Sunday, August 21, 2011

End of Summer Bash: Welcome Julie Lessman!

Today we're kick-starting a week-long celebration of the change of seasons - saying "farewell" to summer and "welcome" to autumn! I had a wonderful summer with my family and some of my dear friends (and all of you here in the blogosphere!), and I hope you all made some great memories, as well. Soon the next season will be upon us, and even though it will bring new responsibilities and schedules for some, each new day and each new season has gifts all its own - so let's celebrate!!

Our first guest this week is none other than Julie Lessman! (Take a look at the sidebar to see this week's full schedule. And remember that you can get 2 extra entries in one of this week's drawings by taking the event's blog button - details HERE!)

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of 'Passion With a Purpose' underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as 'Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.' She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of 'The Daughters of Boston' series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her 'Winds of Change' series has recently released with A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at

Welcome, Julie!

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today! Could you share with us one of your favorite memories from this past summer?

Julie: Uh-oh, this is going to sound reallllly bad, I know, and almost workaholic, but my favorite memories from this summer are sitting with my feet up and laptop in my lap on our lower deck facing the woods. I like to joke that I am a recluse who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality, but it’s the absolute truth, because I LOVE just staying home to write outside from May through September and even into October as long as I am bundled up.

Our wooded backyard is very private and it’s not a dark, dreary forest, either, but a lush, sprawling woods dappled with sunlight where a family of Cooper hawks squeal and soar, baby squirrels frisk, tiny fawns literally spring and wild turkeys roam. Honestly, it is SO beautiful down there that I literally stop what I’m doing periodically to just praise and thank God, and actually, it’s where I do my Bible study and prayer time as well. My hubby installed a ceiling fan overhead (for Mother’s Day) and I have my cinnamon hazelnut coffee, lip gloss, phone, and mirror (to capture those facial expression when I write) on a table close by. And the best part? My husband comes down to take breaks with me several times a day, and my daughter comes down for long chats, so I actually almost see more of them down there than I do inside!!

Amber: Oh, Julie, that sounds fabulous to me!! Can I come write with you?? ;)

If you could choose one of the characters from your latest novel to join you for an “end-of-summer” party, who would you want to celebrate with in person and where would you go?

Julie: Oh, Amber, how cruel, to limit me to just one! Because if I could I would LOVE to sit in on one of Marcy’s sewing fests on the back porch with all of the O’Connor women, sipping lemonade. BUT … since you are limiting me to only one character, you may not believe this, but it would be Charity Dennehy. Oh. My. Goodness! That woman is SUCH a hoot that she makes me laugh in almost every scene she’s in, even the serious ones. She’s quirky and fun and OH, so point-blank honest—like me—so I think we would have a blast, maybe shopping (one of Charity’s favorite things to do, even though it’s not mine) or going to see a romantic movie at the theater.

Amber: Now that would be one crazy-fun time, for sure!

Please tell us about your latest release. If you could share a scene from the book to whet our appetites, that would be fabulous!

Julie: Sure, Amber—A Heart Revealed is book 2 in “The Winds of Change” series, and it’s the forbidden love story of the oldest O’Connor brother, Sean O’Connor, a confirmed bachelor, and his sister’s best friend, Emma Malloy, a battered married woman. Here’s my own personal blurb:

The ring on her hand belongs to one man …

But her heart belongs to another.

As a battered woman, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston ten years ago, seeking shelter for a heart badly bruised by both her husband and guilt. But when she falls in love with Sean O’Connor, a confirmed bachelor who wrestles with demons of his own, fear and shame almost destroy her … until she is finally set free by a heart revealed.

Here is a scene later in the book where Sean is taking Emma home and tells her he’s leaving Dennehy’s (where they work together) because he’s in love with her.

~ Excerpt from A Heart Revealed ~

He smiled, offering a sideways glimpse shadowed with mischief. “It’s simple, really—I don’t like to play sports … or games … where my opponents have an unfair advantage.”

“You see a wife as an opponent?”

His grin broadened in the glow of the streetlamp as he eased to a stop. He shifted into park, turned off the ignition and turned to face her. “I see women as the opponent.”

“And what’s the unfair advantage, pray tell?”

Leaning his head back against the window, he draped an arm over the steering wheel and studied her through hooded eyes, his veiled look unable to hide a glimmer of tease. “Why, moods, tears and manipulation, Mrs. Malloy, all powerfully compounded by the deadly pull of sexual attraction.”

An onslaught of blood assaulted her cheeks, and she looked away. “Oh,” she whispered, palm taut on the handle of the door. She swallowed hard and gripped it tightly, ready to flee.


Her fingers stilled on the latch when he touched her arm. The sound of her name had parted from his tongue as a mere whisper, yet the depth of its passion buoyed her heart with a joy she had no right to feel. Her pulse pounded in her ears as she stared at the strong hand now caressing her own and her eyes drifted closed, unwilling to face the man to whom it belonged.

“Look at me,” he said quietly, and her breathing shallowed as she slowly raised her eyes to his. The intensity of his gaze caused her stomach to quiver.

“You are like no woman I have ever met, and if God would allow it, I would get down on my knees right now and commit to cherish and love you all the days of my life.”


