bible for a lot of years, which is why I stopped reading romance. Also, there weren't a lot of Christian romances when I was back in my 20s, except for Catherine Marshall, who I DEVOURED!! Her book, Christy, is actually where they got the name for the Christy Awards for outstanding Christian fiction. Anyway, it wasn't until I was sitting in that beauty shop in 2001, reading that Newsweek cover article about how Christian movies, music and books were on the rise, when God whispered in my ear (at least I think it was Him! :)), "now's the time to finish your book (the book I started at the age of 12 after reading Gone with the Wind). That was the beginning of A Passion Most Pure, which I didn't finish until almost 40 years later.

And, CASEY, how are you getting my book to review -- through Revell's blog tour? Did they send you a notice because I didn't think they would be contacting their list until later this month. Thanks for letting me know!

MERRY ... what a pretty name!! Are you -- "merry" most of the time, I hope? Usually names tend to fit, so I was just curious. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the contest.

AMBER ... GRIN, "hot flashes"???? That made me smile, my friend, because women my age don't always see that as a good thing. I never had "hot flashes" where you wake up drenched, but I did have what I called "hot flushes," where I would get a slow, languid warmth that would ooze through me. I told my doctor about them and said I actually liked them, and he shook his head and said, "Only you, Julie." :)

VICKIE!!! I get SO thrilled when my favorite author friends drop by, so thank you SO much for stopping by, sweetie. Can't wait to give you a big ole hug at ACFW!!

WOW, MICHELLE, thank you! You know, I have to say that at first I was hesitant to give this scene to Amber because I didn't think it had enough sizzle since there weren't any kisses in it, but you and everybody else here today have convinced me that maybe it does. I know the end of the scene does, but I didn't think the middle did too much. Nice to know! Thanks for dropping by and good luck in the contest.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MELISSA ... Sooooo good to see you here, sweetie!! Thanks for the sizzle compliment AND for coming by. My hubby always tells me I need to tone the romance down a bit since I rock the boat in the Christian market, and I have a wee bit in A Hope Undaunted, but gosh, I can't NOT write "sizzle" because it's what I love ... sizzle for God and sizzle for romance!

SUE!!! Are you serious??? You've read all three books more than once??? I know I've gotten some notes from teenagers who told me they've done that (one 14-year-old actually told me she read them (or maybe just one?) over 14 times!! Her parents threatened to burn the book ... :)), but women like you and me?? Gosh, that's the ultimate compliment, my friend, especially coming from another writer! THANK YOU!!

And keep plugging away, my friend, because your time is coming. It took me five years and 45 rejections to get the call, so hopefully you will move a little faster than that, eh?

NICOLE ... "an instant Julie Lessman fan"??? Oh, I like the sound of that, my friend -- THANK YOU!! Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

Hugs,
Julie

Joy Tamsin David said...

That scene made me laugh out loud! Great writing. I can't wait to read the whole thing. :)

Joy

bluerose_shelnut said...

Amber and Julie,
If it wasn't for the fact that A Hope Undaunted is so close to being released, I would have plowed right through these three! It it was going to be awhile, I would have just re-read them before the new one. I'm ususally very impatient!! :)

Amber S. said...

VICKIE: You and me both! ;) Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

RENEE: I'm sure it will be up to review for Revell soon--at least I hope so! I'm on the invite list, but I guess it won't be up until August or September. How on earth can I wait that long! ;)

And thanks for the sweet compliments, Renee! Your blog is beautiful, too!

MICHELLE: I know exactly what you mean! When, oh when, will this book be available?! Good luck in the drawing! :)

FORSTROSE: Julie's just that good, isn't she? She writes superbly! :D Thanks for your entry, and good luck in the drawing!

JULIE: Don't get me all excited about A Heart Revealed when I don't even have A Hope Undaunted yet! How cruel! ;) Oh, and just keep those excerpts coming, please!!! Love that little tidbit! (I totally agree with Renee!)

SUSAN: Isn't it great to have a meeting of Julie's fans? ;) I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview, and I think we definitely agree on how wonderful Julie is! Good luck in the drawing!

Oh, and thank you so, so much for your sweet comment about my blog! That made my day! :D

NICOLE: Yes, A Passion Most Pure is one of those books--we were probably all hooked on Julie's books after that one! :D So glad you liked the interview, and good luck in the drawing!

JULIE: Thanks for the note about "Christy." I started that book recently, and I absolutely LOVED the TV series! That's so cool that that's where the name for the Christy award came from! :D

Oh, and I love your comment about the "hot flushes!" "Only you, Julie!" Too funny!

JOY: I know, isn't it great? I want to read the whole thing now, too!!!

Oh, and could you leave your e-mail address if you would like to be entered in the drawing? Thanks so much! :)

BLUEROSE: You have more self-control than most of us then! ;) I confess to being rather impatient, too. Not too much longer, though! :D

EVERYONE: OK, this turned out to be a much longer break than it should have been...so back to work!

~Amber

Sarah said...

