Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Q & A with Julie Lessman (and giveaway!!!)

1. It's no secret that you're one of our favorite authors around here. What can fans expect from A Heart Revealed?

Aw, thanks, Joy—I think you know I feel the same way about you and the Edgy Inspirational blog!

And what can reader friends expect from A Heart Revealed? Sorry, I’m not partial to the word “fans” because it somehow separates an author from her readers, which I don’t like to do because we’re are all just flesh-and-blood women who enjoy a passionate story, right? Well, first of all, this is not my usual fast and furious romance with lots of fireworks because Emma is married, so obviously I couldn’t go there. Besides, that’s what Katie and Luke and Mitch and Charity are for, no??

Sean and Emma’s story is a ten-year friendship that grows spiritually and emotionally, ripening into unconditional love where two people sacrifice themselves for the other. Consequently, because the romance between the hero and heroine in this book is such a departure from my usual sizzling instant attraction right out the gate, some reviewers are saying the book is slow at first, which makes me shake my head. Of course the romance is slow … they are friends who are taken by surprise when deeper feelings evolve, which means they s-l-o-w-l-y and unintentionally fall in love. That’s why the sub stories between Katie and Luke and Mitch and Charity are so heated and … I hope … pulse-pounding, because in a Julie Lessman novel where my hands were tied with the romantic aspect for Sean and Emma, I just HAD to get my romantic fix in others ways! :)

2. Tell us about your writing journey since you've been published. Do you notice style differences between the Daughters of Boston series and The Winds of Change series?

Getting published was like buckling up in the scariest roller-coaster on the planet, and let me tell you, as much as I LOVE angst, drama and thrills, I have a fear of heights and HATE roller-coasters. Everything happens so fast—you go flying to great heights with contest wins, wonderful reviews that bring tears to your eyes and connections with reader friends that deepen and enrich your life. And then in the next pulse-freezing second, you go crashing back down to earth with 1-star reviews that cut your heart out and a truly awful obsession with Amazon rankings and book sales. The good news is that God uses this crazy lifestyle to ground and level you in HIM despite the endless ups and downs of this industry, for which I am eternally grateful.

The only difference between “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” that I can see is that in the DOB series, the books built slowly and gradually toward a multi-layered family saga where as the WOC series are chock full of family stories and subplots right out the gate. Also, believe it or not, I did TRY to tone down the romantic passion in the 2nd series a bit, but that is hard to do (uh, especially for me!) when you are writing sub plots for married couples, allowing for more romantic leeway.

3. What are your secrets to balancing your social media and blogging time with writing and editing?

HA! My “secret” is I don’t have one! Which is why Revell “suggested” they handle scheduling my blog interviews this year so that I could spend more time writing. Normally I do anywhere from 30 to 50 interviews when a new book releases, but because I LOVE to connect with my reader friends via comments on blogs, I literally would not write for two months while these blogs were going on, which is NOT good. So when I signed a new three-book deal with Revell for “The Cousins McClare” series, they limited me to ten interviews/giveaways for A Heart Revealed since this new series will come out every nine months instead of my usual twelve.

As far as “social media,” I try to limit Facebook and Twitter to beginning and end of the day so that I can focus on writing throughout.

4. What are three things on your bucket list?

Oh, what a FUN question, Joy! One, I definitely want to go to Ireland. Two, I want to meet all my favorite blogger and reader friends (like you!). And three, I would die happy if I could ever achieve the lifelong dream of becoming a Christy finalist. Catherine Marshall had a HUGE effect on me as a new Christian at the age of 23 and to ever be nominated for the award that bears the name of her first book would be a dream come true. I’m not talking winning, mind you—I just want to be a finalist. :)

5. Do you have a favorite character? Who and why?

The “favorite character” status of books I haven’t written goes to none other than Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind because when I first read that book at the age of twelve, I was so swept away by the romantic tension between Scarlett and Rhett, that I actually wrote 150 single-spaced pages of what today is my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Scarlett was not exactly a role model, I know, but I loved her strength, her confidence, her inability to be false or phony … and I especially loved the pull she had over Rhett whether he liked it or not. That’s what true romance is—a man who will cherish you and love you no matter your failings.

In my own books? Well, I love ALL my characters, of course, but the one I am most partial to will probably come as a shock to most readers. Without question, Charity O’Connor from book 2, A Passion Redeemed, was the most fun character and book to write. I actually wrote it (almost 500 pages) in two months, and that was working part-time at my day job! It just seemed to flow from me, I guess because Charity is so much like I used to be before Christ that it felt natural to be writing her story. I had to laugh at my husband while he was reading Redeemed because he couldn’t stand Charity. Poor guy, I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’s been married to her (without the incredible physical beauty) for over 30 years! :)

Don’t get me wrong, I love Faith O’Connor, but in all honesty, she is more like the woman I am today—heavily dependant on God, emotionally involved with Him and a person who prays at the drop of a hat, so I almost feel one with her.

But Charity—goodness, my heart goes out to her and the woman I used to be—selfish, manipulative, lost. I think that’s why she fascinates me so much, because I look at her (and women like her) in the same way I suspect God looked at me back then—with eyes full of love and hope that we all can become new creatures in Christ Jesus. And quite frankly, I think she is just downright funny and quirky and such a hoot that she makes me laugh. And OH MY, what she does to a woman who is after her husband in A Heart Revealed?? You won’t believe it OR the fact that yes, it is something I would have done at the drop of a hat before I came to Christ! :)

Thank you, Joy, for allowing me to connect with your readers. I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can feel free to contact me through my website, 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.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. 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 and A Heart Revealed. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.