“No, please—hear me out. I need to say these things, at least once. Before I go.”

Her breath hitched in her throat. “Before you go?”

He distanced himself, and she felt the loss of his touch. Settling back again, he picked up the baseball mitt to finger the binding, absently staring at the glove as he toyed with its laces.

“I’ve given a lot of prayer and thought to us, Emma, and I think the best course of action would be for me to leave.”

“Leave?” she whispered, the very word cleaving to her tongue.

His eyelids lifted halfway, revealing his sorrow. “Dennehy’s—for good.”

Her heart stuttered in her chest, stealing her air.

He gently took her hand in his, and she was too stunned to resist, staring at his thumb as it feathered her fingers. “I thought we could continue on as friends, but every time I look at you, touch you, see your smile, hear your laugh …” His large hand swallowed hers in a tender hold, squeezing gently before letting go with a deep draw of air. “… I only crave you more. To hold you, to love you … to make you my wife.”

Paralysis claimed her tongue as tears stung her eyes.

With a heavy exhale, he rested his head on the back of the seat, eyes staring aimlessly out the window. “I thought I was strong enough—to be your friend and only your friend, but my thoughts tell me otherwise.” His voice lowered to a bare whisper. “I actually believed that if I laid aside my physical desire, that we would be free from sin. But I can no longer deny that deep in the recesses of my mind, I wrestle with wanting you so badly, that I fear adultery in my heart.” He looked at her then, his eyes naked with regret. “I don’t want to leave you, Emma, but I love you too much to stay.”

Her eyelids fluttered closed, the loss of him almost unbearable. And yet, she’d known all along that this had been their destiny. This was the path she had chosen. The vow she had made, to God … and to Rory. A reedy sigh left her lips as she looked up, fingers quivering while she brushed a stray tear from her cheek. “Where will you go?”

His chest expanded and released. “I don’t know … I don’t really need the money right now, so maybe I’ll just donate my time to the church till I find something I like. I was offered a job a while back … maybe I’ll look into that.”

Her pulse quickened. “Your old store at Kelly’s?” she asked, grateful he could return to a job he loved and the woman who loved him.

“No, I don’t think so.”

She blinked, ridges lining her brow. “But Rose said—”

He glanced up, his gaze suddenly sharp. “Rose and I are over, Emma.”

Shock congealed in her throat. “Over?” she whispered. She felt her ribs constrict. “But why would you do that?” she asked, her voice cracking with strain. “She can offer you everything. Everything you should have—your own store, a woman who loves you, a family …”

His voice gentled. “I’m not in love with her.”

“But you can learn!” She shouted, hysteria rising in her tone as tears welled in her eyes.

With a tender gaze, he slowly gathered her into his arms against her will, gentle strength locking her to his chest where his heart beat steady and sure. She closed her eyes at the touch of his hand stroking her hair, and she had no power over the sobs that rose in her throat.

“No, Emma, I can’t … because I won’t.

“But you’re attracted to her, you told me so …” Her voice broke on a heave.

He kissed her hair, head resting against hers. “Yes, she stirs my body, but not my soul. When I kiss her, touch her … it’s your lips I’m kissing … your body I touch. That’s not fair to Rose, Emma, and it’s not fair to me.”

“But you’re a man who deserves to love and be loved …”

“And so I will be,” he whispered, grief threading his tone. “Because you and I will always love each other from afar.”

She sagged against him then, fingers clutched white on his coat. “No …. you’re a man with needs, desires …” Her frail moan slowly ebbed away.

Like her dreams for him.

His chuckle held little mirth. “The way I see it, Emma, if Father Mac can do it, I can.”

“But you deserve better,” she whispered, her heart raw.

He pulled away to cup her face in his hands, and in his eyes she saw all the pain and regret she felt in her own. A sad smile shadowed his lips. “No,” he said quietly, caressing her cheek with gentle fingers. “Because if I deserved better, I would have you.” Pressing a lingering kiss to her forehead, he gave her arms a quick buff. “Come on, you need to go in.” He opened his door and got out, ducking his head to flash his trademark smile. “The good news is, Mrs. Malloy … you get your store room back.” He shut his door and rounded the car, offering his hand after opening her side. He braced her shoulder on the walk to the door.

“When will you leave?” she asked, leaning on him more than she should.

“As soon as Mitch can hire someone to replace me.”

“No one can replace you,” she whispered.

He turned her to face him on the portico, the pale lamplight from brass sconces revealing his sorrow. A hint of the twinkle she loved returned to his eyes. “I know that, Emma, and you know that, but let’s not let Mitch in on it, okay? You know how he loves control.”

She attempted a smile that failed miserably.

His fingers traced the curve of her jaw before he opened the door. “G’night, Emma. See you on Monday.”

“Good night, Sean,” she whispered, heart buckling at the sight of the man she loved walking away. Tears blurred her vision as his broad back slowly faded into the night, and with a broken cry, she flew down the brick walkway with her heart in her throat. “Sean!