Another fantastic interview Julie! I've told you this before, but I LOVE your books and have re-read Passion most Pure & Passion Redeemed so many times I've lost track. I've also had to replace them a few times already because I keep giving them out to friends who love to read as much as I do telling them they HAVE to make them a must read:) In fact we are trying to start a bookclub to read and discuss the first three before Katie's story comes out. SOOOO excited! Thank you SO much for bringing such excellent story telling with a great romance to the Christian book world. I greatly appreciate you! :)
<3 Sarah
firefllies_n_stardust@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

P.S. Amber I discovered your blog from a link Julie left on Facebook. I'm definitely putting it on my Fave list to check back on! I enjoyed reading past reviews, and as we have very similar book tastes it will be fun to use to see what you liked and reviews. Great interview with Julie! :) Blessings!
Sarah

Pam said...

I just finished The Daughters of Boston series and absolutely loved it! I am looking forward to reading more about the O'Conner family. I would love to win any of Julie's books.

Casey said...

LOL Amber, isn't a comfort though? And like Renee, this book would DEFINATELY go on my "must purchase as soon as it is out" list.

Julie, Amy Riley emailed me, apparently you are setting up a tour through her? Anyway, I am getting the book later in August. And no, Revell has not sent the emails out yet.

Man, I can't wait!!

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

AMBER~For some odd reason I LOVE tea, hot or cold. But, I only like it if it's SUPER sweet. Atleast a lb. of sugar per cup.LOL
But, looks like Luke/Cluny is going to be the best good-boy-gone-bad Julie has written to date, IMO.


JULIE~ My mom would have me under lock and key if she heard me say somthing like that, so it's a good thing we're keeping it between us.LOL
Let me echo Renee and say, keep those scenes a coming! We all don't mind. *winks*
I loved that scene with the waitress. Of course, I love anything you write but,

I've never heard of "hot flushes".
Down here, we call them "personal summers". Which I think is so cute :)

CASEY~ I can't believe your getting Undaunted before september!!! You have to tell me everything about it, in detail, while your reading it. Or I'm gonna have to come over there.;D

Love Ya,
Ashley

Julia M. Reffner said...

Yay, I'm so excited!! I can't wait for the tour, Julie!! I haven't read your books, but I keep hearing about them and I love the 20s setting!! What a fun interview!! I love your summer vacation theme, Amber!

Julie Lessman said...

JOY!!! You made it over here -- I'm so glad!! Hey Amber and everyone, you should check out Joy's blog -- it's called "Edgy Inspirational Romance," which is right up our alley since Joy is an edgy inspy writer like me. You can check her blog out at: Edgy Inspirational Romance.

Joy, I'm thrilled I could make you laugh. I don't know if you have read The Daughters of Boston series yet, but if you haven't, it's best to start at the beginning of this "passionate" family saga since A Hope Undaunted is basically a continuation of the first series, beginning with the 4th daughter's story. I think it's just nice to know all the characters ahead of time for the most consuming read. Besides, if you read these books out of order, it ruins several BIG surprises that happen in book 1, A Passion Most Pure should you decide to go back and read that one.

BLUEROSE ... I admire your restraint. Now let's see how slow you go when you're reading about Luke McGee ... :)

SARAH ... bless you, girl, for rereading my books and giving them away!! And if you start a book club and possibly interested in me joining you for a discussion via Skype, I would be THRILLED to do so, so just contact me through my website if so, okay?

Also, I have a confession to make. Since I basically WRITE what I want to READ, I ALWAYS reread each of my books beginning with A Passion Most Pure right before my next one comes out so that I am in the groove for when I receive my own author copies. Then I am finally able to sit down like all of you do and read about my 2nd favorite family all over again (mine being the first, for me at least).

And I TOTALLY appreciate you, too, and all you guys who encourage and support me. It's enough to make an old woman cry ... uh, that and my age! :)

AMBER, I totally agree with Sarah -- great interview, but then I would expect no less from "Borders Girl" (that always makes me smile when I think of your very first e-mail to me several years ago. I turned around to Keith (we work back-to-back in an office) and laughed as I told him about how you would go to Borders all the time to read my book. What a cutie you are!!

PAM!!! I am SOOO glad you enjoyed the DOB, and I hope you will like WOC (Winds of Change) as well. If Undaunted is any indication, at least for me, this could be a great series, because I LOVE Undaunted!! Hope you do too. :)

CASEY ... oh, that Amy is on the ball, isn't she??? I love Amy's blog (and Amy!!), by the way, and highly recommend it too. Her link is My Friend Amy.

ASHLEY ... I have to admit, I feel bad that I spoiled a surprise for you guys with the Cluny/Luke thing, but it can't be helped when I post excerpts, so that will just be our secret, okay? And "personal summers"??? How cute is that??? Just remember it's not real cute when you get to be my age ... :)

JULIA ... I am SO glad you are excited about A Hope Undaunted, and yes, I love the 20s too, which is one of the reasons this is my favorite book so far of those I've written. The history is so rich for women's rights and the first "wild" generation in the U.S. that I think it really adds to this book. And at the risk of being a nag, Julia, if you haven't read my books, I hope you consider starting with A Passion Most Pure. I won't repeat myself, but check a few comments up to see what I said to Joy in my first response above as to why this would make your read a much more dramatic and fun one. AND if you win here at Amber's blog, I can send you APMP rather than Undaunted. Deal?