Want more info about A Heart Revealed? Here's the book blurb:
Her heart is tied to a youthful vow . . . but can true love set it free?

Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity’s handsome and charming brother, Sean O’Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she’s ever known?

Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold you in its grip until the very last page.

It's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Julie has graciously offered a signed copy of any one of her books to a lucky reader. Between now and October 11, leave a comment below responding to anything you read in her interview. Be sure to include your email address. This giveaway is open to residents in US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Thank you so much Julie for visiting us, and you are welcome back anytime!!

100 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Julie for making Edgy Inspirational Romance one of your 10 interviews! I have A Heart Revealed on my kindle and I can't wait to read it!!

    The publishing roller coaster sounds like one amazing ride. I love angst, drama and thrills in my books, not sure how I'd be able to handle it in my life. :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that your Christy dream comes true!

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  2. Im embarrased to say that I have never read anything for Julie Lessman so it would be awesome to win this book!!

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  3. I would love to read Julie's books. They sounds very good. I love reading Christian fiction. Please enter me in cotnest. Tore923@aol.com

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  4. Wow. I love how Scarlett inspired you!
    (not an entry)

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  5. I read a Passion Most Pure but have not started on Passion Redeemed. Now You have me anxious to read about Charity. She sounds like an interesting character.
    I am glad to have a chance to win a copy of A Heart Revealed.

    plb1050 at gmail dot com

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  6. Once again, I love reading your 'answers' Julie...you amaze me.

    Thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel, ladies :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  7. JOY!!! How could I not include you as one of my "official" ten interviews??? Not only do I LOVE "Edgy Inspirational Romance" -- both the blog and the subject -- but you as well, darlin'!!

    Yeah, me too as far as the angst and drama in books, but it really sucks pond water in one's life, let me tell you!! But ... NOTHING has drawn me closer to God than this, so it IS sooo true that "all things do work together for good for those who love God ..."

    Thanks SO much for hosting me on your blog, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  8. WILSON FAMILY!!! Girl, don't be embarrassed, be PROACTIVE!! Right now book one in this series, A Hope Undaunted (which is my fave of all my books) is a FREE DOWNLOAND for THREE MORE DAYS on CBD.com, Amazon.com, B&N.com, Sony.com, etc., so TAKE ADVANTAGE!!! You can download it on just about anything -- a PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Droid, you name it, and that way you can check out my writing style without spending a dime. Then, if you like it, please spread the word, okay? GOOD LUCK in this contest!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  9. VICTORIA ... Christian Fiction is just THE BEST, isn't it??? I won't read anything else because if God isn't in the center of it, it has no real depth for me.

    It sounds like you haven't read any of my books either, Victoria, so PLEASE do what I told Wilson Family above!! Right now book one in this series, A Hope Undaunted (which is my fave of all my books), is a FREE DOWNLOAND for THREE MORE DAYS on CBD.com, Amazon.com, B&N.com, Sony.com, etc., so TAKE ADVANTAGE!!! You can download it on just about anything -- a PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Droid, you name it, and that way you can check out my writing style without spending a dime. Then, if you like it, please spread the word, okay? GOOD LUCK in this contest!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  10. I loved the bucket list. Ireland would be amazing. I would love to visit there sometime myself.

    Thank you for the chance to win this. This book looks amazing.

    agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. JUJU!!! Hey, sweetie, I remember that you did NOT like my first book, A Passion Most Pure, but I am hoping you will take a chance on another of my books, especially since it is a FREE DOWNLOAD!!

    Do me a favor and give A Hope Undaunted a chance, and if you don't like it, then that should be ample proof that you don't like my style. But I was SO sure you would from what I read about you and your blog that I was really surprised. So PLEASE ... give me another chance and try A Hope Undaunted. Right now it's a FREE DOWNLOAND for THREE MORE DAYS on CBD.com, Amazon.com, B&N.com, Sony.com, etc., so TAKE ADVANTAGE!!!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed, JuJu, because I am expecting my first grand baby ANY SECOND now, and guess what my "grandma name" is going to be??? JUJU!!! I LOVE that name and would LOVE to have your support as well.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  12. Oh, PATRICIA ... A Passion Redeemed is my absolute fave of DOB!! Now, granted, it's not everybody's because Charity is such a witch in APMP, but she is redeemed in book 2, and by the fifth book in the saga (2nd book in this series), A Heart Revealed? You are going to absolutely LOVE her!! She makes me laugh in every single scene she's in, even the sad ones.

    Or better yet, try the FREE download of A Hope Undaunted going on for THREE MORE DAYS because that way you get a good glimpse of Charity without spending a dime, okay? Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  13. KAREN!!! Sooooo nice to see your sweet name pop up, girl, and you are about due for a win, I'd say, aren't you??? Saying one right now ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  14. REBECCA ... hey, girl, you're about due to win one of these blog giveaways too, I'd say -- you've been diligent to comment on several I've seen, so here's to a win.

    And Joy's "bucket list" is the first time I've been asked that, which is saying something because I've answered 1,500 questions in over 150 interviews, so GREAT JOB, Joy!!