He turned at the street, and within mere seconds she launched into his arms, body heaving with the need to let him know just how much she loved him. With tears streaming her face, she kissed him with all the tenderness, all the passion, all the love that was his alone, and for one breathless moment in time, they belonged to each other. “I love you, Sean, and if I never reap another blessing from the hand of God, I will consider my life a joy because of you.”

He clutched her so tightly, they stood as a solitary figure, two hearts beating as one. He gently smoothed the tears from her face. “I will love you forever, Emma,” he whispered. “Through all the family gatherings where we chat and see each other in passing, I want you to always know—my heart belongs to you.” He pressed a final kiss to her brow. “Get some rest. Next week looks to be a back breaker.” Squeezing her arm, he rounded the car and opened the door, giving her wink as he slipped inside. She watched him churn the ignition and shift before pulling away from the curb.

“A back breaker,” she whispered, her words lost in the rumble of the Model T as it disappeared down the road. “And a heart breaker too.” Clutching her coat, she made her way to the door as her weary sigh collided with the frigid air to become vapor, forever fading away.

Just like our friendship.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Wow, Julie! This begs one of the questions from the movie Ever After: "How can you live each day with all that passion?" (Or something like that...) Seriously!

So, what do you look forward to most about the coming autumn season?

Julie: Grin … sitting out on my deck bundled up with the smell of wood smoke in the crisp, cool air and drinking in the beauty of scarlets, golds and russets in the woods beyond. Definitely one of my favorite seasons.

Thank you, Amber, for allowing me to be a part of your “End of Summer Bash.” I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can feel free to contact me through my Web site at, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways including one right now to have a character named after you or a loved one in my next book. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots," which is a very laid-back, Friday journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Then finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

Amber: It's my pleasure to host you here again, Julie! Thank you!!

Readers, ya'll know how generous Julie is! She has offered to give away a copy of any of her books, including A Heart Revealed, to one lucky winner - winner's choice! So please leave a comment along with your e-mail address for a chance to win! All winners will be announced on Saturday, August 27th.

*This drawing is open internationally.*

Tomorrow's guest is author Sarah Sundin, so come back soon to show her some love!


Carol Moncado said...


You're not supposed to make me cry in the middle of the night!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though I've seen that excerpt before!!!!!!!!


Now how am I gonna get back to sleep because I don't see this milk cutting it now :p.

Love ya lady! ;)

Julie Lessman said...

CAROL!!! You're not supposed to be UP during the middle of night, girl!!

And I posted this scene before??? I don't remember, which is NO surprise since I do so many interviews! And there's SO few romantic scenes with Sean and Emma that I don't have many I can post.

Thanks for stopping by, girlfriend, and GET SOME SLEEP!!


Jackie S. said...

What a nice way to start my day.....words from JULIE!! Can't wait to read AHR, Julie....know it is fantastic (like all your books)and that you put your whole heart into writing it.
Thanks for entering me.

Whitney said...

Ah, I love this. Now I'm wondering what happened before this scene, and what happens after.

Your little paradise makes me envious, Julie. :p Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons so I am very much looking forward to saying BUH-BYE to summer (and this triple digit weather) and HELLOOOOOO to autumn and its crisp, fresh, bright colors and clear, vivid blue skies.



Kav said...

What a great interview Amber and Julie. And that snippet...sigh...I can see Julie's prepared to rip my heart out and stomp all over it again many days to the release? I checked my Christian bookstore this weekend in hopes that Heart Revealed made it north early but no such luck! Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Love the interview!
I love to sit out on my front porch and enjoy natures blessings. every chance I can get.
Sounds like a wonderful read. Please enter me into the drawing.
Thank you for the chance.

Joy Tamsin David said...

Can't wait to read your book Julie!

I am a recluse too, I love staying home. Sounds like you've got a great view for your writing.

Great interview ladies!

Anonymous said...

oh, Julie...LOVE the scene from the book..and I'm guessing there will be so many twists and turns in the book that it will leave me guessing right to the end... they just have to get together!!!!! and I thought you said this book doesn't have as much "romance"....this scene alone has my attention and wishing the mailman would deliver this book TODAY!! well, I guess tomorrow since it is Sunday!! haha..
keep writing... LOVE your books!

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This sounds like an amazing book. I would love to win this. Thanks again.


Casey said...

#1 it is SO not fair we are 'celebrating' the end of summer. Nope. Natta. Zip. Summer too waaay to long to get to my neck of the woods and I want it to stick around for a good long time.

#2 I am craving some serious Julie Lessman. Julie have you got your author copies yet???? Maybe I don't want to know, makes the wait 10x harder. ;-)

Amber, I would like to be entered please. :)

Fun times!! :D

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

I want to go and write at Julie's too! ;)

karenk said...

HI Julie and Amber...

Julie...I can't believe Sean & Emma's story is almost here....loved the excerpt. Can't wait to read this fabulous novel of yours.

Amber...thanks for the interview/posting...loved it :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, JACKIE, you're making the rounds today, girl, and that is SO smart because you're liable to win a book that way, you know! And, yeah, I have to admit, I tend to put my heart (and soul) into my books, which isn't always that good to do since it means I spend WAY more time writing them than I should. If I were a little less anal about it, I might get more books out a little more often, WHICH is my plan with The Cousins McClare. We'll see if it works ... Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

WHITNEY ... LOL ... well, you will find out soon enough, my friend, but let me just say that since it's one of my books, we both know that LOTS will be happening before and after the scene above, so buckle up for a bumpy ride!! Good luck and here's to a win!

