Interview With Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman
A Light in the Window

 

*Interview can also be seen on my former publishing hub Examiner.com*

Julie Lessman has thankfully agreed to an email interview where she was very candid about her passion for writing sizzling but sweet books for the wide Christian audience. You will find that next to her love of words and books, she has a sense of humor and a sense of duty to write about love.

The Write Web: Okay. A Passion Most Pure had me turning the pages quickly. Which is odd for a book about 300+ pages taking place during WWI. But I think it was the love triangle and passionate scenes. How much research went into writing this book and how long did it take to complete the manuscript itself?

Julie Lessman
Image used by permission from Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman: How long did it take me to complete the manuscript?? Ha! Would you believe almost 40 years? You see, I actually started APMP at the age of twelve after reading Gone With the Wind. From the moment Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks, I was a goner, and my “romance-writing career” began with a 150 single-spaced manuscript that became the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Hard to believe that almost forty years passed before God breathed new life into that early attempt and inspired me to finish my childhood novel of passion—only this time the “passion” would be for Him!

As far as research, I had to learn the language, dress, mores, etc. of a whole new world, so quite a bit of research was necessary … and quite a bit of juggling dates and plot points, too, in order to stay true to the WWI time period.

TWW: My favorite character, unbelievably so, was Collin. Faith was a close second. Which character was your favorite and which was hardest to write?

JL: Since there are seven books in the O’Connor family saga (including a prequel entitled A Light in the Window for the parents, Marcy and Patrick), I’d like to apply that question to the entire saga rather than just A Passion Most Pure if I may.

I do love ALL of my characters, but there are ones that are easier to write because I connect with them more. For instance, Faith is my spiritual self, so every single spiritual conversation or habit you see her do in the books are taken straight from how I live my life, right down to the anger at God on the ship in A Passion Most Pure. Faith felt like He had boxed her in and ruined her for the world because she had tasted His love and could never go back to living without Him. That’s exactly how I felt at times when I was a new Christian, so Faith comes by it honestly!

But as far as favorites, this is going to shock some people, I know, but Charity O’Connor is right up there. Charity—goodness, my heart goes out to her and the woman I used to be—selfish, manipulative, lost… 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.

The hardest character to write? Oh, goodness, that would have to be the hero of book 3, John Brady of A Passion Denied, Collin’s Godly buddy from the war. In book 3, Brady is a Billy Graham-type character, full of fire and faith for God, a spiritual rock and anchor for everyone he meets, so I had trouble relating to him because of my own checkered past as an agnostic wild child of the 70s.

TWW: The story would not be as juicy without Charity. The charming, extremely beautiful blond sister. This is the one Collin is courting, but Faith is in love with him and he finds Faith amazing and does not know why. I have not read Charity’s story, A Passion Redeemed, but what inspired you to write her story- or was the series planned in that way?

JL: When I wrote A Passion Most Pure, I never intended to continue on with a series, but by the end of the book, it just seemed a natural progression to continue on with Charity’s story. I’ll be honest, however, both my editor and agent were concerned about Charity’s like-ability as a heroine since she was the “vixen” in book 1. So much a vixen, in fact, that I actually had some readers write and ask me to “slap Charity for them” or wanted to see her “killed or maimed.” Frankly, I was fascinated by the challenge of redeeming her, which was a slow and painful process that begins in book 2, A Passion Redeemed, and continues on throughout the six-book family saga.

TWW: Out of all the books in the Daughters of Boston Series, which was fun to write? More difficult to write?

JL: The most fun book to write? Oh, without question that would be book 2 in The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed, which is my VERY favorite of all three books of that series. In fact, I SO loved delving into Mitch and Charity’s story that I actually wrote this nearly 500-page doorstop in two months while working a part-time job.

The hardest book to write? Professionally, that would be the third book in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied. It was difficult to write for a number of reasons. First of all, I hit the wall on that book because I was reading another author whose incredible talent made me feel like I wanted to puke on my keyboard whenever I read my own writing. And secondly, it was difficult because I was attempting not only to tell a very complicated and dark love story about the third daughter, but also weaving in second-tier stories about the parents and each of the other daughters.