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

SARAH: You're so sweet! I'm so glad you discovered my blog, and I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed reading past reviews! How fun! :D

We did a book discussion not TOO long ago here on A Passion Most Pure. :) If you want to check it out, you can go to the labels section in the sidebar and click on "book discussion." It should be the second one. Hope to see you around here again soon, and good luck in the drawing! :)

PAM: So great to have you visit, and I'm excited to read more about the O'Connor family, too! Would you mind leaving your e-mail address so I have a way to contact you in case you win? Thanks! :D

CASEY: Oh, yes...a HUGE comfort! But I guess I shouldn't say that too loudly, because there are a lot of people here who are wanting to get their hands on A Hope Undaunted, as well! ;) I can't wait either!

ASHLEY: I suppose if you put a lot of sugar in anything it has to be good, right? ;) And I like that phrase, "personal summers." That is cute!

Oh, and I e-mailed you to thank you for my bookmark! I absolutely LOVE it!!! Thanks so much!

JULIA: I'm loving the excitement, too! ;) Isn't that a fabulous setting though (the 1920s)? Lots of intriguing things going on back then! ;) I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview--you know how I love themes! If you want to be entered in the drawing, could you leave your e-mail address? I'm sure I have it in another comment somewhere, but just to be technical... ;)

EVERYONE: This is so fun having so many comments and meeting new people! Hope ya'll are having fun, too!

~Amber

karenk said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for the chance to read Katie's story....this was a fabulous interview w/ julie...she is the best !!!

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amber S. said...

JULIE: I just saw your comment now! ;) I guess we were working on our long comments around the same time!

I'm so glad you liked the interview questions, and thanks for sharing that story! :D I have to say, it was really fun getting to meet you last year, telling you about the Borders thing, and then telling you about how I read some more of A Passion Most Pure in a tree while I was at the Senior Picnic. ;) So fun--you have no idea!

Thanks so much for leaving such great comments, Julie, and for continually checking back in! :D

~Amber

Amber S. said...

KAREN: That's great that you enjoyed the interview, and it's great to see you here again! :D Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber,
No need to enter me in the interview. I believe I'm getting the book from a tour led by Amy Riley. I'm really looking forward to it!

Missy Tippens said...

What a great, great scene!! These are some of my favorite characters and I've been looking so forward to this book!

Fun interview, Julie and Amber!

Amber S. said...

JULIA: Oh, then yay! That will be fun! And thanks for stopping by to comment anyway. :) I'm looking forward to the book's release, as well!!!

MISSY: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. :) And I love that scene, too!!! Can't wait to read their whole story!

~Amber

Cynthia Chow said...

Wow that scene was great! I loved it just as much as the other one I've been reading. I can't wait for the book to come out so I can read about Katie and Luke. Please enter me in the book drawing.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, KAREN, you're gonna make me blush, and I already enough of that in my books, sweetie! But THANK YOU for your kind words and for stopping by. Good luck in the contest.

JULIA, if you win this contest, how about I send you A Passion Most Pure?? :)

MISSY!!!!! Oh, it just makes my day when my Seeker buds drop by -- THANKS, MISS!! And I'm pretty partial to your characters and your books too.

CYNTHIA ... Hey, girl, great to see you here, and I'm thrilled you liked that scene, especially since it's the middle rather than at the end of the scene, which is the part I like the best. Only 52 days left till Undaunted hits the shelves ... OR the winner here will have it in their hands by mid to end of August. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

CYNTHIA: Thanks for stopping by, and I think we definitely all agree that the scene Julie shared in GREAT! ;) Good luck in the drawing!

JULIE: Thank you once again for stopping by! :D It's so fun to see your responses to all of these comments!

~Amber

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Julie, I have not read any of your books but I am putting them on my wish list and you as a new author. The scene you shared with us got to me and now I have to read the book. lol Thanks for stopping by to chat and the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

I have heard wonderful things about Julie's books and would love to win a copy. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win it.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Amber S. said...

MISSKALLIE2000: Oh, you most definitely need to read A Passion Most Pure! :D Julie is a great author! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the giveaway!

CINDY: You're welcome! It was so nice of Julie to offer to give away one of her books! ;) Thanks for visiting, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Julie, I would love to read A Passion Most Pure if I win! Thanks! I have heard such good reviews of your books.

julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

AMBER, honey, it's my pleasure! I love talking with you guys!!

MISS KALLIE!!! You haven't read the "Passion" series yet??? Well, girl, you are JUST the type of reader I am looking for, so we are gonna have to see what we can do about that, aren't we?? And if you don't win here, I am giving away two copies on the Seekerville blog on Wednesday, so be sure and drop by. You can access the links on my website calendar, where I will be posting LOTS of giveaways through September. Hope to see you there!

CINDY W ... Soooo glad you have heard "wonderful" things about my books, but it's time we get one into your hot, little hands, eh? Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the contest!