KAV SAID: "Sigh...I can see Julie's prepared to rip my heart out and stomp all over it again many days to the release?"

LOL ... you know me ALL too well, my friend, so YES, your heart will experience a bit of stomping, but in the end, it will all be worth it ... I hope! :/ AHR was supposed to release on on 8/15, but I understand it's on backorder till 9/7, which is really unfortunate, both for CBD and my readers! Amazon should be shipping it out on 9/1. BUT ... I have several really good reader friends who found some of my books two weeks early by calling bookstores in their area on a daily basis, so sometimes that pays off! Thanks for coming by, Kav, and good luck in the contest!


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, JOY ... I can't wait for you to read my book, either, because you and I DEFINITELY have similar tastes, my friend, and I have a feeling you are going to like AHR ... I hope! And you're a "recluse" too? I knew I liked you ... :)

JOETTA!!! LOL ... yep, it's true -- there's not much romance between Sean and Emma because she's married, but OH, BABY -- look out in Katie and Luke's sub story!!! Better keep a fan handy, girl, because what I don't deliver in romantic passion with Sean and Emma, I am able to make up for with the newlyweds! ;) Thanks for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!

REBECCA ... THANK YOU for your sweet comment, and trust me, girl -- I would "love" for you to win this book, too, especially since it sounds like you have never read my books before. I salivate over new readers because it's SO fun to surprise them with my passionate style ... uh, that is, if they LIKE passion in their romance and relationship with God!! So good luck in the contest!!


Julie Lessman said...

CASE!!! I'm with you -- I am SO going to miss the warm days because as everyone knows ... I like my days (and my romance) quite warm! :)

And, NO, I have not gotten my author copies yet, but they tell me they will ship out next week, so I am HOPING to get my paws on them next week and IMMEDIATELY ship them out to my winners, with YOU, my sweet friend, at the top of the list!! Cannot WAIT to get this book in your hands, Casey, because I have a feeling this may be your favorite Lessman book yet ... :)

EVA!!! Come on down, girlfriend ... or up, whatever the case may be. Today is GORGEOUS -- lots of sun, low humidity and except for the smell of varnish from my hubby staining the deck overhead, a realllly wonderful day! Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

KAREN ... I know, I can't believe it either, but nothing gets me giddier than knowing my next book will soon be in the hands of some of my favorite reader friends like you!! Can't wait to see what you think, so good luck in the contest!


Carol Moncado said...

I'd been asleep for several hours and woke up and couldn't go back to sleep... But I managed.

I could have sworn I saw that somewhere before - on Jots or something...

Or maybe it's all in my head... ;)

That's possible.

Can I come write on your deck too?

Julia M. Reffner said...

Julie, I LOVE your devotional spot. It sounds just wonderful!

And I thought the mirror is a great idea. I'm going to have to try this and see if it improves my description.

Michelle said...

Lovely interview ladies. I am so looking forward to reading the book. It's definitely at the top of my must read list. Your deck sounds just heavenly Julie, and I'm not someone who really enjoys spending time outdoors.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

Marissa :) said...

I'm sooooooo excited for A Heart Revealed!! I loved the excerpt and can't wait to read the whole thing! I love Julie's books so much that I stay up 'til 3 in the morning reading even though I have school the next day!

Anonymous said...

Wow Julie!!! What a scene!!! September 1st cannot come soon enough!!! I feel like these are real characters!!! You really know how to make a scene emotional!! When I read that, I wished that Emma was not married and that she was able to accept Sean's love. I am rooting for their relationship to work out and that she gets the ending she is dreaming of. She deserves happiness after everything that's happened in her life. I cannot wait to read the next installment of the O'Connor series!!

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Julie you are amazing, everytime I read an interview I learn something new about you. I have to say that back deck of yours sounds real nice and I don't blame you for wanting to "hang out" with your characters there. As for the excerpt...HOLY COW!!! I'm with Casey, where are those author copies? LOLOLOL at least I always know no matter if I have to buy it, review it, or I win it every year I'm getting a Julie Lessman book for my birthday (in September). Can't wait!!!

XOXO~ Renee

Casey said...

DITTO RENEE!! I'm with ya there girl. :D

Julie, I have nooo doubts about this being a favorite. ;-D

Pam said...

I can hardly wait to read the whole book! Julie has been tantalizing us for quite some time with little tidbits of the story; she knows how to build the suspense! I would be absolutely delighted to win a copy of A Heart Revealed so I can continue this wonderful story of the O'Connor family. I enjoyed the interview too.


Books Are A Blessing said...

I would love to win a copy of Julie's book.

Charity U said...

PLEASE enter me! I desperately want to read one of these books. :)

And Julie, I am going to email you back ASAP about the interview! :)

Sara said...