    Good luck in this contest, Rebecca!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  15. Great job with this post! Ireland is on my Bucket List, too, Julie! Enjoyed your "Kiss" presentation at conference! You two did a great job!

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  16. I enjoyed reading Julie's Bucket list....makes me want to create one as well!!

    I LOVE every one of Julie's books and look forward to reading "A Heart Revealed". Being a young wife and mother myself, I can find myself escaping my everyday busy life to jump into each book and really connect with each character!!

    Please never stop writing Julie!!!
    Michelle Carnaghi
    michelle@jacksonbrothers.com

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  17. CARRIE!!! Let's go together, girl!! Look out, Ireland!!

    And thanks for the compliment, my friend. One of my regrets of the conference is not spending more time with you. Next year, you hear???

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  18. MICHELLE!!! What a HUGE treat to see you here, girl!!! Thanks for dropping by and for your kind words. How's our boy doing??? The little one, that is ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  19. I want to win AHR!!! Am praying for the birth of that first "grand"....that all goes well.
    Also, praying for a Christy finalist WIN.!!
    Thanks!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  20. LOL, JACKIE ... SOOO appreciate those prayers, girlfriend, but even more, the friendship!! Thank you for always being such a great support, my friend, and ALWAYS making me smile. :)

    God bless you in this contest because you are SO due a win ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  21. Hi Julie~

    I think this was my favorite interview. I don't really have a bucket list. My husband would like to go to Alaska, so that would be somewhere I would like to go. Some friends just came back from Ireland, and they LOVED it. They said everyone should make the trip!

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I can't wait to read AHR!

    Blessings to you~
    Wendi

    wowendi{at}gmail{dot}com

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  22. man I did a whole comment and it disappeared!!! know most of the interview about you, what I really liked to hear is you'd like to go to Ireland...me too. I have an Irish friend from Texas that takes a tour over and visits Ireland, he does the good stuff but personal stuff, like taking the back roads and showing you the stuff of his childhood and takes you into homes of family and friends....good writing materials....Virginia Rush vrush729(at)aol(dot)com

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  23. WENDI!!! Alaska sounds SO cool as well!! Oh, hearing what your friends said just make me chomp at the bit all the more to see Ireland. Some day ...

    Hope you like AHR when you "win" it (how's that for positive thinking???), although AHR has me a wee bit nervous because I am getting more 3- and 4-stars on this one than my others, so I guess readers either love it or not so much. Hope you "LOVE" it, Wendi! Good luck!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  24. Oh, VIRGINA -- BUMMER!!! I just HATE when my comments get eaten, ESPECIALLY with how long-winded I can be!! So I have a hard-and-fast rule now that I ALWAYS copy my comment before I post it, JUST IN CASE. That one extra step has served me well, trust me!!

    Does your friend actually do tours for people??? 'Cause boy, oh boy ... would I LOVE that!! What a GREAT way to see Ireland. When I go, it will be touring that way with a final stop in Dublin to see the big city. :)

    Good luck in the contest, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  25. I would love to read A Heart Reveled!!! Thanks for the giveaway and I'm going to check out the journal jots. Sounds interesting!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  26. I know you don't like the term "fan", Julie, but I am definitely a fan of yours! I've loved your other books and I know I'm going to love this one, too!! Thanks for a terrific review and giveaway :)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  27. I love your books, Julie! I am a fan of Gone With the Wind too! I actually started writing a "sequel" when I read it in high school, because I hated the sequel that someone else wrote. :)

    hollyberry1278@yahoo.com

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  28. Hey, MARGARET, trust me -- I'd "love" for you to read A Heart Revealed too, so good luck in the contest.

    And I don't know if you have read the first book in this series, A Hope Undaunted, but if not, it's FREE as a download for THREE MORE DAYS on CBD.com, Amazon.com, B&N.com, Sony.com, etc., so TAKE ADVANTAGE!!! You can download it on just about anything -- a PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Droid, you name it. Then, if you like it, please spread the word, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. Aw, JULIE, thank you SO much!! I just don't like the word "fan" because I see you guys as my "friends," which is so much more the truth here, right? But THANK YOU for your incredible support, whatever name you put to it, sweetie. MUCH appreciated!! AND ... good luck in the contest!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. HOLLY!!! OMIGOSH ... I think that's the first time you told me that, isn't it??? And that's critical info, girl -- it says we are a LOT alike!! My condolences, my friend ... :)

    Seriously, I admire ANY teenager that tackles writing a novel after reading anything GWTW. But I will agree with you, the sequel SOOO did not do it justice, but I didn't care. I just was SO desperate to read something GWTW that I read it, reread it, read GWTW and then reread the sequel for the third time. Sigh. I needed the fix I guess ... :)

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  31. Great interview questions, Joy!

    Julie, I love hearing about your favorite character in your own books. Sadly though, I have to side with your husband...Charity drove me nuts in parts of A Passion Redeemed! I love her now though that she's grown up a bit and I can understand her past behaviors, even if they frustrated me. :)

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  32. Hi Julie! I loved reading your bucket list!! So fun! I'm still dying to dive in to my copy of A Hope Undaunted, but the craziest thing has happened this month. People have been loaning me books to read left and right, and I now have about 15 borrowed, unread books on my TBR pile that other folks want me to read. Well, they may just have to wait because Luke and Charity have been tapping on my window for quite some time now. :) Oh! And I CANNOT WAIT to hear more about your Cousins McLare series!