JULIA ... "good reviews," huh? Well I sure appreciate that and would love it if one of those "good reviews" belonged to you once you have read APMP. If you don't win it here, please try on Wed. at the Seekerville blog (see my website calendar), get it at your library or borrow it from a friend, but I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you read it before you read A Hope Undaunted, okay, because it really sets the family up for you.

Hugs,
Julie

Joetta said...

Love the scene! now if I could just read the rest of the story!!! When I get a Julie Lessman book, I just can't stop reading... I love her passion not just between a man and a woman, but how she transfers that into having a greater passion for God as well... she is an inspiration and encouragement...
We are traveling from FL to CO so, I am re-reading A Passion Most Pure - I even read some of it out loud to my husband - he wasn't too sure about being "read to" but, when I started Julie's book - he didn't mind... grin! thanks again Julie for writing awesome books that inspire me to be a better wife and child of the KING!
I would love to win the contest!
toddraber(at)verizon(dot)net

Julie Lessman said...

JOETTA!!!! OMIGOSH ... when you told me your were taking The Daughters of Boston on your road trip, I just assumed you meant for Kelsey!!!! YOU'RE rereading them???? And to your husband??? That makes me laugh, not only because it tickles me that you are rereading them, but because YESTERDAY, I did exactly the SAME thing!! I am rereading A Passion Most Pure right now myself because I always reread all my books right before the next one comes out, and I read several scenes to Keith, too, while we were on the way to a BBQ!! Grin ... I knew you and I had a lot in common, but girl, that is just TOO freaky, isn't it??? :)

Thanks SOOO much for stopping in, and have a GREAT trip and give Kelsey a hug for me, okay?

MAJOR HUGS,
Julie

Sara said...

Great interview! I love Julie Lessman's writing and the Daughters of Boston series was awesome! I'm really looking forward to A Hope Undaunted...especially after that excerpt! :)

s(dot)bofferding(at)hotmail(dot)com

Pepper Basham said...

Oh please, oh please sign me up for a chance to win. Every excerpt is wonderful, Jules. EVERY. ONE!
Pass some of that talent around, will you? ;-)
Okay - just pass the book. LOL.

Amber S. said...

JOETTA: Oh yes--now we're all desperate to read the rest of the story! ;) And that's so great that you're reading A Passion Most Pure to your husband!!! :D So cute! Thanks for your entry, and good luck in the drawing!

SARA: Thank you, and isn't Julie a great writer?! We're all lovin' that excerpt! Thanks for visiting, and good luck in the drawing! :)

PEPPER: Of course! So glad you could drop by! And wouldn't that be great if Julie could pass some of her talent onto us? Maybe if we keep reading her books... ;)

Oh, and could you leave your e-mail address so I can contact you in case you win? Thank you! :D

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

SARA ... thank you SO much for your kind comment, and I sure hope you like the new series as well. I LOVE A Hope Undaunted, but I have to admit that I am not as crazy about the 2nd book in the series that I just finished, A Heart Revealed, which is Sean O'Connor and Emma Malloy's story. But it's so funny because my husband is reading it right now and tells me it's the best thing I've written, as did my sister and crit partner, so go figure. But hopefully when I am done with the "Winds of Change" series, my reader friends will like it as much or better than "The Daughters of Boston"! Good luck in the contest, Sara!

PEPPER!!!!!!! Hey, girl, SOOOO good to see you here, my friend, and what do you mean "pass the talent around"?? I've read your stuff, sweetie, and I'd say you have already have it in spades. It's just a matter of time before some editor is gonna realize it and snatch you up! Thanks for dropping by!

Amber, I gotta admit, you are a delight how you respond to every commenter, including me!! Not many bloggers do that, I don't think except you and your buds. You guys are SO young to be so on the ball!!

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

JULIE: Awww, thank you! I think my mom was a bit skeptical about me responding to everyone this time (because of all the numerous comments!), but it's a lot of fun! :) Thanks again for doing this interview and giveaway!!!

~Amber

mary bailey said...

Great interview! I love all the talk of summertime stuff. I'd love a chance to win!

~Mary

jprivette1(at)roadrunner(dot)com

Amber S. said...

MARY: Me, too! Summer is a wonderful season for sure. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Mary, I recognize you from Seekerville, girl! I ALWAYS love seeing Mary Bailey's pic from It's A Wonderful Life 'cause it always makes me smile. Thanks for dropping by and good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Holly said...

Julie: You are an amazing author! I am currently reading A Passion Denied. I have limited time to read, so I'd like to think of your books as a personal treat. Your ability to connect with the reader is a true gift. I have shed many tears while reading through the heartaches of the O'Connor family, but I have also felt pure joy in the moments of their happiness. I am thankful that you choose to make your books available for download on the Kindle. I would never have been introduced to your books had it not been for A Passion Most Pure being made available as a free download. I had nothing to lose if I didn't like book since it was free, so I downloaded it. Within the first 2 paragraphs, I was hooked. I stayed up all night to finish the book; I couldn't put it down and be left with the wonder of how it would end! And so began my love affair with the O'Connor women!

I would love to have the opportunity to win a copy of one of your books. My e-mail address is mrshollylynn@yahoo.com

Amber S. said...