Hey Amber! I love your questions for Julie. Can you believe that autumn is right around the corner? You'll be doing something fun for Christmas before we know it. :)

Julie! I've found you yet again on another blog! Phew, this excerpt was awesome. Only you could pack so much drama and emotion into a little piece of wrting! I have no doubt that I'll be crying (probably multiple times) when I read Emma and Sean's story.


Melanie said...

I've never read any books by Julie Lessman! Please enter me in this giveaway!

frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

(I also added your blog button)

Amber Holcomb said...

Hello, friends! :D

So good to see all of you here, and thank you sooooo much, Julie, for letting me host you today!! I love seeing all the interaction/comments!

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to share your thoughts! Julie is so awesome - both as a friend and as an author. If you haven't read her books yet, here's hoping you get to soon! But as you can tell by the excerpt here, be prepared for a lot of passion, LOL! ;)

Can't wait for my review copy so I can read the rest of Sean and Emma's story! Be looking for my thoughts in late September during the Revell blog tour. :)


Ausjenny said...

Hey Julie, You know what I like best about your summer ending its that our winter is ending and today was like a early spring day wonderful.
looking forward to your new book to see whats happening with the families.
ausjenny at gmail dot com

Amy said...

Hi again. Your backyard sounds wonderful. I also just love staying at home. I have 6 kids so it just easier to do that as well. Looking forward to reading your book. I have all of your others and enjoyed them all.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

lgm52 said...

Great interview...really enjoyed the synopsis. Looking forward to reading the author's books.

Michelle said...

Hi Julie!!! So good to see you here on Amber's blog! LOVED the interview! I wish I lived closer so I could come visit you out on that amazing deck of yours! It sounds so beautiful and peaceful. : )

And you are just TOO MUCH, Mrs. Lessman!! That excerpt was AMAZING!! :::sigh::: I can't wait to get my hands on AHR!!

Love & Hugs,

Michelle said...

Forgot to put my email . . .
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Thanks, Amber and Julie! : )

Missy Tippens said...

What a fun way to kick off the celebration! I just love Julie's books!!

But I have to say I'm hanging onto summer. You'll have to drag me kicking and screaming into fall! :)

Laura Frantz said...

It wouldn't be a party without Julie here! And one of her breath-stealing, heart-pattering excerpts;) I've been checking to see when this new baby of hers releases - any minute now... And I've been so excited to hear about the next story - parrot and all. Bless you bunches!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read Sean & Emma's story! Thanks for the excerpt!

Megan said...

This is a great interview and I loved the excerpt . I just can't wait to read 'A Heart Revealed'! I have loved all of Julie Lessman's other books and this one sounds like it will be another favorite! Please enter me in this fantastic giveaway.

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

Julie Lessman said...

CAROL ... it's not on Journal Jots, so I'm not sure where you saw it before, but I'm sure you probably did. Like I said, I don't have a lot of "kiss" scenes with Sean and Emma, so I probably did use it somewhere. And, yes ... you can come write on my deck too, sweetie ... :)

Oh, JULIA, you GOTTA try the mirror -- it's indispensable to me, truly!! I rely SO heavily on facial expressions in my writing, that I would be lost without it ... :)

MICHELLE, you would LOVE my deck, and in honor of you, I would keep a can of Raid close by for those pesky bees that come by. But get ready for squirrels to make a mad dash in front of and behind your sofa chair, because for some reason, they can't see me and go skittering across the deck playing tag with each other. It's such a hoot to see them freeze in front of my chair and ottoman when I say, "Hey!" :)


Julie Lessman said...

UH-OH, MARISSA ... you stay up till 3:00 AM on a school night??? Gosh, don't tell your mom or she won't let you buy anymore of my books, girlfriend!! Of course, you're young, so you can get away with that! Thanks for your kind words and your support, sweetie, and good luck in the contest!

COLLEGEGRL16 SAID: "Wow Julie ... You really know how to make a scene emotional!!" GRIN ... well, that's both good and bad, girl. you see I have that knack because I AM so ridiculously emotional that these people almost ARE real to me, BUT ... the flip side is my poor husband has to live with an emotional basket case most of the time. Of course, he doesn't seem to mind, so I'm not real sure how smart the guy is, you know??? :) Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and let me know what you think after you read it, okay?

RENEE SAID: "I have to say that back deck of yours sounds real nice and I don't blame you for wanting to "hang out" with your characters there." Gosh, Renee, I never thought of it that way, as if I was hanging out with my characters on my deck, but that is EXACTLY what I'm doing, aren't I??? And since I like them all so much (even that brat, Charity), it's a total blast most of the time. And yes, ma'am, you have a copy with your name on it just waiting to be shipped once I receive it. However, this Sept. and next will be the last times you'll be able to get a Julie Lessman novel for your birthday, I'm afraid. After Steven's story comes out next Sept., then The Cousins McClare come out every nine months thereafter, which will be April 2013, January 2014 and October 2014. :)


Julie Lessman said...

CASE ... I think you're right, not only because your name is in this book, but I just have a feeling the story will resonate with you as well.

Hey, PAM ... yep, I do have a reputation for "tease," so just consider it the Charity in me, if you will. I usually like to "tease" or "tantalize" with kiss scenes, but like I said, Sean and Emma don't have too many. BUT ... Steven's story is LOADED with them, so much so that I expect my editor to do some snipping ... :) Good luck in the contest, my friend.