TWW: Any new projects?

JL: Well, I’m very excited about a contemporary I just finished called Isle of Hope. I knew I wanted a locale on the Eastern Seaboard, and I’ve always loved Hilton Head and Savannah, so I prayed about it. Imagine my surprise when I checked a map and found a lovely place called Isle of Hope, Georgia, which is just 15 minutes away from Savannah and is actually a peninsula that becomes an island when the tide comes in. It’s perfect for my story because it’s a charming little community with a rich history. They filmed part of Forrest Gump there and other movies because it’s so pretty. And my story is all about the restoration of hope and relationships, so the title is—at least for me—truly inspired.

TWW: How much creative input do you have over book design?

JL: With my traditionally published books, my publisher does ask for both my input and my feedback, but ultimately the final say goes to them. For my award-winning indie-published book, A Light in the Window, however, I had total control since my artist hubby created both the cover and the video utilizing my daughter as the model. So you might say it was a family affair, and trust me, we had a blast!

TWW: Some authors say early morning is the best time of the day to write. Is this the same for you? Why?

JL: Yes, I’ve discovered that first thing in the morning is the most creative, fluid time for me to write, I guess because my brain is fresh. Also, I’ve discovered that I can spike my creativity by hopping on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so, which really starts the ideas/dialogue percolating in this old brain.

TWW: Any advice for Christians interested in writing romance?

JL: You know, I get asked this question by readers so much, that I have put together the following list of what I did on the road to publication. But I will say that the influx of ebooks has changed things a lot as far as actually getting published, giving writers many more opportunities than before with indie publishing as well as traditional.

Steps Julie took to get published:

1.) Join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers, FHL (Faith, Hope & Love and RWA (Romance Writers of America), both to get connected with other like-minded writers and to learn a lot about your craft.

2.) Take a fiction-writing class or attend a writing seminar or conference.

3.) Join a critique group (you can do that through ACFW).

4.) Purchase and study writing books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King or Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, AND invest in a great thesaurus such as The Synonym Finder by Rodale Press.

5.) Enter contests for invaluable feedback, growth, confidence, networking opportunities and to get your name out there.

6.) Frequent websites/blogs that deal with writing, such as The Seekers , a group blog that I belong to whose theme is “On the road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.”

7.) Go for an agent first, publisher second.

8.) Pray your heart out and put it in God’s hands.

TWW: After reading A Passion Most Pure, I browsed around on your site and found you’ve written a guide Romance-ology 101. What can aspiring writers expect from such a book?

JL: Hey, Erica, thanks for checking out my website! Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets is a short and “sweet” romance-writer’s workbook that offers tips for ramping up the WOW factor with romance that is both sweet and swoon-worthy.

In a world all-too-often dominated by the likes of Fifty Shades of Gray, sweet and inspirational authors have to work a little harder to create that wonderful wholesome sizzle with merely the touch of a hand, a look, or a simple kiss. Romance-ology 101 is simply another tool to help do that, offering insight with such subjects as Getting inside the Hero’s Head with Internal Monologue, Maximizing Use of Beats in Dialogue, Utilizing Dual Point of View, Using All Five Senses for Heightened Effect, Cashing In on the Kid and Pet Factor, and much, much more.

TWW: Fun: First thing that pops into your mind when I say the word: GLOW

JL: HA! My Irish love story, A Light in the Window, because both my daughter and a candle are aglow on the cover!

Thank you Julie again for sharing your wonderful, enlightening and informational story with the world.

If you want to learn more about what happens in the Daughters of Boston series and Julie’s other books, check them out on Julie Lessman’s website.

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162 thoughts on “Interview With Julie Lessman

    1. Aw, STEPH, thanks sooooo much for your sweet comment — that blesses the socks off of me! I’m tossing your name in the hat for a copy of Isle of Hope when it releases in October, so be sure to check back here on Monday for the winner, okay?
      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  1. Thanks for this interview with Julie. I urge you to read all of Julie’s books, especially if you love to read Christian romance. She doesn’t disappoint!