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  33. I admire those of you who not only can, but do write, even knowing the angst you will go through in the publication process. I think you must be a much stronger person than I.
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  34. @lgm- I'm beginning to think they're stronger than me too. LOL. Thanks for stopping in.

    @Natalie- that's the funny thing about TBR piles, they never seem to decrease, only increase!

    @Sara- Thanks, I borrowed the bucket list question from Serena. :) Hope she doesn't mind.

    @Holly-Awesome! Did you post it on a fan fiction site?

    @Margaret & @Julie- Thanks for popping in to support Julie.

    @Virginia- I hate when that happens! (slaps forehead).

    @Wendy- I think it's my favorite Julie interview too, but maybe I'm biased?! LOL.

    @Jacki- Thanks for entering!

    @Michelle- So don't leave us hanging, what would you put on the bucket list? :)

    @Carrie and @Rebecca- So many people have Ireland on their bucket lists I'm beginning to think I should add it to mine. I do have London and Paris down. Maybe after the kids are grown I'll be able to afford the airfare.

    @KarenK and @Patricia- Thanks for coming by to support Julie!

    @Juju- I love that Julie is going to use Juju as her grandma name. I think it's adorable. I've always wanted to know, is yours is a nickname, a real name or a screen name?

    @Victoria- Thanks for entering!

    @Wilson Family- Get to a bookstore STAT! You won't be disappointed.

    And @Julie- You are always my favorite author to have on because you are so awesome with the responses. Bloggers love interaction. Thanks for that!

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  35. I love Mrs. Lessman and her books! I'm a huge fan.
    I definitely liked hearing you bucket list. I hope you are able to go to Ireland, and you most definitely deserve to be a Christy finalist!! :)
    I absolutely loved A Heart Revealed! Thanks so much.:)

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  36. p.s. Sorry! My email address is kentuckykate @ earthlink.net

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  37. I have read several interviews featuring Mrs. Lessman, and I can say that it is very telling that comments for her and about her books are responded to! I just think it shows how much of a heart you have for your readers and potential readers, and I really appreciate it!

    All of your novels have been on my to-read list for a long time, and I have one on my Kindle, but I have to read things in order, so I am determined to start with A Passion Most Pure! ;)

    Thanks Julie and Joy for an awesome interview and for the chance to win!

    Beth
    bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]com

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  38. Loved reading your interview! I've seen a couple of others also and they were all interesting. I also loved Gone With the Wind so much as a girl. Glad to see you are doing what you love. I already had A Hope Undaunted downloaded for my Kindle, but I haven't started it as of yet. Once I start on a series then I NEED to have the rest to finish it out or I go crazy! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    andrea2russia@hotmail.com

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  39. LOVED this interview Joy and Julie! It's certainly made me want to read AHR so much that I will find a way to acquire a copy!!
    How exciting that you are going to have a grandchild, Julie! You'll be a great Juju! :o)
    Our littlest is still causing us concern. Her face looks terrible again. )o: Appreciating all those prayers! Oh, and I have hubby home looking after me and Melody as I have bad back pain! )o: Looking forward to when these trials are past! Anyway...enough rambling here!
    I could definitely do with your novel as a pick me up! Please enter me: e[dot]johnsen[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz

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  40. Very nice interview! I'm POSITIVE that you will win a Christy award one day, Julie! How could you not :) I would love! to win this book!!
    marissamehresman@aol.com

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  41. Very nice interview! I'm POSITIVE that you will win a Christy award one day, Julie! How could you not :) I would love! to win this book!!
    marissamehresman@aol.com

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  42. I found it interesting that Scarlett & Rhett played a part in Julie writing her first book `A Passion Most Pure`
    I would love to win this book. Thanks!
    moma3homeschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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  43. I would love to go to Ireland too! Thanks for the giveaway!

    frequentreader19(at)gmail(dot)com

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  44. SARA ... Charity is SO misunderstood!!! I'm telling you, if you don't love her after reading A Heart Revealed, I will refund your money ... unless you win the book!! She is SUCH a hoot and SO deep-down caring about those she loves that I wish I had her for a best friend. Promise me you will let me know what you think, okay???

    Good luck in the contest 'cause I REALLLLLY want you to read this book and see that I'm right! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  45. NATALIE!!! Gotta tell you that I am SO crazy about A Hope Undaunted and Katie and Luke that I am ready to pick it right back up again and reread it (just finished it yesterday!!). I actually MISS Katie and Luke!! I always reread all my books before the next one comes out, and I am now 1/8 into A Heart Revealed and am SO glad Katie and Luke have a strong sub story in that book.

    That said, I would LOVE to see what you think of A Hope Undaunted, so PLEASE get to it soon, okay?

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  46. LGM52 ... NO writer is "strong" when they first go through this excruciating process, trust me. But, OH, how we grow and strengthen when God walks us through!! I would be LOST without Him as an author and definitely no longer an author. I have almost quit twice because it is SO difficult dealing with the ego side of reviews/book sales/contests, but HIS grace and strength get us through ... and it would get you through too, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  47. JOY ... Now you see why Revell has to limit my interviews because I LOVE talking to my reader friends on wonderful blogs like yours!!