HOLLY: That's great that you've joined the Julie Lessman fan club! ;) Wasn't A Passion Most Pure sensational? I'm sure she'll love to hear your kind words, and I'm so happy you could come visit! Good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Kathy said...

Loved, loved the excerpt and am sooooo looking forward to reading the whole book. I'm sure it will keep me from completing any other type of activity until it's read through and then my head will be lost rewinding the scenes in my head. It's time to read again the stories of the three older sisters, so I'm all ready for Katie's story. Blessings for your day!

Kathy (kauppatgridcomdotnet)

Heather said...

I am normally the type of person that wants time to sloooowwww down (I have a wonderfully, adorable 19 month-old that keeps me on my toes!). BUT, I am sooooo ready for August to be here so I can read Katie's story! Julie's books are the best, swoon-worthy romances I have ever read (and believe me, I have read ALOT). Not only is she a masterful story teller, but I have so much respect for the way that she has dealt with her many fans. It is a special person that would take time to try to personally connect with each one the way that she has. Julie, I pray that God blesses you with amazing success as you continue to honor Him. Looking forward to many entertaining and heart-palpitating books to come!

Heather Holden
busymommy01@cheerful.com

Thanks for such a great interview and blog! I will defenitely be returning! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, HOLLY, I am SO thrilled that the Amazon Kindle download brought you to me -- YEAH!! And, uh, sorry it put you through the gamut of emotions, but now you know what I look like, sobbing at my keyboard while I'm writing this stuff! :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and encourage me, sweetie. You're a doll!

KATHY!! Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest, and if you think the scenes rewind in your head, you should see what they do in mine!! :) These people are like family to me, and I'm not sure what I'm gong to do when it's all over. I will begin writing the last book this week, so at least I have one more to go before I say good-bye for good to the O'Connors ... :(

HEATHER ... "Swoon-worthy," eh? Hey, I like that a lot, girl, so I just may use it! Thank you SO much for taking the time to encourage me when I KNOW you are a "busymommy," because I'm not so old that I don't remember what that was like to have little ones. And as far as my "fans," as you call them, I prefer the word "reader friends" because "fans" sounds like I'm somebody big, and I'm not -- I'm just a romance lover like the rest of you guys, one who is blessed enough to write for the Lord AND associate with wonderful friends like you!

Hugs,
Julie

collegegirl said...

Julie, I adore your books! I have been waiting for Katies story to come out so I can see what happens next. You take risks in your books and talk about true human pain, love and passon. I am so excited that I get to read your new story. Thank you for following your heart. God Bless Jennifer Dieleman

Amber S. said...

KATHY: I know what you mean! ;) Can't wait until this book is in my hands! And I'm currently reading A Passion Denied--so it will be great to continue the story. I'm so excited to see more of Katie and Cluny and read their story! :D

Anyway, thank you for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

HEATHER: Julie is a GREAT author--I'm totally in agreement! And isn't it funny how we alternate between wanting time to slow down and speed up? ;) Thank you so much for stopping by, and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! Good luck in the drawing! (Hope you can return again soon!) :)

JENNIFER: Your words are so true--Julie does take risks in her writing, which makes her books all the more real and heartfelt. Thank you for stopping by! If you would like to be entered in the drawing, could you please leave your e-mail address? Thank you! :)

~Amber

Debbie said...

I too am re-reading A Passion Most Pure at the moment on my Kindle, and I'm picking up details I missed the first time around only a few months ago. I love to think of my own family history in the first part of the last century in the USA and how they too must have dealt with their daily struggles to find joy and peace. Maybe Julie will decide to pick up the O'Connor family at a later date and write a trilogy about the grandkids who look fondly back on their memories of Faith, Charity and the rest.

But then again, what do I know?

Kind regards from Paris on this rainy Bastille Day (the parade must be a bit soggy in the storm!),
Debbie

Amber S. said...

DEBBIE: Thanks so much for visiting! :) A Passion Most Pure is a fabulous book, so that's great that you're re-reading it! And isn't it interesting to think of our ancestors and how they dealt with every day life?

And I like your suggestion to Julie! ;) Would you mind leaving another comment with your e-mail if you would like to be entered in the drawing? Thank you!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER ... THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your kind words and your encouragement. Yeah, I do take "risks" in my books, at least as far as the Christian market is concerned, but like you, apparently, I am a bottom-liner who wants to reflect the true "human pain, love and passion" in my books, going WAY deep because surface skimming has never been my thing, not in friendships, relationships OR in my writing. Thank you for encouraging me to "follow my heart" because I have to admit, there are times it gets difficult to do so ... when those nasty 1-star reviews come in or a blogger takes pot shots at me. But, hey, it's all part of the deal, right? Good luck in the contest, Jennifer.

DEBBIE!!!! Are you REALLY in Paris, girl???? Do you live there or are you just visiting? And THANK YOU for rereading A Passion Most Pure! I actually just finished it (I always reread all my books in order right before the next one comes out so I am geared up to go ... :)), and I caught things I never saw before, too!! How crazy is that??

Anyway, funny you should talk about sequels with the O'Connor cousins, because I fully intend to do that down the road, rest assured, which should be fun because they will be of age around WWII, and boy, will Charity's twin boy Henry be LOADS of fun to write -- a "bad boy" in the making, for sure ... :) Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day.