    1. PAMMY!!! Knew I could count on you coming by, my sweet friend, so here’s hoping it nets you a win, okay?

      GOOD LUCK and MEGA HUGS,
      Julie

  2. Julie!!! So excited about your new book coming out! I’ve been keeping my eyes open for it….so happy it’s finally happening!! Also I appreciate your comment about when you wrote A Passion Denied and how you read someone else’s work and got self conscious. I can’t believe that happens to you too (although you have nothing to worry about in that area!!! 😉) But honestly that’s always happening to me…I feel inspired and encouraged to hear you have overcome it before!!! Hugs!!!

    1. EM!!!! I’ve missed you, my friend, and I hope all is well with you. And, LOL, yes, it actually happens to me ALL the time, so maybe it’s my “thorn in my side,” who know? But God really IS faithful to see us through, so onward and upward! 🙂
      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

  3. Thank you Erica for the interview. Hi Julie, I love “The Daughters of Boston” series and “The Heart of San Francisco”. Can’t wait to read your new book!

    1. Thanks SO much, ANNIE, I can’t wait for you to read it either, although like I confessed to Emma above, I continue to have my moments of insecurity over tackling a contemporary, but time will tell. 🙂 This book has a secondary older hero who is a grouch that puts Mitch Dennehy to shame, so he was a LOT of fun to write. 🙂
      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and here’s hoping I can send you a copy if you win.
      Hugs!!

    1. Thanks, BONNIE, I agree — Erica did a WONDERFUL job with unique questions, so this was fun too!
      Good luck in the contest!
      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Good girl, TINA, that’s what I like to hear! 😉 I hope you enjoy IOH because it is a bit of a departure for me from my historicals because it actually is half women’s fiction/half romance because it’s somewhat biographical.
      Hugs and good luck in the contest!
      Julie

    1. Thanks SOOOO much, LINDA … I’ll be anxious to see what my favorite reader friends like you think of my first attempt at a contemporary, so do let me know if you like it, okay? And if don’t? Uh … well … never mind! 😉

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Hey, CAROLYN, thanks so very much for taking the time to read the excerpt I put on my Journal Jots blog. And did you read the “skinny-dipping” prologue that I posted a few months ago before I cut it from the book? I’d be curious to see if you thought it was a little too much for the CBA even though there is no actual skinny-dipping in it, only the mention of it.

      For those who are interested in reading the excerpt for Isle of Hope, you can find the deleted prologue here:

      PROLOGUE FOR ISLE OF HOPE

      FIRST CHAPTER FOR SLE OF HOPE

      Thanks again, Carolyn, for your interest in my books, and here’s hoping I can send you a copy if you win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      1. I did read it and loved it. Too much for the CBA? I’d hope not, but I’m probably not the best judge. I prefer novels with a dose of realism or “edginess,” and one of my favorite things about your books is they don’t pretend sexual temptation isn’t a thing. Obviously I’ve not read the rest of the book, but I think it laid a great foundation for the tension – physical and emotional – between your hero and heroine.

    1. EDWARD!! Soooo great to see you again, my friend, and keep reading those romance novels, okay? And hopefully I can send you one of mine if you win. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  4. I have read and enjoyed all of Julie’s books, except that first one . . . . and I have it on my iPad for later. Great interview and I look forward to reading Julie’s new contemporary.

    1. Hey, REBECCA, thank you SO much for reading all of my books, and just a side note, if you have posted reviews recently for them and not entered one of my newsletter contests before, DO let me know, and I will enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy, okay? And to whet your appetite for A Light in the Window (which I assume is the one you haven’t read yet), here’s the video my artist hubby did for that book using my daughter as the model:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

    1. Aw, thanks, KAREN, what a nice thing to say — MUCH appreciated, my friend! 🙂

      Here’s hoping I pull your name out of the hat for another one, eh? So GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Gosh, REBECCA, that is SUCH a sweet thing to say, my friend — THANK YOU!! And I’ve missed talking to good reader friends like you, too, but I have to admit, the sabbatical I took last year was worth SO much to my state of mind and state of soul that I’ve decided to continue laying low for a while. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by and MEGA HUGS!
      Julie

    1. Hey, CAROL, I’m glad you came by, and here’s hoping it nets you a win. AND … here’s hoping you’ll like IOH. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  5. Looking forward to your first contemporary book, Julie!!!!! It’s even more special now that I live in Georgia and just might have to visit that area with my honey!!!!!
    Great interview as always!!!!!!