    And my top three places to want to visit are:

    1.) Ireland
    2.) London
    3.) Paris

    Soooo ... wanna go???

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  48. HANNAH, BLESS YOU!!! Thank you SO much for your kind words AND for reading and enjoying A Heart Revealed!!

    I don't know if you are prone to writing reviews, but if you are, I am running a newsletter contest where anyone who posts a review on Amazon.com, CBD.com, Goodreads, B&N or anywhere else, gets a point for every review posted. It only has to be a line or two saying you liked the book and a 5-star review if you can honestly give it that, then even just one review posted enters you into a drawing for a signed copy of Steven's story, A Trust Restored when it comes out next year. The persons who come in first and second in posting the most reviews will get a character named after them in Steven's story and the top winner will also get a $50 gift card. So if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, just sign up for my newsletter on my website and post a review or more and let me know by forwarding me the links. BUT ... if posting reviews is NOT your thing, PLEASE do not worry about it, okay? This is only for those people so inclined.

    And thanks for pulling for me to final in the Christys. Only God knows if He has that in store for me someday FAR down the road, but either way, writing for HIM is the greatest reward.

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  49. BETH!!! Oh, honey, HOW I wish I could hug your neck right now!!! YES ... NOTHING makes me happier than when a new reader begins with the first book in this family saga, A Passion Most Pure, which was American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year in 2009. So IF you win this contest, my friend, I will be THRILLED to send you a signed copy of A Passion Most Pure, okay? It really is best to read these books in order due to a number of big surprises, ESPECIALLY in book 1, so THANK YOU for being so compliant. I wish you the very best in this contest. And if you don't win here, please check out my website calendar for additional giveaway opportunities, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  50. ANDREA ... thank you SO much for downloading A Hope Undaunted -- that is my fave of all my books. BUT ... I do understand your desire to have all the books so you can go right down the list. Fortunately for you, I now have five books out there, so if you read one (even out of order), you have four more still waiting, which is a REALLY good thing if this passionate Irish family grabs a hold of your heart like it has mine. :)

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  51. ELIZABETH, NO!!! I cannot believe Melody's allergies are acting up again. I come against that in Jesus' name and pray His healing and comfort on that little girl AND on her beautiful mama.

    And I SO hope you win, my friend, because it sounds like you could use a book right now where the characters are going through more angst than you ... :)

    Hugs and prayers,
    Julie

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  52. LOL, MARISSA ... "POSITIVE," huh??? Well, I sure wish you were on the nominating committee, my friend, because that would be what I would need to get there. :)

    Thank you SO much for your encouragement and support, and here's to a win. Good luck!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  53. MICHELLE ... oh, girl, I was SUCH a GWTW freak that I actually dressed up like a nun to go see it when I was 16. They had a free showing in my city for the religious community (back when the movie was only released every seven years), and my friends and I dressed in nun habits borrowed from my friend's older sister who was in the convent. We had a BLAST ... until the nuns from our high school spotted us ... Whoops! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  54. MELANIE ... it seems Ireland is a pretty popular destination all around, so maybe we get put together a group to go ... :)

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and if you win, the O'Connors are SO Irish, it's almost like a trip to the Blarney Stone!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  55. "And OH MY, what she does to a woman who is after her husband in A Heart Revealed??"

    Julie, that's it -I HAVE to read this book NOW lol I did ask my sister to buy me all the Daughters of Boston books for Christmas though, so I will have my hands full for a little while!

    Thanks Joy for this interview. And thanks so much for specifying that us Aussies can enter the comp too ... it's like a little beacon of light in an American dominated blogworld! It says to me "Yes, we know Aussies exist, and we want to include you!" :)

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  56. Hi Julie! It's me, Alex Brown :)
    I love how Charity is your favorite character!! I've always been facinated with her! While I do adore Faith, I always seem to finish reading A Passion Redeemed in the blink of an eye. I'm actually reading APR right now! (I'm gearing up for AHR; it's taking a while with my senior year and college applications and everything, but it's wonderful to be able to curl up in my bed with one of your books to end the day). Anyways, I'm at the part where Mitch just left to go back to Kathleen :( but I'm sooooooo excited for the "special dinner" at the end!!! I have always loved Charity and Mitch. They both crack me up! When I read the part about Charity doing something to a women setting her sights on Mitch, I had to force myself to breath as I was overcome with excitement about AHR!!
    Well I'm going to go and (hopefully!) get to one of my favorite parts in A Passion Redeemed, but I'm BEYOND excited for AHR! (especially Charity's plot!!)

    Again, thanks for writing these books! You and God make quite a team!

    Love, Alex Brown

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  57. HELEN, LOL!!! Yeah, Charity sure adds comic (and shock) relief in my novels, and ya gotta know that anybody who will put cracker crumbs in her eyes (as in A Passion Redeemed) to fake crying can certainly handle a vamp who is after her husband! :)

    Thank you SO much for asking your sister for the DOB series for Christmas -- I hope you enjoy them.

    My Aussie (and Canadian and New Zealand) readers are some of my favorite gals, so I am THRILLED Revell agreed to open the contest internationally.