JOY!!! What a darling addy you have -- "Books are blessing"!! Very cute. Let's hope a book is a blessing to you in this contest, too, sweetie! :)


Julie Lessman said...

CHARITY!!! Trust me, girl, I "desperately" want you to win too, so make sure you hit all those giveaways, because I'm pulling for you!

Gosh, SARA, I hate to think that I will make you cry, but then that's my job, I guess, and we all know I take my job VERY seriously, so stock up on the Kleenex, sweetie-pie!! :)

MELANIE, nooooooooooooo!!! Say it ain't so, girlfriend, please!! Well, we will have to get one of my books in your hot, little hands, so if you don't win here, be sure to check out my other giveaways listed on my website calendar, okay? Good luck in the contest. :)


Julie Lessman said...

Hey, AMBER, it is SUCH a pleasure being here this week, especially with all these other fabulous authors. I LOVE the whole "End of Summer Bash" theme and am very blessed you asked me to be a part of it. Can't wait to check out all the other authors, and I encourage everyone to do the same.

JENNY ... it is SO weird that we are in opposite seasons, my friend, but you don't ever really have any bad winters, do you? Like with snow? I personally like snow, but most people I know do not. Good luck in the contest, my friend.

AMY!!! SIX KIDS???? And you have time to read??? When -- between midnight and three A.M.??? Seriously, I SO admire you, sweetie, because six kids is a lot of work ... but also a lot of joy. I am from a family of 13 myself, so I know how those older ones can help out too. Gosh, you need to win a book just for the heck of it, so good luck in the contest!


Julie Lessman said...

LGM52!!! YAY ... another possible new reader!! Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment and if you don't win here, sweetie, PLEASE check out my website calendar for additional blog-giveaway opportunities, okay??? We DESPERATELY need to get a book in your hands and soon, so good luck!

MICHELLE!!! Oh, man, I can REALLY see you and I chatting (and praying) up a storm out on my deck, girl, so if you are EVER in St. Louis, do NOT hesitate to call, you hear???

MISSY!!! Oh, I just LOVE it when I see one of my Seeker buds during these blog interviews, so THANK YOU, my friend, for coming by!! And you live in Georgia, girlfriend, so isn't it mostly summer or at least not cold down there year-round??? I think you had snow like, what, once or twice in the last 20 years???


Julie Lessman said...

LAURA!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot WAIT to see you at ACFW, my friend, and we still have to plan a time to steal away and have coffee, you hear??? From everything I've read, it sounds like The Colonel's Lady is AWESOME, and believe it or not, I literally get goose bumps when I see the cover because I am SO anxious to read it. Slow but sure, I am getting closer to picking that baby up!!

CLAIRE ... you are MORE than welcome, sweetie, and thank YOU for your support! And by the way, Claire, your name is in A Heart Revealed, only I spelled it "Clare." Gosh, if I had known you when I wrote it, I would have made it "Claire." :)

MEGAN ... thank you, my friend, and I cannot wait until you get to read ALL the excerpts put together!! Hopefully they will sound MUCH better that way. Good luck in the contest, sweetie.


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

LOL Julie you won't find me complaining about your future books not being released in September b/c that means they will be coming out LESS than a year apart! Yay!

XOXO~ Renee

Ausjenny said...

Hi Julie where I am no we dont have snow I would love to see it just once. I dont know how I would survive in a place where I was snowbound. I get cabin fever if I cant get out on a wet day! it feels like late sept not August right now its in the 70's and I am in short sleeves with all the doors and windows open. I love this weather.

Melissa said...

I haven't read any of Julie Lessman's books, but I've heard they are good. I would love to win a copy of one of her books!


Julie Lessman said...

RENEE ... grin ... good to hear, my friend, because I'm hoping to learn from the masters -- Mary Connealy and Ruth Logan Herne -- and get a few more books out there a little more often. :)

JENNY ... oh, it sounds delightful Down Under!! But everybody should see snow just once because it really is beautiful -- rolling carpets of white that shimmer and shine in the sunlight while icicle trees glitter and glow. Of course, easy for me to say when I can prop my feet up by the cozy hearth and watch the snow fall outside my window because I don't have to go out in it!!

MELISSA!!! Oh, girlfriend, we are going to have to rectify that REAL fast!! So if you don't win here, PLEASE check out my website calendar because I have a few more giveaways to go ... Good luck!


Missy Tippens said...

Julie, we seem to get snow about once every year or two. Of course, usually it's just a dusting. But last year or the year before we had a blizzard (for us)! We got about 5 or 6 inches. Was amazing. :)

And yes, unfortunately, it does get cold. I'm in north Georgia. Not too far from the mountains.

Patricia said...

We have 15 acres and I have a large porch that I love to sit in my rocking chair watching the birds and enjoying nature.
Thanks for the interview and giveaway. I am looking forward to reading this book.

plb1050 at gmail dot com

Kathryn said...

I'm loving all the excerpts on the unofficial blog tour as we lead up to A Heart Revealed's release date! I cannot wait to check in with the O'Connor's and really get to know Emma.