    1. Oh, CHARLOTTE, you lucky dawg — you’ll probably get to Isle of Hope before I do, girl! Thanks for coming by, my friend.

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. PAM!!! Long time, no see, my friend — hope all is well with you!! Thanks SO much for coming by AND for reading my books. It always blesses me when a respected peer tells me that. 🙂

      Hugs!!
      Julie

  6. Great and fun interview! I adore Julie Lessman!! Her writing is in a class all its own!! Can’t wait to read the new contemporary!!!

    1. ALLI!!! Gosh, it’s fun to see you here, girl, and the “adore” goes both ways, my friend. I’m anxious to get your feedback on IOH, so be gentle, okay? 😉

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. CHRISTMALY, thank you sooooo much!! Gosh, I sure hope you like the contemp. I’ll admit, I’m a wee bit nervous, but I’m hoping the fact that it’s a bit biographical (and therefore a bit of a tearjerker to me) will resonate with my readers. We shall see!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  7. I can hardly wait to read your new contemporary novel, Julie. Not only are you Miss America beautiful on the outside, but you are more so on the inside.

    1. Aw, DEB, you are just the sweetest thing, THANK YOU! Although I will admit I’m a wee bit worried about your eyesight … 😉

      Seriously, thank you, my friend, and here’s hoping I get to send you a signed e-copy of IOH!

      Hugs,
      Julie

  8. Julie, Julie, Julie!!! You are one of the most approachable writer/authors I have come in contact with. I will never forget your response to me when I emailed you about APMP. You impressed me that you would take time to engage in conversation. You have become a sweet friend, and a must-read author! Love ya’, girl!!! 🙂

    1. Okay, ANNE, now you’re gonna make this old gal cry!! Thank you for your incredibly kind and sweet comment and for your precious friendship — I am blessed to know you, sweetie, and extra blessed that you read my books!!

      Thanks for coming by and here’s hoping I can send you a signed ecopy of IOH!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. CARRIE!!! Right back at you and my deepest apologies for not getting my endorsement to you on Lilacs yet, my friend. We’ve had a rough couple of months here between moving twice and then my hubby getting pneumonia right after our 2nd move and then me getting sick right behind him. But you are next up, my friend, so you’ll be hearing from me soon, okay?

      Love you!!
      Julie

  9. Erica thanks so much for interviewing Julie. I remember the first time I read for of Julie’s books, WOW-EE!!!! I devoured APMP all in one day. Love me some Collin. 😉 Couldn’t read the others in the series fast enough. Love you Julie!!! lol Can’t wait to read Isle of Hope, I know it will be fantastic.

    1. TERESA!!! Girl, how are you doing? I pray for you ALL the time and am hoping God is carrying you through.

      And, yeah, Collin was something, wasn’t he? I’m hoping you will like Jack O’Bryen, too. 🙂

      Love you, too, my friend.

      Julie

  10. I super duper skippity hoppity love Julie Lessman — the lady and her fabulous books! That may sound like strange language, but when my son was 3 yrs old he would tell me that’s how much he loved me. And to him that was a lot! 😀 I have read all of Julie’s books and await the new one with bated breath. Thank you so much for the interview!

    1. LOL, DIANA — “super duper skippity hoppity love?” That is flat-out ADORABLE, and I thank you for transferring that beautiful compliment to me, my friend. You know I feel EXACTLY the same away about you and the rest of the OWG gals. I honestly have NEVER met kinder, more loving, more generous women in my life, and I blessed to know — and love — each and every one of you!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

  11. So excited this new book is set in my home state of Georgia! I live the cover! Beautiful area of our state too. I can say I am giddy about a new book from you! 🙂

    1. NANCE!! I am BEYOND giddy, too, to set this book in Georgia, too, because I LOVE Georgia, and especially Savannah, and desperately wanted to set a book there. So when I stumbled upon Isle of Hope on a map and saw it was a mere 15 minutes from Savannah, I about freaked out. It was SUCH an answer to prayer for my next setting, which is a story of hope restored and God’s unfailing love, that I do believe I fell in love on the spot. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!
      Hugs,
      Julie

  12. I have loved all of Julie’s books! Since my daughter, sil, and grandson live just outside of Savannah, I’m definitely looking forward to Isle of Hope!