    Good luck, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. ALEX!!! Soooo good to hear from you, my friend!!! Can't imagine how you find time to reread the series in your senior year of school, but I guess someone who is at the top of their class can manage better than most. I just finished APR a few weeks (I also reread all my books before the next one comes out, and now I JUST started A Heart Revealed), and SIGH ... APR is SO my favorite of the DOB series, and AHU is my fave of the Winds of Change. Sooo much so that I just finished AHU a day or two ago and have been missing Katie and Luke something fierce ever since. Good thing they have a juicy story in AHR!! :)

    And you said, "You and God make quite a team!" That put a BIG smile on my face, sweetie, because I never thought of it that way, but it is SO very true!! Whenever I get a 1-star review that takes me to task for writing such passionate books, I lose sight of that and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. BUT ... God has confirmed to me OVER AND OVER that this is HIS path for me and I need to stay strong in Him because He and I are a team, just as you said. So THANK YOU for your encouragement, your precious friendship and most importantly, your prayers. I covet them.

    Can't wait to see what you think of AHR. Keep in mind that it is not as passionate as my other books and a bit more spiritual, which some people think makes it slower, but you be the judge.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  59. Ms. Julie, you're not the only one who'd love to visit Ireland --actually, I'd want to see all of Great Britain: Ireland, England, Scotland, the works ... but I'm about as far away from Europe as you can get, LOL. Maybe someday ...

    Thanks so much for replying to my e-mail! I'm sorry I didn't answer back --school and work has been a bit hectic lately, but hopefully during winter break, I'll work on some reviews for goodreads and such. =)

    Regarding Charity: Y'all, it takes a special author to create a character that is so ... dislike-able (even antagonistic) and then turn her around into such an enjoyable one that you root for. I've only seen a few authors pull it off (and God, of course) and Julie Lessman is one of them.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  60. LDK!!! Thank you SO much for the great compliment!! I love Charity, so it was a labor of love to try and convince others to love her, too, which I hope I accomplished in A Heart Revealed.

    Girl, you're in school, so don't be taking time to do reviews. You have plenty of time to do that if you want to enter the contest -- it runs till my next newsletter comes out late January, okay?

    Thanks SO much for dropping by -- I always love hearing from you. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  61. luving all your teasers, Julie! can't wait to read it for myself =) thanks for the gvwy opps! and also for all your ways to connect with us readers... commendable for sure!
    blstef1 at mts dot net
    also appreciate that it isn't us only - that readers everywhere can participate...

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  62. Thanks for the great interview. I love how Sean and Emma's relationship will start slowly as friendship. It's more realistic that way. It may seem slow at first, but I look forward to seeing how their friendship blossoms into romance.
    cynthiakchow (at)earthlink (dot) net

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  63. FAITH, HOPE AND CHERRYTEA ... QUICK, somebody get me some cherry tea ... :)

    Hey, girl, thanks for trying to track down AHR ... I hope we pull your name out as a winner one of these days AND I hope you like AHR when you read it.

    Good luck in the contest, my friend!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  64. LOL, CYNTHIA ... I have received a number of lower-starred reviews from people who are used to my fast-start love stories and do NOT understand the slow pace of Sean and Emma. Sigh. You sure can't please everybody. But I simply HAD to do it slowly because for Pete's sake, the woman is married, and the last thing I want people to accuse me of is adultery, you know??? Hope you enjoy this very slow, but sure love story. :) Good luck!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  65. I really like the fact that Julie Lessman does not schedule her tours and limits her facebook and twitter time. I probably could take a lesson!
    ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

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  66. Hey, RUTH ... I'm not too sure I'm one to learn from except the hard way!! Keep in mind that it took me DROWNING before I did so, and it was publisher's suggestion, so I'm not so "smart." Also, instead of writing one book a year, I will now be writing one book every nine months, so something has to give, and unfortunately it's the blog interviews and FB/Twitter. Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  67. Thanks for the interview! Going to Ireland is definitely on my bucket list too! I would love to be in this contest :)

    bberry96(at)aol(dot)com

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  68. Julie~
    I want to visit Ireland as well, and think that you should already have been a Christy winner - you are such a GREAT writer! I would love to win a copy of your newest book! Thanks for the opportunity.

    lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  69. "...in the DOB series, the books built slowly and gradually toward a multi-layered family saga where as the WOC series are chock full of family stories and subplots right out the gate."

    I haven't read any of the WOC books yet and really looking forward to it after reading this! Loved the Daughters of Boston! I'd love to win a copy of "A Heart Revealed" Thanks

    sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

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  70. BERRYFOOT ... Gotta love ANYBODY who has Ireland on their bucket list, right??? Well, I can't send you to the Emerald Isle, girl, but I can give you a shot at winning a copy of a book about a PASSIONATE Irish family, so good luck in the contest! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  71. Aw, MEGAN, THANK YOU!!! That's one of the things I LOVE about my favorite reader friends ... they like my style of writing. Mmmm ... now if I can just figure out a way to get them on the Christy judge's panel ... :) Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  72. CATHY!!! SOOO glad you enjoyed the DOB series, and buckle up, girlfriend, because the WOC kicks off with my favorite book yet, A Hope Undaunted, Katie's story (and Cluny McGee's!). Trust me -- we're talking head-butting extraordinaire with those two!! :) If you win in this contest, I'll let you pick whichever book you want, okay? Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  73. I love the idea of a bucket list of dreams and goals. Ireland would be awesome, I would also love to go to Greece, try rock climbing (at 50+ this is probably a little crazy) and eventually paint something in watercolor that I would like enough to frame and put on the wall! I always love your interviews, Julie, what a beautiful lady you are. :)
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  74. This passage caught me the most! "she is more like the woman I am today heavily dependant on God, emotionally involved with Him and a person who prays at the drop of a hat, so I almost feel one with her."
    Besides that, I would much rather be your Fan than kist a reader any-day. May this little posting bring me closer to a signed copy of your amazing work, where I can find more things like the dark and light rolls to ask you about!