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Julie,
I am anxiously awaiting anything and everything you write!!!!!
I was so excited to be able to send a suggestion for a new series you will be creating. I'm not sure I've been happier to receive a response as I did when you emailed me because I respect your opinion and writing style so very much!
Please enter me in your contest.
I would feel so blessed to have an autographed copy of one of your books until I could possibly meet you in person!!!!!
GOD BLESS YOU, JULIE!!!!!!!!
Charlotte
charsaltzatyahoo.com

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, CHARLOTTE, you made my day, girl -- THANK YOU! It's still hard for me to believe that wonderful readers like you actually like to read what I write, but God is faithful!!

And thank you, too, for your great suggestion -- I LOVE the Civil War anyway, because of Gone With the Wind, so I will definitely have to consider that.

And, Charlotte, I am giving away two signed copies of your choice of my books today only (Wed., 7/14) over at Seekerville, so come on by and leave a comment to increase your chances, girl, okay?
Here's the link:

The Perfect Pickup Line ... Or How to Hook a Reader

Thanks again, Charlotte, and good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

MJ said...

Over at Seekerville you made a mention in the comments of being old that you didn't think someone would catch your reference to EF Hutton, and my first thought was, no, don't lump yourself in with being old, I don't want to be old!

Then I come over here and learn you're 50+. Based on your picture I thought you were closer to my age (30) Man I hope I age as well as you! :)

rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

Julie Lessman said...

Okay, that settles it, MJ -- you are my new BEST FRIEND!! I have to tell you, though, that my husband is an artist and there's a lot to be said for Photo Shop!! :) I have actually had him take out the lines under my eyes and sculpt my chin a little more on SOME pictures because I am not above vanity! :) I actually turn 60 in November, which is FRIGHTENING to me! Good thing I'm immature and only act 16 or so, right??

Thanks for stopping by, sweetie, and making me smile.

Hugs,
Julie

Mary said...

Julie Julie Julie!!!!!! (And, Amber, hi! My name's Mary, and I've met Julie once, know her sister from my church, and also emailed her several times--I'm a huge Julie fan :D) Please please PLEASE enter me for this contest!! My email's marbear31@sbcglobal.net and I'd love to win! hahaha regardless if I do or not, I'm still buying the book. :)
What a fabulous interview!! I'm loving the excerpts, and definitely can't wait to devour the whole thing! Julie's such an inspiration to an aspiring writer like me, and it's such a joy to see everyone else who's been touched by her amazing books as well. :)
Have a fabulous day everybody!!! :)

Mary Bast ^_~

Julie Lessman said...

MARY!!!!!!!! OMIGOSH, talk about a voice from the past -- my first book signing at Borders, right??? Girl, I'm warning you RIGHT now that you CANNOT leave a fabulous comment like this and NOT show up at my next book signing for A Hope Undaunted, which will be at that Borders in Sunset Hills in Sept. (date TBA on website calendar), you hear???? Thank you SOOO much for your sweet words, and I can't wait to give you a hug the next time I see you!

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

CHARLOTTE: Isn't Julie wonderful when it comes to making contact with her readers? I'm so glad that you have seen first-hand what a great friend (and writer!) Julie is. :) Thank you for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

MJ: I think you didn't just make Julie's day--but her whole week! ;) That was a sweet comment, and Julie and I both thank you for visiting! Good luck in the drawing!

MARY: Hi right back at you! ;) It's nice to meet another Julie Lessman fan! And I totally agree that Julie's work seems to have touched a lot of people--God is using her writing in a big way, to my thinking! Nice to meet you, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Elizabeth @ In Pursuit of Excellence said...

Hi Julie!
Kids are in bed...finally made it over here to comment too!! :o) A bit embarrassed over posting my very first attempt for all the world to see over at Seekers...well, never mind! Thanks heaps for your kind reply - I've printed it out to save. The thought of editing is fun though - a chance to play around with words! I can't wait to seriously settle into writing. I know I shouldn't just talk about doing it though!! :o)
Wow - you certainly don't look or sound/act like nearly 60! I think you have had a lot of us fooled! ;D Inspirational!!

Amber - thanks for hosting a great interview! I would LOVE to be entered in the draw!!! e[dot]johnsen[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz

I'm heading off to bed right now to continue reading A Passion Redeemed! Yippee!!! :o)

Julie Lessman said...

ELIZABETH ... it's 2:48 AM and BAM ... I just woke up, suddenly wide awake. I guess I'm excited because today (Thursday, 7/15) is the date I have to send A Heart Revealed to my editor. It will be good to put this book to bed because it's been a very difficult book to write (I liken it to giving birth with nine months labor!!).

But enough of my late-night ramblings! Please, please, please NEVER be embarrassed over something that takes courage to do like putting yourself out there for the world to see. The first thing I had to learn as a writer was to develop a really thick skin, so this is just the beginning for you in moving toward publication someday. But it's a necessary step for all of us, I assure you! And when God puts the desire inside of you to write for Him, keep in mind that He is the One who walks alongside you on this very rewarding ... but also very humbling ... journey. Pray daily for Him to guide you, teach you, motivate you with your writing, and you will be amazed at where He takes you!