    1. Oh, CYNDI, how fun that your daughter and grandson live outside Savannah. Are you familiar with Isle of Hope? It’s a GREAT place to set a story, so I cannot wait to visit there myself someday. I hope I’ve done it justice. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend. 🙂
      Julie

  13. Thanks for the wonderful interview with Julie, Erica!! I haven’t missed an online interview with, or post from, Julie in years – but never tire of reading them, nor her joy and sense of humor.

    I’m a confirmed “Julie Lessman addict” that never wants to recover, lol – having each of her books in every form offered, and continually buying more for gifts. Julie – you know I love that prologue to ‘Isle of Hope’, you should have no worries about how the book will be received. It is just as beautiful as your other books, perhaps even more so since it is biographical, as they all have so much of their author in them. I’m ecstatic the release date will soon be here!!

    Erica, Julie loves her readers, always going the extra mile for them – giving of her time and self, praying for them, even naming her book characters after them. She is just as sweet, inspiring, and godly as her beautiful characters – daily living what she preaches.

    Erica, don’t know if the video you’re referring to is ‘A Light in the Window’ – however, it’s beautiful. A must-see, just as the book is a must-read. For anyone who hasn’t read one of Julie’s books – this is the perfect opportunity, the eBook of ‘A Light in the Window’ is only $.99 on Amazon. Such a beautiful, sweet story – her talented husband did the cover (her daughter as the model) and the video.

    Love you, Julie, and love your writing!! I’m grateful God blessed you with a writing gift that could so touch your reader’s heart and soul, as well as your sweet friendship!!

    1. LIENTJIE!!! You’re just the type of reader friend I’m looking for — NEW BLOOD!! 😉
      If you have never read my books before, then I highly encourage you to take advantage of the 99-cent sale I have going on right now on A Light in the Window — that is the cheapest you will find any of my books. ALITW has won 3 awards and currently has 221 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it’s not a dog. In fact, here the video my artist hubby did for that book using my daughter as the model:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      If you get it, let me know if you like it, okay? And if you don’t like it … uh, never mind … 😉
      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

    1. AMANPAN, thanks so much for coming by, and YES, it’s VERY exciting writing a book — especially when people actually read it! 😉

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

  14. BONNIE, you sweet thing, you — I think you may be prejudiced, my friend, but I cannot express just HOW much I appreciate your support and love!

    And I SO appreciate your feedback on IOH and especially the prologue. I agree with you, but I prayed about it and both Keith and my editor felt the book would be fine without the prologue, so I went for it. I’ve never been a fan of prologues, but I’ve found they can be very useful. Ironically, the two prologues I actually have in my books — A Passion Redeemed and A Heart Revealed — were both written after the books were finished, which I find amusing.

    Bonnie, I’m blessed by your sweet friendship as well, and I am SO grateful God allowed our paths to cross! 🙂

    Love you!
    Julie

  15. I am so anxious to read this book…..am a GA lady….about 3 hrs. from Savannah! I love Julie and all of her books and try to read all she writes.
    Thanks for this giveaway!

    1. JACKIE!! I knew I liked you, girl — I LOVE Georgia and it’s people, especially its romance readers, so it only stands to reason that one of my favorite reader friends is FROM GEORGIA!!! I hope I do your state –and Isle of Hope — justice!

      Here’s hoping you pull out a win, my friend!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

  16. Julie!!! I just read the excerpt for Lizzie and Brady’s novella on this week’s Journal Jots, and I’m so excited to read the rest of it! They are one of my favorite couples in the O’Connor books, and I’m thrilled that they’re back 🙂

    Please please add me to the drawing, and thanks for leading me over here to The Write Web. Now I have another writerly blog to follow!