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  75. I forgot one thing - my e-mail:
    jdovefamily(at)gmail(dot)com

    Jennifer Dove - Mamadoveonabox :)

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  76. WOW, MERRY ... I'm TOTALLY impressed with anyone who wants to try rock climbing -- at 50 or 15!! Just went to my prayer partner's son's rock-climbing gym opening last week and watched a rock-climbing movie. HOLY COW!!! As someone who is afraid of heights, those people have my undying respect, let me tell you that. But to want to tackle that in your 50s??? You go, girl!! Me?? I'd rather stick with the watercolors or better yet -- a 500-page book! ;)

    Thanks SO much, Merry, not only for dropping by, but for your VERY kind words!! Here's to a win, my friend. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  77. JENN!!! You made it here, girl -- I'm SOOO glad!! I gotta tell you that your e-mail question about the light and dark rolls made me laugh because I hadn't realized how much I wanted to share that little quirk of mine until you pointed it out in my book.

    For anyone else reading this comment and wondering, Jennifer was kind enough to drop me an e-mail telling me how much she liked my books and then asked me why Charity always switches dinner rolls at family suppers, exchanging her dark roll for someone else's light one. I was so tickled by that small detail that she noticed that I laughed and responded like this:

    "I have never had anyone ask me about the "lighter roll," but it's a very big deal to me! You see, I like everything "light" -- my cookies, my rolls, my pancakes, my pie, etc., and my husband likes everything darkly toasted -- his cookies, his rolls, his pancakes, his pie, etc. So whenever we go out to dinner, if he gets the lighter roll (which he ALWAYS does!!), I automatically snatch it from his plate and replace it with my darker one. So, I thought it would be fun to give Charity this trait as well, since she is SO high maintenance ... just like me! ;)

    Thanks for coming by, Jenn, and GOOD LUCK in the contest! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  78. I love Julie's books and really want to get my hands on this new one!!!
    And too funny, I like my toast barely colored while my husband wants his good and dark. I wonder if it's sort of a male/female thing??? :)
    teacherkrista at gmail dot com

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  79. I have read all 4 books and love all of them. I love the story of Elizabeth and Brady. Lizzie touch my heart and I think every Christian woman wants her mate to be as strong in their faith as Brady is. Once Brady accepted God grace and learn to forgive himself he was perfect in my eyes. I love reading blogs and interview you post Julie.
    stella.wheat@gmail.com

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  80. LOVE this blog...it's so fun to hear more about your books! I realized too that I do finally like Charity after reading A Hope Revealed...when does the next book come out???? not soon enough I'm sure... and I know that one day you will not only be nominated for the Christy award, but you will WIN it!... and we will all be there to celebrate with you!! I just wish us readers cold nominate you!! grin.. praying for you as you write! Jo

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  81. woops... it should be could not cold! lol... Jo

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  82. Ah, KRISTA ... kindred toast people!!! I do think it might be a male/female thing. I mean if a guy liked his toast reallllly light, that might make him look weak or milque-toasty, you know?? There's something very macho about a guy that snorfs down burnt toast with a grunt, eh?

    I hope you like AHR when you read it and if you do, I have a review-posting contest going on for my newsletter recipients where you can not only get a character named after you in Steven's book, but win a signed copy and a $50 gift card, so keep that in mind if you are in to writing reviews, okay? Good luck, sweetie!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  83. STELLLLLLLA!!! Sorry ... just couldn't resist that Marlon Brando line from A Streetcar Named Desire. You probably get soooo sick of that, don't you???

    Anyway, thank you SO much, Stella, for your kind comments and coming by to encourage me. I just reread A Passion Denied a few weeks ago (I always reread all my books before the next one comes out, just to catch up again ... :)), and I loved Brady even more this time than ever before. You are right, he is a near perfect guy. Unfortunately, my editor just cut a great sub plot with him and Lizzie in my next book, Steven's story, A Trust Restored, which kind of saddened me. She said the story was too big to be a sub plot among so many sub plots and really needs its own book. Only problem is, I won't be able to use Lizzie and Brady to tell it. sigh.

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  84. JO!!! Soooo ... Charity finally won you over, did she??? Isn't she a royal hoot in A Heart Revealed??? I love her to pieces, but like I told Stella above, my editor also cut Charity and Mitch's sub plot in Steven's story along with Lizzie and Brady's. Too much going on, she claims. What??? Too much going on in a Julie Lessman novel??? What a shock!!! :)

    Steven's story, A Trust Restored, doesn't come out till next September, BUT ... the good news is that book 1 of The Cousins McClare comes out nine months later, so that's better than once a year, right???

    And, oh honey, you have NO idea how much I wish my reader friends were on the Christy committee, because that would be SOOO cool ... :)

    I covet your prayers, my friend, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for them.