And I have to say that A Passion Redeemed is my favorite of the DOB series, so I hope you like it too! Most of my books took me about 9 months to write, but Redeemed flowed from my fingertips in just two months, almost 500 pages, and that was while I was working part-time! I think because Charity was so wonderfully flawed (and so like I used to be before Christ, minus the beauty!) that it was a pleasure to redeem her! She is the most complex of all the characters and I predict that everybody who hated her in APMP will end up loving her by the time they get to A Heart Revealed!

Okay, I guess sleep deprivation makes me philosophical, so maybe I better go back to bed. Thanks again, Elizabeth for venturing out of your comfort zone to wade into the waters of writing. Trust me, you won't regret it. And thank you for reading my books. I hope to return the favor someday down the road. :)

Hugs,
Julie

rbooth43 said...

A Hope Undaunted sounds like a great read, putting on my tbr list.
rbooth43atyahoodotcom

Anonymous said...

Your books are absolutely wonderful! My sister and I are anxiously awaiting your fourth! We would be delighted to be entered in the giveaway!

Julie Lessman said...

RBOOTH ... Thank you SO much for stopping by to enter the contest AND for putting my books on your TBR -- MOST APPRECIATED! Good luck in the contest and if you don't win here, keep checking my website calendar throughout the summer because I will be having LOTS of giveaways, okay?

ANONYMOUS ... Gosh, thank you VERY much for your kind words, both you and your sister! It's always fun for sisters to read about sisters, so I am really glad you enjoyed the series. Here's to a contest win!

facepainter28 said...

Love it! Love you Mrs. Julie! My sister, My Aunt's and a couple of my friends are DYING to read A Hope Undaunted! Can't wait! God Bless!

<3bekka
waiting4myprincecharming@gmail.com

Julie Lessman said...

BEKKA!!! Here you are, girl -- I'm SO glad!! That tickles me that you and your family are waiting to read Undaunted ... I sure hope you aren't disappointed! I've been building it up because it is my favorite book so far, so hopefully you will agree. All I know is that Cluny McGee is ONE attractive hero!! :) Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the contest.

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

ELIZABETH: I also commented on Seekerville with my first line, so I know what you mean! ;) It's so nice of Julie to offer feedback!

Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview, and good luck in the drawing! Enjoy A Passion Redeemed!!! :)

JULIE: I hope all goes well with the editing process of A Heart Revealed! :D Can't wait to read it!!!

"RBOOTH43": Doesn't it, though? ;) Thanks for stopping by and becoming a new follower! Good luck in the drawing!

ANONYMOUS: I would love to enter you in the drawing! But I'm going to need you to leave your e-mail address in another comment so I have a way to contact you in case you win! Thank you! :)

BEKKA: I can definitely share your enthusiasm! That's so great that you and your family and friends are all excited for A Hope Undaunted! Thank you for visiting, and good luck in the drawing! :)

~Amber

Sandee61 said...

I hope that I can be entered in this giveaway, I don't have a blog, but I subscribe or follow many of them. I love Julie's books, and would love to read A Hope Undaunted, it looks really good. Love the cover! I have a group of book-buddies that I enjoy talking books with and I promise that the word gets out there about alot of the Christian books I hear about here.
Thank you!

Blessings to all,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Janna said...

While I can't wait to see Julie at ACFW this year, I'm really hoping to get to read A Hope Undaunted before then, so please enter me in the contest. Julie's first 3 books are all on my keeper shelf and I can't wait to add her second series to the shelf!

Janna
ryanx6 at msn dot com

Martha A. said...

Wow...each excerpt is better than the last.....I wonder when i am going to get to read it! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

AMBER ... thanks for your hopes and prayers on A Heart Revealed -- they are working!! I am reading it ONE LAST TIME as we speak and I actually like it this time -- YEAH!! My husband claims it will be my best book yet, and I am hoping he is right.

SANDEE ... YES, you ARE entered in this giveaway, and I thank you for not only taking the time to come by and leave a comment, BUT any and all word of mouth you can give me with your "book buddies." Word of mouth is everything in this biz, so I ALWAYS appreciate that. Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

JANNA!!!!!!! Sooooo good to see you here, my good friend! I cannot WAIT to see you and Cara and your mom at ACFW! And thank you SO much for your ongoing support of my books -- I am forever indebted!

MARTHA ... gosh, THANK YOU, my friend, for that sweet comment. I am about 1 month away from receiving my own author copies, of which ONE will be signed and awarded to someone who's commented on this blog, so hang in there -- it's coming and I like to think that since it is my FAVORITE book so far, it will be worth the wait! Time will tell, eh? Thanks for stopping in AND for your support.

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

SANDEE: As Julie said, of course you are entered in the giveaway! :) All I needed was your comment and your e-mail address for you to be entered--so you're good to go! Thank you for stopping by, and for spreading the word about the amazing Christian fiction books that are out there! Good luck in the drawing!