    1. Thanks, Sclauche!

      It does my heart good to know that books and blogs bring people together. I read “other” books as well(secular ones) but I find that my first, true love is Christ and the books with Him at the center- I will try to review those more. Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

    2. SARAH!!! I am sooooooo excited that Lizzie and Brady are a favorite of yours because that means you are going to LOVE this novella, my friend, so YAY!!

      You are definitely in the drawing, so here’s to a win!! And I hope you enjoy Isle of Hope, too. I’ll admit, I’m a wee bit nervous about my favorite reader friends (like you!) reading my first contemp, but I trust you will gentle. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

    1. Hey, PATTY, thanks SO much for having faith in me for a contemporary. Like I told Sarah above, I’m a wee bit nervous about the reception of Isle of Hope, but “hope”fully it will go well. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

      1. Hi Julie,

        I read the deleted excerpt for Isle of Hope on your Journal Jots and all I can say is WOW 🙂 And Wow and did I say, Wow?

        Love it already. I am sure the book will be great.
        -Erica

      2. Gosh, thanks, ERICA — I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I really liked the prologue, but an editor I trust explicitly told me I would do best to delete it, so I prayed about it and decided to nix it. But THANK YOU!!
        HUGS,
        Julie

  17. Hi Miss Julie!
    I am SO excited for your new book!!! I can’t wait to read your first contemporary novel! Reading the excerpts you’ve been sharing in the Journal Jots has just been making me more anxious! I really should just write the date on my calendar, or preorder it since I’ll just keep checking to see how soon it’s releasing. LOL
    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
    ~Sarah
    bookluver1492[at]gmail[dot]com

    1. Hey, SARAH, thanks sooooo much for taking the time to read my Journal Jots, girl — it’s nice to know I’m not talking to myself every Friday or Saturday! 😉 And it’s a good thing you do, too, because that is the very FIRST place I announce preorder dates and sale dates and contests and giveaways, so I do appreciate you staying in touch with me that way. So don’t worry about missing the preorder date — I’ll keep you informed, trust me! 🙂

      Hugs and THANK YOU, my sweet friend!
      Julie

  18. Hello Julie Lessman!
    I’ve been into Christian romance books practically since I learned how to read, but when I read APMP a couple years back, I finally found my favorite author!! I’m a FANATIC about your books! I fell in LOVE with the characters (especially Faith) and your writing style! I’m still a college student so I don’t get as much “Fun Reading” time as I want, but this summer I started re-reading the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series all over again. I simply need to share with you that all the prayers, words of encouragement and the spiritual lifestyle that each character had in each book had a way of awakening my own spiritual lifestyle and encouraging me in ways that I want to become!
    You’re AMAZING!! And I can’t wait for your first contemporary IOH! And hopefully a book about Gabriella O’Conner someday😉
    God bless you so so very much!!

    Dorina Russu

    1. Dorina,

      Now this is what book reading all about! I, too have become changed after reading APMP, in that I want to learn how to consult God more about anything and everything in life.

      -Erica

  19. I LOVE all your books! The Daughters of Boston series have been my favorite so far! I’m excited about your new work coming out :))

  20. Hi Julie! I really am looking forward to your upcoming book and novella. Your books are my favorite. I take forever when I read your books bc I want to enjoy every page, which I always do. 🙂 Blessings!

  21. Hi Julie! I am beyond thrilled about your new book coming out. I absolutely love the Savannah area and can’t wait to read your new book.

  22. Hi Julie,
    ALWAYS love your books ever one of them! Can’t wait to get the newest one.
    Thanks for sharing a gentle reminder through the storm He will carry us through. When in the storm it’s hard to see through it.
    You are a Great source of encouragement and example of a Prov 31 woman. Thank you for willing to be open.
    Blessings, Deana D.

  23. Oh, Julie!! You snuck a new one up on me…..and I hope I win!! I know it would encourage me deeply, as you always do. I hope you will be blessed and blessed some more with your new book. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win one of Julie’s super books.
    In His Love,
    Barb

    1. BARB!!! It’s soooooo good to see you sweet face again in the comments, my friend, and I hope you are holding your own. I have you on my prayer hit list, so I expect praise reports down the road. 🙂

      And, Barb, if you are still reviewing books, I would LOVE to have you on my blog tour of Isle of Hope, so do shoot me a FB message or email if you’re interested, okay?