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  85. Love your books Julie!! SO inspirational with a touch of romance that offers more than the traditional christian authors!! LOVE THEM and would love to win :)
    Thank you
    Crystal
    Crysofporter@xtra.co.nz

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  86. i agree with your husband, i didn't really like Charity at first. She was to manipulative and selfish. Lizzie and Collin are my favorite characters. When I read A Passion Most Pure I could see you in her...but I most certainly would not see you as someone like Charity! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE! to meet you one day! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE! to win this book, please enter me in the contest.
    love, your biggest teenager fan, Haley:)

    switchfootluver96@yahoo.com

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  87. i agree with your husband, i didn't really like Charity at first. She was to manipulative and selfish. Lizzie and Collin are my favorite characters. When I read A Passion Most Pure I could see you in Faith..but I most certainly would not see you as someone like Charity! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE! to meet you one day! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE! to win this book, please enter me in the contest.

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  88. Hey, CRYSTAL, thank you so very much, my friend! I have to smile at your comment about "a touch of romance," though. I pretty much like a "touch" on every page, it seems, don't I, though??? Ah, such a romantic at heart, I guess. :) Here's to a win, my friend, and if you don't win here, check out my website calendar for other blog giveaways going on right now, okay? GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  89. Yay, Stella! I am also a big Brady fan :) Julie and I have been chatting about that on my blog today - lol!

    I'm trying to get over the fact that Melbourne, Australia wasn't on your list - hehe! I'm sure it was no. 4!!!!!

    Great I interview, Joy & Julie - both of you are always fabulous :) Hugs xo

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  90. Hey, REL ... thanks for taking time out of your CRAZY BUSY life to say "hey"!

    And anyone looking for ANOTHER opportunity to WIN one of my books, mosey on over to RELZ REVIEW at Relz Reviews ...

    And, Joy, I will be posting the same message over at Relz as well. Thanks to BOTH of you for being such great hostesses!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  91. Can I just say... WOW!!!???? 90 comments? This is like a Julie Lessman Love Fest over here! I have soooo got to read this book.

    Julie, you've invested so much time (and heart) into responding to our readers! Thank you so much.

    Everyone (with 90 comments, I can hardly name you all) who stopped by: You are awesome! Thanks!

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  92. LOL, SERENA, keep in mind that half those comments are mine, sweetie, but it's fun to chat it up with some of my favorite people -- my reader friends!!!

    "Julie Lessman Love Fest"??? Mmmm ... I like the sound of that because LOVE is what it's all about for me -- ROMANTIC LOVE, SPIRITUAL LOVE, READER-FRIEND LOVE!!! Sigh ... it's the best!

    By the way, girl, you and I have not officially met yet, so I'm realllly glad to meet Joy's other half of the is WONDERFUL blog!! I told Joy and I'll tell you, this is one of my FAVES!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  93. Ummm, I thought for sure you've been a Christy finalist! I can't wait to read Sean and Emma's story.

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  94. oops, forgot email address - nisethusfarAYyahooDOTcom

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  95. Oh, NISE', honey, don't I wish!! Actually, my publisher only entered APMP and AHU in the Christy's because apparently if you don't final with the first book in the series, they don't like to enter the others because it's expensive. BUT ... I told them how important it is to me to go for that brass ring, so I think (or at least I hope!) they plan to enter all my books from now on. I do worry, however, that since I am on the "cutting edge" of passion in CBA romance, that some of the judges may hesitate because of that, but I don't really know. Time will tell!

    Thanks for coming by -- good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  96. Mrs. Lessman!!
    Ireland is on my bucket list, too.
    I've got a thing for those accents, I have to tell you. :)

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  97. I appreciated Julie's insight about what to expect from AHR b/c I LOVE all of Julie's books, and I just started reading A Heart REvealed yesterday. While I knew the romance department had to develop slower b/c Emma is married, I am glad to know there's still some ZIP in there with Luke & Katie (which I've already stumbled across some of) and Mitch & Charity! No matter what though, in my opinion you just CAN'T go wrong with a Julie Lessman book!!!!! :-) Love you, Julie!!
    -Alli
    allimo81[at]gmail[dot]com

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  98. SKEETON (SKYLER)!!! Hey, girl, how the heck are you doing? Been thinking of you lately and almost dropped you a line, so I'm glad you came by.

    And, WHOA, I have a thing for Irish accents, too, but avoided them in my books except for Patrick's pet term "darlin'" because it's not easy to write an accent well, and I'm too busy with all the angst and trouble those Irishmen (and women) get in to in the O'Connor saga! :) Although, my editor did ask me to give Emma a hint of a brogue, which I did every now and then.

    Anyway, have a GREAT day, girl, and GOOD LUCK in the contest! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  99. ALLI, LOL!!! Now why did I know that you like your romance as passionate as I do??? I totally relate, which is why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE writing about Katie and Luke and Mitch and Charity ... soooooo much romantic tension going on that I just go crazy!!! I try to infuse that in my marriage, but my guy is an easy-going kind of man who doesn't like a lot of drama and angst. Boy, did HE marry the wrong woman!! ;)

    Thanks for your sweet comment, Alli, and I cannot tell you just HOW good it is to see you here!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  100. Thank you all for entering and major thanks to Julie for responding to everyone's comments.

    The winner of their choice of books is Rebecca @ agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'm sending your email to Julie.

    And this is comment number 100, I think a record here at Edgy Inspirational Romance. :)

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