Monday, August 2, 2010

Reading Retreats: In Borders and Up a Tree

There are many interesting places to read a book, and today I want to share with you one of my favorite reading-places stories. It involves a book by one of our favorite authors: A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman.

It all began in Borders over a year ago, about a month or two before I was to graduate from high school. I began reading A Passion Most Pure little by little, snatching some reading time whenever we went to the mall. Then one day I "met" Julie on a blog, and I told her about how I was reading her book in Borders. I was promptly given the nickname "Borders Girl," and Julie and I formed a great friendship. I'm sure most of you would agree that Julie is one of the friendliest people you'll meet in the blogging world!

Anyway, I eventually got my dad to buy me the book. I don't think I was even halfway through when he bought it for me, so I got to enjoy the rest of it outside Borders. That's where the tree comes in.

For our senior class picnic we went to a local Boy Scout camp. There was a clearing with some trees where we gathered to hang out when we weren't running amok in the woods. Of those trees in the clearing, one of them became a fantastic "reading retreat!" I sat in that tree and continued reading A Passion Most Pure, falling more in love with the characters and becoming more entangled in their drama. What a book!

In time I finished A Passion Most Pure and I won an autographed copy of A Passion Redeemed. That's me with my great copy of the second book in Julie's series at my grandparents' house last year. And that might be an example of my "Why are you taking a picture of me right now?" face. ;)

I'll leave it to you, my readers, to decide whether the moral of this story is that Julie's books are wonderful and you can read them anywhere, or that reading in different, interesting places makes for a memorable experience and an entertaining story. Maybe it's both?


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Julie's books are the best and can be read anywhere...although I prefer the silence of my air conditioned room LOL! I totally remember stopping by all of Julie's blog posts and seeing you there leaving comments as the Borders Girl! :-D

XOXO~ Renee

Amber Holcomb said...


Can't say as I blame you! ;) There shouldn't be any distractions when you're reading one of Julie's books, right? But I have a lot of fun reading her books anywhere, for sure! And I just loved reading in a tree. :)

You actually remember that? Awww...I feel so special! It's so great to get to know all of you wonderful blogging people better now that I have my own blog. :)

~Amber/Borders Girl

Julie Lessman said...

BORDERS GIRL!!!!! Gosh, I've missed calling you that now that you go by your given name. But you'll always be Borders girl to me, sweetie!

What a fun blog this is for me today, I guess because it makes me smile all over again when I think of that first e-mail I got from you telling me you were reading my book in Borders. I remember laughing out loud and my husband (who sits not two feet behind me in our office day in and day out since he has his own business) wanted to know what was so funny. We both laughed after that, dubbing you "Borders Girl."

I gotta tell you, Amber, I LOVE stories like yours because they're quirky and unique, which is how I like my writing, my characters and my friends, so THANK YOU, not only for reading my book in such a unique way, but for being such a fun and supportive friend as well.

You know, I have toyed with the idea of having a newsletter contest for the most unique way to read my books. The reason I considered it is because I actually got a Google Alert (you can set it up where Google alerts you whenever anybody mentions your books or name) about some blog I'd never heard of. I was stunned to discover that not only did this woman stay up late at night reading A Passion Most Pure (I think she got to the 6th or 7th chapter or something like that), but then she got up the next morning to read it in the bathtub. Imagine my shock when she told her blog audience that she was so hooked in that she literally didn't get out of the tub till she finished it -- almost 400 pages more!! I was so fascinated by this that I actually e-mailed her through her blog, asking inane questions like: Do you live in a warm climate, I hope? Were you completely wrinkled when you got out? Did you get out anytime to eat, etc.???

The same thing happened on another Google Alert where I read a review on APMP where a young woman said she couldn't put it down -- literally read it while she curled her hair, ate her breakfast and then actually read it under her desk at work during lunch, which was a first for her, I believe.

Now as a new author, I gotta tell you that THOSE are the types of reader friends an author likes to have!! :)

Have a blessed day, Amber, and thanks for the blog! :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you!!! :D This story never gets old for me--hope it doesn't for you! I love the nickname, and I'm so glad we "met" over a year ago. Your friendship means so much!

Those are some really interesting stories, I've got to say. ;) That would be one fun contest if you did do it.

Oh, and I must say "Aha!" I finally know how it is that you know when we're talking about your book on our blogs!!! I was wondering how I could always count on you to show up when we mention your book--and now I know and my curiosity is satisfied. ;)

Have a wonderful day!


P.S. Everyone, Julie left another teaser for the THIRD book in her new series on Seekerville today! Go check it out!!!

Bluerose said...

I have to say "Aha" too!!! I was wondering how some authors showed up after one of my reviews. That explains a lot! :)
It is funny to see where some people read. When I first heard of Julie's books, I went looking at books-a-million for it. I was so dissappointed that they didn't have it. I figured I would rather order them online than drive 2 hours. That's a disadvantage to small towns. We don't have a Border's anywhere even close that I know of. So sad!! :)

Amber Holcomb said...