Julie Lessman said...

MISSY ... a "dusting" is the way to go -- all the beauty and none of the hazard or headache, or almost none! Mountains are nice ... and I don't care how cold it gets, girl, St. Louis would make it look like the Tropics! :)

PATRICIA!! Oh, girl, I'm jealous -- fifteen acres??? We only have 3/4 of an acre, BUT ... it butts up to a nature reserve, so the woods feels like we own it all even though the animals make US feel like the squatters! Good luck, sweetie!

Oh, KATHRYN, I'm getting excited too! Just heard from two dear reader friends who found A Heart Revealed on a day or so ago and already finished it. They said they LOVED it, so I am in hog heaven today!! Hopefully you will like it too, my friend. Good luck!


Lisa said...

I cannot wait to read this one!! Keep up the good work!! Love you girl!

bluejay(at)hwyman dot com

Tamera Lynn Kraft said...

I can't wait to read A HEART REVEALED. I've been on pins and needles waiting for its release.

Katie Marie said...

Hey Julie! Great interview, and that excerpt BEGS for more! I can't wait for my copy of A Heart Revealed comes in!

I'd love a chance at winning a copy of your book. If I did win, I'd most likely pick A Hope Undaunted. I'd love to read Katie's story. (And, yes, it might be just a wee bit due to her having my name! ;-)

(Btw, Amber. LOVE the new blog template!)

~ Katie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, LISA, thank you!!! I'll do my best, and hopefully a little faster, as well, with the new series. :) And I love you, too, sweetie. :)

Hey, TAMERA!!! You want to know what? For some reason YOU are one of the reader friends I am most excited to see what you think of AHR, I guess because you have been such a big support since I first took you by "surprise" with APMP. And the pins and needles are almost over ... oh, wait, what I am saying??? This is a Julie Lessman book of angst and drama, so suffice it to say ... the pins and needles are only JUST beginning ... :)

LOL, KATIE, well the "begging" is only about to begin, my friend, because I have a feeling readers are going to be begging me with things like,"NO, Julie ... you are NOT going to do that to poor Sean and Emma, are you???!!! Grin ... you bet! All's fair in love and war ... and fiction, right? And I can't wait for you to read AHU, sweetie, because as I told you before, it's my fav. :)


Katie Marie said...

Julie - Oh no! You know how much those kind of endings make me want to scream? Okay, so it's not such a bad thing, I know. And I think it's pretty good when an author can get their fans to look forward with breathless anticipation for the continuation....but it's SO hard to wait!!! LOL! :-D

Liz R said...

Julie is one of my favorite authors and the wait for A Heart Revealed has been excruciating!!! Please enter me in the giveaway!


God bless,
Liz R

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KATIE ... yep, I have an idea. I don't know if you know who Pepper Basham is (she has a GREAT blog!), but she practically gave me a blow-by-blow account of her feelings throughout the end of A Hope Undaunted every time she read a scene -- from throwing the book, to screaming, "No ... you aren't going to do that, Julie, are you???" to exhaustion! :) But look at it this way -- everything you guys go through in my books, I've gone through to write it. You don't think I can write a tearjerker scene without crying myself, do you??? And the wait is ALMOST over ... Revell is shipping out books today for blogs and bookstores! :)

LIZ!!!! You sweet thing, you -- THANK YOU for your sweet words, my friend. And I am SO sorry the wait has been "excruciating," but I hope and pray it's worth it in the end. So far the reviews have been pretty cool. Good luck, sweetie.


Katie Marie said...

Julie - Yes I do know Pepper! :-) Haha, that's funny! I have so many reactions while reading a book, but unless I write them down, I usually forget by the end, lol!

Well, while reading APMP, I could really tell it was written from the heart. Lots of feeling in it, which I really loved! :-) Keep on writin'!

Julie Lessman said...

KATIE ... yes, if we can't say anything else about my books, PLEASE know they are written straight from my heart, a love letter to God about His goodness in my life, which I try to layer into my stories.

And, sweetie, I got your e-mail, but am SO behind on responding, so forgive me. You'll hear from me soon, I promise.


Katie Marie said...

Oh, it's okay, Julie! No rush. I totally understand. :-) Reply whenever you can!

infuse said...

thankyou for the int'l draw for this~
too good to miss!
infuse at live dot ca

Julie Lessman said...

KATIE ... soon, my friend, soon ...

INFUSE ... what a GREAT addy!! I try to "INFUSE" my books with passion, so I like you already! I LOVE my international readers, and never want to exclude them no matter the shipping cost, so I have never personally restricted giveaways to just U.S., and it's no different in this case, sweetie, so GOOD LUCK!!


Bluerose said...

I do believe you are the most popular author around the blogosphere! I can see why, though! ;)
I can NOT believe time has flown by and it's that time of year again! Time really has a way of getting away!!
I'm not sure if I'm reviewing A Heart Revealed or not, but I'm going to go ahead and put my name in the hat. I had determined that I would buy it this year, though, since I got a signed one last year! :)

Merry said...