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

    1. Hey, DIANNE, trust me — I would “love” for you to read my newest novel, too, so here’s to a win!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  24. Hi Julie, When I read the title -I had to go check it out on Goodreads, we have a place near Savannah that is called Isle of Hope-and yes that is it, you have written about our area and I have to read this one. could you use someone to read -review and premote this new book…I would love to help you…
    thanks for sharing on your interview…

    1. PAULINE, seriously? You live in Savannah/Isle of Hope area?? You lucky dawg!! I had a trip planned to visit there in May that fell through because we sold our house and had to move quickly, but I do plan to still visit for additional research.

      As far as reviewing the book, I am having a blog tour, so if you have a blog, my friend, please shoot me an email through my website or a FB message, and I’ll add you to the list, okay?

      SO good to “see” you again, and here’s to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Aw, GAIL, what a sweet thing to say — THANK YOU!! But the only reason there’s so much to learn is because I’m ancient and have been around the mountain more times than I can count, so God has taught me a LOT of lessons … all the hard way! 😉

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  25. I picked up Faith’s story right before my first finals week as a college student. I was hooked from the first paragraph and haven’t looked back since! It probably wasn’t the best decision as a student, but I’ve read and loved all of Julie’s books. 🙂 I can’t wait to read her first venture into the world of contemporary fiction!

    1. Gosh, LAUREN, thank you SO much for your sweet comment — I appreciate it more than I can say. Sorry our first encounter had to be the week of finals, but hopefully Faith helped get you through. 🙂

      I’m a little nervous about good reader friends like you reading my first shot at contemporary, but hoping you like it as much as I do. 🙂

      Hugs!!
      Julie

    1. LISA, thank you for making me one of your “favorites” … I don’t take that lightly and I appreciate it more than I can say. I will try not to disappoint you with Isle of Hope, “hoping” you will take to it as well. 🙂

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

    1. Well, BIGREADERSITE, thank you SO much for saying so and for taking the time to read my books in the first place — that blesses me! And hopefully I can bless YOU with a signed ecopy of IOH if you win, so GOOD LUCK!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. TAMMY!!! Thank you, my friend, for your sweet comment and for reading my books in the first place. I’ll try not to disappoint you with IOH, she says as she bites her nails … 😉

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

    1. Well, BRENDA, we’ll just have to see if we can do something about getting ALL of my books on your shelf with a win here, so GOOD LUCK!! 🙂

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Hey, ERIN, I’m a die-hard historical author, but it’s been fun dipping my toe into the contemporary waters, so I’d love for you to read Isle of Hope. Fingers crossed for a win and if you DO post a review, be sure to let me know so I can enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book, okay?

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  26. Hi Julie,
    I have read everyone of your books! I absolutely loved each and everyone! I cannot wait to read your new one! Thank you so much for so many great reads!
    Thanks,
    Stefanie

    1. Aw, STEF, thank you SOOOO much for being such a great reader friend — I appreciate it more than I can say. And I would love to send you a signed e-copy of Isle of Hope, so here’s to a win!

      Hugs!!
      Julie

  27. What a great interview. I love Julie’s books. I have only read A Light in the Window, but they are all on my TBR list. I would love to win a copy of this novel and review it on my site. 🙂

    sydneyjames68[at]gmail[dot]com

    1. Hey, SYDNEY, if you are interested in my blog tour for Isle of Hope, let me know via email or FB message, and I will put you on the list, okay?

      Hugs!!
      Julie

  28. I always look forward to your next book! I’m eager to read the newest one when it releases! I’ll have to get on the hold list at the library early or else it will be a long wait for it! Your books are always quite popular! 😀

    1. Jamie Gil,,

      I miss living near a library. I truly do. Now I try to catch discounts and freebies via the web so I can read them on my Kindle App 😦 However, Julie was nice and gracious enough to bless me with A Passion Redeemed- very sweet of her to do that! 🙂

      But yes, please take advantage of the library’s holding list!