I know, right? It did seem funny to me, as well, that some authors knew when I had posted a review of their book! You learn something new every day, I guess. ;)

I'm sorry you don't have a Borders! Although not having the temptation might be a good thing, too. :) I'm glad you were still able to get Julie's series, though!


Kav said...

Well darn, I posted a comment here a couple of times and they didn't take. I'm not going to repeat myself in case they pop up sometime. Just happy reading! :-)

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I saw that teaser of Julie's! I'm sooo sad that I have to wait soooo mong for it :-( LOL

I saw what you posted too! You're pretty talented yourself there I wanna know, what happens next? ;-)

XOXO~ Renee

Amber Holcomb said...


I'm so sorry! :( I hate when that happens, especially when it's a super long comment! If it ever does happen again, you can try posting it multiple times and I'll just throw out the extras. ;)

Happy reading to you, too!


Amber Holcomb said...


Wasn't that an incredible teaser? I can't believe she's torturing us like us a teaser from the third book when the first isn't even out yet!!! Aaaahh!!!

Oh, well. Anticipation can sometimes be a good thing. ;)

And thank you for the compliment! I just wrote that little piece for the contest, but it would be interesting to expand the story wouldn't it? ;) I wonder if I could make a whole book around that one scene...

Anyway, hopefully you'll be reading about another love story sometime in the *near* future. There's quite a bit of drama going on in my WIP, actually! ;)

Thanks again, Renee!


Amanda Stanley said...

It's probably just Julie's WONDERFUL books!! Gosh, you could read her books on a picket fence and it would be an enjoyable experience! :D

I agree, Julie is one of the friendliest people you'll ever have the privilege and pleasure of meeting in the blogging world! I remember the first time I emailed her after reading all 3 of her books and telling her just how much they meant to me. Well, not even 20 min. later I got an email back from her :0 Who does that?! What author gets back that fast to their reader- if they get back to them at all?! She is certainly 1 in a million!! I am so blessed to have read her books, and so honored to be one of her reader/friends :)

And, I love your Border's story! I have a sorta funny one myself about how I first read APMP... So, I was DESPERATE to read this book and saw on that some of their books have a "view inside" feature, and this book was one of them! Well, when you click on that you can usually read the first 10-12 pages of a book, and then it won't let you go any further. But I found a way around that! All you have to do is delete your Internet history, go back to the site, type in the last page you were on and pick up where you left off! Granted, you have to do that every 10 pages and your eyes burn something fierce from the glare of the computer, but like I said- I was DESPERATE!! From that I knew I just had to read the others and couldn't have the other 2 books without the first in my collection! I read APMP all over again when I got the book itself and it definitely made for a better, if not more comfortable read ;)

Reading outside is always wonderful, too! And a tree would probably be a great place to read Colin and Faith's first scene together, if ya know what I mean ;) *swoon*

Thanks for the smile, Amber! Praying your day is beautiful, my friend!!

Amanda Stanley

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

What a great story, Amber. Definitely shows what a great book APMP is. ;)
And love all the pictures you put up in all your post. Your so pretty, Amber, I think I'm a little jealous.LOL;) Love the post!!:)
Love Ya,

Amber Holcomb said...


You are too funny! ;) I agree that Julie's books are great to read anywhere. I recently read quite a bit of A Passion Denied on airplanes, in airports, and in a hotel room!

And I know what you mean about Julie! She surprised me like that, too, by getting back to me right away when I would e-mail her. People who aren't even authors hardly tend to do that! ;)

Your A Passion Most Pure story is hilarious! You really must have been desperate--and clever. ;) So glad you were able to get real copies of her series eventually!!!

I love reading outside, too. :D And thank YOU for the smile, as well!


Amber Holcomb said...


You know you just made my day, right? The pictures in this post and other older pictures of me are enough to make me cringe. ;) Just kidding! But, really, I had bangs almost my whole life, and I finally started growing them out last summer to try something different and so I wouldn't have to get them cut every month during college. I have to say, it's so nice now to have no bangs and shorter hair! Definitely much less of a hassle! ;)

Thank you for reading the post, and thank you again for your sweet compliment! :D You are a great friend! And yes, A Passion Most Pure really is a fantastic book!


P.S. I absolutely love that bookmark I won on your blog! Will you be doing anymore of those giveaways soon? My sister seemed mighty interested in getting her own bookmark like mine...with a different design of course. ;)

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Of course I'll be doing more Fiction Fanatic Fridays, Amber!! I've just been so super lazy this summer, that I haven't done one in a while.LOL
I think this week I'll be doing one, so make sure to stop by my blog this Friday, okay.;)
But, if your sister is wanting a bookmark too, feel free to shoot me an e-mail anytime. I love making the bookmarks, and would be more than happy to make one for your sis.:)
Love Ya,

Amber Holcomb said...


Yay! But I totally understand why you haven't done more lately--summer is for relaxing, right? ;) I'll have to remember to stop by Friday, for sure!

You're so sweet to offer to make one for my sister! :D I'll ask her what she thinks and I'll get back to you on that. Thanks so much!