JANNA: You're going to actually see Julie? That's so exciting! I hope someday I can go to some great conferences like that. :) And yes, I too hope to add Julie's second series to my shelf! Thanks for your entry, and good luck in the drawing!

MARTHA: I know...each taste is just making us more hungry! ;) I can't wait to read this book, as well! Thank you for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Julie and Amber, Great blog enjoyed all the posts. But I did post several days ago and don't see my post. I must have done something wrong. yikes. Anyway I came back today to see what you had said to me and can't find my comment.

Amber, love your blog site. Your trip to DC looked like fun too. Thanks for hosting Julie. She's a terrific writer. I can hardly wait for Hope Undaunted to arrive on the bookshelves. Her writing is terrific.

Sandra Leesmith said...

I see what happened. I didn't wait for the box with the letters and the repost button. sigh. computer challenged. LOL

Amber S. said...

SANDRA: I'm so sorry Blogger gave you trouble! It can be a bit of a nuisance... ;)

Anyway, I'm glad you got it to work now, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

And thank you so much for the compliment! I hope you get a chance to read all of the Washington D.C. blog posts sometime--I would love that! :)

Julie's writing is indeed terrific, and I would love to enter you in the drawing! Would you mind leaving one more comment with you e-mail address if you would like to be entered? Thank you!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

SANDRA!!! Computer challenged??? That makes two of us, sweetie! Thanks SO much for coming by. I just LOVE when my Seeker buds drop in. And Amber's blog is terrific, isn't it? Some of the best blogs I know belong to Amber and her buds, and these are ALL young guys that just started not too long ago, so it's pretty amazing how quickly they've come along!

Thanks again, Sandra, for coming by and remember, you automatically get a comp copy of A Hope Undaunted because you are a Seeker, girl, so you don't need to win it here. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

Oops! Never mind! I see that you're a Seeker, so you'll already be getting a copy of A Hope Undaunted, right? ;) Sorry for the confusion!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

OK, now I'm extra sorry for the confusion...I should have just waited for Julie to clarify. ;) Thanks, Julie!

And thank you, Julie, for the sweet words about my blog!!! :D You're the greatest!

~Amber

hspruitt said...

Great interview! I would love a chance to read one of Julie's books.

Thanks! Sheri

hspruitt{at}JUNOdotCOM

Amber S. said...

SHERI: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) It was lots of fun to interview Julie!

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, SHERI, Thank you for dropping in and trust me, I would LOVE for you to have a chance to read one of my books too! Here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Julie,

I cannot wait for this book to come out. Well really the next three! :)

jmschwindt@cox.net

Amber S. said...

ANONYMOUS: Same here! :D I couldn't agree more! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

JMSCHWINDT ... Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment! Books 1 and 2 of this series are done and JUST TODAY I started book 3 in this "Winds of Change" series, so say a prayer for anointing as in dive in. Good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

Oh, Julie! How exciting! May God bless this next book of yours and use it in mighty ways for His glory! :D

~Amber

Anna W. said...

Awesome giveaway! Please enter me in it!

writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

Amber S. said...

ANNA: Sure! :D Thanks for your enthusiasm, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, ANNA, thanks for stopping by ... sounds like you might be new to my books, so I'd love to see you win one. Good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Marilyn said...

Please enter the contest giveaway for
Julie Lessman's book
A Hope Undaunted - the book sounds wonderful.

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, MARILYN, thanks for dropping by! The contest ends after tomorrow, so good timing, girl! Good luck.

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

MARILYN: It DOES sound wonderful! :D Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing! Winner to be announced on Saturday!!!

~Amber

Martha A. said...

Well, at least I have a chance....one in a hundred....= )

Julie Lessman said...

MARTHA ... grin, keep in mind that a lot of those comments belong to Amber and me, so really, it's not too bad, girl! Good luck and thanks SO much for your interest.

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

MARTHA: Just like Julie said, a LOT of these comments belong to Julie and me. ;) So you never know! And I'm sure there will be other giveaways, too! :) Thanks for stopping by again!

~Amber

Debbie said...

I just found Julie's books and couldn't put them down! Looking forward to the new series!

Debbie
debbie(dot)chum(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, DEBBIE, a new convert -- that tickles me to no end, so THANK YOU!! And you're getting in on this contest right before it's over, so good job and good luck! But if you don't win here, I will be posting tons of giveaways on my website all summer, but mostly in August and September, so don't be a stranger, okay?

Hugs,
julie

Amber S. said...

DEBBIE: Way to get in at the last possible moment! ;) Aren't Julie's books great?! I'm definitely looking forward to this new series, too!

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Pam (pam.ailes@comcast.net) said...

I LOVE Julie's books. Have read all 3 of the Daughters of Boston Series. Can't wait to get a copy of A Hope Undaunted. From the excerpts I have read, I am not going to be disappointed! Even my daughter (who is not a reader)has read the 3 prior books and is waiting on the new one as well! I am so excited that it almost here!

Amber S. said...

PAM: Thanks for stopping by! Sorry I didn't reply until now, and I'm sorry you missed the giveaway! :( But I agree--I don't think any of us will be disappointed when we get our hands on A Hope Undaunted! ;) I'm really excited, too!

~Amber