    2. LOL, JAMIE, I’m thrilled to hear my books are popular at the library because that is ALWAYS a good thing, so thank you for helping to make that so. I’m not sure Isle of Hope will be in the libraries, at least not right away because it is coming out in ebook format first, then paperback next year because I am independently publishing it myself. But hopefully you will win here so I can send you an ecopy, eh?

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

    1. Hey, ANNA, SO great to see you here, my friend — thanks for taking the time to drop by. Here’s hoping it nets you a win, so GOOD LUCK!

      HUGS,
      Julie

    1. Yes, VALERIE, it’s a well-kept secret, I’m afraid, that I’m hoping will get around! 😉 Thanks for dropping by and GOOD LUCK in the draw!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    1. Hey, LAURIE, thank you for reading it, and if you don’t win here and haven’t read any of my books, I encourage you to check out my Irish love story, A Light in the Window, which is currently on sale for only 99 cents. And to whet your appetite for A Light in the Window, here’s the video my artist hubby did for that book using my daughter as the model:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

    1. LOL, TIFF … well, I will warn you that this one may not “sizzle” quite as much as it is as much a women’s fiction as it is a romance instead of my straight romance, but there are one or two pretty nice kisses, I think, or at least I HOPE!! 🙂

      Hugs and Good Luck!
      Julie

    1. LOL, MARSHA … THANK YOU, sweetie, for the short and sweet message, and here’s hoping it earns you a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

    1. Hey, WORTHY2READ, thank you SO much for your interest in my books, and I hope you enjoy my latest, Isle of Hope and my Christmas novella, so here’s to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

  29. I really liked this interview! You are one of my favorite authors Julie and I’m really looking forward to your new series and the novella with Lizzie and Brady! I love books with godly passion and romance that you can’t put down! So excited to read!

    1. Aw, CHEYENNE, thank you SO much for your sweet comment and for reading my books in the first place! Here’s hoping I can send you a signed ecopy of IOH or TBGOA!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

  30. Hi Julie and Erica

    Thanks, Julie, for your list of the steps you took to get published. I liked them so much, especially the last and certainly not least of them, that I’ve copied them to tape to my monitor.

    Thanks, Erica, for such a wonderful job of interviewing Julie. As an author of a series, with at least one poor lost soul longing to be eventually redeemed, I deeply appreciate your skillful efforts.

    1. LINNIE, you are MORE than welcome, my friend, and I wish you the best with your own books as well!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

    1. Hey, MARGARET — always great to see you, my friend, and I hope the kiddos are doing well. Are you interested in being a part of my blog tour for Isle of Hope? Or do you only review historicals?

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

    1. Hey, BROOKE, thank you for your interest in my books, and if you don’t win one here and haven’t read any, I encourage you to check out my Irish love story, A Light in the Window, which is currently on sale for only 99 cents. And to whet your appetite for A Light in the Window, here’s the video my artist hubby did for that book using my daughter as the model:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
      Julie

  31. !!!!!! DRUM ROLL PLEASE … AND THE WINNER OF MY GIVEAWAY IS:

    JACQUELINE ROBERTSON!!!

    MEGA HUGS TO ALL WHO ENTERED — I WISH I COULD SEND A BOOK TO EACH OF YOU, BUT MY HUSBAND WOULD SHOOT ME … 😉 AND, ERICA, THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR HOSTING ME ON YOUR BLOG — IT WAS A LOT OF FUN!

    JACQUELINE, PLEASE CONTACT ME THROUGH MY WEBSITE AT
    CONTACT JULIE
    http://www.julielessman.com/contact-julie/, AND I WILL SEND YOU YOUR BOOK, OKAY?

    EVERYBODY ELSE, PLEASE CHECK BACK IN A WEEK BECAUSE IF JACQUELINE DOESN’T CLAIM HER PRIZE, I’LL DRAW ANOTHER NAME.

    HUGS & HAPPY READING!
    JULIE

    1. Very happy to do this for you, Julie 🙂 It was all about timing, I am so glad I was able to do this from my blog and not another site that was “iffy”. Lol. Blessings!

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