Wow, wow, wow! You are amazing Julie, my heart was breaking along with Emma's.
I'd love to be entered for A Heart Revealed.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

BLUEROSE!!! I've missed seeing you around, my friend -- I hope everything is going well. Never did get those pics from you, did I??? Gosh, it was so long ago, I forgot where we left it. I think you were going to send me actual photos, right? After your mom sent some to you?? If you did send them and I didn't respond, PLEASE e-mail me, okay? I have a collander brain most days, so it's best to follow up with me, you know?

And, YES, it is that time of year -- YAY!!! And GUESS WHAT???? I just went upstairs to make dinner a while ago, and the UPS guy delivered my first author copy of A Heart Revealed!!! WHOO-HOO, it's BEAUTIFUL, and when I opened to the acknowledgments page to read Keith what I wrote about him, I read him all of the acknowledments (Casey and Michelle ... make sure you do too!!), and he turned to me and said, "How the heck do you come up with that stuff???" I laughed and said, "I don't know, I'm just a passionate gal!!" DUH ... like he needs to be told!! :)

Soooo good to see you here, Tammy -- GOOD LUCK!!


Julie Lessman said...

MERRY!!! WOW, WOW, WOW to you too, my friend, for such a SWEET comment!! And you just wait, girl, you ain't seen nothing yet before poor Mrs. Malloy is through. Thank God she comes out of it with a smile on her face. Hopefully you will too, sweetie. Good luck!


Bluerose said...

Can you believe that I have hounded my momma for months for those pictures?! And my aunt. ;) I feel horrible that I can't seem to locate one. HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO excited for you!! I can't imagine how wonderful it must feel to hold that "baby" in your hands! I can't wait to see all the wonderful reviews flooding in...and I know they will all be great. :) I'm totally picturing the looks on both yours and your husband's faces as you're reading him the acknowledgments! So funny! :)

Breanna said...

I'm definitely looking forward to this book! My daughter and nieces got me into these books and now I'm hooked! I would love to be in the contest.


Julie Lessman said...

TAMMY ... I believe you, sweetie, because my daughter has to hound me for months, too, about some things, so no worries!

And, yeah, PRETTY DARN SPECIAL when you read the dedication/acknowledgments to those you wrote them about. A real blessing, indeed!


Julie Lessman said...

Aw, TAMARA, THANK YOU!! It's SO fun when the young gals get their moms and aunts into the O'Connors because it just goes to show that when it comes to passion for God and family there are no age differences!! Thanks for your support and give your daughter and nieces a big hug for me, okay?

Good luck in the contest, my friend!


Lady DragonKeeper said...

What a neat event! So many great authors this week! I almost didn't recognize Amber's blog ... beautiful layout. =) Wow, what an excerpt! I've been looking everywhere for "spoilers" (really bad, I know, LOL). I can't believe AHR is almost "officially" out!


Livvie said...

Oho - Julie! :) I feel like I'm stalking you hehehe. But in a good way of course.

Fingers crossed that 5th times a charm! :) I've liked Emma since she was introduced in Ireland eons ago it seems like now - and I truly want to read her story! :)

rainytuesdays at hotmail dot com

Amber Holcomb said...

Lady DragonKeeper,

So glad you think so! It's been a lot of fun. :) And I'm glad you like the new layout! I change it for each new season to fit the blog theme of "seasons," so it will change off and on. :)

And yes - yay for AHR's release!!


Judith Moore said...

anxiously awaiting :]

Tracy Smith said...

Great interview!!! I would love to read this new book. Please enter me.

countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Have a wonderful day!!

Li-An Austin said...

Another beautiful book! JULIE you're the best. Blessings on you new book release Usleann at hotmail dot com.

Julie Lessman said...

LDK!!!!!!! JUST sent my hubby to the post office not an hour ago with YOUR signed copy of AHR and nine others, so look for it in the mail by end of next week if not before, okay? Cannot WAIT to see what you think, my friend!!


Julie Lessman said...

LIVVIE!!! Stalk away, sweetie, because I sure don't mind and oh boy, oh boy, I think you are going to LOVE Emma, truly. And Sean??? Hubba hubba too!! And the sub stories for Luke and Katie and Charity and Mitch??? LOOK OUT!!!
Good luck, sweetie.


Julie Lessman said...

JUDITH ... ME TOO!!!! Although I just got my box of author copies (for family and friends) JUST yesterday, which means all the stores should have them, too, by now, God willing!! Can't wait to see what you think, my friend. Good luck!


Julie Lessman said...

TRACY ... uh, not HALF as much as I would LOVE for you to read it, kiddo, so good luck in the contest! :)


Julie Lessman said...

LEANN!!! Aw, THANK YOU, my friend -- I think EXACTLY the same way about great reader friends like you! Here's to a win, sweetie.


cynthia said...

Wow, this really makes me want to read the book even more. I can't wait to see how their problem is solved. Your books strap full of passion and raw emotion. I love reading them.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Cynthia, thanks for coming by, sweetie. Unfortunately, this particular contest is over, but there are a number of others going on and a new one starting tomorrow, so please check out my website, okay?


Megan said...

Wow....I am waiting out a hurricane here on the east coast and wishing I had this book to read. I cannot wait for this book to hit stores. Another great book!